Just Powers Podcast

S3E1 – Infrastructure, Infra-politics

For our first episode in Series III, we are excited to share an excerpt from Angela Mitropoulos’ 2012 book Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia titled “Infrastructure, Infra-politics.”

In this short excerpt, Mitropoulos positions infrastructure as an infra-political question of how affinities take shape, or not. Or as she puts it, “[i]nfrastructure is the answer given to the question of movement and relation”.

“Infrastructure, after all, is about how worlds are made, how forms of life are sustained and made viable. To think politics as infrastructural is to set aside questions of subjectivity, identity, demands, promises, rights and contracts, and instead to render visible the presumptions that the knots of attachment, adherence, care or fondness and have already been tied by nature or supposedly incontestable forms of connection (by kinship, race, money, sexuality, nation, and so on). The materialities of infrastructure render it the most pertinent political question there is. Everything else is distraction. Infrastructure is the undercommons – neither the skilled virtuosity of the artisan, nor regal damask, nor the Jacquard loom that replaced, reproduced and democratised them, but the weave” (p.118).

Contract & Contagion is an Open Access book published by Minor Compositions. As outlined thought the Minor Compositions Open Access Statement: “All Minor Compositions publications are placed for free, in their entirety, on the web. This is because the free and autonomous sharing of knowledges and experiences is important, especially at a time when the restructuring and increased centralization of book distribution makes it difficult (and expensive) to distribute radical texts effectively.”

Reference: Mitropoulos, Angela. “Infrastructure, Infra-politics”. An excerpt from Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia, pp.113-18, 2012.