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Category Archives: Translation

Dirt Research


‘Dirt is the stuff that makes a system jump’. Born, Furján, Jencks, 2012 The phrase ‘dirt research’ described the ‘direct’ method by which Canadian political economist and communications theorist Harold A. Innis (1894-1952) collected material for his research on economic history in Canada. The result of extensive travels across Canada, where he gathered oral testimonies […]

Acts of Translation: Organizing Networks as Algorithmic Technologies of the Common


By Ned Rossiter and Soenke Zehle Exodus from the General Intellect Defined by the informatization of life and labor, the networked condition is characterized by the comprehensive connection of users to circuits of capital via predominantly corporate communication and information infrastructures. The economic value of these engines of entry into a world of communicative commerce […]

The Logistical City


Boarding Gate C10, Suvarnabhumi Airport: midnight approaches at the end of the concourse, beyond the malls and gates collecting passengers for Singapore and Hong Kong. A long line of young Indian men wait to weigh their hand luggage before boarding the Kolkata flight. These are kuruvis, low-level ‘hand-carriers’ employed by shadowy bosses to transport consumer goods like electronics and garments between Thailand and India. Not surprisingly their pre-weighed luggage comes in exactly at the maximum weight allowance. But it is also carefully apportioned according to value, each carrier transporting just enough to stay under the Rs 5 Lakh limit that attracts prosecution for smuggling electronic goods into India. When the laden flight docks in Kolkata, the baggage hall is resplendent with commodities: plasma televisions, hi-fi systems, musical keyboards, not to mention the iPods, mobile phones, digital cameras and computer circuit boards stowed in makeshift bundles of shabby cloth. This is a full-scale logistical operation – a single link in the many networks of formal and informal labour that distribute consumer goods manufactured in China to markets around the globe.

‘Design criteria future, love it or leave it’


Where is the designer when design becomes automated by algorithms? Will the next generation of designers come from the digital sweatshops piling up across Asia? Is there an equivalent to attention deficit disorder that defines contemporary design cultures? The impulse is to answer these last two questions in the affirmative and the implication of the […]

From IT Factory to Electronic Markets: Speculations on Circuits, Regions, Labour


[Published in Transit Labour: Circuits, Regions, Borders, Digest no. 1, July 2010] In programming field trip visits to two seemingly incongruous settings – an IT facility on the outskirts of Shanghai and Baoshan market for electronic waste, second hand products and fake gadgets  – we see how both regions and social mobilization are configured as […]

The Informational University, the Uneven Distribution of Expertise and the Racialization of Labour


In his book Nice Work If You Can Get It, Andrew Ross opens the final chapter on ‘The Rise of the Global University’ with the following assessment: ‘Higher education has not been immune to the impact of economic globalization. Indeed, its institutions are now on the brink of channeling some of the most dynamic, and […]

Urgent Aphorisms: Notes on Organized Networks for the Connected Multitudes


[Forthcoming in Mark Deuze (ed.) Managing Media Work, Sage, 2010] By Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (The OrgMen) Four Stages of Web 2.0 Culture: Use. Modify. Distribute. Ignore. – Johan Sjerpstra In between the blog posting and the tweet there is the aphorism, a centuries old literary form that should do well amongst creative media […]

Translating the Indifference of Communication: Electronic Waste, Migrant Labour and the Informational Sovereignty of Logistics in China


[Published in International Review of Information Ethics 11 (2009)] ‘As long as there are people on this planet, the waste industries will never die. So we’re not worried about the future of the industry’. – Owner of a small e-waste processing business in Ningbo, China. This essay is interested in the relationship between electronic waste […]

Organized Networks: Questions of Politics, Translation and Time


1. In this talk I would like to address the question of time and translation as they relate to the political concept of organized networks. The Blue House project, in as much as I understand it, is an experiment in sociality, politics and culture which subsist in the space of an urban intervention. Always temporary, […]

Organizing Networks: Notes on Collaborative Constitution, Translation, and the Work of Organization


Abstract The return of political ontology and its critique of representation contribute to a retrieval of the antagonistic registers of “the political.” A corresponding interest in processes of collaborative constitution has explored alternative modalities of the (conflictual) production of (political) subjectivity. Because such efforts necessarily attend to the status of a principle of the actionable, […]

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Organized Networks by Ned Rossiter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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