The efficiency of “mining” for Bitcoin depends on the cost of the electricity that powers the computers needed to do such mining—a fact that made Iceland, with its inexpensive geothermal and hydroelectric power, an attractive site for Bitcoin calculation and extraction. These convergences at the intersections of labor, environmental impact, and capital might be understood as emblematic of how, in our time, the activity of being digital is entrenched in its conditions of being material.

Being Material

Marie-Pier Boucher, Stefan Helmreich, Leila W. Kinney, Skylar Tibbits, Rebecca Uchill, and Evan Ziporyn

Isaac Grothe