Architecture and Capitalism – Solids and Flows: Vol. 5, Issue 2
Catharina Gabrielsson and Helena Mattsson (Editors)
‘Capitalism is back!’
Nancy Fraser, “Behind Marx’s Hidden Abode: For an Expanded Conception of Capitalism”, New Left Review 86 (2014) p. 55
The aim of this issue of Architecture and Culture is to revisit the relationship between architecture and capitalism, not by reverting back to ‘critique’, ‘post-criticality’ or even ‘resistance’, but from an outset of addressing their complex relationality. Going beyond the historic, industrial and building-based scenario offered by Peggy Deamer (ed.) in Architecture and Capitalism (2014), extending on and problematizing both architecture and capitalism allows us to address this relationship from other perspectives. We propose a thematic heading of ‘solids and flows’ to open up for less predictable, essentially non-linear, and more imaginary investigations.
Solids – which is how architecture most readily is perceived, as tied to buildings, symbolic and semiotic capital, manifestations of private or public wealth … but equally capturing the inaccessibility of corporate power; the ‘trust’ of credit ratings that certify risk-taking in the bank and finance sector; the closure and immovability of capital locked up in tax havens and offshore financial centres.
Flows – as in the fickle movements of global capitalism through networks of finance and speculation (and the arbitrary effects of their hitting the ground)… but equally capturing recent re-orientations in architecture towards relational or ecologist approaches, undoing the physical object, with an emphasis on process, agency and affect. Spanning across the virtual and the real, the material and the immaterial, the relationship between architecture and capitalism increases in complexity as regards to the production of identity, the generation of desire, and the forging of spatial relations. By juxtaposing solids and flows as tropes or figures of thought, we envisage the possibility for new and transversal connections; ones that, by exposing the gaps, discontinuities and ruptures in, through and between architecture and capitalism carry the potential for non-determinate futures.
Call for papers for this issue
From this outset, we invite rigorously speculative, purposely imaginative, visually and verbally stimulating contributions that explore architecture and capitalism from unexpected angles – bearing in mind the slippery slope of too-narrowly confined definitions. This call is explicitly trans- and cross-disciplinary in nature, encouraging critical and emerging scholarship dealing with capitalist studies to engage with architecture as a tradition of projecting, shaping, assessing and experiencing the built environment; and scholars and practitioners in architecture and neighbouring disciplines to relate more closely to the dynamics of capitalism and its current transfigurations, brought to the fore through the advent of concepts and theories such as noologi, affective or immaterial labour, economies of debt, new Marxist scholarship, and neo-materialist ontologies. How can we think about these conjunctions of materialisation and immaterialisation, visibility and invisibility, solidification and vaporization? How can they be analysed, illustrated, represented, designed or described? We call for papers, essays, manifestos, historical inquires, fieldwork notes, photographic compilations, drawing materials etc. that address this broad and fluid topic in creative and original ways.
Contributions might address the following themes:
- Processes and techniques of commodification and marketization in architecture
- Dimensions of value(s) in and through architecture, alternative values, and ‘value diremption’ (the ‘Other’ of value)
- Theories on the spectacular, affect/affective and experiential in architecture and their potential for generating the unexpected
- The spatial, material and localized conditions for central agents in global capitalism (bank and finance sector, corporate HQ, digital platforms etc.)
- The relationship between design, housing tenures and property ownership
- The architectural imports of spatial occupancy and appropriation
- Dispossession, austerity and the architecture of poverty
- Thickened and thinned out spaces, secondary homes, and non-habitation
- Real estate-driven architectures of affect
Contributions can range from short observations or manifestos, creative pieces, or visual essays, to longer academic articles. Architecture and Culture is published in both on-line and hard-copy formats: there is capacity to host on-line contributions that operate in a different way to paper-based work.
CfP May 2016
Response 1 September 2016 at latest
Editors selection October 2016
Peer Reviewing October-December 2016
Authors Revisions December- February 2017
Editorial checking March 2017
Copy to publisher 1 April 2017
Issue publication July 2017
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