Digital Infrastructure, Liminality, and World-Making Via Asia| The Infrastructural Politics of Liminality — Introduction

Rolien Hoyng



Discussions of digital and smart infrastructures have often assumed ubiquitous, global connectivity and data-driven governance in ways that made the concept of liminality seem redundant. Contesting such narratives, this Special Section features provocative discussions about frictions, interstices, and excesses involving blockchains/trains, smart cities, electronic waste, food rescue logistics, stacks, leaky Internet blackouts, and humanitarian “data signal trafficking.” The introduction provides a conceptual framework inspired by Simondon. It contends that digital infrastructures touch on something external that they do not fully control and therefore spur tensions and paradoxes of integration/disruption and convergence/excess. What I call the “infrastructural politics of liminality” unpacks such tensions and paradoxes by construing three axes, labeled “incorporation,” “territorialization,” and “signification” respectively. Accordingly, this section explores infrastructural world-making by mapping digital–material connections running “via Asia” that touch ground in Asia but that also produce its spaces, borders, and global extensions.



digital infrastructure, smart infrastructure, liminality, Simondon, Asia, globalization

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