[csaa-forum] The Fibreculture Journal—Call for Abstracts/Papers—“Trans”—Transversals, Transduction, Transmateriality

Andrew Murphie andrew.murphie at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 10:38:33 CST 2010

Call for Abstracts/Papers—the Fibreculture Journal —“Trans”

—Transversals, Transduction, Transmateriality


Issue Editors: Adrian Mackenzie, Andrew Murphie and Mitchell Whitelaw
(andrew.murphie at gmail.com: for editorial inquiries)

Please note that for this issue, initial submissions should be abstracts only

Abstracts due: March 31

Full Submissions Due: May 31

Publication: Aimed for late November 2010

Articles must be submitted in full Fibreculture Journal house style.
You must first read the Guidelines for Submission at
You can access information about house style at

[Please note, submissions not in house style will automatically be
returned to authors for formatting. That is, you will not be able to
have your paper considered for publication unless you have formatted
it correctly.  The journal is peer reviewed and authors are expected
to take readers reports into consideration when finalising their
articles for publication. Negotiation with the editors over potential
changes is usual practice.]


Digital, networked and informational media are extremely dynamic, and
constantly diversifying in form and  function at a dizzying rate. They
fuse with social (and “natural”) worlds in a manner with which
established powers find it difficult to come to grips. For many, from
seriously challenged newspaper proprietors to established media
disciplines, it might be time to pause for breath, if only for a
moment—to regroup and adapt established practices and ideas, to count
the survivors from among the old media worlds of just a few years ago.

While occasionally sympathetic, this issue of the Fibreculture Journal
rejects this approach. If we pause for breath, it is to take in the
new air. This issue embraces the accelerated evolutions of media forms
and processes, and the microrevolutions in the social (and even the
natural sciences) that dynamic media foster. This issue forges ahead,
embracing and thinking through what must be embraced and thought
through, establishing new forms of critique, or new forms of design,
in order to fully engage with the emergent conditions of our new
engagements with the world via contemporary media. It rethinks the
complex forces and ephemeral forms of digital and networked media via
a “radical empiricism”. Relations and dynamic ecologies come first,
before fixed forms and established disciplines or business models.

In short, we seek articles that give voice to the transformative
nature and powers of contemporary media’s new worlds and engagements.
This issue of the Fibreculture Journal will critically explore the
specific dynamics of digital, networked and informational media in the
light of the constant transformations, micro and macro, that are these
media’s very power. We are interested in articles addressing these
media’s own ecologies of ongoing transformation, and/or their
co-evolution with other worlds (social and political worlds, natural
worlds, the worlds of science, or art, of pleasure, of philosophy and

To give this precision, we seek articles, theoretical or analytic,
critical and/or propositional, that engage with contemporary media
worlds within the parameters (or "conceptual parametrics") of three
concepts: transduction, transmateriality, transversality. We begin
from the assumption that transductions (the relay of forces, for
example in a corkscrew or in the modulation of a video signal by audio
data) and transmaterialities  (the transformation of material flows,
whether voltage in a computer. globalized distribution, or the
movement of affect within social networks) are the lifeblood of
digital, networked and informational media. These constantly generate
transversals—lateral connections that transform all the fields they
cross. These are often at once material, technical and social. The
issue does not require submissions to engage with the thinkers behind
these ideas (although of course we will be delighted if some do).
Rather, transduction, transmateriality and transversality are meant as
catalysts for experiments in radical empiricism, for immersions in the
dynamic relations that distribute themselves within new media worlds.

A brief summary of these terms can be found at the end of this call for papers.

We would, for example, be interested in “trans” effects in the following areas:

