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Program EarthEnvironmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet$
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Jennifer Gabrys

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780816693122

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816693122.001.0001

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Environment as Experiment in Sensing Technology

Environment as Experiment in Sensing Technology

(p.1) Introduction Environment as Experiment in Sensing Technology
Program Earth

Jennifer Gabrys

University of Minnesota Press

The author suggests that environmental sensing devices are, contra McLuhan’s anthropocentric theory of communication, generating complex techno-geographies that concretize across technologies, people, practices, and nonhuman entities. Using the successful launch of Sputnik as a starting point, Gabrys offers a history of how environments became gradually sensorized as objects of electronic monitoring and auto-regulation. Environments are not the fundamental condition against which sensory technologies form, but rather develop with and through such technologies as they concresce in these contexts. Taken together, Gabrys claims that not only have computational technologies become environmental, but that environments themselves have become computational, or programmable.

Keywords:   Sputnik, McLuhan, electronic monitoring, computational technologies, auto-regulation, sensorization

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