Planning and Spaciality: Deleuze and the Dark Side

Part 0: Meta

The following is, in addition to being the skeleton for a larger paper I am working on currently (you can think of this as the preview of coming attractions!), a final research paper I recently finished up. I’ve edited the citation style and added images to make it more conducive to web viewing, but the content is unaltered. In the paper, I argue that a neutral and mundane view of space is inaccurate and that space has been changed by human forces, becoming increasingly striated as powers change the world for their own ends. I also argue that urban planning as a discipline is not neutral either, but is subject to vested interests and corruption ultimately creating what some scholars have coined “the dark side” of planning. Finally, I propose two modes of resistance to the attempt to control populations via planning; a phenomenological escape, and a discursive escape.

Although I mentioned it above, it’s worth reiterating that this is significantly longer than my usual posts (as it is a building block for a much larger paper I am working on this summer). I would appreciate any and all feedback and I hope you enjoy it!

Update: The full version of the paper, “PLANNING AND SPATIALITY: THE SPATIAL CREATION OF URBAN LANDSCAPES”, is available here.

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Part 1: Planning and Spaciality – Smooth Space and Demolished Barricades

Prior to 1898, there was no official discipline called “urban planning”. There were discrete and conflicting schools of thought regarding city building, but there was no unified field. This lack of unification was important because it meant that there was no standardization across a nation regarding how those in power ought to view the creation of cities and structures for the citizens. This lack of standardization meant that some cities focused on public health more extensively whereas others focused on aesthetics thereby leading citizens to different survival strategies within heterogeneous systems. Following the first urban planning conference in 1898, however, the game changed. As industrialization increased and central governments grew stronger and gained legitimacy, they sought to standardize the creation of cities and in the process brought together public health designers, architects, and social justice planners. Discrete schools of thought had to relinquish power because “[a]ll of a sudden here’s a pressure to comprehensively plan. You can’t just put a privy wherever you want” and thus, towards the end of 1898, Harvard University created the first school of urban planning.1)Amanda Erickson. “A Brief History of the Birth of Urban Planning,” on Citylab, last modified August 24, 2012. Accessed April 7, 2015: http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/08/brief-history-birth-urban-planning/2365/

Following the creation of the school, thousands of students became urban planners who incorporated knowledge of aesthetics, public health, and social justice in creation of cities. The balanced triad, however, was not to last as industrialization chugged on. The planners saw, as time went on, that they couldn’t plan cities just for the people; they needed to make the cities conducive to industrial society and modernization via efficient modes of transportation, housing arrangements, and other mechanisms.2)Ibid. It is this effect, the curbing of what I call “civil planning” in the name of the vested interest of social control that this paper seeks to interrogate. Although the industrial revolution of the 19th Century is over, “power is everywhere, not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere”3)Michel Foucault. The History of Sexuality: Volume 1. [London: Penguin Books, 1998] pg. 93., and it is this fact that makes the interrogation of the intricacies of power and planning of paramount importance.

