Henri Lefebvre: Audio ressources on the Web

Interview, 56’41” 1975-10-02

– Henri LEFEBVRE, sociologue : pourquoi il se définit comme “méta-philosophe”, le concept de mondialité ; ses origines, ses parents, ses rapports avec ses étudiants (allusion à Daniel COHN-BENDIT). Son activité d’opposant au sein du PCF pendant 10 ans, son exclusion du PCF, ce qu’il pense de Herbert MARCUSE, ce qu’il pense de l’humanisme, des Droits de l’Homme, l’évolution du PCF, son étude simultanée de la pensée de Karl MARX et du monde moderne, remarques sur le concept de l’Hisoire, sur les stratégies économiques et politiques, les éclairages que nous donnent les philosophes et la nécessité d’inventer des concepts nouveaux. (Entretien avec Jacques CHANCEL -56’41”). Source.

Interview, 2’45” 1970-05-15

Interview with Henri Lefebvre at ORTF. Here is the whole transcription.

Here is the source.

Interview, 33’30” 1970

URBANOSE – THE SPACE AS A LIVED EXPERIENCE? Interview with HENRI LEFEBVRE (1901-1991), 1970’s (l’office national du film du canada): Source.


Please give me a note if you find more sources with Henri Lefebvre speaking.

Bikestruments, the silver return

Political pimp-your bike-workshop, hacked for street politics

A local workshop hosted by a red-green political party with the agenda of promoting the bike as a preferred choice for transportation. The name of the workshop was “Pimp your bike”.

Fonografiti activists ‘hacked’ the event (to which you might question the environmentally friendliness of using spray paint for ‘pimping’ bikes, btw), and ‘pimped’ some bikestruments, spray painting them silver.

After being silverly pimped, the bikestruments were hanged on the same spot where the other – un-pimped – bikestruments had been violently abducted.

Now the question is: Does the ‘pimping’ of the bikestruments, possibly sending the message “we are street”, inspire passers-by to NOT remove them?

Now THIS is a pimped bike!! (Photo by Simon Cordes)

Ich bin auch ein Fahrrad, -or- Bikescream for QRow

sQRikebeam bor fow

-or- traffic jam session

Recommendation: Watch the video clip while listening to the sound:

The participants made sounds with the bikestruments and formed them with their voices through the Anthropomorfer. When working with the sounds via smartphones, how could we do with only very little space? I hadn’t prepared a silver concept for that part. Somehow someone came up with the idea to follow the passing cars, bikes and people with the sounds. So each participant chose one feature, for instance “everything yellow”, and each time a yellow car, bike og hat passed by, he/she would ‘follow’ the moving object with the sound, panning from left to right or vice versa. In this way, a new aspect was introduced in the the-street-as-an-instrument-concept: SILENCE!! Since there were not yellow things passing by all the time the participant following yellow things had to keep silent in the pauses. But since each participant followed his/her specific feature, – bike helmets, taxis, blondes, etc., a great variety of movements and velocities naturally came to the improvisations, thus creating variation and new mixes/collisions. QRaaaaa QRaaaa!

Related articles:

Bikestruharp, former bike now instrument (www.akutsk.wordpress.com)

Bikestruments, bridgestruments, anti padlock guerilla (www.akutsk.wordpress.com)

Ceci n’est pas une pub. This is not a commercial.

ImageThis qr code links to a recording of a street improvisation by ordinary passers by, facilitated by Akutsk, using the Anthropomorfer. Sound graffiti you may call it, I use the name fonografiti. When using a qr code, we embark on the colonisation of the still rather virginal web based virtual track of the street.

Although the medium is sonorous, the access to the location specific electro acoustic collective improvisation necessarily passes through the visual. The qr code must catch your attention before it can work as a key to the virtual audio track of the place.

QR codes are in many cases used in commercial contexts, and the first thing we need to do is to decolonise this technology from the logic of the market. I’ve met a good deal of people not aware that you can easily make these codes yourself. Using qr codes is probably the easiest way for anyone to interact (virtually) in the street through sound, – and any other media btw.

In order to make sure that people understand that this specific qr code is not a commercial – ceci n’est pas une pub – we must add something, visually, to the code itself. Streetsoundartist Medlyd uses CD boxes on which he paints the QR code. Using a technique that cannot be subject to mass production, Medlyd succeeds in communicating the non-commerciality of the code. And a CD box connotes music. It’s a CD release!

In this photo you see a stencil of a hooded crow on top of a paste up of a QR code measuring 15×15 cm. The obvious handy craft side to the work makes it obvious that this is not commercial, it is ‘street’.

Now scan the code! We won’t sell you anything. We want to share a unique piece of sound art improvised on this specific location using only sounds from this place.

Ceci n’est pas une pub.

Bikestruments, bridgestruments, anti padlock guerilla

Knippels bridge being streetstrumentalized, though momentarily interrupted by rain
Bike bells on bridge (anti padlock guerilla)
From bike to trike (?)
From bi- to tri-
Bike bone hanging in bike nerve being attached by bike magnet
Preparing bikestruments in the State Workshops for Art

Help I’m a bike. Curate me !

So it’s official. I’ve often wondered what I should call what I’m doing. Well. It’s art.

