Media as Cultural Environments… or the Other Way Around

There are, unsurprisingly, quite a few definitions of “media ecology” making their way through academic and non-academic circles alike.  As a group, they show a sometimes discouraging amount of diversity.  Most, however, at least tangentially reference Neil Postman’s notion of exploring media as environments.  In what can only be described as a profound encounter with the obvious,  I’ve come to realize that my orientation to media ecology, which I have always considered to be quite straightforward, is anything but.  Though the consideration of media as environments is certainly one I find interesting, some recent reflection on my own work reveals that I am far more interested by the consideration of environments as media.  That is, I am interested in the kinds of questions and problems generated when media or theories of media are used as frameworks to understand cultural environments.  This critical practice is based on understanding media and new media outside of the boundaries of specific technologies or technological objects.  I understand “new mediation,” rather, as a pervasive logic in particular parts of the world.  I began to develop this perspective in an article recently published in Explorations in Media Ecology, but now hope to expand upon this work.

Colleagues and potential collaborators, if this sounds intriguing to you, please get in touch.