As opposed to papers that seek to interrogate urban planning on a nationwide scale with a focus on national security discourse,4)See Stephen J. Collier and Andrew Lakoff. “The Vulnerability of Vital Systems: How “Critical Infrastructure” Became a Security Problem,” forthcoming in The Politics of Securing the Homeland: Critical Infrastructure, Risk and Securitisation, eds., Myriam Dunn and Kristian Søby Kristensen, (Routledge, 2008) http://anthropos-lab.net/wp/publications/2008/01/collier-and-lakoff.pdf this paper will focus instead on the micro-level instances of planning and control within one place and with a focus on the individual. The question of the goal of urban planning thus changes from one surrounding the collective’s relationship to social modes of control, to one about the dichotomy between the self and control. From here, we turn to a theoretical discussion of space as an object of inquiry, not as something inherently normative. We turn to questions of how space is framed and utilized. In contrast to recent claims that “place” is the most important site for the analysis of everyday life, space as a void to be occupied is more interesting, for space can be structured in such a way as to preclude the possibility of “place” or in such a way as to promote the possibility of “place”. Space can be either one of two things (granted, there is a gradient as is assumed in later arguments), smooth or striated. Smooth space is space that allows for the free flow of information uninhibited by organizing structures such as rules and restrictions. Smooth space creates the conditions for knowledge production due to its inherently chaotic and formless nature. Smooth space, when manifest physically, is something unseen today: flat space. There are no boundaries to travel, no rules regulating movement, no division of land via gridding and regulation. The smooth world is the world of infinite freedom and infinite possibilities. A road to a store ceases to be linear and becomes free flowing – it bends and curves taking the walker away from her destination as well as to it. She might walk towards the store while the road is taking her to the left of it.5)Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987] pg. 478-481. While disorganized, there is a certain kind of beauty in the ordered disorder.6)There are multiple types of order and disorder which shall be elucidated here. In the vein of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld’s speech on “known knowns”, similar things can be said about order and disorder. There is ordered order, that is to say intentionally ordered events – events structured with a goal in mind; ordered disorder, that is to say unintentionally ordered events – events that are unstructured but, nevertheless, have an order about them as evidenced by their describability (the smooth space is an example of this); disordered disorder, that is say true randomness – events that are uninfluenced by the actions of sentience (quantum fluctuations are examples of this); and Žižek would probably argue that there is disordered order, although I’m not quite sure how that would manifest.

In contrast to smooth space, there is striated space. Striated space is space which restricts the flow of information and knowledge down carefully planned and pre-determined channels. Everything is in place and everything goes according to plan, there are no mishaps. FUBAR is an unknown statement in the truly striated world. Striated space is physically gridded and organized to maximize efficiency, mobility, etc. Highways cut through the smooth landscape in an attempt to create the most efficient route from point A to point B. Shipping lines, for example, are areas of the sea designated as “OK” spaces for travel to occur; a way of structuring the supposedly unstructurable. Traditional roads can be anything from efficiency maximizers to critical tools designed to aid in troop mobilization in the event of civil unrest (thereby pacifying the populace so as to return a situation to normal). The striated space is the ultimate ordered order, the urban planner’s dream, the type of space that is used, very efficiently, to subjugate the self to the power structures that control the striation and delineation of the world.7)Ibid.

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What’s more interesting however, is that neither feature of space is static; that is to say, “smooth space is constantly being translated…into a striated space” and “striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space”.8)Ibid, 474. The implications of the elasticity of structure of space are two-fold: first is that power always shapes the world around us in subtle, or not so subtle, ways so as to create arboreal modes of movement,9)See pg. 1-25 of A Thousand Plateaus for a robust discussion on the rhizomatic vs. arborescent. and second is that power can be deconstructed so as to allow the individual to regain autonomy. The reversal of striated space, however, is a topic for the second half of this paper. What needs to be discussed now is the relationship between striation and control, and the mapability of the oceans by the Portuguese in 1440 provides us with an excellent launching pad. Prior to the successful navigation of the oceans, the high seas were the great unknowns. They encompassed the Earth and provided infinite freedom for pirates and other nomads seeking to escape the rigidity of serviced life. Following the Portuguese maritime expeditions, however, the seas become mapped. They became gridded and organized; scientifically categorized; “[m]aps with meridians, parallels, longitudes, latitudes and territories [were made of the oceans]…making distances calculable and measurable”;10)Lysen, Flora and Patricia Pisters. “Introduction: The Smooth and the Striated,” Deleuze Studies vol. 6 no. 1 (February 2012): 1-5 http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/dls.2012.0042 pg. 1. and most importantly, due to the gridability and measurability of the oceans, they became surveyable. The surveyability of the oceans shattered the free plane upon which pirates and nomads had to escape the state. In a word, the uncontrollably free was now controllably unfree.

The same construction of space that was exemplified by the first oceanic maps is far from isolated to the oceans, however. Taken as a model, the tools used to striate oceans were turned on the land where, following increasing industrialization, more and more densely packed cities began to arise surrounding various industries. Cities are intrinsically striated spaces due to the element of human intervention upon the land, but what made industrialized cities unique was the reification of that striation via the influence of vested interest of various powers within the area.11)Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 481. The question that arises out of increasingly structured and controlled cities is “what are/for whom are the cities being designed for?” To answer this question, we must turn to the literature of planning itself and critiques thereof.12)It should be noted that smooth space is not intrinsically good, nor is striated space intrinsically bad; they are context dependent. Certain types of nomadism form a break in smooth space that doesn’t inherently entail repression. Likewise, planning isn’t inherently bad…but many of the issues within planning stem from the lack of recognition that it can be. Page 400 of “Planning and Social Control: Exploring the Dark Side” explains this “double-edge” nature well and the second half of the paper proposes a solution to the lack of recognition.

The state (used very broadly here as well as in the literature) is the principle power behind the construction of space for both positive – so called “progressive” – and negative – so called “regressive” – ends. The state, while using the striation of space to solidify its power via territorialization and control of boundaries, is not merely an apparatus used for repressive power. While the state provides the means to control a given area, the motive is not intrinsically there. This lack of inherent motive draws groups who then coopt the power of the state to secure their own ends (be they to promote the flow of capital or inhibit the flow of “others” deemed as undesirable) – in a word, the state can be thought of as a vacuum of power whereby groups with vested interests seek to control the production of striated space to further their agenda.13)Oren Yiftachel. “Planning and Social Control: Exploring the Dark Side,” Journal of Planning Literature vol. 12 no. 4 (May 1998): 395-406. http://jpl.sagepub.com/content/12/4/395.full.pdf+html pg. 399. As Yiftachel, citing Taylor, says,

It [spatial power] advances the interests and aspirations of certain elites because it facilitates a globalizing world order that benefits these elites. The state becomes a tool for social oppression that helps elites maintain their power, wealth, social position, and cultural hegemony within a controlled territorial unit. This spatial-political interpretation shows that urban and regional planning…can further the interests of powerful groups by helping to create or reproduce uneven social relations within this tightly closed “territorial container”.14)Ibid.

What’s more, the institutionalization of urban planning fuzzies the lines between citizen and institution thereby allowing expanded control and the ability to promote “institutional norms” via the citizens of city leading to a form of self-policing.15)Ibid.

To further understand how powers utilize planning as a means of social control, we look at the four dimensions of domination that Yiftachel lays out in planning theory: space, power, wealth, and identity. Territorial control is the first, and most effective, method that can be utilized when using planning to exert control. The territorial dimension of planning entails all aspects physical and thus is bolstered by zoning laws, restrictions on land ownership, restrictions on territorial expression, etc. The effects of the execution of these strategies of territorial control can be seen subtly in the segregation of minority populations, housing projects designed to appeal to low-income peoples while simultaneously being designed to aid in the surveillance of the “lesser” populations, and there more obvious erection of walls or physical boundaries (e.g. railroad tracks, highways, etc.)16)An interesting case study to look to for empirical examples of this would be the construction of the West Bank and the West Bank Barrier in Israel/Palestine. between the majority and minority populations.17)Ibid, 401. The other three dimensions, while significantly more subtle, are nowhere less insidious. The procedural dimension, while only partially explicated by Yiftachel, is arguably one of the most powerful methods of social control. Procedural control lies in the changing of power relations between citizen and planner by “controlling access to the communicative infrastructure and decision-making processes”. This would be accomplished, largely, by making access to information regarding the bureaucracy of public planning more difficult so as to be restrictive to the financially disenfranchised, making the ability to participate in public discourse on planning untenable by centralizing the decision-making processes within government proper so as to be only accessible to those who appeal to the public by winning an election, or by making the discourse in planning documents unnecessarily convoluted and/or technical18)A discussion of modes of communication within public policy would be interesting here. so as to prohibit those without prior know-how from joining the “in” group.19)Ibid, 402. The third dimension, that of socioeconomics, is one that lies at the heart of control of flows of capital. The socioeconomic dimension serves to inhibit the economic development of certain areas by strategically planning cities so as to place historically disenfranchised groups further away from locations where jobs are, limiting public transportation to those areas, or simply destroying natural resources around an area so as to prevent their use by those deemed undesirable.20)Ibid. Finally, there is the cultural dimension, a dimension closely linked with the territorial. The cultural dimension uses the territoriality and ability to construct divides between groups of people to sever ethnic ties and break up communities. For example, a mega-highway placed right in the middle of a neighborhood serves to break up the communities thereby preventing mobilization and solidarity as well as further stratifying society along ethnic, religious, cultural, economic, etc. lines.21)Ibid, 402-403.

