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Standby: Organizing modes of in|activity


In the technical sense, standby refers to an operating state in which energy continues to flow despite an apparent shutdown, thus allowing for sudden reactivation. However, the term ‘standby’ extends to realms beyond electronic devices, and it has long since shaped the work environments of people such as medical practitioners, military troops, or airplane staff. Following up on this observation, this special issue of ephemera explores how standby acts as an ordinary mode of organizing sociomaterial lifeworlds.

Repurposing the hacker: Three cycles of recuperation in the evolution of hacking and capitalism


Back in 2010, when 3D printing was at the peak of the hype-cycle, activists from the Swedish Pirate Party showed up at an IKEA trade fair and solemnly announced that it was only a matter of time before 3D printing would disrupt the furniture industry, just like it happened to the record industry after Napster.

The state of things

Today we live in a vastly transformed state of things: the artifice of artefacts is evident all around us. A parliament of communicationtechnologies, from RFIDS to Bluetooth devices, constantly exchange information and network all around and through us. Wireless networks of communication, control, and cooperation proliferate in mysterious ways, all speaking an infra-language of organization, inscribing new techniques of governance.

The game of hospitality


Our story begins one winter’s night at a school in the Danish city of Aarhus. Present at the event are the parents of children who have attended the school for six months. They have been welcomed by the pedagogical leader[1] of the school, and together they have sung a Danish children’s song. They have been divided into groups of four or five and are now seated at tables with coffee and cookies, which some of the parents have prepared.

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