← 'Paper'June 10th
Full paper / The Medium is the Environment: Digital Materialism, Digital Art, and the Climate Crisis
- Abstract: Contrary to the notion of immateriality and commonplace imageries such as the cloud, information and communication technologies (ICT), from individual devices to the general infrastructure, are grounded in the natural world, ranging from the materials needed for production to the e-waste that is produced through planned obsolescence and aggressive consumerism. Despite such entanglement with the material substrate, the environmental implications of ICT usage is overlooked by the ICT industry, as it continues to exploit natural resources and cultivate a culture of consumption. Such socio-political landscape warrants an exploration of potential counter tactics in the field of digital art. This paper examines the environmental implications of ubiquitous ICT manufacturing, deployment, and usage, using the theories of new materialism and digital materialism. Following these theoretical lenses, the paper proposes that a focus on the material is necessary in digital art, which functions as an antithesis to the abstracting act of information/data and its purported immateriality.
- Biography: Kevin T. Day is a Taiwanese-Canadian media artist, art educator, and media theorist. His practice and research, encompassing sound, video, graph, web, and interactive installations, examine contemporary art’s critical capacity in response to the current socio-political issues of digital culture. Day received his PhD with a focus on media art and art education from the University of British Columbia. He has presented at numerous conferences such as SIGGRAPH, ISEA, and UAAC (Universities Arts Association of Canada). He has published in the top international journals for art and technology such as PACMCGIT and Leonardo. His work had been generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and SSHRC. Currently, he teaches digital art in the UBC Bachelor of Media Studies program and the politics of media and information at the UBC School of Information.
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