Steve Collis presents selections from David Harvey on Marx

March’s Reading: “Companion to Marx’s Capital” and “Spaces of Hope by David Harvey
Wednesday March 14 2012
VIVO Media Arts (1965 Main Street), Vancouver BC
7pm Salon Free
Facilitated by Steve Collis

March’s edition of No Reading will be hosted by Steve Collis. Steve has been busying himself for the last few months with the local Occupy movement, in part as a member of the grassroots media corps that has sprung up. For the salon he will be presenting work drawn from his recent research on ‘change’. We will look at two sections from the works of David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital and Spaces of Hope. Both of these readings build out of a footnote from Marx’s Capital, wherein he is situating his project in relation to the work of Charles Darwin–calling for a “critical history of technology” that answers to Darwin’s pioneering work in the natural sciences. Harvey touches on Marx’s discomfort with the pitfalls of Social Darwinism, but nonetheless (in Spaces of Hope) Harvey invites a contemporary discussion on what is constitutive of ‘humanity’–precisely what we are being alienated from, if indeed we are ‘alien’ to our proper selves. Navigating the path between the ideal and the material, Harvey touches on important discussions of causality, technological determinism, architecture, and civil planning.

David Harvey (born 31 October 1935, Gillingham, Kent, England) is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). A leading social theorist of international standing, he received his PhD in Geography from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited authors in the humanities. In addition, he is the world’s most cited academic geographer, and the author of many books and essays that have been prominent in the development of modern geography as a discipline. His work has contributed greatly to broad social and political debate; most recently he has been credited with restoring social class and Marxist methods as serious methodological tools in the critique of global capitalism. He is a leading proponent of the idea of the right to the city.

David Harvey’s Companion to Marx’s Capital (2010) and Spaces of Hope (2000) are facilitated by Stephen Collis. Stephen Collis  is the author of Mine (2001), two parts of the on-going Barricades Project, Anarchive (2005) and The Commons (2008), and On the Material (2010), which won the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. He is also the author of two books of criticism: Through Words of Others: Susan Howe and Anarcho-Scholasticism (2006) andPhyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). A former member of the Kootenay School of Writing, he teaches poetry, poetics and American literature at Simon Fraser University.

No Reading After the Internet is a monthly opportunity to gather and read a text aloud in hopes that it might provoke theoretical illumination on particular art works, or the broader scape within which such work exists. This program departs from Cineworks’ Thought on Film series, conceived by Cheyanne Turions. Whilst still very interested in cinema, the focus of this incarnation is softened to accommodate the more broad (and ever expanding) scope of media art.

The idea of a reading group isn’t new. No Reading nonetheless poses itself as an experimental learning and discussion space. Simply put, we are suspicious of our own reading abilities, and the extent to which our readings are conversant with one another. No Reading means to offer a slow space within which to retrace oursteps in the hopes of discovering individual and collective ways through the realms of language and interpretation. The strategieswe have at our disposal are twofold: through the yoking of our discussion to a text; and inducing conversation, where possible, between text and specific, local, contemporaneous art discussions and happenings.

Participation in No Reading After the Internet is free and open to everyone, regardless of his or her familiarity with a text or its author. Texts will be handed out at the gathering. No pre-reading or research is required.