T PU U R R E S MA Architectural History 2017 The Bartlett School of Architecture - University College London
BUILDING T PU U R R E S MA ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 2017 THE BARTLETT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
This book is published in conjuction with the symposium: Building Ruptures MA Architectural History Symposium 2017 27 October 2017 The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL ÂŠ 2017 The authors. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Published by The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB, United Kingdom http://bartlett.ac.uk/architecture Editing team Kirti Durelle, Will McMahon, Isabelle Morgan, Abhishek Senapati, Rachel Tyler, Lili Zarzycki Organising team Albert Brenchat-Aguilar, Ilyas Azouzi, Paola Camasso, Abhishek Senapati Design team Albert Brenchat-Aguilar, Mariza Daouti 2
Cohort, Tutors & Editorial
The Role of Multi-Sensory Experience in the City: Rethinking urban renewal discourse by examining sensory landscapes of Fortis Green, Muswell Hill and Green Lanes with the concepts of memory, diversity and behaviour Cennet Ascioglu
Worthy of the Mother Country: British pavilions on the eve of the Second World War Ilyas Azouzi
Vagabonds and Islands in the ‘Gardens in Movement’ of Gilles Clément: Looking for the Unexpected Albert Brenchat Aguilar
Terremoto in Palazzo: Contextualising forces in the architecture of the Vele of Scampia Paola Camasso
A Testimony of the Unhomely and Homely: A study of the representation and architectural language of domestic space in the Danish model of televisual Nordic noir and its influence on spectatorial identification as a narration device among domestic audiences Cecilie Juhl Capel
Land, Water, and Time: The administrative architecture of the Cambridgeshire Fens in the early 17th century Joe Crowdy
The Subversion of Power Hierarchies by the Spatialization of Radical Politics: The case of the Athenian city center under the Western gaze Mariza Daouti
Yong-Ding Road Railway Employees’ Residential Quarter 1950s-2010s: A microhistory of Chinese state-owned enterprises/Danwei welfare housing Ruijun Duan
Agency at the Threshold: Maronage, landscape and the formation of geographies in Bourbon-La Réunion (1663-1767) Kirti Durelle
Art, Architecture and the Modern Catholic Church: William Mitchell’s contributions to two British cathedrals, 1960-1973 Grace Etherington 3
Mimicry 2.0 in Contemporary Chinese Residential Built Environment: A study of the relationship between the Chinese building codes and their architectural manifestation Jane Huang
A Modern Vernacular: Material culture and social identity of the 196080s, Sino-Mauritian shop-houses in Port Louis. Lavina Lee
The Solitude at Fountains: Architecture as cenobitic practice Will McMahon
40,000 Years of Continuous Culture in Tasmania: A relational and agonistic exploration of the dialectic of voice and vision in the Museum of Old and New Art’s ‘reset’ vision for Macquarie Point Isabelle Morgan
The Knowledge of London Written Test and the Emergence of Equal Space Elita Nuraeny
Kvæsthusprojektet and the ideology of human centred architecture: on the urban regeneration of Copenhagen’s post-industrial inner harbour Andreas Overgaard
Turning the Red Lights Green: Following the spatial translation of politics in the urban environment through the remaking of Kalijodo Helen Pangestu
Baths and Barthes: The myth of hygiene Abhishek Senapati
An Architecture of Arabesk: The (re)making of İstanbul Manifaturacılar Çarşısı Pinar Senol
All the Colours of Gray: A palimpsestuous enquiry into Eileen Gray’s work as a modernity of colour Rachel Siobhan Tyler
architecture––punctuation Lili Zarzycki
Cohort Cennet Ascioglu Ilyas Azouzi Albert Brenchat Paola Camasso Cecilie Juhl Capel Natalie Carter Joseph Crowdy Mariza Daouti Ruijun Duan Kirti Durelle Grace Etherington Julia Hoffbrand Jane Huang Xavier Izquierdo Stephanie Johnson Lavina Lee Sofia Mattesini William Mcmahon Heather Moore Isabelle Morgan Elita Nuraeny Andreas Overgaard Helen Pangestu Abhishek Senapati Pinar Senol Rachel Tyler Lili Zarzycki
Tutors Iain Borden Ben Campkin Mario Carpo Edward Denison Polly Gould Peter Guillery Jonathan Hill Clare Melhuish Jacob Paskins Barbara Penner Peg Rawes Guanyu Ren Jane Rendell David Roberts Tania Sengupta Colin Thom Robin Wilson
