Zonal Logics of Modernity: Urban Imaginations and Economic Life

Economic zones have long attracted attention from business and economic perspectives, yet scholars have only recently started to approach the zone as a cultural and social space. From February 21-22, 2014, an interdisciplinary workshop at The New School and New York University in New York sought an integrated understanding of the zone as a subject for social science and humanities scholarship. A small interdisciplinary group of scholars from the social sciences, humanities, and beyond met to critically reflect on the phenomenon of the economic zone as a socio-spatial form of modernity. This workshop had two main objectives: first, to start an empirical conversation about the lived experiences emerging in this particular nexus of global modernity, capital, and exception; and second, to explore the new epistemologies and ontologies of the urban condition as manifested through and in zones of all kinds. At stake is less the form of the city as such than how modernity, as geographer Ash Amin has recently put it, is “filtered through the city”—in this case, the zone as a global urban space of production and, increasingly, consumption. See the workshop website for more information.

To my pleasant surprise an artwork in the Museum of Modern Art incorporates a quote from one of my articles on nostalgia. The artist is Dorit Margreiter, and you can see the image and the whole installation on her site: http://www.doritmargreiter.net/projects/zentrum3.html
The piece is called “zentrum” and the exhibit is “Performing Histories (1)” at MoMA, on show through March 11, 2013: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1312
This is her description of the piece (from her website):
zentrum
"zentrum renders a report on work in progress exploring the socialist architecture of the ‘Bruehlzentrum’ in Leipzig. The housing block constructed in the 1960s serves as an exemplary starting point for a critical engagement with the ways in which modernist aesthetic strategies were deployed to support social and political concepts.
Dorit Margreiter analyzes the soon to be demolished urban intervention and its typographical designs as documents of a process of social reform. Her artistic treatment of this theme preserves the memory of the expressive forms of a moral system, which failed and thus is in the process of disappearing.”

To my pleasant surprise an artwork in the Museum of Modern Art incorporates a quote from one of my articles on nostalgia. The artist is Dorit Margreiter, and you can see the image and the whole installation on her site: http://www.doritmargreiter.net/projects/zentrum3.html

The piece is called “zentrum” and the exhibit is “Performing Histories (1)” at MoMA, on show through March 11, 2013: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1312

This is her description of the piece (from her website):

zentrum

"zentrum renders a report on work in progress exploring the socialist architecture of the ‘Bruehlzentrum’ in Leipzig. The housing block constructed in the 1960s serves as an exemplary starting point for a critical engagement with the ways in which modernist aesthetic strategies were deployed to support social and political concepts.

Dorit Margreiter analyzes the soon to be demolished urban intervention and its typographical designs as documents of a process of social reform. Her artistic treatment of this theme preserves the memory of the expressive forms of a moral system, which failed and thus is in the process of disappearing.”

See commentary from me and others about “infrastructure” in this special curated collection from Cultural Anthropology.
Image: “Shenzhen: Boom!” exhibit curated by Mary Ann O’Donnell, Shenzhen/Hong Kong Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, December, 2012 (photo by Jonathan Bach)

See commentary from me and others about “infrastructure” in this special curated collection from Cultural Anthropology.

Image: “Shenzhen: Boom!” exhibit curated by Mary Ann O’Donnell, Shenzhen/Hong Kong Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, December, 2012 (photo by Jonathan Bach)

New essay: “Shenzhen: Constructing the City, Reconstructing Subjects” on Open Democracy’s Cities in Conflict Series.
(Image: photo of an advertisement detail taken in Shenzhen, December 2011 by Jonathan Bach)

New essay: Shenzhen: Constructing the City, Reconstructing Subjects” on Open Democracy’s Cities in Conflict Series.

(Image: photo of an advertisement detail taken in Shenzhen, December 2011 by Jonathan Bach)

See my article on Modernity and the Urban Imagination in Economic Zones in the September 2011 issue of the journal Theory, Culture & Society.

See my article on Modernity and the Urban Imagination in Economic Zones in the September 2011 issue of the journal Theory, Culture & Society.

 
Shenzhen+China, Utopias+Dystopias Conference: March 12, 2011 MIT (free and open to the public)

Shenzhen+China, Utopias+Dystopias Conference: March 12, 2011 MIT (free and open to the public)

Click this image for the best writing on Shenzhen by the anthropologist and artist Mary Ann O’Donnell. This image of “squatter remains” is taken by Mary Ann in 2002 in Houhai, Shenzhen.

Click this image for the best writing on Shenzhen by the anthropologist and artist Mary Ann O’Donnell. This image of “squatter remains” is taken by Mary Ann in 2002 in Houhai, Shenzhen.

"They Come in Peasants and Leave Citizens": Urban Villages and the Making of Shenzhen, ChinaJonathan BachCultural Anthropology August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 3: 421-458

"They Come in Peasants and Leave Citizens": Urban Villages and the Making of Shenzhen, China
Jonathan Bach
Cultural Anthropology August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 3: 421-458

 
"Power, Secrecy and Paranoia: Technologies of Governance and the Structure of Rule"
Jonathan Bach
in Cultural Politics Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2010 
This image: Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia #25, 2005, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Winkleman Gallery, New York. In Cultural Politics, Vol.6, Number 2, July 2010.

"Power, Secrecy and Paranoia: Technologies of Governance and the Structure of Rule"

Jonathan Bach

in Cultural Politics Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2010 

This image: Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia #25, 2005, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Winkleman Gallery, New York. In Cultural Politics, Vol.6, Number 2, July 2010.


Zonal Logics of Modernity: Urban Imaginations and Economic Life

Economic zones have long attracted attention from business and economic perspectives, yet scholars have only recently started to approach the zone as a cultural and social space. From February 21-22, 2014, an interdisciplinary workshop at The New School and New York University in New York sought an integrated understanding of the zone as a subject for social science and humanities scholarship. A small interdisciplinary group of scholars from the social sciences, humanities, and beyond met to critically reflect on the phenomenon of the economic zone as a socio-spatial form of modernity. This workshop had two main objectives: first, to start an empirical conversation about the lived experiences emerging in this particular nexus of global modernity, capital, and exception; and second, to explore the new epistemologies and ontologies of the urban condition as manifested through and in zones of all kinds. At stake is less the form of the city as such than how modernity, as geographer Ash Amin has recently put it, is “filtered through the city”—in this case, the zone as a global urban space of production and, increasingly, consumption. See the workshop website for more information.

To my pleasant surprise an artwork in the Museum of Modern Art incorporates a quote from one of my articles on nostalgia. The artist is Dorit Margreiter, and you can see the image and the whole installation on her site: http://www.doritmargreiter.net/projects/zentrum3.html
The piece is called “zentrum” and the exhibit is “Performing Histories (1)” at MoMA, on show through March 11, 2013: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1312
This is her description of the piece (from her website):
zentrum
"zentrum renders a report on work in progress exploring the socialist architecture of the ‘Bruehlzentrum’ in Leipzig. The housing block constructed in the 1960s serves as an exemplary starting point for a critical engagement with the ways in which modernist aesthetic strategies were deployed to support social and political concepts.
Dorit Margreiter analyzes the soon to be demolished urban intervention and its typographical designs as documents of a process of social reform. Her artistic treatment of this theme preserves the memory of the expressive forms of a moral system, which failed and thus is in the process of disappearing.”

To my pleasant surprise an artwork in the Museum of Modern Art incorporates a quote from one of my articles on nostalgia. The artist is Dorit Margreiter, and you can see the image and the whole installation on her site: http://www.doritmargreiter.net/projects/zentrum3.html

The piece is called “zentrum” and the exhibit is “Performing Histories (1)” at MoMA, on show through March 11, 2013: http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1312

This is her description of the piece (from her website):

zentrum

"zentrum renders a report on work in progress exploring the socialist architecture of the ‘Bruehlzentrum’ in Leipzig. The housing block constructed in the 1960s serves as an exemplary starting point for a critical engagement with the ways in which modernist aesthetic strategies were deployed to support social and political concepts.

Dorit Margreiter analyzes the soon to be demolished urban intervention and its typographical designs as documents of a process of social reform. Her artistic treatment of this theme preserves the memory of the expressive forms of a moral system, which failed and thus is in the process of disappearing.”

See commentary from me and others about “infrastructure” in this special curated collection from Cultural Anthropology.
Image: “Shenzhen: Boom!” exhibit curated by Mary Ann O’Donnell, Shenzhen/Hong Kong Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, December, 2012 (photo by Jonathan Bach)

See commentary from me and others about “infrastructure” in this special curated collection from Cultural Anthropology.

Image: “Shenzhen: Boom!” exhibit curated by Mary Ann O’Donnell, Shenzhen/Hong Kong Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, December, 2012 (photo by Jonathan Bach)

New essay: “Shenzhen: Constructing the City, Reconstructing Subjects” on Open Democracy’s Cities in Conflict Series.
(Image: photo of an advertisement detail taken in Shenzhen, December 2011 by Jonathan Bach)

New essay: Shenzhen: Constructing the City, Reconstructing Subjects” on Open Democracy’s Cities in Conflict Series.

(Image: photo of an advertisement detail taken in Shenzhen, December 2011 by Jonathan Bach)

(Image: Sabine Würich: Der neue Osten)
New article: Memory Landscapes and the Labor of the Negative in Berlin in theInternational Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, March 2013.

(Image: Sabine Würich: Der neue Osten)

New article: Memory Landscapes and the Labor of the Negative in Berlin in theInternational Journal of Politics, Culture, and SocietyMarch 2013.

See my article on Modernity and the Urban Imagination in Economic Zones in the September 2011 issue of the journal Theory, Culture & Society.

See my article on Modernity and the Urban Imagination in Economic Zones in the September 2011 issue of the journal Theory, Culture & Society.

 
Shenzhen+China, Utopias+Dystopias Conference: March 12, 2011 MIT (free and open to the public)

Shenzhen+China, Utopias+Dystopias Conference: March 12, 2011 MIT (free and open to the public)

Click this image for the best writing on Shenzhen by the anthropologist and artist Mary Ann O’Donnell. This image of “squatter remains” is taken by Mary Ann in 2002 in Houhai, Shenzhen.

Click this image for the best writing on Shenzhen by the anthropologist and artist Mary Ann O’Donnell. This image of “squatter remains” is taken by Mary Ann in 2002 in Houhai, Shenzhen.

"They Come in Peasants and Leave Citizens": Urban Villages and the Making of Shenzhen, ChinaJonathan BachCultural Anthropology August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 3: 421-458

"They Come in Peasants and Leave Citizens": Urban Villages and the Making of Shenzhen, China
Jonathan Bach
Cultural Anthropology August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 3: 421-458

 
"Power, Secrecy and Paranoia: Technologies of Governance and the Structure of Rule"
Jonathan Bach
in Cultural Politics Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2010 
This image: Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia #25, 2005, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Winkleman Gallery, New York. In Cultural Politics, Vol.6, Number 2, July 2010.

"Power, Secrecy and Paranoia: Technologies of Governance and the Structure of Rule"

Jonathan Bach

in Cultural Politics Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2010 

This image: Yevgeniy Fiks, Song of Russia #25, 2005, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Winkleman Gallery, New York. In Cultural Politics, Vol.6, Number 2, July 2010.


About:

Welcome to my website. Please click on a link on the right for information about my work or on one of the images to click through to an article or site of interest.

I can be contacted at bachj@newschool.edu