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What is … rhythmanalysis? Tom Hall. what is … rhythmanalysis? introduction to rhythmanalysis Henri Lefebvre key terms and concepts rhythm and the everyday.

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Presentation on theme: "What is … rhythmanalysis? Tom Hall. what is … rhythmanalysis? introduction to rhythmanalysis Henri Lefebvre key terms and concepts rhythm and the everyday."— Presentation transcript:

1 what is … rhythmanalysis? Tom Hall

2 what is … rhythmanalysis? introduction to rhythmanalysis Henri Lefebvre key terms and concepts rhythm and the everyday rhythm and mobility rhythm and the city case study rhythmanalysis as research method conclusion

3 introduction to rhythmanalysis Henri Lefebvre (1901-91) Éléments de rythmanalyse: introduction à la connaissance des rythmes (1992) Rhythmanalysis: space, time and everyday life (2004) This little book does not conceal its ambition. It proposes nothing less than to found a new science, a new field of knowledge: the analysis of rhythms (Lefebvre 2004: 3) Thought strengthens itself only if it enters into practice: into use (Lefebvre 2004: 69)

4 introduction to rhythmanalysis key terms and concepts rhythmanalyst a psychoanalyst a poet … not a statistician rhythms

5 introduction to rhythmanalysis Rhythms Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm (Lefebvre 2004: 15)

6 introduction to rhythmanalysis key terms and concepts rhythmanalyst a psychoanalyst: a poet … not a statistician rhythms repetition (and difference)

7 introduction to rhythmanalysis Repetition (and difference) No rhythm without repetition in time and space, without reprises, without returns … But there is no identical absolute repetition, indefinitely. Whence the relation between repetition and difference … Not only does repetition not exclude differences, it also gives birth to them; it produces them (Lefebvre 2004: 6-7) the metronomic and the rhythmic

8 introduction to rhythmanalysis key terms and concepts rhythmanalyst a psychoanalyst: a poet … not a statistician rhythms repetition (and difference) cyclical and linear repetition

9 introduction to rhythmanalysis

10 cyclical and linear repetition At any rate, spring is here, even in London N. 1, and they can't stop you enjoying it … So long as you are not actually ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp, spring is still spring. The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it (George Orwell, Thoughts on the Common Toad)

11 introduction to rhythmanalysis key terms and concepts rhythmanalyst a psychoanalyst: a poet … not a statistician rhythms repetition (and difference) cyclical and linear repetition polyrhythmia; eurhythmia; isorhythmia; arrhythmia

12 what is … rhythmanalysis? introduction to rhythmanalysis Henri Lefebvre key terms and concepts rhythm and the everyday rhythm and mobility rhythm and the city case study

13 rhythm and the everyday taken-for-granted and overlooked; an elusive object; the quotidian what is left over after all distinct, superior, specialized, structured activities have been singled out by analysis the body (and rhythm) and the everyday Normally we only grasp the relations between rhythms, which interfere with them. However, they all have a distinct existence. Normally, none of them classifies itself; on the contrary, in suffering, in confusion, a particular rhythm surges up and imposes itself: palpitation, breathlessness, pains in the place of satiety (Lefebvre 2004: 21)

14 rhythm and mobility The trap of the present; the immobility of things; a moving but determinate complexity Repetition, difference and the passage of time; Cartesian geometry, changing places and phenomenological space The body (and rhythm) and mobility Where does it start? Muscles tense. One leg a pillar, holding the body upright between the earth and sky. The other a pendulum, swinging from behind. Heel touches down. The whole weight of the body rolls forward onto the ball of the foot … The legs reverse position. It starts with a step and then another step and then another that add up like taps on a drum to a rhythm, the rhythm of walking. The most obvious and the most obscure thing in the world (Solnit 2002: 3)

15 rhythm and mobility Gordon Cullens Townscape

16 rhythm and the city space, time and the city; urban polyrythmia seen from the window a contemporary everyday urbanism manifold practices across hundreds of spaces … an everyday order and flexibility partly owing to the repetitions and regularities that become the tracks to negotiate urban life … routine practices of care, repair and maintenance The low soothing hum of air-conditioners … winding up and winding down, long breaths layered upon each other, a lullaby … The rush of traffic still cutting across flyovers, even in the dark hours a constant crush of sound, tyres rolling across tarmac and engines rumbling, loose drains and manhole covers clack-clacking … Road menders mending, choosing the hours of least interruption, rupturing the cold night air with drills and jack- hammers … hard-sweating beneath the fizzing hiss of floodlights, shouting to each other like drummers in rock bands calling out rhythms … (McGregor 2003: 1)

17 case study Cardiff city centre the mundane, repetitious work of outreach mobile practices and a crepuscular geography urban regeneration and arrythmia

18 rhythmanalysis as research method a mode of analysis; not a new object but a new way of approaching familiar objects difficult to distil as a methodology for the social sciences; more a (re)orientation than a method Rhythmanalysis is an attitude, an orientation, a proclivity: it is not analytic in any positivistic or scientific sense of the term. It falls on the side of impressionism and description, rather than systematic data collecting (Highmore 2005: 150) the rhythmanalyst as the principal registering device In order to grasp and analyse rhythms, it is necessary to get outside them, but not completely … to grasp a rhythm it is necessary to have been grasped by it; one must let oneself go (Lefebvre 2004: 27) new research technologies

19 conclusion Rhythmanalysis: space, time and everyday life Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm (Lefebvre 2004: 15) Thought strengthens itself only if it enters into practice: into use (Lefebvre 2004: 69) Dr. Tom Hall, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences hallta@cardiff.ac.uk http://www.sensescapes.co.uk/


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