The HUB Journal of Research in Art, Design and Society announces a call for works, contributions and reactions for a special issue on the theme of “Metabolic Media”, guest edited by Critical Media Lab’s own Jamie Allen and Louise Carver.

If media are about representation, connectivity and relationships, this special issue of the HUB Journal of Research in Art, Design and Society is dedicated to the intimacies, interfaces and connections that can be made with our metabolic condition. Metabolic media mediate the interstices between life and death.

Metabolic processes, at almost every scale, go largely unnoticed through inattention and abstraction: beating hearts, water treatment plants, breathing, policy-making and other infrastructural processes. These “autonomic” processes are unmediated mediations, amongst the most important yet least attended to aspects of lives. We seldom become aware of the myriad exchanges, transfers and transformations of materials and energy that occur, continuously, through environments, between beings and among political entities toward maintaining life and living, extravagance and impoverishment. Creative practices, artistic and design research, media makers and others enlist appropriately myriad ways of making these activities visible, otherwise palpable, changeable and renewed.

For the next Autumn issue of HUB, ways of broadening understanding of METABOLIC MEDIA through the launch of this open call are sought. We invite you to think about artistic, scientific, research and technological practices that consider how we show, communicate, store, transmit, analyse and experience metabolic information, as well as how creative practitioners in media, art and design take up these processual phenomena.

What are the tools we have used to characterise metabolism through individual, collective, urban structures, nation-states and planetary scales?

How best to creatively intervene in, analyse and account for the repercussions that media bring to metabolic regimes?

What kinds of aesthetics and designed media are modulating metabolic systems and processes, and in what ways?

Which speculative possibilities for healing, repairing or shifting metabolic relations do media practices offer?

How might metabolic media help make sense of actual, grounded, material interactions between the living and nonliving?

Can metabolic media tie together and multiply new ways of recognising, describing and promoting either life-affirming and life-deleting local, regional, urban, rural and planetary situations?

The submission deadline is May 14, 2024, and the full call is here: