On Half-Built Assemblages: Waiting for a Data Center in Prineville, Oregon

29 Oct 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Event Type

Jenna Burrell
Associate Professor in the School of Information and Co-Director of the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Working Group at UC Berkeley

Zoom Meeting ID: 92294645768

In 2010 the mega-corporation Facebook finalized an agreement to build a massive data center in Prineville, a small town in central Oregon previously known for logging, cattle ranching, and as the headquarters of the Les Schwab tire company. This was a largely unanticipated event that local leaders nonetheless prepared for several decades before when they designated a rural economic zone on the outskirts of town. However, the enterprise zone sat mostly unused, an empty and dusty piece of high desert land dotted with sagebrush and juniper trees. This talk describes the preparatory efforts that laid the groundwork for the data center as effecting a “half-built assemblage.” Through such anticipatory reconfigurations, local leaders recognized the limits of regional government to overcome the challenges of their peripherality.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS