Spaces and Flows conference – Day 1 Plenary – Michael Dear

The second plenary is by Professor Michael Dear (UC Berkeley), whose paper is titled Topogenesis: Spaces and Flows in the Production of Urban Spaces. He critiques the notion, asssociated with Manuel Castells and the conference organisers, that time is being annihilated by space. He questions the claim that the “Informational City” is a process more than a place, and that it loses connection with its hinterlands to become a node in a global space of flows. Dear instead argues that it sis the edges of cities rather than thari centres which are now predominating, producing what he terms a hinterland aesthetic. His study is of the US/Mexico border, around:

* Spaces of flows: undocumented migrants, human trafficking
* Spaces of places: border fences, permeable boundaries of nation-state
* Counter-flows: fence jumpers (e.g. those who jump fences using ramps mounted on SUVs), border regulation/”virtual border”,
* Collateral places: environmental damage (e.g. around San Diego/Tijuana border), “Border Industrial Complex” (e.g. privately run jails (mostly located around border).

The cognitive dimensions of trans-border hybridity which has a long history across hte US/Mexico border exists in contradiction to the massive investments now taking places in policing the US/Mexico border.