Media in the Dump


“Media in the Dump” examines the phenomenon of electronic waste through five locations, from sites of manufacture (Silicon Valley) to disposal (China). Not only are digital media not “immaterial,” this essay suggests, but the wastes that they generate circulate through complex material global geographies.

This 2006 essay is published through Alphabet City’s special collection, Trashedited by John Knechtel and published through MIT Press.

Trash was reviewed in the November/December 2006 issue of Frieze Magazine in the article, “Down in the Dump,” by Brian Dillon.

The material presented in this chapter is an early outline version of the book-length study, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics, published in 2011 by the University of Michigan Press through the Digital Culture Books series.

Published in Trash, ed. John Knechtel, No. 11 (Cambridge: MIT Press and Alphabet City Magazine, 2006; ISBN: 0-262-11301-5), 156-165

Download a pdf of the pre-proof text (please refer to the edited collection for the final version).