Accomplishing Multipurpose Futures

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Susann LUDWIG, University of Basel, Switzerland
This presentation explores the relationship between the future and infrastructure. The future carries the idea of potential; infrastructures are materialized potential „they create the grounds on which other objects operate, and when they do so they operate as systems” (Larkin 2013). Multipurpose halls are such systems. They were constructed based on a past vision of multiple future purposes; in their default nature they need to be maintained in the present and transformed for future purposes, namely events. In other words, multipurpose halls are ground for the future to operate. Events are a rupture to the everyday maintenance of the hall.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork, constitution of multipurpose halls is explored in terms of how they are embedded in their environment, in the people who maintain the hall on an everyday basis as well as the ways in which people use the possibilities and constraints set by the hall. The central question here is: what constitutes the multipurpose hall? Thereby, I focus on grasping present practices accomplishing both the infrastructure of the hall and the infrastructure of the event in order to able to approach the relationship between them and the future.