By the same authors

Discovering the Data-driven City Breakdown and Literacy in the Installation of the Elm Sensor Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

JournalTECNOSCIENZ A Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Nov 2017
DatePublished (current) - 31 Dec 2017
Issue number2
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)81-104
Original languageEnglish


In this article, we examine the role of environmental big data in the installation of an environmental sensor in a UK city. Taking the installation of the Elm sensor as an empirical case study, we understand the installation as incurring an instance of natural breakdown which reveals the contingent work- ings of the device, and places it in the context of the practices of normalisation and stabilisation of the device. We use this to ask questions about the taken for granted smoothing of outputs and the continual elaboration of use and design, alongside the constructive potential for disruptive digital literacies as a site of intervention. By following, empirically, the installation of the technology, we are led to combine, and re-examine, theoretical lines of reasoning about data competences and relationships, and in turn advocate a form of ‘material politics’.

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