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Author Archives: Stephen Vilaseca
Participatory Urban Art: Boa Mistura and Hologramas por la libertad
This gallery contains 20 photos.
Originally posted on Dr. Stephen Luis Vilaseca:
Photos courtesy of Boa Mistura ? Participatory urban art is an effective way for us all to learn to act like urban artists—that is, to engage unexpectedly and unrestrictedly with the cityscape. Boa…
Phallocentric Space: Any Contest Over Power is a Contest Over Space
Torre Agbar in Barcelona. Photo from http://www.nextstop-barcelona.com/torre-agbar-barcelona/
In order to continue the recent thread of posts on sex and the city, I am sharing the following excerpt from an article I wrote in 2009 that can be found here.
The space of power has traditionally imitated the masculine form and has been occupied according to the logic of masculine values. The association of power with the male member finds expression in the city, as Lefebvre observes, through “the use and overuse of straight lines, right angles, and strict (rectilinear) perspective” (410). Not only is the space of power phallic in terms of form but also in terms of practice. According to Elizabeth Grosz, men occupy space “as territorialized, as mappable or explorable,” conceive space in terms “according to the logic of penetration, colonization and domination,” and do not “respect spaces and places which are not theirs” (57). Phallocentric thought as performed in space is violent and destructive. The penis, as representative of power, is weapon and wrecking ball. If capital reproduces itself by conquering space, as both Lefebvre and Harvey assert, the selling of place and the subsequent gentrification of neighborhoods are “screwing” the weak.
Grosz, Elizabeth. “Women, Chora, Dwelling.” Postmodern Cities and Spaces. Eds. Sophie Watson and Katherine Gibson. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, USA: Blackwell, 1995. 47-58.
Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991.
Amazing Map Portrait Art
Grand Opening Party for the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space
The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is a living archive of urban activism. The Museum chronicles the East Village community’s history and grassroots activism. It celebrates local activists who transformed abandoned buildings and vacant lots into vibrant community spaces and community gardens. Many of these innovative, sustainable concepts and designs have since pulsed out to the rest of the city and beyond.
Visit the website at: http://www.morusnyc.org/
Conference in Madrid on October 23, 2012: City, Crisis and Resistance: Dialogues between Activism and Science
CFP – Grassroots in the City
International conference on Grassroots in the City: Urban Movements and Activism in Central and Eastern Europe
Conference venue: Södertörn University, southern Stockholm, Sweden
Dates: 24-25 May 2013
The conference seeks to gather researchers working in the field of social movements and civic activism in the urban environment of Central and Eastern Europe. The aim is to discuss the prerequisites for, and forms of, collective action in cities in this social context.
Theme and rational
Why a focus on collective action in cities? Conflicts in the city are illustrative not only of Continue reading
Potentials of Performance
‘…So if we do not stay in the same place, it is not to be lamented. If we are on the move, then we are, in collective forms, tracking the sites of injustice and in-equality, and our trail becomes the new map of radical change’ (Judith Butler, “Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy,” 2012)
This is a personal invitation to contribute to a project that seeks to construct collective research on the potentialities of disparate civic spaces, occupancies, performances and direct actions. We write to you from Athens, Greece. During the last four years we have seen an escalation of civic mobilizations vying for a ‘right to the city’. These include the riots of 2008, the occupation of Syntagma Square, mass general strikes, occupations of universities and schools, emerging neighborhood assemblies and support networks, squats, alternative forms of exchange and values, everyday artistic and political practices of re-imagining, reclaiming and re-constituting public spaces. In November of last year a group of us occupied a closed down theatre belonging to the Greek state. We have managed to keep this occupation running despite Continue reading
Make_Shift: The Expanded Field of Critical Spatial Practice
Contemporary Cartographies. Drawing Thought
“Contemporary Cartographies. Drawing Thought” – CaixaForum Barcelona (July 25-October 28, 2012)
I find this to be a compelling image that speaks to the relationships between body, mind, and space. It forms part of an exhibition currently at CaixaForum in Barcelona. I have loosely translated from Spanish the following text found on CaixaForum’s website (http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/nuestroscentros/caixaforumbarcelona/cartografiascontemporaneas_es.html):
The exhibition presents maps generated by artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century who interrogate and question systems of representation. They are cartographies of physical and mental spaces that generate new meanings and new insights about different types of spaces (heterotopias, utopias, invisible or virtual). Thus, we become aware of the prevalence of the simulacrum of reality, of our difficulties to represent the contemporary world and notions of ideology and power implicit in the act of representing.
“Contemporary Cartographies. Drawing thought” shows how artists have subverted cartographic language, from the map of the world of the Surrealists to the cartographies of Art & Language of Artur Barrio. It also includes the transformation of cartography in life by the Situationists and the bodily cartographies of Carolee Schneemann, Yves Klein and Ana Mendieta. It addresses mind maps, from Lewis Carroll to Erik Beltran, the lived experience of On Kawara, the different concepts of space and also works that respond to the cartographies of power, like those of Marcel Broodthaers, Alighiero Boetti, Thomas Hirschhorn or Francis Alÿs.
The site also supplies very interesting links to different types of cartographies. http://helenatatay.net/docs/LINKS.pdf