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