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Authors
  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan
  • Babak Afrassiabi
    • Babak Afrassiabi is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, he has collaborated with Nasrin Tabatabai on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
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      published contributions
  • S. Ayesha Hameed
    • Dr. S. Ayesha Hameed is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures and the Joint Programme Leader in Fine Art and History of Art Research Fellow in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, London. She received her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada in 2008
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      published contributions
  • Sammy Baloji
  • On Barak
    • On Barak is a social and cultural historian of science and technology in non-Western settings. He has been a senior lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University since 2012. Prior to this, he was a member of the Princeton Society of Fellows. In 2009, Barak received a joint PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University. His most recent book is On Time: Technology and Temporality in Modern Egypt (University of California Press, 2013), and his current publication project, Coalonialism: Energy and Empire before the Age of Oil, is funded by a European Union Marie Curie Award and an Israel Science Foundation Grant.
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      published contributions
  • Anil Bawa-Cavia
    • Anil Bawa-Cavia is a computer scientist with a background in machine learning. He runs STDIO, a speculative software studio. His practice engages with algorithms, protocols, encodings, and other software artifacts and his doctoral research at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London was on complex networks in urbanism. He is a founding member of Call & Response, a sonic arts collective and gallery space in London, and a member of the New Centre for Research & Practice.
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      published contributions
  • Etienne Benson
  • Josh Berson
  • Jeremy Bolen
  • Axel Braun
    • Axel Braun studied photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, and fine arts at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. His artistic research deals with controversial infrastructure projects, tautology as an attempt to understand reality, and failed utopias in art and architecture. Currently, he is pursuing the long-term project Towards an Understanding of Anthropocene Landscapes. Recently exhibited works include Some Kind of Opposition (2016) at Galeria Centralis, Budapest, and Dragonflies drift downstream on a river (2015) at Kunstmuseum Bochum.
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      published contributions
  • Keith Breckenridge
  • François Bucher
    • s, focusing on ethical and aesthetic problems of cinema and television, and more recently on the image as an interdimensional field. His work has been exhibited at
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      published contributions
  • Lino Camprubí
  • Zachary Caple
  • Ele Carpenter
    • Dr. Ele Carpenter is a senior lecturer in curating at Goldsmiths, London. Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code.
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      published contributions
  • Andrew Chubb
    • Andrew Chubb is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia conducting research on the relationship between Chinese public opinion and government policy in the South China Sea. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China, Pacific Affairs, East Asia Forum, and Information, Communication & Society. His blog, South Sea Conversations (southseaconversations.wordpress.com), provides translations and analysis of Chinese discourse on the South and East China Sea issues.
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      published contributions
  • Louis Chude-Sokei
    • Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar currently teaching in the English Department at the University of Washington, Seattle. His academic interests range from West African, Caribbean, and American literary and cultural studies to a particular focus on sound, technology, and performance. His literary and public work focuses on immigration and black-on-black cultural contacts, conflicts, and exchanges. Chude-Sokei is the author of the award-winning book The Last “Darky”: Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora (2006) and The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics (2016).
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      published contributions
  • Claire Colebrook
    • Claire Colebrook is a professor of English at Penn State University. Her areas of specialization are contemporary literature, visual culture, and theory and cultural studies. She has written articles on poetry, literary theory, queer theory, and contemporary culture. Colebrook is the co-editor of the series Critical Climate Change, published by Open Humanities Press, and a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Critical Climate Change. She recently completed two books on extinction for Open Humanities Press, Death of the PostHuman and Sex after Life (both 2014), and with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller co-authored Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (2016).
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      published contributions
  • Ana Dana Beroš
    • chitect and curator focused on creating uncertain, fragile environments that catalyze social chan
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      published contributions
  • Rana Dasgupta
  • Filip De Boeck
    • Filip De Boeck is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating and supervising research in and on Africa at the Institute for Anthropological research in Africa at the U
    • 1
      published contributions
  • Seth Denizen
    • Seth Denizen is a researcher and design practitioner trained in landscape architecture and evolutionary biology. Since completing research on the sexual behavior and evolutionary ecology of small Trinidadian fish, his work has focused on the aesthetics of scientific representation, madness, and public parks, the design of t
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      published contributions
  • Jonathan Donges
    • Jonathan Donges is a postdoctoral researcher who holds a joint position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (as Stordalen Scholar) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He studies planetary boundaries and social dynamics in the Earth system from a complex dynamical system perspective. At Potsdam, he is Co-head of the flagship COPAN (Coevolutionary Pathways) project (www.pik-potsdam.de/copan). His published research includes work on complex network theory, dynamical systems theory, and time series analysis, with a focus on their application to our understanding of past and present climate variability and its interactions with humankind on planet Earth.
