This essay explores the relations between mobile phones (keitai), broadcast television, and the commuter train network in contemporary Tokyo. In contrast to accounts that emphasize synergy or seamless integration of these infrastructures, this essay looks at them in terms of polarized tendencies associated with specific infrastructures—vertical hierarchical integration with broadcast television, and horizontal heterarchical differentiation with the commuter network and mobile phones. The basic goal is twofold: to consider the lived experience of these two infrastructural tendencies (mobilism and broadcast) and to consider the intensive life that arises between them. Considering subjectivity not only in terms of “molar formations” (codes and ideologies) but also in terms of “molecular practices” (lived rhythms and daily activities) invites a tentative thesis about what is happening in the molecular experiences arising between infrastructures in Tokyo: not the destruction of everyday life but its ongoing transformation into anti-production.
Thomas Lamarre; Living between Infrastructures: Commuter Networks, Broadcast TV, and Mobile Phones. boundary 2 1 August 2015; 42 (3): 157–170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2919558
Download citation file: