Barcelonan Okupas: Squatter Power! is the first book to combine close-readings of the representations of Spanish squatters known as okupas with the study of everyday life, built environment, and city planning in Barcelona. Stephen Vilaseca broadens the scope of Spanish cultural studies by integrating into it notions of embodied cognition and affect that respond to the city before and against the fixed relations of capitalism. Social transformation, as demonstrated by the okupas, is possible when city and art interrelate, not through capital or the urbanization of consciousness, but through bodily thought. The okupas reconfigure the way thoughts, words, images and bodily responses are linked by evoking and communicating the idea of free exchange and openness through art (poetry, music, performance art, the plastic arts, graffiti, urban art and cinema); and by acting out and rehearsing these ideas in the practice of squatting. The okupas challenge society to differentiate the images and representations instituted by state domination or capitalist exploitation from the subversive potential of imagination. The okupas unify theory and practice, word and body, in pursuit of a positive, social vision that might serve humanity and lead the way out of the current problems caused by capitalism.
UCS 003 Fraser on Antonio López García’s Everyday Urban Worlds: A Philosophy of Painting
UCS 001 Stephen Vilaseca on Street Art in Barcelona Valencia and Bilbao Spain (28 June 2013)
WallHunters: The Slumlord Project
[this post follows up on previous posts on artist Gaia posted on this blog]
The project will install 15 large street art pieces with posted info that reveals/publicizes the ownership of dilapidated vacant houses.
Using radical methods, our project will unite three forces to catalyze discussion of Baltimore’s vacancy problem and how to solve it:
- Wall Hunters Inc, a recently created, street artist run non profit organization
- Baltimore Slumlord Watch
- a film being made that gives voice to the ignored on the topic of vacancy and the power of street art.
In short, the project will bring together 15 artists from around the country, each of whom will install a large piece on a dilapidated vacant house. QR codes and text detailing the ownership information that is uncovered by Slumlord Watch will accompany the art. Voices of the people who live in these neglected areas of town, will be heard Continue reading
[I'm currently working on a book whose second chapter deals with this painting, specifically -- fascinating; read the article in its original context here; but I've pasted it below -- dated from 2008?]
Antonio Lopez Sets World Auction Record for a Living Spanish Artist at Christie’s
Antonio Lopez (b. 1936), Madrid desde Torres Blancas; signed and dated `A. Lopez Garcia, 1976-82′ (lower left), oil on board, 57.1/8 x 96.1/8in. (145 x 244cm.) Painted in 1976-82. Sold: $2,760,803. © Christie’s Images Limited.
LONDON.- An early highlight of this evening’s auction was Madrid desde Torres Blancas by Antonio Lopez (b. 1936) which sold for £1,385,250 / $2,760,803 / €1,744,030, becoming the most expensive work by a living Spanish artist sold at Continue reading
My undergraduate students are busy making iMovie video final projects for a non-traditional literary survey class and I figured I might give it a try (theirs are much better I assure you). I’ve done this as a 10-15-minute video version of the argument I make in a recent article. Maybe it is more like a research article trailer… Anyone else out there making video articles? [It helps that youtube (at least for my account) allows video uploads of up to 15 minutes.]
The article is:
Fraser, B. “A Biutiful City: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Filmic Critique of the ‘Barcelona model.’” Studies in Hispanic Cinemas 9.1 (2012): 19-34.
Read the abstract in its original context here at Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy (and below)
Watch the project here:
Walking in the (Electra)City: A Fevered and Frivolous Spectacle
“What is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way”
– Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever, 1995.
In 1984, Michel de Certeau, writing about the practices of everyday life, exposed us to a different way of thinking about our movements through (and our relationships with) the city as the center of cultural activity. While governments, institutions, and other structures of power designed the city according to particular strategies, for de Certeau it was the “tactical” movements of “passers by” that gave meaning to spaces and places of the city: that is, the walkers, wanderers, and window-shoppers created new paths through and new uses for the cityscape. They defined and redefined the city, and, in so doing, transformed (if not transcended) the strategic imposition.
Move forward nearly 30 years. The center of cultural activity now resides in the digital ether, the electra-city (here offered as a metonym for electrate culture); and it is ferried to you (rather than you to it) by tele-technologies, mediascapes, mobile devices, social networks, and so on. Given this shift, how might we need to rethink or even reconstitute de Certeau’s position in light of the 21st century? For not only are the ways we move through space itself notably altered (morphed by the cellular and computation prosthetics that aid in our daily activities), but the very notions of walking and city have also been Continue reading
the artist was inspired by Ebenezer Howard…
Originally posted on SANDSof:
‘slicetow, module 1′, 2010 by mathilde nivet
image © zoe guilbert
Words by Staff @ Designboom
Cite de l’Architecture & Heritage in Paris, France, has organized an exhibition at Le Palais de Chaillot, entitled ‘Paper Architecture’ featuring designs by Ingrid Siliakus, Beatrice Coron, Stephanie Beck, Mathilde Nivet and Peter Callesen. The collection of work looks at iconic buildings and the creation of imaginary cities made of the thin sheets. During the presentation children will learn the techniques used in the art of folding and etching to realize the models.
I just returned from delivering an invited lecture at the University of Kentucky, which I titled:
Clicking on the above link will take you to the prezi that accompanied the talk, which includes video and audio clips, although it leaves out the first 15-20 minute set-up which was devoted to the academic spat between C.P. Snow and F.R. Leavis in their 1959 and 1962 lectures (see an earlier post). The talk was a form of organized rambling at a general level about Lefebvre’s insights into cities, the timeliness of urban cultural studies, interdisciplinary issues in general, David Harvey, city rhythms, and so on, so a lot is left out of the prezi alone, but it may still be interesting to watch. Given that I was pitching the talk so broadly, I was thrilled that so many non-Hispanic Studies faculty/students were able to make it.
If you haven’t seen or used prezi before (higher functionality/privacy free for educators with an .edu email address) I can say that it may blow your mind as a presentation format (I was blown away when I first saw this used at a conference last year). After watching a prezi (many are ‘public’/freely available on the site to view) it becomes clear just how much power point presentations are linked to the cultural moment in which I grew up–which revolved around linear slideshows of non-digital photography (didn’t you hate it when that one slide got stuck in the projector?).
Special thanks to U Kentucky Professors Susan Larson and Aníbal Biglieri in particular, and also to many other faculty members from both the Department of Hispanic Studies there (and its fantastic graduate students) and beyond, for making it such a great experience!