All posts tagged with 'diy culture'
Jedd Wilcox is a staff member at Parsons The New School for Design and a student in the Graduate Program in Media Studies at The New School, where he co-chaired the 2009 Critical Themes in Media Studies Conference and is completing his Master’s thesis on technological mediation and everyday sustainability this Spring. His interests include sustainable design, DIY culture, participatory media, and appropriate technologies.
A Certain Convocation of Politic Worms: Assembling Community Vermiculture and the Ecological Collective
In this paper, I examine the growing trend of urban vermiculture, the practice of composting organic waste with worms, through the lens of the machinic assemblage (Deleuze) and the collective (Latour). Informing this inquiry is data drawn from traces of the vermiculture community’s discourse via Web-based discussion (i.e. vermicomposting blogs, discussion boards, etc.) and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) guides (i.e. online “instructables”), as well as from the larger public discourse surrounding the practice as it is represented in the press.
In examining the emergence of vermiculture as a “sustainable” practice related to waste minimization and local food sourcing, I investigate the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) in the representation of the system’s heterogeneous actors and their ontological perspectives. To what extent do the affordances of DIY participatory media make possible the political “representation” (in keeping with both Cultural Studies’ as well as Latour’s overtly political deployment of the term) of the human and non-human actors involved? Is a resolution of the tension between an anthropocentric, instrumental conception of the actors involved (including made artifacts and the worms themselves) and an ecological, collective approach possible?