Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationArizona, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9421
Approve DateApril 18, 2017
Project TitleLynch, Casey R., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Technosocial Entanglements and Contested Urban Futures: Producing Space, Citizens, and Economies in the Technological City,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Del Casino
CASEY R. LYNCH, then a graduate student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a grant in April 2017 to aid research on “Technosocial Entanglements and Contested Urban Futures: Producing Space, Citizens, and Economies in the Technological City,” supervised by Dr. Vincent Del Casino. During the grant period, the grantee completed ethnographic fieldwork on a grassroots movement for “technological sovereignty” in Barcelona. The TS movement is a network of collectives, projects, and initiatives focused on re-claiming decentralized democratic control over processes of technological change in urban life. Based on my participant observation and interviews with TS activists, this dissertation makes key empirical and theoretical contributions to ongoing debates over the politics of “smart city” infrastructures. In particular, it explores the production of urban space, alternative economies, and critical digital subjectivities in the TS movement, describing the ways activists experiment with new technological practices that iteratively reshape the more-than-human constitutive relations of urban life. The practices include a community wireless network building its own broadband internet infrastructure, a network of technology worker cooperatives, community managed servers for web hosting and email, and an open-source internet of things sensing network. The dissertation moves beyond critiques of the “smart city” as an approach to urban governance to explore more broadly the complex imbrications between processes of urban change and digital innovation, and the possibilities for alternative models of digital development in urban life.