1. Documents, Constellations, Prospects
        2. Contributions
        Infrastructure, Lecture

        Logistical Infrastructures and Algorithmic Institutions

        Stefano Harney

        20 March 2013

      1. Since the 1970s with the rise of “implementation” literature, the debate between strategy and implementation has raged within the walls of business schools and at executive seminars and getaways. Originally an ideological attack on the new public administration emerging out of the social movements of the time, implementation literature opened the door to the new public management, and the efficiency drives with which all of us live today in public and not-forprofit institutions of all kinds. The debate moved on, having done its damage. Today leadership stands against logistics, vision against infrastructure. Or at least this is how it looks on the surface of business literature, both popular and academic. But beneath this surface are currents concerning the individual and the sub-individual, the subject, the object and the thing, and economies of scale and modes of accumulation in capitalism today. These currents return us to those institutions subjected to efficiency drives, and the cargo cult of the market imported into these institutions and worshipped by their leadership. The ritual reorganization and auditing of public and not-for-profit institutions has not led to the disappearance of such institutions, indeed universities, museums, jails, and hospitals proliferate globally. Rather, new algorithms of management have transformed the infrastructure from one with potential for the human to emerge to a logistical one in which the elimination of human time is the goal, a goal shared by logistical theory more generally. The rise of algorithmic institutions can perhaps tell us something about the alternative infrastructures we need today.