A concrete example of the abstractions of power Yiftachel provides can be found in studying Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s renovation and redesignation of the streets of Paris in the mid-1800s. Prior to the renovation of Paris during the Second Empire of Napoleon, barricades were associated with class struggle in France. The barricade, coming from the French word barriques, meaning “barrel”,22)Léopold Lambert. “# HISTORY /// CHRONO-CARTOGRAPHY OF THE 1871 PARIS COMMUNE,” on The Funambulist, last modified April 23, 2014. Accessed April 30, 2015: http://thefunambulist.net/2014/04/23/history-chronological-cartography-of-the-1871-paris-commune/ was a revolutionary tactic used by French rebels as far back as 1588, with usage ramping up by 1795, where narrow streets were filled with barrels, carts, furniture, and other common items with the intention of stopping traffic on particular streets deemed as strategically important.23)Carl Douglas. “Barricades and Boulevards: Material transformations of Paris, 1795-1871,” in Interstices no. 8 (2007): 31-42. https://www.academia.edu/1129112/Barricades_and_Boulevards._Material_transformations_of_Paris_1795-1871 pg. 31-32. With over 21 recorded instances by 1848, “barricading…had achieved ‘a genuinely international status as a tactic of revolt’” and was quickly drawing the attention of the French revolutionary governments. Napoleon contracted his “Baron”, Haussmann, to solve the issue of the difficulty of troop movements within Paris as well as stopping the ease with which streets could be barricaded.24)Ibid, 32-33. Over the next 30-some odd years,

Haussmann cut wide new boulevards through the fabric of old Paris, buying and demolishing whatever was in the way, setting up axes and monuments, and clearing space around buildings like Notre Dame and the Palais du Louvre. By cutting into the body of the city with his boulevards and promoting unimpeded circulation, Haussmann hoped not only to alleviate the social pressures which produced unrest, but also make the construction and defense of barricades impossible.25)Ibid.

Napoleon himself viewed the creation of boulevards, in direct political contrast to barricades, as crucial to maintaining control of the city because

[t]he large avenues and boulevards were thus seen as fundamental components of potential armed interventions of the national army against insurrections. The movement of the troops was thus maximized, the canons could have a clear aiming line, and the dense neighborhood of proletarian Paris were fragmented by these large urban canyons.26)Léopold Lambert, “# HISTORY /// CHRONO-CARTOGRAPHY OF THE 1871 PARIS COMMUNE,” web.

This so-called Haussmannization of Paris culminated in the slaughter of roughly 30,000 Parisians when the Versailles Army annihilated the Paris Commune during the “Bloody Week”.27)Ibid.

As has been aptly pointed out, “[b]arricades and boulevards are conflicting regimes of materials, spaces and performances. Architecture does not merely mirror social relations: it acts to produce them.28)Emphasis my own. Carl Douglas, “Barricades and Boulevards: Material transformations of Paris, 1795-1871,” 33.

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Part 2: Planning and Spaciality – Striated Space and Revolutionary Tactics

Keeping all the above, the relevant question now becomes how does one escape the striation of space associated with urban planning (and the oppression that tends to follow)? Part 2 of this paper examines two different approaches by which power can be opposed and countered. The first focuses on a phenomenological analysis of the individual and how one can operate on a micro-, or even extra-political scale to recreate space for one’s own ends; the second focuses on the discourse of planning within academia in an attempt to change the way planning is thought about and how peoples are viewed in relation to the space they occupy.

The first distinction that must be drawn, in order to set up a theoretical framework through which power can be resisted, is a distinction between what Michel De Certeau defines as “strategies” and “tactics”. Strategies, according to De Certeau, are methods by which institutions, be they corporate, governmental, etc., structure space in an attempt to isolate and control populations so as to promote certain behaviors while discouraging others (the Haussmannization of Paris discussed in the previous section being a prime example).29)Michel De Certeau. The Practice of Everyday Life. [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984] pg. xix, 34-39. Tactics, on the other hand, are rhizomatic actions taken by the Other within a foreign space that are designed to take “advantage of ‘opportunities’” and “make use of the cracks…in the surveillance30)It should be noticed that De Certeau’s use of the word “surveillance” does not mean surveillance in the strictly panoptic sense, but also a general term for social control. of the proprietary powers”.31)Ibid, xix, 37. Tactics, while harder to describe in the abstract, are numerous and variable. They can range from micropolitical acts of walking, to macropolitical acts of military simulation and trickery (“the fog of war” being an abstracted example).32)Ibid, xix-xx. While utilized by an oppressive regime, an important and insightful case study to look at is Israeli general Aviv Kochavi’s usage of “inverse [sometimes quoted as “inverted”] geometry” during the IDF’s 2002 siege of the Nablus refugee camp in Palestine which was an “example of urban striation and smoothing in a conflict situation”.33)Léopold Lambert. “# PHILOSOPHY /// PROCESSES OF SMOOTHING AND STRIATION OF SPACE IN URBAN WARFARE,” on The Funambulist, last modified December 23, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2015: http://thefunambulist.net/2010/12/23/philosophy-processes-of-smoothing-and-striation-of-space-in-urban-warfare/

To give a brief history before discussing the specifics of the siege, Nablus was one of a handful of cities deemed strategically important to capture and/or pacify during Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield which was responding to Palestine’s Second Intifada. Due to the layout of Nablus, the IDF was concerned that militants would be able to camp out and entrench and thus they determined a new tactic of urban pacification was needed. When the invasion was handed over to General Aviv Kochavi, he utilized a radically different method of urban warfare – inverse geometry.34)See Appendix for an interview where he intertwines theory and practice. Inverse geometry was,

[A] reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions. Soldiers avoided using the Streets, roads, alleys and courtyards that define the logic of movement through the city, as well as the external doors, internal stairwells and windows that constitute the order of buildings; rather, they were punching holes through party walls, ceilings and floors, and moving across them through 100-metre long pathways of domestic interior hollowed out of the dense and contiguous city fabric.35)Eyal Weizman. Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. [London & New York: Verso, 2007] pg. 185.

What made this tactic especially unique is that, although this wasn’t an issue for the IDF, the “swarming” through the fabric of the city while avoiding areas associated with the city-proper allowed soldiers to remain “invisible from an aerial perspective” yet ever present and able to assert power. Space was constructed and deconstructed. The streets of the city became useless while the living rooms of civilians became the new battleground. The movement through the city shifted from a linear progression down a street to a three-dimensional saturation in which soldiers would move in all directions, defying any pre-existing order the city had. The city itself became “the very medium of warfare”.36)Ibid, 186.

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Breaking through walls. Film Stills, IDF, 2002.

