Urbanism, Bibliographical Notes and Liane Mozère

Copying Stuart Elden’s blog style, but this is the pile of books on my table:

So, I read Chapter 1 – ‘La ville-ordinateur’, the ‘intervention militante’ from Anne (Querrien), and the discussion with François (Fourquet), Félix (Guattari), and Michel (Foucault). These materials appear to have been written in 1971-1972. So if this can count as a first series it shows the strong influence of the theses being developed by Deleuze-Guattari for Anti-Oedipus (henceforth AO) [see correspondence in Deleuze, Lettres et autres textes; the account of Deleuze and Guattari ‘s encounter in Dosse, and the transcriptions of Deleuze’s lectures at Vincennes on Webdeleuze, and in particular the third part ‘Sauvage, barbares, civilisés’.

The starting point for Chapter 1 is the anthology of writings on urbanism collected by Françoise Choay (1965).1 If the picture that emerges from the latter is the opposing tendencies of the ‘functionalist-rational’ city as developed by Le Corbusier in the ‘Charter of Athens’2 and the ‘culturalist’ tendency embodied by Lewis Mumford and Henri Lefebvre, among others [see images below], the CERFI team seek to displace this by addressing its epistemological underpinning (‘le socle épistemologique’ – which, in inverted commas, is plausibly a reference to Foucault’s Les Mots et les choses, e.g. p. 233), a framework which assumes the pre-existence of a Subject; CERFI’s postulation is that the city should be understood rather as a means (moyen) of production which produces a Subject as Consumer (consommation). Deleuze & Guattarian thematics are very evident here, with the notion of the city as a ‘coding’ or ‘cutting’ (coupure, decoupage) of flows (flux) or energy. Certain terms (despote, territoire, organs, capitale, corps inerte) relate directly to the concerns of Deleuze and Guattari in Part 3 of AO. There is also a strong emphasis on the idea of the machine and information, whence the title, ‘ville-ordinateur’ – the city as a coding of semiotic (informational) flows; the influence of cybernetics is in the background. There is also a passing reference to the city as a self-producing organism like a cell via Jacques Monod.

Anne Querrien’s intervention discusses the irony of the investment in ‘theoretical’ activity versus ‘militant’ activity, given the turn of the ‘theorists’ (Deleuze, Foucault) towards militant activity (presumably the Groupe d’Information sur les Prisons), and Guattari’s absence due to work ‘en chambre’ on AO with Deleuze. A fault-line appears to emerge here between those who think of the city as ‘antiproduction’ (Hervé Maury), with production on the side of the militant activity seemingly aligned with ‘collective equipment’; Anne mentions that François Fourquet, Lion Murard and Marie-Thérèse Vernet-Straggiotti have been attending Deleuze’s lectures at Vincennes and have ‘pirate’ typescripts of it. These presumably enable a clearer situation and a more subtle dynamic between production and anti-production – the city codes or stops the flow of energy from the ‘social machine’, aligned with ‘collective equipment’, but it is only in the despotic order, itself aligned with the ‘Asiatic mode of production’ that this can be seen as complete anti-production (or ‘body without organs’). These thematics are developed in the discussion between Guattari and Fourquet. Anne adds that for her part she thinks genealogy has more to do with the ideas developed by Foucault in his work on madness and the clinic, and goes back to her notes on Foucault’s Archaeologie du savoir.

The Fourquet-Guattari discussion revolves around the issue of whether the city is an instance of anti-production (as above). Fourquet seems skeptical about the idea of collective equipment as a productive flux, seeing it only in terms of coding and accounting. Guattari holds out hope in the capitalist era for the uncontrollable energies emerging from the social machine, escaping from the control of the city as ‘body without organs’. There is an interesting thematics of writing and inscription, straight out of AO.

Various bibliographic researches around this identify a ‘first synthesis’ of the report on collective equipment (Fontenay-sous-bois, CERFI, 1973), which Stuart Elden has in his possession (as reported on his Progressive Geographies blog). The authors include the usual suspects (Fourquet, Maury, Mozère, Querrien, Murart (sic.) but also Christian Hennion (see later)). Elden’s account of the first Foucault dialogue in Foucault: The Birth of Power (Polity, 2017), pp. 168-77, is instructive, but understandably slanted towards Foucault’s input. Elden usefully situates Foucault’s intervention in the context of the Collège cours on Théories et institutions pénales and La Société punitive and the shift away from the Althusserian insistence on ‘appareils d’Etat’, and the interesting insistence on the detail of e.g. roads and mills.

