Infrastructure has come to be an increasingly important object of social science and cultural-historical research. From roads and railways to river and seaborne transport, from dams and irrigation canals to electrical circuits, from telegraphs and telephones to cable networks and satellite communication, the question of infrastructure has been key to the evolution of the modern and contemporary world. Information and infrastructure evolve together, as technologies are undergirded by cognitive, perceptual and material matrices; these in turn have their infrastructural dynamics indexed by writing in script and print, through auditory and visual technologies in radio, gramophone, cinema, television and video, and into contemporary transformations and digital reconfigurations of media form.
This research initiative frames the category of ‘information’ both as a critical problematic—a way of describing the world and its constituent processes—and as an environment—a field through which we can enter the contemporary and connect to its past. It links media, urbanism, and the governance of populations, while initiating new debates on privacy, public access, and welfare.
Events and Publications related to this project: