Technology's Deep Time: Genevieve Bell and Andrew Meares in Conversation with Chris Morash

Thursday, 18 May 2023, 7 – 8:30pm

An in-person ‘in conversation’ event featuring Prof Genevieve Bell (Australian National University), Andrew Meares (Australian National University), and Prof Chris Morash (TCD), organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub and the School of English.

When we look forward to possible technological futures, we often do so from the perspective of a very foreshortened present. But what does it mean to think about the future of large technological systems in a much deeper timescale? In their work at the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University (ANU), Genevieve Bell and her colleagues became fascinated with an early technological project – the Australian Overland Telegraph of 1872 – which in turn is embedded within a landscape that challenges any sense of measurable historical time. Over the past few years, Genevieve and her colleague, photographer Andrew Meares, have put together a remarkable photographic record of their engagement with this unique site from which it is possible to re-imagine our understanding of the relations of technology, humans and the environment. In “Technology’s Deep Time”, Genevieve and Andrew discuss their project with Chris Morash, who accompanied them into the Outback in 2022.

Genevieve Bell is the Director of the School of Cybernetics, Florence Violet McKenzie Chair, and a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) as well as a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation. She is a cultural anthropologist, technologist and futurist best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development.

Andrew Meares is the Cybernetic Futures Lead at the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University (ANU). Andrew began work as a press photographer in 1991, and was made chief photographer of the Sydney Morning Herald in 1998. He has covered politics, protests and portraits to bushfires, coups and war zones, won a Walkey Award for Best Online Journalism in 2010 and curated the Australian Cybernetic 2022 exhibition.

Chris Morash is the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at TCD. He has published widely on Irish literature and culture, and recent books include Yeats on Theatre (2021) and Dublin: A Writer’s City (2023). He has also published on media history in Ireland, and he contributed an article on the transatlantic telegraph to Entanglement, Ireland’s entry in the Venice Biennale.

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