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Dossiers
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
  • 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
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      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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • S. Løchlann Jain
  • Donald MacKenzie
  • 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
  • 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
  • Arno Rosemarin
  • Dorion Sagan
  • Birgit Schneider
  • 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–).
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      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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      published contributions
  • 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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      published contributions
  • 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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      published contributions
  • 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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      published contributions
  • Anna Zett
  • 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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A Caribbean Taste of Technology: Creolization and the Ways-of-Making of the Dancehall Sound System

The Caribbean has long been considered a melting pot of Old and New Worlds. Writer, director, and cultural researcher Julian Henriques looks at the Jamaican reggae dancehall sound system to explore how this street technology has found creolizing ways to prevail in the neocolonial power struggle between popular culture and Jamaica’s ruling elite.
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A Caribbean Taste of Technology album cover, Ariwa Sounds, 1985, artist unaccredited.

This article takes its name and inspiration from the Mad Professor’s album A Caribbean Taste of Technology in response to the theme of this Technosphere issue.The ideas for this image-essay are largely taken from chapters 1 and 3 of Julian F. Henriques, Sonic Media: Reggae Sound System Technology, Culture and Ways of Making. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, forthcoming (2018) and from J. F. Henriques, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques and Ways of Knowing. London: Continuum, 2011. See also J. F. Henriques, Rhythmic Bodies: Amplification, Inflection and Transduction in the Dance Performance Techniques of the “Bashment Gal,” Body and Society, vol. 20, nos 3‒4 (2014), pp. 79‒112.
It’s a good place to start a discussion of creolization and technology here with the dub reggae tracks of this album created by British producer Mad Professor and released in 1985. So what I present here is a text and ideas version of the album as it were. The album cover artwork sets the tone. The Mad Professor himself lays back in a hammock enjoying the drink in his hand (the glass containing the entire Caribbean archipelago), the sun-soaked beach, and the array of the latest technological accoutrements of the era together with a selection of tropical fruits.Please see Louis Chude-Sokei’s excellent account of this album, L. Chude-Sokei, The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics, Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2015.
The technology is evidently not a threat, but a source of pleasure; he is relaxed about it. This is the key message: in the Caribbean context new technologies are an invitation to be creative, an impulse that leads to Afrofuturism.See “Afrofuturism, Technology & Fiction,” Harold Offeh in conversation with Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths Department of Visual Cultures Public Lecture series, forthcoming) and also the talk on which it is based (https://storify.com/skindeepmag/skin-deep).
This creativity is nowhere better expressed than in Jamaican music and the global influence this has in terms of sound, rhythm, and phonographic performance techniques.

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Ghetto Youth-Ology, Sizzla Kalongi, Greensleeves Records, 2009, artist: Tony Dermott.

Jamaican music technology – the stage show, the sound system dance, and the recording studio – provide examples of positive spin on the idea of creolization. The concept of creolization describes the mixing of cultural forms specifically in a New World setting conditioned by the disruption of slavery and forced, migration which has a long and contested history. In post-colonial theory, the concept of creolization has been criticized for lacking an account of the power relations in which cultures are constituted.Wendy Knepper, “Colonization, Creolization, and Globalization: The Art and Ruses of Bricolage,” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, vol. 21 (October 2006), pp. 70–86; also Françoise Vergès, “Kiltir Kreol: Processes and Practices of Créolité and Creolization,” in Créolité and Creolization, in Okwui Enwezor et al. (eds), Documenta 11_Platform 3. Kassel: Fridericanum-Veranstaltungs, 2003, p. 184.
Stuart Hall councils that, with creolization “questions of power, as well as issues of entanglement, are always at stake.Stuart Hall, “Créolite and the process of creolization,” in Robin Cohen and Paola Toninato (eds), The Creolization Reader: Studies in Mixed Identities and Cultures. London and New York: Routledge, 2010, pp. 26–38, 29.
With the-ways-of-making of the street culture and the technology of the sound system than other cultural forms, however, this limitation might have less purchase. While there are often skirmishes with the police, and the open-air dancehall venues are invariably shifting, the dancehall scene is comparatively autonomous and self-generating. This is because as a street technology and culture of the ghetto, its creolizing mixes take place largely “under the radar” of the authorities. This is what makes the practices of the scene such an exciting prospect for investigation in terms of the processes of creolization. Seven key features of creolization are picked out in what follows.

1 Creolization as Bricolage: Mobile Sound Systems
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Charlie Ace’s Swing-a-Ling mobile record and recording shop and studio, 1973. Source: Urban Image, with permission

One important aspect of creolization is bricolage, as the activity of bringing together disparate components into a new assemblage. The components themselves are not new ‒ in fact they are often re-cycled or re-purposed, far from the factory setting. Their novel functionality lies in the assemblage as a whole. As a type of bricolage, creolization involves working practices of experimentation, trial and error, and ways of knowing through an in situ process of making. This contrasts with the architect or engineer executing a pre-organized plan. Bricolage is a quotidian, one-off, personalized DIY practice that makes use of whatever materials or components are readily near-to-hand, as is commonplace in a huge range of settings across the globe.In India the practice goes by the name of jugaad, see Navi Radjou et al., Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
On the street, it is seldom the standard issue put to standard use – instead it is re-engineered often subverting the manufacturers’ specifications and intensions. Bricolage often involves a repurposing of components. A good example of this would be Hedley Jones’ repurposing a telephone handset microphone as a pickup for an electric guitar of his own invention.As discussed in Henriques, Sonic Bodies.
Street technology is the low art to the high art of the technology corporations. This is vividly expressed with Charlie Ace’s Swing-a-Ling mobile record and recording shop and studio. Creolization provides local practical solutions; note that the vehicle is not only a shop but also claims to be a recording studio. The contingencies of the street culture exercise a considerable influence on the technology. Without the resources that permanent venues require, mobility is most important.
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DJ Squeeze with his sound system truck Thunder with generator Lightning in tow, circa 2002. Source: Julian Henriques

A more contemporary version of this same mobile technology is provided by DJ Squeeze and his sound system on wheels; though more polished, it is essentially the same creolized solution of assembling the two technologies of transportation and sound system together. This of course is far from unique, with the sound floats of the Trinidad and Tobago carnival as an outstanding example. Julian Henriques and Beatrice Ferrara, “The Sounding of the Notting Hill Carnival: Music as Space, Place and Territory,” in Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi (eds), Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945. London and New York: Routledge, 2014, pp. 131–52.
Both creolization and bricolage are sources of creativity and originality of the kind found with musical improvisation, as distinct from the interpretation of a musical score. Bricolage has also proved a valuable conceptual resource for the cultural studies approach to subcultures, as with Dick Hebdige’s pioneering studies.Dick Hebdige, Subculture: the Meaning of Style. London: Methuen, 1979.
The critical edge of the term comes from the heterogeneity of the components it assembles, as distinct from the operation of that which media theorists would nowadays describe as “cultural techniques.Bernhard Siegert, Cultural Techniques: Grids, Filters, Doors, and other Articulations of the Real, trans. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young. New York: Fordham University Press, 2014.

2 Creolization as Mixing: Reggae Dub Music
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Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio, Kingston, 1978. Source: Adrian Boot / urbanimage.tv, with permission

It is widely recognized that Jamaican patois and other creole languages mix cultures together to produce a distinctive new one. Similarly, the standard music studio post-production mixing technique brings together the separate tracks on which the individual musical instruments were recorded. So mixing makes the assembled bricolage of components more intense by actually merging them together – as chemical elements combine to form a new compound. The technique of the dub mix has to be located in a New World geography specifically; that is, the recording studios in Jamaica in the 1960s and early 1970s. Its famous originators include, Duke Reid, Coxonne Dodd, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and many others. Further to a normal mix or re-mix, a dub mix, like “Buccaneer’s Cove” on the Mad Professor’s Taste album removes all but a trace of lyrics, harmonies, and instruments of the original track, to let the drum and bass predominate. To this, it adds in echo, reverb, and sound effects, copying (that’s what dub means) and doubling and redoubling back.See Julian Henriques and Rietveld Hillegonda, “Echo,” in Michael Bull (ed.), Sound Handbook. London and New York: Routledge, forthcoming. Ray Hitchens describes these studio practices in his excellent Vibe Merchants: The Sound Creators of Jamaican Popular Music. London and New York: Routledge, 2014, pp. 133–54. See also Michael Veal, Dub: Songscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Middletown, NJ: Wesleyan University Press, 2007.
This idea of enfolding and repeating is also found in Antonio Benítez-Rojo’s concept of the repeating island in his book of that name.Antonio Benítez-Rojo, The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective, trans. James Maraniss. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.
With dub, creolization can be heard as un-mixing as much as mixing, taking elements out in what has been described as a subtractive aesthetic, by contrast with the additive technique of toasting, or the breakbeat sample, that of the catchy bars.See Henriques and Hillegonda, “Echo.”
Instead, the more taken out of the music track the more room it opens up for the listener to enter into the vacated space – filling it with their own associations, pleasures, and remembering of the vocal version.
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King Tubby Majestic Dub, 1976, reissue Culture Press, 2000.
The dub mix itself is then subject to the creolization of bricolage assemblage in that it is a recycling of the music track on the A-side of the 45, finding within it additional value to make the B-side dub mix. These tracks were then put together as dub albums, further adding value. As a street culture technique, invariably in a context of scarce resources, creolization is often about making more with less, or indeed something out of nothing. Like jazz music, dub music is energized by distinctly Old World musical traditions that are often rhythmic in character, specifically Nyabinghi in respect to reggae. These ancient elements are then “reimagined” as would be said now, with the New World technologies of the recording studio, itself re-invented as a musical instrument in its own right. Thus one of the elements of creolization is that it is about the mix, literally so with the dub music mix.
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(Left) A Venus sound system engineer washes the inside of the bass bins; (Right) A Stone Love engineer with a dry paint brush, brushes down the controls before a dance, both suggesting a ritual purpose. Source: Julian Henriques 2017

The geopolitical forces of colonization meant it was in the New World that this technological mixing took place, just as it was for cultural and racial mixing, hybridity, and Latin American mestiça societies. Creolization might be contrasted with that other New World phenomenon of syncretism where one cultural form is superimposed onto another, as for example Yoruba orishas are with Catholic saints in Haitian Voodoo. The mixture of creolization said to run deeper still, in that the two elements blend to make a third can be said to run deeper than that two elements blend to make a third. On the sound system scene, this creolization also runs in parallel with syncretic conjunctures, such as in the practice of washing inside the speaker cabinet or dusting off the mixer controls. It is a spiritual cleansing that is going on here, expressing the value system of scyence or Obeah (Voodoo in Haiti) rather than technological science.

3 Creolization as Repeating: Versioning
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Greensleeves Records single riddim albums, a selection.

A third musical example of creolization is the uniquely Jamaican musical practice of versioning whereby a single riddim (rhythm) track is used as musical backing by a number of singers and DJs. There are innumerable examples of this practice, possibly the most widely known being King Jammy’s Sling Teng riddim that has been the subject of literally hundreds of versions.For a list of versions see (http://www.jamrid.com/Riddims.php).
Thus the creole cooking pot never empties however many meals it serves. Greensleeves is one of the labels specializing in these single riddim albums. In terms of creolization this is another example of recycling a resource or component. In this instance, reiteration creates a multiplication of value. As well as maximizing the use of a resource, it also illustrates something of the distinctiveness of the Jamaican music scene where the riddim track has its own autonomy and particular importance.

4 Creolization as Socialization: Staging the Session
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Source: Varun Baker 2017

Another distinctive feature of the Jamaican music scene is the fact that the primary instrument for the enjoyment of Jamaican music is the sound system session – over and above radio, TV, streaming, downloading, CD, or even the concert or stage show. This provides an example of a fourth characteristic of creolization; that is, a repurposing of not only different technological components and devices, but also the function for which the new assemblage is deployed. Very often creolization consists of socializing a technology, to repurpose and share what was originally designed as a domestic technological appliance to one with a much wider community of users. Thus, creolization can encourage a going against the grain of individual consumerist accumulation. The sound system exemplifies this reverse social repurposing for the phonographic instrument of the gramophone. This is what the sound system remains, but at a size and scale that an entire community can enjoy.
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Building a speaker stack. Source: Dubdem Sound System 2009, flickr

The sound system session draws attention to the contrast between social and individual orientated use of technologies. This has the important effect of changing the nature of the listening experience itself. The mobile personal-listening experience that was first afforded by the Walkman and subsequently by MP3 devices, inserts the music into the listener by means of in- or on- ear headphones. This contrasts with the sound system listening experience in the session. As a travelled-to destination, this is where, in the company of others, listeners insert their whole bodies into the music. In order to achieve this, each dancehall session evening has to be transported to the open-air venue, configured in the most advantageous manner for that venue, assembled (called “stringing-up”), tested, and sound-checked. This nightly practice of assembly and disassembly for every session mimics the mixing and un-mixing of creolization.

5 Creolization as Intensification: The Set of Equipment
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Bass Odyssey Sound System speaker column, Tropical Hut, St. Mary. Source: Yaniq Walford 2012, Wiki Commons

The fifth characteristic of creolization is intensification, where the mixing produces a release of energy as in a chemical reaction. But this is an affective energy that could be thought as being necessitated by the extremes of the New World environment with its histories of enslavement and indentureship. In short, a creolized culture has a substantial amount of work to do reconstituting shattered identities and remembering buried histories.
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Passa Passa, Spanish Town Road, Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, Jamaica, circa 2005. Source: Julian Henriques

In the dancehall session, this intensification takes place in the bowl of sound between the three speaker stacks or columns. This is a special kind of place of pleasure, which could be described in terms of Homi Bhabha’s concept of a third space, or Hannah Arendt’s space of appearance.Homi K Bhabha, The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994, pp. 36–39; Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1958, p. 199.
One of the ways these bass-heavy intensities are created is by what has been described as sonic dominance.Julian Henriques, “Sonic dominance and reggae sound system sessions,” in Michael Bull and Les Back (eds), The Auditory Culture Reader. Oxford: Berg, 2003, pp. 451‒80.
This achieves an immersive, visceral, full-body intensive listening experience, as distinct from ordinary audition via the outer ear. The physical scale and shared sociality of the sound system encourages such intensities, but again the repurposing techniques come into play. These auditory levels are furnished by the historically ever-increasing size of the amplification equipment.
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Notebook sketch of triangulation. Julian Henriques 2017

The other way these intensities are created is with the inward orientation of the speakers onto the crowd (audience) in the center, as distinct from the conventional PA where the speakers are on either side of the artist on stage. This simple reorientation from outward facing to inward facing can be described as the crucial twist of creolization. Phonographic technologies are thus used to place the audience, rather than the artist, at the center of the listening experience.

6 Creolization as Separation: Frequency Specialization
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Crossover, separation of the frequency bands before amplification. Julian Henriques 2017

The sixth characteristic of creolization can be described as separation, that is, the kind of unmixing by which dub reggae was described. This is the case with the separation of frequencies, which is achieved by the sound system set, specifically by the crossover component. This assigns each of the five frequency bands (shown in rainbow colours) to a separate amplifier, connected to its own separate specialist speaker – from tweeters at the top, to sub-bass at the bottom. This is done for each of the three speaker stacks.
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Frequency rainbow from one of the three speaker stacks. Julian Henriques 2017

The sound system engineers who have been responsible for these innovations have taken the phonographic instrument of the sound system to new levels of sophistication. They have a nuanced, fine-grained understanding of how sound works on human bodies as much as in electronic circuits. This returns us to the starting point of the mix as the first creolization, in the way-of-making of the street technology, but transduced into the medium of auditory propagation itself.

7 CREOLIZATION AS REMIXING
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Frequency rainbow from three speaker stacks. Julian Henriques 2017

The idea of creolization has informed this brief account of sound system technology – but, at the same time, the ways-of-making technology itself has also informed what the process of creolization might be understood to be. Re-mixing can be considered as the final and seventh characteristic of creolization. Thus in addition to mixing, creolization creates value with both un-mixing as well as remixing. It is not only a music track that is remixed, but also the entire instrument of the sound system set, balanced and fine-tuned by the hands and ears of the engineers. These thoughts on the aesthetic value of the mix take us back to the use of the word taste, the Mad Professor’s album title. The idea of taste resonates in various modalities, not least the style and the fashion of the Jamaican music scene. Taste of course is a social, political, and cultural achievement as Pierre Bourdieu taught us.Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.
Most importantly, taste foregrounds the pleasures of life, to be experienced, whatever your circumstances, in the intensities of the dancehall session. It is also what distinguished humans from animals – Homo sapiens (where sapiens is Latin for taste) – as Michel Serres maintains, is the sensory source of wisdom.Michel Serres, The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies. London: Continuum, pp. 153‒54, as discussed in Henriques, Sonic Bodies, p. 251.
A sound system session gives a pleasurable taste of the experience of a creolized technology. For me it also recalls the tingling sensation of electricity, as a schoolboy-experimenter, testing the charge of a little nine-volt battery by touching the two terminals on the tip of my tongue.