twitter conversation 2014/12/03

Yes it is true it is quite easy to turn a tragic and urgent situation into some banal comment or chat bit. I do not think it is so much due to over-intellectualising (which can, and indeed often, happens, I totally agree) so much as to the format. So, taking out the 140 characters limit, for the subject clearly deserves it, let’s try to make some sense out of that idea of simultaneity compared to the in-between. Not so much for what these two terms hold in the vocabulary of today’s architecture and geography, but for what they might imply for the stateless condition commented. These concepts are instruments to build a critique of a precise and very real situation, and if those instruments echo (while disguising) the workings of a system that produces the said situation they become trapped in its reproduction cycle. One example, the atlas of borders produced by Le Monde Diplomathique (a source we can agree works endlessly in the attack and condemnation, through knowledge, of the situation discussed). They keep working with spatial concepts of scale, border, etc., which are unable to grasp the new condition of the border, of labour, of statelessness (see for instance Sandro Mazzadra’s work in ‘The border as method’ or Etienne Balibar’s ‘What is a border?’). What happens when those new workings of the system, those producing that very real condition of statelessness, are impossible to be represented, when following old spatial categories that reproduce the key problems at work? Then, a thorough critique of the concepts becomes an urgency. An urgency that does not mean ignoring those very real lives at stake, on the contrary, it requires that they are taken in into full account, in their whole materiality, which is what, I am sure for what I know of the people involved in the conversation mentioned, we are all working on!