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Data, interface, security: Assembling technologies that govern the future

O'Grady, Nathaniel; O'Grady, Nat

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Nathaniel O'Grady


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Over the last decade, fire governance practices in the British Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) have undergone fundamental transformation. Rather than just being responded to as and when they occur, the FRS have adopted a range of anticipatory governing strategies to govern fires in anticipation of their occurence. This turn towards anticipatory governance has been facilitated in no small part by the digital infrastructure now embedded in the FRS. Composed of data, hardware, software, fibre-optic cables along with human analysts and organisational processes, this infrastructure operates to make risk projections on fire which shape and condition strategic decision making. This paper explores the operation of this digital infrastructure through the notion of interface. Drawing on empirical material relating to processes of data sourcing and risk calculation, interfaces account for the sites, moments and experiences in which human and non-human agents relate to one another in making fire risk projections. Showing relations to exist spatially, temporally and sensually, I argue that interfaces are crucial to the operation of an anticipatory security apparatus which relies on digital devices.


O'Grady, N., & O'Grady, N. (2015). Data, interface, security: Assembling technologies that govern the future. Geoforum, 64, 130-137.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2015
Online Publication Date Jun 24, 2015
Publication Date Aug 1, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2017
Journal Geoforum
Print ISSN 0016-7185
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 64
Pages 130-137
Keywords interface, security, data, imagination, risk, emergency
Public URL
Publisher URL


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