NYU | Media, Culture, and Communication | she/hers
I am a PhD Student at New York University in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. I previously studied Geography at the University of Oxford, worked in the arts (I have a background in mixed media and research-based creative work), and worked for the city of Baltimore. I have experience organizing workshops, teach-ins, and trainings, as well as writing for various non-academic audiences.
I work on the historical and theoretical connections between media, computation and ecology. I’m interested in the mediation of materiality through both technological operationalizations and through representational and performative cultural practices. I conduct empirical research and fieldwork, but try to always keep my work informed by a variety of disciplinary perspectives and situated within conversations about theory, intellectual history, and social justice.
My research is in transition at the moment. For the past several years, I’ve focused on charismatic sustainable materials in design and architecture, such as biodesign and bacterial cellulose, 3D-printed and “programmed” materials, earth construction, and mass timber. I look at the practices of designing and promoting these materials to try to understand their affective power in specific historical and cultural moments, how they slot into evolving narratives and metaphors about the environment, and how they understand (or fail to understand) their place in ecologies and histories of global extraction. For the past two years, I’ve been looking specifically at different modalities of earth construction in Senegal. Due to the pandemic and some shifts in my research focus, I likely won’t be continuing fieldwork in Senegal; I anticipate moving away from sustainable materials design, and towards investigating systems for managing material difference in extractive and logistical systems, while retaining an ethnographic approach.
Anonymous, 10 August 2020, "Meg Wiessner Collaboration Bio", contributed by Megan Wiessner, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 10 August 2020, accessed 21 October 2021.