standby

submission deadline  
15 May 2019
call for papers pdf  

Issue Editors: Laura Kemmer, Annika Kühn, Vanessa Weber and Birke Otto

Standby, in its technical sense, refers to devices that are neither on nor off. It designates an operating state in which, despite apparent shutdown, energy continues to flow to guarantee sudden reactivation. However, the term does not only appear in  technological data sheets or user manuals. Standby increasingly acts as a mode of organizing in our daily life worlds. Comparable to the ‘sleep mode’ of a laptop, workers use non-active phases to recharge which, unlike designated breaks, constitute a state in which they must be ready to be re-activated at any time. While being on standby is a common experience amongst professionals such as medical doctors or service personnel, more and more sectors require such availability ‘on short call’. However, it is not only humans but also the material and technical elements of our infrastructures that remain under constant tension. From transport terminals... more

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