“Depletion Design” suggests that ideas of exhaustion cut across cultural, environmentalist, and political idioms and offers ways to explore the emergence of new material assemblages.
We (or so we are told) are running out of time; of time to develop alternatives to a new politics of emergency, as constant crisis has exhausted the means of a politics of representation too slow for the state of exception, too ignorant of the distribution of political agency, and too focused on the governability of financial architectures. But new forms of individual and collective agency are already emerging, as we learn to live, love and work within the horizon of depletion, and to ask what it means to sustain ourselves, and each other, again. Of these things and other knowledge created, there can no longer be an encyclopedia; a glossary, perhaps—and discussion. Soenke Zehle and Carolin Wiedemann discuss Depletion Design with Marie-Luise Angerer, Jennifer Gabrys and David M. Berry, inviting transmediale 2013 participants into collaborative reflection of the necessity to understand human beings as one species among others. Species constituted by interactions of media, organisms, weather patterns, ecosystems, thought patterns, cities, discourses, fashions, populations, brains, markets, dance nights and bacterial exchanges (Angerer); on the material leftovers of electronics as provocations to think through and rework practices of material politics that may be less exploitative within our natural-cultural relationships (Gabrys); and on lines of flight from and through the computational—about expanding them into new ways of living beyond current limitations and towards new means of judgment and politics (Berry).