In 2015, tractor manufacturer John Deere made waves for sending its dealers a letter asserting that when farmers repaired their own John Deere equipment, what they were really doing was violating US copyright law. At the time, this came as news to a lot of farmers: as a characteristically self-sufficient community, they’d always repaired their equipment on their own. How did putting a computer on a tractor change this?
Are you an artist, musician, hacker, tinkerer, or generally a curious person, between 18 and 24 years?
Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.
What is the role of software in planned obsolescence and waste? It may play a greater role than hardware…
Mending, repairing, fixing, restoring, preserving, cleaning, recycling, up-keeping… an immense variety of more or less noticeable practices take part in the maintenance of objects, technologies and infrastructures. In this article we would like to make a first step into questioning such diversity. How can we understand the differences in the ways things are taken care of? What can we learn from the variety of justifications for objects to be mended, fixed, patched up, or patiently restored? In which conditions are these operations considered as important or negligible?
How might thinking through repair in terms of space change how we think about – and practice – repair? In what follows, we describe four cases from our research projects that highlight the spatialities of repair.
Repair and waste share many points of convergence from an analytical perspective (as well as a practical one!). Continent has just released a special issue all about repair:
A walk down this little street in Peru’s capital provides a glimpse into an understated network that quietly plays a critical role in reducing the environmental impacts of our global production and consumption patterns of electronic devices.
This special issue of ephemera aims to investigate contemporary practices of repair as an emergent focus of recent organizing at the intersection of politics, ecology and economy.
The technosphere refers to a new layer on the planet made up of “the interlinked set of communication, transportation, bureaucratic and other systems that act to metabolize fossil fuels and other energy resources.” We write this post to share some lingering thoughts on this theme, including what we think critical discard studies (CDS) might contribute to the technosphere discussion.