Exploring the intersections between translocal living practices and infrastructural changes
Lauri Turpeinen (University of Helsinki)
Lucas-Andrés Elsner (Technical University of Berlin)
Gertrude Saxinger (Austrian Polar Research Institute)
Everyday Life
Aula 26
Monday 15 April, 16:30-18:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Transformations of technology and infrastructure have re-configured space and also strongly impacted everyday life over the recent decades. Translocality is a key feature of these changes. In this panel, we will explore how translocality and infrastructure intersect on the level of everyday life.

Long abstract:

The re-figuration of space (Knoblauch/Löw 2017) through the development of infrastructural systems is one of the megatrends that have been shaping the world in the recent decades. This improvement and expansion of infrastructures of communication and transport has enabled - and sometimes requires - new practices, mobilities, subjectivities, as well as new forms of social interaction. Translocality (Greiner/Sakdapolrak 2013) is a key characteristic of these changes.

This panel will explore the intersecting of translocality and im/material infrastructures in everyday life. Following Easterling, we understand infrastructures as interfaces connecting places, people, and practices (2015: 68). We want to reflect on people's interactions with them, among which are material structures like streets, railways, and other parts of the built environment, but also less visible but nonetheless important facets of infrastructure like navigation technologies or communication software.

Literature exists on the relationship between infrastructure and people's social interactions, struggles, and livelihoods (Angelo/Hentschel 2015; Graham/McFarlane 2014), on how infrastructural standards shape the built environment (Easterling 2014), and on how to study infrastructure ethnographically (Star 1999). We welcome contributions that build on these approaches and explore connections between infrastructure and translocality, like papers on

-their roles in the development of new subjectivities,

-how translocal everyday practices are enabled or hampered by infrastructures and the conflicts arising in these contexts,

-the reinterpretation of infrastructures' intended use in everyday life,

-translocal processes of the (social) production of infrastructures,

-and other papers on everyday practices mirroring grander socio-economic transformations that are mediated by infrastructures.