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Dominic Boyer: Infrastructural Futures in the Ecological Emergency: Gray, Green, and Revolutionary. [Abstract]

In this article, I discuss the three dominant models of conceiving infrastructural futures in the context of the contemporary ecological emergency and what kinds of futures each model enables and forestalls. Gray infrastructure conceives human-engineered material designs that are able to produce predictable, controllable effects, often at a mass scale. Gray infrastructure also conceives futures that by and large reproduce present Anthropocene relations (e.g., a strict nature/culture divide mediated by technology and human supremacy. Green infrastructure is a more diverse paradigm but generally speaking pursues naturecultural collaborations that seek to bend the Anthropocene trajectory. Still, much of what passes for green infrastructure today fails to challenge industrial-capitalist logics and in this way creates futures that are more reproductive of the Anthropocene trajectory than they intend. Finally, I discuss my concept of “revolutionary infrastructure” as an alternative to gray and green infrastructural imagination. Revolutionary infrastructure resists standardization and categorization but generally appears as local experimental enabling relations, as redirection of potential energy, and as transformational pathways toward non-ecocidal, non-genocidal futures.

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