Modes of Realising 2017/2018
There is an elephant in the room. It writes the themes of scholarly conferences. It constitutes both standardized and alternative modes of urban development. It mobilises and immobilises vast amounts of resources. It chooses one kind of politician over another. It draws the line between what is possible and what remains wishful thinking or speculation threatening the existence of ‘abnormal’ modes of living.
Looking at what it means to live today, no statement seems to better capture the dominant truth: We are all contributing to real estate.
Based on this fact – remember: facts are statements about reality, not reality – the interest of the annual theme Modes of Realising turns to the modes in which profits, ideas and things are actually spatially realised, which following the line of Marxist thinking goes beyond looking at the production side of things: Realisation is the transformation of something from an ideal or potential form to an actual or material form. Realisation of value is the conversion of a profit or payment in the form of a surplus product or credit into money form. Commodity production is based on the production of a product which the producers themselves do not need, on the basis that their own need can be met by exchange or sale of the surplus product. In particular capitalist production (the exploitation of labour through the ownership of the means of production, based on the division of classes) can only complete the cycle of capitalist reproduction when labour power is used, the product sold and paid for. The beginnings of crises often lie not so much in the failure to produce a surplus as in the failure to realise surplus production.