Social City II “The Distribution of the Sensible” 2016/2017
Urban space is produced through societal means. But what or who constitutes this collaborative and conflict-potential production of the city? How does it transpire? In the context of this inquiry, this seminar is an attempt to work out indications of a possible theory of social theory of the city, based on the theoretical contributions of the French philosopher Jacques Rancière. Rancière’s most important contribution to theories about the city is the question of equality and participation. This touches upon what Rancière calls the “distribution of the visible,” namely the aesthetic requirements related to gaining visibility in a discourse. Rancière says: “One distribution of the sensible establishes a commonality that is shared, but also individual parts that remain exclusive. This distribution of parts and places is based on a division of spaces, times, and activities, which determines how a commonality can be opened to participation, and how one person or another participates. “With this is mind, the seminar aims to examine Rancière’s basic ideas from the perspective of the city and in turn make these considerations fruitful for the urban discourse. The students will work in groups to examine those books by Rancière that are most important for our subject matter, then present their central theories and link these with topics concerning urban discourse.
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