Logistical Worlds: Infrastructure, Software, Labour, No. 2 Kolkata – Moving through the Burrabazar district along Kolkata’s Strand the immediate buzz of hustling and trade obscures the crumbling warehouses that line the thoroughfare. According to a popular saying, ‘Everything is available in Burrabazar’. This ethos of ready supply, at least for those who are prepared to haggle (and almost everyone is), comes with an infrastructural and informational layer. ‘Everyone wants to buy cheap and sell dear’, writes Clifford Geertz in a classic article on the bazaar economy from the 1970s. ‘In the bazaar information is poor, scarce, maldistributed, inefficiently communicated, and intensely valued’. What are the material conduits that support this game of information procurement and coveting and what are the historical and political conditions that have allowed it to flourish?
Brett Neilson is Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. He is author, with Sandro Mezzadra, of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor and The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism.
Ned Rossiter is Director of Research at the Institute for Culture and Society, and Professor of Communication, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University. His current book projects include Media of Decision and (with Soenke Zehle) The Experience of Digital Objects: Automation, Aesthetics, Algorithms.