Scalar entanglement in digital media ecologies

Author(s): Taffel, Sy


Media ecology presents an emergent, non-representational approach towards the study of media systems. This article seeks to extend the theoretical underpinnings of media ecology by introducing the concept of scale – or more precisely scalar entanglement – as a way by which media ecology can usefully engage with a range of ethical and political issues. By positing content, software, and hardware as three entangled scales akin to the conceptual approach of the three ecologies of mind, society, and environment posited by Gregory Bateson and subsequently adopted and expanded by Felix Guattari, this article argues that a triadic schemata which encourages transversal thinking across and between these relational scales can allow media studies to approach a multiplicity of the ethical and political issues surrounding mediation; this ranges from traditional concerns surrounding representation and privacy to less familiar issues, such as the ecological costs of extracting ores for manufacturing devices or the ecological legacies of the toxic substances associated with media hardware.

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Preferred Citation
Taffel, Sy: Scalar entanglement in digital media ecologies. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 2 (2013), Nr. 1, S. 233-254. DOI:
 author = {Taffel, Sy},
 title = {Scalar entanglement in digital media ecologies},
 year = 2013,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 2,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 1,
 pages = {233--254},
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