City of Unpleasant Feelings – Stress, Comfort and Animosity in Urban Life (with Andrea Pavoni)

Forthcoming in Social & Cultural Geography

Abstract. The image of the city as a stressful place is an evergreen topic. In this article we review the imagination of urban stress, starting from Simmel’s classic thesis that the modern city is an unavoidably psychic-stimulating environment potentially leading to stimuli overload. City dwellers are then supposed to counter stimuli overload with a series of adaptation strategies. However, the ways in which these phenomena can be conceptualised are varied. Historically, a shift of emphasis seems to have occurred from the classic conceptualisation of hyperaesthesia to the contemporary preoccupations with the design of comfortable atmospheres. Such atmospheres are, in fact, comfort bubbles. In the article we tackle the aspirations and predicaments of such engineered atmospheres. In particular, we build on Sloterdijk’s argument that, ultimately, bubbles fail to do away with stress: whereas for Simmel stress anaesthetised urbanites, Sloterdijk has pointed out that, rather, comfort itself stresses them. To better tackle the magmatic stratum of dissatisfaction that seems so coessential to urban life, in the final part of the article we focus on the notion of animosity. We suggest to conceptualise it as a type of disquiet that cannot be reduced to established recognisable interaction formats.

Keywords: Urban Stress; Urban Feelings; Urban Atmospheres; Atmospheric Engineering; Animosity

Pre-print PDF – stress-comfort-animosity

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השליטה של מי הטריטוריה הזו? על בני אדם, חיות, והצורך לסמן את גבולות

An interview with Tali Hatuka originally published in Hebrew at http://urbanologia.tau.ac.il/human-animal-territories/

 

TH. So, Andre, can you tell me about your project, about territories and what are the key ideas? I mean how do you address the whole concept of territories? Let’s…you know what, what is “territory” for you?

Read More »

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FROM VISIBILITY TO THE VISIBLE. A SOCIAL-THEORETICAL EXPLORATION

A Lecture to be delivered at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Vortrag.

+ info | https://www.aau.at/event/from-visibility-to-the-visible-a-social-theoretical-exploration/

poster_lecture_andrea-mubi-brighenti

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Airspacing the City

Where Technophysics meets Atmoculture
(with Andrea Pavoni)

Credit | http://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2014/07/airbnbs-consistent-rebrand-focuses-sense-belonging-community/

Credit | http://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2014/07/airbnbs-consistent-rebrand-focuses-sense-belonging-community/

In this paper, we seek to show how the notion of technophysics can be applied to better understand the experience of contemporary urbanism. We argue that technophysics exists in dynamic relation to an atmoculture of urban space, whereby the technological and the cultural meet on a deeply affective-atmospheric terrain. Contemporary technophysics and atmoculture collaborate in the quest for comfort and the flight from its antonyms (stress, unease, and fear), but they are also riddled with tensions and contradictory outcomes …

PDF Version

 

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The Visible and the Rhythmic.Visualising Rhythms in Urban and Regional Research

Lecture at GSSI Social Sciences Doctoral Programme in Urban Studies and Regional Sciences, L’Aquila

visib_rhytm

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On Walls – Stubborn and Ambiguous Artefacts…

Talk to Borders, Walls and Boundaries. The Future of European Integration

Symposium organised by Paul Blokker & Debora Spini

Friday 24 March at Syracuse University in Florence

BordersWallsBoundaries

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Urban Animals – Domestic, Stray and Wild

Notes from a bear repopulation project in the Alps

by Andrea Mubi Brighenti & Andrea Pavoni

Forthcoming in Society & Animals

1410431752_orsa-daniza

The bear Daniza with her two cubs, in summer 2014

Abstract. This piece explores ‘domesticity’ as a social territory defined by the relationship it entertains with the conceptual and material space of ‘the wild’. The leading research question can be framed as follows: do these two spaces stand in opposition to each other, or are more subtle relations of co-implication at play? As we enquiry into the domestic and the wild, a richer conceptual map of notions is drawn, which also includes the public, the common, the civilised and the barbarian. The case study that illustrates this dense intermingling of categories is offered by the case of Daniza, a wild brown bear introduced in the Brenta Natural Park on the Italian Alps in the 2000s, who repeatedly came into unexpected, accidental contacts with humans. Declared a ‘dangerous animal’, Daniza was controversially killed by public authorities in 2014, officially in an attempt to capture her with anaesthetising bullets, but in a way that still leaves doubts about the degree of voluntariness of the killing. The piece argues that the domestic and the wild constitute two semiotic-material domains constantly stretching into each other without any stable or even clear boundary line, and elaborates a series of corollaries for studying animals in urban contexts.

Keywords: Domesticity; Domestication; Wildness; Bears; Urban Animals; Territorial Governance

 

TOC

Introduction – Domesticity as Urban Prolongation

  1. Animal Governance, Domestication, and Classification
  2. Locating the Wild in the Urban
  3. Domesticity, Domestication and Civilisation
  4. The Unlucky Case of Bear Daniza
  5. Which Sort of Wild?
  6. The Barbarian

Conclusions

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The social life of measures

Burroughs-noMetrics

Now published in Theory, Culture & Society

Abstract

Issues of measure and measurement, and their relation to value and values, are of concern in several major threads in contemporary social theory and social research. In this paper, the notion of ‘measure-value environments’ is introduced as a theoretical lens through which the life of measures can be better understood. A number of points are made which represent both a continuation and a slight change in emphasis vis-à-vis the existing scholarship. First, it is argued that the relation between measure and value is necessarily circular – better, entangled. Second, a conceptualisation of measures as territorialising devices is advanced. Third, importance is given to the fact that measures are not simply tools in our hands, they are also environments in which we live. Fourth, attention is drawn to the fact that the unit (n=1) is not just a quantitative happening among others, but is qualitatively distinct.

The Social Life of Measures (pre-print version)

 

 

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Expressive Measures: An Ecology of the Public Domain

Graffiti and Street Art_Front-Cover_72dpi

Published in Graffiti and Street Art. Reading, Writing and Representing the City.
Edited by Konstantinos Avramidis, Myrto Tsilimpounidi. London: Routledge, 2017.

https://www.routledge.com/Graffiti-and-Street-Art-Reading-Writing-and-Representing-the-City/Avramidis-Tsilimpounidi/p/book/9781472473332

Paginated pdf version

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The Excruciating Work of Love…

subjectivation

On Foucault’s Kehre towards the Subject

A chapter in Andreas Oberprantacher & Andrei Siclodi (Eds.) Subjectivation in Political Theory and Contemporary Practices

http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137516589

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/978-1-137-51659-6_3

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La massa nella teoria sociologica classica e contemporanea / Crowds in classical and contemporary sociological theory

An essay from 2008, now freely available here – http://qds.revues.org/892

 

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Three Presents (with Mattias Kärrholm)

On the multi-temporality of territorial production and the gift from John Soane

Published in Time & Society

ThreePresents

Abstract

Territoriality has primarily been seen as a spatial rather than temporal phenomenon. In this paper, we want to investigate how time functions in territorialising processes. In particular, we are attracted by the multi-temporality that is co-present in each process of territorialisation (i.e. processes in which time and space are used as means of measure, control, and expression). The article is divided into two main parts. In the first part we draw inspiration from Gilles Deleuze’s book Logic of Sense, as well as from authors such as Simmel, Whitehead, Benjamin and Jesi, in order to articulate three different types of the present (Aion, Kronos and Chronos). In the second part we move to a short case study of the collector John Soane and the establishment of his house-museum. The case is used to exemplify how these three presents can be used to discuss and temporal aspects of territorialisation in general, and the production of a specific sort of territory – the house-museum as a new building type – in particular.
Keywords

Territorial Production; Temporality of the Present; Aion, Kronos, Chronos; Collectionism; House-museum

Sir John Soane's Museum, The Dome Area (photograph by courtesy of Jesper Magnusson)

Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Dome Area (photograph by courtesy of Jesper Magnusson)

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Beyond Rhythmanalysis (with Mattias Kärrholm)

Photo courtesy | Jesper Magnusson

Photo courtesy | Jesper Magnusson

Abstract. The recent, rich scholarship on rhythms proves that rhythmanalysis is extremely important and helpful as a sensitising attitude and a research technique. Despite its increasing recognition, rhythmanalysis has not yet become a proper science as its proponents had hoped. In this article we argue that rhythmanalysis could benefit from being further developed and integrated into a wider science of territories. What we need to attain is not simply a recording, capturing or description of rhythms; instead, the real goal is to capture the life of rhythms as they enter territorial formations. In other words, we invite to bring a neo-vitalistic conception into the social-scientific understanding of the relation between rhythms and territories. More specifically, we suggest that the notion of rhythm could be explored not only in terms of the recurrent patterns of association it defines, but also with essential reference to the intensive situations and moments it generates and, in the end, territorialises. As a case study to highlight this, we focus on a particular territorial sort, the urban playground.

 

Keywords. Science of Territories; Social Rhythms; Rhythmanalysis; Urban Playgrounds; Territorial intensities

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Passeur Theory

Lisa & Hans Fittko, passeurs…

Lisa & Hans Fittko, passeurs…

In http://www.losquaderno.professionaldreamers.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/losquaderno41.pdf

 

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Sometimes, an underground class…

underground class

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Onore, sacro, intensità. Per una sociologia del timotico

Apparirà in La società degli individui, n. 56, anno XIX, 2016/2

A un primo sguardo, onore e dignità sembrano opporsi come l’arcaico e il moderno. In questo senso, la missione che il pensiero moderno, “democratico”, si auto-attribuisce è di sconfiggere e superare una regolazione sociale di tipo aristocratico. L’onore viene così considerato da un’ampia gamma di pensatori moderni come retaggio di forme tribali, particolariste ed elitarie di interazione sociale, a cui viene contrapposta una nuova forma morale universalista e democratica, quella della dignità. Tale, in breve, è il sogno kantiano che Rawls (2000: 328) ha denominato “aristocrazia di tutti”. Ma, come la stessa espressione paradossale lascia intravedere, il rapporto tra onore e dignità è estremamente più complesso di una semplice antitesi.

pdf version

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Domestic Territories and the Little Humans (with Mattias Kärrholm)

Understanding the Animation of Domesticity

Forthcoming in Space & Culture

Fig.01.Ongon

A Mongolian Ongon

 

Abstract. Domesticity is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. In this piece, we approach it from the point of view of a general theory of territories. To do so, we attempt to tackle simultaneously the ecological and spiritual dimensions of home by attending the expressive dimension of domesticity. We emphasise that the expressiveness of home inherently includes the register of the familiar as well as that of the unfamiliar (Freud’s unheimlich). The constant negotiations between these two registers can be appreciated as carried out ‘at the limits of control’. To highlight this fact, we focus on the case of the ‘little humans’, miniature humanoid creatures well attested in traditional mythologies and folk tales across different civilisations. Drawing from anthropological and ethnographic literature, yet with a leading interest in social-spatial theorising, we seek to untangle the relations between humans and the ‘little humans’ – these ‘elusive others’ living with us – in order to clarify the deep meanings ingrained in domestic territories.

Keywords: domestic territories; territoriology; little humans; limits of control; parasites; crowds; animism.

 

TOC
Introduction: Inquiring into domestic expressions
The elusive others living with us
Patterns of relations and the limits of control
Conclusions

 

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Morphogenesis and Animistic Moments (with Mattias Kärrholm)

On formative processes and territorial production

embryo

Human embryo 4 mm long, 30 days old

 

Abstract. This piece explores the issues of morphogenesis and metamorphosis in socio-spatial formations and social assemblages. The specific key provided here to apprehend the issue of ‘form’ is what we propose to call the ‘animistic moment’ in form-taking processes. We believe that a conceptualisation of animistic moments might help us to better understand, not simply the coming about, but the specific yet elusive power forms are endowed with. The general social-theoretical horizon for the essay is an approach to social collectives as forms of territorialisation and territorial stabilisation. An inquiry into the genesis and the transformation of forms through animistic moments, we suggest, might also be employed in the study of processes of social territorialisation at large.

