Media-N’s editorial board had been considering an edition dedicated to the ways by which artists using electronic technologies respond to environmental issues, and a contour of this idea began to take shape after I spoke with Andrea Polli about her experience as Artistic Director of the 18th iteration of the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA). In this dialogue published in our fall journal issue V.08 N.02, Polli outlined both the challenges and the accomplishments of directing such a curatorial endeavor, and she expressed that “this ISEA really made it clear [to me] that there is a sea change in the way artists, scholars and technologists are thinking about what they do, specifically in relation to the environment and in service to the living world.” This reflection strongly resonated with Media-N’s research interests and publication plans and, after subsequent deliberations we agreed to begin work on the current edition – an enterprise that has occupied us for the last twelve months.
Quite apart from its timely theme, one of the most significant aspects of ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness: Special Media-N edition is that it represents Media-N’s first journal issue published in partnership with an external organization – the International Symposium on Electronic Art, hosted in Albuquerque, New Mexico and organized with 516 ARTS. Also notable is the issue’s structure. Although Media-N typically collaborates with authors for our guest-edited issues, this is the first instance in which we worked with as many as five guest editors for a single edition. These co-guest editors had acted as theme and focus-area leaders during ISEA2012, and they are Andres Burbano, Agnes Chavez, Anita McKeown, Andrea Polli, and Stephanie Rothenberg. Building upon the framework of our former co-guest edited journals, we set up the logistics for a much more complex editorial structure and paired guest editors with Media-N’s editorial board members who acted in a support editorial role. Board members included Deputy Executive Editor Kevin Hamilton and Associate Editors Mina Cheon, Rachel Clarke, Meredith Hoy, Martin Patrick, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, and Joshua Rosenstock.
This collaborative edition produced by ISEA2012 and Media-N explores the symposium’s thesis via its seven tracks: 1–Wildlife: Trans-Species Habitats, 2–The Cosmos: Radical Cosmologies, 3–Creative Economies: Econotopias, 4–Power: Griddlocked, 5–Transportation: Dynamobilities, 6–Latin American Forum, 7–Education Program, 8–Artists Talks and other papers. Through this specially devised format, we are presenting essays by invited ISEA2012 authors as well as a number of selected, peer-reviewed papers submitted to us as a result of a specific call to ISEA2012 symposium participants. From the onset, Media-N aspired to publish essays that extended beyond the conference proceedings as works-in-progress, and a year later, we are proud to present the results of our partnership: a selection of full-length papers that, grouped together, serve as a reader on ISEA2012’s achievement in drawing attention to prominent environmental problems, and to the possible solutions explored by artists, scholars, and technologists in a diverse range of communities today.
Pat Badani, Editor-in-Chief
V.09 N.03 Web issue acknowledgements:
Publication coordinator and Editor-in-Chief: Pat Badani
Publication design, layout and proofreading: Stacey Stormes
Co-Guest Editors: Andres Burbano, Agnez Chavez, Anita McKeown, Andrea Polli and Stephanie Rothenberg.
Media-N’s Associate Editors for the current edition: Mina Cheon, Rachel Clarke, Kevin Hamilton, Meredith Hoy, Martin Patrick, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, and Joshua Pablo Rosenstock.
Copy editors for the current edition: Tiffany Funk, Rebecca Gallagher, Meredith Hoy, Aaron Orendorff, Andrea Polli, Stephanie Rothenberg, and Stephanie Tripp.