AAG 2014 CFP: Assembling life at the “margin”: Critical assemblage thinking and urban marginality

looks like a great panel (s)- and Michele- as my co-conspirator stated- presented a great paper at our AAG panel last year.

My Desiring-Machines

Michele presented a great paper in our panel last year at the AAG so I’m really looking forward to this panel he’s organizing:
Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2014, Tampa, Florida, April 8-12th
Organised by Michele Lancione (UTS, Sydney; Cambridge University from Feb. 2013)
Assembling life at the “margin”: Critical assemblage thinking and urban marginality
Ethnographers, sociologists and urban geographers have mainly looked at the city as the inanimate backdrop against which social, cultural, and economical marginality takes place. Although the literature provides examples of fine-grained and situated accounts of urban poverty and marginality (e.g. Desjarlais 1997; Gowan 2010), it still falls short in taking the urban machinery fully into consideration in the instantiation of life at the margin (Lancione 2013). What role does the urban play in the daily processes of marginalisation? How do more-than-human agencies (Farías and Bender 2010), affective atmospheres (Anderson…

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Bifo on the Collapse of Modern Hope

this quote here certainly gives one pause. and makes me intrigued about the text.

synthetic zerø

“For historicist thinking and militant practice refuse to consider depression as a cognitive element, and this is a limit, one that today, for example, prevents us from being lucid about understanding the collapse of modern hope.  We should understand that the collapse of modern hope is certainly a disaster, but that it also contains elements that we should succeed in understanding, granted that our humanistic, socialist, illuminist, communist, values no longer have any place.  And this is depression, when you realize that your desire no longer has any place in the real.  This is the deep core of depression.  If you insist in not wanting to see this fact, you end up continuing to use tools that prevent you from acting.”

I’m reading, and enjoying, Bifo’s Thought, Friendship, and Visionary Cartography, has anyone out there read it, any thoughts/comments to share with us here?



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photomediations machine dot net

Good to see yet another use of Google Street View, just in case I need yet another artist to point to…
On a separate point, thinking about the wariness of social scientists worried about being evaluated, this gives me pause. And it makes me think of the irreversible psychological damage I suffered going through an MFA degree, where ‘work’ was deconstructed and critiqued for too long. Cynicism ensued, as well as an impatience for work that wasn’t well considered. This all makes me a little sad, given the potential of art. I think context and spirit of production should be considered: Sekula made great work that challenged a lot of disciplines, and I think the art world could use some more substantial content. Maybe the real evaluation ought to be: does it make language stammer?



I came across this website in my travels over the summer: Photomediations Machine.  It’s a “curated online space” that hosts reflections on photography and other media as forms of mediation, reflections which are mostly heavily visual (though, quite rightly I think, every submission has to include “a short description or a contextualisation piece”).  It’s very nicely put together, easy to navigate and robust; all the links worked fine, all the videos played.  Nice.

And it’s robust in another sense: submissions are peer-reviewed by the editor, Joanna Zylinska, and a member of the site’s Advisory Board.  It would be interesting to know what sort of criteria they use when they evaluate pieces for publication on the site.  Apart from a skills deficit, I think one reason social scientists are so wary of creating visual pieces of research is the uncertainty about how they will be evaluated.  Well-curated sites like…

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Thoughts From the Bell Jar

I like thinking about this sentiment, both the original and the one about how we remember things being important:

Doesn’t Deleuze somewhere say that “there’s nothing more distressing than ideas that slip away half-formed and unarticulated”? That’s how I remember the quote; and the way we remember things is often what’s most important…

It reminds me of that feeling one has- well, I have it anyway- being close to remembering something, but it is like a shadow, and focusing on it doesn’t help it become fully formed, and sometimes one isn’t even sure what one is trying to remember… but it holds us in an unsettling way sometimes…  Since I didn’t remember the original sentiment quite like this, that made me need to hunt it down. “Nothing is more distressing than a thought that escapes itself, than ideas that fly off, that disappear hardly formed, already eroded by forgetfulness or precipitated into others that we no longer master…” (What is Philosophy, 201) but my brain linked it tightly to this following idea, “This is the instant of which we do not know whether it is too long or too short for time.” (ibid)
It is freeing, the way in which thoughts can free us from ourselves, just by being forgetful.

Larval Subjects .

the_bell_jar_by_kimded-d3cf4xqSo I haven’t been writing much lately.  Have I been busy?  Always, but not as busy as I should be.  Have I been sick of dealing with people online?  Sure.  We’re a pretty wretched, awful species, especially in a cool medium such as this.  Have I been in the “bell jar”?  Maybe a little.  My hope is that I’m like a fallow field.  I’m sure y’all learned about it in your highschool history classes.  Rotate the crops on a three year cycle and allow certain fields to lie fallow so that they might replenish their nutrients.  It was one of the great revolutions of the middle ages, as I recall.  Well, when I grow dry– and so much of my sense of self-value is tied up with whether or not I’m writing so I find the blank page deeply traumatic –I like to think that maybe I’m just fallow, that…

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HOW TO READ LATOUR (2): Against Straight Reading


We are often confronted with the demand that we read a writer “first” in their own terms, and then in a later phase propose hypotheses for interpreting the text. This is a naïve empiricist methodological principle based on the idea that we must first seek direct unmediated “raw” data, and then elaborate hypotheses to explain that data. This principle is based on an impossibility, the myth of information untransformed by theoretical interpretation, and is in no way applicable to the process of research. Latour himself condemns it under the name of “Double Click”, the myth of transport of information without transformation. This is a basic principle of Latour’s research from the very beginning – we have only to recall that Latour started out in Biblical exegesis.

There is no “blank-slate” reading, just registering what Latour says in his own terms. Can we then read Latour with constant reference to the…

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HOW TO READ LATOUR: Polytheism of Values

I fully support this- and it reminds me of tactical reading ala de Certeau, as well as the ways in which Deleuze’s concepts change names but continue to function in a similar way. Straight reading misses the nuances of the explication… better to make a map, not a tracing.


Philip Conway has set the reading and discussion of Latour’s AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE off to a fine start. For the moment the discussion has centered on a certain vagueness and conceptual tension in Latour’s use of the term “Moderns”, and of what role his appeal to a notion of “values” plays in his project: preliminary survey to open up the field of inquiry or rhetorical reduction to serve the purposes of his own agenda. The question is thus posed of how we may best read this book, and Latour’s work in general.

Style and vocabulary are important to Latour’s message, as are argumentative and rhetorical strategy. This implies that we do not read Latour through the literalism and the narrow rationalism of “double-click” spectacles. Double-click is the name for a mode (of discourse and of existence) that reduces existence to information treated as unmediated and transparent access…

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CFP: Rendering (the) Visibile II

Fresh from my inbox…. looks like a good event for all you Deleuzians that are interested in aesthetics

On Feb 7-8, 2014, the Program in Moving Image Studies at GSU will host the second Rendering (the) Visible Conference, on the theme of “Figure.” At this time we would like to remind everyone that the September 20th deadline is fast approaching and hope you will make plans to join us in Atlanta. We are also happy to announce our keynote speakers will be Pasi Väliaho, author of Mapping the Moving Image (Amsterdam UP, 2010) and Anne Anlin Cheng, author of Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface (Oxford UP, 2010). In addition, the conference’s opening night will feature a screening of video and new media art from the figural perspective of the screen, curated and introduced by Professor Timothy Murray, Curator of Cornell University’s Rose Goldsen Archive
 of New Media Art and author most recently of Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

The 2014 edition of Rendering focuses on contemporary theories of visuality, as they move their focus toward process and away from representation, the notion of the Figure (or “the figural”) has become increasingly important. Emerging in French philosophy in the 1960s, the figural reacts against the notion of the “figurative,” or the representational fixity of an image; the figural refers to that which induces discord within any closed system of signification, by way of forces, energies, or intensities. This idea is taken up by Deleuze as “the Figure” in his work on Francis Bacon, where the Figure is that force of deformation which pushes the image away from the cliché which continually haunts it. The Figure thus moves our attention toward gesture, rhythm, modulation, and resonance within –and at the edges of– the moving image, whether we’re talking about Eisenstein’s neuro-aesthetics or the dynamic assemblages of first-person shooter games.

This conference, thus, seeks to encourage a wide-ranging discussion of how the Figure might provide new avenues for thinking about contemporary media, as well as for reconsidering the history of the moving image in the 20th century. We invite papers that mobilize the concept of the Figure in the exploration of any visual medium. Possible areas of investigation (or experimentation) might include—but are not limited to—such issues as:

* The “aesthetic event,” and its connection to catastrophe, the accident, the mark, the spasm

* The Figure in relation to movement, animation, “non-organic Life”

* The Figure in relation to recent thinking about political affect, aesthetics, and sensoriality

* Approaches to geopolitical mapping animated by notions of contour, ground, diagram

* Connections to aesthetic theorists of modernity, such as Benjamin, Bataille, etc.

The Rendering (the) Visible conference encourages interdisciplinarity and experimentation in the study of visuality and moving image media. We are also open to projects that play at the intersection of theory and practice.

Send paper proposals (300–500 words), including 3-5 bibliographical sources and a brief biography, by 20 September 2013 to movingimagestudies[at]gmail[dot]com. Queries can be sent using the “contact us” page on our Website http://movingimagestudies.com/ or directed to conference organizers Angelo Restivo, Alessandra Raengo, or Jennifer Barker (e-mail addresses available at http://communication.gsu.edu/movingimagestudies).