Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sixth Meeting

February 27 2006
Centralization and spatial articulation of governance in the metropolis.

Antonio Negri, Synthesis of the previous meeting (Jan 16) and presentation of the seminar.

Bruno Latour (Professor of Sociology at the Ecole nationale supérieure des mines in Paris), The technical and imaginary foundations of the social in the metropolis.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar

"Two models of multiplicity"

Two sociological traditions

-A society sui generis

-The social explains the social and the social aspects of the non-social

-totalisation is always already "done"

-The social as association

-The social is an innovative movement

-There is no such thing as society

-Associations are between non-social elements

-Totalisation is always "to be done"

Problem: To go from the micro to the macro without changing vehicles

Two ways of denying multiplicity

-Raise interaction to "social context"

-Leave behind "context" in favor of the "concrete"

-Find a reasonable compromise between these two sites (Durkheim and the sociology of the social)

-Ignore completely the question and find another topology (Tarde and the sociology of associations)

Problems: Where does the global take place?

How to produce the "weather" that exists outside?

-Involves a whole series of interactions

Panoptic or oligoptic?

-Secratary's office at a university, organizing room assignments

-Point of connection, either connected or not

-The small/local is an element of being connected or not

-Is the office of the secretary larger or smaller?

-Replace large and small with more or less connected.

-Oligoptic (panoptic implies totalizing view that isn't possible of the city)

-Sees just one element but sees it well

-Example: Panoptic - control room at police headquarters, video screens, maps, etc.

-Megalomania and paranoia?

-The false problem of the Russian dolls

-Panoramas: the totalized social

-1st movement: localizing the global

-2nd movement: distributing the local

-There is nothing in the large if not connected "details"


From global -> local

From local -> what redistributes it

Question of plasma?
If the social is what circulates inside the network, what is between these networks?

The reserve army

How to constitute these networks.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Fifth Meeting

Janurary 16 2006
Metropolis, Technology, Networks

- Antonio Negri, Synthesis of the previous meeting (Jan 9) and presentation of the seminar.

- Pierre Musso (University of Rennes II)

- Michèle Collin (Researcher, CNRS), Metropolitan space and logistics.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar

Friday, December 16, 2005

Fourth Meeting

Janurary 9 2006
Rent dynamics and the Metropolis

- Antonio Negri, Synthesis of the previous meeting (Dec 12) and presentation of the seminar.

- Bernard Guibert (Researcher, National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies - INSEE, Paris), Metropolis, rent, and sustainable development.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Third Meeting

December 12 2005
Metropolis and Métissage

- Antonio Negri, Synthesis of the previous meeting (Dec 5) and presentation of the seminar.

- Sandro Mezzadra (Professor, University of Bologna), Mobility, immigration, and productive networks.

- Patrick Simon (Demographer, National Institute of Demographic Studies), Systems of discrimination.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Second Meeting

December 5 2005
Labor and the Metropolis

- Antonio Negri, Synthesis of the previous meeting (Nov 28) and presentation of the seminar.

- El Mouhoub Mouhoud (Professor, CEPN, University of Paris XIII), The "metropolarization" of cognitive activities and divisions of labor.

- Patrick Dieuaide (Professor, MATISSE-ISYS, University of Paris I), Cognitive labor, firms, and metropolitan space.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

First Meeting

November 28 2005
Metropolis: Concepts, Definitions, Stakes

- Antonio Negri, presentation of the problematic and program of the seminar.

- Agostino Petrillo (Professor, Polytechnic University of Milan), The metropolis within the new capitalism: a critical review of the literature.

- Anne Querrien (Sociologist, Urbanist), Metropolis and multitudes: reflections for debate.

*For complete audio and video (in French) of this week's presentations and debate see:

Translations from this week's seminar
*Words that were either ambiguous in the audio recording or added for the sake of clarity are noted by [...]

1. Antonio Negri's response to the presentations of A Petrillo and A Querrien:

I would like to pose what are, in my opinion, two or three problems [with what has been said so far], which I think were already defined somewhat in what [Agostino] Petrillo said earlier. The first is this: we have this definition, we have all of these attempts to define the ruptures [taking place in the metropolis], but we do not, as of yet, well understand what these ruptures are, meaning with respect to what did these ruptures take place. The foundations of life in the city, it’s vital structures, are: knowledge, communication, and language. The pleasure of being in the city, the pleasure of living there, its wealth, is this; a wealth of language, of expression, of affective relationships and networks. Otherwise, we would be better off if the multitude didn’t [exist]. And this is the real problem, precisely because the metropolis was born from the quantification of this pleasure [of living together]. Capitalist accumulation today is based upon the accumulation of the pleasure of living together. Exploitation is no longer a matter of capturing two additional hours of labor from the individual worker, but instead the power to capture the communication taking place in the great spaces of the city, and the larger the space the larger the accumulation will be. The city is thus defined by a continual metropolisization. This is one of the ways in which capital [asserts] its power today, faced with the impossibility of maintaining it with respect to specific factories and determinate relationships. This is the first hypothesis that, in my opinion, we must follow and develop. The crises of knowledge, research, information, and cooperation within immaterial labor are, from now on, the fundamental tissues of [production] and accumulation in the metropolis.