Keywords: social theory; genesis of forms; formative processes; individuals and social aggregates; socio-spatial formations; animistic moments;

 

Outline

Introduction
1. The mystery of appearances
2. Metamorphosis and investments into form
3. Form-taking and the environment
4. The formation of individual collectives
5. Animistic moments and the revelations of form
6. Territorial production through animation
Conclusions
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Social Camouflage: Functions, Logic, Paradoxes (with Alessandro Castelli)

Now published in Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory

Fixing the Shadow / Beyond the Law (1992)

Fixing the Shadow / Beyond the Law (1992)

Abstract. Camouflage is usually understood as a type of deceitful communication
strategy in the animal and human domains. In this piece, we invite scholars to consider how the phenomenon of camouflage, while certainly grounded in antagonism and selection, might exceed its strategic meaning. Using the case of undercover agents movies, we attempt to flesh out the inner logic of camouflage and the type of social-existential situations it gives shape to. Exploring the mundane practical problem of ‘infiltration’ into a social group or social milieu, the article zooms in onto the experience of camouflage and highlights its relatedness to and distinction from imitation. Camouflage is here used not as an overarching interpretive category, rather, as an instance that reveals something about the problems inherent in the constitution of inter-subjective life. The article seeks to contribute to a theoretical development in the study of social logic and social teleology, stressing the curious entanglement of deliberate strategic action and irrational desire that contradistinguishes what could be called the ‘aberrant conjunction’ of the camoufleur and its target. Camouflage, we conclude, is not only about make-believe but also, crucially, about desiring and learning to desire.

Keywords: Mimicry, Camouflage, Undercover movies, Infiltration, Social logic, Social phenomenology, Inter-Subjectivity

TOC
Introduction
The Functions of Camouflage
The Logic of Camouflage
The Existential Phenomenology of Camouflage
The Paradoxes of Camouflage, or, Learning to Desire
Conclusions

Social Camouflage-FIN+pics

http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/PNcAa3KNVDYUT3yZ6jhR/full  (50 free downloads)

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What’s a philosopher useful for?

what's-a-philosopher-useful-for(web)

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Antonio Gramsci’s Theory of the Civil Society

Gramsci

Brighenti_2016_Antonio Gramsci’s Theory of the Civil Society

An entry for Handbuch Kultursoziologie, edited by Stephan Moebius, Frithjof Nungesser and Katharina Scherke. Springer.

https://books.google.it/books/about/Handbuch_Kultursoziologie.html

 

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L’etnografia e i sensi: una riflessione preliminare

cosmique

Introduzione al monografico su “L’etnografia e i sensi”, Etnografia e ricerca qualitativa, n.1/2016

 

Brighenti -2016-L’etnografia e i sensi

ERQ-2016-01

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Value – Inquiries into a Polymorphous Magic Substance

A Lecture I’m giving at The Debt Complex Spring School  19-21 May 2016, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

http://prev.unibz.it/EN/ECONOMICS/EVENTS/Spring-School.html

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 12.46.06

 

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Gabriel Tarde: logica sociale e teleologia sociale – A seminar

 

 

Brighenti__24 maggio_Gabriel Tarde

martedì 24 maggio 2016 ore 13:00 AULA SEMINARI SPS (stanza 215, lato Passione)
Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Economiche e Sociali – via Conservatorio 7, Milano

 

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Il valore dello spazio pubblico. Qualche declinazione giuridica, politica ed economica

Una relazione al seminario Giustizia, architettura, diritti. Visioni e pratiche della città contemporanea, Napoli, 29 aprile 2016.

Giustizia, architettura, diritti

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