Sensational Interfaces and the Aesthetics of Space Apps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As the momentum of space exploration unfolds, our planetary exterior is increasingly transformed into a site of capitalist production and destruction. Grounded within infrastructures, processes and practices of mediation, our technological acquisition of space is also entwined back into the ambits of global media cultures down on Earth. The currents of this enculturation are indexed by the upsurge and emerging variety of “space apps” which use techno-scientific data and creative visualisation to offer assorted digital experiences of outer space-from maps and tours of planets, stars and galaxies, to real-time observation of celestial events and phenomena. To provide some measure of this inclination, we consider the ways in which these apps sculpt our collective techno-aesthetic relations with extraplanetary space. Framing their digital renderings as the sensational interface of capitalism, we suggest that they offer a glimpse into the ongoing manipulations of economies of attention and the appropriations of affect that undergird its high-tech progress in the space age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-450
Number of pages11
JournalOpen Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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