The contributors to Signal Traffic investigate how the material artifacts of media infrastructure--transoceanic cables, mobile telephone towers, Internet data centers, and the like--intersect with everyday life. Essayists confront the multiple and hybrid forms networks take, the different ways networks are imagined and engaged with by publics around the world, their local effects, and what human beings experience when a network fails. Some contributors explore the physical objects and industrial relations that make up an infrastructure. Others venture into the marginalized communities orphaned from the knowledge economies, technological literacies, and epistemological questions linked to infrastructural formation and use. The wide-ranging insights delineate the oft-ignored contrasts between industrialized and developing regions, rich and poor areas, and urban and rural settings, bringing technological differences into focus. Contributors include Charles R. Acland, Paul Dourish, Sarah Harris, Jennifer Holt and Patrick Vonderau, Shannon Mattern, Toby Miller, Lisa Parks, Christian Sandvig, Nicole Starosielski, Jonathan Sterne, and Helga Tawil-Souri.
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 603 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
"Finally, a definitive collection on infrastructure studies. Moving from compression to geopolitics to platforms, this book crystalizes what's at stake in moving media studies away from focusing on what appears on our screen towards how content travels and, through this movement, is shaped and re-shaped in profound ways."--Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics
"The first and only collection of its kind I know. This book is going to be a big deal, both nationally and internationally."
--Vicki A. Mayer, author of Below the Line: Producers and Production Studies in the New Television Economy
"In an age when we are led to believe that information and communication are virtual rather than material, Signal Traffic provides a much-needed corrective, reminding us that behind the pixels and mp3s lie extensive and complex infrastructures that shape how we inhabit the emerging media environment. This book revives the tradition of critical attention to material infrastructure in media and communication studies, and not a moment too soon."--Darin Barney, author of The Network Society