While obviously still an institutionalized and, arguably, highly rigid form of warfare, the logic of inverse geometry deserves unpacking as it will illuminate how similar tactics can be used on smaller scales. Where the streets of the city had previously been seen as pathways carved into the landscape upon which one traverses, inverse geometry upturned that view. Where cities are traditionally thought of as sites for control and resistance to occur, abstractions about smoothing striated space and striating smooth space were actualized by viewing the city as more than just the site where struggle occurred, but rather as a tool of the struggle and conflict itself. To engage in tactical maneuvers within cities, one must engage the city and become part of it. The individual makes their own decisions and acts in their own ways within the fabric of the city. Where signs say to go left, one goes right. Where a given route is designed to promote efficiency when going to work, one takes the longer route. The most basic tactic and the application of a form of inverse geometry to the individual is seen when discussing what De Certeau calls Wandersmänner, individuals who simply walk through cities.37)Individuals who engage in parkour are, arguably, Wandersmänner in their own right. Walkers appropriate space for their own needs and traverse the city in ways that defy conventional logic. They are the city’s nomads. As one operates within a city and one moves through the foreign space, one translates the space into something that is one’s own. This “own space” is a form of individual resistance whereby the walker breaks with the established privilege and skips, or dances, or walks backwards, etc. down the street. One can walk against the on-coming traffic of pedestrians in order to disrupt tradition, or one can simply “take another path”. The important aspect, however, is that the method by which one looks at the new path and/or traverses any given path – that is to say, how one walks, how one things about how one walks, what one does, etc. – is unquantifiable and unintelligible to anyone but the walker; third parties miss the act itself, and it is this act of pure individualism that exemplifies the “pedestrian speech act” and individuality of inverse geometry. In a word, when space is constructed and organized to control you, you ignore the rules and recreate the space for yourself by working within the system to undo it – you are sand in the machine.38)Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 93-99.

Phenomenological tactics, however, are only one method for structural change. While potentially very effective on the individual scale, academia at large is concerned with discourse and overall understanding as opposed to how the self chooses to act within a network of power. From the vantage point of the university, a different approach is needed to deconstruct power. First, there is a need to change the discourse on planning in an institutional setting, and second, there is a need to construct a counter-narrative that can recognize the failings of planning while not precluding reform.

Discussions are often tainted with one fatal assumption, “the conventional view of planning as an intrinsically progressive public endeavour”.39)Oren Yiftachel and Margo Huxley. “Debating Dominence and Relevance: Notes on the ‘Communicative Turn’ in Planning Theory,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research vol. 24 no. 4 (December 2000): 907-913. Accessed via web on May 11, 2015: http://www.geog.bgu.ac.il/members/Yiftachel/new_papers_eng/IJURR-print-huxley.htm Instead, it is important to recognize the affect that social position and power have on the rationality and justifications for planning. As cited earlier in this paper, social position can either progressively or regressively affect the layout of cities and the structure of public spaces due to implicit biases or actualized power relations. Absent a critical reflection on who is doing the planning and how the discourse either prohibits or invites dialogue, error replication is inevitable. What this requires is a break with traditional planning literature because “[t]he faith in planning characterises most literature in the field, preventing scholars from examining critically…the taken-for-granted assumptions about the progressive and rational promise of planning”.40)Ibid. In other words, academics need to embrace a form of “amateurism” and recognize that in critical studies they need not fall back on hundreds of citations from the planning greats, but rather intentionally shed the reliance on “expertise” in favor of, what I would consider, a child’s-eye-view of planning in the abstract.

Finally, there is the fundamental recognition and restructuring of our thought. While the majority of this paper has been idealistic and focused on breaking down power, it is worth reiterating that “power is everywhere” and that one does not simply shed the biases and privileges inherent in society. Rather, the first step in neutralizing inequality is recognizing that biases and privileges exist. To do this, we need to not be too optimistic or too pessimistic. While power may be everywhere, oppression isn’t, and rethinking how we use planning as a tool is of vital importance for actualizing the distinction between power and oppression being all pervasive. By working within the system or by stepping back and taking a moment to analyze the big question of planning from the outside, “for whom is this being designed?”, we can hope to turn regressive policies into progressive ones.41)Bent Flyvbjerg and Tim Richardson. “Planning and Foucault: In Search of the Dark Side of Planning Theory,” in Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory, eds., Philip Allmendinger and Mark Tewdwr-Jones, (London and New York: Routledge, 2002): 44-62 (in book; pages in PDF are from 1-28). http://flyvbjerg.plan.aau.dk/DarkSide2.pdf pg. 22-24.

