Tag: Jussi Parikka

Is it possible; a sensible life?

Fall Semester

Is it possible; a sensible life?

A question addressed in various ways by a number of writers, including

Zairong Xiang

Tony D. Sampson + Jussi Parikka

Benjamin H. Bratton

Catherine Malabou

Leonardo Caffo

Peter Singer + Michael Plant

Franco “Bifo” Berardi + Andreas Petrossiants

It would be naïve to portray the present moment as revolutionary, or as portending a type of impending fundamental downfall. All the stressors that left us with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, and powerlessness before this crisis, are now compounded. Financial, emotional, existential, and now our very survival urges a transformation in the world as we knew it. The imposed reflection upon our immediate past as individuals and as societal bodies now, more than before, implores us to make space to contemplate for a truly sensible life ahead.

Royalty free image

Read on

Affect and Social Media out July 2018

In production now with Rowman & Littlefield

Affect and Social Media


Emotion, Mediation, Anxiety and Contagion

Edited by Tony D Sampson; Stephen Maddison and Darren Ellis

Affect and Social Media is an edited collection of twenty bite sized articles by leading scholars from across disciplinary boundaries. It is comprised of four distinct but related sections which are interspersed with artistic illustrations, depicting the affectivities that flow through social media. The term ‘affect’ denotes a rather slippery concept that is not as easily caught as for example ‘emotion’ or ‘feeling’. Quite often it denotes a more than or an excess to that which is felt in the human body or indexed through cultural grids of meaning. It can exist in ways which defy expectations, conventions, and representations. It is often understood as that which is vital to the emergence of the new and hence socio-cultural revolution. As life shifts ever more on-line, we find ourselves caught up in the affective flows of computer mediated practices into an ever expanding and indeterminate horizon. This compilation of articles that were initially presented at an international conference in East London, were selected on the basis of their ability to depict and conceptualise these radical movements of sociality.



Foreword by Gregory Seigworth

Introduction: On Affect and Social Media by Tony D. Sampson, Darren Ellis and Stephen Maddison

Part One: Digital Emotion

Introduction by Helen Powell

Chapter One: Social media, emoticons and process by Darren Ellis

Chapter Two: Anticipating affect: trigger warnings in a mental health social media site by Lewis Goodings

Chapter Three: Digitally mediated emotion: Simondon, affectivity and individuation by Ian Tucker

Chapter Four: Visceral data by Luke Stark

Chapter Five: Psychophysiological measures associated with affective states while using social media by Maurizio Mauri

Part Two: Mediated Connectivities, Immediacies & Intensities

Introduction by Jussi Parikka

Chapter Six: Social media and the materialisation of the affective present by Rebecca Coleman

Chapter Seven: The education of feeling: Wearable technology & triggering pedagogies by Alyssa D. Niccolini

Chapter Eight: Mediated affect & feminist solidarity: Teens’ using Twitter to challenge ‘rape culture’ in and around school by Jessica Ringrose and Kaitlynn Mendes

Part Three: Insecurity and Anxiety

Introduction by Darren Ellis and Stephen Maddison

Chapter Nine: Wupocalypse Now: Supertrolls and other risk Anxieties in social media interactions by Greg Singh

Chapter Ten: Becoming user in popular culture by Zara Dinnen

Chapter Eleven: #YouTuberanxiety: Affect and anxiety performance in UK beauty vlogging by Sophie Bishop

Chapter Twelve: Chemsex: anatomy of a sex panic by Jamie Hakim

Chapter Thirteen: Designing life? Affect and gay porn by Stephen Maddison

Chapter Four: Contagion: Image, Work, Politics and Control

Introduction by Tony D Sampson

Chapter Fourteen: The mask of Ebola: Fear, contagion, and immunity by Yiğit Soncul

Chapter Fifteen: The newsroom is no longer a safe zone: Assessing the affective impact of graphic user-generated images on journalists working with social media by Stephen Jukes

Chapter Sixteen: Emotions, social media communication and TV debates by Morgane Kimmich

Chapter Seventeen: The Failed Utopias of Walden and Walden Two by Robert Wright



978-1-78660-438-5 • Hardback • July 2018 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-78660-439-2 • Paperback • July 2018 • $34.95 • (£23.95)
978-1-78660-440-8 • eBook • July 2018 • $32.95 • (£22.95) (coming soon)


Digital Contagions and The Assemblage Brain Launch 7pm, 7th March (2017) at King’s College London in The Strand

Final shout on this one…

Experiencing Digital Culture

Please do join us (Jussi Parikka and Tony D Sampson) at King’s College London (The Strand) for a free event to celebrate the recent publication of these two books.

