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


Williams, K, Searching for a remnant in pixels and static: the fleeting materiality of plane crashes, The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory, 1, (2) pp. 124-147. ISSN 2691-1566 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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

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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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:crisis, broadcast media, plane crashes, news media
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Williams, K (Dr Kathleen Williams)
ID Code:141745
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Media
Deposited On:2020-11-16
Last Modified:2020-12-15
Downloads:23 View Download Statistics

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