The Undersea Network: An Interview

Nicole Starosielski’s new book brings an environmental and ecological consciousness to the study of digital media and digital systems, and it is a must-read. The Undersea Network (Duke University Press, 2015) looks carefully and imaginatively at the geography of undersea cable networks, paying special attention to the materiality of network infrastructure and its relationships with the histories of the Pacific. The book revises what we think we know about the infrastructure of global networks: they are not “wireless,” but wired; not rhizomatic and distributed, but semicentralized; not deterritorialized, but “territorially entrenched”; not resilient, but precarious and vulnerable; and not urban, but rural and aquatic. We talked about it for the New Books in STS podcast and you can listen to us here.