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  • Author or Editor: AbdouMaliq Simone x
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Data, data everywhere. Never a moment’s rest. Never an aspect of life not potentially convertible into indicating something besides itself, never unable to participate in a gathering of factors whose particular compositions indicate future behavioral dispositions or scenarios. Data reworks the fundamental ontological status of things, as they no longer exist for themselves or for their actual and potential uses for others, but rather as placeholders, momentary points of reference for an assemblage of futurity always in the making. In other words, things are basins of attraction – to use cybernetic vernacular – that contribute to the singularity of specific events, personalities, and operations: a contributing factor to why events transpired in the way they did and what their likely implications are to be. The chapter explores some of the operations and ramifications of urban data technical apparatuses. What do they do, how do they function, and what, most significantly, is the terrain of the urban they both analyse and constitute? In what ways is the interoperability of knowledge increasingly predicated, or at least suggestive of, an entire domain of the inoperable, the feral; that is, procedures of knowing and doing that seem to come out of nowhere, that have no ready mechanisms of translation, no discernible relational frameworks.

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This chapter engages Jayapura – West Papua’s largest urban region – as a site to explore how the infrastructural intersections of multiple temporalities give specific shape to the city. These temporalities emerge from a tense interplay of continuously revised modalities of domination and resistance, as well as registers that are more ambiguous. The chapter develops an account of ‘Papuan time’ that exposes tensions between contracting and protracting temporalities: between modern development narratives portraying indigenous Papuans as ‘frozen in time’, the lived experience of time as ‘broken’ with the loss of national self-determination, and the extension of differential infrastructures that attempt to reclaim time amid the uncertainty of an ‘interminable present’. It is argued that these vital processes and relations shaping Jayapura serve as an infrastructure for inhabitations that suspend clear trajectories of either subjugation or liberation. Urban ‘extensions’ constitute spatio-temporal infrastructures that lend support to Papuan configurations of temporality, of momentary experiences of freedom enabling at least affective rehearsals for a national liberation that is continuously deferred.

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