[ARENA] (fwd) Call for Papers: The Ethics of Waste in the Information Society

Andreas Broeckmann ab mikro.in-berlin.de
Terça-Feira, 24 de Março de 2009 - 18:28:20 WET

Call for Papers

Network Ecologies: The Ethics of Waste in the Information Society

Call for Papers for Vol. 11 (02/2009)
by Soenke Zehle, Matthias Feilhauer

Deadline for extended abstracts: May 1, 2009
Notification of acceptance to authors: May 15, 2009
Deadline for full articles: July 15, 2009
Deadline for revised articles: August 15, 2009
Publication: August 2009


The (emergent) transnational network of organizing around  
environmental and social justice issues in the global networks of  
electronics production is arguably the most vital area of  'network  
culture' when it comes to broader ecopolitical concerns. Given the  
fetishization of dematerialization-through-technology of an earlier  
generation of cyberlibertarian theorizing, we consider these efforts  
to have significance beyond the already broad array of issues related  
to the toxicity of computers and its implications to workers, users,  
and the environment.

The contemporary environmental justice movement has  already (and  
successfully) criticized conceptual frameworks that consider  
environmentalism a post-materialist luxury rather than a matter of  
survival, and made  visible the 'coloniality' of a wilderness  
tradition that had underwritten territorial expansion across the US  
and in other parts of the world. Yet while its organizational dynamic  
already incolves questions of historial and political epistemology,  
few people look to ecopolitics as a vehicle to advance broader causes  
of (cultural, economic, political, social) justice.  Which is why,  
for this issue of IRIE, we would like to invite suggestions on how  
our new (and old) networking machines might become the pragmata of a  
new ecopolitics, true ?matters of concern? (Bruno Latour) of info- 
ethical reflection.

With this issue, IRIE, dedicated to the development of information  
ethics as reflexive practice and conceptual horizon, aims to engage  
the broad range of materialities involved in acts and processes of  
communication, information, and knowledge production. This includes,  
but is not limited to, the very instruments we employ, use, and  
discard in ever-shorter cycles of consumption, outpacing our efforts  
to develop appropriate mechanisms of disposal and recycling : from  
old television sets to lcd and plasma displays, from old disk drives  
to flash cards and rfid chips. Used locally, but designed, produced,  
and discarded across the world, the usage of these instruments ?  
things - raises a host of questions whose technical and political  
questions are increasingly being explored, but whose info-ethical  
dimensions deserve greater attention as they may requires us to  
revisit cherished assumptions regarding the scope and desirability of  
information-societal developments as we know them.

Electronics activism has already defined an agenda of environmental  
and social justice, drawing on number of perspectives such as  
environmental debt, environmental and resource rights, political and  
social ecology, resource efficiency, and occupational health and  
safety. In addition to giving rise to concrete initiatives in the  
areas of fair production, procurement, and disposal, these activisms  
also encourage a reappropriation of notion of sustainability. Since  
the UN 'Earth Summit' in 1992, sustainability has featured  
prominently in policy initiatives. And while for some, it has been  
discredited by its vagueness and widespread subordination to  
corporate visisons of self-regulation it might be revitalized to  
refer to the outcomes of (inevitable) ecological distribution  
conflicts, encouraging ecopolitics to venture beyond consensus- 
oriented paradigms of environmental governance. Such broader  
ecopolitical perspectives (or network ecologies, the term we would  
like to suggest as an umbrella concept) can serve as an integrative  
idiom to combine important vectors of inquiry that open up more  
general descriptions of the contemporary conjuncture.

We therefore invite contributors to reflect on the question of a  
'sustainable' information society from within an ecopolitical, info- 
ethical horizon. Suggested topics include:

No single injunction to reuse or reycle will resonate across all  
net.cultures. What role do questions of translation, inter- and  
transculturality play in the articulation of new ecopolitical  

Can info-ethics avoid the conceptual deadend of a culture/nature  
divide in its exploration of a politics of nature by way of engaging  
process-oriented, procedural perspectives on political ecology? If  
so, how does it address questions of agency and accountability?

What is the link between such network ecologies and aesthetic  
regimes, from postcolonial analysis of how 'we' have looked at nature  
to artists developing an ecopolitical aesthetics of disappearance?

What role might the open, decentralized creation of hard- and  
software play in the creation of sustainable ICT infrastructures?

The transnational networks of design, production, and disposal  
involve large numbers of migrant workers, often concentrated in  
export-orientated economic zones partially exempt from national  
(environmental, social) regulation. What role do questions of labor  
and the transformation of sovereignty play in the articulation of new  
ecopolitical perspectives?

What role do ICTs play in other ecopolitical controversies (climate  
change, water, food security)?


Greenpeace. Chemical contamination at e-waste recycling and disposal  
sites in Accra and Korforidua, Ghana. 2008.

Grossmann, Elizabeth. High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden  
Toxics, and Human Health. Washington et al: Island Press, 2006.

Latour, Bruno, and Peter Weibel, eds. Making Things Public:  
Atmospheres of Democracy. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.

Latour, Bruno. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into  
Democracy. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Harvard  
University Press, 2004.

Pellow, David Naguib. The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental  
Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy. New  
York: New York University Press, 2003.

Smith, Ted, et al., eds. Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and  
Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry.  
Philadelphia: Temple U niversity Press, 2006.

Stengers, Isabelle. ?Un engagement pour le possible.? Cosmopolitiques  
1 (Juin 2002). 27-36.

UNEP-Vital-Graphics. Vital Waste Graphics. E-Waste - The great e- 
waste recycling debate. October 2004. <http://www.grida.no/ 

Schauer, Thomas, Markus Neuvonen, Matti Penttilae, eds. Information  
Technology, Competitiveness and the Environment. <http:// 

Schauer, Thomas. The Sustainable Information Society - Vision and  
Risiks. <http://www.clubofrome.at/archive/sustainable-information- 


Good Electronics Network <http://goodelectronics.org>
SACOM <http://sacom.hk/>
Taiwan Environmental Action Network <http://www.iepanet.org/>
Toxics Link <http://www.toxicslink.org/>
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition <http://www.etoxics.org>
Basel Action Network <http://ban.org/>

Abstracts and Submissions

Potential authors must provide an extended abstract (max. 1500 words)  
by May 1, 2009. Abstracts may be submitted in the native language of  
the author though an English translation of this abstract must be  
included if the chosen language is not English. IRIE will publish  
articles in English, French, German, Portuguese or Spanish. The author 
(s) of contributions in French, Portuguese, or Spanish must nominate  
at least two potential peer reviewers. Abstracts will be evaluated by  
the guest editors. The authors will be informed of acceptance or  
rejection by May 15, 2009. Deadline for the final article (usually  
ca. 3.000 words or 20.000 characters including blanks) is July 15,  
2009. All submissions will be subject to peer review. Therefore the  
acceptance of an extended abstract does not imply the publication of  
the final text (August 2009) unless the article has passed the peer  
review. For more information about the journal see: <http://www.i-r-i- 

Please send your abstracts to the guest editors at:

Soenke Zehle <s.zehle  mx.uni-saarland.de>
Matthias Feilhauer <matthi  stdio.info>

Mais informações acerca da lista ARENA