Review of: Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2015.
It is one of the persistent topoi in Western literature and art, the Katabasis, the descent into the underworld. Frequently haunting the individual subconscious as a low-intensity poetic figure for the finitude of life, it has, throughout history, grown into a complex and fascinating chronotope of its own, carrying multiple traces of nature and culture. From Homer’s Hades to the infernal visions of Dante, to modernized descents into the belly of the earth in German Romanticism or the stories of Jules Verne to pataphysically-inflected and politically-charged accounts by writers such as Christian Bök or Reza Negarestani today – this geo-imaginary is a strange zone of different times and spaces. That it has an acute reality, with a world-changing force, is necessary to remember, too. (more…)