* cross-signal processing, relay and modulation, in VJing, dance and
technology, and elsewhere.
* networks—wired and wireless—as ongoing transducers/tranduced,
individuators/individuations, micro and macro and all this at the same
* the way in which metadata and feeds—and the generation of taxonomies
or semantic webs—are indeed generative and transformative, but perhaps
of taxonomies that are as destabilised by their own relays as they are
stabilising .. the transformation of economies of knowledge that
* the implications of “trans” media events for cultural, social and
political theory and practices. The new ecologies of practice
(Isabelle Stengers) that result; new concepts of community, or of the
commons (Michel Bauwens, Elinor Ostrom), or activism or democracy,
that are adaptive, or fed by, “trans” media events and technics.
* art or design that brings together “strange constellations” of
transduction, transmateriality, transversality.
* the challenges to, and/or transformations of, disciplines or
established ecologies of ideas and/or practices in philosophy,
cultural theory, economics or science as a result of “trans” media
events and technics.
* new “transmaterialisms” and their implications for older materialisms.
* open access: design, publishing (whether of books, 3D objects, or
perhaps genetic, genomic or neuroscientific data), education, data,
ontology, etc and the new kinds of social, material and technical
transactions allowed by “trans” media events.
* new concepts of invention.
* “trans” media events at the junction of virtual and actual.
* images, sounds and sensations as
transducers/transduced/transversals, via “trans” media events, across
bodies and social fields.
* the transformation of Capital by “trans” media events.
* biomedia—mutual inscription and incorporation (Hayles), between
computing and social and natural ecologies.
* “counter-transversality” … rethinking computing and sustainability,
“trans” media events and environmental crisis or social crisis.
* “trans” media events and the production of subjectivity.
* reactionary and radical transductions or transmaterialities.
* contributions to the theory of transduction, transmateriality and
transversality at the junction of media and other ecologies.
* contemporary media and transience.
* generative ecologies and “trans” media events.
Transduction, Transmateriality, Transversality:

          o transduction: the active transformation of forces that
allows an ongoing individuation—or coming together of relations into
novel assemblages—to occur. This might be in the assemblage of a
corkscrew and wine bottle, or in the relays which are also modulations
between video and audio signal in VJing. (see Adrian Mackenzie’s
Transductions: bodies and machines at speed [London: Continuum, 2002]
or Steven Shaviro’s blog entry, “Simondon on Individuation”,
          o transmateriality: is a term recently developed by Mitchell
Whitelaw. If computing allows for an “incredibly dynamic, pliable set
of techniques for manipulating the material environment” (Whitelaw,
then transmateriality suggests “the extension of transduction to an
understanding of the material relations and transformations involved
in a computing immersed in the material world”. In this, computers are
taken to be “material machines dedicated to propagating a behavioral
illusion, or call it a working model, of immateriality” (Matthew
http://mkirschenbaum.wordpress.com/). “Concepts like ‘data’ are
functional abstractions for describing the propagation of material
patterns through material substrates. But that at the same time these
material patterns - and here I mean everything from optical pulses to
hard disk substrates, luminous screens and speakers pushing air -
these material patterns, and the sensations and aesthetics that result
are profoundly shaped by data acting as if it were symbolic and
immaterial. Transmateriality is an attempt to ‘ground’ the digital
without losing sight of its (let's say) generative capacities”
(Whitelaw). If ‘Transduction suggests a way to link practices like
physical computing, fabrication, networked environments, and many
more... We could add tangible interfaces, augmented reality, and
locative systems. ... perhaps we can call this expanded computing:
digital media and computation as material flows, turned outwards,
transducing anything to anything else” (Mitchell Whitelaw,)
          o transversality: a transformative mobility though different
systems (that can be at once technical, but also social, political,
natural). It tends to be lateral, rather than hierarchical. A
transversal connection does not just connect fields or sets of
pre-existing relations. It transforms the things/events that are
brought into connected networks. Any ‘individual’/individuation/social
or natural ecology is to some extent a network, and any network
involves an ecologies of transversals. Crucially, the
micro-reconstitution of relations is as important as, if not more so
than,  the macro- reconstitution of fields. (see Glen Fullers’ blog
entry, “Transversality”, at http://eventmechanics.net.au/?p=675;
Andrew Murphie’s account of Guattari’s use of the term, “editorial”,
FCJ 9, http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue9/issue9_editorial_print.html;
or Gerald Raunig’s “Transverality: In Search of a Non-Instrumental
Relationship Between Art and Politics”,

The Fibreculture Journal (http://fibreculturejournal.org/) is a peer
reviewed international journal, associate with Open Humanities Press
(http://openhumanitiespress.org/) that explores critical and
speculative interventions in the debate and discussions concerning
information and communication technologies and their policy
frameworks, network cultures and their informational logic, new media
forms and their deployment, and the possibilities of socio-technical
invention and sustainability.

"Take me to the operator, I want to ask some questions" - Barbara Morgenstern

"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What
he really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North

"I thought I had reached port; but I seemed to be cast back again into
the open sea" (Deleuze and Guattari, after Leibniz)

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of English, Media and Performing Arts, University of New South
Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2052
Editor - The Fibreculture Journal http://journal.fibreculture.org/>

fax:612 93856812 tlf:612 93855548 email: a.murphie at unsw.edu.au
room 311H, Webster Building

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