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Public talk – Jackie Orr: Slow disaster at the digital edge

I’m very excited to announce that Jackie Orr, Associate Professor, Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University (with digital artist Dovar Chen), is coming to Goldsmiths to speak at the opening of the upcoming Live Transmission event in June. Michael Guggenheim, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths Sociology, will be responding to Jackie’s talk and there will be drinks to follow the event. It will be a great night. All welcome. Put it in your diaries!


Slow disaster at the digital edge

Slow Disaster at the Digital Edge is a live 40 minute digital performance that assembles together the ‘deep time’ of petro-capitalist fossil fuel extraction, with the slow catastrophe of ordinary time and its exhaustion through everyday practices of repetition, accumulation, and disposability.

Situated in the image archives of the BP oil disaster in spring 2010 and the serial documentation of plastic bags wrapped in tree branches, the piece swerves away from disaster-as-event toward the slow burn of repetitious wasting and sedimented oblivion. Drawing on the occult theory recently conjured by Eugene Thacker, Slow Disaster tries to think with oil, a non-human thought compressed in the interstices.

The performance constructs a series of five digital formats, each attuned differently to the re-distributions of image, body, disaster, time—and performance itself—rendered through the binary plasticities of digital media. Experimenting with a performative technoscience studies that both critiques and deploys the power of disaster and digital aesthetics, the piece inhabits the questions: How to render thinkable the permeable boundaries of a catastrophe that unfolds across unthinkable, non-human time scales? What forms of sociological thought are adequate—politically, affectively—to the times, and to time’s reformatting via digital economies?  How to perform a tactical lamentation for a time beyond the wasted time of a slow, dispersed apocalypse?

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