Saturday, January 31, 2009

New url

I've moved Most Awesomest Sentences to a bigger and better url--- go to the new tumblr address below from now on:

The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre Pt. 3

First published in 1974, this is disgustingly prescient:

Investment in 'real estate', ie. in the production of space, continues to involve a higher proportion of variable as compared with constant capital. The organic composition of capital is weak in this sphere, despite the high level of investment called for and despite the rapidity of technological progress.... The mobilization of space becomes frenetic, and produces an impetus towards the self-destruction of spaces old andnew. Investment and speculation cannot be stopped, however, nor even slowed, and a vicious circle is thus set up. A strategy based on space, even if we leave military and political projects out of the picture, must be considered a very dangerous one indeed, for it sacrifices the future to immediate interests while simultaneously destroying the present in the name of a future at once programmed and utterly uncertain. (336)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre Pt. 2

So, this is my second time reading Production of Space and I'm really trying to 'get it' this time.

I'm on day 3.5 of reading it along with secondary material. While in the delirious dream-zone that one is liable to drift into while trudging through oftentimes incomprehensible French theory, where an avant-garde of purple bunny rabbits violently takes up arms against the top hatted fat cat bourgeoise for control of the relations of production and social relations of reproduction--- i was awoken by the little gem of a passage below.

All the sudden Lefebvre went from simultaneously lambasting french semiotics and its deconstruction to writing what can't be described as anything other than French Marxist Erotica:
The verticality and political arrogance of towers, their feudalism, already intimated the coming alliance between Ego and Phallus... The Phallus is seen. The female genital organ, representing the world remains hidden. The prestigious Phallus, symbol of power and fecundity, forces its way into view by becoming erect. (261-2)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre

“Abstract space, the space of the bourgeoise and of capitalism, bound up as it is with exchange (of goods and commodities, as of written and spoken words, etc.) depends on consensus more than any space before it. It hardly seems necessary to add that within this space violence does not always remain latent or hidden. One of its contradictions is that between the appearance of security and the constant threat, is indeed the occasional eruption of violence" (57).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Boredom" by Siegfried Kracauer

Today is a tie between two sentences from the first page of Kracauer's essay "Boredom" from The Mass Ornament. If you haven't read this essay and work the 9-5 (especially doing a job you dislike), check it out... it's only four pages.
People today who still have time for boredom and yet are not bored are certainly just as boring as those who never got around to being bored (331).
Yet the vulgar boredom of daily drudgery is not actually what is at issue here, since it neither kills people nor awakens them to new life, but merely expresses a dissatisfaction that would immediately disappear if an occupation more pleasant than the morally sanctioned one became available (331).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Performance as Political Act by Randy Martin (1990)

While the rest of Martin's book is nearly too theoretically dense to follow (and sometimes even obtuse), chapter 1, "When Consciousness is not Enough," is borderline brilliant.
To the extent that consciousness, even when it occurs as countermeanings, appears as the only road to revolt, we are left with the paradox that the very means to express opposition is the same as the means of control" (1990, 7).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Transformative Power of Performance by Erika Fischer-Lichte

I've included multiple sentences today, but pay special attention to the 'tautology' line.
I perceive something as something. The things signify what they are or as what they appear. To perceive something as something means to perceive it as meaningful. Materiality, signifier, and signified coincide in the case of self-referentiality. Materiality does not act as a signifier to which this or that signified can be attributed. Rather, materiality itself has to be seen as the signified already given in the materiality perceived by the subject. To use a tautology, the thing's materiality adopts the meaning of its materieality, that is, of its phenomenal being. What the object is perceived as is what it signifies.
If only the last sentence is a tautology, I wonder what Professor Dr. Dr. Fischer-Lichte would describe the six before it.