Oh, Lefebvre

13 Dec

There won’t be any posts tomorrow or this weekend. Expect me back on Tuesday!

I’m dashing for the finish line right now, so I will keep this brief.

Cover of "The Production of Space"

Cover of The Production of Space

For how many spatial theory nerds is Henri Lefebvre’s The Production of Space literally the bane of your existence? I mean, I spend hours looking at the same sentence and making seemingly no progress whatsoever in understanding what the man meant.

I will forever be returning to this text, until I understand its every word in my soul.

Here’s the core, Lefebvre’s conceptual triad:

  1. Spatial Practice, which embraces production and reproduction, and the particular locations and spatial sets characteristic of each social formation. Spatial practice ensures continuity and some degree of cohesion. In terms of social space, and of each member of a given society’s relationship to that space, this cohesion implies a guaranteed level of competence and a specific level of performance.
  2. Representations of space ,which are tied to the relations of production and to the ‘order’ which those relations impose, and hence to knowledge, to signs, to codes, and to ‘frontal’ relations.
  3. Representational spaces, embodying complex symbolism, sometimes coded, sometimes not, linked to the clandestine or underground side of social life, as also to art (Which may come eventually to be defined less as a code of space than as a code of representational spaces).

If you like you can borrow my mantra! Space is a tool not a category.

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One Response to “Oh, Lefebvre”

  1. Dog S, Body December 14, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    ..one more author who goes into the category of “stuff which may or may not have any objective reality meaning, but which some people claim to understand only can’t explain in any lucid way so you’re never really sure whether the Emperor has clothes or not but you have to know someting about or be looked down on by the ones who claim that it isn’t just random words…”

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