Supply Studies Research Network & Manifest Project Stipends

Submission deadline: March 24th, 2023 While of significant social and environmental importance, global supply chains are both complex and opaque. Understanding the impact of these networks is challenging. ​​Manifest is a digital humanities project for producing critical accounts of global logistical operation and communicating the impact of supply chains on society through an open-source web-based …

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Manifest / Manifesto: Toward Supply Chain Reconciliation

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: The Logistics of Media

Assembly Codes examines how media and logistics set the conditions for the circulation of information and culture, documenting 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. At the same time, physical media, such as paperwork, along with media technologies ranging from phone systems to software are central to the operations of logistics. In charting the specific points of contact, dependence, and friction between media and logistics, Assembly Codes demonstrates that media and logistics cannot be understood apart from each other.

Techniques of Assembly

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.

Logistical Legacies of the Bauhaus

This chapter 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.”

Commanding Supply

Supply & Command is a wrap. I wanted to make this post to thank all of the presenters and attendees for joining us to share their wonderful work, and for thinking with us on the relationship between logistics, labor, and media. It was an incredibly motivating and intellectually invigorating two days, full of insightful discussions …

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Supply & Command

Happy to announce a conference on supply chains and logistics we are organizing this Spring at NYU. Full details here.

Food Infrastructures

The editors of LIMN were kind enough to let me contribute a small historical overview to the recent Food Infrastructures issue. While I’m no expert in food studies (other than in the eating of it), I think it serves as a reasonable primer (particularly with regard to packaging, production, distribution, and data) for the articles …

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Logistical Fictions

I’ve been impressed by the curatorial capabilities (or rather, the curatorial popularity) of tumblr. While I can’t hope to achieve the same level of precision as my favorite tumblr sites, I think I can do an adequate enough job with a slightly broader remit. I’ve created Logistical Fictions as a means of: Indexing the fictional …

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Material World Refresh

Hey everyone, just wanted to direct you over to Material World, where we just put out a bit of a refresh. This includes the Occasional Paper Series, the latest of which is on Properties & Social Imagination, edited by Adam Drazin, Haidy Geismar and Camilla Sundwall and designed by Camilla Sundwall and Miffy Yang. Here’s …

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