Poetics of Waste
Language and Literacy Education, University of British Colum
Last modified: March 9, 2007
Presentation date: 07/20/2007 2:00 PM in Coast Hotel Denman Room
This paper presents an overview of waste production in the information age, and ventures toward a poetics of information processing that can be used to reduce, reuse, and recycle information in creative, aesthetically engaging, and educational ways. Post consumer waste management is not only an issue of global importance for physical and biological sustainability, it is also a matter of growing concern for cultural environments. The increasing efforts on the part of industries in the knowledge society to disseminate information and attract audiences and consumers to their knowledge products has greatly increased the amount of excess information being produced. Digital information and communications technologies have ushered in a era of knowledge production with maximalist agendas in intellectual property, copyright expansion and broadcast media. They have paved the way for a new Attention Economy, where the most valuable human resource possessed by the public is their ability and or desire to "pay" attention. As Cubitt (2005) comments, "What media studies today needs is an attention theory of value to lay alongside Marx's labor theory...the industrialization of attention brings with it the proletarianization of consumption”. This paper asks what may be done to creatively contend with waste and to provide students with the means to understand their value, roles and responsibilities as informational consumers. This presentation will focus on specific projects and arts-based forms of research that address the meaning-to-waste, waste-to meaning cycle and provide examples that demonstrate the potential for a poetics of waste in imaginative education.
Cubitt, S. (2005). Consumer discipline and the work of audiencing. In S. Cohen and R. L. Rutsky (Eds.), Consumption in an age of information (pp. 71–95). Oxford and New York: Berg.