Tim Ivison – The Biopolitical City

Lecture date: 2012-11-12

History and Theory Studies Lecture Series

Biopolitics is often described as the strategy of the state to quantify and regulate the biological life of the citizen through a paradigm of discipline and security. The lecture will show that many of the fundamental tools of biopolitics were formalised in the nineteenth century – from medical and biological approaches, to problems of the modern town: population, disease, sanitation, and housing. Town-planning in Britain emerges at the end of the nineteenth century as a creative and administrative arbiter of the spatial problems of biopolitics, offering a positivist doctrine of hygienic, serviced, and regulated urbanism.

Tim Ivison is an American artist and writer based in London. He holds a BA in Visual and Critical Studies and a BFA in Studio Practice, both from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently completing his PhD on biopolitics and the origins of British town planning at The London Consortium.

This is the second of the ongoing History and Theory Studies lecture series, organised by Mark Cousins, Mollie Claypool and Ryan Dillon.

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