Dr. Ginger Nolan, Assistant Professor of Architectural History and Urbanism, University of Southern California
November 7, 6 pm, T429.
Abstract: In the 1950s-70s European and U.S. designers and engineers developed new forms of media infrastructure in the global south as a way of countering popular resistance to colonial- and state-sponsored rural reforms. Combining propagandistic media with architectures of forced resettlement, designers proposed to circumvent political resistance by instating subtle techniques of persuasion in lieu of more direct forms of state intervention. These "pentecostal technologies," which aimed to displace language-based discourse, subsequently proved influential to the development of graphic user interfaces for personal computing. Nolan uses this history to consider the impoverishment and aestheticization of political discourse under present regimes of social media.
Nolan is the author of The Neo-colonialism of the Global Village (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), which examines the influence of colonial technopolitics on Marshall McLuhan’s conception of “the global village”. She has a second book forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press provisionally titled “Savage Mind / Savage Machine: Design, Technology and the Making of Magical Thought”. Her articles and essays have appeared in Grey Room, Architectural Theory Review, The Journal of Architecture, Perspecta, Log, Volume, Thresholds, Avery Review, and e-flux.