xer-files
Thursday, November 03, 2005
  Cultures in Orbit, Satellites and the Televisual
Institute of Network Cultures - Out There: Exploring Satellite Awareness

Part of an interview with Lisa Parks:
"I am working on an essay about the lives of three different satellites, comparing their histories, uses, positioning, effects, and evaluating why they are such obscure objects in media studies. I also just finished a project called Postwar Footprints about the way satellite and wireless footprints have been used to re-map parts of former Yugoslavia and link these regions to conglomerates in Western Europe and the US as part of European integration. This research is part of an art exhibition that opens at KW in Berlin on December 17, 2005. In some respects the detachment and invisibility of satellites has led me to become more interested in physical infrastructures. I’m writing a new book called Mixed Signals: Media Technologies and Cultural Geography, which explores emerging media systems in fringe areas -- areas on the edges of urban space and networked infrastructures. Some of these places might show up as dark zones in a composite satellite image of the earth at night. I’m interested in exploring the different atmospherics that form in areas that are either heavily networked or not very networked at all. Perhaps this is because I am fundamentally suspicious of integration as a political, economic and cultural goal and I think there is much to learn from areas that maintain some detachment and autonomy in a world that can be interconnected. I might even call these areas satellites in a kind of metaphoric way in that they exist around and in relation to centers of power (whether financial, technological, or cultural), but are distinct from them. So the satellite will definitely remain in my work, but it will inevitably mutate and take on different (sometimes metaphoric or metonymic) forms."
 
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