The City and the Political is an ongoing open class and research group at The Public School, Berlin, that invites anyone to join in discussions between theories and spatial practices of "the city" and "the political."
The city is home to modern man. This class begins at the scale of the city in order to open up all levels of discourse on spatial production. What is space? What is public vs. private space? What is democratic vs. controlled (neoliberal) space? How should architects, urbanists, politicians, developers create space? How should the people take back space?
The political hints to a wide range of concepts regarding man's relation to one another, institutional formations, and potentially radical acts of protest. The spatial production of our cities cannot be divorced from a serious theoretical understanding of our contemporary politics, as representative democracy, the social movements within our cities, and strategies of radical political emancipation.
The first rendition of this class consisted of fruitful, but perhaps distracted, conversations wherein architects and philosophers disagreed about definitions, strategies, and pedagogy. The second rendition of the class hopes to more rigorously define the terms within the texts, so as to come to some group understanding of definitions, and only then to unpack, critique, and mobilize the concepts towards new concepts or spatial practices.
The readings will be announced weekly. An open bibliography is listed below. If you're interested to become more involved in the facilitation of the course, please let us know. We also hope to move beyond conversation by developing a research group that can organize events or develop textual and digital output to articulate positions and further discussion on the city and the political.
1. Henri Lefebvre, "The Right to the City," Writings on Cities, page 147-159. Found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?crn62kskw0vkebc.
2. Samuel Mockbee, "The Rural Studio," 1998, http://samuelmockbee.net/work/writings/the-rural-studio/.
3. Jacques Ranciére, "Ten Theses on Politics."
5. ... (we're open to suggestions)
Additional bibliography can be found on our blog: http://citypolitical.wordpress.com/bibliography/