Media Life Public Lecture

If you are around, I hope to see you on Monday, November 9, at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Champaign. The graduate students of the InfoStructure: Intersections Between Social and Technological Systems program have been kind enough to invite me to deliver a public lecture on the media life project I am currently working on; a working paper on media life (version 1.0) is archived at IU ScholarWorks. The event starts at 12:30pm in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, Room B02 Auditorium.

The title of my talk is: Media Life - The Experience of Love, Sex & Death in Digital Culture.

Abstract: Research since the early years of the 21st century consistently shows how through the years more of our time gets spent using media, how being concurrently exposed to media has become a foundational feature of everyday life, and that consuming media for most people increasingly takes place alongside producing media. Contemporary media devices, what people do with them, and how all of this fits in the organization of our everyday life disrupt and unsettle well-established views of the role media play in society. Instead of continuing to wrestle with a distinction between media and society, this contribution proposes we begin our thinking with a view of life not lived with media, but in media. The media life perspective starts from the realization that the whole of the world and our lived experience in it can be seen as framed by, mitigated through, and made immediate by (immersive, integrated, ubiquitous and pervasive) media. In this presentation, the media life perspective is developed by correlating the claims of contemporary social theory with recent reports on media use among teenagers around the world.

This abstract is based on the abovementioned working paper I have drafted with two extremely talented graduate students in our program at Indiana University's Department of Telecommunications, Laura Speers and Peter Blank. A book-length manuscript, titled Media Life, will be published by Polity Press in 2011.

InfoStructure is a multidisciplinary program led by graduate students and funded by a Focal Point Grant from the Graduate College and by various co-sponsors. As their site states:
"InfoStructure is an endeavor to examine and discuss the hidden complexities of information technology systems that can often be obscured by disciplinary boundaries. Invited speakers will address recent developments in information technology in order to create a broadly accessible debate whereby systems are viewed as simultaneously technological and social."