Queering Infrastructure: the System Through the Erotic

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Presentation Title:

  • Queering Infrastructure: the System Through the Erotic

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Abstract:

  • This panel questions what a politics of sentience might look like as it examines how the erotic as a queer method can be used to reimagine systems, networks and infrastructures as agential and embodied spaces.

    In 1978, feminist writer Audrey Lorde presented her seminal essay “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” that challenged the word’s patriarchal overtones. In the essay, Lorde not only redefines but reignites the erotic as a power of feeling – a physical, psychic and emotional energy that can’t be reduced to a commodified good or systematized affect. In our current zeitgeist of neoliberal and recolonizing regimes, the use of the erotic as a vehicle for understanding and a means of empowerment is re-emerging. Conjoined with the tactics of queering networks, power is being reclaimed through more sentient experiences and actions that disrupt hegemonic narratives and engage a broader spectrum of bodies.

    The invisible is becoming more perceptible through subtle shifts in knowledge production that embrace intuitive modes of learning. British artist Rachal Bradley calls for an “erotics of infrastructure” as a way to “explore how the pleasurable, the charged, and the circuitous might recalibrate infrastructure from a non-neutral to a negotiable framework underlying our perception and our behavior in manifold ways.” This panel questions what a politics of sentience might look like as it examines how the erotic as a queer method can be used to reimagine systems, networks and infrastructures as agential and embodied spaces. Topics include queering the atmosphere, money as a sensory device, laughter through multi species communication, and how aphrodisia can disrupt global machines.


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