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      published contributions
  • Keller Easterling
  • David Edgerton
    • David Edgerton is Hans Rausing Professor of the History of Science and Technology and a professor of modern British history at King’s College London. After teaching at the University of Manchester, he became the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London (1993–2003), and moved along with the centre to King’s College London in August 2013. He is the author of many works, including The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (2007), which argues for and exemplifies new ways of thinking about the material constitution of modernity.
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      published contributions
  • Technosphere Editorial
  • Sasha Engelmann
  • Eberhard Faust
  • Jennifer Gabrys
    • Jennifer Gabrys is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, "Citizen Sense." Her publications include Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011); and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).
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      published contributions
  • Elaine Gan
  • Oliver Gantner
  • Florian Goldmann
    • Florian Goldmann is a Berlin-based artist and a PhD candidate at the DFG Research Training Center Visibility and Visualisation – Hybrid Forms of Pictorial Knowledge as well as at the Brandenburg Center for Media Studies, both Potsdam University. His research focus is the utilization of models as a means of both commemorating and predicting catastrophe. In 2015, he took part in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan. Goldmann is one of the founders of the research collective STRATAGRIDS and the author of Flexible Signposts to Coded Territories (2012), an analysis of football hooligan graffiti in Athens as a system of fluid signage.
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      published contributions
  • Johan Gärdebo
    • Johan Gärdebo is a PhD candidate at the Royal Institute of Technology affiliated to the Environmental Humanities Laboratory (EHL). H
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      published contributions
  • Orit Halpern
    • Orit Halpern is a Strategic Hire in Interactive Design and an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. She is also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Cluster, Montreal, a laboratory situated at the intersection of art and life sciences, architecture and design, and computational media (www.speculativelife.com). Her recent monograph, Beautiful Data (2015), is a history of interactivity, data visualization, and ubiquitous computing. www.orithalpern.net
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      published contributions
  • Gerda Heck
  • Carola Hein
    • Carola Hein is a professor of the history of architecture and urban planning in the Architecture Department at Delft University of Technology. She has published widely on topics in contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning, notably that of Europe and Japan. Her current research interests include transmission of architectural and urban ideas along international networks, focusing specifically on port cities, and the global architecture of oil. Her books include Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (2011), Cities, Autonomy, and Decentralization in Japan (2006), and The Capital of Europe: Architecture and Urban Planning for the European Union (2004).
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      published contributions
  • Julian Henriques
    • Julian Henriques is the convener of the MA in Script Writing and Director of the Topology Research Unit in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to this, he ran the film and television department at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. His credits as a writer and director include the reggae musical feature film Babymother (1998) and as a sound artist, Knots & Donuts, exhibited at Tate Modern in 2011. Henriques researches street cultures and technologies and his publications include Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation, and Subjectivity (1998), Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing (2011), and Sonic Media (forthcoming).
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      published contributions
  • Hanna Husberg
    • Hanna Husberg is a Stockholm-based artist. She graduated from ENSB-A in Paris in 2007 and is currently a PhD in Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.
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      published contributions
  • Erich Hörl
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Peter K. Haff
  • Bernd Kasparek
  • Laleh Khalili
  • Alexander Klose
    • Dr. Alexander Klose studied History, Law, Philosophy, Art, and Cultural Studies. From 2005-07 he held a scholarship at Bauhaus Universität Weimar for his PhD project on standardized containers used in transport as one of the leading material media in the 20th century. Between 2009 and 2014 he worked as a research associate and programme developer at Kulturstiftung des Bundes. In 2015 in the forefront of COP 21, he co-curated Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18 – On Becoming Earthlings: 150 dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the Human at Musée de l'Homme, Paris. His latest publication is: The Container Principle. How a box changes the way we think (2015).