Second point: the question of metropolitan fiscal policy, which is another enormous problem. What is the metropolis? The metropolis is above all a commons. We can’t live without others in the metropolis. In the metropolis we are in an ontological situation where it’s impossible to live without others, without [the noise made by] night workers, without public transportation, without a certain rhythm of transportation, or without trash workers going on strike. Me, I lived through a trash strike in Venice several months ago, and it’s horrible … etc. etc. The metropolis is a commons, an intersection … So what is taking place within this commons? Something is happening [with respect to] the fiscal structure. Fiscal policy is the logic of sovereignty [in the metropolis]. If we talk about sovereignty in the city we must also talk about fiscal policy. Because sovereignty is still this, no? Fiscal policy involves the expropriation of the commons, but also implies an unequal distribution [of wealth], one in which the rich have more than everyone else. It is here that rent is born and distributed, within this commons. The transformation of the concept of rent, its mobility, is born from this. I don’t know if it is possible to demonstrate in perfect economic terms but, in my opinion, we must place the metropolitan fiscal structure within its biopolitical [context], which is one that engages all of us in social production …

Third point: all these things that relate to the salary form. If the city exists in the way [that we have described], what is its corresponding salary form? It’s clear that this salary should have nothing to do with one directly linked to labor [time]. Instead, it must be linked to the social [fabric] of the metropolis that is in itself productive …

I see, therefore, three problems that we must try to address: the question of cognitive labor as the fundamental site of exploitation, the [expropriation] of the commons built by us in living in the city, and also the salary form [necessary] for the distribution, the redistribution, of the wealth created there.

Seminar Dates / Description

International College of Philosophy - Seminar - Multitude and Metropolis - 2005-6

Place : Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot, 2 place Jussieu 75005 Paris, Amphi 56, Mondays from 8 - 10PM.

Dates : 28 novembre 2005, 5 décembre, 12 décembre, 9 janvier 2006, 16 janvier, 27 février, 6 mars, 27 mars, 3 avril, 15 mai, 22 mai.

Coordination and direction of the seminar by: M. Collin, P. Dieuaide, P. Elicio, A. Negri, B. Paulré, A. Querrien, C. Vercellone.

Working Hypothesis / Tentative Program:

The concept of the multitude holds a central place in the new political grammar of post-modernity. It has, however, been the object of radical critiques: in particular, critics have underlined the difficulty of giving it both a clear political content and a real anti-systemic function. For this reason, it seemed necessary to develop a line of research and theoretical inquiry that seeks to characterize the multitude by giving it a fundamental political consistency, and that succeeds in “localizing” it, that is to say in inserting it into the privileged space of post-modernity that is the metropolis.

In no way, however, do we seek to set up a simplistic equation, which would constitute nothing more than the echo of that which had existed in a modernity just reaching its point of maturity, which would affirm today that the metropolis is to the multitude as the factory was to the working class. On the contrary, we seek to seize upon the passage from the fordist city to the post-fordist metropolis, from the city of wage-labor to the urban territories so marked by flexibility and mobility; territories characterized by the increasing hegemony of immaterial labor, by migratory fluxes and the mixing of cultures, as well as the fallout from financialization and globalization. It is in this space, therefore, that we seek to document the transformations of the biopolitical and the new processes involved in the production of subjectivity.

The seminar, which will rely upon the contributions of architects and urban scientists, of specialists in urban planning and sociologists, of anthropologists and economists, will unfold in eleven sessions distributed over two semesters. The first session will serve as an introduction; it will be followed by five sessions dedicated to the sociological, economic, and philosophical definition of the relationship between the multitude and the metropolis; and will conclude with five sessions built around metropolitan experiences, in order to define the new forms of subjectivity that correspond to them, as well as the ways of life that are already becoming possible to imagine in a future potentially more joyful than the spectacle of our present.

First group of meetings:
I: City and metropolis: definitions and hypotheses. Critique of the modern philosophy of the city. The new dimensions of the city in globalization and post-modernity.
II: The productive metropolis. Passage from fordism to post-fordism and the hegemony of immaterial labor in the metropolis. Cognitive labor and metropolitan networks.
III: The metropolis of métissages. Proletariat and immigration. The diffused suburb.
IV: The metropolis of informatization. Networks and communication. Social production, hierarchies and exclusions in the metropolis of capital.
V: The financial metropolis. Excess of value produced and financial centralization. From the “fiscal crisis” of the metropolis to the global stabilization of metropolitan forms.

Second group of meetings:
VI: The structures of power / command in the metropolis. Metropolitan governance and political crisis. The new biopolitical figure of power (forms of biopower / biopolitical resistances) as it is represented by the metropolis.
VII: Space and time of the articulation between power / command. The new urbanism and metropolitan workday. The biopolitical metropolis.
VIII: The metropolitan budget. Salary, revenue and profit in the metropolis. Local governance and the structure of services.
IX: Metropolitan counter-times and counter-spaces. Metropolitan creativity and processes of exclusion. The biopolitical structure of resistance in the metropolis.

Concluding group of meetings:
X: Forms of struggle and metropolitan investigation. The becoming political of the multitude in the metropolis. The metropolitan return of citizenship.
XI: “Metropolis = Factory?" Political and organizational discourse at the juncture between the modern and post-modern, from fordism to post-fordism, and biopolitical difference. What does it mean for the multitude to “reappropriate the metropolis”?