[-empyre-] The city as an old skin - pusillanmity & the bloody matrix

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Sat Mar 24 14:49:33 EST 2012

Dear <<empyreans>>, Johannes, Nick,

How OCCUPY - like any occupation - seems to work is transversally to 
make space other, or take place, take place into the spatium - in which 
time matters. Further, it is a spatium burrowed out by the affective 
intensity of its project, whether war machine or ... always war machine, no?

It effects its transversal connections by allowing something to flow, 
bleed, from one body to another, from one place to another, ectopically 
- an ectopian project, then, not as Zizek might have been suggesting 
'utopian.' But coagulation occurs. Flows stick.

Kalle Lasn and Micah White were already preparing for the 
deterritorialisation - or clearing out - of OWS at Zuccotti Park when it 
was announced that billionaire Bloomberg and his police cleansing team 
were on their way in. They believed in carrying on the process of 
molecularisation. Guattari's molecular revolution being in process. And 
many occupiers also seemed to think it good for the movement. (here 

Johannes, I call it the network because it is not social and precedes 
the "social network" and the internet, but, as Aristide has adduced, 
makes use of these protocols: in this sense it is opportunistic. No 
sooner thought than done! (Retrofittingly, protocols might be thought 
but they are as soon realised - bearing a structural relation to that 
which they legislate for and permit: that is, as Leibnizian principles 
they are productive of that which they resemble.)

These are parts of an occupation machine: flow (of feeling); 
anatomisation or molecularisation to make flow; planing - or flattening 
the field to allow transversal or networked relations and flows; and to 
let what takes place take place and put it in movement or play.

This is why I asked about the city as the anatomy of the network. And 
far from wanting to defend OCCUPY or perplex I wanted to include affect 
- and indeed sentiment - in the genetic conditions of the Simulacrum, 
which, with the contribution of networking in its broadest sense as 
communication, facilitates the habitation of the city as a sensate 
spatium - as it is lived feelingly and concretised in the Sensorium.


Simon Taylor


On 24/03/12 11:56, Johannes Birringer wrote:
> 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)
> indeed.
> greetings
> Johannes Birringer
> dap-lab
> La frontera es lo único que compartimos    (old proverb from Chicano warriors and artists, quoted by Guillermo Gómez-Peñay otros)
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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