‘Tarde as Media Theorist’: an interview with Tony D. Sampson, by Jussi Parikka

‘Tarde as Media Theorist’: an interview with Tony D. Sampson, by Jussi Parikka

This discussion focuses on Sampson’s recently published monograph Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, characterised by Brian Rotman as “offering a new theory of the viral as a sociological event.” In this conversation, Parikka and Sampson talk about Gabriel Tarde and assemblage theory, and why Tarde should be approached as a media theorist who is more interested in the somnambulistic notions of the social. Sampson’s interest in the non-cognitive – and non-cognitive capitalism – resonates with recent discussions of affect, but with a special focus on developments in HCI-design and research.
Read the rest of the interview on the Theory, Culture and Society Blog published Friday, 25 January 2013

 

 

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About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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