Cultural Theory Greatest Hits

catalog

Well-known member
I've recently enjoyed the forensic architecture stuff a lot. Just a different way of thinking about things. The bomb clouds made solid and the idea of mapping shrapnel in 3d. The narrative of conflict. Incorporating lots of big ideas but presented in a readable way. 'Mengeles skull' by eyal Weizman and another guy is prob the best intro. Quick Google should get you the pdf. I actually read the big book published by zone first. Zone books are an interesting publisher btw.

Can also recommend 'applied ballardianism' by Simon sellars. Interesting and easy read, not too pretentious and a strong narrative arc. From him I got a virilio book as a tip but found it largely incomprehensible.

I did also get 'anti-oedipus' but found it unreadable unless I was really in the mood and happy to spend an hour on a chapter. Also tried 'cyclonopedia' and found it good at first but it got a bit much and then I forgot about it. I've tried bataille as well, never really stuck.

Going back to the semiotexte things tho, I thought 'i love dick' by Chris kraus was excellent, tho dint like 'torpor' as much.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This is both grim and fascinating:

The Art of War - https://frieze.com/article/art-war

The attack conducted by units of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the city of Nablus in April 2002 was described by its commander, Brigadier-General Aviv Kokhavi, as ‘inverse geometry’, which he explained as ‘the reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions’.1 During the battle soldiers moved within the city across hundreds of metres of ‘overground tunnels’ carved out through a dense and contiguous urban structure. Although several thousand soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas were manoeuvring simultaneously in the city, they were so ‘saturated’ into the urban fabric that very few would have been visible from the air. Furthermore, they used none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors, internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation’, seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The IDF’s strategy of ‘walking through walls’ involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare – a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.
Contemporary military theorists are now busy re-conceptualizing the urban domain. At stake are the underlying concepts, assumptions and principles that determine military strategies and tactics. The vast intellectual field that geographer Stephen Graham has called an international ‘shadow world’ of military urban research institutes and training centres that have been established to rethink military operations in cities could be understood as somewhat similar to the international matrix of élite architectural academies. However, according to urban theorist Simon Marvin, the military-architectural ‘shadow world’ is currently generating more intense and well-funded urban research programmes than all these university programmes put together, and is certainly aware of the avant-garde urban research conducted in architectural institutions, especially as regards Third World and African cities. There is a considerable overlap among the theoretical texts considered essential by military academies and architectural schools. Indeed, the reading lists of contemporary military institutions include works from around 1968 (with a special emphasis on the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Guy Debord), as well as more contemporary writings on urbanism, psychology, cybernetics, post-colonial and post-Structuralist theory. If, as some writers claim, the space for criticality has withered away in late 20th-century capitalist culture, it seems now to have found a place to flourish in the military.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
It's not a bad book but I don't know how much it teaches you about d&g. According to Barty he read all of Wittgenstein at 12 and had invented his own philosophy at 14 so I'm not sure he needs a beginners guide in any case
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I think that is completely insane. That's my opinion. It doesn't touch on a fraction of the core concepts. But go and argue with thirdform it's more entertaining.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I can see what you're both saying. I remember reading it on a train to Eltham once and this cockney geezer got on at Lewisham, sat opposite me, and then loudly took the piss for the rest of the journey. "A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History, is it mate? Ha ha ha ha!!! What the fuck is that? A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History!?!? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA..."

I went crimson.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
It was like a more excruciating version of that Bill Hicks story about the cafe waitress who asked him, "Why are you reading?"
 
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