I am pleased to share that Manifest has been awarded a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We will be using the grant to further develop the research network around Manifest and build more comphrensive curriculum materials for the critical study of logistics in the humanities.
Here the manifest becomes an accounting of injuries. I think this provides a better model for unraveling the global supply chain than transparency. Rather than allow transparency to remain as a form of corporate responsibility, with “mapping the supply chain” an exercise in corporate power, “making out its manifest” might now attempt to account for our value, and our injuries. It records the places where labor has been exploited, where the earth has been plundered, where waste overruns into rivers, and poison bleeds into the air. It is not a proclamation from on high, but an admonition from below. Not an attempt at supply chain resilience, but an opportunity for supply chain reconciliation.
Assembly Codes examines how logistics—the techniques of organizing and coordinating the movement of materials, bodies, and information—has substantially impacted the production, distribution, and consumption of media, while demonstrating that media technologies are central to its operation. In charting the specific points of contact, dependence, and friction between media and logistics, it argues that one cannot be understood apart from the other.
This article examines the origins not only of the media that underlie logistical operation, but the techniques that have shaped and structured them. To do so, I focus on the logistical technique of assembly. Not just of parts, but of places and people. Assembly, here, becomes an ur-mediative technique, one produced both before and beside the attendant media functions of storage and transmission. Long before its instantiation in the operations of contemporary software systems, I examine how this logistical technique emerged in the confines of sites like the ancient storehouse. As I do, I consider how the abstract forms of mediation developed there made warehouses accessible as a new kind of virtual assembly, precipitating the instrumental order critical to the operation of the global supply chain.
This chapter for Bauhaus Futures engages with the logistical legacies of the Bauhaus and their implications for the future of remote production in artistic practice and industrial manufacturing. Taking the Bauhaus as a site of investigation into the possibilities of distribution, mobility, and assembly, it argues that its legacy is a form of design that is both obfuscating and instrumental.”
When we think of “infrastructure,” what usually come to mind are roads, electricity grids, telephone lines, and water pipes. Not surprisingly, the growing body of research on large technological systems and infrastructures has mostly focused on electricity, water supply, communications, and transportation. But what insights can be gained when systems of food production, provision, and consumption are approached as an infrastructure?