Imitation, metamorphosis, becoming: A comparative social-theoretical sketch

Happy to join Nidesh Lawtoo’s Mimetic Turn upcoming conference. Especially looking forward to hearing from the distinguished keynotes. On my turn, I’ll be contributing some reflections about

Imitation, metamorphosis, becoming: A comparative social-theoretical sketch

Abstract. In my talk, I would like to address the relation between three notions that share significant similarities, but also exhibit crucial differences: these are Gabriel Tarde’s imitation, Elias Canetti’s transformation (Verwandlung), and Gilles Deleuze’s becoming (devenir). Tarde, whose work spanned the 1890s, is famously associated with the idea that social life is essentially imitative in nature, and although imitation does not truly exhaust his whole conception, it is amply elaborated and variously illustrated throughout his work. Both Canetti, writing in the 1950s, and Deleuze, through the 1960s and 1970s, seem to have subsequently deployed mimetic-like notions in their respective research; at the same time, both have been careful to remark how their conceptions remained distinct from the notion of imitative behaviour. My aim here is thus to compare and analyse these three notions, so as to untangle a little bit their complex, dense relations.

 

+info | https://hiw.kuleuven.be/hua/events/conferences-workshops/mimetic-turn

New Territoriology Seminar – Fall 2021

Co-organised with Carlo Brentari @unitn.

21/10/2021 h.15-18
Andreas Oberprantacher (U of Innsbruck) Political Territories and Borders

26/10/2021 h.15-18
Carlo Brentari (U of Trento) Konrad Lorenz e i fondamenti dell’etologia animale

04/11/2021 h.17-20
Shelley M. Alexander (U of Calgary, CA) Coyote Territories

11/11/2021 h.15-18
Anna Marson (U IUAV di Venezia) Il territorio nella pianificazione

 

Flyer with details here

 

RESEARCHING TERRITORIES IN PANDEMIC TIMES

An online seminar

24TH OF JUNE, 3PM LISBON TIME

2021-06-24-seminar

2021-06-24-seminar_flyer

Researching Territories in Pandemic Times

June 24, 2021

h.15:00 (Lisbon time)

 

The Urban Transitions Hub of ICS-ULisboa and DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE organise an online seminar on the changing shape of Territories and Territoriality within and beyond the current condition, with the authors of recently published book Animated Lands. Studies in Territoriology (University of Nebraska Press)

 

Coordination: Andrea Pavoni (DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE; Urban Transitions Hub)

 

ZOOMDETAILS

MEETING ID: 85795819829

PASSWORD: 987773

 

Animated Lands. Studies in Territoriology introduces us to a science and topology of territory which seeks to rethink the concept of territory away from its historical fetishisation as mere space, tracing a trajectory which is also different from contemporary directions in geographical thinking wherein territory is assumed as an inert, static and merely extensive domain. Instead, with speculative craft and ingenious examples, Andrea Mubi Brighenti and Mattias Kärrholm foreground an understanding of territory that is able to account for its intensive, animated and becoming nature. This seminar aims to discuss the premises of the book within and beyond the current pandemic condition.

 

Speakers:

  • Andrea Mubi Brighenti (University of Trento)
  • Mattias Kärrholm (Lund University)

 

Discussants:

  • Andrea Pavoni (DINÂMIA’CET – ISCTE; Urban Transitions Hub)
  • Francisco Klauser (University of Neuchâtel)

 

Mimicry: Understanding a social-natural phenomenon

An online seminar series co-organised with Carlo Brentari. Contact me to get the link for joining the seminar!

mimicry2021seminar

h.15-17 on

April 8 Carlo Brentari & Andrea Mubi Brighenti (Unitn, organisers) – Introduction & Glossary
April 15 Timo Maran (University of Tartu) – Biomimicry
April 22 Christian Borch (Copenhagen Business School)– Mimesis and Society
April 29 Petra Gruber (University of Akron) – Biomimesis and Biornametics in Architecture

 

Still from Harun Farocki : Computer Animation Rules, Lecture at IKKM, 25 June 2014, available at https://vimeo.com/100092938

Vertical Vision and Atmocultural Navigation. Notes on emerging Urban Scopic Regimes (with Andrea Pavoni)

Still from Harun Farocki : Computer Animation Rules, Lecture at IKKM, 25 June 2014, available at https://vimeo.com/100092938

 

NOW OUT in Visual Studies : https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1472586X.2020.1840089

 

Abstract. This paper analyses vertical vision by tracing its possible genealogy and exploring the forms it takes in the contemporary city. In the first section, vertical vision is situated in the context of its cosmographic tenets. In the second section, the critique of verticality is complemented by a topological approach where vertical vision can be seen folding into a novel visual grammar. The lineaments of this grammar can be retrieved by attending specifically to algorithms and their role in contemporary urban perception, which we discuss in the third section. The fourth section implements the suggestions of two artists: Harun Farocki’s notion of navigation, and Hito Steyerl’s notion of bubble vision. Exposing the central role played by digital platforms in ushering in this novel paradigm, bubble vision can be reconstructed as the logical end-point of classical vertical vision. This comes in conjunction with the rise of peculiar visual-cultural configuration, which could be called ‘atmoculture’. Section five submits that atmoculture represents the cultural milieu of bubble vision. In conclusion, the paper invites visual scholars interested in the study of verticality to recognise bubble vision, together with its atmocultural background, as a new expression, and a reconfiguration, of vertical vision: similarly centred and disembodied, exhilarating, and dangerously de-responsibilising.

pdf version

 

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Urban Phases: Crystallisation

Paper at TCS Philosophy & Literature Conference 2019, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, May 29th – June 2nd, 2019

Now published in City, Culture and Society

 

Abstract

An analysis of the city through its crystallising processes is here proposed. Because crystallisation involves phase transition, a review of the latter, as well of the notion of phase in its relation to order, is first submitted. Then the question is posed: Can we suggest that cities have phases? What would it imply to study cities as “phased beings”, or phased phenomena? Which characteristics of crystalline phases can prove most relevant for cities? The paper explores crystallisation as a lens for understanding spatial order, temporality, individuality and perception in the course, and in the context, of the urban process and urban life.

 

Keywords

Urban phases; Urban crystallisation; Crystal growth; Crystalline life; Crystallised cities; Urban perception;  Urban individuality

 

 

 Conference website

Conference programme

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angkor-wat-cambodia

Face & The City

Now Out in Body & Society

Abstract. This piece sets out an exploration of the relations between the city, the body, and the face, seeking to understand in particular how the city and the face could be articulated with reference to an image of the body. It is suggested that the face and the city entertain a kind of privileged affinity. Just as the face unsettles the head and the bodily system to which it belongs, projecting the latter into an intersubjective social system of interaction and signification, so the city unsettles the land where it is located, projecting it into long-distance connections with similar entities scattered across the continent, and beyond. The piece evolves into the twin exploration of, on the one hand, “the city of the face” and, on the other, “the face of the city”. In the first half of the essay, the city is conceptualised as politeía, or polity, whereas in the second half it is characterised through its possible encounter with the experience of “facing”. The piece stresses the animistic attitude and the qualitatively distinct moments generated by the animistic operation as important to develop the city-face notion.

Keywords: face; head; city; landscape; identity; territoriology; Deleuze

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