среда, 30 марта 2011 г.

Анри Лефевр. The Social Production of Space (2).

Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Social Space. Blackwell. 1991. - (2).

translation © 1991 by Donald Nicholson-Smith

Начало - (1)


This aim does not imply the elaboration of a critical theory of existing space designed as a substitute for the descriptions and cross-sections that accept that space or for other critical theories that deal with society in general, with political economy, with culture, and so on. The substitution of a negative and critical Utopia of space (or of 'man' or 'society') for the dominant technological Utopia is no longer sufficient. Critiical theory, after being driven into practical opposition - and even into the most radical form of it, whether 'punctual' (i.e. attacking particularly vulnerable points) or global - has had its day.

It might be supposed that our first priority should be the methodical destruction of the codes relating to space. Nothing could be further, from the case, however, because the codes inherent to knowledge and social practice have been in dissolution for a very long time already. All that remains of them are relics: words, images, metaphors. This is the outcome of an epoch-making event so generally ignored that we have to be reminded of it at every moment. The fact is that around 1910 a certain space was shattered. It was the space of common sense, of knowledge (savoir), of social practice, of political power, a space thi-therto enshrined in everyday discourse, just as in abstract thought, as the environment of and channel for communications; the space, too, of classical perspective and geometry, developed from the Renaissance onwards on the basis of the Greek tradition (Euclid, logic) and bodied forth in Western art and philosophy, as in the form of the city and town. Such were the shocks and onslaughts suffered by this space that today ii retains but a feeble pedagogical reality, and then only with great difficulty, within a conservative educational system. Euclidean and perspectivist space have disappeared as systems of reference, along with other former 'commonplaces' such as the town, history, paternity, the tonal system in music, traditional morality, and so forth. This was truly a crucial moment. Naturally, 'common-sense' space, Euclidean space and perspectivist space did not disappear in a puff of smoke without leaving any trace in our consciousness, knowledge or educational methods; they could no more have done so than elementary algebra and

arithmetic, or grammar, or Newtonian physics. The fact remains that it is too late for destroying codes in the name of a critical theory; our task, rather, is to describe their already completed destruction, to measure its effects, and (perhaps) to construct a new code by means of theoretical 'superadding'.

It must be stressed that what is needed is not a replacement for the dominant tendency, however desirable that may once have been, but instead a reversal of that tendency. As I shall attempt at some length to show, even if absolute proof is impossible, such a reversal or inversion would consist, as in Marx's time, in a movement from products (whether studied in general or in particular, described or enumerated) to pro­duction.

This reversal of tendency and of meaning has nothing to do with the conversion of signified elements into signifiers, as practised under the banner of an intellectualizing concern for 'pure' theory. The elimination of the signified element, the putting-in-brackets of the 'expressive', the exclusive appeal to formal signifiers - these operations precede the reversal of tendency which leads from products to productive activity; they merely simulate that reversal by reducing it to a sequence of abstract interventions performed upon language (and essentially upon literature).

Анри Лефевр. The Social Production of Space (1).

Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Social Space. Blackwell. 1991. - (I).

translation © 1991 by Donald Nicholson-Smith

Продолжение - (2)



Not so many years ago, the word 'space' had a strictly geometrical meaning: the idea it evoked was simply that of an empty area. In scholarly use it was generally accompanied by some such epithet as 'Euclidean', 'isotropic', or 'infinite', and the general feeling was that the concept of space was ultimately a mathematical one. To speak of 'social space', therefore, would have sounded strange.

Not that the long development of the concept of space had been forgotten, but it must be remembered that the history of philosophy also testified to the gradual emancipation of the sciences — and especially of mathematics - from their shared roots in traditional metaphysics. The thinking of Descartes was viewed as the decisive point in the working-out of the concept of space, and the key to its mature form. According to most historians of Western thought, Descartes had brought to an end the Aristotelian tradition which held that space and time were among those categories which facilitated the naming and classing of the evidence of the senses. The status of such categories had hitherto remained unclear, for they could be looked upon either as simple empiri­cal tools for ordering sense data or, alternatively, as generalities in some way superior to the evidence supplied by the body's sensory organs. With the advent of Cartesian logic, however, space had entered the realm of the absolute. As Object opposed to Subject, as res extensa opposed to, and present to, res cogitans, space came to dominate, by containing them, all senses and all bodies. Was space therefore a divine attribute? Or was it an order immanent to the totality of what existed? Such were the terms in which the problem was couched for those philosophers who came in Descartes's wake — for Spinoza, for Leibniz, for the Newtonians. Then Kant revived, and revised, the old notion of the category. Kantian space, albeit relative, albeit a tool of knowledge, a means of classifying phenomena, was yet quite clearly separated (along with time) from the empirical sphere: it belonged to the a priori realm of consciousness (i.e. of the 'subject'), and partook of that realm's internal, ideal - and hence transcendental and essentially ungraspable -structure.

