New PDF release: Cartographies of the Absolute

By Alberto Toscano, Jeff Kinkle

Can capital be obvious? Cartographies of absolutely the surveys the disparate solutions to this query provided via artists, film-makers, writers and theorists over the last few many years. It zones in at the crises of illustration that experience observed the long-lasting difficulty of capitalism, foregrounding the creation of latest visions and artefacts that combat with the vastness, invisibility and complexity of the abstractions that rule our lives.

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Example text

52 Debord’s choice of cover art for the Champ Libre edition does not have as many obvious problems as the unauthorised 1977 translation, yet it leaves more questions unanswered, and is considerably vaguer in its intimation about the sort of theory advanced in the actual text – though it should be noted that the Livre de Poche image of an even more generic globe map, recently refunctioned as the wrapping for an insurrectionary projectile by Claire Fontaine, in La Société du spectacle brickbat (2006), is even more so.

In this respect, the mapping or figuring of capital is not a question of accuracy or resemblance, in which aesthetic form would be a mere instrument for knowledge, but constitutes a kind of force-field in which our conceptions of both modes of production and aesthetic regimes are put to the test. While, as this introduction amply testifies, we have been influenced by the manner in which Jameson has insistently posed the problem of representing capital, what follows is not an application of the aesthetics of cognitive mapping to the recent past.

Lynch argued that a well-planned city (or one that has evolved in an optimal way) should be ‘legible’ to its inhabitants, or even to a transient visitor. It should possess a certain ‘imageability’. In his investigation, Lynch looked primarily at Boston, Jersey City, and Los Angeles, interviewing and surveying residents to understand not only what they thought of their cities, but how they navigated them: how they pictured them in their minds as they made their way around, or how they would draw their urban environs from memory.

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