Edited by Richard Maxwell, Jon Raundalen and Nina Lager Vestberg

Media and the Ecological Crisis

– A collaborative work by members of the Ecology, Environment, Culture Network.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Media Ecology Recycled Richard Maxwell, Jon Raundalen, and Nina Lager Vestberg  Part 1: New Media Materialism  1. Powering the Digital: From Energy Ecologies to Electronic Environmentalism Jennifer Gabrys  2. Immaterial Culture? The (Un)Sustainability of Screens Paul Micklethwaite  3.Damaged Nature: The Media Ecology of Auto-destructive Art Synnøve Marie Vik  4. Documenting Depletion: Of Algorithmic Machines, Experience Streams, and Plastic People Soenke Zehle  5.E-Waste, Human-Waste, Infoflation Sophia Kaitatzi-Whitlock  Part 2:New Media Ecology  6. Greening Media Studies Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller  7. Tech Support: How Technological Utopianism in the Media is Driving Consumption Jon Raundalen  8. Where Did Nature Go? Is the Ecological Crisis Perceptible within the Current Theoretical Frameworks of Journalism Research? Roy Krøvel  9. Narrating theClimate Crisis in Africa: The Press, Social Imaginaries and Harsh Realities  Ibrahim Saleh 10. Putting the Eco into Media Ecosystems: Bridging Media Practice with Green Cultural Citizenship Antonio López

The Ecology, Environment, Culture Network (EECN)


In contemporary societies new media technologies are implicated in most kinds of work, in a good deal of leisure activities, and in virtually all stages of decision-making. As the digital revolution has taken hold, the past decade has seen an explosive proliferation in new media technologies which in turn have required a wealth of new electronic devices, ranging from flat screen television sets to smartphones.

The complex contribution of electronic media culture to the current ecological crisis can only be adequately mapped, understood and addressed by uniting experts on each of its constituting components. These range from the natural resources and technical procedures involved in producing and disposing of electronic goods, via the ethics and aesthetics of consuming those goods, to the economic and political conditions which structure these processes and/or prevent them from changing.

Establishing a research network dedicated to investigating the full spectrum of environmental challenges posed by new media technologies is a significant step towards bringing the important work that is already being done on these matters to a critical mass, which in turn will have the potential to bring about real change in industrial, political and everyday practices.


The Ecology, Environment, Culture Network (EECN) brings together expertise and research interests from across the spectrum of scholarly inquiry in order to investigate the ecological, environmental and cultural impact of contemporary media production and consumption practices.

Members of the EECN hail from a number of disciplines, ranging from energy engineering via design studies to media and communication studies, who each in their own ways have begun investigating the ways in which digital media culture is mired in the production, consumption and discarding of electronic hardware.