Media Aesthetics Workshop
Andreas Nilsen Ervik presents a draft of the conclusion to his doctoral thesis, You Might Like This - Playful, Stupid, Cute and Funny Diversions.
Abstract: Digital diversions are the aspects of screen-living attracting people to procrastinate. This thesis diverts from regular responses to diversions, such as personal and political subversion and critique, to instead examine how diversions actually function: What is it about digital games, mindless web-browsing, cute animal images and political mockery that makes such media forms so attractive? The project develops a research method of reverse-engineering to model the production of diversions. This reverse-engineering aims for something producers may have no need for: explaining why something diverts. The project further considers the ways in which diversions influence the possibilities of reflection today, approaching them not only to understand but also to learn from: How can programming instruct philosophical reverse-engineering; digital games inform playful writing; clickbait reveal the potency of stupidity; animal clips produce empathy and creativity; and trolling contribute to political discourse? Rather than accidents of media, diversions offer a way of reconsidering media as diverting and as diversions from humans, which lead to processes of evolution irreducible to our intentions and interests. Using perspectives from philosophy and biology, the thesis examines structural overlap between organic and media evolution. What we consider uniquely and contemporary human is thereby reconfigured as dynamic behavior of earth expressivity: microbes diverting, playful plants, fungal stupidity, cute animals and funny hunter-gatherers.
The Media Aesthetics research group at IMK, UiO, organizes a workshop on every first Friday of a month. The seminars serve as a space to discuss own projects, texts, research objects and works in progress.
The Media Aesthetics workshop is open to everybody!