“The Right to the City” from Writings on Cities by Henri Lefebvre

April’s Reading: “The Right to the City” from Writings on Cities by Henri Lefebvre
Wednesday April 20 2011
VIVO Media Arts [1965 Main Street], Vancouver BC
7pm Salon Free
Guest Facilitated by Jeff Derksen

In tandem with the ongoing activities of the 602,000: Works on Housing exhibition, April’s edition of No Reading will be hosted by Jeff Derksen of the Urban Subjects, who has selected Henri Lefebvre’s “The Right to the City”. Originally written in 1967, Lefebvre suggests that the “historic city” has already lapsed, and calls for a new approach to “the science” of the urban. To a certain extent, this science seems to involve quantifying whilst not containing those dynamic lacunae left unaccounted for within the commodity paradigm’s conception of civic space. In its analysis of “planning” and its will to properly situate the agency of architects and politicians (among others) with respect to the city, the text remains very relevant to a conversation about civics in Vancouver, in 2011. There will be much to chew on in Lefebvre’s use of the term “oeuvre” and his nuanced discussion of utopian vision. If you are interested in previewing a text, please contact traffic@videoout.ca for a digital copy.

Henri Lefebvre was born in southwestern France in 1901. He worked in the fields of sociology and philosophy from the 1920s, navigating the fraught landscape of French Marxism through to his death in 1991. His book The Critique of Everyday Life was formative for the Situationist movement, and The Production of Space remains indispensable to many geographers and social theorists to this day.

Jeff Derksen is an active participant in Vancouver’s sociocultural landscape as a critically engaged poet, facilitator, artist and theorist. He teaches in the English department at SFU. His long-standing interest in urbanism leaves him very well situated to help us unpack this text, and hopefully further illuminate the work he has been doing with his fellow Urban Subjects, here at VIVO, and elsewhere.


Cornelius Cardew’s “The Tiger’s Mind” and B. S. Johnson’s “House Mother Normal”

Featuring Cornelius Cardew’s The Tiger’s Mind and B.S. Johnson’s House Mother Normal

Friday, 08 April
Gladstone Hotel Art Bar
1 PM

Facilitated by Beatrice Gibson and cheyanne turions

As part of the 2011 Images Festival, filmmaker Beatrice Gibson has been invited to select a reading in conjunction with the presentation of her film The Future’s Getting Old Like the Rest of Us.

Cornelius Cardew was an avant-garde music composer whose work The Tiger’s Mind is an experiment in composition as prose. B.S. Johnson’s geriatric comedy House Mother Normal uses experimental typography to represent minds disintegrating into nothingness. Beatrice Gibson’s film The Future’s Getting Old Like the Rest of Us takes Johnson’s experimental novel as its formal departure point, while also employing the structural logic of a score. Gibson’s film performs a sort of poetic activation, whereby the script becomes a methodology for making people move: movement at the level of production, manifest as the instigation of a collective production process, and movement at the level of reception, manifest as a shift in meaning and interpretation on the part of the viewer.

Participation in No Reading After the Internet is free and open to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with a text or its author. Texts will be handed out at the salon. No pre-reading or research is required. But, if you’d like to take a look at the Cardew text beforehand, you can so do here.

Participants are encouraged to attend the screening of The Future’s Getting Old Like the Rest of Us as part of the program All Our Memories Significant in Retrospect on Friday, 08 April at 5pm at Jackman Hall (317 Dundas Street West).

Beatrice Gibson is an artist based in London. Her practice concerns the politics and poetics of everyday sites and spaces within and through the territory of the urban. Working in diverse mediums, from text to performance to film, her practice is site specific, research based and participatory. Recent pieces have explored sociality through sound, investigating aural dimensions of the relational. Referencing and employing the methodologies of experimental film and experimental music practice (from error to improvisation), these works touch upon a multiplicity of themes, from the musicality of speech and the theatricality of the everyday, to conflations of the factual and the fictional, the impossibility of the document and the problem of representation. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, with Eyal Weizman.

The event is co-presented with the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto.