Although the book Between the Material and the Possible: Infrastructural Re-examination and Speculation in Art has come out quite a while ago, it’s taken me some time to post on it, but not as long as it in the end took to produce! Although its editor, Bassam El Baroni, had approached me about a book on infrastructure and its haunting well before the pandemic emerged, the outbreak and spread of Covid-19 certainly had an impact on getting it all done. No matter where they were located, everyone’s lives were affected in one way or another, highlighting the different ways in which we all rely on many infrastructures to be able to lead our lives in what we perceived to be ‘normal’. The upshot was that without exception, and for different reasons all those involved with the book’s production were affected – from falling ill themselves, to dealing with family bereavements, as well as additional childcare and home-schooling pressures, and general burn-out from dealing with our altered day-to-day work and home life. Despite the myriad ways in which everyone had to (learn to) deal with the pandemic, the result is a book that I am particularly proud of. Bassam’s selection of authors across a wide range of disciplines was inspired in its diversity, and it’s been a real pleasure to work with him, all the individual authors, as well as the designers An Endless Supply to work on what eventually became a dense 300-page+ anthology.
Although some of the authors also participated in the ‘Infrahauntologies’ exhibition at the Edith-Russ-Haus in Oldenburg, Germany, also curated by Bassam, and there are clear thematic links and concerns between show and book, the publication is a critical anthology that also reaches well beyond. The book is co-published by Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst and Sternberg Press, and in the US distributed by The MIT Press.