Data Maintenance

Data Maintenance: On Ecologies of Labor

For Ecologies of Data, edited by Patricia Kim for the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

What does the labor of data maintenance look like? Reading across Ukeles’ “Manifesto for Maintenance Art,” the Art+Feminisms Edit-a-thon, and Raqs Media Collective’s projects, this essay asks how we can visualize what may appear as invisible work. What form might assemblages working toward data maintenance take? How to preserve data that sustains ecologies under the threat of deletion in the Capitalocene?

Image: Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Hartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance Outside, 1973.