The City in Reverse: Diagramming Intelligent Systems

July 2-8, 2017
Sherbrooke, NS

What is community if not an intelligent system?

Toward a geophilosophy of grounding abstraction in new topologies and tempos: What forms of offline communication and clustered modes of computation prefigure sustainability in an imagined flight from the City? What ecology of practices for generatively unmapping terrains with the human-that-is-posthuman—an ethico-aesthetic being-for-the-world rather than a being-in-the-world?

We seek the production of new relationships that are added to a situation already produced by a multiplicity of relations. Diagrammatic processes may open the City in reverse, weaving bare these relations to open new ontological, epistemological and ethical practices in turn.

This MLS gathering will collectively create concepts, techniques and infrastructures through an inventive and experimental play that inquires toward what an idea can do — actions of creative potentials for the development of new art, new science, new knowledge, new life.


Field Notes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

[Photo credits: Jessica Winton, Ashley Snook, April Vannini, Jana Kutarna, Sean Smith, Amélie Brindamour]



1. Curatorial propositions and co-generated textbook: The City in Reverse: Diagramming Intelligent Systems

2. Deprogram: Alien Intelligence on the Ground


Mini Library

1. Brian Massumi – Diagram as Technique of Existence

2a. Christopher Alexander – A City is Not a Tree

2b. Shannon Mattern – A City Is Not a Computer

3. Vilém Flusser – Designing Cities

4a. Lars Spuybroek – Structure of Vagueness

4b. CK Raju – Equity in Mathematics – The Rope Trick

5. Lauren Berlant – The Commons

6. Manuel DeLanda – Mathematics of the Virtual

7. Patrick Stewart – Architecture as Ceremony

8. Erin Manning – The Dance of Attention



“The Murmur Land Studios curatorial collective would like to begin by acknowledging that The City in Reverse field school will take place in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.

This territory is covered by the ‘Treaties of Peace and Friendship’, which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.

We further acknowledge that as the event participants of The City in Reverse we are visitors passing through this traditional territory, endeavouring to walk with gentle footsteps and interweave a number of cares: care for others, care for self, care for the event, and most importantly, care for the land and water.”