Professor Jussi Parikka

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

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Dr. Jussi Parikka is Professor at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. His books include the media ecology-trilogy that consists of Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd. ed 2016),  Insect Media (2010) and most recently, A Geology of Media (2015), which addresses the environmental contexts of media culture and arts. He is known for his work in media archaeology including the key text What is Media Archaeology (2012) and he has edited various books such as Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History (2015, with Joasia Krysa) on the Finnish media art pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi. He is also the co-editor of Across and Beyond: A transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions (Sternberg Press, 2016, co-edited with Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing and Elvia Wilk). Parikka’s website/blog is at and you can find him on Twitter as @juspar.


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

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).