Re-Thingifying the Internet of Things

post-apocalyptic-crock-potThrough the use of sensors, networks and data collection, the Internet of Things is meant to make everyday practices and infrastructures more efficient and “sustainable.” Yet these digital technologies also generate new material and environmental effects, particularly through increasing amounts of electronic waste. After first addressing emerging developments within the Internet of Things, this chapter proposes the adoption of a strategy for “re-thingifying” the Internet of Things. Re-thingification would account for the distributed material and environmental effects and relations of the Internet of Things, while attending to the possibilities of things to incite new forms of media theory and practice.

Published in Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment, eds. Nicole Starosielski and Janet Walker (New York and London: Routledge, 2016), 180-195.

Originally presented as a keynote presentation for “From Media to Materialities: Mapping the Afterlife of Digital Technologies,” organized by Jennie Olofsson HUMlab, Umeå University, Sweden (20-21 May 2015)