Digital Contagions


The Assemblage Brain


We begin at 7pm in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre (floor 6) and continue with a drink in the Somerset Cafe between 8-9pm.

Full details and link to free booking here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/ahri/eventrecords/2016-2017/Digicult/Experiencing-Digital-Culture.aspx

Parallax (23) 1: Autoimmunities, Guest Edited by Stefan Herbrechter and Michelle Jamieson

I have an article published in this special issue of Parallax that develops on one of the themes (Horror of Digital Autotoxicus) fleetingly introduced in The Spam Book introduction with Jussi Parikka.

Looking forward to reading the rest of it…

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tpar20/current

Full Contents

Autoimmunities, Guest Edited by Stefan Herbrechter and Michelle Jamieson

Details of The Image of the Network, Symposium at Winchester School of Art, June 16th 2015

The Image of the Network, Symposium

Organised at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton by Yigit Soncul and Jussi Parikka

Tuesday June 16, 2015

Rotunda (East Building)

Free registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-image-of-the-network-symposium-tickets-6512562249

The Image of the Network is a one day symposium that explores the connection between aesthetics, politics and technology. New technologies of addressing the involuntary aspects of human cognition open up the topics of both affective design and new modes of preemptive surveillance. The double logic of security and commerce is an effective context in which the contemporary platforms of design and aesthetics are to be understood, at the centre of the so-called control society, as posited by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

This agenda opens up issues of surveillance, anticipatory logic of networks and art practices important to this technological infrastructure. The aim of the event is to problematise and initiate a debate on the contemporary politics of embodiment and visuality through such themes of network politics. The topics map the definitions of the image in an age that is characterised by concepts such as contagion, immunity, affect, the involuntary, preemption and premediation.


10.30 Opening Words by Jussi Parikka and Yigit Soncul

10.40 Tony D. Sampson, (Reader, UEL)

Waking the Somnambulist: The Capture of Affect, Attention and Memory (and Why We Need New Weapons to Stop it)

11.20 Olga Goriunova (Associate Professor, Warwick)

Digital Subjects: On Persons and Singularity in Calculative Infrastructures

12.00 Lunch break

13.30 Jussi Parikka (Professor, WSA)

Networks: Service Economy and Denials of Service

14.00 Yigit Soncul (PhD student, WSA)

Contagious and Immunogenic Images of the Network

14.30 Jane Birkin (PhD student, WSA)

Keeping Time: Archive as Secure Back-up for the Networked Image

15.00 Closing Discussion

Chaired by Prof. Ryan Bishop


The Image of the Network is a Design & Media Ecologies Lab event.


Technology is the New Magic (Restless Futures)

Attending this event on Friday…

15 May 2015

10:00 to 18:00


Lecture Theatre E002

Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross


Magic and technology are inextricably linked. Technology enchants us. Even more so in its current digital form. We are under a collective spell, or are we? How do we make sense of the omnipresence of digital technologies? What are the design narratives manifest in our constant interaction with digital devices? Technology is the New Magic is a one-day symposium exploring the relationship between magic and technologies and the digital enchantment that permeates contemporary culture.


Jussi Parikka Professor of Technological Culture and Aesthetics. Winchester School of Art – University of Southampton

Stuart Nolan Magician & Technologist

Phil Van Allen Professor of Interaction Design Art Centre Pasadena

Ken Hollings  Writer Lecturer and Broadcaster

Simon Hollington Artist and Curator

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu Architect and Digital Storyteller

Tickets: General £5, Students £3

Book your tickets through the Platform Theatre box office.

This event is a part of the Restless Futures programme.


10.00 – 10.15 Registration

10.15 – 10.30 Welcome and Introduction  – Betti Marenko

10.30 – 11.15 Jussi Parikka – Professor of Technological Culture and Aesthetics. Winchester School of Art – University of Southampton.

11.15 – 12.00 Phil van Allen – Professor of Interaction Design Art Center Pasadena

12.00 – 12.15 coffee break

12.15 – 13.00 Stuart Nolan – Magician and Technologist

13.00 – 13.15 discussion

13.15 – 14.15 lunch break

14.15 – 15.00 Ken Hollings – Writer, Lecturer and Broadcaster

15.00 – 15.45 Simon Hollington – Artist and Curator

15.45 – 16.00 coffee break

16.00 – 16.45 Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu – Architect and Digital Storyteller

16.45 – 17.15 discussion and conclusion

17.30 – 18.00 Book Launch: Jussi Parikka A Geology of Media Minnesota Press

18.00 – 20.00 Join the speakers for a drink in the Platform Bar

Hard Copies of The Birth of Digital Populism book will be available on Friday at UEL’s Affect and Social Media seminar

Really thrilled to say that The Birth of Digital Populism book has just arrived and will be available (by making a donation) for the first time in hard copy at the Affect and Social Media research seminar at UEL this Friday (27th Feb).

It is a beautiful book designed & co-edited by Francesco Taccini – currently at the RCA.

The Blurb

The Birth of Digital Populism. Crowd, Power and Postdemocracy in the 21st Century


The Five Star Movement led by Grillo & Casaleggio had an unexpected success in the Italian general elections of February 2013, deeply disrupting the panorama of Italian politics. This book seeks to explore some of the features characterising the emergence of a new political phenomenon: digital populism. We asked Italian and English thinkers from different political and disciplinary backgrounds to contribute to an analysis of some fundamental points behind the rise of populism and the digital relations between masses, power and democracy at the dawn of the twenty-first century. This is the result of nine interviews carried out between May 2013 and February 2014 with Luciana Parisi, Tiziana Terranova, Lapo Berti, Simon Choat, Godani Paul, Saul Newman, Jussi Parikka, Tony D. Sampson and Alberto Toscano.

Media Archaeology Out of Nature: An Interview with Jussi Parikka

A nice interview with Jussi Parikka by Paul Feigelfeld published on the e-Flux website.

Parikka’s short book The Anthrobscene is a great read.

Snippet from the interview.


Over the past several years, Finnish media theorist Jussi Parikka’s work has received widespread attention in the academic and art worlds alike. Besides contributing to the international foundation for what has been called “German Media Theory” with his work on media archaeology and his editing of Berlin-based media theorist Wolfgang Ernst, among others, Parikka has written on network politics, the dark sides of internet culture, and media ecology.

Together with Digital Contagions and Insect Media, his most recent short book The Anthrobscene and the forthcoming A Geology of Media constellate a body of work that triangulates the world of planetary computation on many levels. From investigations of biological resonances in the design of media technologies—viruses, swarms, insects—to electronic waste, future fossils, and the significance of rare earth minerals, Parikka describes the complex layers that constitute media knowledge production under the technological condition of the anthropocene with academic rigor and artistic elegance. Currently, he works as professor of technological culture and aesthetics at Winchester School of Art.

In the following conversation, Parikka and I address themes of insect media, the materiality of media culture, and other issues that relate to the conjunction of aesthetics, politics, and technology.

—Paul Feigelfeld

Read on…

Here is the free book “The birth of digital populism. Crowd, power and post-democracy in the 21st century”

Here is the free book from Obsolete Capitalism

“The birth of digital populism. Crowd, power and post-democracy in the 21st century” featuring Luciana Parisi, Tiziana Terranova, Lapo Berti, Simon Choat, Paolo Godani, Saul Newman, Jussi Parikka, Tony D. Sampson and Alberto Toscano.

The book, which is published by Obsolete Capitalism Free Press, is under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International) and can be read or downloaded from the digital publishing platform Issuu at the following address:


The Five Star Movement led by Grillo & Casaleggio had an unexpected success in the Italian general elections of February 2013, deeply disrupting the panorama of Italian politics. This book seeks to explore some of the features characterising the emergence of a new political phenomenon: digital populism. We asked Italian and English thinkers from different political and disciplinary backgrounds to contribute to an analysis of some fundamental points behind the rise of populism and the digital relations between masses, power and democracy at the dawn of the twenty-first century. This is the result of nine interviews carried out between May 2013 and February 2014 with Luciana Parisi, Tiziana Terranova, Lapo Berti, Simon Choat, Paolo Godani, Saul Newman, Jussi Parikka, Tony D. Sampson and Alberto Toscano.

Sadie Plant’s foreword to The Spam Book

The foreword to The Spam Book has been published on Sadie Plant’s website. I’ve made a copy below. A very nice piece that sets up the context for the rest of the book.

Spam Book

Foreword to The Spam Book

They may seem quintessentially Dutch, but tulips came from far away: while the flat patchwork fields of the modern tulip industry are an impressive sight, it is still in the springtime gardens on the shores of the Bosphorous that the flowers can be seen at their best. When they were introduced to Holland, in the early seventeenth century, tulips found an eager audience in what was already a highly cultured world: northern Holland has been described as Europe’s first modern economy, and people certainly had the money and the sensibility to pursue the exotic and treasure the rare. The basic flower was attractive enough. But when it came to cultivating tulips, the plain, primary coloured varieties excited far less interest than the frilly, multicoloured, streaked, and patterned strains. 

These varieties were also highly individuated and difficult to cultivate: for reasons quite unclear at the time, the strains could not be reproduced by cultivating their seeds, and outgrowths from the bulbs were unpredictable and slow, taking two or three years to flower. There was also an element of randomness: dramatic changes could occur in the same bulbs from one season to the next. 

All this and much besides meant that individual bulbs began to attract extremely high prices: even in the 1620s some cost as much as 1000 guilders; by the 1630s, they were priced at 6000 guilders – more than enough to buy a luxurious house. Trading was frenetic, ridiculous even, as bidders raised prices beyond all reason. Bulbs began to function as a currency, and options were traded hundreds of times on futures markets while they were still maturing in the ground.

Of course, there was a crash, a day when someone woke up and thought: why did I just sell my house for the promise of a flower? What am I doing? I must be mad! The crash, at the end of the 1930s, was sudden and devastating, and remains one of the most celebrated examples of economic collapse.

Tulipmania was an economic bubble that took much of the Dutch and the wider European financial system with it when it burst. And what had fuelled the whole thing to such heights? In the 1920s it was discovered that the exotic variations of what had become known as “the flowers that drove men mad” were not the result of careful genetic development, but the consequence of a virus, an anomaly in otherwise healthy, but less variegated plants. The multicolour stripes and ornate patterns were symptoms of disease. 

Viruses are largely judged in negative terms. Like all such oddities, they are seen as mistakes, spanners in the works, bugs in the system, diseases, malfunctions, irregularities. Viruses are only the beginning: the digital world is awash with such anomalies – the spam that fills inboxes, the worms that crawl around the net, all the junk and detritus that flows through the gutters of cyberspace. And yet it is clear that they can often have extremely productive and creative effects, as in the case of the infected tulip bulbs: their viral contagion can indeed be said to have had many beneficial consequences, at least in the context of seventeenth century European aesthetics and sensibilities. It went on to inspire a passion for tulips which established the region as the world’s largest bulb producer, and did much to determine later Western tastes in ornamental flowers and their representations as well. But such positive judgements are as problematic as the negatives. The anomalies in question are rarely purely destructive phenomena, but nor are they heroic subversives locked in battle with the forces of logos or the state, lively irregularities capable of interrupting and destabilising a world of conformity. They may sometimes play such roles, just as they are sometimes uncompromisingly damaging. More often, however, they are so mixed up with the lives of their hosts that it is almost impossible to judge them as anything other than vital elements of the systems they traverse. Otherwise all that can be said in judgement of an anomaly like the seventeenth century tulip virus is that its effects were variously and arguably both good and bad, destructive and creative, positive and negative: the flowers looked good, but the bulbs were sick; money was made and lost as well. 

