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 —
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