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Deserted Devices and Wasted Fences: Everyday technologies in extreme circumstances

In Deserted Devices and Wasted Fences, artist and cultural theorist Dani Ploeger examines everyday technologies in places and circumstances that are usually unforeseen by their designers, manufacturers and marketers. He travels through second-hand markets in sub-Saharan Africa, the frontline in the Russo-Ukrainian War, desert landscapes in the Middle-East, anti-immigration fences on the EU border and many other sites of turmoil, disruption and surprising convergences. Examining the ways in which technologies that were intended for use in everyday consumer culture start to (mal)function, gain new meanings and are appropriated in these liminal spaces can give us hints at what alternative techno-cultures could look like. This collection of essays provokes unusual perspectives on how technologies might be developed, used and reappropriated in support of people’s personal, local and regional lifeworlds.

Deserted Devices and Wasted Fences can be ordered directly from Triarchy Press (UK) or Art Claims Impulse (Germany)


1. Tactical Transgressions: Bashar al-Assad’s phone
2. E-Waste in Cling Film: The symbolic order of technological progress
3. Hi-Tech Everything: A report from the heart of techno-consumerism
4. Eerie Prostheses and Kinky Strap-Ons:  Mori’s uncanny valley and ableist ideology
5. The Dirt Inside: Computers and the performance of dust
6. Orodha: The ultimate fetish commodity and its reversal
7. Frugal Phone / Material Medium
8. Positioning the Middle of Nowhere: GPS technology and the desert
9. Sounds of Violence: The affective tonality of high-tech warfare
10. Smart Bombs, Bulldozers and the Technology of Hidden Destruction
11. Smart Technologies and Soviet Guns: The dialectics of postdigital warfare
12. Techno-Mythology on the Border: The Pandemic Risk Society
13. Camera Surveillance and Barbed Wire
14. The Smart Fence is the Message: EU border barriers as violent media
15. The Deluxe Anti-Terrorist Barrier
16. Struggle and Expand: The Delta Works as colonial technology
Postscript: Artificial techno-myths

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