Shannon Mattern

How do we understand our media as texts, objects, publics, commodities, imaginaries, systems, environments, and so forth? Given the elasticity of the media concept, and the dynamic nature of the subject, how do we frame good questions and choose appropriate methods for studying media — and how do we select appropriate venues for sharing that research? This Library Stack Collection, which complements Shannon Mattern’s Spring 2018 Designing Methodologies for Media Studies class at The New School, includes resources that exemplify widely diverse means of studying media.
PublisherLibrary Stack2019
Underground nuclear and military materials have been the subject of international commissions, tribunals, and wars. Yet subterranean facilities also commonly inventory a similarly volatile, though less noxious, resource: information. SubTropolis’s central location, solidity, and security have drawn technology companies, who host data centers in the mine’s massive pillared rooms. Many underground garrisons and command centers of the Cold War era have likewise become “data bunkers.” Given that industrial metaphors of “mining” and “smithing” have long pervaded the discourses of intellectual labor, it should be no surprise that we’re now data mining inside our mines. And alongside the subterranean servers and ...
Shannon Mattern is Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York. Her writing and teaching focuses on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She’s the author of multiple books and writes a regular column for Places. In this episode, Shannon and I talk about what media studies is and she got interested in it, how to connect theory and artifact — in both teaching and writing — and relationships between the built environment and the digital world.
The future never felt closer than it does today. A series of environmental, technological and social shifts are affecting today’s world and the human’s role within it. Continuous urbanization, the impact of the anthropogenic activity on the natural environment, the increasing use of algorithmic systems in all sectors of life, and the growing asymmetries of power among territories and populations, are all central issues at stake. How possible is it to address the future and the changes already taking place?
We live amidst real-time data flows, with sensors measuring everything from air quality to traffic, with our own smart phones yielding information about our whereabouts and activity levels, with buildings reporting on their own energy consumption and maintenance. This urban “intelligence” ostensibly allows for the optimization of our environments and our selves – for the production of “smart cities” and smart citizens. How is “smartness” operationalized in urban space, and what kinds of place-based intelligences are excluded from these computational, efficiency-driven models? This Library Stack Collection, which complements Shannon Mattern’s Spring 2018 Urban Intelligence class at The New School, helps ...

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