Joanna Zylinska is a media theorist and artist, working on digital culture, artificial intelligence, photography, ethics and the planetary ecological crisis. Professor in New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, she has also held visiting positions as Guest Professor at Shandong University in China, Winton Chair Visiting Scholar at the University of Minnesota, US, and Beaverbrook Visiting Scholar at McGill University in Canada.
Zylinska is the author of seven books - most recently, The End of Man: A Feminist Counterapocalypse (University of Minnesota Press, 2018; online version freely available), Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017) and Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2014; e-version freely available). Her translation of Stanislaw Lem's philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae, came out from the University of Minnesota's Electronic Mediations series in 2013. Her own work has been translated into Chinese, French, German, Norwegian, Polish, Russian and Turkish.
Zylinska combines her philosophical writings with photographic art practice and curatorial work. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of Transitio_MX05 'Biomediations': Festival of New Media Art and Video in Mexico City. She has presented her work at many art and cultural institutions, e.g. Ars Electronica in Linz, CCC Barcelona, Centre Culturel International de Cerisy, Fotomuseum Winterthur, MMOMA in Moscow, Serpentine Galleries in London, SESC Sao Paolo and Transmediale in Berlin. She has recently co-edited Photomediations: An Open Book and Photomediations: A Reader as part of Europeana Space, a grant funded by the European Union's ICT Policy Support Programme.
Her current research involves photographing media entanglements and starting a new project on hydromedia (with water literacy being considered a form of media literacy). She is also exploring the conceptual and creative edges of artificial intelligence in a new polemical book, AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams (forthcoming 2019).
You can read an interview with Joanna about her book Nonhuman Photography conducted by Andrew Dewdney for The Photographers’ Gallery.
Here’s another interview, ‘We need a new way of seeing the Anthropocene’, by Laura Benítez Valero for Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
Joanna Zylinska teaches the following modules:
- Media Arts (first-year undergraduate core module)
She also contributes to the PhD Methods course, interdepartmental MA Gender, Media and Culture and PG Certificate in the Management of Learning and Teaching in HE.
Areas of supervision
Joanna supervises theory- and practice-led PhDs, in the areas of digital culture, technology, cultural theory and media art.
Her current and past PhD students have worked on software as a form of writing; the genetic contamination of Mexicanness; vernacular photography; affect and mobile phones; fungi media; geological filmmaking; light at night; nonhuman practices of scientific imaging; the interface in new media art; and narratives of conflict, independence and engagement in video game culture.
Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2012. Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01819-7
Zylinska, Joanna. 2001. On Spiders, Cyborgs and Being Scared: the Feminine and the Sublime. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719058236
Zylinska, Joanna and Glowacka, Dorota, eds. 2010. Imaginary Neighbors: Mediating Polish-Jewish Relations After the Holocaust. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0803232709
Zylinska, Joanna, ed. 2002. The Cyborg Experiments: The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age. London and New York: Continuum. ISBN 978-0826459039
Madianou, Mirca. 2022. Technological Futures as Colonial Debris: ‘Tech-for-Good’ as Technocolonialism. In: Joanna Zylinska, ed. The Future of Media. London: Goldsmiths Press. ISBN 9781913380144
Zylinska, Joanna. 2020. WATERKINO and HYDROMEDIA: How to Dissolve the Past to Build a More Viable Future. In: Rodney Harrison and Colin Sterling, eds. Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. London: Open Humanities Press, pp. 220-243. ISBN 9781785420887
Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2016. “Media Always and Everywhere: A Cosmic Approach.”. In: Ulrik Ekman; Lily Diaz; Morten Søndergaard; Jay David Bolter and Maria Engberg, eds. Ubiquitous Computing, Complexity and Culture. New York: Routledge, pp. 226-236. ISBN 9780415743822
Zylinska, Joanna. 2011. Bioethics Otherwise, or, How to Live with Machines, Humans, and Other Animals. In: Tom Cohen, ed. Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, v. 1. 1 www.openhumanitiespress.org: Open Humanities Press, pp. 203-225. ISBN 978-1-60785-237-7
Zylinska, Joanna. 2009. Is There Life in Cybernetics?: Designing a Posthumanist Bioethics. In: Rosi Braidotti; Claire Colebrook and Patrick Hanafin, eds. Deleuze and Law: Forensic Futures. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 117-141. ISBN 978-0-230-21017-2
Kember, Sarah and Zylinska, Joanna. 2009. Creative Media: performance, invention, critique. In: Maria Chatzichristodoulou; Janis K. Jefferies and Rachel Zerihan, eds. Interfaces of Performance. England and USA: Ashgate, pp. 7-23. ISBN 978-0-754-67576-1
Zylinska, Joanna. 2007. 'Who is my Neighbor?': Ethics under Duress. In: Joanna Zylinska and D. Glowacka, eds. Imaginary Neighbors: Mediating Polish-Jewish Relations after the Holocaust. University of Nebraska Press, pp. 275-300. ISBN 0803222173
Zylinska, Joanna. 2020. Views from the window: nonhuman photography, human labour and Covid-19. LUR, ISSN 2659-6792
Zylinska, Joanna. 2015. On Life, Movement and Stoppage: Agency and Ethics in the Anthropocene. Leonardo, 48(2), pp. 180-181. ISSN 0024-094X
Zylinska, Joanna. 2010. On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs. Photographies, 3(2), pp. 139-153. ISSN 1754-0763
Zylinska, Joanna. 2010. Playing God, Playing Adam: The Politics and Ethics of Enhancement. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 7(2), pp. 149-161. ISSN 1176-7529
Zylinska, Joanna. 2010. 'Visuell kultur og Det etiske imperativ' (Visual culture and the ethical imperative). Ekfrase: Nordic Journal of Visual Culture, 3(2), ISSN 1891-5752
Zylinska, Joanna and Kember, Sarah. 2010. ‘Creative Media between Invention and Critique, or What’s Still at Stake in Performativity’. Cultural Machine, 11, ISSN 1465-4121
Zylinska, Joanna. 2007. The Secret of Life: Bioethics between Corporeal and Corporate Obligations. Cultural Studies, 21(1), pp. 95-117. ISSN 09502386
Zylinska, Joanna. 2007. 'Of Swans and Ugly Ducklings: Bioethics between Humans, Animals and Machines'. Configurations, 15(2), pp. 125-150. ISSN 1063-1801
Conference or Workshop Item
Zylinska, Joanna. 2014. 'Post-masculinist philosophy, or how to think like a girl: minimal ethics on a universal scale'. In: Opening Lecture for Centre for Feminist Research. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom.