Marcus Doel | Bio

marcus doel

Marcus Doel is Professor of Human Geography at Swansea University, Co-Director of the University’s Centre for Urban Theory, and a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Marcus is the author of Poststructuralist Geographies: The Diabolical Art of Spatial Science (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), co-author of Writing the Rural: Five Cultural Geographies (Paul Chapman, 1994), and co-editor of 5 other books, including: Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theories (Routledge, 2009), Moving Pictures/Stopping Places: Hotels & Motels on Film (Lexington, 2009), and The Consumption Reader (Routledge, 2003).

He has published extensively on poststructuralist spatial theory, modern and postmodern cities, and the history and philosophy of Geography. He is currently completing a book on Violent Geographies: Killing Space, Killing Time for Sage.

Marcus Doel | Abstract

Strange cities: for a desiring-revolution whilst stirring still

Once upon a time, long, long ago, socio-spatial structures trembled before the earth-shattering air-quakes of ‘eventfulness’ and ‘encounter,’ opening up fissures in the order of things through which revolutionary forces of upheaval and turmoil were episodically vented. A great many structuralist and especially post-structuralist authors entrenched themselves in the vicinity of these fissures and vents, whiling away their time by forging all manner of conceptual apparatuses for studying the clandestine seismology of everyday life, and for judiciously precipitating and joyfully exploiting the associated geo-hazards. From Henri Lefebvre to Alain Badiou, via Louis Althusser and Jean Baudrillard, the exemplary location of these fissures and vents in everyday life has been urban, especially in those cities with the highest concentrations of humanity and sundry materials. Now that ‘eventfulness’ and ‘encounter’ have been woven into the very fabric of contemporary cityscapes and thoroughly suffused amongst everyday life, such that fissuring and venting is built into the molecular structure of the order of things from the off, this paper considers the fate of a desiring-revolution from the vantage point of its accomplishment. The survey will be framed by Gilles Deleuze’s Masochism and Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s Disenchanted Night, and staked out with seminal earthquakes and airquakes from Lisbon to San Francisco, and from Paris to Tokyo.


Chris Smith | Bio

Dr Chris L. Smith is the Associate Professor in Architectural Design and Technê in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sydney. Chris’ research is concerned with the interdisciplinary nexus of philosophy, biology and architectural theory. He has published on  the political philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari; technologies of the body; and the influence of ‘the eclipse of Darwinism’ phase on contemporary architectural theory.  His recent work, Architecture in the Space of Flows was a book co-edited with Professor Andrew Ballantyne (Routledge, 2013). Presently Chris is concentrating upon an Australian Research Council project focussed on the medicalisation of the body and the architectural expression of scientific ideals in bio-medical laboratories, and a book titled Bare Architecture: a schizoanalysis.

Chris Smith | Abstract

Fetishists and Wayfarers: Architecture and other objects of passage

Desire often takes as its subject that which we do not or cannot have. The desire for that which we can’t see, hear or hold often leads us to place something more tangible in our grasp. To have something firm in our hand. A photograph or a postcard. A pencil or a map. A cigarette or a drink. Stilettos or a piece of blue velvet. These items are not the point. They are the means. That which we touch is often a vector pointing toward that which we can’t have. These items are thus objects of passage.

This paper focuses on the manner by which art and architecture might operate as objects of passage allowing us to approach that which we desire but cannot access.  The paper commences with Roland Barthes’ consideration of photographs of the dead, in his last text, Camera Lucida (1980). Though now departed and unseeable, the subject of these photographs are no less intense and perhaps even more endearing. That which is unseen, unheard and unheld is often strangely desirable. And particularly so, to art: photography, music, literature and architecture. Barthes describes such  a desire in terms of the ‘punctum’, as “a kind of subtle beyond—as if the image launched desire beyond what it permits us to see”.  Maurice Blanchot, Michel Serres, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari have each investigated the odd and forceful attraction of the imperceptible. This paper will explore this attraction and  will turn to one particular object of architectural passage: The fires set by Sami Rintala and Marco Casagrande’sLand(e)scape project of 1999, just outside of Helsinki, Finland. This project concerned itself with the urban migration of farmers and suburban incursions. The architects do this through a poignant, fetishistic act.

John-David Dewsbury | Bio

BSc (Briston), PhD(Bristol)

Reader in Human Geography

John – David Dewsbury | Abstract

Desire in Deleuze and an Ethics of Immanence

Desiring Deleuze as a thinker that affirms an emergent, processural thus futural, and productive philosophical ethos is one theoretical position that is, amongst others, gaining a lot of traction in adherents and naysayers alike. In considering the concept of desire in Deleuze’s work I want to signal the ways in which Deleuze’s thought, and its apparent affirmative, emergent, processural and productive aspects, offers a radical critique that experiments with the problematics and destructive forces that these aspects presents rather than just merely celebrating them. That this is still a radical critique rests with Deleuze’s desire to think again(st) relations, mediation and structure, especially as understood through determined, historical-political and representational systems and contexts seemingly already available to understanding. Deleuze’s concept of desire emphasizes instead those forces and potentials from which relations and positions are generated. This does not amount to a loss of critique, loss of an outside, loss of understanding failure, or a loss of an engaged position to take with the world that many seem to think and fear that it does. What desire in Deleuze does do is think desire as an assemblage that constructs a plane of immanence, allowing us then to experiment with the ethical means, an immanent critique, by which to challenge how our existing understandings come to judge the world.

Kate Boyer | Bio