AMAB 2010

Activist Media and Biopolitics:

Critical Media Interventions in the Age of Biopower

International conference at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

12th - 13th november 2010

Madonnensaal, Karl-Rahner-Platz 3

Following the decline of tactical media as a guiding concept in media of resistance, many of the key concerns articulated in tactical media seem to have migrated to the intersection of informatics and the life sciences. Paralleling a shift of interest from hard/software to “wetware” in information technology, and from territorial to biopolitical regimes, activists, artists and scientists began developing networks of collaboration across disciplines, institutional settings, and economic frameworks, questioning the workings of biopower by introducing discontinuities in a new hegemony of knowledge. Interventions have targeted biopolitical areas such as precarious labor, technologies of security, asylum policies, health care reforms, body politics, gendering, racial profiling, genetic engineering, cellular research, nutrition, biopharmaceuticals, and many others. Carrying forward the interventionist practices of tactical media, biopolitical activists have surprised the mainstream by engaging in dissident practices at the very core of scientific knowledge formation and the related constructions of political/social realities. Outside the laboratories, they have challenged established categories about food, plants and animals through direct actions.

This conference brings together theoreticians, practitioners and activists whose work focuses on challenges to the hegemonic biopolitical discourse, and on developing tools for a critical understanding of biopower.

Invited speakers: Joshua D Atkinson, Geoff Cox, Carolyn Guertin

Contributions might address, but are not limited to:

• New questions in media theory in the light of biopolitics
• Forms of media activism in the life sciences
• Current questions in gender and biopower
• Current activist and artistic practices in the field of biotechnology
• Body politics
• Current anti-racist activism
• Forms of activism after tactical media
• Relational activism
• Bio media
• Media activism and precarious labor
• Media activism and genetic engineering, pharmaceutical technologies, health reforms
• Interventions in asylum and migration

The conference is hosted by the interdisciplinary forum Innsbruck Media Studies at the University of Innsbruck. It is focused on discourse and will primarily consist of delivered papers with plenary discussions and workshops. Conference languages are English and German.

Conference organizers: Prof. Dr. Theo Hug and Dr. Wolfgang Sützl (Institute of Educational Science, University of Innsbruck)

Dr. Wolfgang Sützl

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