IMAGINATIONS: Introducing Location and Dislocation: Global Geographies of Digital Data (with Alix Johnson)




Alix Johnson | UCSC

Mél Hogan | University of Calgary


The contributions to this issue of Imaginations address the relationship between digital data and physical place. How is the economy of data storage organized in and across communities, regions, nations, and states? How does the industry reprise old relationships and forge new ones? How are boundaries and borders inscribed and encountered by users and creators along the way? How is information technology (IT) infrastructure built into environments, shifting social and natural terrain? By foregrounding spatial relations and infrastructures, these essays draw connections between globalized geographies of media distribution and localized impacts of IT on the ground.

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Keynote “Living Together in the Data Center Industrial Complex” – Bergen (Norway) Aug, 2017

My talk is called “Living Together in the Data Center Industrial Complex” and brings together technology and biology…

TBLR and ESSCS Announcement:

“Living Together”

PhD-researcher training course in literary, aesthetic and cultural-study disciplines, Bergen (Norway), 14th–18th August 2017

The TBLR and the ESSCS

are happy to announce our unique joint-venture PhD researcher-training summer course 2017 in Bergen.

The TBLR and the ESSCS

are happy to announce our unique joint-venture PhD researcher-training summer course 2017 in Bergen.

Barthes, with Agamben and Derrida: ”Living Together” is the tandem venture of the European Summer School in Cultural Studies (ESSCS) and the Norwegian nationwide researcher-training school TBLR (Tekst Bilde Lyd Rom = Text Image Sound Space), in Bergen, August 2017. While not an organiser, yet pivotal as an advisory and cooperative space for thought, the Living Together Research Group at the University of Oslo (UiO) is also an event contributor, whose inventiveness, scholarly generosity, input, and productive feedback the TBLR/ESSCS could not have done without. (See also ”Background” and “LT-Group-UiO” in red topbar.)

Under the heading ”Living Together”, the summer course is anchored in Roland Barthes’ 1976-1977 lecture series “Comment vivre ensemble? – Sur l’idiorrythmie”, held at Collège de France. The Comment vivre ensemble manuscripts (Paris: Seuil, 2002) were published in English in 2013 as How To Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Here, ‘Barthes focuses on the concept of “idiorrhythmy”, a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. He explores this phenomenon through five texts that represent different living spaces and their associated ways of life: Émile Zola’s Pot-Bouille, set in a Parisian apartment building [l’immeuble bourgeois]; Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, which takes place in a sanatorium [le grand hôtel]; André Gide’s “La Séquestrée de Poitiers” [“The Confined Woman of Poitiers”], based on the true story of a woman confined to her bedroom [la chambre solitaire]; Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, about a castaway on a remote island [le repaire; lair; den; hideout], and Pallidius’s Lausiac History, detailing the ascetic lives of the desert fathers [le désert]’ (Columbia UP; brackets added).

For its purposes, and shared for the event with TBLR/ESSCS, the UiO’s Living Together Research Group has developed and transformed Barthes’ five spaces into topoi and/or perspectives that call for closer investigation in many specific directions, as the proposed list of related issues and extrapolated concepts in the Call for Papers shows. These five topoi are the desert, the island, the sanatorium, the city, and the home. They will function as part of the scholarly framework for organising the activities of the TBLR and the ESSCS in Bergen. Hopefully, they will prove to be suggestive and inspirational both for PhD students and keynotes in their studies of literature, film, the arts, and culture, as well as in critical thought.

At the same time, Barthes’ idiorrhythmic mappings reverberate productively with thinking and analyses in some of Giorgio Agamben’s works, as well as with a series of texts stemming from the late period of the work of Jacques Derrida. Including also these as another part of the scholarly framework for the summer course, will hopefully prepare the stage for a variegated plethora of options and possibilities for PhD students and faculty to reflect upon their own work and on that of others, and to think, work out and productively share – in keynote lectures and PhD-student papers – their own takes on aspects of living together.

Under the heading ”Living Together”, then, the summer course’s Call for Papers is oriented towards some of the work of Roland Barthes, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida. – We encourage you to reflect upon the CfP and to relate it to your own work, and we invite you to apply for a participant’s spot in Bergen in August. (Application deadline has been extended to May 26th; see all details below and in the Call for Papers.)

–> Call for Papers

COURSE LAYOUT: We start the summer course with luncheon at 13:00 on Monday 14th Aug., then go on with a half-day (afternoon and early evening) programme that day; and then continue with full-day programmes both Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 17th Aug. Festive dinner offered on Thursday evening (on the organisers). Good-byes and departures after breakfast and before noon on Friday 18th.

PROGRAMME: “Living Together” is a combined keynote topic/plenary-discussion event, and a PhD paper-discussion course. There will be five Scandinavian/international keynotes on the programme, whose names and topics will be disseminated on the webiste as confirmations are in. Now, though, we are happy to announce three of the keynotes, Knut Stene-Johansen (Comparative Literature, University of Oslo), with whom the scholarly idea about “Living Together” originated, and who – with his Oslo-based research group – has already published a first project anthology: Knut Stene-Johansen et al. (eds.): Å leve sammen. Roland Barthes, individet og fellesskapet. Oslo: Spartacus, 2016 (to be transl. into and publ. also in English). Further: Mél Hogan (Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary, Canada). Moreover: Henrik Gustafsson, and here (Film, Visual Culture, Critical Aesthetics, “Nomadikon”, Fine Arts, Cultural Memory, Border Poetics). – For the PhD paper-discussion sessions, the participants will be organised into relevant thematic groups, composed of PhD students as well as of TBLR/ESSCS-faculty and keynotes. – The course’s working language will be English. The detailed programme will be posted and disseminated when fully confirmed.

TIME FRAMES/DURATION/LENGTH: Keynotes are set up with 45-minute lectures, and the same amount of time allotted to the ensuing discussion. – PhD student-paper discussions are set up with a total time frame of 1 to 1,5 hours for each single one, in the course of which time up to 20 introductory minutes are allotted to the PhD student’s oral presentation/contextualisation of her/his paper, and the remaining time to a rich discussion between the PhD-student author, student peers, TBLR/ESSCS faculty, and keynotes, with comments, questions, further suggestions, etc. This structure – while all student papers are mandatory, beforehand reading for all participants, thus leaving ample time for discussion of the papers.

PhD STUDENT-PAPER TOPICS: (1) a paper bearing a relation to some aspect or problem detailed or suggested in the ”Living Together” Call for Papers (Barthes; Agamben; and/or Derrida); (2) a paper stemming from the PhD student’s ongoing dissertation work, like a chapter, a section, an excerpt, a focus on a special problem, theoretical or other, lifted out of the dissertation-writing process for particular, critical attention, etc. – all of which with or without a relation to the CfP; (3) a paper presenting and critically discussing one or more of the works on the course’s reading list. – Bear in mind that inter-aesthetic and comparative as well as disciplinary papers are welcome. – Max length of paper: about 15 pp, 1,5 line spacing, Word: Times New Roman.

CREDITS – ECTS points for PhD students: 5 ECTS with a paper; 2 ECTS without.

VENUE: Venue for the course as well as for all participants’ hotel rooms 14th-18th Aug. will beHotel Scandic Neptun, downtown Bergen, one street removed from the historic wharf and the quayside. The hotel rooms (covered by the organisers throughout the duration of the summer-course), will be spacious double rooms, housing two PhD students in each (summer-school room-mate system, which also creates an extra and contact-facilitating atmosphere).

TRAVEL COSTS; MEALS: Travel costs will have to be covered by the PhD students themselves or through the PhD-trajectory means that they themselves have at their disposal. Other than that, hotel rooms and full board (three meals a day) from Monday 14th at noon through Friday 18th Aug. at noon will be covered by the TBLR/ESSCS (the dinner on Wednesday is the exception: Wed’s dinner is open for each and every one to find another restaurant in the city, and on that particular evening pay their dinner themselves). Participants from Bergen are expected to remain accommodated privately, yet take part in all meals on a par with the other participants.

APPLICATION DEADLINE (extended till late May) will be 26th May 2017 (to, with max. 300 words paper abstract submitted at the same time. In your application, please state whether you require vegetarian or vegan meals. –– Paper-submission deadline: 1st August 2017 (as attachment, to

EXTENDED STAYS: There is the option for visitors to Bergen to stay longer than the duration of the summer course (Monday till Friday), yet then, expressly, at their own personal expense. This might e.g. be during the week-end prior to, or during the week-end immediately following the “Living Together”-event. In case you might wish to extend your stay at our venue hotel, (the Scandic Neptun), queries should be directed to, who has been asked to handle them vis-à-vis the Scandic Neptun. – Private or tourist sojourns before and/or after the summer course with other accommodation than the Scandic Neptun, should be both arranged and paid for by the individual course participant her/himself.




Editorial 47: Loss

Welcome to #47: this is the LOSS issue.

LOSS, as in:

– The fact or process of losing something or someone

– Uncertain as to how to proceed

– Unable to produce what is needed

– Destruction, ruin

– The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something


In this issue:

Cover photographer Jah Grey is a self-taught photographic artist primarily focused on portraiture, whose work, as the artist explains, seeks to educate and encourage society to unlearn the teachings that act to separate us in order to advocate for a more fluid and diverse world. Grey’s digital portraits remind us of the similarities we share, despite our differences. (Interview forthcoming! See for more).

Safiya Umoja Noble offers us a powerful reflection on intersectional Black feminism, the loss of Black life, and the need for recovery. On Losing Black Lives, Noble lays bare the despair that is felt when the powerful entrenchments of racism and sexism at both structural and personal levels engulf one’s daily encounters. “Grief is a holding pattern” writes Noble, “a place we keep circulating through, with each new headline of violence or loss of life.” The burden of intersectional Black feminism is to seek out a love that might start to define the terms of Black feminist struggle for lives that are rich with joy and gratitude for the experience of life itself.

Sarah T. Roberts and Ryan P. Adserias share an intimate conversation about their long-term friendship in the face of the loss of a generation of their community, and the looming presence of HIV/AIDS. In Dancing with the Survivors: A Conversation Between Two Friends, Roberts and Adserias articulate the grief of HIV/AIDS, what they describe as “the people who aren’t here and haven’t been for you, and for me, in our adult gay lives.” Roberts and Adserias describe a constant state of loss that foregrounds their lives and interests.

In A Heart beyond Cure, Mark Ambrose Harris contemplates dying, familial homophobia, and pronounced feelings of intimacy that are only possible in the first moments after death. Harris ruminates on the effects of caregiving on mental health, and the ways in which we navigate loss, regret, and other stark reminders of our own and others’ mortality.

Dina Georgis explores Morehshin Allahyari’s recent exhibit, Material Speculation: ISIS shown at Trinity Square Video in March 2016 in Toronto. Georgis consider how in this work, technology offers speculative possibilities in the aftermath of environmental and cultural destruction. In reading reparation through a psychoanalytic perspective, Georgis reflects on what it might mean to create life not against destruction or aggression but by noticing it, understanding its place, and by negotiating its impulses.

In Open to Television – Can television open us to ourselves? Lisa Henderson juxtaposes clips from “Louie” (2013) and “Freaks and Geeks” (1999) to invite us into sweetness and recognition, a usually suspect accomplishment of television on any platform. Henderson’s video essay provokes us to consider longingly missed opportunities and solitude, and in a way that derives a kind of pleasure from absence.

In Always Already? Queer Cultural Production and the Subject of Marriage, Vincent Doyle draws inspiration from the question posed by Judith Butler’s essay: “Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?” It asks: How is the subject to whom same-sex marriage is addressed produced? By what affective means? Drawing on which cultural resources? By exploring these questions in the video essay, Doyle excavates his own and others’ subjective investments in marriage and its associated representational strategies at a time when, as Butler argues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to think of and represent coupling and kinship outside of the narrow norms that legitimated and legalized marriage makes.

As always, huge thank-you to Tamara Shepherd (our amazing copy editor), to all the NMP regulars, contributors past and future, and to readers and supporters of the project in so many ways.

Andrea Zeffiro, Mél Hogan and M-C MacPhee