The infrastructure of intimacy
This essay brings together two different rubrics that are animating recent strands of critical analysis: intimacy and infrastructure. Its point is as simple as calling attention to a telephone wire—or these days, to a cell phone tower: that infrastructures are involved in social relations and, in many cases, shape the conditions for relational life. Intimate relations involve places—the example in this essay is the public latrine—or conduits— like the telephone or computer discussed below. But the infrastructure for intimacy reaches beyond the specific forms of the SMS or the WC. Tracing circuits of pipes and cables embeds intimate relations in unpredictable junctures of material and symbolic power.
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