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CONFLICTS AND NEGOTIATIONS AS SPATIAL PRACTICES

 

VC71010A :::: RHB 312 – Tuesdays – 11 am to 1pm

In this course space is explored as a medium of power and resistance and the city is projected as an object of investigation and as a site of intervention. The course engages with social and political conflicts as they register themselves in the transformation of the built environment. From architectural details to urban infrastructures up-scale to geopolitical assemblages, space is conceptualized as the means by which conflicts and negotiations are articulated at different and interrelated dimensions.

The course explores the intersections between legal frames, territorial divisions, environmental conditions and aesthetical regimes in their relation with contemporary spatial-political realities. It folds the urban, the geopolitical and the natural into a detailed analysis of several key aspects that give shape to the built environment, such as human rights and conflict zones, processes of globalization and the production of uneven geographies, the politics of aid and complex emergency situations. The course uses a number of theoretical positions and empirical case-studies (from colonial through contemporary cityscapes) to discuss conflicts, the constructions and destructions with which they articulate themselves, as processes of space making. Conflicts will be shown to be played out within a constructed, real or imaginary architecture and through the representation, construction, organization, transformation, erasure and subversion of space. Space will understood not as the backdrop of conflict, neither is it its immediate consequence, never simply “political”, but as the very medium and language within which conflicts are conducted.

Each seminar will introduce a number of concepts. The concepts/tools mark a field between theory and practice, engaging with modes of narrating space and reflecting upon their political/cultural implications. The second part of seminars is structured around student presentations of relevant work (including art works, cartographies, architectural analysis, video narratives etc). Here we will also examine the role that engaged cultural and spatial production could play within social and political conflicts. The concepts and the presentations should be linked to the student’s theses and have direct input on the way his/her dissertation project is being developed.

Every five weeks, the seminar will change its mode and assumes the form of a collective roundtable where students present the project at the development stage and gets feedback from colleagues and facilitator. Some of the seminars will also include relevant guests – practitioners and theorists relevant to the themes discussed.

Students are expected to provide a written synopsis/proposal of two to three pages after the Christmas break. The course is assessed by an 8,000 word essay or 1 x 6000 word essay & visual analysis to be handed in after the Easter break.

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SEMINAR 01: POWER (FOUCAULT’S ARCHITECTURE):
15 NOV

Reading:
Michel Foucault and Paul Rabinow: Space, Knowledge, and Power
Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended – lecture 11
Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Foucault and the Genealogy of Modern Architecture
http://roundtable.kein.org/node/621
Gilles Deleuze, Foucault: A new Cartographer, pp. 23-46
http://roundtable.kein.org/node/526
Michel Foucault, Heterotopias + Panopticism

 

Screening / Presentation:
Harun Farocki, The Creators of Shopping Worlds

Further Reading:
Paul Rabinow, French Modern
Robin Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building

 

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SEMINAR 02: POLITCS AND THE POLITICAL
22 NOV (followed by Seminar on Law & Space with Leif Dahlberg 2pm -4pm)

Reading:
Jacques Ranciere, Wrong: Politics and Police, in Disagreement
http://roundtable.kein.org/node/1072
Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political
Chantal Mouffe, Hearts, Minds and Radical Democracy
Chantal Mouffe, Every Form of Art Has a Political Dimension; Tom Keenan, Rosalyn Deutche, Branden W. Joseph, interview Chantal Mouffe
 
Screenings / Presentations:
Hito Steyrel, The empty Centre

 

Further Reading:
Thomas Keenan, Drift, Politics and the Simulation of Real Life
http://roundtable.kein.org/node/124
Chantal Mouffe, Agonistic Public Spaces
Leo Strauss, Notes on Carl Schmitt
http://roundtable.kein.org/node/1084
Jacques Derrida, On Absolute Hostility, The Cause of Philosophy and the Spectre of the Political
Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau, Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics

 

