1 Jul 2020 15:00 - 16:15 Online event


CDH Open Series:


Platform: Zoom
Programming the Planet and Reconfiguring Sense
Speaker: Jennifer Gabrys
Chair: Caroline Bassett, CDH Director, Cambridge.

The drive to instrument the planet and to make the earth programmable has translated into a situation where there are now more “things” connected to the Internet than there are people. Sensors are such connected and intelligent devices that detect changes in environmental patterns, generate stores of data and activate responses, so that more “intelligent” processes can unfold. Yet what are the implications for wiring up environments in these ways, and how does the sensor-actuator logic implicit in these technologies not only program environments but also program the sorts of citizens and collectives that might materialize through these processes? I take up these questions through a discussion of material from Program Earth and the Citizen Sense research project to examine the distinct environments, exchanges, and individuals that take hold through sensorized projects.
The introduction to Program Earth, available here: and would be helpful to read before the event.
Jennifer Gabrys is Professor in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She is Principal Investigator on the project AirKit, and she leads the Citizen Sense project, both funded by the European Research Council. In May 2020, she began a new ERC-funded project, Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies. She is the author of Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016); and Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (2011); and co-editor of Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic (Routledge, 2013). Her recent and in-progress books include How to Do Things with Sensors (2019), and Citizens of Worlds: Open-Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle. Her work can be found at citizensense.net and jennifergabrys.net
All Welcome! Please email Karen Herbane at CDH to register for the event. 

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