Deep and Mattering Cities

December 20, 5-7pm


Sturenkatu 37-41b, 00550 Helsinki-FI


How deep does the city go? How do non-human materialities offer new ways of understanding the urban experience, its temporality, and technological culture? This discussion brings two international media and art theorists, Shannon Mattern and Jussi Parikka, into a dialogue about their recent work, which has addressed such crucial questions and elaborated issues that are important both for media studies and contemporary arts, but also for the wider public debate about what technological cities mean. The event will act also as the launch of Mattern’s new book Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (University of Minnesota Press).

Shannon Mattern is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She has written three books — on libraries, maps, and urban history — and she contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures for Places Journal. You can find her at 

Jussi Parikka is Professor at University of Southampton and Winchester School of Art. Docent at University of Turku, his wide range of publications have been instrumental in defining the international field of media archaeology. Recent publications also include work on environment art and humanities, such as A Geology of Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and A Slow Media Violence (Sternberg, 2016).

The event is co-organized by Publics and Finnish Cultural Institute in New York (FCINY). Jussi Parikka and Shannon Mattern are current participants of FCINY’s MOBIUS Fellowship Program

General discussion and drinks will follow after the dialogue between Mattern and Parikka. The event is free and open to the public.

Image: public domain X-ray image of a computer