Professor Jussi Parikka

Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton

Keynote lecture

A Planetary Surface: On Infrastructure, Design and the Fabric of Materiality

 Unknown Fields Division: Unravelled Expedition Showreel

Unknown Fields Division: Unravelled Expedition Showreel

In this talk, I am interested in the question of the surface as folded between materials of textiles and garments, the moving image and their infrastructural contexts that expand to discuss the planetary conveyor belt, a term adopted from  the Unknown Fields Division studio. While Giuliana Bruno’s work has offered an exciting vocabulary for discussing fashion, cinema and architecture, I want to use this as a base to discuss fashion and especially fashion film on a scale that expands from the examples of individual films and their usual institutional contexts to some recent work outlining the global production of fashion. Here Unknown Fields Division’s work stands out as an apt example of a design and expedition led methodology of mapping the landscapes of fashion as they relate to the planetary surface of production and movement of materials. Their recent expeditions in India and Bangladesh have also touched directly on the question of the fabric/textile. As shown in the current After the End of the World exhibition in Barcelona at CCCB this work has produced one version of fashion film outside the usual confines of the genre. In this talk, it will be one key reference point for a theoretical discussion of the various scales of surfaces from textiles to moving image to not only architectural sites of movement (including the factory) but also to the infrastructures to which those spaces connect as they are part of the planetary surface.

The talk draws on research part of the on-going AHRC funded Archaeology of Fashion Film project at Central St. Martins (UAL) and Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton).