One of the most contested notions between the postcolonial theorists and the Marxist critics has been the idea of abstraction. The former group holds that ＂abstraction＂ is defined by the subsumption of concrete life-world into the universally abstract labor and exchange value, and that the site of resistance lies in the irreducibility of colonial differences. The latter, by contrast, sees these differences as the side-products of capital's universalizing drive. This article argues that industrialized architectural objects-symbiotic with the global expansion of colonial capitalism with their universal standard and abstract format-provide an alternative to this dichotomy. Situating the architectural tiles in colonial Taipei as an operational interface between the city's colonial urban plan and local bourgeoises' display of power, I highlight the coloration on tiles as a visual module between abstract labor and concrete labor as well as between catastrophic memory and colonial management. The color modulation on tiles, I argue, served both as the logistical infrastructure for capital's circulation and a cognitive interface with which urban users reprogramed the colonial urban plan. This double role between medium and environment underscores what Alfred Sohn-Rethel and Albert Toscano term ＂real abstraction,＂ a notion that might help us re-conceptualize the ＂Marxism versus Postcolonialism＂ debate.
|Translated title of the contribution||Formatted Senses: Abstraction, Architecture Media, and a Logistical Critique of Colonial Taipei|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||36|
|State||Published - 31 Mar 2019|
- logistical media
- colonial difference