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Posts tagged ‘批判理论 critical theory’

The next meeting of the Happy Friends Reading Club will take place at 5 pm on Sunday the 27th of January, 2013, at HomeShop.
We will be reading Pierre Klossowski’s “Living Currency” (1970).

Please leave a comment to receive a copy.

HomeShop invites Beijing’s Critical Reading Group to discuss two readings: Doina Petrescu’s “The Indeterminate Mapping of the Common” [download PDF here] and a selection from The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere by Jürgen Habermas. The Habermas chapter, entitled “The Polarization of the Social Sphere and the Intimate Sphere” [download PDF here], didn’t make it to the discussion for reasons of dryness and tardiness, but in about three hours, the group manages to make it through the difficulties of defining a trace, Shaanxi Mo King buns, mapping China, a bit of beer & sake and a curious visit from the local police.

the notes below are simple tags to help you find your way —- the meeting in full is recorded below; skim through and hopefully find something interesting for you, or try playing them all at once and listen to the signal-to-noise ratio…



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ON “THE INDETERMINATE MAPPING OF THE COMMON” | 3′ 23
contradicting, controversy of social mapping, a solipsistic position, Deligny, “the marker of a hidden ontological data”, do they share that relationship with the people imbuing meaning into their normative behaviours?, common to him, loss when you bring in language, discursive things…

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MAPPING and TRACING | 7′ 11
GPS versus tracing, locative mapping versus tracing as invocation of essence, tracing has no purpose as such, tracing as the “way of doing it”, intention, Situationist, surprising within everyday life, not about finding something extraordinary, mental maps, how people live space, a minefield of gestures, a social mapping entanglement, ontological presence that you can’t really touch, anthropomorphism, common ground, tracing as creative process, anthropological process, fraught with danger, Sichuan, daily subjectivities within a larger urban plan, practical application, their locomotion, more aesthetic than logical, magnetic waves…

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A LATECOMER, INTRODUCTIONS | 4′ 27
as little disturbance as possible, bad theory joke, angie – california, berkley, arts, bea – swiss, phd, geography, anthropology, urban planning, sean – toronto, phd, critical sports theory, olympics, collin – colorado, caijing, not where my interests are exactly, julia – contemporary art history, southern california, chinese, three shadows, elainetexas, artist, freelancing, hence this, chris – artist, brooklyn, shanghai, theory, hanora – consulting, also not my main area of interest, matthew – long walks on the beach, capricorn, photographer, film, documentary, we’ve been on and off for awhile…

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BALL, ANOTHER ARRIVAL | 4′ 06
Deligny, aqueducts, Berkley cognitive science professor, Himalayan graphic image of ball rolling forward, Buddhist monks, physical difference in brains, gravitational differences, dirty your floor, katie – come with duck and things, awkward being in the middle, other vegetables, open the sake, have at it, that’s all i’ve got, i like your haircut, rain, panic, panic, anyway…

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THE OTHER | 10′ 12
theories of gravity, Tibetan monks, post-structuralist utilization of the Other, all this other without a kind of an object, autistic kids and Tibetan guys, rationalist flaw, let’s find an Other, ben stiller, line of crisis of modernity, our cities are poorest, flexible spaces, borders keep moving, the softness of cities has come to the fore, meditating, Edward Said’s “Orientalism“, hegemonic white male, Benedict Anderson‘s flaw, concrete Marxist ideals, is it a flaw or a mechanism to understand, language inherently leads to Otherness, polarizing nouns, Deligny breaking down polarization, everyday dispositions, a bridge, tracing that evokes a common space of understanding, describing, the limitations of the cartographic model, alternative models, trace as action, intense attention to something else without explaining, “a seeing that is not related to thinking, a gaze which does not reflect”, shooting for something passive, describe something in its own terms, ton of criticism, not completely there…

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DEFINING MAPPING AND TRACING | 9′ 58
weakness of this article, juxtaposition, boundaries not clear, GPS locative mapping versus non-intentive walking, leaving realm for possibility in the act of doing, subjective process, walking as beginning of architecture, gesture as beginning of utterance, speech, writing, tracing as embodied communication, trace to map is shift of sensory focus to intense bias of visual, corporeality, knowing oneself in the world, trace as remnant, left behind, pinpointing, everyone in this room is constantly tracing, tracing as production of space, GPS is inherent map, imposing trails upon places already there, walking through this room, remainders, plotted footprints, embodied act becomes a leftover, mapping as judgmental or critical, tracing ontological, mapping and language, deterministic, mapping as reflexive practice, mapping: scopophilic, hegemonic, totalizing, problematic, tracing: nice, soft, centering closer to the abstract, foucault, approaching the liminal?, the approximation of a definition, never access through language, Deleuze & Guattari, affect before thought, codify affect to thought and thought to language, tracing as affective, embodied experience, codified in language, another way of saying mapping…

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THIS PROJECT, THIS SPACE, COMMON SPACE, ETC. | 9′ 27
different activities or events, subversions or interventions, my own meanings of the city at this time, documentation without intent, no ideal visualization, what’s going on in this city, Deligny inserting himself, what’s the trace for you here?, opening ceremonies, clique-ing inside, screen as boundary that is crossed, separation of the social networks made possible by this event, blurring of public and private space in Chinese society, attempt to trace or document, Olympics as grid, imposition upon city and people affecting everyday life level, Petrescu’s common space, lack of ability to describe the ontological, an active process, resting on vagueness, syntax, argument on links, tracing or mapping out of ethnographies, about the author themselves over their subject of ethnography, what body position is supposed to be, starting with a conclusion, motive or desire to embark upon a project, “another history of architecture —- one which is not that of settlements, cities and buildings made of stones but of movements, displacements and flows….

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TRACING BEIJING OLYMPICS, 警察来了, 就是朋友 | 8′ 16
Does tracing have anything to do with how Beijing was radically altered in advance of the Olympics?, Yuan, Ming, Qing, buildings wiped out, how modern Beijing has been built, tracing like breathing, because the development’s there I go to it, pathways through hedges, desire paths, Beijing is meant to control that, you can never control that, space for improvisation, mapping consciousness versus social consciousness, opposite the hutong vibe, tracing in hutongs, structure businesses, houses, lives, dream of the architects, 没有,就是一些朋友过来吃饭,在北京工作,这个我帮一个朋友, did someone call?, the station’s just down the street, maybe we just carry on like everything’s cool, an example of control, exercise machines, follow that grid exactly, social control built, who you guys were, state-prescribed exercise equipment, 20th century history of hutongs not existing prior to 1949, talking about fashion or something, multiplying things over…

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AFFECT , COMMUNITY, INDETERMINACY | 7′ 49
map can affect the tracing, bear with me here, subway lines, cigarette butts, can tracing affect the map, perspective and approach, subway lines along desire paths, number 5 lines didn’t lead to anywhere, developers knew beforehand, not helpful to binarize mapping and tracing, observation and phenomenology, a give and take, growth in a strange way, human experience, learn anew, “The question addressed to architects, urban planners and placemakers is how to operate with a space which is traced at the same time as it is lived and how to use this tracing to understand and eventually create more relationships between those who inhabit it. How to allow them to have access to and decide about their common tracing which is also the condition of their indeterminate community?“, productivity of a tracing, relationships, economic development, where people should go, where can most money be made, indeterminate community as opposed to creating a built environment, foster indeterminancy while meeting needs, the agenda of positive goal, the “inoperable community“, “the unavowable community”, Nancy and Agamben, how do we create community that embraces otherness, that eliminates problems of language, a model for how we can create this idea of community, moving against Empire, not so simple as embracing hybridity, the postmodern question…

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COMMUNITY, CHINA, URBAN ENVIRONMENT | 14′ 42
what’s impossible about community in Beijing, generational differences: Long March survivors, Cultural Revolution generation, first benefits of kaifang, one-child only generation, communications technology generation, how do you resolve disjointing ideas of what community is, what recreation is, fundamental approach to living, what is comfort, what is entertainment, nationalism at its highest, what happens after the Olympics, falls out over the next year, huge economic fallout, currency fluctuations, Chinese community formed on basis of socio-economics versus family, growing middle class, growing upper class, more than any top-down policies, do away with the hukou system entirely in the next few years, 1,000,000 empty apartments, 15 new Shanghais across the interior, 90 new airports, huge headwall in terms of natural resources, employment, pollution, energy use…, the world can’t handle it, 1.2 billion in China living like we do in the U.S., the horror of seeing another United States, consumer model carrot of the Communist Party, house with 3 cars, all the way from Sichuan to work, migrant workers in Africa, promise of increased material wealth, social unrest in countryside, Henan, Hubei, their vision of what it means to be modern and successful, xiaokang shehui, top-down vision, Three Moderns: sewing machine, refrigerator, tv second wave, cell phone third wave, directly equated with happiness, what material wealth means, three C’s in Japan, equal rise in urban and rural dwellers over last 20 years, but skyrocket of urban in last five years, decline just outside of major metropolitan areas, living on site right off Wangfujing, things just don’t seem to be improving, not reported widely at all, trying to negotiate with 15 new Shanghais, exacerbate all the existing problems, Neville Mars’ new book, every book is “this is China’s downfall” or “this is China’s great rise”, high levels of politburo, how is policy implemented in such a fractured manner, rethinking how people live in urban areas, disaster waiting to happen, that book is big…

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EVEN-ING, DEVELOPMENT, CHINA AND AMERICA | 11′ 07
world is becoming more even, places look like Nairobi, shoddy worksmanship, infrastructure, Lagos as THE model megacity, general call for alarm, what’s new, every emerging developing nation, an egalitarian peak, a lie, less mobility now than before, 1968 was last year in U.S. where blue-collar worker could sustain a family of five in comfortable middle class lifestyle, accumulation of capital among top 2%, Guilded era in the states, shifting ways in which we assess, we’re making new maps by talking about it new ways, money being available for everyone, renting, property ownership will evaporate, easy for Chinese to get a loan and by a house, China’s American dream, ethnic differences with socio-economic differences, going to hell, we are setting a horrible precedent for the developing world and the developed world, clean-up, rate of growth, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Pearl River Delta, runaway rapacious development, manufacturing sector dying, biggest open pit in China, Tianjin waterfront like Chicago, river-cruise in Chongqing, a complete mess…

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CHANGE, PRECEDENT, ADVERTISING, CONSUMPTIVE PATTERNS | 12′ 29
post-War, west Virgina, where my people are from, the ‘Burg, today very difficult for people to buy a home, terrible precedent, cusp of massive wealth transfer, dying babyboomers, money you didn’t work for, young people of floating network, media perpetuation, service and information economy, how does the precedent change?, a missing piece, production and consumption habits, avoiding talking about China as a monolith, splintered, how an individual will accept, opportunity to change things or for further decadence?, is China really looking to America as as an example, consumption, Hong Kong developers, healthcare system based on U.S. system, countryside, basic medical care yes, emergency response is bad, advertising, consumptive patterns are what will be really detrimental, extremely misleading, setting into motion fast consumer cycles, apple juice, technology, two-month cell phones, clothing, 50’s American, education, willingness to be swayed, propaganda, global production of advertising, new millenium techniques with 1950’s propaganda, a technique that works gets disseminated in a month, black & white televisions, separation from reality, no conclusion…




This activity of the HomeShop Games 2008 project was organised by HomeShop and Angie Baecker. Thank you to all who showed up despite the summer rains…


12 August 2008: HomeShop hosts a doorstep discussion with Sean Smith.

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INTRODUCTION, SPORT AND MEDIA | 7’49
sport and media, aesthetics, politics, militarization of sport, temporality and sport, human body, affect, coming to China, the most significant sporting event in human history, trying a blog


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BLOGGING | 16’30
on blogging, mediatized environment, “how fucking arrogant was that”, teaching a class on Olympics history, Deleuze & Guattari, uneven writing, noise to signal, experience to output


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SINGULARITY | 10’02
the last olympics, Chad Scoville, refuting a media singularity, citius altius fortius, pure body, “concomitant rise of a new China”, opening ceremonies


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SEMIOTIC | 9’17
9/11, Virilio’s “information bomb”, framing the event, weapons, semiotic warfare


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PANOPTIC AND PANHAPTIC | 21’13
panoptic surveillance, panhaptic computer networks, striated and smooth spaces, models of human behaviour, control society, “One World, One Dream”, spectacle of a new Beijing, Foucault’s panopticon, open flows, “the population is just too big”, broken protocol, spatial scalability, disciplinary space challenged by the speed of a flow, Deleuze & Guattari, navigation of an intelligent nomad, never a revolution, people like the system, the “communism of capitalism” (Virno), “I think China’s pretty comfortable where it is right now”


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CONTROL, GAPS, NOISES, CRACKS | 8’04
kòngzhì, Manuel deLanda’s “A Thousand Years of Non-linear History”, molecular to macro, hierarchies and meshworks, gaps and noises and cracks


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HOMESHOP | 18’11
public space and private space, permeable membrane, blurring the boundaries, the binary, the third space, the interloper, “what are you trying to say with this?”




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Sean Smith is a critical sport theorist living in Toronto. He is a doctoral candidate at the European Graduate School of Media and Communications and publishes a blog titled sportsBabel, which critically examines the aesthetics, politics and poetics of the sportocracy at the intersections between material and immaterial.