Infrastructures of the imagined island: software, mobilities, and the architecture of Caribbean paradise
Software is recoding and rescaling island space, assembling islands in new configurations of territoriality and governance. Paying attention to software-supported mobility, sovereignty and place-making offers a key terrain for thinking about the contemporary rescaling of Caribbean states, island territories, and the imaginary ‘offshore’ economies within them. Travel and leisure destinations, especially in the Caribbean, are being disembedded from national territories and repackaged as unique natural enclaves connected to global metropolitan transport, media, and data flows. Through a discussion of Zaha Hadid’s masterplan for a new resort on Dellis Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the author explores how state space, informational space, and tourist space are converging in new fantasies of mobility, accessibility, and island paradise. The new software- supported spatialities, theorized as urban or metropolitan, are actually affecting remote Caribbean islands and other dispersed enclaves as much as (though in different ways than) ‘advanced’ urban regions. Indeed, as Caribbean states and territories adjust to complex new infrastructures and architectures of mobility, the deformations and refoldings of space described here may precociously prefigure processes of postcolonial urbanism that are restructuring private property, cyberspatial property, and state territory in other parts of the world.
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