To end, I quote Flyvbjerg and Richardson’s last paragraph:

Exploring the dark side of planning theory offers more than a negative, oppressive confirmation of our inability to make a difference. It suggests that we can do planning in a constructive empowering way, but that we cannot do this by avoiding power relations. Planning is inescapably about conflict: exploring conflicts in planning, and learning to work effectively with conflict can be the basis for a strong planning paradigm.42)Ibid, 24.

Part 3: Appendix

 Below is an interview conducted by Eyal Weizman with General Aviv Kochavi:

This space that you look at, this room that you look at [he refers to the room where the interview took place, at a military base near Tel Aviv], is nothing but your interpretation of it. No you can stretch the boundaries of your interpretation, but not in an unlimited fashion — after all, it must be bound by physics, as it contains buildings and alleys. The question is, how do you interpret the alley? Do you interpret it as a place, like every architect and every town planner does, to walk through, or do you interpret it as a place forbidden to walk through? This depends only on interpretation. We interpreted the alley as a place forbidden to walk through, and the door as a place forbidden to pass through, and the window as a place forbidden to look through, because a weapon awaits us in the alley, and a booby trap awaits us behind the doors. This is because the enemy interprets space in a traditional, classical manner, and I do not want to obey this interpretation and fall into his traps. Not only do I not want to fall into his traps, I want to surprise him. This is the essence of war. I need to win. I need to emerge from an unexpected place. And this is what we tried to do.

This is why we opted for the method of walking through walls . . . Like a worm that cats its way forward, emerging at points and then disappearing. We were thus moving from the interior of [Palestinian] homes to their exterior in unexpected ways and in places we were not anticipated, arriving from behind and hitting the enemy that awaited us behind a corner … Because it was the first time that this method was tested [on such a scale), during the operation itself we were learning how to adjust ourselves to the relevant urban space, and similarly how to adjust the relevant urban space to our needs … We took this micro-tactical practice [of moving through walls] and turned it into a method, and thanks to this method, we were able to interpret the whole space differently … I said to my troops, ‘Friends! This is not a matter of your choke! There is no other way of moving! If until now you were used to move along roads and sidewalks, forget it! From now on we all walk through walls!” (From Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, 198-199.)

 

References   [ + ]

