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Informated Environments 
Hannah Knox (University College London)
Emilie Glazer (UCL)
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Kim Fortun (University of California Irvine)
Wednesday 8 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the role of digital infrastructures in framing, shaping and constituting environmental relations in the anthropocene. We explore how models, maps, databases, archives, sensors, images and algorithms are implicated in the conduct of contemporary environmental politics.

Long Abstract:

The idea of a 'natural' environment has long been deconstructed and critiqued by anthropologists who have shown the diverse ways that human beings shape, work with and remake land and forest, rivers and sea, air, desert and tundra. In this panel we seek to extend this conversation into an appreciation of the role of contemporary and historical information systems in framing, informing and shaping environmental relations. Building on long histories of environmental information gathering, contemporary 'informated' environments (Fortun, 2004) involve such infrastructures as global monitoring systems that track animals, particles, and plastics; climate models that map and predict global and local climatic futures; big data-driven mapping tools aimed at planners tasked with rethinking urban and rural landscapes; and digital or bio-sensory devices that detect, reveal and act back on materials flows, chemical traces, or environmental rhythms. We invite papers that explore ethnographically, the role and effects of such data driven information technologies on environmental processes in different parts of the world. We are also interested in papers that explore how counter-informational tools are remaking environmental relations through new forms of representation, archiving and prototyping, and the role that these might play in a refigured anthropology of the anthropocene.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -