Studio 19: The Erotics of Infrastructure

Rachal Bradley

This studio follows the line of enquiry, that questions how our body and subjectivity is formed through our encounters with infrastructure. We will explore what constitutes contemporary infrastructure, such as the digital sphere, financial products and how these may impact the formation of our subjectivity and social organisation. This enquiry is premised on the work of Michel Foucault (a queer activist and philosopher) and Audre Lorde (a black activist and poet). Through these writers, we will understand how we might find agency over our subjectivity through the power of the erotic – here defined as the sensual experience of the body (not sex!). This studio will use the methodologies of philosophy such as close reading, group text analysis, showing you how to close read philosophical texts, unpacking the terms and theoretical frameworks which underpin these texts and artworks which relate to this enquiry. We will relate this theoretical work back to IRL by transposing these ideas onto our environment, reading sites and cultural activities with the same methodology through site visits and encounters. 

Suggested reading

  • Keller Easterling, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space
  • Michel Foucault Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality
  • Art and Language
  • Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic
  • Claudia Rankine
  • Visits include Flat Time House, Peckham
  • Lloyds Buildin, City of London


Studio Image: Sun Tunnels, Nancy Holt, 1973–6. Banner image: Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (3), video still (detail), 2019

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, A view through concrete pipes, sun, sand


Tutor Rachal Bradley

Dissertation Studios 2022–23