Anna Manubens

Look at and Look After Infrastructures

I have written a lot about On & For Production (later, Production and Distribution). However, a comparatively small part of that writing made it into publications. Most of it was produced for applications or within the daily working routine. In setting up frameworks that are outside of anticipated moulds and which don’t reproduce the usual roles, expectations and formats, one ends up spending an incredible amount of time describing what the initiative is, or is not. As exhausting and repetitive as this writing might be, it was absolutely needed to bring the project forward and to make methods that operate between established schemes intelligible. Having said that, the only way in which I can write about On & For yet again, and if this text is to permeate any gearing libido, it is by deliberately departing from the descriptive kind of writing that would aim again at drawing the singularity of what we have been doing. I would like to write instead about how I think about On & For now, or more precisely, about why I find myself going back to that experience now—after years and during the pandemic—in relation to a series of more general concerns. And still, if I took a few lines to mention what I would not write—the administrative, nerdy, sector-oriented, functional text—it is because this kind of almost-disembodied type of writing is part of a back-office, unsexy invisible labour that I believe is a real catalyst for change, and more so now. It is a form of maintenance that is as looked down on as it is becoming increasingly crucial.