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Thursday, May 12 • 10:45am - 11:00am
Relocating Addiction: A Digital Method for Examining the Expression of an Ongoing Heroin Epidemic

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Between 2012 and June, 2015, Florida’s Manatee, Sarasota, and Desoto counties have witnessed a 137.5% increase in heroin deaths. The increase has cost the three counties thousands of dollars and has left family and community members in emotional pain. Clearly the epidemic calls for an intervention. However, current disciplinary solutions have been unable to offer a holistic treatment for this problem. For example, the Florida legislation continues to search for the correct way to punish drug users, the medical community continues to test the drug users’ brains to medicalize the problem, and mental health professionals continue to label drug users as insane. These methods can be problematic because disciplinary perspectives tend to place the problem within the individual drug user: addiction is considered a personal and not a public problem without considering external factors. Therefore, I argue we need to invent a research method that relocates drug use to environmental causes. I question, what conditions must be present for drug addiction to emerge as an epidemic and how does the built environment allow for addiction to express itself? In this project then, I report on an online timeline I created that digitally expresses one day in Manatee County. The one day timeline hosts recordings from a psychogeography performed in Manatee County (which included notes, photographs, and sound recordings), recordings of all police dispatches for that same day, and YouTube videos created within the county on that same day. To filter the media in the timeline, I used Greg Ulmer’s electracy methods to uncover a dialectical image which ties together the personal, environmental and social spheres to act as a lens for consulting on the heroin epidemic. I will report on this lens and how it may be helpful for offering a solution to the heroin epidemic in the counties.


Thursday May 12, 2016 10:45am - 11:00am MST
COOR 186 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Digital Humanities, Long Paper
  • Session Location COOR 186