Invisible Bodies and Forgotten Spaces: Materiality, Toxicity, and Labour in Digital Ecologies

  • Sy Taffel


Discourses surrounding digital media technologies have long focused upon relationships between bodies, spaces, and technologies, but posthuman and cyborgian approaches primarily focus upon the end-users of technology. This chapter explores social and ecological costs attributable to the life-cycle of digital technologies which are often rendered invisible by this focus upon consumption in urban spaces. From the radioactive waste associated with mining rare earth elements, to the workers who earn US$1 a day treating highly toxic e-waste, behind the image of digital culture as “green” and “weightless”, we find numerous bodily harms enacted upon humans and nonhumans overwhelmingly located in spaces far removed from the primary sites of technological consumption.


Corporate Social Responsibility Global Position System Digital Technology Rare Earth Element British Broadcasting Corporation 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sy Taffel
    • 1
  1. 1.Media studiesMassey UniversityAotearoaNew Zealand

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