Bert Olivier

The ‘space of flows’ and the social elites of today

In Manuel Castells’s influential book, The Rise of the Network Society (Second edition, 2010, Chapter 6), he devotes a very revealing discussion to what he describes as the dominant spatial form of the network society, namely the “space of flows”. In his theorisation of the novel, now dominant spatial mode – the “space of flows”…

90 Comments Continue Reading →

The age of the indebted, mediatised, securitised and depoliticised

In Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s latest book Declaration (Argo Navis, 2012) — although, probably given its brevity (just over a hundred pages) compared to the books comprising their trilogy (Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth), they refer to it as a “pamphlet” — they articulate the global crisis of the present era in terms of four…

16 Comments Continue Reading →

How the largest movement in history is restoring justice to the world

Paul Hawken, writer of Blessed Unrest — How the largest movement in the world came into being and why no one saw it coming (Penguin 2007), is an indefatigable speaker and champion for environmental justice, who gave more than a thousand talks on the environment in the course of 15 years, before writing the book….

76 Comments Continue Reading →

Painting, equality and the ‘aesthetic regime of art’

There is a painting by Degas in the Philadelphia Art Museum that illustrates well what Jacques Ranciére means by the “aesthetic regime of art” (one of three “regimes”, the other two of which — the “ethical regime of images” and the “representative regime of art” — preceded the “aesthetic regime” historically). It shows a man…

30 Comments Continue Reading →

An alternative to the typical shopping mall

Not all places where shopping is or may be done, necessarily have to be of the reductive, spatially homogeneous, dehumanising type, exemplified by the standard shopping mall. An example of a shopping space design that is heterogeneously structured, into which ”other” spaces ”flow”, or with which it intersects, is furnished by Erik Grobler, a final-year…

49 Comments Continue Reading →

The shopping mall as consumer architecture

Referring to the moment, in Plato’s Symposium, where the lover supposedly beholds a completely disembodied, atemporal “beauty”, in the process conforming to the character of this abstraction, Kaja Silverman says (World Spectators, 2000: 10): “This deindividuation of the look represents a crucial feature of the process through which Socrates negates phenomenal forms. This is because…

58 Comments Continue Reading →

Guns, patriarchy and violence against women

In Ridley Scott’s (for a male director) astonishingly feminist film, Thelma and Louise (1991), there is a scene-sequence that graphically captures the indissoluble connection between patriarchal men and guns. And, at the same time, it shows how much the vaunted power of patriarchal men depends on their guns. The scene-sequence commences at that point in…

26 Comments Continue Reading →

The discourses directing our actions

During a discussion at a staff seminar today one of the participants, who teaches public administration, was explaining to the rest of us that in his research on, broadly speaking, the communication between government officials (including ministers) and ordinary citizens comprising various constituencies, he constantly comes across communicational gaps — between the documents released by…

40 Comments Continue Reading →

Drones: Panopticism intensified

Panopticism has just been ramped up a few notches. Panopticism is a Foucaultian concept (employed in Discipline and Punish) that encapsulates the paradigmatic condition of our society, namely that there is a pervasive tendency to subject all social life to modes of surveillance and judgement for purposes of disciplining the populace and ensure its economic…

25 Comments Continue Reading →

The discursive forces that shape our lives

The 21st-century world, and with it, our lives, are shaped by powerful discursive forces that are distinct from one another, but are nevertheless interrelated in complex ways. Sometimes they intertwine and reinforce one another, and sometimes they conflict, and the clash between discourses often spills over into the lives of ordinary (and sometimes high-profile) individuals…

36 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 20« First...10...192021...3040...