Archives for April 2013

Forthcoming, A new Book: MATERIAL DREAMS:maps and territories in the un/making of modernity (New Title)

FORTHCOMING  FROM PALGRAVE MACMILLAN A NEW BOOK BY PHIL COHEN MATERIAL DREAMS : Maps and Territories in the un/making of Modernity The book takes the reader on a journey into the intellectual borderlands of the human sciences. Starting  from Korzybski’s famous dictum that the map is not the territory it develops a critique of both sociological realism and poststructuralism as accounts of  their articulation. Moving from the history of cartography to  autobiography and ethnography, Material Dreams argues for an alternative epistemology, underpinning a method of interdisciplinary research which can get to grips with the deeper, more unconscious ways in which individuals and groups   map and make sense of the world   while staying closely in touch with the material histories of  the specific cultures and communities  to which they belong. In the second part of the book  this approach is applied to  studies of cultures which exist in the interstitial spaces  [Read More…]

Lights on for the Territory

‘Lights on for the Territory’  explores  some of the issues of representation raised by John Wallett’s map  of East London  which was commissioned for On the Wrong Side of the Track?. The map itself includes a ‘Hall of Fame’ and depicts the cultural and political geography of the area, both in the past and present, with a nod in the direction of Iain Sinclair. The film introduces the concepts of map and  territory, and depicts the technical and aesthetic process of  narrative  cartography. The film is  the  part of a larger project working with students and communities in East London  to produce new mappings of the area’s past, present and future. The aim is to challenge the dominant images and discourses of deprivation that have defined the East End as site of urban regeneration  and social reform. The film has been produced by Aura Films, a video production company who [Read More…]

Olympic Site Visit – March 2013

I recently took some pictures on a visit to the Olympic Park which is now being transformed for post Olympic purposes.  Below is a gallery of the site.  More information about the construction of the site can be found here:

April Blog On Translating politics

ON TRANSLATING POLITICS For DNS  What sounded fresh once may sound hackneyed later; what was once current may someday sound quaint. To seek the essence of such changes, as well as the equally constant changes in meaning, in the subjectivity of posterity rather than in the very life of language and its works, would mean – even allowing for the crudest psychologism – to confuse the root cause of a thing with its essence. Walter Benjamin, ‘The Task of the Translator’ In the opening sequence of Patrick Keiller’s film Robinson in London, the narrator is sitting in a railway carriage recording the start of his journey across the fractured landscape of a great city in the grip of a fever – what the late Mrs Thatcher called ‘the enterprise culture’ – which has decimated large areas of what had once been a thriving economy based on industry and international trade. [Read More…]