English version of Les logiques nouvelles des médias viraux published

An English version of our article, Les logiques nouvelles des médias viraux, was published yesterday with Duke University’s Boundary 2 interventions.

The New Logics of Viral Media

Tony D. Sampson and Jussi Parikka —

Torture during plague epidemic, Milan 1630, Wellcome collections

Torture and execution of alleged plague carriers in Milan, 1630. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Up until recently, work on a universal theory of virality seemed to always cut a somewhat marginal figure in media theory. In the early 2000s, when we first started to publish articles referring to digital contagions, immunology, epidemiology and viral networks, it was no surprise to us that although our claim to universality seemed significant, it would remain of ancillary concern to mainstream media theory. After all, media and communication studies were supposed to be about establishing connection; not the opposite of it! We were regularly questioned about our use of a ‘viral metaphor’ and what it meant to the development of a new model of digital media. The hyperbolic focus on viral marketing did not make it any easier for us to argue that there were deeper material levels of virality that required immediate attention. Read on

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018) and The Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media (due 2020 with Polity Press). Tony is the organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK (see archive on this blog). As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Tony has been project lead on a number of funded projects that bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach. These activities have included large conferences, symposia and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres, co-organized with community groups and local authorities. Tony occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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