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Digital Culture and Media Initiative Lecture by James J. Hodge, Department of English and Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Northwestern University

When Mar 19, 2020
from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM
Where 102 Burrowes Building, Grucci Room
Contact Name
"Ordinary Media: The Aesthetics of Always-On Computing" In the 1990s the emergence of the World Wide Web changed the media landscape decisively if uncertainly. In the first decade or so of the 2000s the tectonics of that media landscape again shifted remarkably with the rise of always-on computing: the milieu of smartphones, social media, and ubiquitous wireless networks. This second shift may be seen as one from "new" media to "ordinary" media. The historical present of ordinary media is characterized by the popular embrace of a remarkable number of new networked genres, including selfies, ASMR videos, supercuts, animated GIFs, memes, podcasts, tweets, and much else. This talk focuses on artistic expressions of this new terrain, arguing that these genres embody strategies of provisional attunement to the vicissitudes of the historical present. Speaker bio: James J. Hodge is Associate Professor in the department of English and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University. His book Sensations of History: Animation and New Media Art was published in fall 2019 by the University of Minnesota Press. His essays on digital aesthetics have appeared in the journals Critical Inquiry, Postmodern Culture, and Triquarterly, among others. His current book project, "Ordinary Media: The Aesthetics of Always-On Computing," examines a range of experimental and popular digital artworks in their capacity to express the felt dynamics of always-on computing, from anxiety and sociability to productivity and vulnerability.