Supply Chain Cities - Supply & Command 2018

hi everyone we're gonna get started so we now we're on day two of supply and

command thank you all for coming and thank you to our panelists a very brief

recap of last night it was a really really nice kickoff to the event we

started with a screening of Natasha Raheja's cast in India which is a really

phenomenal film if you haven't seen it I would try to find a way to get access

you can find her work online it's a phenomenal film about the manholes in

New York City and I think she was saying I think I have this right someone

correct me a third of the manholes that across the entire u.s. or maybe it's New

York City I'm not sure I think the us are from this one foundry

is that possible in India in Howrah at least the third of the ones from New

York City anyway so it was a phenomenal sort of sensory ethnography of the

manholes the manhole foundry in Howrah so I would I would check that out if you

can I want to say as I did last night thank you as Matt and I both did to to

Dove, Carlisa, Tracy, and Shima and also a thank you to Becky

Amato from the urban democracy lab these first two morning panels are

co-sponsored by the urban democracy lab they are very excited about these panels

and if you don't know the urban democracy lab please also check them out

their lab here at NYU they have doctoral fellowship program and they do a really

phenomenal programming so thanks to Gianpaolo Baiocchi and and Rebecca Amato

from urban democracy lab we're very excited to be putting conversations

about logistics and supply chains in conversation with Media Studies and so a

lot of themes about sort of how we how we sort of talked about in theorize and

think through sort of the empirics of supply chains and logistics generally in

in the realm of meaning Communication Studies has been a really interesting

conversation and one that we're excited to keep building and I'll just share a

few of those sort of briefly if you have the fun of more of the sort of fun or

themes that came up last night the sort of sensory experience of manhole

surveillance the sounds of logistics Kafka and self optimization salt as

media salty managers sleeping on the job these kinds of things so we're excited

to continue the conversation today and I'll remind everybody we have a hashtag

you know that I'm a new Twitter er tweeter I'm not sure what it is the

hashtag is #supplyandcommand all spelled out yes so we'll start with

our first panel just a brief introduction of the panel

this one is supply chain cities and we have Yair Rubenstein on the uber ization

of everything life and labor and the logistical city

Niccolò Cuppini infrastructural media and labor conflict and northern Italy

Silvia Lindtner pleasures of the hack machines markets supply chains China and

Guillermo León Gómez logistical paradise zones of exclusion and Panama's first

port city so thank you very much and we'll turn it over to Yair

you should do anything with actually I'm gonna say one more thing I'll be I'll be

giving people time signs five minutes one minute and time so please stay

attentive to time but no need to rush through and I'll be right up there hello

can everyone hear me okay thank you everyone so much for coming

this morning and to the organizers of this conference basically just to

provide a little context for this paper it's part of my dissertation project

that I'm currently in the middle of and it's basically trying to kind of extend

the logic of global supply chains to the gig economy for lack of a better word so

it's kind of thinking of logistical rationality being extended into forms of

service labor so that's giving a little background I go into a little bit about

logistics but mostly it's gonna be about the kind of structure of labor for

workers in the gay economy so the HBO comedy series high-maintenance

humorously depicts the vagaries of modern-day life in New York City each

episode consists of two to three different than yets that follow a

revolving set of characters usually a young cosmopolitan couple or a single

middle-class professional what unites them all is their mutual reliance on the

same pot dealer who the show only ever refers to a nice touch of social realism

as the guy as the show's protagonist we follow the guy around New York City as

he makes his deliveries and unwittingly gets entangled in his clients comedic ly

complicated lives from the perspective of his clients the guy's a trusted

confidant an outsider who can offer an objective perspective and a level of

candor that's sorely lacking what their significant others dispensing his

priestly wisdom through a cloud of cannabis the guy's a thread which knits

together the loose community of pot smokers that make up the show's

narrative world as the show's title alludes to the guys job is not only to

deal pot but to maintain his community with the kind of care work and emotional

labor that extends far beyond a disc passionate transactional exchange of

cash for illicit substances redefined as a form of reproductive labor high

maintenance replaces drug dealings former place in pop cultures criminal

underworld with a cosmopolitan network of mostly white couples contending with

the pressures of bourgeois society but beyond its ideological recoding a pot as

thoroughly upper-middle class recreational drug harder drugs of course

remain too risque for Gujarat domestication I want to suggest that the

show is also indicative of the cultural and economic tropes that characterize

what has come to be known as the gig economy the gig economy as I defined for

the purposes of this paper is a form of online labor arbitrage wherein customers

solicit various forms of service labor from platforms that are provided to them

through their computer or mobile phone whether that involves hailing a ride

from your uber app commissioning a programmer on Mechanical Turk to compile

a set of code we're finding someone on TaskRabbit to apologize to your

boyfriend your behalf that's actually a real example by the way the gig economy

facilitates all kinds of service labor available on demand while not

necessarily a legally sanctioned arm of the gig economy the guy on high

maintenance is in many ways its most ideal typical worker first he satisfies

many of the geek economy's technical protocols we watch in each episode how

he relies on his cell phone to navigate the demands of his clients who are

spread across the city like other gig workers his phone puts him on call

nearly 24 hours a day from responding to his clients emergency weed shortages

along with scheduling regular deliveries the guy the guy is a gig worker at par

excellence but his archetypal role in the gig

economy is expressed not only by the formal composition of his labor the guy

also represents the gig economy is desire to deracinated growing pool of

contract workers thus as I argue in this paper high-maintenance reclass is drug

dealing as a quirky fun and engaging service for urban gentrify errs in

exactly the same way that the gig economy imagines its workers as a hip

and cool subset of resourceful self-starting and upwardly mobile young

as I'll demonstrate such recategorize ation leverages the language of hip-hop

culture in order to make gig work look desirable while simultaneously

suppressing the social and economic realities of the cultures it exploits to

read class gig work as both cool and low-paying requires the gig economy to

strike a delicate balance while it must ensure above all else that its contract

workers remain low paid and disposable it must simultaneously burnish its

reputation as revolutionary and forward-thinking the necessity to appear

both cool and cost-effective is not simply some abstract neoliberal dictum

dutifully followed by the gig economy and its principal stakeholders rather

the long-term fiscal viability of companies like uber lyft and tatts Revit

hinges most crucially on projecting an image of profitability and

entrepreneurial vision to its investors so far however nearly all gig companies

continue to be either revenue neutral or massively in debt thus to keep

attracting luxurious amounts of venture capital for what remains a propolis

industry the gig economy must continually convey the image of its

revolutionary potential all the while economizing on its actual operating

costs in other words it must keep its labor cheap and its image expensive this

dual mandate is precisely why labor is reimagined by the game I can't keep

saying gig it's just like I'm sorry the gig economy as a bohemian and cool

lifestyle liberated from the humdrum existence of the nine-to-five world and

full of creative self-starters who march to the beat of their own drummer slide 1

we see here a bus ad by the labor platform Fiverr which perfectly sums up

the gang economy's ethos proclaiming quote nothing like a safe reliable

paycheck to crush your soul I'm still the verdict is still out whether it

really crushes your soul I would I wouldn't know myself because I'm part of

the gig economy's entire social milieu right of course the very real precarity

and insecurities implied by fiverr statement is completely collided the

reality of loped a dangerous work conditions and social alienation is

nowhere to be found in the bright and optimistic ad campaigns

that now pepper much of the urban landscape far from the freewheeling

existence celebrated by its marketing material gig workers are more likely to

feel overburdened and exhausted from the cycle of short term contracts unproduced

unpredictable schedules and unsteady paychecks that dominate their lives

while flexible ization and precarity have always been an immigrant services

radically altered its composition by reconstructing it along the access of

logistical rationality as I argue the computational and communicative

technologies developed by logistical science once used to administer the

circulation of commodities in the supply chain has now been extended to intervene

in the circulation of service labor this logistic cessation of service labor is

most acutely reflected by the rise of labor arbitrage platforms pioneered by

Amazon's Mechanical Turk an online platform that solicits micro work from

coders and programmers platform labor has now expanded to include many parts

of the service sector from personal transport to laundry pick up common to

all platforms driven gig labor is its emphasis on time criticality while

efficient time management has always been critical to any service industry

the access by which it is measured by online platforms is qualitatively

different than previous labor markets unlike brick-and-mortar service

businesses platforms primarily contract their services from customers mobile

devices for this reason productivity is not only question of ensuring a steady

stream of labor but supplying it at a precise time and place on-demand service

labor in other words is punctuated by a series of critical moments the horizon

of labor time stretches only as far as the immediate demand required required

within a specific geolocations so you know the paradigmatic example would be

arranging to pick up an uber right so you have to be at a certain place at a

certain time the uber coordinates with you to find you and you go in the Hoover

so on so forth this is what ultimately connects the logistical rationality of

both platform labor and the global supply chain like the just-in-time

production of supply chain capitalism platforms require the logistical

precision of what legal scholar Valerio Stefano has

/ - as quote the just-in-time workhorse in both cases demand is satisfied by a

never-ending circulation of capital that is distributed across a vast network of

discrete locations in this newly emerging labor market digital platforms

are the just-in-time workhorses primary material architects platform set the

ground rules for how the just-in-time workforce functions by designing the

interfaces and code which determine the processes by which their labor is

distributed and contracted out of all the platforms responsible for

constructing the just-in-time workforce perhaps no other epitomizes of this

tendency more than the ride-hailing app uber since its founding in 2009 uber has

quickly grown to become the most dominant ride share app in the US and

Europe as of may 2017 uber controls 77% of the United States

ride share market I haven't looked up the recent figures up I assume it's

somewhere around that still but anyone who knows specifically please let me

know while its dominance has declined in tandem with its many public

controversies uber nonetheless remains the paradigmatic platform of today's

on-demand service economy for instance consider the many startups marketed as

quote the uber of grocery delivery or the uber of lawn care or the uber of

laundry these are instant instacart green powell and drive with a why for

some reason respectively each one I just mentioned

as a technical design model and a cultural trope the rise of so-called

uber ization suggests about its impact extends far beyond his challenge to the

traditional taxi industry rather goober has imprinted itself on the cultural

imagination of the app driven economy writ large goobers cultural and economic

power means it faces little to no competition from other rideshare apps

that's one of the only games in town drivers are given no choice but to

assent to pursue a path of optimal contractual terms overall the bathroom

Uber's regular drivers pays meager Tay and highly precarious working conditions

a recent report found that median wages for uber drivers were around eight

dollars and 55 cents per hour slightly below many states minimum wage laws such

a figure should hardly surprise us as uber has aggressively lobbied municipal

holidays all over the world to undercut legal protections for its drivers uber

has ensured that its drivers remain classified as contractors to preempt

enforcement of any legal obligations that would undoubtedly expand if they're

quote driver partners as they like to call them

we're reclassified as just regular taxi drivers but how does movers cutthroat

maneuvers and exploitative practices affect its public image and perhaps more

importantly its ability to continue soliciting venture capital while it has

faced scrutiny for its legally questionable machinations more recently

its former CEO Travis kalanick Girish behavior which I'm sure we are all

familiar with in some way or another despite that the brutal reality of ubers

low pay and unsafe working conditions remains overshadowed by the Zubrin

attitude it continues to receive from investors and the mainstream press

perhaps it is because it's not wanting to risk their investment the financial

class has as much interest in concealing ubers labor policies as the company

itself but beyond simply covering up or distracting the public from the reality

of its business practices uber has also attempted to assuage public scrutiny by

converting the reality of its meager pay into a hip and cool way of earning extra

money on the side

for instance here we see a screenshot from its recent advertising campaign to

recruit new drivers the commercial profiles the supposedly typical driver

who zips from her uber ship to her stand as a personal trainer to finally

relaxing in a tub after a satisfying day at gig work as we can see she's very

happy with her life here here the cultural expectation engendered by uber

is one we're gigging is fun attractive and profitable all at the same time

uber thus deploys an ideological strategy to convert the vagaries of

precarity and short-term work into positive and rewarding qualities

furthermore the commercials verbal and visual language shows that uber rather

awkwardly attempts to adopt the vernacular of black urban cool to

rebrand itself as a casual and fun form of part-time work viewers are instructed

to quote get their side hustle on which I don't know if you guys can see the

caption here but she says these days anyone can have a side hustle

so this dubiously racialized discourse communicates to potential drivers that

uber is a hip way to earn extra money blackness and Hypnose are synonymous

with one another creating both a commodified and a centralized depiction

of black American culture along with commodifying black American culture at

the commercial also foregrounds domestic femininity as we see in the second in

the screenshot on the right with her in the in the bathtub

perhaps it is deployed to softened but company's macho image whose public

controversies surrounding the treatment of its female employees has led many to

condemn its corporate culture as hostile to women but I argue it also points to

the historical relation between feminization and service labor where and

women are consigned to unpaid and underpaid forms of care labor

reproductive labor and other low-wage work for uber the feminized form of

address we see in its advertising content engenders an expectation of big

work not only as lower paying than traditionally masculine eyes labor but

one that necessitates a sensitivity and emotional intelligence that is

apparently uniquely suited to women's work most importantly ubers advertising

strategy demonstrates that its growth strategies are not only executed

litigious ly through back-channel deals and aggressive lobbying campaigns

it also brandishes cultural tropes many of which employ racist and sexist

stereotypes to market itself to the public it's an attractive way to earn

money in between doing what you're passionate about or aspiring to become

lubbers flimsy attempts to remediate if controversial image in the public sphere

exemplifies the limits to which the gig economy can simply re-engineer the so

sheís in order to execute its mandates of maximal maximal efficiency

flexibility and economization beyond transforming the jurisdictional

economic and technical composition of labor the gig economy it requires more

diffuse forms of hegemonic power such as social legitimacy local authority and

cultural influence in other words to become an economic dominant and must

also solidify itself as a cultural dominant a move then assess it AIT's

more than just technical and legal challenges to the labor market it must

intervene at the level of language to effects a long term cultural

expectations of precarious and flexible work as the new social norm by

incorporating the Sabbagh symbolic economy of black urban culture into the

world of platform driven service labor the gig economy constructs an image of a

hip and young workforce but one that does away with the attendant social

reality as a black urban experience and for that matter the black working class

altogether the only reality purposely left in place

by the gig economy is the expectation of low pay at regular hours and lacks

regulation unsurprisingly the precarious nature of gig labor is deliberately

under emphasized by two main arbiters and as I have shown even recoded as both

a virtue and a profitable form of self branding ultimately ubers ideal typical

image of a freewheeling urban gig worker is perfectly embodied by the character

of the guy in high-maintenance combining emotional sensitivity hip nosov 'as a

tional resourcefulness the guy embodies the gig economy's project to remake work

into a precarious and deracinated form of urban social reproduction


hello what I'm going to present today is part of a collective

research project called into the black box composed by transdisciplinary

Italian young scholars now working in below and oregano Paris and Barcelona

our main focus has been logistics and last year using it in a wider sense and

I just showed this to give you an idea but what I mean by why a wide sense last

year I left sorry I was in New Orleans for another conference and on Sunday I

was just walking around and I saw these

you know it's a cargo ship and I send it to one friend in Italy saying no see I'm