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SEMINAR 03: DISPOSITIVE AND APPARATUSES
29 NOV

Readings:
Giorgio Agamben, What is an apparatus?
Gilles Deleuze, What is a dispositive?
James Scott, State Space: zones of governance and appropriation
Yates McKee, Eyes and Ears

 

Screening / Presentation:
Andrei Ujica and Harun Farocki, Videograms of a Revolution

Further Reading:
Foucault, Governmentality
Franco Berardi, The image dispositive
Giorgio Agamben, The power and the glory
Harun Farocki, Substandard
Paul Wapner,  Politics Beyond the State

 

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SEMINAR 04: ASSEMBLAGES (LATOUR’S FORUM)
06 DEC

Readings:
Latour, We Have Never been Modern, chap 01
Latour, From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik, or How to Make Things Public

Presentation:
B. Latour and P. Weibel, Making things Public (curatorial project).

Further Readings:
Latour, Compositionist Manifesto
Latour, Why critic has run out of steam?
Latour, Whose cosmos? whose cosmopolitics?

 

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SEMINAR 05: FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE (with Eyal Weizman & Susan Schuppli)
13 DEC

Readings:
Miguel Tamen, Friend of the Interpretable Objects, chap. 4 and 5
E. Weizman, FA: Only the criminal can solve the crime

FA: ICTY and Kosovo Project

Further Reading:
Heidegger, The thing
Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison , Objectivity

 

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XMAS BREAK

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SEMINAR 07: MEDIA EVIDENCE (with Susan Schuppli)
10 JAN

Readings:
Keenan, “Mobilizing Shame.” The South Atlantic Quarterly 103 2/3 (2004): 15.
______. “Publicity and Indifference: Media, Surveillance, Humanitarian Intervention.” Short follow-up text to “Mobilizing Shame”.
Patton, Paul. “The World Seen from Within: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Events.” Theory & Event 1 1 (1997): 1-13. This reading links the morning and afternoon session.

download full seminar programme and reading pack HERE

 

2PM : Media, Transmission, Event: workshop with Susan Schuppli
17 JAN, 2pm RHB 312, all welcome.

 

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SEMINAR 07: FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE # 02 (with Eyal Weizman)
17 JAN

Readings:
We continue with the readings from seminar Forensics 01 — plus:

Further Reading:
Sergei Tretiakov, The biography of the object
Janne Bennet, The force of matter

 

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SEMINAR 08: THE POLITICS OF LACK
24 JAN 2012

Reading:
Pierre Clastres, Society Against the State (att)
Arturo Escobar, The problematization of poverty, in: Encountering Development
Mariane Gronemeyer, Helping

Further Readings:
Marshall Sahlins, The Original Affluent Society
Mike Davis, Illusions of Self-Help, in: Planet of Slums
Neil Smith, Uneven Geographies

 

2PM: p2p CN tutorials / Essay proposal feedback

 

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SEMINAR 09: THE POLITICS OF AID
31 JAN

Reading:
Mark Duffield, Development and Security (Chap 03 and 04)
Tania Murray Li, The will to improve

Further Reading:
Kalyan Sanyal, Rethinking Capitalist Development
James Ferguson, The anti-politics machine
David Rieff, One bed for a night

2 PM:
Screening: Renzo Martens, Enjoy Poverty — followed by roundtable discussion
p2p CN tutorials / Essay proposal feedback

 

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SEMINAR 10: FRONTIERS
07 FEB

Reading:
Walter Benjamin, Critique of violence
Achile Mbembe, Necropolitics
Jaques Derrida, The Force of Law

Further Reading:
Ann Tsing, Friction
Karl Marx, The secret of Primitive Accumulation, in: Capital, vol.1, Chap. 26
Eyal Weizman, Frontier Architecture, in: Hollow Land
Michael Taussig, My Cocaine Museum & Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man.

