Geomedia 2021: ‘Off the Grid’ – A genuinely interdisciplinary platform for research carried out at the nexus of Geography, Media, and Film Studies.
- Registration: until April 28th, 2021 (CEST)
- Schedule: May 5th–8th, 2021 (CEST)
- Location: online (Zoom)
Geomedia provides a genuinely interdisciplinary platform for research carried out at the nexus of Geography, Media, and Film Studies. The aim of the conference series is to map out the current terrain of media geographical research, pinpointing its main areas of debate and assessing the prospects of media geography as a more formalized academic field.
The phrase ‘off the grid’ is commonly understood to refer to the voluntary decoupling from established infrastructure networks such as electricity, water or gas supply. The implication is one of material independence and a self-sufficient lifestyle. Going ‘off the grid’ means making yourself invisible by rebuking the social and technological structures that normally organize our lives. It is entering, or returning to, uncharted territory. The grid also speaks to the geographic coordinate system, an all-encompassing global structure which makes it possible to accurately locate any point on earth. This unified grid represents a dominant ordering principle for everything ‘locatable’.
Going off the grid has also been seen as a form of renunciation of the conveniences of the late capitalist (media) world in order to lead a supposedly slower, less stressful and eventually less superficial life – as inspired by the transcendentalism of the likes of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. But with so many people relying on the grid for purposes of work and entertainment in recent times, what does this mean for our relation to geomedia? What does going off the grid look like now?
- Caren Kaplan (@cajakap) – (Arts,) University of California, Davis, USA
- Nanna Verhoeff (@nannaverhoeff) – (Media and Culture Studies,) Utrecht University, the Netherlands
- Bernhard Siegert (@bsiegert) – IKKM Weimar, Germany
Geomedia 2021 is hosted by the Graduate School ‘Locating Media’ and the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation’ at the Department of Media Studies, University of Siegen. It is organized in collaboration with the Geomedia Group at Karlstad University.