EVERYTHING IS MEDIA is a gathering of academics researching various aspects of contemporary media, with particular interest in its increasing multiplexities and its implications across various sectors, from politics to culture and the arts, a recurring element relating to certain aspects of my works like There is No There, There, Archive Abstract, Neologic, Memory Cloud and A Tale of Two Cities.
Several key points emerged from talks and exchanges, including:
1. Media is broad, far-reaching and ever-changing - it is not a fixed natural object, and our response to it must therefore be adaptive and fluid, but also critical when necessary;
2. Media is in essence a process of mediation between individuals, groups, places and spaces, and as such may have vast implications on the systems and structures that underpin the relationships between them;
3. Media is related to systems of knowledge and social order, which makes it a powerful tool for both 'good' and 'evil' depending on the hand(s) weilding the machine;
4. Media, particularly social media, has made everyday life as raw material; with potential impact on our behaviours and perceptions of ourselves and the wider world;
5. Everything is media, even drawing and painting, which was once upon a time the only means available to record, document and/or represent the world around us. All media that came after is a natural extension of this, with the purpose of communicating stories and ideas;
6. Boundaries are restrictive when it comes to academic and creative research, because overlapping areas are more often than not the reality, and so different sectors would benefit in a more open and collaborative environment;
7. Everything is connected, from production and mediation to consumption and destruction, each section with implications over another, and therefore cannot be treated in isolation.
Overall, this event demonstrated the richness of media as a subject matter that extends well beyond the boundaries of communication studies to reach other areas like sociology, anthropology, psychology, politics and culture.
In the context of art, media and technology are serving not only as thematic concerns but also as tools, materials and platforms for new forms of work, as seen in the practices of contemporary artists like Morag Keil, Hito Steyerl, Cory Arcangel, Wade Guyton and many others, as well as in broader established traditions like video art and net art.