Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I wanted to share Neta Alexander's fantastic article on buffering (linked below). I think it's very relevant to our discussion of televisual Web platforms because, as she notes, buffering is a ubiquitous experience that doesn't get much attention. While it is often imagined to be an anomalous glitch, Alexander draws out attention to how the dread of seeing that spinning circle, and our obsessive refreshing of a page, produces a temporal disjunction that is actually fundamental to the phenomenology of web viewing and contradicts the techno-utopian promise that "waiting is over."



  1. Wow, Sasha! Great article find. We've all certainly had this experience many times. I'd also be interested to read this article in tandem with Anna McCarthy's "Television While You Wait," perhaps the two might reveal how the waiting game has changed over time.

  2. Thanks for the lead, Sasha! I look forward to reading this article, as I think it may help me think through some themes of anticipation/waiting/temporality I am working through for my final paper. But in terms of some preliminary comments: I am interested in thinking how this notion of “buffering” will complicate our previous understandings of televisual “flow,” as we think about post-TV in digital spaces. As TV is no longer tethered to uni-directional broadcast, the ontology of “flow / segmentation” (depending on which theorist you subscribe to) becomes susceptible to the dynamic encounter of website traffic and viewership—animated even further by debates in net-neutrality. “Television” can literally crash and due to the instability of the web. What does this mean for our previous theorization of televisual flow?