Other bibliographic discoveries, not all of them essential, include the following:

Kenny Cupers, The Social Project: Housing Postwar France (MIT, 2014), which mentions CERFI urban projects briefly and approaches from the perspective or urban planning and new towns.

Christian Tutin, ‘Ville et reproduction’, Cahiers de C3E, 78 (sept 1988) proposes the city as space of the reproduction of capital and has much overlap though not a lot of reference to CERFI; Castells is a key reference.

Edmond Préteceille, ‘Équipements collectifs, sciences sociales et planification’ in Les Annales de la recherche urbaine, N°20, 1983. Décentralisation et la recherche locale? pp. 31-52. Passes over CERFI projects on collective equipment but the real interest is elsewhere. Potentially useful bibliographic references.

The Foucault dialogues in Recherches 13, in French in Dits et Ecrits I, are translated in Foucault Live: Collected Interviews 1964-1981, ed Sylvère Lotringer (Semiotexte, 1996), pp. 105-112. Trans. by Lysa Hochroth.

François Fourquet, ‘L’accumulation du pouvoir, ou le désir d’État: CERFI, 1970-1981’, Recherches, No. 46,

  1. This is a recapitulative history of CERFI which needs to be read in parallel to Issue 13 and its related publications.

Site, No 2, 2002, http://www.sitemagazine.net/issues/2_2002; online architecture-theory periodical which includes ‘CERFI: and Introduction’; Anne Querrien, ‘Four Remarks on CERFI; François Fourquet, ‘History of CERFI’; Sven-Olov Wallenstein, ‘CERFI, Desire, And The Gene-alogy Of Public Facilities’; ‘Schizoanalysis And City’ By Helena Mattsson; ‘The Urban Mental Hospital And The State of Research’ By Meike Schalk; ‘Nietzsche, Foucault, And Genealogy’ By Brian Manning Delaney; ‘The First Discussions, First Tentative Efforts: Is The City A Force Of Production, Or A Force Of Anti-production? Despite Its Sharpness, A Fabulous Discussion Does Not Succeed In Penetrating The Enigma Of Capital (Excerpt from discussions 1972–73).

Liane Mozère, ‘Foucault et le CERFI : instantanés et actualité’, Le portique, No 13-14, 2002 (see notes on this below).

From Elden’s blog, a link to a CERFI related document ostensibly from Foucault which looks like a report on a funded project on collective equipment ‘Emergence des equipments collectifs’ (note difference from ‘Genealogy’) with a presentation by Philippe Chevalier, in the online review Ici et ailleurs. Chevalier’s presentation suggests that it includes echoes of Surveiller et punir. He identifies that it is a CERFI contract with the ‘Service des affaires économiques et internationales (SAEI) du Ministère de l’équipement’ dated June 1973. ‘Le nom attaché au contrat était alors Gilles Deleuze pour le CERFI’. He situates this project as the same as the ‘Genealogy’ one, ‘dans le cadre d’un contrat engageant le CERFI, la Délégation générale à la recherche scientifique et technique (DGRST) et le SAEI. Ce travail se composait d’une première partie dédiée à l’école primaire et d’une seconde aux équipements sanitaires (avec elle-même trois volets : l’institution hospitalière au XVIIIe siècle, les équipements psychiatriques au XIXe et l’histoire de la psychiatrie de secteur). […] ‘D’une partie de cette recherche, il sera rendu compte dans l’ouvrage collectif Les machines à guérir. Aux origines de l’hôpital moderne (Paris, Institut de l’environnement, 1976)’.

Chevalier adds some useful refs. to Daniel Defert, « Hétérotopie : tribulation d’un concept entre Venise, Berlin et Los Angeles » in Michel Foucault, Le corps utopique, les hétérotopies, Paris, Nouvelles éditions lignes, 2009, p. 49. I happen to have this on my shelf and indeed Defert does give an interesting account of the CERFI projects and others in the context of Foucault’s interactions with architects. Defert says that Foucault hung out with Françoise Choay in the 60s.