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      published contributions
  • Karin Knorr Cetina
  • Scott Knowles
  • Nile Koetting
  • Nicole Koltick
    • Nicole Koltick is an assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University, Philadelphia. She is Founding Director of the Design Futures Lab at Westphal College, which is currently pursuing design research to stimulate debate on the potential implications of emerging technological and scientific developments within society. Koltick’s practice spans art, science, technology, design, and philosophy, and current work focuses on the philosophical, material, and relational implications of aesthetics as they intersect with emerging developments in computational creativity, artificially intelligent autonomous systems, robotics, and synthetic biological hybrids.
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      published contributions
  • Nik Kosmas
  • Matthijs Kouw
    • Matthijs Kouw joined the Rathenau Instituut, The Hague, in March 2016. He holds an MA in Philosophy and an MSc in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Amsterdam as well as a PhD from Maastricht University. In his PhD thesis, Kouw describes how and to what extent reliance on models can introduce vulnerabilities through the assumptions, uncertainties, and blind spots concomitant with modeling practice. He was employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), during which time he acted as a member of the Dutch delegation for plenary sessions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
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      published contributions
  • Matija Kralj
  • Lars Kulik
    • Lars Kulik studied biology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He received his doctorate on the development of social behavior of rhesus monkeys at the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. He lives with his family in Berlin.
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      published contributions
  • Richard L. Hindle
    • Richard L. Hindle is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on patent innovation in landscape related technologies, from large-scale mappings of riverine and coastal systems to detailed historical studies on the antecedents of vegetated architecture. His work explores the potential of new technological narratives and material processes to reframe theory, practice, and the production of landscape. Recent works include the articles “Levees That Might Have Been” (2015), and “Infrastructures of Innovation” in Scaling Infrastructure (MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, 2016), and the exhibition Geographies of Innovation at UC Berkeley (2015).
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      published contributions
  • Brian Larkin
  • John Law
    • hn Law was a professor of sociology at Keele University, Lancaster, and the Open University, Milton Keynes, and a co-director of the Economic and Social Researc
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      published contributions
  • Esther Leslie
    • t theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. It deals with the poetics of science, European literary and visual modern
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      published contributions
  • S. Løchlann Jain
  • Donald MacKenzie
  • Chowra Makaremi
  • Annapurna Mamidipudi
  • Laura McLean
    • Laura McLean is a curator, artist, and writer based in London. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and Sydney College of the Arts, where she later lectured. She has also studied at Alberta College of Art and Design, and the Universität der Künste Berlin.
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      published contributions
  • Eden Medina
    • Eden Medina is an associate professor of informatics and computing, affiliated associate professor of law, and adjunct associate professor of history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research and teaching address the social, historical, and legal dimensions of our increasingly data-driven world, including the relationship of technology to human rights and free expression, the relationship between political innovation and technological innovation, and the ways that human and political values shape technological design. Medina’s writings also use science and technology as a way to broaden understandings of Latin American history and the geography of innovation. She is the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (2011) and the co-editor of Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (2014).
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      published contributions
  • Anne-Sophie Milon
    • Anne-Sophie Milon is an artist and a freelance illustrator and animator working and living in Bristol, UK. After completing two Masters in Art, she has recently concluded the program of experimentation in Art and Politics at SciencesPo (SPEAP) in Paris.
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      published contributions
  • Gerald Nestler
    • Gerald Nestler is an artist and writer who combines theory and post-disciplinary conversation with video, installation, performance, text, code, graphics, sound, and speech. He explores what he calls the derivative condition of contemporary social relations and its paradigmatic financial models, operations, processes, narratives, and fictions. He is currently working on an “aesthetics of resolution” that maps counterfictions and counterimaginations for “renegade activism,” which revolves around the demonstration as a combined artistic, technological, social, and political practice. Nestler holds a practice-based PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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      published contributions
  • Daniel Niles
    • terial, millenary and momentary—that their knowledge takes, and, finally, the significance of this experience to our understanding of t
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      published contributions
  • James P. M. Syvitski
    • James P. M. Syvitski is Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) at the University of Colorado Boulder. From 2011 to 2016, he chaired the International Council for Science’s International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), which provides essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society toward a sustainable pathway during rapid global change. His specialty is the global flux of water and sediment (river and ocean borne) and its trends in the Anthropocene. He works at the forefront of computational geosciences, including sediment transport, land-ocean interactions, and Earth-surface dynamics.
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      published contributions
  • Luciana Parisi
    • Luciana Parisi is Reader in Cultural Theory, Chair of the PhD program in Cultural Studies, and Co-director of the Digital Culture Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research focuses on cybernetics, information theory and computation, complexity and evolutionary theories, and the technocapitalist investment in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Her books include Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (2004) and Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space (2013). She is currently researching the history of automation and the philosophical consequences of logical thinking in machines.
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      published contributions
  • Lisa Parks
  • Matteo Pasquinelli
  • Sophia Roosth
    • t when researchers are building new biological systems in order to investigate how biology works. She holds a PhD from the Massachuse
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      published contributions
  • Arno Rosemarin
  • Kim Rygiel
    • f International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada. Her research focuses on border security, migration, and citizenship in North America and Europe. She investigates how citizens and non-citizens engage in citizenship practices and challenge notions
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      published contributions
  • Dorion Sagan
  • Isabelle Saint-Saëns
  • Birgit Schneider
  • Jens Soentgen
  • Lizzie Stark
    • Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and experience designer. She is the author of two books, Pandora’s DNA (2014), exploring so-called ‘breast cancer genes’ and her first book, Leaving Mundania (2012), which investigates the subculture of live action role play, or larp. Her journalism and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, The Today Show Website, io9, Fusion, the Philadelphia Inquirer and elsewhere. She holds an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has organized numerous conventions and experiences across the US. Her most recent work is as a programming coordinator for Living Games Austin, and as co-editor and contributor for the #Feminism anthology, which collects 34 nano-games written by feminists from eleven countries.
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      published contributions
  • Lucy Suchman
    • ology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, UK. Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices
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      published contributions
  • Jenna Sutela
    • Jenna Sutela’s installations, texts, and sound performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments, often in relation to technology. Most recently, she has been exploring exceedingly complex biological and computational systems, ultimately unknowable and always becoming something new. Her work has been presented, among other places, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and her writing has been published by Fiktion, Harvard Design Magazine, and Sternberg Press.
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      published contributions
  • Bronislaw Szerszynski
    • Bronislaw Szerszynski is a Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University in the UK. Szerszynski’s work has developed across several themes, including the role of Western religious history in shaping contemporary understandings of technology and the environment—typified by his book Nature, Technology and the Sacred (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
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      published contributions
  • Elisa T. Bertuzzo
    • Elisa T. Bertuzzo studied comparative literature, sociology, communication, and media studies and holds a PhD in urban studies. She was a curator and project leader with Habitat Forum Berlin, including for the project Paradigmising Karail Basti (2010–16). Bridging discourses from the fields of cultural and urban studies, her research focuses on the everyday life facets of urbanization and settlement in South Asia. On that topic, she published Fragmented Dhaka: Analysing Everyday Life with Henri Lefebvre’s Theory of Production of Space (2009) and runs her multimedia project Archives of Movement (since 2012), which deals with the everyday life of temporary labor migrants in Bangladesh and India.
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      published contributions
  • Gregory T. Cushman
    • Gregory T. Cushman is Associate Professor of International Environmental History at the University of Kansas.
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      published contributions
  • Nasrin Tabatabai
    • Nasrin Tabatabai is an artist who works both in Iran and the Netherlands. Since 2004, she has collaborated with Babak Afrassiabi on various joint projects and the publication of the bilingual magazine Pages (Farsi and English). Their work seeks to articulate the undecidable space between art and its historical conditions, including the recurring question of the place of the archive in defining the juncture between politics, history, and the practice of art. The artists’ work has been presented internationally in various solo and group exhibitions and they have been tutors at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2008–13), and Erg, école supérieure des arts, Brussels (2015–).
    • 1
      published contributions
  • Katerina Teaiwa
    • Dr. Katerina Teaiwa is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History & Language and the president of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies. Her main area of research looks at the histories of phosphate mining in the central Pacific. Her work does not only span academic research, publications, and lectures, but also manifests itself in other formats within the arts and popular culture. Her work has inspired a permanent exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which tells the story of Pacific phosphate mining through Banaban dance. In 2015, she published „Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba“, Indiana University Press. She is currently working with visual artist Yuki Kihara on a multimedia exhibition for Carriageworks in Sydney.
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      published contributions
  • Jol Thomson
  • Claire Tolan
  • John Tresch
  • Etienne Turpin
    • Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, Founding Director of anexact office, and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where he coordinates the Humanitarian Infrastructures Group and co-directs the PetaBencana.id disaster mapping project for the Urban Risk Lab. He is the editor of Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Tim
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  • Asonseh Ukah
    • Asonzeh Ukah is a sociologist and historian of religion. He joined the University of Cape Town in 2013 and previously taught at the University of Bayreuth (2005–13), where he also earned a doctorate and habilitation in history of religions. His research interests include religious urbanism, the sociology of Pentecostalism, and religion and media. He is Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa (RICSA), University of Cape Town, and Affiliated Senior Fellow of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth. He is the author of A New Paradigm of Pentecostal Power (2008) and Bourdieu in Africa (edited with Magnus Echtler, 2016).
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      published contributions
  • Underworlds
  • Sebastian Vehlken
    • Sebastian Vehlken is a media theorist and cultural historian at Leuphana University Lüneburg and Permanent Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS). From 2013 to 2017, he worked as MECS Junior Director, and in 2015–16, he was a visiting professor at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, the University of Vienna, and Leuphana. His areas of interest include the theory and history of computer simulation and digital media, the media history of swarm intelligence, and the epistemology of think tanks. His current research project, Plutonium Worlds, explores the application of computer simulations in West German fast breeder reactor programs.
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      published contributions
  • Vladimir Vernadsky
  • Davor Vidas
    • Davor Vidas is a research professor in international law and Director of the Law of the Sea Programme at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Lysaker, Norway. He is Chair of the Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise and a member of the Anthropocene Working Group. Vidas has been involved in international law research for over thirty years, focusing since 2009 on implications of the Anthropocene for the development of international law. Among his books are The World Ocean in Globalisation (2011) and Law, Technology and Science for Oceans in Globalisation (2010). He is the editor-in-chief of the book series Anthropocene (Skolska knjiga, Zagreb), launched in 2017.
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  • Hannes Wiedemann
    • Hannes Wiedemann is a Berlin-based photographer. He studied at the Ostkreuz School of Photography, Berlin. For his project Grinders (2015–16), he followed the American bodyhacking community, a small group of people across the United States working out of garages and basements to become real cyborgs. Recent exhibitions include NEW PHOTOGRAPHY II (2017) at Gallery ALAN, Istanbul, and HUMAN UPGRADE, with Susanna Hertrich (2016), at Schader-Stiftung Gallery, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt. www.hanneswiedemann.com
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  • Cary Wolfe
    • Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English and Founding Director of 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University, Houston. He is the author of What Is Posthumanism? (2010), a book that weaves together principal concerns of his work: animal studies, system theory, pragmatism, and post-structuralism. It is part of the series Posthumanities, for which he serves as Founding Editor at the University of Minnesota Press. His most recent publication is Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in Biopolitical Frame (2013) and earlier books and edited collections include Animal Rites: American Culture, The Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (2003) and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (2003).
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      published contributions
  • Andrew Yang
  • Jan Zalasiewicz
    • Dr. Jan Zalasiewicz is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. A field geologist, paleontologist, and stratigrapher, he teaches and publishes on geology and earth history, in particular on fossil ecosystems and environments that span over half a billion years of geological time.
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  • Anna Zett
  • Sander van der Leeuw
    • ionships, and complex systems theory. He investigates the preconditions for and the practices and role of invention, sustainability, and innovation in societies. He has done
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  • Liv Østmo
    • Liv Østmo is one of the founders and current Dean of the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Kautokeino, Norway, where she researches and lectures on the subject of multicultural understanding. For the last eight years, Østmo has worked with traditional Sámi knowledge and she is currently working on putting the finishing touches on a methodology book about the documentation of this knowledge.
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Public Domain, 2011
Local Afghan citizens use the Biometric Eye Scanner, Weesh Border Crossing facility, Afghanistan

Citizenship and Technologies of Bordering

Citizenship makes explicit who is included and who is excluded, both geographically and politically, in our current nation-state system. By examining recent citizenship frameworks and travel regulations in the US, political scientist Kim Rygiel investigates the difficult values that underlie the enforcement of who belongs in a political structure and who does not.
American President Donald Trump once again made headline news with the announcement that his government would halt the processing of all further applications from the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has provided almost 800,000 undocumented young people with a way to regularize their status.Donald J. Trump, “President Donald J. Trump Restores Responsibility and the Rule of Law to Immigration.” Washington: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, September 5, 2017 [online](https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/05/president-donald-j-trump-restores-responsibility-and-rule-law) [accessed January 11, 2018]. See also: Anonymous, “White House to rescind DACA program protecting young immigrants.” Thomas Reuters and CBC News, September 5, 2017 [online](http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-daca-children-protection-1.4275189) [accessed January 11, 2018]. These included: arrival to the USA before sixteen years of age and under thirty-one years of age at the time of application; attending school and/or military service (with honorable discharge); no criminal record as of 2007. DACA afforded youth the chance to legally work and two-years reprieve from deportation, with the possibility of renewal. See Susan Bibler Coutin et al., “Deferred Action and the Discretionary State: Migration, Precarity and Resistance,” Citizenship Studies (forthcoming).
Stripped of DACA status, young people will now become—like other undocumented and irregularized people—more vulnerable to deportation, but with the notable difference that in applying for DACA individuals were required to submit personal information to the government, making it that much easier to now locate and deport them and their family members. This news follows Trump’s so-called “Muslim travel ban” (Executive Order 13769: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States), proposing a ninety-day ban on issuing visas to those coming from six Muslim-majority countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen (with Venezuela and North Korea recently added).Donald. J. Trump, “Executive order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Washington: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, January 27, 2017 [online](https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states) [accessed January 11, 2018].
It also proposed a 120-day suspension of the US refugee program (but dropped the original plan of an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees). Critics have rightly noted that this executive order aims to paint entire groups of mobile people, such as Muslims and refugees, as potential security threats, citing President Trump’s December 7, 2015, Press Statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.For example, the judges in Virginia, Maryland, and Hawaii ruled the order unconstitutional because of its “religious bias.” See BBC News, “Trump travel ban: Questions about the revised executive order,” July 14, 2017 [online](http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39044403) [accessed January 11, 2018]. For a video recording of President Trump issuing the statement see Helena Horton, “Muslim ban statement ‘removed’ from Donald Trump’s website,” Telegraph, November 10, 2016 [online](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/10/muslim-ban-statement-removed-from-donald-trumps-website/) [accessed January 11, 2018].
Growing racism and anti-Muslim sentiments and policies in the US have impacted the US–Canadian border as well. Over the past year Canadians have seen a 63 percent increase in asylum claims at the border,Amy Minsky, “Why are asylum seekers crossing into Canada on foot and what are their rights?,” Global News. February 20, 2017 [online](http://globalnews.ca/news/3260988/why-refugees-crossing-canada-us-rights/) [accessed January 11, 2018].
and despite Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision in 2015 to resettle and provide permanent residency (a pathway to citizenship) to some 25,000 Syrian refugees, Canada—like the United States and Europe—has also witnessed a surge in right-wing, anti-immigrant groups like La Meute (The Wolf Pack) and anti-immigrant/refugee/Muslim attacks in public places such as the shooting at a Quebec mosque by a white-supremacist university student, who said he was inspired by Donald Trump.On the far-right in Canada, see Barbara Perry and Ryan Scrivens, “Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 39, no. 9 (2016), pp. 819–41. On La Meute’s demonstrations see Jonathan Monpetit, “Far-right group claims PR victory after duelling protests in Quebec City,” CBC news, August 20, 2017 [online](http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-far-right-la-meute-1.4254792) [accessed January 11, 2018].
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SFO International Airport protest against Executive Order 13769 Source: Wikicommons, Quinn Norton 2017

These are just a few illustrations of what appears to be a growing and more visible display of xenophobic and racist politics designed to strengthen the borders of belonging between “us and them.” These moments, of course, have much longer histories connected to colonialism, imperialism, and white power;For example, in Canada, feminist activist and writer Robyn Maynard writes about the longer histories of colonization and the violence inflicted on indigenous and black peoples in her new book, Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada From Slavery to the Present, first edition, Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2017.
here, however, I want to locate this intensification of bordering within the more recent twentieth-century history of citizenship as a technology of governing populations and regulating movement and mobility rights. It was Hannah Arendt, writing at the end of two devastating world wars, who articulated so insightfully the problem of the nation-state in relation to the movement of peoples and their rights. To paraphrase, Arendt posed the problem of the nation-state system in this way, that when an individual loses her citizenship, she also loses her ability to claim the inalienable human rights that should be hers simply by virtue of being human. In order to have one’s human rights recognized, in other words, one must first be recognized as belonging to this world. Arendt points out though:
If a human being loses his political status, he should, according to the implications of the inborn and inalienable rights of man, come under exactly the situation for which the declarations of such general rights provided. Actually the opposite is the case. It seems that a man who is nothing but a man has lost the very qualities which make it possible for other people to treat him as a fellow-man.Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, “new edition with added prefaces.” New York: Harvest Books, 1973, p. 300.
With the spread of the idea of the nation-state to all people and corners of the world as the only possible form of political community, human rights become meaningful only in so far as they can be enacted through political community—in this case the nation-state, as citizenship rights. According to this logic, if one loses his or her political community, one is without recourse to not only rights but the very “right to have rights,” or as Jacques Rancière put it, to be “among the counted.Jacques Rancière, “Who is the Subject of Man?,” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 103, nos 2–3 (2004), pp. 297–310.
According to the logic of the nation-state system, “[n]ot the loss of specific rights, then, but the loss of a community willing and able to guarantee any rights whatsoever, has been the calamity which has befallen ever-increasing numbers of people […] Only with a completely organized humanity could the loss of home and political status become identical with expulsion from humanity altogether.Ibid., p. 297.
From this reading, the nation-state system is by design a system that puts people in place, and by doing so also creates outsiders (for example refugees and the stateless). As an organizing infrastructure, citizenship involves more than simply the recognition of status, rights, and duties, the liberal and more common way of understanding modern citizenship. Rather, it also involves a regulatory architecture around the mobility of people between and across states (which Barry Hindess has named the “international management of population”), as well as an organizing rationale justifying why it is acceptable for governments (and their citizens) to treat outsider-foreigners with differential treatment, as deserving of less than citizen-insiders.Barry Hindess, “Citizenship in the International Management of Populations,” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 43, no. 9 (2000), pp. 1486–97.
Furthermore, as a technology of governing people, citizenship is also at its heart a biopolitical order (and some might say political order), whereby if you do not belong to a state you are not recognized as counting in this world, even as a political being with a first right to exist, upon which one can make demands to other rights. Arendt’s insights here about the function of the nation-state system explain in part the crisis in the system we see unfolding daily, with violence inflicted upon refugees and irregular migrants in particular, as discussed earlier in examples of restrictive border controls. This violence is particularly brutal when people on the move are without the protection of a state and thus are deprived of the right to a political existence, that is, to count among the counted, most visible today in the growing deaths—and our collective indifference to them—at Europe’s borders and elsewhere, such as along the US–Mexico border.About deaths at European borders, see Kim Rygiel,“Dying to Live: Migrant Deaths and Citizenship Politics along the European Border,” Citizenship Studies, vol. 20, no. 10 (2016), pp. 545–60; Maurice Stierl, “A sea of struggle: Activist border interventions in the Mediterranean Sea,” Citizenship Studies, vol. 20, no. 10 (2016), pp. 561–78; Simon Robins, Iosif Kovras, and Anna Vallianatou, Addressing Migrant Bodies on Europe’s Southern Frontier: An Agenda for Research and Practice. Belfast: The University of York Centre for Applied Human Rights, Queen’s University at Belfast, 2014. On the US–Mexican border, see Vicki Squire, “Desert ‘Trash’: Posthumanism, Border Struggles, and Humanitarian Politics,” Political Geography, vol. 39 (2014), pp. 11–21; Leanne Weber and Sharon Pickering, Globalization and Borders: Death at the Global Frontier. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; Amanda Holpunch “Migrant deaths at US–Mexico border increase 17% this year, UN figures show,” Guardian, August 5, 2017 [online](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/05/migrants-us-mexico-border-deaths-figures) [accessed January 11, 2018].
