Labour, mining, dispossession: on the performance of earth and the necropolitics of digital culture

Abstract

This paper places the territorial politics of digital culture within a material perspective, specifically, through studying forms of labour involved in the mining of rare earths and minerals to generate our digital infrastructures. Following Jussi Parikka’s lead in A Geology of Media (2015), I consider the deeper geological time of mineral formation, and analyse the intersection of labour and medianatures. Drawing attention to the exemplification of supply chain capitalism (Tsing), I look at the scales of violence of mining and the dispossession of bodies implicated in two locations in Congo and Australia in the Global South through the lens of performance studies and critical theory.

Written by Evelyn Wan.


Wan. 2019. Labour, mining, dispossession: on the performance of earth and the necropolitics of digital culture