Data is airborne; Data is inborn: The labor of the body in technoecologies


  • Mél Hogan



This article presents a feminist argument about the evolution of data storage in relation to the body — from our current state of wirelessness that relies on data centers for processing and containment, to future imaginaries about embedded and embodied storage in our DNA — as technologies of ‘soft surveillance’ that function largely due to a denial of the body tracked and perforated. It begins with an examination of the proliferation of largely invisible wireless communication technology and intersects with a new materialist feminist framework that complicates which bodies come to matter and explores how the body is repositioned in differently labored environments. This article is also an invitation to critically engage with the forces that propel and, in turn, reinforce what counts, persists, and is made visible in pervasive technoecologies, often at the expense of what remains unaccounted for or hidden. It finishes with a provocation about storing data in DNA — the genetic component of all living things — the future inborn counterpart to our current airborne data.

Author Biography

Mél Hogan

Assistant Professor (Environmental Media) in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary.




How to Cite

Hogan, M. (2018). Data is airborne; Data is inborn: The labor of the body in technoecologies. First Monday, 23(3).