Visibilità e spazio pubblico – Città di muri e città di schermi


Lezione al Corso di dottorato in Scienze sociali, Università di Padova
5 aprile 2016 – h. 14-17 – Sala Specchi – Via Cesarotti 10/12 – Padova

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Urban Interstices

9781472410016.PPC_urban interstices

now on googlebooks:

Also here:

and here: urban-interstices



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Graffiti, Street Art and the Divergent Synthesis of Place Valorisation in Contemporary Urbanism

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Camouflage, or, the Temptation of Relationship

URME - © Leo Selvaggio

URME – © Leo Selvaggio

Published in membrana 1/16 – Magazine of Photography


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

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.

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Climbing the City – On the Corporeality of the Urban (with Andrea Pavoni)

Courtesy & Copyright: Vitaliy Raskalov |

Courtesy & Copyright: Vitaliy Raskalov |


Abstract. Over the last couple of decades, urban sports have been studied – as well as, in many cases, celebrated – as critical forms of using urban space. Urban climbing, a practice also known as ‘buildering’, ‘structuring’, and ‘stegophilia’, has been much explored in this vein. While we acknowledge the importance of the theoretical move consisting in bringing to light the political and playful dimensions of the urban spatial experience, in this piece we would like to focus on a slightly different question. Rather than emphasising either the political of playful import of urban climbing, we propose a theoretical apprehension of it as a powerful means to probe and understand the finest constitution of urban environments themselves. By doing so, we wish, on the one hand, to zoom in as closely as possible onto the actual bodily practice of climbing, and, on the other, to attend its methodological implications in terms of a reflection on climbing techniques in the context of a natural history of the city. We describe urban climbing as a peculiar corporeal operation carried out at and, more precisely, on the limits of environmental control. The climber, we highlight, is neither properly active nor passive. Rather, proceeding along a nondescript boundary, the climbers inhabits a limit, a plane of contingency whose coordinates lie at some point between the necessary and the arbitrary.

Keywords: urban climbing; bodily practice; object/environment relations; compositional techniques; subjectivity; temporality

More soon…

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The Public and the Common: Some Approximations of Their Contemporary Articulation

Critical Inquiry
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Winter 2016), pp. 306-328

also here

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Far-casa migrante: soglie del domestico, comune e pubblico

Un intervento a Tracce Urbane, con Paolo Boccagni

Sessione 3- Casa e città: pratiche dell’abitare e processi di home-making nella vita quotidiana

Venerdì 11 dicembre 2015, Politecnico di Milano

Read More »

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Warming up for camouflage

photo credit | MKVL ©2015

photo credit | MKVL ©2015

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Il senso del convivere. Lo spazio pubblico nella società contemporanea

Un incontro con Franco Rella, Alberto Winterle e me – 11 novembre 2015

Video : short | long
+ info

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Foucault’s Book of Practical Black Cats

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Another review of «Urban Interstices»

9781472410016.PPC_urban interstices

A review of the Urban Interstices collection by Margarethe Kusenbach, published in The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 651–653, May 2015:


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Social Memory: Stratification and Folding

© Heide Fasnacht

© Heide Fasnacht


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The Unsettling Visibility of Public Space — Public Lecture


Lecture @ The Summer School in Urban Ethnography.

Recording available here.

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The Reactive: Social Experiences of Surfaces and Depths


A speech I gave in Copenhagen @ Christian Borch’s Imitation conference.

Recording available here.

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Twilight of the Icons, or, How to Sociologize with Visibility


Twilight of the Icons, a contribution to the “On Icons” Symposium, Edited by Marco Solaroli

Available at |

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A Conversation with Roderick Macdonald


Published in The Unbounded Level of the Mind. Rod Macdonald’s Legal Imagination.
Edited by Richard Janda, Rosalie Jukier and Daniel Jutras. McGill University Press, 2015.

My tribute to the great scholar and professor Rod Macdonald (1948-2014), a questioner and an inspirer by all means.


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A walk in Tallinn

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Technologies de la visibilité : visualiser les nouvelles formes de souveraineté

Vendredi 12 juin 2015 – 10:00-­‐12:00 – Salle 10
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

105, Boulevard Raspail
75006 Paris

Affiche Table-Ronde

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The ground before the battle (con Cristina Mattiucci)

Now published in Massimiliano Guareschi, Federico Rahola, Forme della città. Sociologia dell’urbanizzazione.

photo | mubi

Prima del conflitto, i territori danno segni. Sono segni dei desideri e delle paure condivise, forse anche segni di insorgenze latenti, a venire, sedimentati in quelle che viviamo come “esperienze urbane”. Una pagina nota di Furio Jesi racconta come dʼimprovviso si possa rivivere la città nel giorno della rivolta: i luoghi quotidiani dellʼesperienza vissuta, dove si è baciato per la prima volta lʼamante, divengono ora ricettacoli di una nuova intimità con la dimora misteriosa del collettivo, della politica. “Sono i desideri su vasta scala a fare la storia”, scrive dʼaltra parte anche Don DeLillo in Underworld – ma come si raggiunge questa “vasta scala”? Dove si può sperare di visionare quel repertorio di sogni su piccola scala pronti a traslarsi – per “somma e sublimazione” – in “piani sul pianeta”, come li ha chiamati Guattari, dispositivi o piani dal cui incontro inevitabile viene il conflitto? Incontro inevitabile, perché questi sogni vogliono davvero conquistare la grande scala, scriversi in grande sotto il cielo; conflitto inevitabile, quando on the ground, sul campo, il terreno si fa riarso e polveroso, lʼaria irrespirabile.

pdf version

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(MU) at Ozu’s grave


So many years after I first watched Wim Wender’s Tokyo Ga, I myself could pay respect to the great Yasujirō Ozu at Kita-Kamakura. My mu is his mu. I was there with my love in a sunny day in the blossoming season.


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A nice review of « Urban Interstices »


The review is by Ella Harris (U. of London) and has been recently published in Urban Research & Practice. Here it is.

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Imitation, Contagion, Suggestion: Rethinking the Social Conference at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark 28–29 May 2015

Imitation-Contagion-Suggestion Conference Program

+ info |

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Border Regimes & New Territorial Formations

Wednesday 20th May 2015, 6.00 pm
Institute for Architectural Theory, University of Innsbruck


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Muri e città

Locandina_Muri e Città_WEB_polimi2015

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