The Abandoned and Ephemeral Spaces of the Internet

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Balcony L, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Vincent Miller
Chairs: Vincent Miller


In recent years, Geography has seen a rebirth of interest and appreciation of the abandoned, ruined and neglected spaces of modernity, particularly within the context of deindustrialisation. However, with a quarter of a century behind it, the 'post-industrial' space of the Web has itself already turned into a space of abandonment, ruin and blight. On the one hand, the ephemerality of many online spaces and objects articulate the ontological fragility of the digital, thus creating concerns over curation and archiving. Yet, many abandoned or neglected virtual spaces also remain, frozen in an eternal present. From abandoned websites, to emoji landscapes, to ephemeral geographies of cyberwarfare, to networked reconfigurations of 'home' among mobile professionals, spaces of abandonment, loss, and neglect sit alongside the transient and fleeting, both endemic to the internet and, unlike the industrial ruin, are mostly hidden from view, although never far away.

In the spirit of urban exploration and 'ruin porn', this session is devoted to an examination and appreciation of a variety of abandoned, ephemeral, and lost digital spaces, and from a variety of perspectives including:

* Online depictions of offline ruin, loss, abandonment and neglect
* Philosophical issues around time, identity, ephemerality and narrative
* Affective experiences of nostalgia, memory, loss, and 'home'
* Political-economic issues around digital capitalism, creative destruction and cyberwarfare


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Peter Conlin*, Coventry University, at a Standstill: Semi-neglect in online and offline environments 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Tim Highfield*, QUT Digital Media Research Centre, Emoji worlds, imagined cities, and possible landscapes: The fleeting geographies of Twitter bots 20 2:20 PM
Presenter Jenny Jansdotter*, Karlstad University, Home is Here and There and Nowhere - Academic Nomads in the Digital Age 20 2:40 PM
Presenter Cameran Ashraf*, Central European University, The Spatiality of Power in Internet Control and Cyberwar 20 3:00 PM

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