T162


Infrastructural Futures : Speculation, Crisis, and Media Technologies
Convenors:
Orit Halpern (Concordia University)
Jamie Allen (Critical Media Lab Basel)
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
M211
Sessions:
Friday 2 September, 16:00-17:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This panel brings together artists, designers, and scholars to examine the complex relationship between infrastructure and futurity in a myriad of situations. Our intention is to reconfigure the study, and production, of infrastructures in terms of emergence and not merely emergency.

Long abstract:

Recent concerns with global warming, security, and population, not to mention with discourses on creativity and 'freedom', have turned the focus of investors, planners, academics, designers and artists toward "infrastructure" as fruitful concept, source of value, and potential salvation. Infrastructures act as projective filters, presupposing and determining what is possible, orienting and enabling the invention of world(s).

This panel will examine this complex contemporary relationship between infrastructure and futurity in a myriad of situations. Bridging anthropology, media and technology studies, architecture, design, art and history of science, our intention is to reconfigure the study, and production, of infrastructures in terms of emergence and not merely emergency; to interrogate the complex interactions between "hard" and "soft" or "smart" and "stupid" infrastructures; and to reevaluate how we discern between failure and success, control and freedom — the considerations that condition our present and shape our future. Most importantly, this panel will examine the stakes attendant to reframing creativity, economies, cultures and political agency in terms of "infrastructure" and design; what work does the current attention the concept is receiving accomplish? And what strategies are deployed by different agents to make infrastructures available (or opaque) to others? Finally, as a panel we hope to workshop and suggest new modes of practice and research by which to intervene in, revise, and re-imagine our contemporary attitudes to technology, speculation, and planetary "crisis".