in New Orleans and he said what the fuck is wrong with you you are renewal

instantly send this kind of things to me then I send this video no it's the cages

and then I send it to my colleagues and it's a nice wonderful so it's it's what

we call container poor and he's like getting crazy we've contained so these

containers are like the traditional I mean logistics symbol and we are trying

to enlarge the conception of logistics as I'm going to show you so I start with

a little boring part that is theoretical and just some insights so this quote is

from Marx at Manresa the nature of capital proposes that it travels through

the different phases of circulation not as it does in the mind where one concept

turns into the next at the speed of thought in no time but rather x' rather

a situation which are separate in time it must spend some times as a crystal is

before it can take off as a butterfly exactly two centuries after karma Cal

Marc state of world before flying like a butterfly contemporary financialized

capital still needs to pass it's crystals face the specular stage is

the domain of logistics whose vast ocean of operations as a worldwide extension

and an unprecedented speed logistics is the strategic intelligence that

coordinates the harmonizing of production circulation and consumption

of global capitalism where an increasing accelerated ice with circulation is

gained in Germany or the whole process the geographical fantasy of logistics

conceals the world as a system of continuous flows which are always in

motion a cart of cartography of flux is conducted through a complex network of

logistical infrastructures the supply chain capitalism described by annexing

the so-called 4.0 turn and implementation of logistical systems

within cities are the new frontiers of contemporary logistics our research is

an investigation about how these global supply chains hit the ground adopting

new northern Intel is last 10 years as our main case study

secondly we aim to show the profound ambivalence of these processes which

rather than being irrational as they pretend to be are always contested

delineating a complex field of tension encompass finally I must say that my

speech today discusses only priming and preliminary results and raft hypothesis

so the no the first

the first point is the necessity to endow the analysis of logistics with a

genealogical background to empower critical reflection on it and about the

risk of being trapped within logistics own narratives that is seeing logistics

as something completely new and without eastery even if many studies point to

the military transformation of the main as the main storica matrix of

contemporary logistical rationality we think that an alternative genial

genealogical lens through which logistics development has to be

understood is provided by Stephan RA and Fred Morton who yesterday made this this

point so I could for my squad modern logistics was born that way modern

logistics is founded with the first great movement of commodities the ones

that could speak it was founded in the client alive trade found it against the

atlantic slave throughout modernity logistics has been the art the technique

and the science of mobilizing commodities armies and subjects however

the so called logistics revolution during the 50s 50s and 60s of the 20th

century if we follow motifs argument could be reframed as a

counter-revolution considering the role that it played in dismantling the social

power accumulated by the first working class within the factories if this

hypothesis makes sense we could say that contemporary logistics was founded

recalling our lives and our modern squat against the farthest working-class

logistical gaze could be a new and powerful tool

thanks which we could predict Lee productively read the transformations of

urban and urban textures and labor at the beginning of the 21st century in

terms of urban borders and fluxes urban subjects and forms of production last

point of this boring part logistics has to be conceived as a logic a matrix of

rationality aiming to flatten the space to foster foster circulation without

interruptions Logistics is an ideology of a smooth space of fluxes but in the

current emphasis Logistics pervading many managerial

discourses is also a symptom of crisis as Giovanni Arrighi has shown in his

historical reading of the world system theory cycles of accumulation to make

simple when a system of production goes into crisis as it was during the sixties

and early seventies of the 20th century it historico lis moves his balance from

production to logistics and finance to survive we still are within the scenario

which I repeat is a symptom of a system crisis therefore my point is that

platforms such as Amazon food delivery platforms uber and the like which I'm

going to concentrate on today are emblematic of this crisis and are shape

shaped around a two-fold rationality on one hand the just-in-time into the point

logic of development aiming at removing any obstacles to commodities and both

circulation within urban spaces but on the other end they represent a desperate

need of contemporary capitalism to solve things making a company working and

extracting value given the theoretical background the aim of the research group

I in Porto is to merge labor transformations urban change and their

mobile connection with digitalization in 4.0 industries using logistics as the

lens to analyze them the hypothesis is that this mobile interpretive machine is

a productive prism through which it is possible to analyze the ongoing

transformations and to develop new political images and tools for action

more precisely we our work we have worked on the Italian case of the last

10 years adopting a method of inquiry based on a Teufel and complimentary

entry points looking in conjunction at what can be called the frontiers of

development and the tensions struggles and conflicts arising within them we are

developing a synchronic and processor comparison between three case studies in

northern Italy so one the long process of complete organization within

logistics is traditional logistics sector

second the territorial eyes of territorial ization of Amazon and third

the recent implementation of food delivery platforms and today I will

focus mainly following that so I'm going to give you

just very brief insights on them during the last decade an intense process of

workers organization in northern Italy logistics sector a satellite on the new

territorial configuration of the of that region this sequence of strikes and

blockages show the dense network of infrastructures streets warehouses

railroad rail waves and so forth dedicated to commodities transportation

an invisible map sustaining the circulation distribution and consumption

for every city as you can see from this map showing where the main logistic

warehouse strikes took place in Bologna we are all out of the city centre and

quite randomly dislocated in the metropolitan area this way to organize

distribution and its infrastructure apparatus lead us to concentrate on what

we labeled as the padania megalopolis the northern italy dance dance the

urbanized area at the territorial framework of analysis this map shows how

in the last 40 years which is success contributed to the spread out of this

article cities these struggles led us to start reflecting upon the deep

intertwining between logistics and urban textures understanding how circulation

is at the very heart of contemporary urban planning and development anyway

natalia logistics sector has been based on a low tech industry and a racialized

labor force and it grown on rates of almost 5 percent per year from 2005

until 2015 moreover these struggles has been part

of a global dynamics of turbulence within logistics sector as a recent book

as wonderfully collected short part the the workers used social media to spread

the news about their struggle but the informal communication channels of the

migrant communities were definitely more important and it is remarkable to say

that a crucial subjective element for the struggles

was what we call as the wind of the so-called Arab springs that travel the

fruit Mediterranean Sea however something is

changing as a response to this process of conflictual organization Amazon

arrived all in the last four years in the most important Italian cities but

it's business is increasing very fast Amazon is implementing its own

infrastructures and given the two balances in the logistic sector we said

that Amazon is developing a specific urban intelligence to avoid disruptions

its search for new labor pools and the mobility of its infrastructures just

from time orbán ism is delineating a new frontier of labour enter/return

organization in the padang megalopolis logistics sector well since a few years

ago most of the logistics companies and their warehouses

were far away from the city's core with innovations like Amazon logistics

companies are developing a new set of infrastructure cell and organizational

procedures to adapt himself to new this new way of the business in fact Amazon

is emblematic from an Internet company to a logistics company it is developing

a new intelligence of the urban articulating its infrastructures in the

whole metropolitan territory if the tie-down logistics sector used to be

quite fragmented in terms of business models and companies and as I said based

on a weak technological investment and a low skilled labor force Amazon retail

model is increasingly proposing new standards and procedures for the

holistic sectors and a new map territorial map is emerging connecting

huge apps at them as the traditional logistical warehouse - subcontracted

garages to small proximity distribution points at cities course within a new

supply chain logic the process of territorial ization of Amazon however is

not a smooth process the employment of young Italian labor force and investment

in technology in technology as its ambivalences and a recent strike on the

Black Friday showed is emblematic Lee however Amazon well-known ultimate eyes

militarized way of labor organizing within its varieties has become a model

for the very recent implementation of the food

very platforms meaning the most extreme frontier of contemporary just in time to

the point logistical logic so just eat the liberal food or an uber it's and

like our platforms that I would steal virtual infrastructures and they started

their business in some of the main talents it is only in the last two years

generalizing and applying Amazon model over the whole metropolitan issue seeing

the city cities like a user to Mattias logistical warehouse the door-to-door

distribution of food we can call it ironical the Italia tell the Goron is a

2.0 is the sort of forefront in the Italian case of the logistics logic

opening up the mark to all other sorts of commodities distribution this is what

we are calling the new metropolitan logistics based on a concrete fantasy of

moving everything with a click we are doing a collective enquiring terrine

Bologna and Milan on the new working conditions within food delivery

platforms organized by by an algorithm connected via GPS their work is set via

whatsapp and the workers move around the city as Google Maps these ordinary tools

