Jane Ruffino

Jane Ruffino

Doctoral Student

+46 8 608 53 64 +4686085364

Historical and Contemporary Studies


My project looks at the physical infrastructure and hardware of the Internet through the lens of contemporary archaeology.

What does an archaeology of data look like if, instead of going back in time, mapping data in the cloud, or recovering data from a physical device, we investigate the physical parts and pieces that are visible and tangible, but which we so often choose not to see?

By exploring the entanglements of workers, devices/objects, servers, humans, and business models in Sweden and the Baltic region, I aim to understand data as material culture in its own right, not just as a carrier of cultural meanings and enabler of products and services. How have the physical and social infrastructures for digital services shaped one another? Rather than the ‘Internet of things’, what are the ‘things of the Internet,’ and how can they be understood?

I’m especially interested in cables and their nodes, including the architecture of related physical spaces, and in the workers and organizations who install and maintain them. I have an explicit goal of using archaeological work to bring awareness to the physical nature of the Internet, along with the threats to its possibilities as a global public good.

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The researcher is not participating in any projects at this moment.