Events

Infrastructure Aesthetics

For the past year I (alongside Ben Mendelsohn, and with the support of Nicole Starosielski) have been organizing a series on “Infrastructure Aesthetics” to explore representations of infrastructure in the workings of modern life. This has taken the form of artist talks, discussions, and film screenings. While I’m most looking forward to the events we […]

Writing

Sleight of Hand

I recently came across an interesting post Andrew James Myers produced as part of his participation in Henry Jenkin’s PhD seminar on Public Intellectuals. Myers writes about the visual representations Apple deploys to narrate that consummate object of modern consumption, the iPhone. As Myers writes: Apple’s recent release of two new iPhone models — the […]

Writing

Little Mesters

The most meaningful realization about working on the history of production is seeing how ragged and disjoint it can be. Rather than a smooth flow toward anonymous production, we see not only pockets of alternative modes that persisted long into the present, but moments where these alternatives seemed positioned to retake the future of production. […]

Writing

Supply Chain Epistemologies

This is the first part of an epistemology of production talk I gave at the “Unseen Connections in the Ecologies of Cell Phones” meeting at the NMNH. Phone People Surreptitiously captured on phones, laptops, and cameras are unauthorized images belying the status of those devices as mass manufactured objects of consumption, a disjuncture between the […]

Announcements

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 […]

Writing

Stuff Books

I’ve just gotten through Pamela Long’s Openness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance (it might be available for you here, depending on your institutional access, otherwise to get the figures you are better off getting a print copy). Given how long its been out, and how closely […]

Writing

Follow the Things

In Arjun Appadurai’s introduction to The Social Life of Things, he noted that one of the aims of the essay was to “justify the conceit that commodities, like persons, have social lives.” Thirty years later, this conceit has become widespread. Projects like Follow the Things not only embrace but extend the premise by demonstrating that […]