"In the logic of emancipation, between the ignorant schoolmaster and the emancipated novice there is always a third thing - a book or some other piece of writing - alien to both and to which they can refer to verify in common what the pupil has seen, what she says about it and what she thinks of it. The same applies to performance. It is not the transmission of the artist's knowledge or inspiration to the spectator.  It is the third thing that is owned by no one, whose meaning is owned by no one, but which subsists between them, excluding any uniform transmission, any identity of cause and effect."
The Emancipated Spectator, Jacques Rancière, p.14-15

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the architecture of display, you, and some other aqua-species

Can a prison for exotic animals and rare species, be your getaway spectacle for 25$? There are rules, rituals, and considerations, but at the end of the day, you rule, and they adapt to you.

A human being enters the tank to start feeding the domesticated creatures. The human being touches the fish and rewards it; as if the last can feel? Are there feelings and emotions among these other species? You are not supposed to tap the glass and bother the fish but there is no such a sign when there is a jelly. Other labels imply your superior nature against "the brainless, boneless creatures" or indicate a "fair" exchange between your playing (with the torch light) and their (need for?) training (in the case of penguins). Sometimes they even protect you from animals' (unacceptably?) aggressive swimming, like in the case of the trapped sea lions.

A clear sacrifice of these animals for your knowledge, awareness, and entertainment. Claustrophobia for them, while circling eternally around the same spot, functions greatly for your phantasmagorical display.  Artificial color in the tank creates a new kind of "ecosystem," perfect as background for your photos or to nurture your imagination. You get the greatest performance in front of your eyes and children, the perfect documentation of your weekend activities.

In this spectacle, the director did not follow the latest theories of performance and engagement: there is a clear separation between the actor, and the audience. Or did the operator took engagement further, to convert the spectator as the ruler? And how about the animals rights? The aquarium is not there to remind how small, how insignificant you are in this universe; on the opposite, it highlights man's dominance on earth, it nurtures your ego, the "macho" in you.

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honk! festival

i ate the edible art


the mind of the body

“Cultivate the mind of the brain and the mind of the body. All design, like all music, comes from the body. Practice a (physical) discipline (martial art, dance, yoga, sculpture, tea arts, tracking, psychedelics, windsurfing, race car driving, etc.), and take it seriously as a form of knowledge.” 
--Sanford Kwinter, Hunch 6/7 

 (via Rania Ghosn)



Where is the Agora?

In his “Four arguments for the Elimination of Architecture (Long Live Architecture)” [i] Sanford Kwinter, (when seeking for architecture’s professional evolution) claims “in a modern economy the city is not just where we are but who we are.” [ii] A similar to this tautology (between city and people) can be also found in many writings for the Greek agora, like that of Homer, and Herodotus. In these writings agora, the city, and citizens are one thing.[iii]
The agora was indeed the place where people would come together or act collectively in ancient times.  Agora, with an etymology linked to aggregation / gathering, and a history of being the birth of democracy as well as the center of political, artistic, and commercial life of the city, acted indeed as a place for people to come together or where they would act collectively. Can this archetype be re-enacted or re-actualized to serve the public space of the new global city?
Unlike Pericles’s ancient time, nowadays people come together in web domains and social media, such as Facebook, twitter, and so on. Ubiquitous computing, surveillance, communication via digital technologies and gadgets, wireless infrastructures are new channels, that further increase connectivity among people who, as Joi Ito said, now care more for the commons. From one hand there are intangible global connections (new public), and from the other hand the physical world and the living people (new city and its citizens). In the search of (new) public space, the question is how to merge this division?
Digital or urban nomads move from place to place, tracing voluntarily their mobility through instant, but forever recorded, reports. These flows and potential new boundaries often redefine separations between public and private bubbles. Traditional itemized categorization is no longer valid: public space can be found at home (via the internet) and the private interrupts the public and the outdoors (via portable smart-phones). These (spatial) fluctuations among city, public space, and its people, request for new communication interfaces, new terrains for unpredictable activities where user becomes an active participant of the city. Can architecture provide these opportunities for responsive design, ephemeral interventions, and participatory events? Can these co-current events and collective experiences serve the commons, similarly to how agora was successful through its multiple functions?

[i] Sanford Kwinter, “Four arguments for the Elimination of Architecture (Long Live Architecture)”, in Bernard Tschumi and Irene Chang’s, The State of Architecture at the Beginning of the 21stCentury, The Monacelli Press, 2003, p.94-95

[ii] For Kwinter design can no longer be simply this ideal place of form-making. It has to be challenged and potentially shaped by these new social and historical demands…” In the same text he later demand: “[Architecture] must undergo an explosive and disfiguring transformation…otherwise, it can retreat to face the prospects of mediocrity, provincialism, event irrelevance…”
[iii] Chapter IV. The Agora in R.E.Wycjerley’s How the Greeks Built Cities.


DIY publishing

Proud for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) publishing of Maria Toloudi, as a response to times of crisis but also to the need-or-not of mediators.



participation as consumption?

...Hirschhorn frequently asserts that he is not interested in 'participation' or 'community art' or 'relational aesthetics' as labels for his work, preferring the label 'Presence and Production' to describe his approach to Public Space:
"I want to work out an alternative to this lazy, lousy 'democratic' and 'demagogic' term 'Participation.' I am not for 'Participating-art,' it's so stupid because every old painting makes you more Participating than today's 'Participating-art,' because first of all real participation is the participation of thinking. Participation is only another word for consumption!"

Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, p.264



The Architect's Techno-Pedagogy Toolkit

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