Porting Media II 2017

Call for Papers:

Media and ports have this in common: they are apparatuses that connect geographically distant places through logistics of transfer and communication. Porting, on the other hand, designates the ongoing process of translation, transformation, mediation or contact. This conference calls for an examination of the mechanisms of enfolding or assembly (and likewise friction or disconnection) that porting designates, with an eye to topics such as geopolitics, vicarity, intersectionality, televisuality, logistics, digital platforms, occupations, and environmental media, among others, and a concern with their emplacement in a global frame.

This conference draws on multiple meanings of the term porting to investigate processes of media trans/portation, entanglement, and transfiguration across distinct geopolitical contexts and contact zones. It takes as its starting point the idea of porting as a process for adapting software or hardware so it can be executed outside of its original design or environment. Porting, in other words, carries something over from one system to another—signaling abstraction, virtuality, exchange, transformation, reassembly, standardization, and so on. To focus on this mechanism is to reveal the play of power and force in multiple milieus, in the movement of a text, software, or commodity in transformative circulation. The moment of porting reveals not simply certain ideological machinations—cultural imperialism, homogenization, hybridization, and so on—but also exposes the materiality, forms of embodiment, and geographies of this medial mechanism. In short, the provocation of this conference is to engage porting, and related concepts, as a way to explore, critique, and expand understandings of media globalization. In dialogue with current work on circulation, infrastructures, logistics, ecologies, atmospherics, intersectionality, and cultural theory, we invite proposals that focus on distinct porting processes: acts of carrying over, making work, adapting, integrating, folding, normalizing, overpowering, and others. Proposals that consider porting media as a potential critical framework for the forces, objects, logistics and media logics that constitute the global are particularly welcome.

This call for papers is open to all and we encourage broad engagements with porting as concept, process, and site, including resistances to porting, and the forms of im-portability, friction, or untranslatability that always accompany it. We welcome papers that engage the following topics:

  • Ports, logistics, labour, capital circulation
  • Informal economy, piracy, hacking, hijacking
  • Digital platforms, technological lock-in, im-portability, monopoly
  • Tele-vision, remote sensing, and other modes of paravisuality
  • Environmental media, geo-engineering, climate control, smart cities
  • Geopolitical relations: islands and archipelagos, (extra)territoriality, colonial settlement, migration
  • Intersectionality, indigeneity, race, diaspora
  • Adaptation, translation, vicarity, substitution, intermediation
  • Software and hardware systems
  • Activism, publics, political society, popular culture
  • Embodiment, performance, gender, sexuality
  • Critical theory, political theory, theories of postcolonial or global
  • Stylistic, textual, and audiovisual contact zones

Please send 250-300 word abstracts and a brief biographical note to portingmedia@gmail.com by April 20, 2017. Information about the event will be available at https://portingmedia.com/

Porting Media is organized by Michelle Cho, Kay Dickinson, Philipp Dominik Keidl, Yuriko Furuhata, Joshua Neves, and Marc Steinberg