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Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura
Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura
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Saladdin Ahmed - Author
Price: $85.00 
Hardcover - 242 pages
Release Date: March 2019
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7291-1

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Price: $25.95 
Paperback - 242 pages
Release Date: January 2020
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7292-8

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Diagnoses our contemporary spatial experience as fundamentally totalitarian through a multilayered critical theory of space.

We live today within a system in which state and corporate power aim to render space flat, transparent, and uniform, for only then can it be truly controlled. The gaze of power and the commodity form are capable of infiltrating even the darkest of corners, and often, we invite them into our most private spaces. We do so as a matter of convenience, but also to placate ourselves and cope with the alienation inherent in our everyday lives. The resulting dominant space can best be termed totalitarian. It is space stripped of uniqueness, deprived of the “spatial aura” necessary for authentic experience. In Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura, Saladdin Ahmed sets out to help us grasp what has been lost before no trace remains. He draws attention to that which we might prefer not to see, but despite the bleakness of this indictment of reality, the book also offers a message of hope. Namely, it is only once we comprehend the magnitude of the threat to our spatial experience and our own complicity in sustaining this system that we can begin to resist the totalizing forces at work.

 “This is a clear and important contribution to the existing literature and contemporary political thought in general. It expounds upon Benjamin’s analysis of the aura in his famous essay, ‘Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ and, importantly, illustrates how this concept is incredibly pertinent to our society today.” — Mary Caputi, author of Feminism and Power: The Need for Critical Theory

Saladdin Ahmed is Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Siena College.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Notes on Totalitarianism
A Critique of Dominant Understandings of “Totalitarianism”
Classical vs. Advanced Totalitarianism
Totalitarian Mechanization and Standardization
Closing

2. The Production of Space
Space as Production
Lefebvre’s Spatial Dialectic
Dominated Space

3. Spatial Technologies of Power
Transparency
“Enlightenment Is Totalitarian”
Panopticism
The Gaze
Heterotopia or the Poetics of Spatial Aura

4. Conceptualizing Aura
The Indefinability of Aura
Aura as a Negative Notion
Aura as Trace
Returning the Gaze
Lost Trace
Aura as Veil
Aura as Distance
Conclusion

5. The Destruction of Aura and Its Political Implications
Auralessness and New Absolutism
Fetish vs. Aura
Renavigation

6. Images and the Production of Totalitarian Space
Images as Means of Creating Hyperreality
Images as Means of Panopticism
Images as Means of Producing and Maintaining the Omnipresent Cult
Images as Repetitive Patterns Simulating Spatial Sameness
The Commodity and the Spectacle

7. In the Absence of Aura: Spatial Dialectics of Despair and Hope
Auratic Negativity and Space

Notes
References
Index


Related Subjects
4-7291-1/4-7292-8(MR/DG/MC)




 
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