Mediating the Tech Boom Temporalities of Displacement and Resistance

Main Article Content

Erin McElroy


Since the 2011 emergence of the San Francisco Bay Area “Tech Boom 2.0,” anti-eviction activists of the region have been caught amidst a maelstrom of media wars involving an amalgam of real estate and technology speculative analyses. As tensions grow, the media itself becomes increasingly polarized, as some journals and journalists side with simplified renditions of tech being good or bad, of development being right or wrong, of housing justice activists being outmoded or salvific.

This article attends to this media polarization, studying likely and unlikely alliances between journalists, media sources, and advocates of various urban futurities. At the same time, it looks to alternative media arts and hybrid technologies that have arisen precisely to theorize contemporary realities of the region, from critical cartography digital projects to projection art productions. In doing so, I ask, how have innovative media arts projects such as that of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, People Power Media, and the Saito Group arisen out of both a media dearth and surplus, not only furthering community knowledge production but also shattering dialectical narratives clung to by other media sources? Furthermore, I question, how are entanglements and polarizations across varying media production constituted by, and constitutive of, formations of class, race, and gender? Drawing on cultural and media analysis, feminist technology studies, and critical race and ethnicity studies, this paper situates the technological media crisis and eruption of the Bay Area present alongside the spatial materialization of technological growth, looking at how technologically driven geographic mutation both mediates and is mediated by emergent media technologies.

Article Details