1. Amanda Erickson. “A Brief History of the Birth of Urban Planning,” on Citylab, last modified August 24, 2012. Accessed April 7, 2015: http://www.citylab.com/work/2012/08/brief-history-birth-urban-planning/2365/
2. Ibid.
3. Michel Foucault. The History of Sexuality: Volume 1. [London: Penguin Books, 1998] pg. 93.
4. See Stephen J. Collier and Andrew Lakoff. “The Vulnerability of Vital Systems: How “Critical Infrastructure” Became a Security Problem,” forthcoming in The Politics of Securing the Homeland: Critical Infrastructure, Risk and Securitisation, eds., Myriam Dunn and Kristian Søby Kristensen, (Routledge, 2008) http://anthropos-lab.net/wp/publications/2008/01/collier-and-lakoff.pdf
5. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987] pg. 478-481.
6. There are multiple types of order and disorder which shall be elucidated here. In the vein of former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld’s speech on “known knowns”, similar things can be said about order and disorder. There is ordered order, that is to say intentionally ordered events – events structured with a goal in mind; ordered disorder, that is to say unintentionally ordered events – events that are unstructured but, nevertheless, have an order about them as evidenced by their describability (the smooth space is an example of this); disordered disorder, that is say true randomness – events that are uninfluenced by the actions of sentience (quantum fluctuations are examples of this); and Žižek would probably argue that there is disordered order, although I’m not quite sure how that would manifest.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid, 474.
9. See pg. 1-25 of A Thousand Plateaus for a robust discussion on the rhizomatic vs. arborescent.
10. Lysen, Flora and Patricia Pisters. “Introduction: The Smooth and the Striated,” Deleuze Studies vol. 6 no. 1 (February 2012): 1-5 http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/dls.2012.0042 pg. 1.
11. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 481.
12. It should be noted that smooth space is not intrinsically good, nor is striated space intrinsically bad; they are context dependent. Certain types of nomadism form a break in smooth space that doesn’t inherently entail repression. Likewise, planning isn’t inherently bad…but many of the issues within planning stem from the lack of recognition that it can be. Page 400 of “Planning and Social Control: Exploring the Dark Side” explains this “double-edge” nature well and the second half of the paper proposes a solution to the lack of recognition.
13. Oren Yiftachel. “Planning and Social Control: Exploring the Dark Side,” Journal of Planning Literature vol. 12 no. 4 (May 1998): 395-406. http://jpl.sagepub.com/content/12/4/395.full.pdf+html pg. 399.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid.
16. An interesting case study to look to for empirical examples of this would be the construction of the West Bank and the West Bank Barrier in Israel/Palestine.
17. Ibid, 401.
18. A discussion of modes of communication within public policy would be interesting here.
19. Ibid, 402.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid, 402-403.
22. Léopold Lambert. “# HISTORY /// CHRONO-CARTOGRAPHY OF THE 1871 PARIS COMMUNE,” on The Funambulist, last modified April 23, 2014. Accessed April 30, 2015: http://thefunambulist.net/2014/04/23/history-chronological-cartography-of-the-1871-paris-commune/
23. Carl Douglas. “Barricades and Boulevards: Material transformations of Paris, 1795-1871,” in Interstices no. 8 (2007): 31-42. https://www.academia.edu/1129112/Barricades_and_Boulevards._Material_transformations_of_Paris_1795-1871 pg. 31-32.
24. Ibid, 32-33.
25. Ibid.
26. Léopold Lambert, “# HISTORY /// CHRONO-CARTOGRAPHY OF THE 1871 PARIS COMMUNE,” web.
27. Ibid.
28. Emphasis my own. Carl Douglas, “Barricades and Boulevards: Material transformations of Paris, 1795-1871,” 33.
29. Michel De Certeau. The Practice of Everyday Life. [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984] pg. xix, 34-39.
30. It should be noticed that De Certeau’s use of the word “surveillance” does not mean surveillance in the strictly panoptic sense, but also a general term for social control.
31. Ibid, xix, 37.
32. Ibid, xix-xx.
33. Léopold Lambert. “# PHILOSOPHY /// PROCESSES OF SMOOTHING AND STRIATION OF SPACE IN URBAN WARFARE,” on The Funambulist, last modified December 23, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2015: http://thefunambulist.net/2010/12/23/philosophy-processes-of-smoothing-and-striation-of-space-in-urban-warfare/
34. See Appendix for an interview where he intertwines theory and practice.
35. Eyal Weizman. Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. [London & New York: Verso, 2007] pg. 185.
36. Ibid, 186.
37. Individuals who engage in parkour are, arguably, Wandersmänner in their own right.
38. Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 93-99.
39. Oren Yiftachel and Margo Huxley. “Debating Dominence and Relevance: Notes on the ‘Communicative Turn’ in Planning Theory,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research vol. 24 no. 4 (December 2000): 907-913. Accessed via web on May 11, 2015: http://www.geog.bgu.ac.il/members/Yiftachel/new_papers_eng/IJURR-print-huxley.htm
40. Ibid.
41. Bent Flyvbjerg and Tim Richardson. “Planning and Foucault: In Search of the Dark Side of Planning Theory,” in Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory, eds., Philip Allmendinger and Mark Tewdwr-Jones, (London and New York: Routledge, 2002): 44-62 (in book; pages in PDF are from 1-28). http://flyvbjerg.plan.aau.dk/DarkSide2.pdf pg. 22-24.
42. Ibid, 24.

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