Interplaced Mobility in the Age of “Digital Gestell

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  • 1 Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • | 2 Karlshochschule International University
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The following article explores meanings and implications of mobile technologies and embodiment in a globally networked context. Drawing on ethnographic research on global travelers moving through Nepal and India, we focus on the role mobile technologies play in mediating perceptions and performances of place. Facilitated by contemporary media and mobility infrastructures, we suggest that mobile subjects are relationally “interplaced.” By introducing this notion, we aim to illustrate how forms of virtual mobility overlap with and impact actual, corporeal experience. Following Heidegger, we also develop a concept we call “digital Gestell” (enframement). Applying Heidegger’s reflection that technologies of a given historical epoch frame the way subjects approach the world, we can say that many people today are “digitally enframed.” Facing this increasingly technologized Being-in-the-world, we suggest an “ethos of Gelassenheit” for a more responsive and responsible awareness of the powers technologies hold on our perceptions and actions.

Contributor Notes

Christopher A. Howard is a lecturer in cultural anthropology at Chaminade University of Honolulu. He was previously visiting lecturer at Boston University and has worked at academic institutions in Japan and New Zealand. His research is primarily concerned with the changing relations between society, technology, and environment; modernity and globalization; and social theory, phenomenology, and philosophical anthropology. E-mail:

Wendelin M. Küpers is a professor of leadership and organization studies at Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe, Germany. Combining a phenomenological and cross-disciplinary orientation, his research focuses on the embodied, emotional, as well as creative and transformational dimensions. These dimensions are explored in particular in relation to more responsible and sustainable forms of organizing and managing. Furthermore, his research integrates artful and aesthetic dimensions of practical wisdom into leadership and organization theory and praxis. E-mail:


Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies