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Media Backends - Digital Infrastructures and Sociotechnical Relations

  • Pocket

  • 2024

  • Engelsk

Exploring how we make, distribute, and consume today’s media systems

Media backends--the electronics, labor, and operations behind our screens--significantly influence our understanding of the sociotechnical relations, economies, and operations of media. Lisa Parks, Julia Velkova, and Sander De Ridder assemble essays that delve into the evolving politics of the media infrastructural landscape. Throughout, the contributors draw on feminist, queer, and intersectional criticism to engage with infrastructural and industrial issues. This focus reflects a concern about the systemic inequalities that emerge when tech companies and designers fail to address workplace discrimination and algorithmic violence and exclusions. Moving from smart phones to smart dust, the essayists examine topics like artificial intelligence, human-machine communication, and links between digital infrastructures and public service media alongside investigations into the algorithmic backends at Netflix and Spotify, Google’s hyperscale data centers, and video-on-demand services in India.

A fascinating foray into an expanding landscape of media studies, Media Backends illuminates the behind-the-screen processes influencing our digital lives. 

Contributors: Mark Andrejevic, Philippe Bouquillion, Jonathan Cohn, Faithe J. Day, Sander De Ridder, Fatima Gaw, Christine Ithurbide, Anne Kaun, Amanda Lagerkvist, Alexis Logsdon, Stine Lomborg, Tim Markham, Vicki Mayer, Rahul Mukherjee, Kaarina Nikunen, Lisa Parks, Vibodh Parthasarathi, Philipp Seuferling, Ranjit Singh, Jacek Smolicki, Fredrik Stiernstedt, Matilda Tudor, Julia Velkova, and Zala Volcic

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