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Porting Media II Docks at Concordia

Concordia and McGill team up again to examine the global media ecology
October 11, 2017
By Felipe G.B.

You'll find ports on every computer or smart phone and massive container ports in every major world city. Whether through media or trade, ports connect physical space through the transfer and communication of information. As such, they are defining metaphors for the globalized 21st century.

Port as concept and metaphor

As both concept and metaphor, the port takes on a global significance at the Porting Media II conference, where researchers from around the globe meet at Concordia University from October 12-14. Over three days, panels will address oceanic infrastructures, media flows and the market, soundscapes, mass culture, and other interdisciplinary applications.

Deborah Cowen will deliver one of the keynotes at Porting Media II Deborah Cowen will deliver one of the keynotes
at Porting Media II

Co-organized by Concordia and McGill, Porting Media II will feature presentations and keynotes from renowned scholars, including Deborah Cowen from the University of Toronto (2016 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, and collaborator on the NFB’s Emmy Award winning HIGHRISE) and Ramon Lobato from RMIT University, Melbourne (author of Shadow Economies of Cinema, and contributor to over 30 book chapters on digital culture ranging from cloud storage to YouTube).

Speakers will elaborate on how processes of translation, transformation, mediation, and contact affect relations across many perspectives, from geopolitics and labour, to digital platforms and media representation.

Understanding the global media ecology

“We are really excited to continue this collaborative project. It emphasizes key areas of faculty expertise, and poses important questions about our relation to media and computational culture. Porting examines the proliferating modes of incorporation or adaptation that create and enforce operability over space and distinct social worlds,” says Joshua Neves, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Global Emergent Media (GEM) Lab, a co-organizer of the conference.

It could refer to the standardization of shipping container designs or how we translate computer software to run outside its original operating environment, Neves adds.

“Of course, some nodes are not ported at all, which asks altogether different questions about these processes and forms of inclusion and exclusion."

Porting Media II, follows on the success of 2015’s intimate workshop Porting Media. Along with Neves, it has been co-organized by Concordia faculty Associate Professor Kay Dickinson, Associate Professor Marc Steinberg and two counterparts from McGill, Michelle Cho and Yuriko Furuhata. Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema PhD candidate Philipp Keidl has also helped co-organize the event as a research assistant.

This approach, Neves adds, will examine a wide range of sites and phenomena, including physical sites, like ports and creative cities, in order to expand how the global media ecology is understood.

In this sense, the conference will build upon previous research, while blazing new trails for inquiry into contemporary global machinations, be they actual, virtual, or both.

Conference information

Porting Media II will take place in the EV building, room 6.720 from October 12th to the 14th. Further details are available at


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