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Geomedia, Mining, and Mobility Justice: The Matter of Cloud Computing and Bitcoin

Technology never operates on its own, but is always about how people use it, how we put things together and make them work. The “material turn” in media studies and mobilities research highlights the geopolitical and socioecological power relations behind technologies like cloud computing and cryptocurrencies. There is a transnational material and ecological basis for communication infrastructures and virtual media geographies which pose crucial problems of mobility justice. Every historical period involves specific assemblages of transport, logistics, communication, and energy infrastructures, from the coal-fired steam train to the caffeine-fueled WiFi café, along with the pollution and waste these systems leave behind: “the materiality of information technology starts from the soil, and underground” in metals such as cobalt and gallium, tantalum and germanium, bauxite and aluminum (Parikka 2012). This talk will introduce the new interdisciplinary fields of Mobilities Research and Geomedia Studies and reveal the politics of infrastructure through examples such as cloud computing, e-waste, and Bitcoin.

This event is co-sponsored by the Miller Worley Center for the Environment.


Dwight Hall 101 
Mount Holyoke College
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Mount Holyoke College, Dwight Hall
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Event Organizer

Michael Barnard

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