Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Medienwissenschaft

Jussi Parikka: The viral Ecology of Network Culture

  • Was Kolloquium „Medien, die wir meinen“
  • Wann 10.05.2006 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Sophienstraße 22a, R. 0.01 (Medientheater)
  • iCal

Since the 1980s, computer viruses, worms and similar computer programs have been marked as malicious software. Especially since the 1988 Morris Worm such kinds of parasitic types of software are continuously deemed as anomalous, illegitimate and hazardous for the organisation of global culture of computing. This is often done in a metaphorical fashion, with continuous translation of these miniprograms into figurations of HIV, disease, contamination, plague, and so forth.

Yet, the issue can be turned upside down. Instead of looking at such parasite programs as malicious, a genealogical view on this media ecology reveals them as fundamentally connected to the basics of digital networking. Already early network experiments included virallike and wormlike programs, which used in their functioning other elements of the network actively to their advantage. This non-representational analysis focuses, then, on the ecological/archaeological layer on which the metaphors are only secondary. This presentation focuses on this genealogy of network culture, as well on the theoretical questions of media ecology as a transversal connectionism, an archaeology of a kind. It couples the empirical analysis with tentative notes towards non-biological assemblages of life that are useful when thinking archaeologies of media technologies.