Discard Studies

By Josh Lepawsky, Max Liboiron, Arn Keeling, Charles Mather

(T)he family of repair activities share the aim of maintaining some kind of continuity with the past in the face of breaks or ruptures to that continuity. They involve returning in some manner or other to an earlier state … (B)oth repairer and restorer want to pick up a thread with the past.

Repair’s etymology includes notions of return to home or to a place, a coming back again. There are obvious spatial connotations to this etymology. On the other hand, when ‘we’ think about repair, temporal connotations leap to the fore. A machine is brought back to working order equivalent to before it broke. A landscape is remediated of toxicants to levels before it was polluted. Why is it comparatively easy to conceptualize repair…

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