infrastructure

Standing by for data loss: Failure, preparedness and the cloud

Introduction

Okay. Now everything on your other phone and on your hard drive is accessible here on the tablet and your new phone, but it’s also backed up in the cloud and in our servers. Your music, your photos, your messages, your data. It can never be lost. You lose this tablet or phone, it takes exactly six minutes to retrieve all your stuff and dump it on the next one. It’ll be here next year and next century. (Brandon, in Dave Eggers’ The Circle, 2013: 43)

Scenes of the bystander

Many trajectories of thought are opened up by the question of standby. Cutting across these trajectories is the assumption that standby is a condition of being available, of being-on-hand. To speculate with standby is to think about the production and emergence of this condition, about how this condition is undergone and experienced, and about how it generates capacities to act. This special issue is an invitation to explore how standby capacities are distributed across and between bodies, devices, and environments.

Big data ecologies

Introduction

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