Three Geomedia

Cubitt, Sean. 2017. Three Geomedia. Ctrl-Z, 7, ISSN 2200-8616 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Working on the same principles as the phonograph, but reading tremblings of the ground rather than of the air, scratching out in real time invisible actions in visible form, the seismograph betrays its origins in the mechanical era. Today a second, more arithmetic form of data visualisation diagrams a numerical data set such as the one derived from instrument systems in place to monitor the health of the Animas River. A third form, financial visualisation software in commodity markets, not only gives direct accounts of geology (reserves), human interventions in them (extraction) and simulations of their likely use (futures) but actively produce those futures by fixing future trading prices. These three geomedia - vectoral analogues, numerical translations, and direct data – have significantly different means for handling time, with implications for the increasingly punctual subjects they presume, to the extent that it is not at all clear that the subjectivities they address, enable or create are human.

Item Type:



workplace media, geology, scientific instruments, data visualisation, sesimography, river monitoring, finance software.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


10 January 2017Accepted

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Date Deposited:

12 May 2017 13:06

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2018 14:39

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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