Santiago Eraso hace tiempo aquí… Parafraseando a los teóricos de los sistemas complejos, Ilya Prigogine e Isabelle Stengers, podemos concluir que si examinamos una célula o una ciudad, la misma constatación se impone: no es únicamente que estos sistemas estén abiertos, sino que viven de este hecho, se alimentan del flujo de materia y energía que les llega del mundo exterior. Así pues, nuestras ciudades se asemejan a un conjunto vivo, basado en el intercambio y la cooperación entre unidades demográfica y funcionalmente indispensables para la viabilidad, la renovación y la continuidad de toda sociedad. Nadie debiera considerarse intruso, ni ninguna actividad, ni costumbre prescindible, básicamente porque no existe nadie ni nada que no lo sea. Esta condición heteróclita e inestable de los materiales humanos y sus costumbres no puede mostrarse como un problema sino como una oportunidad para asegurar la supervivencia misma de la sociedad y reclamar lo que corresponde a todos los viejos y nuevos habitantes de nuestras ciudades, aquello que Henri Lefevre llamó ya hace años el derecho a la ciudad.
Some extract from the hole essay, you can read it complete here:
When most people think about geography, they think about maps…
It is true that modern geography and mapmaking were once inseparable….
Cartography, it turned out, was an indispensable tool for imperial expansion: if new territories were to be controlled, they had to be mapped. ……
In our own time, another cartographic renaissance is taking place…..
But does the proliferation of mapping technologies and practices really point to a new geographic cultural a priori? ….
Geography is a curiously and powerfully transdisciplinary discipline. ….
In the postwar United States, university officials routinely equated the discipline’s lack of systematic methodological and discursive norms with a lack of seriousness and rigor, a perception that led to numerous departments being closed for lack of institutional support. …
Geography’s major theoretical underpinnings come from two related ideas: materialism and the production of space…..
Methodologically, materialism suggests an empirical (although not necessarily positivistic) approach to understanding the world. In the contemporary intellectual climate, a materialist approach takes relationality for granted, but an analytic approach that insists on “stuff” can be a powerful way of circumventing or tempering the quasi-solipsistic tendencies found in some strains of vulgar poststructuralism….
In a nutshell, the production of space says that humans create the world around them and that humans are, in turn, created by the world around them. In other words, the human condition is characterized by a feedback loop between human activity and our material surroundings. In this view, space is not a container for human activities to take place within, but is actively “produced” through human activity. The spaces humans produce, in turn, set powerful constraints upon subsequent activity…..
The university, then, cannot be separated from the people who go about “producing” the institution day after day. But the university also sculpts human activity: the university’s physical and bureaucratic structure creates conditions under which students attend lectures, read books, write papers, participate in discussions, and get grades. Human activity produces the university, but human activities are, in turn, shaped by the university. In these feedback loops, we see production of space at work…..
Instead of asking “What is art?” or “Is this art successful?” a good geographer might ask questions along the lines of “How is this space called ‘art’ produced?” In other words, what are the specific historical, economic, cultural, and discursive conjunctions that come together to form something called “art” and, moreover, to produce a space that we colloquially know as an “art world”? The geographic question is not “What is art?” but “How is art?”….
When I write an essay such as this, get it published in a book, and put it on a shelf in a bookstore or museum, I’m participating in the production of space. The same is true for producing art: when I produce images and put them in a gallery or museum or sell them to collectors, I’m helping to produce a space some call the “art world.” The same holds true for “geography”: when I study geography, write about geography, teach geography, go to geography conferences, and take part in a geography department, I’m helping to produce a space called “geography.” None of these examples is a metaphor: the “space” of culture isn’t just Raymond Williams’s “structure of feeling” but, as my friends Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Clayton Rosati underline, an “infrastructure of feeling.”…
ut simply, geographers don’t just study geography, they create geographies…..
Experimental geography means practices that take on the production of space in a self-reflexive way, practices that recognize that cultural production and the production of space cannot be separated from each another, and that cultural and intellectual production is a spatial practice. Moreover, experimental geography means not only seeing the production of space as an ontological condition, but actively experimenting with the production of space as an integral part of one’s own practice. If human activities are inextricably spatial, then new forms of freedom and democracy can only emerge in dialectical relation to the production of new spaces. I deliberately use one of modernism’s keywords, “experimental,” for two reasons. First is to acknowledge and affirm the modernist notion that things can be better, that humans are capable of improving their own conditions, to keep cynicism and defeatism at arm’s length. Moreover, experimentation means production without guarantees, and producing new forms of space certainly comes without guarantees. Space is not deterministic, and the production of new spaces isn’t easy….
In Benjamin’s “Author as Producer”, he prefigured contemporary geographic thought when he refused to assume that a cultural work exists as a thing-unto-itself: “The dialectical approach,” he wrote, “has absolutely no use for such rigid, isolated things as work, novel, book. It has to insert them into the living social context.” Right there, Benjamin rejected the assumption that cultural works have any kind of ontological stability and instead suggested a relational way of thinking about them. Benjamin went on to make a distinction between works that have an “attitude” toward politics and works that inhabit a “position” within them. “Rather than ask ‘What is the attitude of a work to the relations of production of its time?’” he wrote, “I should like to ask, ‘What is its position in them?’” Benjamin, in other words, was identifying the relations of production that give rise to cultural work as a crucial political moment. For Benjamin, producing truly radical or liberatory cultural works meant producing liberatory spaces from which cultural works could emerge. …..
Experimental geography expands Benjamin’s call for cultural workers to move beyond “critique” as an end in itself and to take up a “position” within the politics of lived experience. Following Benjamin, experimental geography takes for granted the fact that there can be no “outside” of politics, because there can be no “outside” to the production of space (and the production of space is ipso facto political)……
The task of experimental geography, then, is to seize the opportunities that present themselves in the spatial practices of culture. To move beyond critical reflection, critique alone, and political “attitudes,” into the realm of practice. To experiment with creating new spaces, new ways of being.