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Riding with DeathVodou Art and Urban Ecology in the Streets of Port-au-Prince$
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Jana Evans Braziel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496812742

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496812742.001.0001

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Machinic Urbanism: “Reflections in Surplus”

Machinic Urbanism: “Reflections in Surplus”

(p.79) Chapter Three Machinic Urbanism: “Reflections in Surplus”
Riding with Death

Jana Evans Braziel

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on art-historical analyses on the urban art machines created at the Grand Rue, concentrating on the mixed-media sculptures of Ronald “Cheby” Bazile. It draws from two interrelated strains of intellectual thought: the idea of the machinic urban, or the city as machine; and the Deleuzian models of machines-désirantes (desiring machines) and agencement machinique (machinic assemblages). In the generative yet sometimes destructive climate of Port-au-Prince, urban machines are the engines and resourceful outcomes of creative production forged in the face of precarious lives daily lived in the city. Artworks too can be or become urban machines—sculptures welded from the mechanical debris and industrial waste of larger, overdeveloped cities that dump their postindustrial excess in and on the underdeveloped cities of the global South. These sculptures are art-urban machines that find remaining, productive “use value,” “exchange value,” and even beauty in the discarded scraps of the world's trash.

Keywords:   urban art machines, Grand Rue, mixed-media sculptures, Ronald Bazile, machinic urban, desiring machines, machinic assemblages, Port-au-Prince, urban machines, creative production

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