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Searching for a remnant in pixels and static: the fleeting materiality of plane crashes


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Williams, K ORCID: 0000-0001-8530-5361 2020 , 'Searching for a remnant in pixels and static: the fleeting materiality of plane crashes' , The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory, vol. 1, no. 2 , pp. 124-147 .

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Following the disappearance of flight MH370 in 2014, citizens, national governments, and agencies searched for acoustic and visual remnants of the plane in order to make sense of the tragic crisis. By turning to the physical and discursive remnants left in the absence of a plane, I argue that planes offer an insight into the role that materiality plays in a crisis, mitigating uncontrollable relationships between humans and their environment. This paper draws upon mass media coverage of the crisis in conjunction with recordings to recreate a visual assemblage of the impact of a missing plane in a globalized world. Extending existing studies of MH370 to conceptualize what a missing plane can mean for mediated materiality, I consider the relations between movement, the ocean, sound, and pixels in order to demonstrate how the material losses of a plane crash make material the networks and methods that connect us across the globe in their failure and absence.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Williams, K
Keywords: crisis, broadcast media, plane crashes, news media
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory
Publisher: University at Buffalo
ISSN: 2691-1566
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 The Author. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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