just because Erwin Wurm makes me giggle


Doing some research for the work that I will be doing for the exchange with Quartair, I found out that Baruch Spinoza has lived in the Hague for the last years of his life and is burried at the Nieuwe Kerk. Doing a photo search, I discovered one of Erwin Wurm‘s “one minute sculptures” entitled: Hold your Breath and Think about Spinoza. I am trying to find the instructions; maybe we could realize the sculpture (or perform it, can’t figure out the correct term in this case) as a group once we are in Ottawa or in the Hague all together or may be in one of our skype meetings!


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John Protevi on ‘How to begin reading Deleuze’

My path was an early path of fits and starts:
I read Smooth and Striated out of ATP before I knew anything about anything.
I revisited that a year or two later, alongside the Introduction to ATP; and again a year or two later still. At some point, it started to really make sense and fit into my brain.

After that, I jumped into Cinema 1 and 2, which feels incredibly relevant for thinking about my topic, Google Street View

For my exam reading list, I also read (in addition to C1 and C2, again):

What is Philosophy

A-O and ATP (also with our reading group, Becoming Poor)

What felt like way too many secondary sources at the time:
Bronta/Protevi: Geophilosphy;
Colebrook: Deleuze;
Flaxman: Brain is the Screen;
Rodowick: Time Machine and After Images;

I then read Bergsonism and Hume for a paper on Duration.

Then for fun, I read
Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (agreed, really helpful);
a large portion of Nietzsche;
Immanence: A Life essays;

From there, I developed a course proposal which focused on some of the key concepts of Deleuze, which forced me to dig a little deeper, read a little wider, and brought in a lot of his sources that he references for the concepts I was covering. That was extremely fruitful.

This past spring, I took a philosophy class on Spinoza, reading The Ethics. I think this has been one of the most helpful aspects of understanding Deleuze at a completely different level. I wrote a paper about Wonder, using Deleuze’s Expressionism in Philosohpy, and returning to Practical Philosophy, placing the role of wonder alongside the concept of deterritorialization. I’m screwing up the courage to try again to read Difference and Repetition, but the timing isn’t quite right. I have a sense that it will be far easier, after tangling with Spinoza.

My advice is to read broadly to get a sense of how he talks about things, then focus on something that feels relevant. I think Deleuze’s own advice is that we necessarily start in the middle, and finding something particularly relevant for one’s own research seems like the best way to start. It will resonate, for one, and there are a host of secondary sources/dictionaries that can elaborate on key concepts. I think the key is repeated exposure. There is only so much we can glean from a first read.

Progressive Geographies

John Protevi offers some good advice at New APPS. He starts with Deleuze’s book Spinoza: Practical Philosophy and then offers suggestions for primary and secondary literature.

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CFP–new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies launched


Visit the new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies site here.

Call for Papers

The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is a new peer-reviewed publication cutting across both the humanities and the social sciences in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities. The journal is open to studies that deal with culture, urban spaces and forms of urbanized consciousness the world over.

Although we embrace a broad definition of urban cultural studies, we are particularly interested in submissions that give equal weight to: a) one or more aspects of urban studies (everyday life, built environment, architecture, city planning, identity formation, transportation…) and b) analysis of one or more specific forms of cultural/textual production (literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames, online or virtual space…) in relation to a given urban space or spaces.

Essays of 7,000-10,000 words (including works cited and notes) should be sent by attachment to the…

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seems a little weird to reblog my own post, but I have been a little remiss with this site.

Becoming Poor

As previously posted, we are currently reading Thrift’s Non-Representational Theory. It has a sexy subtitle: Space | politics | affect, and having just come off of a quarter of tangling with Spinoza, thinking that everything is ‘political’ in general, and being in a program that is decidedly spatially oriented, what’s not to like? There are plenty of good things, to be sure. Some of it feels very familiar; but in many respects, he has a quietly political- political, not Political- message that is important to hear out. (We discussed in our last meeting that the chapters thus far seem to lack a critical, political stance, but perhaps this emerges in the third installment…) We are only a third of the way through the book, so I’m going focus on a particular chapter. Given that the chapters were written at different points as journal articles, and subsequently compiled together…

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I failed to post that they are issuing a publication in conjunction; the written material is due September 30. See the website for more information

Becoming Poor

Communication and the City: Voices, Spaces, Media
14-15 June 2013

Urban Communication Foundation & Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds

In association with:
ECREA Media and the City Temporary Working Group

Conference website:

The Communication and the City Conference is an international two-day event hosted by the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners from a variety of national contexts to discuss questions of urban communication across academic disciplines and professional fields.


By middle of this century 7 out of 10 people in the world will live in cities, and it is in cities that we find major centres of political, economic, creative and ideological power. For these reasons, in recent decades an increasing number of scholars have come to see cities as powerful texts and contexts for communication research. Drawing from across…

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