These protracted debates marked the shift from the philosophy to the science of space. It would be mistaken to pronounce them outdated, however, for they have an import beyond that of moments or stages in the evolution of the Western Logos. So far from being confined within the abstractness with which that Logos in its decline endowed so-called pure philosophy, they raise precise and concrete issues, among them the questions of symmetry versus asymmetry, of symmetrical objects, and of the objective effects of reflections and mirrors. These are all questions to which 1 shall be returning because of their implications for the analysis of social space.


The Call for Papers for the CRESC Annual conference, which will take place from the 6th to the 9th of September

The deadline to submit panel and individual proposals for this is the end of April.

The CRESC annual conference 2011 takes the rubric of 'framing' to scrutinise the processes by which cities are conceptualised, realised, lived, ordered and depicted, disrupted, changed and contested. More than half of humanity now lives in urban areas and city processes affect the whole globe. The rates of growth, decay and transformation; the diversity, complexity and flows of population and activities, as well as the scale of problems and possibilities posed by city life are breathtaking. This conference seeks to bring together contemporary approaches to the descriptive and analytical challenges of thinking through processes of change in urban and city contexts. The conference takes the following themes as inspiration for a call for papers with confirmed plenary speakers as shown:

  • CITY MATERIALITIES : (city objects, plans, designs, discourse, built environments, assemblages, archaeology, urban morphology, infrastructure, post-industrial regeneration, economies, mega events, spatiality …) Plenary speakers: Professor Nikos Salingaros (University of Texas at San Antonio) and Dr Albena Yaneva (University of Manchester)

  • CITY AFFECT:(the experiential, the senses, the auditory, passions, hopes, fears, violence, the imaginary, creative writing and literature …) Plenary speakers: Iain Sinclair and Professor Alistair Bonnett (University of Newcastle)

  • CITY ENVIRONMENTS: (sustainability, living and working environments, ecologies, city geographies, nature/culture, eco-cities …) Plenary speakers: Professor Maria Kaika (University of Manchester) and Professor Alan Simpson (Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow)

  • SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INEQUALITIES IN THE CITY : (social and cultural capital, governance, territorial dimensions of participation, contested spaces of belonging, social movements, underground resistance, critical urbanism) Plenary speakers: Professor Rosenlund Lennart (University of Stavanger, Norway) and Professor Talja Blokland (Humboldt University, Berlin)

  • MEDIATING THE CITY:(creative practices, cultural industries, urban identity, art, street art, broadcasting, music, advertising, dance, film, print and visual representation …) Plenary Speaker: Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

  • CITY MIGRATION, TRANS-NATIONALITY AND BORDERS: (mobility, flows, boundaries, identities, difference and belonging, states, nations, settlements and borders) Plenary Speakers: Dr Sabine Hess (Institute for European Ethnology) and Dr. Jan Rath (University of Amsterdam)

Please submit either

a) proposal for individual papers, or

(b) panel proposal including 3 papers

by the end of April 2011 using the proposal forms online. Abstracts should not be more than 250 words.

The proposal forms should be sent to CRESC Conference Administration, at the following address: 178 Waterloo Place, Oxford Road, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8985 / or via Fax: +44 (0) 161 275 8985 or submit to: CRESC.AnnualConference@manchester.ac.uk http://www.cresc.ac.uk

Proposals for performances, exhibitions and displays are welcome, but must be self-funded.

среда, 23 марта 2011 г.

Вышел перевод книги Джейн Джейкобс "Смерть и жизнь больших американских городов"

"Новое издательство" и InLiberty.ru представили долгожданный перевод на русский книги "Смерть и жизнь больших американских городов" (The Death and Life of Great American Cities) Джейн Джейкобс. 

Скачать PDF276.87 КБ (Введение к книге на сайте InLiberty.ru)

Написанная 50 лет назад, книга Джейн Джекобс «Смерть и жизнь больших американских городов» уже давно стала классической, но до сих пор не утратила своего революционного значения в истории осмысления города и городской жизни. Именно здесь впервые были последовательно сформулированы аргументы против городского планирования, руководствующегося абстрактными идеями и игнорирующего повседневную жизнь горожан. По мнению Джекобс, живой и разнообразный город, основанный на спонтанном порядке и различных механизмах саморегулирования, во всех отношениях куда более пригоден для жизни, чем реализация любой градостроительной теории, сколь бы продуманной и рациональной она не выглядела.

Джейн Джекобс (Jane Jacobs, 1916-2006) — канадско-американская писательница, активистка, теоретик городского планирования и одна из основоположниц движения нового урбанизма.

См. также тексты Джейкобс и других представителей нового урбанизма в библиотеке сайта "Социологические прогулки"