The manuscript is typed out on the site and includes valuable footnotes, and two responses, including this one, from ‘Scala’, which is interesting:

‘Afin de compléter votre information, le CERFI a conjointement financé deux programmes de recherche cette année-là (1972-73), l’un sous la direction de Michel Foucault (les équipements du pouvoir) et l’autre sous celle de Gilles Deleuze (les machines de guerre). Chaque équipe était constituée de trois jeunes chercheurs. Les travaux de recherche de l’équipe dirigée par Gilles Deleuze n’ont donné lieu à aucune publication, ils ont sans doute donné matière à l’élaboration par Deleuze & Guattari de leur concept de machine de guerre dans* 1000 plateaux*.’

‘Scala’ could be ‘André Scala’.), who was a student/friend of Deleuze and attended the Vincennes lectures. He was Foucault’s last interviewer, along with Gilles Barbadette, cf. – ‘Le Retour de la morale’ in Les Nouvelles littéraires, 1984. Dits et ecrits 354. But I can’t find any evidence of a CERFI contract on war-machines. In that chapter of Mille plateaux D & G do refer, however, to Anne Querrien’s book Devenir fonctionnaire ou le travail de l’État, published by CERFI, and ‘unpublished studies by Anne Querrien’.

Other references on this site, which beg the question of what and where these ‘Copédith’ publications are. The ‘Imprimerie Copédith’, whose address was 7 Rue des Ardennes in the 19th, seems to have been the printers for a range of 1970s periodicals and short form texts, including psychoanalytic journals Ornicar? and le Coq Héron.

Anne Querrien, Généalogie des équipements collectifs, Les équipements de normalisation, L’école primaire, Paris, CERFI, Impr. Copédith, 1975

Michel Foucault (dir.), Généalogie des équipements de normalisation, Les équipements sanitaires, Paris, CERFI, Impr. Copédith, 1976.

François Fourquet, Histoire des services collectifs dans la comptabilité nationale, Paris, CERFI, Impr. Copédith, 1976.

Susana says that Godofredo [Pereira] can tell us about the CERFI contracts 😊

The Chevalier website includes a reference to: Taga Shigeru, ‘Foucault et Guattari au croisement de la théorie du micro-pouvoir et de la psychothérapie institutionnelle’, dans Hervé Oulc’hen (dir.), Usages de Foucault, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2014, p. 99-107. See here: https://www.cairn.info/usages-de-foucault--9782130621102.htm. The Shigeru article can be bought online. He is a Professor at Kyoto University. Author of Jean Oury Rencontre avec le Japon, 2005.

Notes on Liane Mozère article: “Foucault et le CERFI : instantanés et actualité”, *Le portique*, No 13-14, 2002

Liane Mozère starts with the emergence of CERFI in 1965 with young people excluded from UEC – Union des étudiants communistes – who met Guattari. [Reference to: Liane [Mozère], Le Printemps des crèches. Histoire et analyse d’un mouvement, L’Harmattan, 1992, which tallies with other mentions of the ‘groupe crèche’ in R13]. Description of CERFI as: ‘cette bande liée autant par des convictions que par des affects’. Militants one day and the next attending Lacan’s seminar on Tuesday. ‘Ainsi, évoquer la figure de Michel Foucault qui a assuré la direction scientifique des premiers travaux du Centre d’Étude, de Recherche et de Formation Institutionnelles (CERFI), groupe de recherche créé à l’initiative de Guattari en 1967, qui associe ces anciens militants, impose d’adopter une posture susceptible d’articuler apports théoriques – la démarche généalogique – et enjeux (micro)politiques.’ Foucault and Deleuze were used as names or guarantors for the CERFI projects funded by the Ministère de l’Equipment. Mozère suggests that the context can allow theoretical issues e.g. genealogy – to be linked to micropolitical issues, which is exactly the focus of our project The Pragmatic Genealogy of Concepts, I think. Genealogy, moreover, is a key term here; arising from Foucault’s Archèologie du savoir and ‘Nietzsche, Génealogie, Histoire’, often referred to as the Hommage à Hyppolite, since Hyppolite died in 1968. Foucault’s essay appeared in Hommage à Jean Hyppolite, PUF, 1971. See more on genealogy later.