Editorial This publication collates essays from the 2017 graduating cohort of the MA Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. It has been produced in conjunction with the Building Ruptures symposium, held on the 27 October 2017. The following works reinterpret the built environment; seeking not merely to build on existing architectural histories but rather to problematise narratives and to suggest alternative histories. In doing so, traditional linearities and positions are broken. The essays aim to build ruptures in architectural history by engaging with a variety of critical methodologies. The texts are united by a sense that the conventional delineations of architecture and history deny the influence of profusive other agencies and subjectivities, but must always include more than themselves. These essays are grounded in the politics of the local materiality of their sites and voices, acting to re-situate themselves towards a radical broadening of the field; encompassing borders and politicising relations. Building Ruptures captures both a desire to disrupt the presumptions surrounding the built environment, as well as to build ruptured histories that suggest different futures for engaging with buildings, places and people. They offer cogent and innovative understandings of architectural history, and reflect inquiring approaches to research. Through interrogating and permeating these material histories with our own irreducible subjectivities we aim to leave a rupture; jagged in acknowledgement that these histories are never complete, smooth or closed. We hope you enjoy the ruptures, both process and product, laid out in these pages. 5
Fig.1 Muswell Hill - 2017 / courtesy of the author
* sense, experience, memory, urban renovation Jeffrey Leeuwenberg, The Cypriots in Haringey, Research Report No.1 (London: The Polytechnic of North London, 1979), 7. 1
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 7. 2
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (Chichester: Wiley, 2005), 10-11. 3
The Role of Multi-Sensory Experience in the City: Rethinking urban renewal discourse by examining sensory landscapes of Fortis Green, Muswell Hill and Green Lanes with the concepts of memory, diversity and behaviour Cennet Ascioglu For this research, three neighbourhoods were examined in terms of their sensory potentials, to address the role of senses in the experience of the city by using photographic record as the main methodology. Fortis Green is a quiet residential area, while Muswell Hill is a busy commercial centre with many shops and restaurants. Green Lanes is also a commercial street with significant Turkish, Cypriot, and Kurdish populations.1 Despite having similar qualities in terms of architecture and being close to each other, these three districts produce very different sensory information. Many urban renewal projects around the world are erasing existing neighbourhoods, such as in Tarlabaşı in İstanbul, or the Heygate Estate in London. However, new designs do not always improve residents’ quality of life, and often fail. The causes of failure might have roots in the visual focus of design solutions, as people mostly care about external appearance rather than the inner workings of schemes as Jane Jacobs discusses.2 To explore the contributions of other sensory practices to the experience in the city, I explored the sensory potential of existing neighbourhoods by using my personal experience as a newcomer in London. Then, I attempted to understand how this knowledge might inform urban renewal projects to create desirable atmospheres that address the multiple senses. Many theorists and writers have criticised the dominance of the visual in architecture and encourage people to search for new ways to enhance the quality of architecture, by creating better environments that promote multi-sensory experiences. Juhani Pallasmaa, for instance, denounces the dominance of vision over other senses and the disappearance of sensory qualities in art and architecture. He believes that all sensory organs are extensions of the tactile sense.3 Through sensory information, people associate themselves with an environment and create emotional attachments to places. For example, Muswell Hill residents often express their unhappiness after the closure of a local pub, because it was a reminder of shared memories of the area. From the streets of Green Lanes, it can be seen that people personalise and customise their environment in ways they are comfortable with. Turkish shops spill out onto the streets, displaying fruit and vegetables and opening up avenues for sensory engagement, with smells of traditional 7
THE ROLE OF MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCE IN THE CITY
