Have a look at our newest contribution to Issue #3: Unstable Infrastructures! In their article “Humanitarian Media Intervention”, Tim Schütz and Sebastian Kubitschko focus on the entanglement of forced migration, humanitarianism and the attempt to spread sociotechnical imaginaries of alternative wireless networks. By the example of “Freifunk for Refugees”, the authors highlight the struggle for migrants’ communication rights – not only in terms of providing Internet access at refugee shelters but also of articulating the infrastructural and political implications of open communication networks.
The complex and often complicated relation between media and migration is also at the center of our forthcoming Issue #4 – to be published this summer!
No digital cultures without infrastructures! This issue will look into the theoretical as well as practical explorations of infrastructures as operational backbone of digital cultures. We deem infrastructures, understood as an ensemble of human, social and technological individuals, important for yielding new forms of knowledge, which are able to challenge and transform the current architecture of infrastructural systems, software protocols, and network media, represented by corporate Internet-platforms like Amazon, Facebook or Google. Even though we have been witnessing an ‘explosion’ of the discourse around digital cultures and its infrastructures in the last years, most of the research and critique in this field is still based on the model of a predefined network, thereby repeating the epistemological presuppositions of nodes and links, rather than thinking about alternative perspectives for our technocultural future. Beyond commercial media platforms, where the individual remains a clearly identifiable point within the network, in order to address him or her with personalized ads, network technologies contain the potential to foster new forms of subjectivity, where the individual becomes a network itself – from the networked individual to the individual as network. (more…)