Liane continues: Cerfi allowed salaries via ‘la recherche contractuelle’, and without making a difference between ‘experts’ and others. Liane’s note is important: ‘Ce financement provient du Budget civil de recherche et développement (BCRD) attribué à des Services de recherche des différents Ministères qui contractent avec des chercheurs ou des collectifs de recherche. Le plus souvent sous la forme de contrats passés de gré à gré, le financement de la recherche sera transformé en profondeur du fait d’une réduction drastique des crédits du BCRD sous le gouvernement de Raymond Barre et du fait de l’instauration d’un système d’appels d’offre avec constitution de Comités scientifiques auxquels participeront dans la plupart des cas des membres des différentes instances académiques (CNRS, Universités). Si un tel principe n’est pas illégitime, il n’en demeure pas moins qu’il a, de fait, placé les collectifs de « hors statut » en position précaire, leurs demandes de financement ne pouvant pas faire l’économie des dépenses de salaires que les laboratoires n’imputaient pas dans leurs budgets prévisionnels. Un nombre considérable d’équipes « hors-statut », comme le CERFI ont ainsi disparu de la scène de la recherche sociologique alors qu’elles avaient fait la preuve depuis plus de dix ans de la pertinence et de la valeur de leur travail. (François [Fourquet], L’accumulation du pouvoir ou le désir d’État, Recherches n° 46, 1982).’

The BCRD – Budget civil de recherche et développement – allocated to research depts of different Ministries – established contracts. But the BCRD budget was drastically cut under the govt. of Raymond Barre (Prime Minister 1976-1981). After that research funding was allocated by scientific committees usually involving universities & CNRS). This placed research collectives ‘hors status’, and budgets could not cope with salaries. See Fourquet’s article in the last issue of Recherches. This instance relates to the ‘Droit à la recherche’ publication, and Mozère’s point is of crucial importance for the research strategy aspect of the project; is research funding now moving back, with its emphasis on co-production, to a situation where non-academic researchers can be paid salaries, or is this just a kind of figleaf?

‘C’est dans un tel contexte que Michel Foucault, sollicité par Gilles Deleuze et Félix Guattari, accepte de se porter garant du troisième contrat de recherche d’importance sur la Généalogie des équipements collectifs pour le compte du Ministère de l’Équipement 5 et en général des activités du CERFI.’

[Foucault was thus the guarantor of third research contract, on the Genealogy of Collective Equipment ; what were the other two?; see above, but Liane also answers this in the note:

‘Deux autres contrats de recherches avaient précédé le projet dit Généalogie : un avec le Ministère de la Coopération sur un projet d’éducation télévisuelle en Côte d’Ivoire qui devait permettre le développement de l’enseignement en sauvegardant les langues vernaculaires (Recherches n° 15, « La coopération en pratique », 1974) et l’autre sur la programmation architecturale d’un équipement psychiatrique (*Recherches *n° 6, « Programmation, architecture et psychiatrie », 1967).’

So the two other CERFI ‘contracted research’ projects up to 1973 were :

  1. Televisual education in the Ivory Coast. The main contact here was Janine Christiany, who went to the Ivory Coast with Liane M and Hervé Maury and François Fourquet. See Morford and ‘La co-opération en pratique’ in Recherches 15. This needs to be read. It is the second ‘Programmation’ issue.

  2. Architectural programming of a psychiatric equipment. Recherches 6. This was the first issue of the journal which mentions CERFI as an ‘official’ organisation. Two doctors were at that point the ‘guarantors’ – Guy Ferrand and Jean-Paul Roubier. Need to read this too. It was this issue from 1967 which gained the attn. of Michel Conan, according to Querrien and Dosse.

Foucault attended CERFI meetings. [when? Probably around 1971, when the CERFI ‘local’ would have been probably 103 BVD Beaumarchais, though need to check]. Liane says that Foucault’s work at this time entered into resonance with Guattari’s work on the ‘conceptualisation’ of the analysis of capitalism Guattari had been developing for some years. This seems exaggerated to me. Secondly, both Foucault and Guattari were thinking about new forms of political engagement. Liane refers to the GIP (Groupe d’information sur les prisons), established by Foucault in Feb 1971, and involving Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Jean-Marie Domenach, Daniel Defert (linked to the Gauche proletairienne movement), Maurice Clavel, eventually Deleuze….

