Atlas of Places
Infrastructure Patterns I
DESIRE IS PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE
With the work of Godard and Giedion in mind, we might consider what it would mean to bring infrastructure to the fore of collective consciousness today by acknowledging it as the structure of society that shapes our every way of doing things, be it for better or worse. Should we ever take it upon ourselves to ask what infrastructure can really do, we would have to recognise it, if not desire it, as something potentially more than just a provider of those taken-for-granted services upon which we depend. Perhaps then we would be better positioned to fathom how to reframe and reconfigure infrastructure as a common project to serve humanity as a whole. For this ultimately what is at stake.
To deploy and an expanded infrastructural logic more proactively and put it to work as public work, however, would mean that infrastructure, by definition and design, would have to go beyond its current techno-logical man-date, usually specified in particular problem-solving terms alone. Put directly, what else can infrastructure do? Insofar as this question bears on how to harness as-of-yet untapped agencies of what remains in large part a mere background substrate, and given the urgency of tackling those pressing predicaments that are becoming increasingly collective by default, then the technical mandate of solving problems will have to be augmented with more inclusive political, economical, social, environmental, and even aesthetic responsibilities. But before this can happen, it is incumbent upon us to open up new channels for cooperation and to engender a shared desire for a common project of world-making rather than one of world-draining, if infrastructure is to truly take command.
Text: Marc Angélil and Cary Siress, Infrastructure Space, 2017