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Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space

"An extraordinary guidebook to the politics of infrastructure in the contemporary world." –Stephen Graham, author of Cities Under Siege
Extrastatecraft controls everyday life in the city: it’s the key to power – and resistance – in the twenty-first century.

Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government.

Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of mobile telephony, the world’s largest shared platform, to the “free zone,” the most virulent new world city paradigm. In conclusion, she proposes some unexpected techniques for resisting power in the modern world.

Extrastatecraft will change the way we think about urban spaces – and how we live in them.

Reviews

  • Extrastatecraft is an essential text for anyone with a stake in the built environment, architect and citizen alike, in articulating the forces that shape our nation-states, and cataloguing - in a precise and readable style - the strategies of an otherwise unaccountable global order.”
  • “I have long admired Keller Easterling’s talent for extracting a space, a shape, a marking, from mixes of elements rarely brought together – whether materially or conceptually. In Extrastatecraft she does it at a grand scale, cutting across fields of meaning and of practice. A must read.”
  • “An extraordinary guidebook to the politics of infrastructure in the contemporary world, Extrastatecraft is a pivotal and beautifully written excavation of the hidden geographies of globalisation. ‘Free’ trade zones, optic fibre networks, credit cards, mobile phones, economic and financial rules ... all emerge as charged elements within an often invisible geography that could not be more important. Extrastatecraft works to politicise and expose the prosaic and taken-for-granted hardware of our world.”
  • “This book is a breathtaking journey along the material and immaterial infrastructures that continuously shape contemporary global space. Information flows of financial, legal or military nature congeal into wide arrays of strange ‘spatial products,’ extraterritorial ‘zones’ and building nodes. From within the logic of these pervasive systems, Easterling poses the most urgent political challenge facing spatial activists today, and shows how the search for justice must retool to outsmart the immanent violence of Extrastatescraft.”
  • Extrastatecraft establishes Keller Easterling’s growing reputation as the savviest student of postnational spatial and infrastructural forms. Bringing together architecture, coding, digitalization and logistics, she exposes the nervous system of the new logics of domination through information and proposes a cunning counter-politics of humor, discommunication and disguise. A must read for all varieties of critical students of space and sovereignty in this emerging century.”
  • “This is a remarkable work. Keller Easterling has written one of the most original works about the American environment I’ve ever read.”
  • “A provocative study of infrastructure, the operating system governing everyday life.”

Blog

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    As the housing crisis worsens, and the inequalities of the city become more pronounced, a radical architectural response becomes vital and necessary.

    In Last Futures: Nature, Technology, and the End of Architecture, Douglas Murphy maps the designs, dreams, and failures of architects, philosophers and planners from the 1960’s to the present day; introducing a world of apocalyptic industrialists, radical hippies, cybernetic planners and visionary architects, and exploring not just what to build, but how.

    Inspired by this, we present a reading list of books that propose new ways to reimagine the city, and underline the need for progressive architectural alternatives. 


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  • Space Probe Alpha—Defending Public Space

    On Saturday 13th February the London Space Academy will be staging an intervention, 'Space Probe Alpha', in Potters Field Park to encourage public discussion around the loss of public space in the UK.


     

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  • Space and Power: Celebrating the life of Edward Soja (1940-2015)

    Edward Soja, the acclaimed urbanist and radical geographer, passed away on November 2nd, 2015. Mustafa Dikec, Professor of Urban Studies at Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris and LATTS, announced his passing on the Critical Geography listserv:

    It is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you that Edward Soja passed away last night in Los Angeles after a long battle with illness. Ed was one of the key figures associated with ‘the spatial turn’ in the 1980s, and his writings on space, spatial justice, and cities have inspired many since then. He will be sorely missed by his friends who knew his warm and genereous personality.


    To celebrate his life and work, we publish an extract from Soja's classic work Postmodern Geographies: the Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, in which he discusses the production of space and power in Los Angeles.


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