Text To Speech Reading 13: Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics by Jennifer Gabrys (2011)

Thu, Sep 28, 2017
Programming Series

Organized by Western Front, Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and VIVO Media Arts Centre

Join us at VIVO as we read from Jennifer Gabrys' wonderful book about discarded electronics, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. We'll be reading chapter 2 "Ephemeral Screens: Exchange at the Interface" which examines the computer screens used at the Nasdaq Stock Market as material fossils of economic exchange, the performativity of networks, and related cultural imaginaries.

For more details, or to request a PDF of the reading, contact education@vivomediaarts.com

Focused on writing about media, media art and the surrounding concepts and frameworks of the mediated world, Text to Speech gatherings aim to build stronger community ties and knowledge in our field. In this reading group, participants will be provided with copies of the reading, and we will facilitate a group reading, discussion, and analysis of this text. Prior knowledge of the work is encouraged but not required, as the session will involve some form of introduction, and some portion of close reading (out loud).
About the book:
This is a study of the material life of information and its devices; of electronic waste in its physical and electronic incarnations; a cultural and material mapping of the spaces where electronics in the form of both hardware and information accumulate, break down, or are stowed away. Where other studies have addressed “digital” technology through a focus on its immateriality or virtual qualities, Gabrys traces the material, spatial, cultural and political infrastructures that enable the emergence and dissolution of these technologies. In the course of her book, she explores five interrelated “spaces” where electronics fall apart: from Silicon Valley to Nasdaq, from containers bound for China to museums and archives that preserve obsolete electronics as cultural artifacts, to the landfill as material repository.

Digital Rubbish describes the materiality of electronics from a unique perspective, examining the multiple forms of waste that electronics create as evidence of the resources, labor, and imaginaries that are bundled into these machines. Ranging across studies of media and technology, as well as environments, geography, and design, Jennifer Gabrys draws together the far-reaching material and cultural processes that enable the making and breaking of these technologies.

Visit author's website: http://www.jennifergabrys.net