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Passé Media: Communication and Transportation on Commuter and Computer Buses

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: This essay proposes the concept of “passé media” as a contribution to scholarship that combines communication and geography, as well as to work that foregrounds background processes of networked, digitized social production. Passé media, communication and transportation technologies that both connect endpoints and are acclaimed only until the next technology arrives, reveal at least three attributes: (1) a novel way to conceptualize mobility, (2) the transformation of use-value to exchange-value, and (3) the continued ecological imprints of digital technologies. To illustrate, we turn to the bus, deployed both for transportation (commuter buses) and communication (computer buses). We argue that the moment of the bus highlights the ways in which spaces of connection are simultaneously privileged and ignored, highlighted and effaced.

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