Infragraphy is a compilation of critical student essays and artworks dealing with the materialities of media infrastructures and their environmental implications. The volume presents the outcomes from the course ‘Archaeology of Media Infrastructures’ in the Spring of 2021 at the Department of Media, Aalto University. The course is a series of scholarly readings on media infrastructures including the themes of deep time, network connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, digital labor, water resources, energy consumption, and critical infrastructures. These readings were followed upon with intense online classroom discussions and debates. A new approach in Spring 2021 was to introduce artistic methods and practices that could address emerging media materialities primarily focused on infrastructure. The related student artistic outputs are presented in a companion virtual exhibition.
This fifth volume of Infragraphy presents themes ranging from media aesthetics, cloud materialities, media temporalities to human-machine relations. Francesca Bogani Amadori explores the temporalities of media infrastructures in _Infrastructural Reality_Digital Time_Labor Time. Amadori seeks to make visible how malleable our perception, and experience of time is, and how we are vulnerable to the information of the “infrastructural reality”. In (An)aesthetics of the Surface, Liga Felta examines aesthetics of media technologies. Felta especially considers the prevailing technological imaginaries and pleasure derived from aestheticized representation as a means of hiding the slow violence of media technologies. In Human-Machine Relations, Alicia Romero Fernandez experiments with media and behavior with the dumb-phone project, where a placebo smart-phone made of porcelain is used to probe into our entrenched relations with connectivity. In Free the Clouds Federico Simeoni presents an investigation of the iconographic strategy of cloud infrastructures. By a series of collages, Simeoni unravels the layered structure of the Cloud metaphor. Finally, in Contemporary Mandala, through the deliberate re-composition of a sacred symbol, Tuula Vehanen analyzes the visual representation of the Internet. In Vehanen’s depiction, concrete machinery has replaced the symbolism of a traditional sacred image.
24 April 2021, Helsinki