 

2PM: p2p CN tutorials / Essay proposal feedback

 

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THE POTOSÍ PRINCIPLE: workshop with Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann and Max Jorge Hinderer
Friday, 10 FEB – RHB 312 – 2PM

More info to follow…

 

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READING WEEK 13 – 19 FEB

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SEMINAR 11: FIELD
21 FEB

Readings:
Okwui Enwezor, Documentary: Verité
George Markus, Experts, Reporters, Witness: the making of anthropologists in States of Emergency
Hal Foster, The artist as Ethnographer
Trihn Mihn-ha, Reassemblage

Further Readings:
James Clifford and George Marcus, Writing Culture: the Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
Walter Benjamin, The author as producer
Anselm Franke, Across the Rationalist Veil


2PM: Drifting Studio Practice: workshop with Lonnie van Brummelen

read: Lookout with Wind Turbine
More info to follow…

 

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SEMINAR 12: ENVIRON
28 FEB

 

Reading:
Michel Foucault, STP – 11 Jan 1978
G. Canguilheim, The living being and its environment
D. Rieff, Where hunger goes: on the green revolution

Further Reading:
Michael Watts, Violent Environments
Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts
Nick Cullather,The hungry world
Sloterdjik, Terror from the Air
Vandana Shiva, Water Wars

 

2PM: Geo-objects and earth-politcs: workshop with Paulo Tavares
Suggested Readings:
Political Noise
Common Rights
Air

 

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SEMINAR 13: ACCIDENTS, DISASTERS, CATASTROPHES
06 MARCH

Readings:
Adi Ophir, The Politics of Catastrophization
Naomi Klein, Disaster Capitalism – A very capitalist disaster and Disaster Apartheid
Peter Hallward, The fourth invasion: securing disaster in Haiti

Screening/Presentation:
Virilio, Unknown Quantity

Further Readings:
Peter Hallward, Option Zero in Haiti
Paul Virilio, The original Accident (chap 2  – the invention of accidents)
Ulrich Beck, Risky Society

 

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SEMINAR 14 (13 March ) and 15 (20 March) –  TBC

 

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SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended and Security Territory Population
Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political
Jacques Ranciere, Disagreement
Gilles Deleuze, Foucault
Felix Guatari, Chaosmosis
Mao Tse-tung, On Practice
W. J. T. Mitchell (ed.), Landscape and Power
Paul Hirst, Space and Power
Robin Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building
Denis Cosgove, Mapping
Benedict Anderson, Imaginary Communities
Michael J. Shapiro, Violent Cartographies
Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Peter Paret, Makers of Modern Strategy
Bruno Latour, Making things public and We have never been modern and Political Ecology
Achille Mbembe, Necropolitics and On the post-colony
AbdouMaliq Simone, For the city yet to come
Sharon Zukin, Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World
Michael Taussig, Shamanism, colonialism and the Wild man
Michael Watts, Violent Environments
Anna Tsing, Friction
Vandana Shiva, Water wars
Michel Feher, Non-governmental politics
Keller Easterling, Enduring Innocence
Ursula Biemann, The Black Sea Files
Pierre Clastres, Societies Against States
Donna Haraway, A Cyborgue Manifesto
Mike Davis, Planet of Slums and Late Victorian Holocausts
Aihwa Ong, Neoliberalism as Exception
David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism
Michel Agier, On the Margins of the World
James Ferguson, The anti-politics machine

 

MARA-STREAM CEASED ACTIVITIES IN JULY 2012. THE SITE WILL REMAIN ONLINE AS A REPOSITORY/ARCHIVE UNTIL JANUARY 2014. YOU CAN CONTINUE BROWSING BY CLICKING ANYWHERE OUTSIDE THIS BOX. OR YOU CAN CLICK HERE FOR AN OVERVIEW OF OUR ENTIRE ARCHIVE. MARA-STREAM’S CONTENT WILL BE PARTIALLY AND GRADUALLY TRANSFERRED TO THE ROUNDTABLE. THANK YOU.