Category Archives: Value

Trading on Obsolescence on the Streets of Hong Kong

The leveraging of the temporal lag between the developed and the developing world by these local street vendors enables them to generate additional value from the discarded. Second-hand goods becomes the means to access the consumer society that is characteristic of global cities.

The Value of Time and the Temporality of Value in Socialities of Waste

Drawing from long-term ethnographic research on a 25-year-old medical aid program linking the U.S. and Madagascar, I use this brief essay to trace how Malagasy and American participants engender different orientations to time through their work with discards, as they transform both discards’ value and the social relations surrounding them.

Emergent Socialities of Waste

As the excesses, effluents, and excreta of larger social spheres are discarded, discounted, and possibly denigrated, what happens at those margins where they recirculate? What fissures in prevailing circulatory structures might we uncover, and how do people appropriate the myriad of social and material utility that persists therein? We explore the ways in which the materialities of waste, rubbish, refuse, debris, castoffs, and pollution enable new forms of sociality marked by generative practices of survival, adaptation, and critique.

Special Issue on Discards, Diverse Economies, and Degrowth

Why do new economic imaginaries need to take up waste as a central issue? What do novel, non-capitalist economies mean for concepts and materialities of waste?

Archaeogaming and punk archeology in discard studies

Archaeogaming is as much about exploring and conducting archaeology within gaming environments (virtual space) as it is about understanding the history of video games in the real world (meat space).
What are the frontiers in discard studies that would benefit from punk archeology?

R-RIPARABILE? How should we design for repairability – May 31

There’s an interesting call for projects looking for “the most innovative projects in which repairability plays a significant role in the world.” It is a call for the converse of discard and disposability. From the site: There is a growing demand for longer lasting objects, things that are no longer destined to die the first […]
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Trash is a Wicked Problem

By Max Liboiron One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Waste is inherently ambivalent. It is both worthless and the basis for a billion dollar, recession-proof industry, complete with cartels and multinational companies. Disgust with filth both reaffirms our identities and troubles us. But a plethora of contradictory terms and values is not what makes […]
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New Book: Contract & Contagion

*Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia* Angela Mitropoulos Review from H-net: Contract and Contagion presents a theoretical approach for understanding the complex shifts of post-Fordism and neoliberalism by way of a critical reading of contracts, and through an exploration of the shifting politics of the household. It focuses on the salient question of capitalist futurity in order […]
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Article Alert- Garbage matters: Concepts in new geographies of waste

Progress in Human Geography just published Sarah A. Moore’s “Garbage Matters: Concepts in new geographies of waste.” An excerpt: “In order to demonstrate the myriad ways that waste disturbs, I therefore abstract the concepts from their roles as lenses in particular subfields, and focus instead on how each concept relates to two questions: how is waste defined (as a positivity or negativity) […]
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Plums for Trash and the Object Ethnography Project: Praxis-Based Value Networks

Artist Christina Freeman began her MFA thesis project, Plums for Trash, by taking a suitcase full of odds and ends she didn’t need from New York City to outdoor markets throughout Sofia, Bulgaria. She traded her objects in these markets, often for objects that had been pulled out of the waste stream. She made this […]
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