Posts Tagged ‘materiality’

Between us in the City

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The latest issue of Environment and Planning D has a special theme issue: Citizenship Without Community edited by Angharad Closs Stephens and Vicky Squire. It’s a great issue with essays by Etienne Balibar, Engin Isin and Cindy Weber amongst others.

I have an essay in this issue on materiality, subjectivity, and community in the era of global urbanization. Essentially it’s about the need to think about buildings as that which are ‘between us’ in the city and thus about the need to take the material fabric of the city seriously if were are to think about community (and it’s implied shadow ‘citizenship’). It is largely a contestation of the usual ideas of community and citizenship that see these as abstract binds (mental, legal, human) between individuals regardless of context. The piece is available here, email me if you don’t have access behind the pay-wall and I will send you whatever the license allows.

The full theme issue Contents are:

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The Political Life of Things: Podcasts

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Nagra SNST Recorder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matt Blaze

As I mentioned in a previous post, on 3rd December the BISA poststructural politics working group and the BISA/PSA Art and politics working group organised a one-day conference entitled ‘The Political Life of Things’ at the Imperial War Museum. The event was a success despite snow disrupting travel plans. Many thanks to all of the speakers for a provocative set of presentations. A final program for the event can be found below.

This event sought to explore questions of materiality, politics and artistic practice within the context of the Imperial War museum. The Keynote was given by Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins).

Sound recordings of the presentations at the event are now on-line. You can access them here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2010/12/the-political-life-of-things/; Many thanks to backdoorbroadcasting for recording and posting this archive.
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The Political Life of Things

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

3B
Creative Commons License photo credit: hide99

Along with my colleagues Angharad Closs-Stephens, Debbie Lisle and Emily Jackson, I am organising a one day workshop at the Imperial War Museum London on 3rd December 2010. The workshop will be a joint BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group and BISA/PSA Art and Politics Group event.

Since my work turned to consider critical infrastructure and I encountered Jane Bennett’s thought provoking account of role of thing-power in the North American Blackout of 2003, I have been intrigued by the question of the materiality of political life – a question that is often only obliquely answered in the disciplines of Politics and International Relations. I hope that the discussions that are started in the December workshop will allow further explanation of the complex ecologies of political subjectivity.

I’m very excited by the group of speakers confirmed at the event so far. I also hope that we will be able to add more in the near future.We are very lucky to have Jane Bennett as well as Jeremy Dellerwhose work is currently on display at the Imperial War Museum – as keynote speakers.

For those interested, here are the full details:
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The Chilean earthquake: urban materiality and feral cities

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Two articles in the Guardian on the Chilean earthquake caught my eye on Monday:

  • In Chile’s earthquake was horrible – but it could have been so much worse Rory Carrol points to the material differences between the Chilean earthquake and January’s much more destructive Haiti quake. The tectonic movements that Carol points to as the determinant of a quake’s strength are a reminder of the irruptive materiality of the environment. What caught my eye in this report, however, was the reference to the manner in which the urban fabric was key to the fate of the population in both cases. (more…)