Equipments of power: Reblog> Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’, by @

Stuart Elden has blogged about Keith Harris‘ (no, not that one) work on excavating and translating some of the missing bits of the conversation published (in part) as Les équipements du pouvoir.

Stuart offers some interesting context and links to Harris’ excellent work – seems like an interesting piece for geographers, not least in relation to cities…

Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’

scan0001Keith Harris has been saying a bit about Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault and Fourquet’s discussions of ‘Les équipements du pouvoir’. He first shared his reading notes on Guattari’s contributions to a discussion with Foucault and Fourquet; and has followed up today with a clarification on the initial publication details.

Keith links to my list of Foucault’s collaborative projects, which I think illustrates just how important this model of working was for him. The pieces in question were first published in Généalogie du capital: 1 Les équipements du pouvoir: villes, territoires et équipements collectifs, Recherches, No 13, December 1973; which was then reissued as François Fourquet and Lion Murard, Les équipements du pouvoir, Paris: Union Générales d’Éditions 10/18, 1976. The Recherches issue isn’t that easy to find today, but the 10/18 book is fairly widely available.

Read the full blogpost.

(Anti)Prometheanism

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to discuss this in detail, or offer a slightly different Epimetheus-oriented reading à la Bernard Stiegler, but Alberto Toscano’s piece on anti-Prometheanism struck me as quite interesting, not least in relation to the Accelerationist manifesto put forth by Williams & Srnicek. Here’s the final paragraph but it’s worth reading the whole thing

For better and for worse, the world we inhabit is an immense accretion of dominations, the living labours of centuries mortified into the massive infrastructures that channel our daily lives, natural processes at once subsumed and refractory, and a vast accumulation of ends, endings and extinctions heterogeneous to original plans, when plans there were. In this regard, any politics today which is not merely a vapid accompaniment to dispossession and degradation, whether it claims the legacy of painstaking reform, desperate conservation, or comprehensive revolution, cannot but confront the ‘Promethean’ problem of articulating action and knowledge in the perspective of totality. To the extent that we regard Prometheus as ‘the most eminent saint and martyr in the philosophical calendar’, emblem of servitude refused to abstract and alienated powers (God, State, Money, Capital), then Promethean should be a proud adjective for those who consider revolution not as a passionate attachment to some flash of negation or other, but as a process of undoing the abstract social forms that constrain and humiliate human capacities, along with the political agencies that enforce these constraints and humiliations.

Fred Turner talks about his “Democratic Surround”

Fred Turner (STS Assoc. Prof. at Stanford), author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture, has written another book examining the development of theories of what Turner calls ‘the democratic personality’ by Margaret MeadGregory Bateson and others into an alternative form of propaganda to encourage opposition to fascism, described as the Democractic Surround, which serves as the title of the book. Turner describes some of the important themes of the book in conversation with Howard Rheingold (who is, incidentally, one of the people that appears in From Counterculture to Cyberculture). Charting movements between American anthropology (through Mead et al.), European avant grade arts (the Bauhaus refugees) and their subsequent absorption into the American cultural milieu in the form of the Black Mountain College (and so John Cage), Turner skilfully weaves an interesting narrative.

For those interested, there is a review essay by Fred Turner of Peter Mandler’s Return From the Natives, on Public Books, which examines the influence of Boas’ ‘school’ of anthropology on war-time (WWII) propaganda.

You can also see Stanford’s form of ‘propaganda’ in the shape of the promotional video they created for Turner’s book…

Reblog > Nigel Thrift and Steven Koonin discuss urban science and big data

Stuart Elden points to an interesting video of a conversation with Nigel Thrift, discussing urban informatics, ‘big data’ and so on. Slight hint of Thrift buying into the rhetoric around ‘big data’ but still an interesting discussion…

Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor of University of Warwick, and Steven Koonin, Director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, partners in this endeavour, discussed the emerging field of applied urban science and informatics, the opportunities it presents, and how it is challenging the way we think about information. The discussion was moderated by Sallie Keller, Director, Social Decision and Analytics Laboratory, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.

Digital geographies – two new articles

I have two new articles broadly concerning ‘digital geographies’ at different stages in the publication process. This represents a long-held interest I have held in the various ways we can think about and study ‘the digital’. In particular, these are the first articles to come out of a strand of my research which aims to advance understandings of the materialities that underpin digital geographies. In particular, this research focuses on the emergence of what have been called ‘spatial media’, the devices and systems we increasingly use to mediate our activities and way-finding in everyday life. Conceptually, this work significantly draws on my ongoing engagement with the work of the philosopher of technology Bernard Stiegler.

The first article is in Geography Compass: ‘Beyond the screen’ addresses the different ways in which we can study ‘life online’, drawing together a range of methodological strands to demonstrate how geographical thinking can inform and enhance social scientific research concerning the internet, particularly in relation to the articulation of spatial experience and knowledge. I am grateful to my colleague Gail Davies for suggesting that I write this piece for Geography Compass, which is an excellent resource for scholars at all stages of their careers. Thus paper was published in the August 2013 issue of Geography Compass and so can be found on the journal website. I also have a pre-press version available here.

The second article will be coming out in Progress in Human Geography: ‘The Matter of Virtual Geographies’ revisits the articulation of ‘virtual’ geographies and reviews recent discussion within geography of digitally mediated activity. The aim of the article is to argue for a greater attention to the material conditions of ‘the digital’. This is achieved by articulating a theory of ‘technics’–the co-constitutive relation between the human and the technical,–and ‘transduction’–the iterative modulating and translation of a sociotechnical milieu from one state to another–through the philosophy of Bernard Stiegler. This article expands on existing work in geography, such as Kitchin & Dodge’s excellent ‘Code/space’, that is pushing for more sophisticated understandings of software, code, and the plethora of increasingly sophisticated systems and devices with which we mediate ourselves and our (spatial) experience of everyday life. I am happy to share pre-print copies of this paper, please contact me if you’re interested.

Updated wordpress!

Well, I don’t blog all that often anymore, hence this blog page isn’t the homepage – I am however writing at least weekly blog posts for my day job – see http://www.dcrc.org.uk/blog.

Anyway, I resurrected some old knowledge and reminded myself how MySQL works (sort of) and followed the lovely and simple instructions on wordpress.org so this site is now running on <cue pitiful synthetic fanfare> WordPress 3.1.

This means those nasty error messages have gone from the top of the page (which were caused by a recent server upgrade).  I’m hoping to blog a bit on here again, although it will remain infrequent, heh.

The technics of attention – thinking about the attention economy through Stiegler’s philosophy of technology

In a final post about the ESF sponsored conference, Paying Attention, held by DCRC in September, I have recently written about the concept of technicity in relation to the capacity for attention. What follows is the text from that post, I hope it is of vague interest…
Continue reading “The technics of attention – thinking about the attention economy through Stiegler’s philosophy of technology”

links for 2008-10-16

  • Nik Baerten from Pantopicon interviews Nathan Shedroff on the tools design can bring to the application of foresight in various ways. As Shedroff says: "Design thinking and processes can be important contributors to the scenario-creating process but just as helpful for this implementation phase. In fact, alternate scenarios that build environments and artifacts can really help executives “see” how these scenarios might affect their business. Design processes bring a culture of brainstorming, critique, prototyping, and testing to the product and service development process."