I’ve found out that my participation in a sound art project at the Knippels Bridge (a bridge connecting main Copenhagen with the island of Amager), is in fact part of Copenhagen art festival 2012.

Being a part of a part of something to do with art, I’ve been given the possibility to use the “national workshops for art”. So now I’m chopping up old bikes in the official national workshops for art, and therefore I’m making ….. art!

Art art art art art.

In the outset I was planning on doing what whomever could do, namely take parts of old bikes and set them up in the street, and in this particular case a bridge.

It was supposed to be a sort of ignition fuelling a trend where people start putting up things in public space that can serve as  “streetstruments”, inspiring to engage in collective activities around sound.

The need to hang things in public space is strong, judging from the padlocks that people put everywhere, inadvertently enhancing the omnipresent focus in public space on reproduction. Well instead of (biological and other) reproduction, streetstruments should inspire people to engage in productive action beyond the twosomeness of the nuclear family and co.

And now I do art. Which is the same as saying I’m a name and a nationality. As in “John Cage (USA)”. Although I have been invited to participate in the festival, I’m not in the programme, for some reason,  – as opposed to John Cage. Looking forward to meet him.

I haven’t even been curated. The so-called curator, curating the sound art events at the Knippels Bridge hasn’t contacted me. So I have not had the chance to adhere to some sort of ‘overall concept’, which is generally the way these things work.

So I’m only halfway participating in the festival. Which makes me a halfway artist. And what I’m doing is consequently halfway art.

Which in the end might save my project.

Since it is not really art after all, then it is not really mostly an individualistic project promoting its creator, who is in the programme with a name and nationality (dead or alive), and who has been curated according to the overall so-called concept of the festival, which in the case of Copenhagen Art Festival 2012 is “Art in community”, a concept which is put into play through a large number of individual artists’ individual artworks in (mostly) solo exhibitions.

Since I’m not really an artist after all, I’m not really an expert producer of works of art, that the consumers-recipients-of-works-of-art will consume, after appropriately being guided by an expert knower-of-art or curator. Therefore there is a smaller risk that what I’m doing could not be done by anyone, and that it will actually be done by someone, that there will be people using the street as an instrument, without being curated, without having their name and nationality in a programme.

Construction site interacts musically with neighbors

Tubes from the ground, now getting a sonorous aftelife
Tubes from the ground, now getting a sonorous aftelife
Tubes from the underground. Now getting a sonorous afterlife in a streetstrument/ giving-back-the-noise workshop

Concept: During a street art decoration of the wall around the local metro construction site, akutsk is making a ‘streetstrument’ workshop.

The workshop is going to be in two parts:

  1. a streetstrument building workshop. In these weeks, I’m collecting debris from the construction. At the event August 11, these objects will be the material for instruments.
  2. a Anthropomorfer workshop, where the participants form the sounds and improvise collectively via laptop and smartphones

Everything is on location, anyone can join, and afterwards we paste up QR-codes linking to recordings of the impros.
Here is the Facebook event.

“In the street, a form of spontaneous theater, I become spectacle and spectator, and sometimes an actor. The street is where movement takes place, the interaction without which urban life would not exist, leaving only separation, a forced and fixed segregation. And there are consequences to eliminating the street (ever since Le Corbusier and his nouveaux ensembles): the extinction of life, the reduction of the city to a dormitory:, the aberrant functionalization of existence. The street contains functions that were overlooked by Le Corbusier: the informative function, the symbolic function, the ludic function. The street is a place to play and learn, The street is disorder. All the elements of urban life, which are fixed and redundant elsewhere, are free to fill the streets and through the streets flow to the centers, where they meet and interact, torn from their fixed abode. This disorder is alive. It informs. It surprises. The work of Jane Jacobs has shown that in the United States, the street (highly trafficked, busy) provides the only security possible against criminal violence (theft, rape, aggression).”

Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution (original text in French pub. 1970)

” En la escena espontánea de la calle yo soy a la vez espectáculo y espectador, y a veces, también, actor. Es en la calle donde tiene lugar el movimiento, de catálisis, sin los que no se da vida humana, sino separación y segregación, estipuladas e inmóviles. Cuando se han suprimido
las calles (desde Le Corbusier, en los “barrios nuevos”), sus consecuencias no han tardado en manifestarse: desaparición de la vida, limitación de la “ciudad” al papel de dormitorio, aberrante funcionalización de la existencia. La calle cumple una serie de funciones que Le Corbusier desdeña: función informativa, función simbólica y función de esparcimiento. Se juega y se aprende. En la calle hay desorden, es cierto, pero todos los elementos de la vida humana,
inmovilizados en otros lugares por una ordenación fija y redundante, se liberan y confluyen en las calles, y alcanzan el centro a través de ellos; todos se dan cita, alejados de sus
habitáculos fijos. Es un desorden vivo, que informa y sorprende. Por otra parte, este desorden construye un orden superior: los trabajos de Jane Jacob han demostrado que la calle (de paso y preventiva) constituye en los Esudos Unidos la única seguridad posible contra la violencia criminal (robo, violación, agresión). Allí donde desaparece la calle, la criminalidad aumenta y se organiza.”

La Revolucion Urbana, 1970


This quotation has relevance for the following blog posts:

Collective street improvisations, – how do we get people involved?

The street sound activist’s toolkit

Spelling out the invisible social wall