The lit world: living with everyday urban automation

Pink, S and Sumartojo, E 2018, 'The lit world: living with everyday urban automation', Social and Cultural Geography, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 833-852.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The lit world: living with everyday urban automation
Author(s) Pink, S
Sumartojo, E
Year 2018
Journal name Social and Cultural Geography
Volume number 19
Issue number 7
Start page 833
End page 852
Total pages 20
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract In this article, we develop and advance the concept of the lit world by bringing together literatures about everyday lighting, automation in everyday life and human perception, along with our ethnographic research into people's experience of automated lighting in Melbourne, Australia. In doing so we formulate and argue for an approach to automation that situates it as part of everyday mundane worlds and acknowledges its entanglement with the emergent and experiential qualities of everyday environments as they unfold. We demonstrate this through the example of automated lighting, understood as a situated technology that has contingent effects and participates in the making of particular ways of seeing and feeling the world. We thereby argue for an account of automation that reaches beyond its potential for the management of human (and other) behaviour, to ask how the qualities and affordances of automated technologies might seep out of their intended domains, and create new perceptual and experiential opportunities. In a context where automation is increasingly prevalent in everyday life, such attention to the experience and use of automated technologies which already exist on a large scale is needed. Urban lighting is an example par excellence of automation in the world because it has a long history beyond the recent association of automated technologies with code and digital infrastructures. As scholars debate how automated technologies will become part of our future digital lives, understanding how people live in a lit world offers a starting point for considering how we might live with other anticipated algorithmic forms of automation.
Subject Social and Cultural Anthropology
Social and Cultural Geography
Keyword(s) automation
ethnography
everyday
Light
lit world
urban environment
DOI - identifier 10.1080/14649365.2017.1312698
Copyright notice © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN 1464-9365
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