I recently presented at the What is Technology Conference? in Portland, OR, sponsored by the University of Oregon. The presentation, “The Ecomediasphere: Technology as Ecomedia,” demonstrates an educational tool that I’m developing for ecomedia literacy. The heuristic will be featured in my forth-coming book with Routledge, Teaching Ecomedia.
Here is the abstract: Various academic disciplines are undergoing enormous conceptual turns that are shifting discussions about technology and media. The first is a turn to the Anthropocene, which recognizes how our current geological epoch is being transformed by human activity, largely driven by anthropocentric technology designed to improve the human condition while at the same time disregarding its impact on living systems. The second turn is towards the material, which refocuses our attention on the material conditions of media, technology and reality. For this presentation, I focus on how the emerging concept of ecomedia combines both of these turns to recalibrate how we approach media studies and technology from an ecocentric perspective. Drawing on a novel analytical framework called the “ecomediasphere,” the presentation demonstrates how technological gadgets can be reconceptualized as boundary objects that impact a variety of “ecomediatones,” such as culture, political economy, materiality and lifeworld. This framework updates the “circuit of culture” approach to technology developed by cultural studies by applying an ecocritical critique to media technology, society and culture.