Author: Adam Fish

Adam Fish is cultural anthropologist, video producer, and senior lecturer in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University. He employs ethnographic and creative methods to investigate how media technology and political power interconnect. Using theories from political economy and new materialism, he examines digital industries and digital activists. His book Technoliberalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) describes his ethnographic research on the politics of internet video in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. His co-authored book After the Internet (Polity, 2017) reimagines the internet from the perspective of grassroots activists and citizens on the margins of political and economic power. He is presently working on a book about hacktivist prosecution called Hacker States and a book and experimental video called System Earth Cable about “elemental media”–atmospheric and undersea information infrastructures in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Iceland, and Indonesia.

On Permissionless Innovation

On Permissionless Innovation

Many libertarians in Silicon Valley are advocates for permissionless innovation. They eschew waiting around for permission from a nanny state. They are impatient and see themselves above the law. On the one hand you can understand this. They have a good idea, a good product and they want to roll it out, people want to use, it may create jobs, for instance with Grab in Indonesia, which has created 10,000 of jobs in delivery. This approach makes sense perhaps for {+}

Drone Capitalism

Drone Capitalism

In recent article, Drone Capitalism, author Michael Richardson makes a number of expected and acceptable oversights in recent scholarship on UAVs. I tend to be rough with it but I do indeed like a lot of it. Here are my thoughts—unsolicited and polemical. I’ve just finished 6 months of working with drone activists around the world and am on my arrogant high-horse. Its all meant in the spirit of support and collaboration. Seeing the drone through a critique of capitalism, {+}

Drones and Witnessing the Anthropocene

Drones and Witnessing the Anthropocene

Drones sense from afar and see from a distance. They go where people can go but won’t because of cost to life or capital. Piloting precariously above coral reefs, palm oil plantations, and primary forests is not safe with a helicopter nor cost-effective. So we use drones; risk is transferred from human bodies to technology and capital costs. In these efforts, we are able to witness-from afar, with capital but little bodily risk—earth and human entanglements. In many instances this witnessing {+}

Drone Justice

Drone Justice

There is a lot of propaganda around drones being “disruptive” technologies. I have been empirically testing the disruptive potentials of drone practices through many diverse contexts throughout the world. Between 2015 to just a few days ago I’ve been conducting participatory and ethnographic fieldwork with drone operators, inventors, entrepreneurs, fanatics, artists, and activists in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Australia, the US—including Los Angeles and Native America—and the North Atlantic—Iceland, Scotland, Denmark, and the UK trying to see how this flying Turing {+}

What flying a drone above the Agung volcano in Bali teaches us about the computerisation of the earth

What flying a drone above the Agung volcano in Bali teaches us about the computerisation of the earth

For the 100,000 or so people who had to leave their homes last month, and the equal numbers of travellers stuck on, or unable to get to Bali—the eruption of the Agung volcano has been devastating. But this has been a fascinating time for a scholar like myself who investigates the use of drones—unmanned and unwomanned aerial vehicles—in social justice, environmental activism, and crisis preparedness. Amazon drone delivery is developing in the UK, drone blood delivery is happening in Rwanda, {+}