Progressive Geographies

Strong piece by Stefan Kipfer, Parastou Saberi and Thorben Wieditz in Progress in Human Geographysurveying Lefebvre’s contributions and recent scholarship (requires subscription). The material on the state and social movements is particularly useful.

Aided with French and German scholarship, this paper takes stock of Henri Lefebvre’s relevance in contemporary English-speaking urban research on social movements, postcolonial situations, the state, scale, gender, urban political ecology, regulation, and the right to the city. What becomes clear from this survey is that Lefebvre’s capacity to contribute to cutting-edge urban research requires a selective translation of his work. While the modalities of translating Lefebvre vary depending on the subject matter, transfiguring Lefebvre for today is most plausible when taking into account the dialectical nature of his urbanism and the open-ended and integral character of his marxism.

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On 18 and 19 May, the Forum titled “Exclusion… Neoliberal inclusion: Looks at the Sustainable Rural Cities” was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de las Casas.  The Forum was organized by different universities and organizations, including UNAM, CIESAS, and the Chiapas Peace Network.  The methodology of the forum included several rounds dealing with questions such as “Life in the Rural Cities,” “Territorial reorganization and counterinsurgency,” “State-firm, UN-State, public policy,” “The media reality: simulation and censorship,” as well as “Alternatives. Lekil kuxlejal, autonomy, utopia.”  Beyond presentations given by 15 investigators of the CRS Program, testimonies were presented by residents of two CRS currently in operation: Nuevo San Juan Grijalva and Santiago El Pinar.

All those who participated concurred in their critiques of this project, which was either poorly consulted with those it would affect, or not at all.  Dolores Camacho, UNAM researcher, spoke of the CRS in Santiago el…

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Thinking culture

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I’ve been reading Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge’s excellent book Code/Space: Software and Everyday life. The book is all about software and digital infrastructures. The book is a culmination of co- authored work by Kitchin & Dodge. They have written some really influential articles over the last few years. The book builds on this earlier work but contains lots of fresh insights. The argument is essentially that software is central in the operation of social space. They demonstrate this through a range of detailed examples ranging from the home to air travel. Below are some of the images from their exploration of music as code/space.

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There are some crucial and illuminating observations here that break new ground in the social and spatial understanding of the embedding of software in everyday life. On occasion there is a bit of a tendency in the book to layer a few too many…

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Code/Space by Rob Kitchin & Martin Dodge

20120605-081032.jpg
I’ve been reading Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge’s excellent book Code/Space: Software and Everyday life. The book is all about software and digital infrastructures. The book is a culmination of co- authored work by Kitchin & Dodge. They have written some really influential articles over the last few years. The book builds on this earlier work but contains lots of fresh insights. The argument is essentially that software is central in the operation of social space. They demonstrate this through a range of detailed examples ranging from the home to air travel. Below are some of the images from their exploration of music as code/space.

20120605-081637.jpg

20120605-081643.jpg
There are some crucial and illuminating observations here that break new ground in the social and spatial understanding of the embedding of software in everyday life. On occasion there is a bit of a tendency in the book to layer a few too many concepts or for the detail of the case studies. But this is to be understood and encouraged in an exploratory book like this. The concepts in particular are really useful in supplying a framework for studying these issues in other social settings (see my use of their concept of logjects in music here for example). The value of the book is also in its drawing to attention how powerful software has become in making and shaping the contemporary social world. This is a foundational text on the new materialities of space that needs to be acknowledged and explored.

Here are some reviews of the book in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, at the Open Anthropology Cooperative, and at Computational Culture.

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