The body as infrastructure

Luis Andueza, Archie Davies, Alex Loftus*, Hannah Schling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we conceptualise the human body as infrastructure, asking what kind of infrastructure it currently is and what kind of infrastructure it could be. We therefore tease out the historically and geographically specific ways in which human bodies have been (re)produced as infrastructure, emphasising the violence of abstraction in capitalist modernity that transforms the productive body into a technology of calorific inputs and outputs. Nevertheless, through demystifying abstract labour we point to the relations of (re)production (needed for the body’s ongoing repair) and the metabolic processes (responsible for both decay and repair) that are subsumed within a broader capitalist system of accumulation. In so doing, we turn to the immanent contradictions and struggles that resist the body’s production as a one-sided technology of circulation and through which it is, and can become, an infrastructure for life and sociality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-817
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning E: Nature and Space
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Keywords

  • abstraction
  • Embodied urban political ecology
  • infrastructure
  • metabolism
  • social reproduction theory

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