Cables connect the world. As the infrastructure of globalization, they place spaces and people into new relation with one another. No technology can exist without cables, and every medium relies upon them. They lie crossed, interlinked, and widely ramified everywhere electricity needs to be routed, whether as energy or signal. On their paths, transmission has been the crucial technical activity. As omnipresent as cables are in our media-saturated world, they are just as frequently overlooked and their history equally obscure.
Daniel Gethmann is assistant professor in the Institute of Architectural Theory, History of Art and Cultural Studies at Graz University of Technology. Florian Sprenger is a postdoc at the Digital Cultures Research Lab in Lüneburg.