“Tactical Media Ecology”: Paul Lloyd Sargent to chair ASLE conference panel in Detroit, June 22nd

Jun 12th 2017

DMS Ph.D. Candidate Paul Lloyd Sargent will be chairing a roundtable discussion at “Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery,” the 12th Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) Biennial Conference at Wayne State University, in Detroit, on June 22nd, 2017. Entitled “Tactical Media Ecology: Toward Neo-Ecological Practices of Resistance,” this roundtable features artist-researchers, curators, activists, and academics examining the possibilities and limitations of emergent eco-art practices.

To rethink Carol Hanisch in the shadow of the Anthropocene: “The personal is ecological because ecology is political.” Concatenating the terms “tactical media” and “media ecology,” this panel posits “tactical media ecology” as a set of embodied, experimental, essentially critical, neo-ecological art practices emerging from the intersection of mid-to-late 20th century “eco,” “environmental,” and “land art” histories (i.e. Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Maintenance Art,” Agnes Denes’s “Wheatfield,” Aviva Rahmani’s “Ghost Nets,” and other interventions and remediations within disturbance environments as art practice); 1990-2000s “tactical media,” “urban interventionism,” and other resistant spatial practices (i.e. Geert Lovink, Critical Art Ensemble, and REPOhistory); artist and geographer Trevor Paglen’s concept of a radical “experimental geography;” as well as recent reconsiderations of “media ecology” within the fields of media theory and media archaeology, informed by cybernetics, McLuhan, Bateson, Guattari, Kittler, Haraway, Fuller, Parikka, and more. Operating within a social ecology now measurable at the inter-planetary scale, where ecology is understood as essentially mediated, a “natureculture,” in Haraway’s ideation of Latour’s “hybridity,” part of a “geology of media,” as understood by Parikka, borrowing from Zielinski’s “Deep Time of the Media” and the research-based practices of artists, writers, and theorists gathered in Ellsworth and Kruse’s 2012 compendium, “Making the Geologic Now,” the question remains: what can eco-art-activism do? “The point is to change it,” as Marx declared, and works and practices to be considered during this discussion aim to do just that.

“Tactical Media Ecology: Toward Neo-Ecological Practices of Resistance”
Session E6 roundtable: Ecomedia stream
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 1:30-3pm
Room 358 – Manoogian Hall

Paul Lloyd Sargent (chair), University at Buffalo, “A Hydrology of Media: Erie Basin Meets Erie Basin.”
Dylan Gauthier, Mare Liberum, “A Hyperwilderness Archive: Toward a Personal/Tactical Media Ecology of Place”
Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Documentary Excess/Regional Limits”
Byron Rich, Allegheny College, “Molecular Colonization of Eco-Bodies and Human Bodies”
Alex Young, Carnegie Mellon University, “An Anarchitecture of the General Will”

Twelfth ASLE Biennial Conference
Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery
June 20-24, 2017
Wayne State University, Detroit MI

More details at the ASLE conference website:

ASLE seeks to inspire and promote intellectual work in the environmental humanities and arts. Our vision is an inclusive community whose members are committed to environmental research, education, literature, art and service, environmental justice, and ecological sustainability.