[-empyre-] The city as an old skin -- retrofitting

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Mar 24 09:56:00 EST 2012

dear all

thanks Simon for your very interesting and refreshingly perplexing response, 
reminding us, surely tongue in cheek, of bleeding-heart sentiment as a proper gift the Left have left
(and probably we have the better music collection?).....

not so sure I am, though, about your defense of OCCUPY and social networked-sentiments
and sentimental revotutions / twitter revolutions and global solidarities and unifications....., 
OCCUPY of course does not need a defense, even though I would like to hear more commentary
in regard to the architectural and urban politics under discussion..

and I do hope OWS was not an installation piece/durational performance (or an artistic homage to Tahrir),
although this is perhaps a fascinating idea, after all;

and retrofittingly speaking, i am now going
to think a bit on "occupy"  in the context of a new graffiti/tattooing gestural politics of withdrawal or tactical "retreatment" (the topic that was
suggested in the first week by Kamen Nedev) –  and some of the really thought-provoking proposals Teddy Cruz had
brought here ( and Aristide also suggested rethinking " conceptual frame of an occupation"). 

I have gone back to the opening of this discussion (collected in a file & sketchbook  that is growing), i feel it is so long ago, and yet only just happened. 
Teddy's long post on "re-thinking our practices" (March 16) did not receive much feedback, and yet I felt it was one of the strongest political interventions
here, with many direct action or practical propositions, and I wish i could hear more from you how they ate implemented, whether they are implemented;
how they are translated.

Having lived in Texas for quite a number of years, many of us there looked at the Taller de Arte Fronterizo/Border Arts Workshop (BAF/BAW) in Southern
California, and what you now argue, is less along the lines of "performance art" practices and earthworks (yes, "rethinking" Earthworks [Robert Smithson]
i was told, is considered timely now by www.alaudapublications.nl, and I am all for it), and more political and organizational groundwork?   as you write:

through my own interests in terms of my work at the Tijuana-San Diego border, I am realizing the need to take ‘detours’ from architecture in order to contact the domains that have remained peripheral to design itself, namely economy and policy. Only the knowledge of the protocols embedded in stupid urban policy and discriminating economic models can give ‘us’ the ammunition to present counter models.>>[TC}

I understand what you say about the need to take detours. Das betrifft uns alle. 

Is there still a connection from the older border arts workshop to these newer practices (and thus, has something like Gómez-Peña's "Pocha Nostra" workshop pedagogy drifted off into irrelevance?)?

Teddy propositions:
- We need to be the enablers of new models of political representation and participation (the site of intervention is education itself and the very notion of community: who represents who during this period of transformation)


Johannes Birringer

La frontera es lo único que compartimos    (old proverb from Chicano warriors and artists, quoted by Guillermo Gómez-Peñay otros)

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