Reclaiming the Ambient Commons: Strategies of Depletion Design in the Subjective Economy


  • Soenke Zehle



The vision of an internet of things, increasingly considered in the context of the “internet of everything”, calls for an ethics of technology driven less by the philosophical search for the essence of technology than by a transversal curiosity regarding processes of constitution. If growing interest in enhanced and expanded media literacy approaches facilitates ethical reflection, the scope of such reflection is related to the extent of our attention to and awareness of the immanence of our agency, our capacity for relation in machinic assemblages that structure and sustain our communicative existences far beyond the sphere of signification. While the positions from which such reflection occurs are necessarily multiple, we can still respond to the distribution of agency with an aggregation of responsibility and the creation of a commons with greater attention to the vastness of the spatial and temporal scales of our situation. The idea of depletion design is both a concrete set of design strategies and an attempt to establish an experimental institutional object to facilitate and frame such ethico-aesthetic practice, an architecture for commoning that situates and affirms our ethical agency under the conditions of mediation.




How to Cite

Zehle, Soenke. 2014. “Reclaiming the Ambient Commons: Strategies of Depletion Design in the Subjective Economy”. The International Review of Information Ethics 22 (December). Edmonton, Canada:32-41.