Infrastructure and imagination 

Studies of technology from an infrastructural perspective have a rich history and in recent years have noticeably increased in number, with contributions on the subject coming from a diverse range of different fields.

Dominant elements of the present such as oil pipelines, social media platforms and political organising all work in their own ways with and through important questions of the infrastructural, negotiating questions of resources, scale and scope in an effort to advance and consolidate their visions of structure and support. At the same time, infrastructural moments of expansion and consolidation also, rightly, bring with them renewed calls for and questions of imagination. Why and how was it that these infrastructures were able to take hold? For whom did they capture the imagination? How were they conceived, crafted and maintained? And in what important ways do they as infrastructures fall short and fail in their forms of support and imagination?

Technologically-informed infrastructures for intervention

Building on earlier research looking at dominant, large-scale infrastructures of power (such as that of the EU’s border and coast guard agency Frontex), the work of this postdoc project will involve studies of interventionist-oriented practices of technologically-informed infrastructure and capacity-building. Addressing questions such as what has it meant to imagine and materialise interventionist-oriented approaches in an infrastructural register? What paradigms and perspectives of technology help and hinder the work of interventionist-oriented efforts? How easy is it to imagine alternative constellations of technology and practice when pressed with the urgent work of intervention and capacity building? And what alternative imaginaries, alliances and practices of infrastructuring might be privileged and learned from? Especially for those hoping to constructively engage with the study and pursuit of building technologically-informed infrastructures that challenge some of the dominant and oppressive paradigms of the present.

This postdoc is situated in the Values group of STS (Science and Technology Studies) research at the Tema T (Technology and Social Change) research education program. I hold a PhD in media studies from the School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University and am a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Design at Linnaeus University. Recent publications include the co-edited volume Executing Practices (2018), published by Open Humanities Press, and my dissertation, Executions: power and expression in networked and computational media (2017). I am also a member of the international research group Critical Software Thing.