are becoming logistical media that calibrate labor and live objects and

atmospheres becoming a deterrent a deterrent force in the production of

subjectivity and economy workers of this economic

range are called riders and they are quite emblematic of the contradictory

development of path from capitalism attack ways of work organization are

intimately linked with our kikes logics above all they are peace work workers

paid for the delivery they do rather than for the adversity effectively world

food delivery Padma platform business is almost concentrated within city centre

and the often they do not have any physical infrastructure

apart from small recruitment offices the job pretend to be smart and cool and ie

wrapper to quite curious quotes from the whatsapp group of just it in Bologna is

as a desired message is sent by the so called dispatchers

sort of group manager while was working in France at that moment so he sent

these messages at the beginning of the work shift hello everybody I hope you

are ready tonight turn on Deniz raise the shields of dark

matter and something like that sign your French jedimaster or time on

Persian Tigers you are a lot tonight so we do not fear about the dangers of the

jungle and armed with our cases we will defeat the taxi evil population of the

Malaysia so just to give you an idea about how is the embezzlement or that

can work however and again this really recent stream of platform business is

being hourly contested by the workers spontaneous strikes are going on are

going on since the last year and a half confirming the unstable and create

nature of logistical processes even in their fresh configuration platfrom

digitalize waste and attempt to worker organization arising so to resume and

using some quotes from kowloon both algorithm algorithm management and

logistics engineering more and more pervasive in productive processes design

smooth urban space of never-ending flows their dream is to prevent any disruption

the attend commodities are expected to move smartly and resilient lee under

formalized and computed performances the human factor seems to have no place in

the organization of labor process platforms combining digitalization with

the supply chain organization are contributing to change working condition

and to renew labor relationship nevertheless this is not a one direction

process in many cases platforms are also generating social and/or labor movements

engaged in the consequences of such transformations the recent wave of

Korea's protests is not all Italian but rather it erupted all around Europe

bringing back the subjective role of labor force that can express requests

and needs not scheduled by the platform however the significance of food

delivery platforms doesn't come from the portion of the working class that the

work for them or from the existence of mass workplaces nor that their

significance come from a strategically important location within capitalist

production a food delivery platform is not a cool mine or report of course

instead the significance of this platforms can be found in their relative

position within capitalist development the most advanced nodes of the network

of capital are those which are attempting successfully or not to

dramatically recompose production in order to gain a competitive advantage

and site in sidestep the results of the working class organization food delivery

platforms are one of these nodes in this frontier of development moreover

platform seems to rest both on urban dimension and digitalization of labor

city is the physical space crossed by information and communication

technologies algorithms manage a supply chain that connect different points of

the city thanks to riders work urban logistics is

exactly this new digital organization of city life around a continuous flow of

production circulation consumption and I found really intriguing a slogan by a

pirate parish riders that sailor who not losing that means the street is our

factory to mean how production became diffused through urban physical spaces

and humans relations so starting from these case studies the proposal of this

contribution has been to discuss the trajectory from a low-tech and

traditional sector of logistics to its newly transformations in response to

struggle so amazon and them to the river platforms showing how the logistical

logics and the global and platform companies are performing and generating

frictions and responses in the labor force and in the urban development of

course the traditional logistics amazon and the food delivery platforms do not

delineate a protocol acid substitution but rather a complex integration and

assemblage so to conclude the emergent trend in labor organization and

it's urban planning and logistical capitalism consent to point on the new

metropolitan logistics as one of the crucial factor and frontier of all of

what we are calling a platform urbanism therefore emerging trends in urban

transformations should be understood as the complex and unstable result of the

intertwining between the urban intelligence of logistics platform and

the continuous frictions and resistances they found on the ground the layer of

platform urbanism pushing toward the flexible is a ssin of the urban issue

seized and the becoming hub of the cities is parallel to the flexibility of

working conditions however at the same time the digital is a field of conflict

encounter organization therefore but from urbanism is a contested process and

it must be said it is not still clear clear if it is designing our immediate

future or on the contrary it is going to be a new urban babel thank you

nobody's we made a genius

thank you

hello everyone my name is silver Lintner I'm an assistant professor to school of

information at the University of Michigan also affiliated with the

Science and Technology studies program there and Center for Chinese studies I'm

so very excited to be here today and thanks so much the organizers for making

this all happen it's been a fantastic event so far and I look forward to the

conversations it will continue today so I will be talking about the pleasures of

hacking at scale I'm drawing here from long term at new graphic research that

I've been conducting in China over the last seven years and I'm also working on

a book that's related to this topic so I this is a small tiny subset of course

you know but I would love any feedback or conversations you know that come out

of this later today so I'll start with this in a 2015 Kickstarter campaign the

open source hardware produces seats Giulia promoted one of its latest

products as follows what if we designed a phone to be anything we wanted to be

for the last eight years in gen gen deep studio has been hack has been busy

hacking the electronic supply chain to make advanced tools and technologies

available to everyone the result is the refun this

crowdfunding campaign for the so called we found a do-it-yourself mobile phone

kit summarized neatly the ambitions that had brought together a loose collective

of open-source hardware and Miku advocates

active in China since around 2007 their proposition was that the city of

Shenzhen in the south of China with its history of being a special economic zone

and continues infrastructures of industrial production constituted an

ideal laboratory to scale open-source Hardware tinkering and making from

prototyping into mass production servile open-source hardware platforms

like the Arduino promise to enable people without a professional

engineering degrees of people like artists and designers for instance or

scholars like us to open up the black box of everyday electronics and end

consumer devices in contrast and engagement with the city of Shenzhen

they argued promised to teach about the inner workings of global trade supply

chain networks and mass production it promised to open up the black box of

economies of scale it was this idea to scale one of the key

promises of to make a movement to hack capitalism that the China China's maker

advocates were undertaking and does this reflect it hears of this ideal to act

capitalism in Chris Anderson's 2012 book on makers the next Industrial Revolution

where he says the ability to manufacture local or global at will is a huge

advantage the symbol menu option of a 3d printers or open-source hardware tools

and machines compresses three centuries of Industrial Revolution into a single

mouse click if Karl Marx were here today his job would be on the floor talking

about controlling the tools of production you you can now set factories

into motion with a mouse click and you will of course recognize the kind of

neoliberal underpinning here of this appropriation of Marx so this idea to

scale this promise to heck capitalism had started out in a very small business

so seed studio with which I began this talk was a two people business that

quickly made a name for itself in especially American and European maker

networks and by 2012 the company the company's own promise to scale the sort

of hacking of capitalism had a lot of company to grow so it it had by within

only four years you know a ninety five percent market share of the sort of

maker opens us hardware industry with most of its products being actually sold

in America and in Europe and it itself had managed to scale so it's turned into

a business of like over 100 employees with roughly 15 million u.s. dollars

revenue at that time so over the years that followed a growing number of seats

Studios maker clients especially those coming from America and Europe would

travel to Shenzhen to experiment how to hack it scale themselves seed studio

offered free factory tours for them and organized visits to the cities

electronic markets of watch and base you can see here depicted on the screen it

produced maps that scaled down the vast landscape of industrial production and

hosted maker fairs and other events to demonstrate how one hacked global supply

chains in factor hacking here meant to tinker ad

and with scales from micro electronics and markets to cities economies and

global relations soon a series of foreign largely Western financial and

educational exchange programs began investing in this promise of hacking

capitalism at scale in a 2014 TED talk Choi each ahead of the MIT Media Lab

described his somewhat astonished impressions of Shenzhen after a visit

with his students what was happening in Shenzhen is that they were not just

making powerpoints or prototypes they were fiddling with the manufacturing

equipment and innovating rights they are on the factory floors whose speed right

this the kids in gen gen make new cell phones like kids in Palo Alto make

websites so there's a rain force of innovation going on but you thought you

could only do with software dare doing with hardware and similarly Shenzhen

became known both in European and American networks of digital tech that

production as a Hollywood filmmakers started by prominent Western media

outlets such as wired The Economist and Forbes as the Silicon Valley for hard

when does the screenshot of a movie of a documentary at Wired UK released on this

topic of Shen Genesis Silicon Valley of hardware but how did this happen how did

it happen that within only a couple of years the Western imaginary of the city

of Shenzhen had changed from a region of industrial access and low-quality

production into a laboratory of future making so in the rest of this talk my

goal is to show you how a techno optimism typically associated with

Silicon Valley or cities like New York or histories of Western internet

counterculture was displaced onto Shenzhen exactly because the region was

seen as not having fully arrived in modernity because we've seen a

simultaneously pre-capitalist and capitalists symbolizing both the West's

past and its potential recuperation I'll also show that this promise to scale

open-source Hardware in in gen gen and able to certain people many of whom were

a man to sustain masculine pleasures of hacking machines by attaching them to

the hacking of markets and supply chains and so my approach really aligns with a

feminist tradition coming out the Anthropology of the global

specifically focusing on research in Asia like the work of Anna thing Nancy

Jan and Lisa R awful for instance that calls for noticing the gaps and fissures

of technological promise and those throughout you know I will sort of

unpack the gaps and the sort of promise of hacking capitalism as it was

displaced onto Schengen so in April 2013 bonny Wang a graduate from the

engineering program at MIT and a prominent chinese-american hacker

published a blog post which described a simple pocket-sized phone he acquired in

Assam in a mall at the Shenzhen watching Bay electronic markets for $12 how was

it possible Wong pondered in the post to produce a functioning phone at such a

low price a key component of the phone Huang discovered was a chip from the

Taiwanese contract cut from the Taiwanese company mediatek a chip

manufacturer which had been key to the rapid expansion of an informal

electronics production culture in the years of 2006 to 2008 often referred to

as Shan Zhai in Chinese so Shan Zhai some of you might have come across this

term as it's been covered widely also in in media and by scholars alike it

figures as a transnational imaginary of grassroots ingenuity and clever control

countercultural survival tactic attached to mundane acts of copycat and piracy

so Shan Zhai translates into English as for example mountain village or bandit

fortress and is commonly understood as referring to various outlawed but

communal forms of self-preservation and self-protection that strove for local

autonomy during difficult times throughout Chinese history as as Denis

Howe summarized it so well Lyn Jeffery from the Institute of the future in San

Francisco describes it as quote a clever survival tactics and an

anti-authoritarian attitude that has not unlike Robin Hood an element of

criminality by resisting to and/or stealing from the establishment mostly

in order to serve those excluded from systems of privilege and in a similar

similar way in that Rossiter proposes Chandra is an example of post population

and non governor both subjects sternal to the logistics of media

coordination capture and control so Zhang's I had brought allure both

amongst academics people who were commenting on the tech industry but also

by open source hardware hackers who made their way to Shenzhen and so while the

term is often taken to be a shorthand for the broader cultural phenomenon of

Chinese copycat and China's broader disregard of Western legal structures

jen-jen itself as the city and as a region has come to be understood as the

place where Shanghai had thrived due to the region's history as a special

economic zone and to local regional and global flows of people finance and

technology the special economic zone had enabled and we already heard about zones

and economic zones yesterday really nicely so I think this place back to our

conversations from Dara yesterday so discharge iPhone for example and there

some of them depicted here refers so this is it's a term that came up and it

was used by people Shanghai tea and Chinese or the Shanghai phone refers to

the variety of mobile phones designed and manufactured in gen gen that began

flooding both national and international markets since around 2004 and five they

included small batch production of niche products such as the dual SIM card phone

for migrant workers who travel across borders phones and unique shapes and

sizes designed for both length low-income populations and elite

customers the most controversial version of the Shanghai phone even though it's

constituting the industry is actually smallest market share of copycat iPhones

and this is a more humorous version of something like that that were released

as low budget version so often with features the target again niche markets

in China and that were often released before the actual iPhone came on a

market in the United States so - and iPhone became an object of interest that

appeared elusive and yet made Shanghai as a phenomenon easier to grab their

sheer variety and speed of production was made palpable through the flurry of

phones the proliferation to markets around the globe like Africa feud

nationalistic sentiments of China's expanding economic and political power

at the same time Shan join its associations with infringement of in

turn national copyright and IP regulations

appeared to confirm that China was far from becoming a legitimate player in

global innovation and knowledge production networks ash anti-surface

across national discourse and the worlds of Western academia and electronics

hacking alike it was taken to be symbolic of a countercultural spirit

that united various regions at the so-called tech periphery so for example

the global South the rule America to counter Western or other forms of

hegemony shanje was symbolic of China's renewed ability to turn a history of

Western colonization capitalist exploitation and hegemony on its head

it was so intriguing to Western technologists and academics alike

exactly because it represented a gap a fissure in the seemingly

all-encompassing modernist legacy of the West

so Shantae began being taken up by other entities in 2011 the Shanghai office of

the American design consultancy idea would released a guidebook on quote

designing for Shanghai that's our chests Shanghai / copycat design represents a

vast business opportunity Chandra is an open platform for grassroots innovation

Jean Jai designs an opportunity for international companies to introduce

Chinese consumers to their brands and then observe how local Chinese culture

adapts their offerings so she and I here in the space is present as providing not

without some irony a unique platform for foreign corporations to learn how to

adapt to the Chinese market so a business opportunity right and more

broadly to target Chinese consumers I do itself at that time alledgely was

struggling to enter the Chinese market and so she and I here functions as a way

to turn around ideas own consulting business in Asia the idea becomes the

bridge between Western corporations and Shanghai by way of translating the

ladder into a business advantage for the former the Chinese the rhetoric of alarm

and urgency to act pervades a lot of these stories so this is from materials

released by the consultancy boos and and company and they say here the Chinese

mental you're fearless experimentation has

allowed and per which to again refer to Shan Zhai has allowed Chinese companies

to gain advantage over slower moving foreign competitors right so the key

advantage of Shan ji was speed the company recommends that foreign

companies get out of get out of your comfort zone learn from the Shanghai

players become fearless experimenters so learn from the Shan Zhai players to

become fearless experimenters promised a way for the designer engineer especially

in Western offices to self transform in order to contend with an intervene into

the pitfalls of modern technological progress this meant making fearless

experimentation and speed central to one's own practice and professional

identity so a lot of this what we've seen so far is sort of allure of

Shenzhen and Shanghai in western world of Technology design and research is

deeply entangled I argue with a sentiment of rising precarity that has

proliferated especially in the United States in Europe since 2007 and AIDS the

financial crisis in the years that followed long-held ideas of modern

progress and techno music technological progress were more publicly challenged

an increasing number of news media coverage for example warned about the

cost of ruthless neoliberal capitalism such as the proliferation of precarious

conditions of work that affected many classes and occupations across the globe

these writing signals the dilemma of a tech industry that found itself

confronted with a growing suspicion that devalues it had propagated since the

1990s the countercultural ideal of like tearing down hierarchies and into

hierarchies plays create a peer-to-peer collaborative society as historian Fred

Turner has so nicely observed that were far from being implemented on the

contrary short-term contract labor in the creative industry often without

pension and health insurance alongs at the spread of labor

exploitation via social media platforms as we just heard like uber and Amazon

Mechanical Turk rendered these earlier visions naive at best and harmful at

worst so in this very moment an engagement with Shan Zhai promised to

experiment with alternatives to this kind of precarity

that as Angelo McRobbie shows has become inherent to creative work in the tech

industries and to build alternative subject positions that regained a sense

of control and action ability so at the same time of course and many of us are

familiar with this universities had become increasingly under attack for

failing to prepare the next generation of workers for the so-called economic

realities and the world out there incubators hackathon started weekends

and similar retraining programs where precision as promising alternatives that

would enable the next generation not only to find jobs but to make their own

as pre pedis for instance the CEO of the New York City based 3d printing firm

make apart put it in 2015 making today is two clicks away from

becoming an entrepreneur and it's about taking the steps from self-reliance to

self-employment but incubators pealed many argued in comparison to what

jen-jen had to offer Shenzhen speed this was expressed in

often repeated phrases such as in China's fetus to do very fast speed

ascension to do or what takes weeks in the u.s. takes a day in Shenzhen boring

from a very powerful neoliberal rhetoric and internalization of the speed of

Sandra's electronic market was rendered inevitable and tells us for example how

one of the investors who is currently active in change and put it this is just

a way the world is going at the moment people have to create their jobs so sort

of a better rate of inevitability the notion of Shenzhen speed itself was

coined during the economic opening reforms in the 1980s when donkey or ping

declared change and especially economic zone and by extension a laboratory for

China's experimentation with capitalism so Shan Gen speed referred to D testing

out of how far you could wake walk away from the values of socialism that had

until just recently governed China's people at first the government had

deliberately allowed experimentation with both economic and political

liberalization to induce desires for self transformation but gentleman in

1989 firmly established at while China's political leadership granted economic

agency it tightly controlled its political arena jen-jen speed came to

stand in for a new liberal governance that downplayed economic inequality and

capitalist exploitation through a rhetoric of individuals being empowered

to become economic actors and south from transform from socialist actors right

fast forward to the years of 2008 and 2010 the rise of the maker movement as I

was just outlining it Jean Genet not only survived but appeared to his wife

amidst the uptake of a neoliberal technique of governance in China that

treat as historian Michelle Murphy put it so eloquently life on economic terms

that his life rendered a sacrifice to the economy and is disposable when it

hinders or is invaluable to economic growth and stability to many of the

European and American academics designers and engineers and met over the

years jen-jen appeared to be the ultimate place of incubation to adapt to

envy gain control over capitalist processes lost in the age of rising

precarity and neoliberalism jen-jen stood for self-reliance

resourcefulness and clever forms of micro resistance that were not of a

political nature but followed an economic aesthetic Autopia made possible

through economic self refashioning jen-jen showcased a form of resilience a

means amidst bureaucratic structures political political control and

capitalist expansion it granted them a transfer of pleasure the pleasure

derived from hacking machines to a pleasure now to write from hacking

markets and this is what I will show for the last bits of this talk here is

translation of hacking machines to hacking markets were incubator and

accelerator programs like the Schengen based accelerator

funded by the Irish venture capital firm SOS ventures and you can see their

fliers here on the screen in 2013 has spent a year conducting ethnographic

research with 13 startups that had been accepted to this program on the opening

day the program director described the purpose of being in charge and as

follows if people here in China that bring it down to business and make it

happen so this is about what's really happening

in gen gen today so we are really going boldly where no one

gone before I'm sure some of you recognized a reference here the

seemingly casual reference to the pop science-fiction series Star Trek of

course is not to underestimate as a narrative of American frontier ISM

exploration and boldly going Star Trek portrays space as the final frontier and

technology as a tool placed in the hand of individuals who are accorded to

freedom to wield it references to Star Trek created an imaginary connection

between xiangjian and the tropes of boldly going and space exploration it

legitimized an engagement with gen gen based on masculine and colonial

narratives of adventure exploration and technology technological mastery if the

space was the final frontier to be mastered by individuals empowered by the

latest technological advances China and specifically Shenzhen was the untamed

land of hardware innovation of Shanghai to be mastered by the startup and the

tech entrepreneur the accelerate the accelerator kept alive in other words

what historian Paul Edwards has called a micro world quote members of many

computer subcultures hackers networking enthusiasts video game addicts derive a

deep form of pleasure from a blending of South and the Machine creating a micro

world that is a unique ontological structure that is simpler and seemingly

more manageable than the worlds they represent microworlds are appealing

because there are free of unwanted complexity Edwards writes within them

things make sense in a way human subject intersubjectivity can not and the

program is omnipotent it was in places like the iris accelerated the Irish

accelerator program in Shenzhen that old regimes of techno idealism and

masculinity of tech production could live on translated from a mastery over

machines into a mastery over a region and its supply chains factories and a

Chinese culture of coffee head the people who set up China's early opens

those hardware spaces and projects with which I began to talk share a sense of

ambivalence toward such optics of de ideas they often struggled to dispel

Western images of China's lagging behind copycat and fake that continued despite

the interest in Shenzhen and Jai when si studio for instance gained

popularity in 2010 the CEO and Founder Eric pan was invited to attend he opens

us Hardware summit here in New York City there he found many people who knew

about his company but discovered that few had recognized that it was a Chinese

company as is that none of them believed that innovative products could come out

of China out of a Chinese company in contrast to the European and American

counterparts China's make advocates were seldom able to live the promise of

hacking capitalism in the same empowering way the hope to distance

their work from Shanghai and its associations with copycat they saw it as

a key to why China was still not seen as an equal partner in design and

innovation while Western Meakin opens us hardware advocates and academics turn to

