[-empyre-] "Urban resilience"

Antonas Office antonasoffice at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 06:42:32 EST 2012

Yes empyre is a nice living room, Ethel, we may continue here an older discussion.

@Ethel Baraona Pohl:
To me there is a strategic problem in the distinction between resistance and resilience that drives us back to the difference between the society of a recent past and the social landscape that is already organized after web 2. The difference  between resistance and resilience is related to the crucial difference between the epoch of deconstruction and the one of the multitude; the conceptual landscape described by Derrida as a field where hegemonic powers can grow (and therefore they be deconstructed) is different to the description of the field where no obvious hegemonic power can be detected. I believe that such a field is described by Virno and Negri when they write about the multitude. Within the fields of the multitude resistance is no more easily conceivable. If within deconstruction we were in front of an ethical task to sabotage the hegemonic, within the fields of multitude (that better describe the network phenomena that we examine) no such sabotage seems meaningful. If there is no obvious hegemonic power, no interesting resistance can take place. Resilience is still a possibility.

The appearance of an already deconstructed field, a non hegemonic, not hierarchically structured multiplicity of fragments, described by Negri, can propose different strategies of resistance. I believe that resilience fits to a theoretical background where resistance is no longer possible. It is not applicable if no power is obvious. Resistance is an old word that corresponds to naive powers: new powers can hide and cannot be resisted. But it seems that from a strategic point of view we need to reinvent resistance, to unveil anew the hidden hegemonic powers that lay under this appearance of the multitude.

If power is getting more and more sophisticated and invisible, if we do not understand what is at stake when there are decisions to be made: resistance will be the most difficult task. Resilience shows the changeable quality of a relation to a transformable background. It Stilton be an interesting weapon if we know what it attacks. But it does not need this knowledge in order to operate. It can be a poor strategy if it only follows the shifting center of a changing power.

If a power field seems already deconstructed, populated by multiple, and if invisible hegemonic powers operate in secret then Resistance becomes a difficult intellectual destination.

Aristide Antonas, Athens

Sent from antonas iPhone

On Mar 4, 2012, at 14:11, Ethel Baraona Pohl <ethel.baraona at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm really glad to fin some good friends on this discussion!
> @Aristide Antonas: I find quite interesting the difference you remark between "resilience" and "resistance" and the opposition between positive and negative connotations. But is not adaptability a kind of "passive resistance"? In case we understand "resilience" as “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks”, maybe we can find common links with the movements like the #15M in Spain, where resistance doesn't include any kind of implicit or physical violence.
> @Kamen I'm aware about your reservation of the proliferation of the term "resilience". Just as every concept that starts reaching its tipping-point, it is under the risk to becoming "trendy" and loose its real importance, as has happened before with terms like "sustainability" or "participation". But this fact only reinforces the interest to discuss here the importance of urban resilience going further and far away of becoming "the new black". I completely agree with you that the movements we're witnessing nowadays are truly networked phenomenon and maybe is in the uses of these new technologies that we can find the new basis of resilience.
> If we go back to the referenced text of François Roche and his idea that resilience lies in the recognition of nonlinear systems in nature as a potential for emergence, we can go on talking about this phenomenon (#15M, #occupyingwallstreet) as examples of
> swarm intelligence (or the organic relations mentioned by Ana) and emergence, in the way that DeLanda focus on the term "emergence": "the emergent properties of a whole can now be explained as an effect of the causal interactions between its component parts." According to this, the interactions between citizens [net]working together are creating a new resilient model in the urban context.
> What do you think?
> Ethel
> ---
> Ethel Baraona Pohl | dpr-barcelona
> twitter @ethel_baraona | about.me
> ethel.baraona at gmail.com
> (+34) 626 048 684
> Before you print think about the environment
> On Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM, Kamen Nedev <kamennedev at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hola, Ethel,
> I'd turn your question upside-down: "Is resilience the new resistance?"
> By now, you must have gathered I have some serious reservation about
> the proliferation of the term "resilience". But I think there is a
> good reason for this phenomenon. We're all struggling to grasp the
> real implications of current social movements and their acts of
> resistance. The many, and diverse "occupy" movements appear to be
> beyond the reach of the tools and concepts we have been handling
> hitherto.
> Thus, the attempts to relate the so-called "Arab Spring" to the
> Spanish "#15M" movement to the recent upheavals in London tend to fall
> short on the ground.
> In my opinion, what we are dealing with here is a truly networked
> phenomenon: these movements and spaces are first constructed online,
> and only then move on to the "bricks-and-mortar" urban space. But this
> doesn't mean that this phenomenon is new and unknown.
> @Ana Valdés: you should locate and talk to Olaf Westphalen from the
> Fine Arts Faculty in Stockholm. He has been researching the notion of
> resilience as applied to current social resistance movements quite a
> lot, and has some interesting ideas on the subject.
> Best,
> Kamen
> On Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 5:58 AM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Ethel and I am so happy you introduced yourself in such a flamboyant way
> > :)
> > I am not familiar with the Occupy Movement (the two cities I live between,
> > Stockholm and Montevideo, are very lawful cities :) nobody occupies :)
> > But I know a bit of the Arab Spring, I have been in the Middle East ten or
> > twelve times and I am familiar with Amman, Nablus, Ramallah and Jerusalem,
> > Damascus and Tel Aviv. Have friends who are living in Cairo as well.
> > My reflection is: the cities on the Middle East (Tel Aviv is the exception)
> > are among the oldest cities in the world, they have been populated for
> > several thousand years. The population have an organic relation to their
> > city, very similar to the cities in the European Middle Age Henri Pirenne
> > described.
> > In the centers of the cities people still cook, mend, repair, forge, all the
> > professions are there on the streets, in small shops, near the souks. It was
> > not necessary Twitter or any high technological skill to convocate the
> > people to Tahir Square. The same happens in Homs.
> > People swarm to the squares to yell their discontent and their rage.
> > And swarms are still non explained by any rational means, it's good, we need
> > some mysteries left :)
> >
> > Ana
> >
> > On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 8:56 PM, Ethel Baraona Pohl <ethel.baraona at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello everybody at empyre,
> >> I'm Ethel Baraona Pohl, architect, researcher and publisher living in
> >> Spain, where the current sociopolitical and economic situation is driving
> >> architects to focus again in concepts like "resilience", as Ana pointed two
> >> days ago when she introduced the topic of March. I want to go further and
> >> use a quote by François Roche to discuss the urban relationship between the
> >> terms "resilience" and "resistance":
> >>
> >>> "The stuttering between Resilience (recognition of vitalism as a force of
> >>> life and innovation) and Resistance ("Creating is resisting") will be the
> >>> goal . . . 1+1=?"
> >>
> >>
> >> Is resistance a new way of resilience? If we understand the city as the
> >> scenario for resistance, movements like the Arab Spring and Occupying Wall
> >> Street can be understood as the urban capacity to respond to perturbation.
> >> Going deeper, I want to discuss here which are the similarities and
> >> differences between this two concepts.
> >>
> >> Looking forward to hear your thoughts and comments!
> >> ---
> >> Ethel Baraona Pohl | dpr-barcelona
> >> twitter @ethel_baraona46 | about.me
> >>
> >> ethel.baraona at gmail.com
> >> (+34) 626 048 684
> >>
> >> Before you print think about the environment
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> > — Leonardo da Vinci
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