“Radical Mediation”

Tema de Richard Grusin (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) para a Mesa 5 – Tecnologias Marginais, Objetos Familiares, Ecologias Sonoras. 6 de agosto, das 13h – 15h30
The question of mediation has become one of the central intellectual problems in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in part because of the extraordinary acceleration of technology, the rampant proliferation of digital media technologies that sometimes goes under the name of “mediatization.” Despite widespread theorizing about media prompted by the intense mediatization of the past several decades, mediation is a concept that has been curiously undertheorized. Taking off from William James’s understanding of “radical empiricism,” I develop the concept of “radical mediation” to argue that mediation functions technically, bodily, and materially to generate and modulate individual and collective affective moods or structures of feeling among assemblages of humans and nonhumans. Mediation operates physically and materially as an object, event, or process in the world, impacting humans and nonhumans alike. Radical mediation participates in recent critiques of the dualism of the Western philosophical tradition, which make up what I have elsewhere called the nonhuman turn in twenty-first-century studies.  As I suggest in the concluding sections of the talk, radical mediation might also be understood as nonhuman mediation.

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