Beyond breakdown: Exploring Regimes of Maintenance

Discard Studies

By Jérôme Denis, David Pontille
This article was originally published in continent 6(1) under a CC BY 2.0 license. 

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? To address these questions, we propose to examine three dimensions that we think can help in identifying regimes of maintenance: the distribution of maintenance practices, the kinds of objects that are enacted through them, and the ecology of the visible and invisible at…

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On Fearless Girl, women & public art; or, no, seriously, the guy does not have a point. 

Caroline Criado-Perez

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You have probably seen this blog on Fearless Girl vs Charging Bull which has been floating around social media the past couple of days. Yesterday I had a minor tweet rant in response, and apparently I am not done. So here is a blog of My Thoughts™ on the matter.

First, the fact that Greg Fallis’s blog lays out extra context, for example the SHE inscription, is good (notwithstanding his grating Reasonable Objective Man explaining to you silly people who don’t like history tone). Context and facts are always to be welcomed.

That aside, his take is garbage. Here’s why.

I spent a weekend last year counting all the statues in the UK’s Public Monuments and Statue’s database (ikr). I wrote about it in full here, but here’s a brief summary:

  • Out of 925 statues, only 158 were of women standing alone (the figure for men was 508). If you count group shots, the number of female…

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Holocaust Memorial Day

Elisha Gabriel

auschwitz

Seventy years.

Over the decades the stories and memories become deeper.

The first German lesson. Did anyone know any. Yes, I said:

Nichts rauchen

Nichts essen

Nichts wasser

How did I know?

They were in camps in the war.

We bend, but we do not break.

We live to sing and dance

We live with libraries in our souls.

You are as big on the inside as the universe is on the outside.

Make a library in your heart for everyone.

Work does not make free. It enslaves us. Love makes us free.

Expression makes us free. The wind makes us free.

Always and forever we will sing and dance.

Be humble for you are made of earth

Be noble for you are made of stars

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Book Week Scotland: A wee bunch of DAFTies, Banff Castle

Aoife Lyall

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The great thing about Book Week Scotland is that is gives authors the confidence to host events all over the country, and audiences the confidence to attend them.

Hosted by Carmilla Vioez, the DAFT Writers’ event at Banff Castle, on 25th November 2016, was a well-attended, diverse, and engaging evening for all involved.  Vioez skilfully brought together a unique range of authors, from a variety of genres and disciplines; genre fiction, biography, poetry and the short story all came together, giving the audience a real flavour of contemporary Scottish writing.

With just a couple of spare seats, the Huntly Writers started us off with two of their members reading from the group’s anthology Open with Care.  The first story was cut short at a particularly tantalising moment, while the second steadily unnerved all present as we struggled to hang onto our sense of reality in a surreal world of…

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