Mapping the Cybernetic Supernode 

A panel on the global supply chain at the David Brower Center.

Devices such as iPhones can seem like little, abstracted containers of magic that merely appear in our mailbox once purchased. With little understanding of the technology that makes them run, consumers often also neglect to consider how they are manufactured — who mined the materials, who assembled the parts, and who transported the finished products. For “Mapping the Cybernetic Supernode,” coming up at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley) on November 30, four panelists will illuminate such details in a discussion of the global supply chain and the Bay Area’s influential role in determining how products are produced, circulated, and consumed globally. First, Empire Logistics, a research mapping project that visualizes infrastructure and “externalized costs” as interactive maps for use by artists, activists, and educators, will present the tools they have to offer. Then, panelists Peter Olney (former director of organizing for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union), Charmaine Chua (political ethnographer of container shipping), Anna Tsing (UC Santa Cruz anthropology professor and author of the essay “Supply Chains and the Human Condition”), and Jasper Bernes (poet, essayist, and co-editor of Commune Editions press) will speak on the topic.

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