Jan Jan and Chandra as hopeful and promising because it evidenced the gaps

of technological progress and modern capitalism China's make advocates attach

themselves to Western principles of design and innovation such as design

thinking humans under design and open source this attachment to Western ideals

they thought would provide Western legitimacy and at last grant China and

its people the status of modernity such longing and yearning for modernity of

course that we see in Chinese makers particulars as complicated rule roots in

colonial history and we've sought to socialist and post-socialist eras and

allowed to do for instance socialism was positioned as a project of modernity

that enabled China to position itself not behind but in advance of a decaying

Europe modernity here was to be achieved via class struggle and a transformation

of the self into revolutionary subject and in the 1980s during post socialism

the Chinese government attributed China's failure to modernize

to the so-called low quality of its people used as a channel explanation for

everything that helped the Chinese nation back from becoming truly modern

and achieving its rightful place in the world that was lost during the colonial

periods also often referred to as national humiliation in China the opium

wars and European colonialism in the 19th century histories of colonial

encounters and yearnings for modernity they induced live on in contemporary

experiments in they appear in the gaps and seams of

open-source hardware projects like the DIY phone kit with which I began this

talk aimed at dismantling tea in the West pervasive image that China despite

fears of its global reach and economic power is still in some ways lagging

behind while ideas and ideals to hack capitalism and to hack alternatives

lived on and in English engine they did not scale equally and with this

I would like to thank you

thank you good morning everyone Thank You Colette and Matthew for having me

and giving me this opportunity to present

what's hopefully coming to an end but I don't think so it's my master's thesis

research which I think will just continue even after I graduate

we'll see so just to kind of give it a bit of an intro this thesis I've been

doing research in Cologne Panama for the past year year and a half or so and I'm

more interested in how supply chains and logistics end up shaping spaces where

they end up landing and situating and grounding in a specific site so this is

research is very much about urban conflict and class struggle in Cologne

and in Panama in relation to actual supply chains and kind of global supply

chains so this is just a bit of it of the lens that I've been using in the

thesis paper someone looking at how legal in terms of free trade agreements

as well as economics of laws which ends up appearing to be a very specific theme

and all the talks not surprising also management which is logistics

infrastructure in nature and how these four lenses that end up interacting so

as an isthmus bridging two large bodies of water and two enormous masses of land

Panama's geographic location has been a strategic maritime site for centuries

both commercially and militarily the shortest distance across from coast to

coast is approximately a one-hour drive around 80 kilometers across the modern

infrastructure today looks actually living to go back so the modern

infrastructure today looks fairly different from the roughly Pedro de val

camino Royale along the Tigris River which facilitated the transport of gold

and silver during Spanish colonial rule in the 16th century the French were the

first to pursue this vision in Panama of constructing the first interoceanic

canal in the Americas but failed in their attempt to

see level design canal and also due to thousands of deaths of workers from

yellow fever of malaria in 1903 in an effort to take the territory after

rejected proposal by Columbia and around this time in the early 20th century this

territory was owned by Columbia Columbia the United States conspired against the

Colombian government and supported a Panamanian independence movement led by

elites in a fairly bloodless coup with the signing of the high boon ID Treaty

in 1903 a United Stated States was provided a ten mile wide strip of land

for the canal which would end up shaping the space as a global global space for

the next century and it was not until around hundred years later in 2000 that

the canal was actually transferred back to Panama so the city of : my case study

became an important port for American companies the decades following the

construction of the canal in the 1920s the United Fruit Company had begun

weekly shipments of bananas from the port of Cologne to New York City

eventually during the interwar period cologne had sought out to construct a

free zone with his territory to attract foreign companies as an instrument for

economic development and by 1948 following the recommendations of dr.

Thomas E Lyons an American foreign trade specialist the

Panamanian government approved law number eighteen which created the

Cologne free zone an autonomous institution of the Pentagon State as an

area to take advantage of the city his geographic position and its direct

contact to international trade today cologne represents the darker side to

Panama's rapid economic growth and success on unlike Panama City which is

the nation's emblematic jewel surrounding the wall of the Cologne free

zone the decaying city of Cologne stands precariously cornered up against the

Atlantic coast cologne is one of the poorest and most unemployed cities

actually the most unemployed city in the entire nation the free zone and the

city's three ports that accommodate global logistical flow create exclusive

spaces that end up segregating constricting the city and its residents

which in turn extracting value from labor its residents and close to ecology

the city first urbanized on montedio island is now

connected inland due to years of land reclamation for the expansion of the

Cologne free zone and its warehousing sector systems of trade have

materialized along colognes coastline over the past two decades building an

entire logistical clustered or as they call them them assets of shipping

technologies and warehouses which holds multiple departments and sub

compartments that undertake the task of loading unloading warehousing security

communication and management for a global maritime market anchoring this

city is the kalam free zone and blue the oldest special economic zone in the

nation the entire logistics owned of Cologne also contains three

transshipment sea forts along the coast in red Monsen a new international

terminal at least awhile and the cologne Container Terminal which are all

directly connected to the clone free zone and managed by private global

actors in Hong Kong Taiwan and Seattle these these terminals support the

systems of movement through the multiple hubs within the zone and are managed by

a cutting-edge technology that tracks import export and transshipment data

throughout every space and network galloons logistical cluster prides

itself as having one of the most comprehensive intermodal systems and

networks in the Americas handling the highest cargo loads in Central America

and the Caribbean so the lone free zone the most heterogeneous global space in

Cologne and also the oldest free zone in the region since its construction over

ten special economic zones have been constructed in Panama but none as large

as a cfz the Coulomb free zone is divided in two main sectors as you can

see in blue a primary area for their duty-free shops which is on the left

side and that's divided by the canal well now it's a canal after Lian

reclamation and France filled a storage hub for cargo in proximity to the ports

companies operating within the zone obtained some of the highest tax

benefits that includes zero tariffs on imports and exports to foreign countries

as a response to recent decline in productivity the : free zone in the

column free zone particularly due to trade disputes with Colombia and

Venezuela a new law was enacted to create more competition so with the law

number 8 and 2016 multi national corporations can now establish

offices within the zone as well as logistic call centers these new reforms

for capital liberalization : and AHS Wells and Panama's other economic zones

there's a thing of up to ten and they're constructing another one now like Panama

