Alain Badiou: Metapolitics (1998/2005)

30 September 2011, dusan

Metapolitics argues that one of the main tasks of contemporary thought is to abolish the idea that politics is merely an object for philosophical reflection.

Badiou indicts this approach, which reduces politics to a matter of opinion, thus eliminating any of its truly radical and emancipatory possibilities. Against this intellectual tradition, Badiou proposes instead the consideration of politics in terms of the production of truth and the affirmation of equality. He demands that the question of a possible “political truth” be separated from any notion of consensus or public opinion, and that political action be rethought in terms of the complex process that binds discussion to decision. Starting from this analysis, Badiou critically examines the thought of anthropologist and political theorist Sylvain Lazarus, Jacques Ranciere’s writings on workers’ history and democratic dissensus, the role of the subject in Althusser, as well as the concept of democracy and the link between truth and justice.

First published in French as Abrégé de métapolitique by Éditions du Seuil, 1998
Translated and with an Introduction by Jason Barker
Publisher Verso, 2005
ISBN 184467035X, 9781844670352
159 pages

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-7-15)

Norbert Wiener: Cybernetics, or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, 2nd ed. (1948/1961)

30 September 2011, dusan

“Acclaimed as one of the ‘seminal books … comparable in ultimate importance to … Galileo or Malthus or Rousseau or Mill’, Cybernetics was judged by twenty-seven historians, economists, educators, and philosophers to be one of those books published during the ‘past four decades,’ which may have a substantial impact on public thought and action in the years ahead.”—Saturday Review

Publisher MIT Press, 1961
Fourth printing, 1985
ISBN 026273009X, 9780262730099
212 pages


PDF (8 MB, added on 2015-12-6)
DJVU (2 MB, updated on 2012-8-1)

See also Monoskop resource on Cybernetics.

N. Katherine Hayles: How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (1999)

30 September 2011, dusan

“In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the “bodies” that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans “beamed” Star Trek-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age.

Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist “subject” in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the “posthuman.”

Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel Limbo by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick’s literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems.

Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, How We Became Posthuman provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here.”

Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1999
ISBN 0226321460, 9780226321462
350 pages


PDF (updated on 2012-7-24)

John Rajchman: Constructions (1998)

30 September 2011, dusan

In this series of overlapping essays on architecture and art, John Rajchman attempts to do theory in a new way that takes off from the philosophy of the late Gilles Deleuze. Starting from notions of folding, lightness, ground, abstraction, and future cities, he embarks on a conceptual voyage whose aim is to help “construct” a new space of connections, to “build” a new idiom, perhaps even to suggest a new architecture. Along the way, he addresses questions of the new abstraction, operative form, other geometries, new technologies, global cities, ideas of the virtual and the formless, and possibilities for critical theory after utopia and transgression.

Foreword by Paul Virilio
Publisher MIT Press, 1998
Writing Architecture series
ISBN 0262680963, 9780262680967
143 pages

google books

PDF (EPUB; updated on 2012-7-25)

Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy journal, No. 0-1 (2010-2011)

30 September 2011, dusan

“The second issue of SCAPEGOAT looks to current practices to intensify our concept of Service—as a problem. That is, how can we develop new models for self-management and mutual aid that move beyond unidirectional forms of service as clientelism and dependency? How can we think through service provision beyond the State? How can we privilege voluntary association and ethical reciprocity rather than volunteerism? How can new approaches to training and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge be radically re-organized? How has the rise of the populist Right coincided with mechanisms of gentrification and the ideologies of the so-called ’creative city’? How can we counter the predominance of economic metaphors in our attempts to articulate values and commitments? How could design services work in solidarity with the labour of extraction, construction, and maintenance?” (authors)

Issue 1: Service
Summer 2011
Editors: Jane Hutton, Etienne Turpin
28 pages


“The inaugural issue examines the centrality of the problem of Property because it is the literal foundation for all spatial design practices. We believe that this buried foundation must be exhumed. Architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design each begin with a space that is already drawn, organized, and formed by the concrete abstraction of the property lines. From our perspective, Property stands as the most fundamental, yet underestimated, point of intersection between architecture, landscape architecture, and political economy. What is a “site” except a piece of property? What are architecture and landscape architecture but subtle and consistent attempts to express determined property relations as open aesthetic possibilities? And, decisively, how can these practices facilitate other kinds of relation?” (authors)

Issue 0: Property
Fall 2010
Editors: Adrian Blackwell, Etienne Turpin
24 pages


SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy is an independent, not-for-profit, bi-annual journal designed to create a context for research and development regarding design practice, historical investigation, and theoretical inquiry.

As a mytheme, the figure of the scapegoat carries the burden of the city and its sins. Walking in exile, the scapegoat was once freed from the constraints of civilization. Today, with no land left unmapped, and with processes of urbanization central to political economic struggles, SCAPEGOAT is exiled within the reality of global capital. The journal examines the relationship between capitalism and the built environment, confronting the coercive and violent organization of space, the exploitation of labour and resources, and the unequal distribution of environmental risks and benefits. Throughout our investigation of design and its promises, we return to the politics of making as a politics to be constructed.

Publisher: Scapegoat Publications, Toronto
Editorial board: Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette, Jane Hutton, Marcin Kedzior, Chris Lee, Christie Pearson, Etienne Turpin


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