Long after Nietzsche, the question of whether things are good or evil, positive or negative, normal or strange remains on the tip of the collective tongue. But the exploration of cultural phenomena should not be confined to judgements about rights and wrongs, the purposes and meanings of processes and events.  And the search for significance seems particularly spurious when one’s material is all the gloriously meaningless junk, noise, interference, and seediness that give the Net so much of its character. This does not, however, render the content of all this communication irrelevant: indeed, the contents are often perfect expressions of the networks on which they run. The underground routes, the back doors and dark alleys of the Net play host to the same kind of questionable deals and sordid offerings that move through back doors and dark alleys everywhere. On and off the Net, certain ways of dealing with information and doing business tend to attract certain kinds of service and commodity.  And all the temptations of money and porn that fill the inboxes of the world, the promises of better financial or sexual performance, penises, partners, or porn, are reminders that digital networks do not stand alone, but are always intimately implicated with their users and all the plays of power and desire in which they are involved.

It is, at first glance, quite amazing that the formal, regulated, logical world of computing should have spawned so many weird and wonderful forms of digital wildlife. Of course, the very purity of the logic, the smoothness of the system, tends to exacerbate the effects of even the slightest disturbance, and even to provoke it too: there is always an excess in play. But once computers, and their users, went on line, the networks that emerged were highly complex and volatile. With complexity comes a certain degree of instability and unpredictability that can be fatally destabilising, but also drives change and innovation by making networks vulnerable, and so open to new influences and opportunities. 

They may make problems for the system, but they are often necessary to it too, not least so that it can define its own limits, establishing and policing the boundaries between this information and that noise, this logic and that nonsense. Even as it shuts them out, it needs its anomalies: police and thieves stand opposed to each other, but are also locked into close, symbiotic relationships, and constantly evolve in relation to each other too. They are neither simple enemies nor dialectical partners, but tendencies at work in all the countless scales and speeds of activity in the complex system they become.  

Perhaps it’s all a question of perspective and time. The virus that is malevolent for the bulb is beneficial in relation to the flower. The code that breaks through one security barrier is also the incentive to develop new lines of defence.  Short-term anomalies can be crucial to long-term stability, and vice versa: at least eight percent of the human genome is composed of retroviruses which would have threatened the body at one time but are now simply part of the code. It depends how far back one is willing to step: perhaps the very fact of digital technology is an anomaly in an analogue world; perhaps the earth itself is an anomaly; maybe humanity, with all its technology, was already anomalous in a tool-free world. 

Tulipmania was certainly a great irregularity, a malfunctioning of seventeenth century financial markets causing the first such large-scale economic crash.  It was a kind of fever: the craze was as infectious as the virus itself, a runaway sequence of events triggered by the smallest of anomalies – which was, as it happens, effectively repressed as soon as its nature was known: once it was discovered, after nearly three centuries, that a disease was the agent of tulip variegation, the virus was eliminated by the tulip industry. Modern striped, multicoloured, and frilled tulips are the flowers of healthy bulbs, bred to emulate those of their virally infected predecessors: the effects remain, but the virus has gone. Order has been restored. 

And order was restored in the markets too, which were nevertheless transformed by the experience. The cycle keeps going – or rather countless cycles, all interweaving and overlapping and operating at many different scales and speeds, keep coming and going, repeating themselves in networks that are nevertheless never quite the same. 

Digital anomalies are all things to all people and all networks: they are subversive of order and complicit in its maintenance; opposed and produced by the systems they traverse. What can be said – and what is brilliantly demonstrated in this book – is that the study of the seedy, chaotic underbelly of what otherwise appear to be smooth and highly regulated systems is not only fascinating in its own terms, but also crucial to an understanding of the networked world and everything with which it interacts.