The Filing Cabinet

The filing cabinet was critical to the information infrastructure of 20th-century nation states and financial systems. As a piece of office equipment, it emphasized particular economic and cultural priorities — efficiency, exploitation of gendered labor, anxiety over information loss, and the drive to break down life and its everyday routines into discrete, observable, and manageable parts.

The filing cabinet was critical to the information infrastructure of 20th-century nation states and financial systems. Like most infrastructure, it was usually overlooked or forgotten.

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  • Alan Thomas
  • Despina Stratigakos
  • Aaron Rothman
  • Belmont Freeman

Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos is a columnist for Places and Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is a columnist for Places. A monograph of his artwork, Signal Noise, is forthcoming from Radius Books.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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