Peter Schaefer, “Dematerialized Infrastructures: On the Ethereal Origins of Local Area Networks”

Peter Schaefer’s concise take on “Dematerialized Infrastructures” is a little history of the “ether,” from its origins as a concept in nineteenth-century physics to its incorporation into the portmanteaux “Ethernet” ("Ether Network") in the 1970s. In either case, the ether functions as a material metaphor for the immaterial properties of wireless networking, thereby serving as a reminder of …

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Mark Wigley, “Network Fever”

In spite of its title, Mark Wigley’s “Network Fever” bears little resemblance to Derrida’s Archive Fever. For Derrida, catching “archive fever” means having “a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement” (91). …

Friedrich Kittler, “The City is a Medium”

It has become a commonplace in media studies to point out the visual similarities between cities and circuit boards. In "The City is a Medium," Friedrich Kittler highlights a more conceptual link between urban infrastructures and information technologies. According to Kittler, "a network made up of intersecting networks dissects and connects the city—in particular its fringes, peripheries, and …