I thought of a quick-burst-of-steam sort of post that seems important for the blog…
In his book, Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord defines urbanism without any reference to the city, nor any other spatial configuration in aphorism #169. For me, this was the first time I read or heard something about urbanism and had the distinct feeling that the author or speaker was not only referring to the city proper. This was helpful for me, because previous to reading Debord, I had already taken a left hand turn off of Woodward Avenue in Detroit and felt all of the urban techniques and tools that I had acquired in the discipline dissipating… disappearing into a reality to which those disciplinary tools were blind. So, I thought it worthwhile to post entry 169 in its entirety. I am quoting it from the Black and Red edition of the book published in Detroit in 1983… here goes,
The society that molds all of its surroundings has developed a special technique for shaping its very territory, the solid ground of this collection of tasks. Urbanism is capitalism’s seizure of the natural and human environment; developing logically into absolute domination, capitalism can and must remake the totality of space into its own setting.
I have paraphrased this aphorism (and have gotten it damn right) a number of times in the seminar room, and I like that it is now in the flow of the blog.