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Border between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, USA. Public Domian, 2007

If today’s more ugly moments have roots in much longer histories of bordering, such as through state citizenship regimes, the current moment is compounded by the role that new technologies now play in creating virtual or electronic borders (e-borders). Technologies such as data aggregation and management, biometrics, and risk profiling are increasingly employed in the service of border management to not only identify individuals, but also to then evaluate them based on notions of desirability and risk. While many of us who live in democratic regimes would view both government and private corporate surveillance of domestic populations as worrisome, if not problematic, such technologies are often acceptable when it comes to their use for governing people on the move, whether as travelers or refugees. The intensification of regulating mobility rights, moreover, comes at a time when movement is one of the few lifelines available for many fleeing war, violence, oppression, and poverty. Movement is a way of responding to the inherent injustice of what Ayelet Shachar calls one’s “birthright lottery,” or the fact that the chance-circumstances of where one is born determine the opportunities and quality of one’s life.Ayelet Shachar, The Birthright Lottery. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.
Virtual or electronic borders are now integral to many of the border policies, whether it be DACA and population registration—where personal information may be used in the service of speedy deportation—or whether it be through travel bans based on creating new boundaries between “trusted travelers” and risky mobile subjects. Data scientist and mathematician Cathy O’Neil warns against our new fetishism with algorithms; in an interview with her based on her new book Weapons of Math Destruction, O’Neil argues that algorithms not only involve processes of social sorting but also rely on data perceived to be objective, but which in fact is not. This is the case not just in the way data is gathered, the type of data, and how the data is correlated, but also in the ways in which algorithms rely on codification of past histories and practices against which to judge or model possible presents and futures; these histories, of course, are imbued with “systemic biases” of all kinds. The result, as O’Neil explains, is that “We have an infrastructure, probably a well-deserved infrastructure […] whereby we trust science. Science has done a lot for us […] The sleight of hand that’s happened in the big data era is that we think we can manifestly move that technology onto the human sphere. And we can’t.Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. London and New York: Penguin Books, 2017; Interview by Nikhil Sonnad, “Data scientist Cathy O’Neil on the cold destructiveness of big data,” Quartz, December 7, 2016 [online](https://qz.com/819245/data-scientist-cathy-oneil-on-the-cold-destructiveness-of-big-data/) [accessed January 11, 2018].
Unlike in science, when we “predict the movement of stars or moons, we don’t change their movements. But when we predict people—we actually funnel them and channel them into different slots depending on what their score was.” And this, she argues, is no longer about simply prediction, because “we’re actually influencing what they’re going to like. So we’re engendering feedback loops.” As movement across territorial borders becomes increasingly codified with the help of algorithms and other forms of data-management such as biometrics, whether it be through trusted travel passes, airline screening for security, or databases for asylum application like EURODAC, they all depend on perceived “normal” patterns of travel, and concepts of the desirability and undesirability of people, which are steeped in categories (such as risk) that invite biases into the very formulation of algorithms, as can be seen in bloated TSA No Fly lists. If citizenship provides an organizational infrastructure and rationale for dividing up and regulating the world’s population within nation-states—regulating movement between territorial spaces, and justifying differential access to rights and resources—this architecture is compounded by technologies that have created virtual moving borders to follow bodies as they travel, whether it be inside or outside of the territorial borders of the state. This new matrix of virtual and territorial borders compels us to ask:
“Who is doing the watching? And based on whose authority? For what purpose?”
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So while we may be employing ever-more virtual technological borders, we should not forget that these also produce new types of guards at the gate too. Lest we become too complacent, if there is anything new in this type of bordering it may be simply the fact that it has wormed its way into our acceptance more insidiously. This is because the new technologies of bordering ask us all to play a role as guards at the gate. As we hand over and submit data, and feel comfortable in our citizenship at the expense of “theirs,” we become, in effect, “securitized citizens.On this, see Kim Rygiel, “The Securitized Citizen,” in Engin F. Isin (ed.), Recasting the Social in Citizenship. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 268–300. Some of the ideas here are also explored in Kim Rygiel, Globalizing Citizenship. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010, and have been developed in a talk, “Monsters in our Midst: Reflecting on Citizenship Politics and Rights to Movement,” presented as part of Now is the Time of Monsters: What Comes After Nations? Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, March 23–25, 2017.
In doing so, we come to accept a new regime of citizenship defined through the loss of rights to movement. For some of us, the loss is by design. We are made by this system into a refugee, an undocumented, a stateless person, or an “illegal.” For others of us, we lose our rights to mobility (paradoxically, even as we experience more privilege in movement) because we have succumbed to the very idea that mobility should be authorized by governments and the state, and with this, we are one more step away from seeing movement as it was once, and always will be, a part of the natural human condition.