#3 Unstable Infrastructures – Call Closed
Open Call for Contributions
For our third issue of spheres we invite potential contributors to consider the significance of unstable infrastructures. Infrastructures have long been an instrument of power, an aspect that has become paramount with digital infrastructures – as debates around the digital divide, surveillance and net neutrality attest to. As our world is covered by copper and fibre optic cables and electromagnetic waves enabling a near ubiquitous networked computation, digital media increasingly become the environment we live in. Contests over this infrastructure pursue, no doubt, yet it is striking how much digital infrastructure reproduces old and creates new forms of power. The big data economy is only the tip of the iceberg here. At the same time digital infrastructure challenges us to develop new concepts and understandings of infrastructure not reduced to technologies but perhaps even natural or social media.
Infrastructure is characterised chiefly by its capacity to disappear – under the ground, in the air, or behind interfaces. Yet even ‘cloud computing’ requires vast amounts of infrastructure, which can only be hidden with new kinds of ideology and masquerade. How is infrastructure made to disappear today, and how can we uncover it, reveal its ideological mask, or traverse the fantasies associated with it? How can we explore, uncover and challenge the military-political dominance over digital infrastructure? How can we create and sustain alternative infrastructures, for example through meshworks? What could a tactical (ab)use and appropriation of infrastructure look like? Our starting point for addressing all these question is that infrastructure is always already unstable, and therefore open to evolution and misappropriation.
We particularly interested in contributions from the Global South. If you are interested in contributing, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short abstract (up to 500 words).