B08
From A to B: orders and disorders of routing and navigation

Convenors:
Paula Bialski (Leuphana University L√ľneburg)
Adrian Mackenzie (Lancaster University)
Format:
Location:
Welcome Centre Lecture Theatre 3
Start time:
28 July, 2018 at 9:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

How does an assemblage of people and the systems they build destine humans and things along some routes and not others? Inviting contributions that combine STS, media and software studies, this panel addresses contemporary practices, knowledge, devices and systems of routing and navigation.

Long abstract:

How does X get from A to B? And what are A and B anyway, let alone X en-route? Meeting, ordering, placing, positioning, sequencing, or other ways of doing things-in-the-world with digital infrastructures involves routes, directions, timetables, traffic data, address systems, algorithms, machine learning, protocols, transaction and product codes. Do routing and navigation systems help order cognition, communication and movement, or do they create disorder and congestion, or intensify traffic? What values are encoded and resisted in such routing and navigation systems? And conversely, how do routing and navigation techniques structure social life? This panel addresses contemporary practices, knowledge, devices and systems of routing and navigation in movement of all kinds. How does an assemblage of people and the systems they build destine humans and things along some routes and not others? Routing creates a certain flow of traffic, influences associations, reshapes existent networks of movement and stabilizes others. Inviting contributions that combine STS, media and software studies approaches, this panel hosts case studies that explore routing, navigation, traffic and congestion, including cultures of software developers working on navigation, traffic and targeting, routing protocols such as TCP/IP, and logistics infrastructures such as cargo routing.