Can an infrastructure be evil? The short pieces in this Theorizing the Contemporary series, which were originally commissioned for the 2016 Society for Social Studies of Science conference in Barcelona, explore cases of infrastructure that suggest some answers. The contributors reflect on information and communication infrastructures that prohibit or frustrate participation rather than extend it, or that support inequality and racism rather than trying to neutralize it, or that facilitate closure rather than extending openness.
Volkswagen defeat device, 2011. Photo courtesy of Laura Fiorio/Haus der Kulturen der Welt.