Liane adds in a note that there were a number of ‘croisements’ btw. CERFI and the GIP, Ariane Cotlenko and Claude Rouot, for example, moved across from the GIP to CERFI, though the ‘Claude’ referred to in R13 could also be Claude Harmelle.

On the question of how these militant organisations gave ‘voice’ to aspirations and desires occulted up to then, Liane refers to Alfred Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty, publ. 1970 in the US.

The Nietzsche/Hegel faceoff comes into play again:

‘La démarche généalogique que Foucault emprunte à Nietzsche permet d’opérer une rupture décisive par rapport à Hegel en n’attribuant pas la naissance d’une chose, d’un corps ou d’une institution à son utilité. C’est au contraire par une succession de processus de subjugation que cette chose, cette institution ou ce corps prennent forme et apparaissent. Et Foucault montre que ce qu’il convient d’éclairer c’est le coup de force qui les a engendrés, coup de force qui casse tous les systèmes d’usage prévalant jusque-là.’

Nietzsche versus Hegel. This is the perspective Foucault develops in Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’. But it’s also worth pointing out that Georges Bataille, among others, is also a key figure in the Hegel/Nietzsche dynamic, having attended Alexander Kojève’s lectures on Hegel at the Ecole pratique des hautes études in the 1930s, and having attempted to ‘rescue’ Nietzsche from the fascist interpretation in an issue of Acéphale. See also Bataille’s Sur Nietzsche, 1945, and Mémorandum. Recall that Bataille’s Œuvres complètes had been published in 1970, with a preface from Foucault. See also Hollier, Denis: « De l'au-delà de Hegel à l'absence de Nietzsche », in Philippe Sollers (éd.), Bataille. Colloque de Cerisy, Paris 1973, 75–105.

Against this background the ‘genealogy’ group of CERFI (Fourquet, Murard, Querrien, Lévy, Vernet-Straggiotti): ‘va chercher à montrer comment un équipement particulier n’est d’aucune utilité en dehors de sa fonction d’instrument de codage, de confinement, de limitation et d’éradication de l’énergie sociale libre’. I’d say that the terms here, e.g. ‘codage’ sound much more like those of Deleuze-Guattari, but that the displacement of ‘utility’ does key into the Second Treatise of Nietzsche’s Genealogie de la morale (see further on, and Nietzsche dossier). It’s a movement away from the Hegelian ‘rational’ emphasis on the development of society according to desires (needs) and utility, and towards Nietzsche’s ‘will to power’ and subjugation.

Liane then says her interest is in the way Guattari’s work on ‘subjugated groups’ and ‘group subjects’ was articulated with Foucault’s. Refers ‘group subject’ to Sartre. Evokes the encounter of Deleuze and Guattari, and says that: ‘On pourrait, par exemple, dire qu’au CERFI l’apport de Foucault a été nourri et fécondé par les concepts créés par Deleuze et Guattari qui ont permis de ménager un passage de témoin.’ [which allowed the arrangement of a passing of the baton?].

Liane then refers slightly obscurely to an ‘invitation’ from Fernand Braudel (see dossier on historians): ‘Lorsque Fernand Braudel invite, dans les années 1970, M. Foucault, G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, P. Bourdieu, M. Godelier et quelques « jeunes » du CERFI, Godelier est laissé seul par Bourdieu pour défendre la position structuraliste face à un trio de voix, à la fois proches et distinctes’.

This might relate to a debate involving Foucault and historians which took place slightly after the publication of Surveiller et punir of which there is an account in L'impossible prison: recherches sur le système pénitentiaire au XIXe siècle / réunies par Michelle Perrot; débat avec Michel Foucault (Seuil, 1980). See review by Michael Ignatieff.3

But no, actually, this is not it. The Dits et ecrits say that in 1976 the historian Michelle Perrot gave a lecture to the general meeting of the Society for the history of the revolution of 1848, and series of articles in the Annales historiques de la revolution francaise followed, to which Foucault responded. On this issue (OK, so this is a digression), this article is interesting and potentially useful. But I can’t find the ‘invitation’ to which Liane refers.

Liane points to a reference to Foucault in ‘3 Group Problems’ (preface to Psychoanalysis and Transversality) to underline the ‘proximity’ btw, Foucault and Guattari. There was thus continuity btw the micropolitics of CERFI and that elaborated by Guattari at La Borde and outside it. The common point is the reaction to the ‘intolerable’ rather than the ‘universalist’ position of the intellectual. Liane cites Deleuze’s Foucault at this point, to underline the common insistence on micropolitics. She goes on to evoke the FHAR (mentioning that it emerged out of the Vive la revolution movement) and the MLF. Mentions that some members of FHAR came to CERFI seeing it as hospitable. Liane mentions some of the names involved (of the group involved in the ‘3 milliards de pervers’ issue): Catherine Bernheim, Gilles Châtelet, Michel Cressole, Fanny Deleuze, Gilles Deleuze, Laurent Dispot, Michel Foucault, Jean Genet, Félix Guattari, Daniel Guérin, Christian Hennion, Guy Hocquenghem, Georges Lapassade, Marie-France, Anne Querrien, Christian Revon, Jean-Paul Sartre. Liane then says that (homo)sexuality became the ‘pierre angulaire du rapport à soi’. The rest of her article is of more theoretical interest.

Uncategorised notes from web-searches

List of projects financed by the Ministère de l’Equipment, 1974-1982

  • 1974-76: CERFI : « Recherche exploratoire sur la signification sociale de l'accident ».

  • 1977-78 CERFI, Convention n° 75 000 220 022 575 01 : « La représentation sociale de l'accident, enjeux de pouvoir ».

  • 1979-80 CERFI, Convention n° 76 00 060 225 75 01 : « Étude exploratoire : la mobilité généralisée contribue-t-elle à la constitution de nouvelles sédentarités ? »

  • 1980-81 CERFI, Aide à la recherche n° 77 7 1768 : « Représentation sociale de l'automobile et genèse de sa crise - 1ère partie ».

  • 1981-82: CERFI, Aide à la recherche n° 77 7 1768 : « Représentation sociale de l'automobile et genèse de sa crise - 2e partie ».

  • Also – this report
  • a research report on new towns in the Isère? Quite a lot on CERFI, but mostly related to the ‘programmation’ project it seems.

Names for the Ministry:

  • Ministère de l'Équipement et du Logement from 7 avril 1967 to 5 juillet 1972

  • Ministère de l'Aménagement du territoire, de l'Équipement et des Transports from 1er mars 1973 to 27 mai 1974

  • Ministère de l'Équipement et de l'Aménagement du territoire from 30 mars 1977 to 31 mars 1978

  • Ministère de l'Urbanisme et du Logement from 23 mai 1981 to 17 juillet 1982

Notes on Chapter Two – La ville-métaphore

Drafted in November 1972, i.e. after publication of Anti-Oedipe. Right from the start the authors mark their encounter with Fernand Braudel. Braudel is among the foremost representatives of the Annales school of historians, and based at the 6th section of the EPHE (Ecole pratique des hautes etudes), which he directed after the death of Lucien Febvre in 1956. There is more to say on this evidently (see dossier), but a potential tension between Braudel’s insistence of ‘longue durée’ and Foucault’s on discontinuities, ruptures. The works by Braudel in the ‘ouvrages cités’ are: La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l'époque de Philippe II, of which the first edition was 1949, with a reprint 1966, Civilisation matérielle et capitalisme, 1967, Ecrits sur l’histoire, 1969, and ‘La Catalogne, plus l’Espagne’, in Annales, March-April 1968. The first two of these are major works, long in the gestation. The first reference of Chapter 2 is to Civilisation matérielle, but it is worth underlining that the 1967 publication to which CERFI refer is only the first volume of a work which would have multiple further vols. The 1967 volume is on ‘Les structures du quotidien’ and to its 8th (and last) chapter on ‘Towns and Cities’. The footnote which tells of the encounter with Braudel cites the first sentence of this chapter which in Sian Reynolds’ translation is ‘Towns are like electric transformers. They increase tension, accelerate the rhythm of exchange and constantly recharge human life’ (p. 479).