Pacifico and its banking sector have transformed the nation from merely a

place for convenient flow to teach a cladistic Oh hub that adds value to

commodity transport through a large network supply chain that cuts time and

space dramatically the logistics revolution in the past half-century have

facilitated the movement of commodities and bodies across geographical space

capital which Marx famously notes strives to annihilate the space with

time reducing a minimum the time spent in motion from one place to another

therefore time and speed are necessary for the production of profit innovations

in infrastructure and transport technologies become a necessary expense

in order to reduce time in order to create profit the geoengineering of

terrain to construct canal systems has immense impacts on global trade and

canals dramatically cut distance in time for their final destinations the most

significant trade routes in Panama using the Panama Canal are between the east

coast of the United States in East Asia followed by South America in the east

coast of the United States so these flows are mediated controlled

and prescriptive and therefore do not occur obviously naturally on one side

I'm highly interested in how logistical science technology and infrastructure

does this those were the control over logistical flow have the ability to slow

down and speed up production as well as destination point : free zone is used

primarily as a prime location for storage of goods as well as offering

value-added services less about manufacturing and more about

moving things along companies who use these amenities include DHL whose 30

million dollar investment in a logistic warehouse in o.9 benefited from a

flexible supply chain with Cologne as an operating node in Latin America it was

able to cut time and delivery significantly Panama becomes the

delivery mechanism to speed up the movement of goods through the Panama

Canal and allow profit to accumulate with out regulatory restrictions

within the zone so aside from mediated flow of logistical Science and

Technology legal mechanisms at the state and global level equally prescribed and

control these networks becoming a negotiation between multiple scales

there's a fluid bond between domestic actors stakeholders and maritime

processes and supranational organizations that govern global systems

so my current thesis focuses primarily on the World Trade Organization and the

United Nations conference on Trade and Development as well as on the national

level Panama has a logistics cabinet which was formed in 2014 but these two

organizations super national WTO inkpad has two important bodies that have

helped cement trade globalization will some of not all of them but these two

through legal grain agreements and codes of norm as a members of these

organizations and agreements nation states waive all rights of control over

protocols of trade they are bounded by the specific rules of an institution

they are part of the recently ratified trade facilitation agreement of the

members of WTO an agreement between 135 nations and Panama joined in 2016

expedites the movement release and clearance of goods what I found most

interesting also is the new advance in Latin America and actually I think

globally that I'm looking more often the single windows facilities this

implementation which is essentially new digitized systems along with the TFA

that promote an increased fluidity of logistics at the customs border these

systems become less regulated and more automated in order to maximize profit so

to shift back more towards the urban space how do these processes and

affecting local ecologies in Cologne one thing is certain the urban land lay out

in Cologne is dramatically shaped by these systems there is one highway so

now we're kind of like shifting around and facing it from the Atlantic one

thing is certain there's only one highway that enters the Casco Antiguo

of crystalloid which is the old town of Cologne through the Panama colon highway

that eventually bleeds into at Paseo center which runs all the way up to

Mount Monsanto Island to the water rather than an island though land

reclamation has formed the neighborhood into an art

official peninsula the Casco Antiguo of the old town is surrounded by these four

massive structures that each are secured and enclosed therefore the single

entrance in and out of the city creates chubb points for urban flows that are

not associated with cargo transport it limits the flows of bodies in and out of

the space as well as local logistic or urban systems such as trash collection

the residents become isolated from the rest of the province it was observed

during my research and earlier this year in 2018 that the interior and exterior

of the spaces of the zone were extremely distinct specifically an architecture

street planning and cleanliness so streets are perfectly played paved

with a general sense of order but outside of the zone things are very much

different their degradation of the neighborhood of the north north of the

Cologne free zone wall is the face of urban inequality poorly maintained

structures and infrastructure aesthetic facades water systems and public

services are left to crumble the amount of garbage along the streets was also

really astounding even the dumpsters that collected trash appeared to be

untouched the city suffers from a poorly maintained sewage and drainage system

that intensifies flooding during the rainy seasons it is only until recent

that these issues are being addressed by the government but unfortunately at an

extremely slow pace and for some that I've spoken to in cologne this signals

corruption there's an obvious paradox here you have a city and decay neglected

by the state alongside the largest export processing zone in the Western

Hemisphere which produces hundreds of million dollars per year and this is

some of the flooding I had just arrived after a disaster storm in early in

January that carried record rain so garbage floated along to pleaseth

streets like urban rivers as we drove through and it's also important to note

that the kalam free zone manages its own garbage disposal services that delivers

trash for the same exact dump as the city's waste so cologne free zone and

most free zone or export processing zones today act as enclaves whose high

levels of infrastructural servicing and connectivity tend to contrast sharply

from their surroundings for the Coulomb free zone its expansion over the bay

through like LeMay ssin has also caused trauma to rich ecosystems along the

coastline mangrove deforestation has been a major

consequence which has increased flooding in a city to add to this new businesses

in the free zone are built two to three feet higher than cities than the city's

elevation which disrupts natural water runoff and directs it towards a

residential zone the government's neglect of financing and repair of new

infrastructure and water pumps in the city which are always filled with

garbage also perpetuates this flooding and Abadi are not--they ensued of the

aqualen which is in red the water kind of flows down and then naturally water

should flow from their interior portion of the land towards the water but now

the kalam free zone is set around two to three meters higher so that just ends up

blocking and creating a flooding zone in the red spots so further a literal wall

also surrounds it zone entirely and the border is highly secured legally

Panamanians are not allowed to enter the zone for smear fear of smuggling these

divisions of space are not only are further highlighted with the growing

unemployment level in Cologne out of the ten provinces in Panama cologne has the

highest unemployment rate at ten percent with an informal economy approximately

at 37 percent the coulomb free zone which supposes to be a state instrument

for economic development employs only around 30 percent of boulogne residents

out of approximately 30,000 persons so if only a third of Golan's population

works in the zone we could only assume that the remainder 20,000 plus employees

travel from other provinces how am i doing with time okay so I'll kind of

jump into what I've been thinking about recently probably in the past month and

actually I'm interested in having conversation with the previous four

panelists too so what we're doing is extremely necessary in terms of

politicizing a generally a political topic so now kind of move in I'm really

interested in how can we determine more of a counter logistics so social

cooperation in class struggle and resistance go as far back in Panama to

the construction of the canal and the years that followed its development

Panama would witness a major surge in labor radicalism

amongst black workers mostly West India Michael migrant workers who settled in :

and also in the Canal Zone more recently numerous labor strikes during the Panama

Canal expansion project halted the construction process in 2012 and 2015 in

: 20 and England in 2012 urban struggles with the condensation of public space

was witnessed between the city of Cologne and the state when hundreds of

protesters in Kildonan lined the streets after the National Assembly approved the

sale of the land and the cfz demonstrators burn tires and clashed

with the police for nearly a week after the government's announcement sun tracks

the national labor union led protests and managed to suspend the sale of the

land of the free zone with the eventual repeal of the law and this is a major

attempt to privatize public land without the consent private land without the

consent of the cologne community the struggle continues today earlier this

year on march 13th 2018 protesters took to the street and violent clashes

against police the protest led by el comité la lucha por la sebastiana : the

committee for the fight for the salvation of : paralyzes city and a

48-hour strike ensued el comité a voice can place that the current urban renewal

project in cologne has a hidden agenda to gentrify and displace the community

they're actually building 45,000 affordable public housing outside of the

city entirely on the other side of the airport so there they're hoping to

remove well some speculating - but to remove all the residents from the area

and eventually privatize that land of course is speculation but we've seen

this before

so many believe the renault project is more of a subversive and strategic

method of privatization that was unsuccessful in 2012 with the attempt of

the sale land of the kalam free zone the city so suffers from poor water

infrastructure and fluttered flooding years after the announcement to repair

the project is costing the government 500 million dollars in Balboa's but it's

it's pegged one to one and contract contracted owed a bridge the Brazilian

construction firm who's involved in a bribery corporation scandal with more

than 10 Latin American countries el comité de has also announced another

general strike which began yesterday on the 19th so it's kind of exciting to see

what's happening now so now time will only tell in the coming days well it

will happen in Cologne but for me I'm highly interested in these forms of

resistance that take flow and logistics into consideration blockades have

historically been a common logistical tactic in military warfare and economic

infrastructure such as railways and highways and logistical flows have been

localized as choke points we're organised communities can leverage power

these tactics have almost intuitively been used for the past 200 years in

response to wage cuts and poor working conditions in Panama these methods exist

as well used especially by indigenous activists in 2012 and 2015 blockading

the inter-american highway that connects all of Central America protesting

against the removal of mining laws that protected the land this happened as well

with the National cargo transportation Union and Panama and their blockade of

the Costa Rican border in 2016 so strikes and blockades as well as

subversive subversive sabotage are effective for getting leverage in

specific cases but are also limiting in structural transformation the science of

logistics is responsive to volatility and ability to shift and maneuver supply

chains through computerized processes and algorithms for maximum profit

Jasper burns notes that they are both offensive and defensive at once so a

more effective strategy which I'm very interested in but not also excluding the

other tactics I think it should be quite a mix would be to construct networks of

labor across supply chain to target specific choke points and weak spots for

capitalist actors a network and logistics of information is crucial for

the offensive but can't be limited to one side or one skill thank you