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Authors: Christopher Reimer*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Digital Political Ecology, Digital Oceans, Environmental Governance, Sensing, Smart Earth, Post-Politics, Socioecological Justice, Digital Justice
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper attempts to download the intellectual codebase of a digital political ecology of the ocean. An at-present scrambled field of study, the authors I engage with seek to understand the history and politics of these ‘wet’ and ‘resistant’ techno-socio-ecological spaces, with a particular sensitivity to power (im)balances and shifting (im)materialities therein. In the process, I attempt to wrangle, refine, and eventually relay how ‘digital ocean frontiers’ – a conception I synthesize from contemporary oceanic and critical digital geographies – are increasingly salient spaces for either realizing or relinquishing more just and robust (inter)planetary futures.

As technocratic, post-political assemblages of stakeholders lead global efforts to ‘become-with’ our abstracted, unruly, and potentially paradigm-shifting digital oceans, I call for an urgent influx of critical social scientists and reflexive practitioners to engage with this emergent space of mediated (and increasingly automated) human-nature interaction. I close by posing the question: What futures might digital oceans load onto screens and into a/effective imaginaries?

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