Abigail De Kosnik Published in Performance Research

15 Dec, 2014

Abigail De Kosnik Published in Performance Research

BCNM's Abigail De Kosnik, Assistant Professor in the BCNM and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, published "Disrupting Technological Privilege: The 2013-2014 San Francisco Google Bus Protests" in Performance Research!

Congratulations, Gail!


The Silicon Valley ‘tech boom’ has led to large-scale gentrification in San Francisco, and mass evictions of longtime residents in favor of tech workers. From December 2013 to April 2014, a group of protesters called ‘Heart of the City’ staged several blockades of the free buses that ferry tech employees from San Francisco to the corporate campuses of Google, Apple, Yahoo, and other technology firms every weekday. In this paper, I argue that these buses, often collectively called ‘Google buses,’ serve as a synecdoche for the expansion of ‘technological privilege’: a set of perceptions that values the products, processes, and employees of the high technology sector over all other things, spaces, and populations. I interpret the Google bus protests as synecdoches for the anger that many San Francisco residents feel towards technological privilege and its facilitation of a widening of a class divide in the city. I read the flows of the tech buses through the urban centers of the Bay Area as manifestations of what Zygmund Bauman calls ‘liquid modernity,’ and view the Google bus protests as attempts to disrupt the smoothness of technological privilege's spread.