The Production of Space Chapter 1Plan of the Present Work Henri Lefebvre Hande Işık ID 501 Literature Review METU March 31st, 2012
Main Argument:1. There there are different levels of space, from very abstract, natural space (absolute space) to more complex spatialities whose significance is socially produced (social space)2. Social space is a social product.3. Every society produces its own social space. The social production of urban space is fundamental to the reproduction of society (its social control)
The Theoretical Background• I) The traditional philosophy of space becoming categories of an immanent order – e.g. Aristotle space and time as categories facilitating the naming and classing of evidence of the senses• II) Science of space (mathematics). – Invented spaces ; an infinity, curved spaces, etc.• III) The Modern Field of Epistemology – Space as a mental thing. – Over-used: e.g. literary space, ideological spaces, etc.
The Theoretical Background• IV) A Science of Space – An indefinite multitude of spaces (geographic, economic, demographic, etc.) • It reveals how mode of production is subject to endless division. – Society as a whole continues in subjection to political practice, that is, state power. • Represents the political use of knowledge, in more immediate way in the forces of production, and in a mediate way into the social relations of production.• V) Space and the Capitalist Hegemony – The many facets of capitalism; all play a part in practice according to their varying capabilities, conflicts • The hegemony of one class • Space, taking an active role but not being a passive locus of relations
The Theoretical Background• VI) Lefebvres theoretical position – A unitary theory of space • Combines the physical, the mental and the social.• VIII) Spatial Code and his System of Space – The aim: • Expose the actual production of space by bringing the various kinds of space and the modalities of their genesis together within a single theory.
The Theoretical Background• IX) Examples of the Switching of Spatial Codes – Surrealists: from subjective space to the material realm of the body and the outside world – George Bataille: the entirety of space; mental, physical, social, is apprehended tragically. – Theorist of technology Jacque Lafitte, technocratic utopia with active machines and passive machines.• X) Fetishization of Space in the service of the State. – Aims to foster confrontation between those ideas and propositions which illuminate the modern world even if they do not govern it, treating them as prefigurations lying at the threshold of modernity.
Lefebvres critique of two illusions of transparency and realist• Lefebvres critique of two illusions – The illusion of transparency, space appears as luminous, as intelligible, as giving action free rein. • Related to the ideology which privileges speech and/or writing; has a kinship with philosophical idealism. – The realist illusion, the belief that things have more of an existence than the subject, his thought and his desires. [Closer to materialism]• His argument: (social) space is a (social) product.
The Theoretical Background• XIV ) (Physical) natural space is disappearing.• XV) Every society, hence every mode of production with its subvariants produces a space, its own space. – Social space contains • (1) The social relations of reproduction, i.e. the bio-physiological relations between the sexes and between age groups, along with the specific organization of the family • (2) The relations of production, i.e. the division of labour and its organization in the form of hierarchical social functions – Three interrelated levels in capitalist society: • (1) Biological reproduction (the family) • (2) The reproduction of labour power • (3) The reproduction of the social relations of production – Space embraces a multitude of intersections.
The Theoretical Background• XVI) Examples of different representation of space for societys self-presentation or self- preservation• XVII) If space is a product, our knowledge of it must be expected to reproduce and expound the process of production. The object of interest must be expected to shift from things in space to the actual production of space. – How is space produced? • Lefebvres spatial triad: the perceive, the conceived, and the lived
Spatial Triad• 1. Spatial practice – Which embraces production and reproduction, spatial practice ensures continuity and some degree of cohesion. – The spatial practice of a society secretes that societys space; it propounds and presupposed it, in a dialectical interaction; it produces it slowly and surely as it masters and appropriates it.• 2. Representation of space: – Tied to the relations of production and to the order. – conceptualized space, the space of scientists, planners, urbanists, technocratic subdividers and social engineers. . . all of whom identify what is lived and what is perceive with what is conceived.• 3. Representational spaces: – Embody complex symbolisms, sometimes coded, sometimes not, linked to the clandestine or underground side of social life, as also to art. – Space as directly lived through its associated images and symbols, and hence the space of inhabitants and users, but also of some artists and perhaps of those, such as a few writers and philosophers, who describe and aspire to do no more than describe.
Spatial TriadSpatial Practice Representation of Space Representational SpacesPhysical space (nature) Mental Space (abstractions) Social Space (Sensation/action)Perceived Conceived LivedDaily routines align with Scientists, planners, Inhabitants and usersroutes between places technocratic subdividers (artists who just describe)
• Absolute space – Made up of fragments of nature but [the sites] very consecration ended up by stripping them of their natural characteristics and uniqueness, religious and political in character, was a product of the bonds of sanguinity, soil and language, but out of it evolved a space which was relativized and historical.• Abstract space – The forces of history smashed naturalness forever and upon its ruins established the space of accumulation (the accumulation of all wealth and resources: knowledge, technology, money, precious objects, works of art and symbols).
Conclusion– The Production of Space • Specialized fragmentation of space – both mental and real – to bring together a unified production of space. • Lefebvre is able to make this observations through his epistemological shift that moves from conceiving "things in space" to that of the "actual production of space“ • Building upon a Marxist idea of ‘production’ he demystifies the dynamic relationships of captialist commoditization and acknowledges that space itself is an “active moment” that needs to be “actively produced” and not just left to its own devices.
Distinctions Strategy & Tactics PatternsResistance Cultural Hegemony Reproduction Tastes Habitus Producing Representations Social Production Common Sense MEANINGS CULTURE = Material = Manifestation Commodification = Relations of Production Practices Distorted Boredom Meanings Social Change Social Space Hierarchy Reproduction Consumer of Society Culture Blaming the Victim & Trouble Maker Urban Space