Summarising the first chapter, CERFI say that they had started with a challenge to the functionalist/culturalist alternative (of F. Choay’s anthology) and proposed the city or town as a means of production or an ‘informatic machine’ thus as ‘collective equipment’. They highlight this a shift from the topic of the city to that of collective equipment. They say this entailed conflating one with the other, and not acknowledging the specificity of cities, which they say they will come back to. So the city is a ‘screen-notion’ (i.e one that hides another) behind which what is at stake is capitalism and territory, State collective equipment. It is these latter concepts which are their desired focus – in other words they want to escape from the constraints or urbanism and think the material very much along the same lines as [[ Deleuze and Guattari ]] in AO, Part 3 – ‘Sauvages, barbares, civilisés’ – territory, State, capital. Collective equipment, on the other hand, is not a term with much currency in AO.

Interesting to think about the prominence of the concern with the State here. Of course CERFI are undertaking research for the State, but this is also a prominent topos e.g. in Foucault’s first three courses at the Collège, in AO, and in e.g. Pierre Clastres, La Socièté contre l’Etat. Althusser’s theses on State apparatuses, repressive and ideological, is a significant anchor point for a number of discourses in 1970-1973.

It is also interesting that the beginning of Chapter Two involves a kind of auto-critique on the part of CERFI of their own conceptual moves in Chapter One; the concept of the city has dissolved itself, and they see it now functioning as a displacement and condensation (classic Freudian mechanisms of the unconscious or more specifically of the dreamwork), standing in for collective equipment, and collecting to itself all sorts of heterogeneous material. A psychoanalytic approach is adopted here which suggests that the discourse on the city (e.g. Lewis Mumford) is a ‘screen-discourse’ which hides a lack of material reality and historicity. In Braudel as well, the authors say, the town/city is used as a ‘territorial’ stand-in/substitute for capital. This ‘process of substitution’ is linked to the ‘mechanisms of representation itself’. The authors say that like Mumford and Braudel they are caught in the same ‘unconscious rules’ which flatten everything on the same homogeneous surface of representation. In other words, everything is already territorialised. They are not thinking at the level of flows (this seems to me the implication) – ‘la dimension territorial fait partie des mécanismes de la représentation’.

There is a Foucauldian and a Deleuze-Guattarian impulse here, although perhaps more of the former – to move away from representations and perceptions; this is precisely the genealogical method as explicated by Foucault in the ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’ essay. One question to explore here is whether there is a conceptual tension between the Foucauldian ‘genealogical’ impulse and the Deleuze-Guattari emphasis on ‘territory’; there are two overlapping vocabularies at work here, symptomatic of the different impulses within the CERFI team, as Anne Querrien set out in the first part.

[NB. The point above – that ‘collective equipment’ is not a term with much currency in AO – points me twds Lignes de fuite, ed. by Liane Mozère, where she says (note 4) that the unpublished text included there, ‘Assujetissements sémiotique et équipments collectifs’ was drated by Guattari in late 1979 as a research report submitted to the Ministère de l’Équipment for CERFI. See later.]

The second part brings us to Marx. The city is part of the pairing town/country. Reference to the Communist Mainfesto in which ‘the bourgeoisie subjects the country to the town/city’. The emergence of the city as the motor of history. CERFI says that they will trace the foundation and the functioning of the town/country opposition in The German Ideology. Industrial and commercial work, on the one hand, and agricultural work, on the other. The city/country opposition is thus not specific to their spaces, but rather a result of a division of labour btw. Industrial and agricultural work.

  1. Françoise Choay – historian or theories or urbanism and architecture. Taught at Vincennes from 1970. 

  2. Charter of Athens: 1933 document by Le Corbusier deriving from 4th congress of CIAM (Congres internationale de l’architecture modern), 1933 which took place on board a ship from Marseille to Athens. See film by Moholy-Nagy commissioned by Seigfreid Giedion, ‘Architecture Congress’, on Youtube. 

  3. In passing, when looking up ‘Michelle Perrot, CERFI’, this link to an archival source. 

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