DI 28.06. Book Launch & Conversation: JENNIFER GABRYS „PROGRAM EARTH“, 18:00-20:00 Uhr


Book Launch & Con­ver­sa­ti­on with An­dre­as Bro­eck­mann

Sen­sors are ever­yw­he­re. Small, fle­xi­ble, eco­no­mi­cal, and com­pu­ta­tio­nal­ly power­ful, they ope­ra­te ubi­qui­tous­ly in en­vi­ron­ments. They com­pi­le mas­si­ve amounts of data, in­clu­ding in­for­ma­ti­on about air, wa­ter, and cli­ma­te. Ne­ver be­fo­re has such a vo­lu­me of en­vi­ron­men­tal data been so broad­ly collec­ted or so wi­de­ly avail­able..

Grap­p­ling with the con­se­quen­ces of wiring our world, Program Earth ex­ami­nes how sen­sor tech­no­lo­gies are pro­gramming our en­vi­ron­ments. As Jen­ni­fer Ga­brys points out, sen­sors do not me­rely re­cord in­for­ma­ti­on about an en­vi­ron­ment. Ra­ther, they ge­ne­ra­te new en­vi­ron­ments and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­la­ti­ons. At the same time, they give a voice to the en­t­i­ties they mo­ni­tor: to ani­mals, plants, peop­le, and in­ani­ma­te ob­jects. This book looks at the ways in which sen­sors con­ver­ge with en­vi­ron­ments to map eco­lo­gi­cal pro­ces­ses, to track the mi­gra­ti­on of ani­mals, to check pol­lut­ants, to fa­ci­li­ta­te ci­ti­zen par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, and to pro­gram in­fra­struc­tu­re. Through dis­cus­sing par­ti­cu­lar in­stan­ces whe­re sen­sors are de­ploy­ed for en­vi­ron­men­tal stu­dy and ci­ti­zen en­ga­ge­ment across three are­as of en­vi­ron­men­tal sen­sing, from wild sen­sing to pol­lu­ti­on sen­sing and ur­ban sen­sing, Program Earth asks how sen­sor tech­no­lo­gies spe­ci­fi­cal­ly cont­ri­bu­te to new en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­ti­ons. What are the im­pli­ca­ti­ons for wiring up en­vi­ron­ments? How do sen­sor ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons not only pro­gram en­vi­ron­ments, but also pro­gram the sorts of ci­ti­zens and collec­tives we might be­co­me?

Program Earth sug­gests that the sen­sor-ba­sed mo­ni­to­ring of Earth of­fers the pro­s­pect of ma­king new en­vi­ron­ments not sim­ply as an ex­ten­si­on of the hu­man but ra­ther as new “tech­no­geo­gra­phies” that con­nect tech­no­lo­gy, na­tu­re, and peop­le.

Jen­ni­fer Ga­brys is cur­rent­ly a fel­low at the DCRL. She is Re­a­der in the De­part­ment of So­cio­lo­gy at Golds­miths, Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don, and Prin­ci­pal In­ves­ti­ga­tor on the ERC-fun­ded pro­ject, Ci­ti­zen Sen­se. Her books in­clu­de a ma­te­ri­al-po­li­ti­cal ana­ly­sis of elec­tro­nic was­te, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (Uni­ver­si­ty of Mi­chi­gan, 2011); and a tech­no-geo­gra­phi­cal in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on of en­vi­ron­men­tal sen­sing, Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­ne­so­ta Press, 2016). Her work can be found at citizensense.net  and jennifergabrys.net .