cuisines converting the street environment into one corresponding to the residents’ desires. The use of fences, greenery and other architectural elements in Fortis Green also denotes the residents’ transformation of their surroundings to protect their lifestyle and control their own environment. However, in Fortis Green these transformations create obstacles for outsiders and newcomers who try to adjust to the area, as I experienced whilst trying to socialise in the neighbourhood. On the other hand, Green Lanes has a much more welcoming attitude for human interaction. As Ozgun Eylul Iscen suggests, being a newcomer offers many possibilities in terms of sensory experience, considering a newcomer’s position between past and present.4 Without the impact of memories, people might recognise details which are new to their sensory repertoire. On the other hand, any sensory stimulation that they are not accustomed to might reinforce the unfamiliarity of a place and isolate a person from their environment.5 Hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and seeing are tools of the body and the mind to gather information of both tangible and intangible sensory encounters through bodily movement. To identify the surrounding area is an individual’s way to protect herself from the external factors and to adjust to the physical environment. There are many contributors that affect sensory information in an environment such as residents’ ethnic backgrounds, time, technology, architectural qualities, weather and individuals’ personal histories. For instance, the way that people display their groceries has changed in Muswell Hill, because of hygiene and health concerns, with people starting to wrap their fruit and vegetables with plastic bags, thus changing opportunities for sensory engagement. During her research, Iscen found that people consider ‘ideal’ soundscapes as places they enjoy.6 In general, people tend to spend time in places where there are attractions and other people to watch,7 like Muswell Hill Broadway. [Fig. 1] The purpose of multi-sensory experience is to create meaningful insights for people about their physical environment. Therefore, since our senses work collaboratively during the experience, processes of designing a new environment or improving old ones should pay attention to all senses and should promote socialising. In addition, the city should address a broad range of the population, due to the variety of requirements and preferences.
4 Ozgun Eylul Iscen, ‘In-Between Soundscapes of Vancouver: The Newcomer’s Acoustic Experience of a City with a Sensory Repertoire of Another Place,’ Organised Sound: An International Journal of Music and Technology, 19, No.2 (2014): 125. 5 Victoria Henshaw, Urban Smellscapes: Understanding and Designing City Smell Environments (New York: Routledge, 2014), 1.
Iscen, ‘Vancouver,’ 130. 6
7 William H. Whyte, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (New York: Project for Public Spaces, 1980), 88.
* modernism, exhibition architecture, character, nationalism Mark Crinson, Modern Architecture and the end of Empire (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 76. 1
David Dean, The Thirties; Recalling the English Architectural Scene (London: Trefoil Books, RIBA Drawing Series, 1983), 37. 2
William Whyte, ‘The Englishness of English Architecture: Modernism and the Making of a National International Style, 1927-1957’, Journal of the British Studies 48, No. 2 (2009): 444. 3
Hilde Heynen, ‘What belongs to architecture? Avantgarde ideas in the Modern Movement’ The Journal of Architecture 4, No.2 (2009): 132. 4
Worthy of the Mother Country: British pavilions on the eve of the Second World War Ilyas Azouzi
This study reflects upon the expressionist capacities of modernist architecture in the context of an international exhibition. 1930s pavilions served as laboratories to experiment with new approaches to appropriate and nationalise architecture inspired by modernist aesthetics. A focus on three pavilions erected by Britain in the run-up to the Second World War – one each at the 1937 Paris Exposition, the 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair – reveals that both the framework of ideological confrontations and Britain’s politico-diplomatic agenda have favoured modernism as a pragmatic choice. The three pavilions, erected by Oliver Hill, Herbert J. Rowes, and the firm of Easton and Robertson respectively, were planned with the principle that they would become famous images to be reproduced and diffused worldwide. From places to displays, to symbols to be displayed, the purpose was to be worthy to be a bold showcase of the nation and the Empire. In appearance, these buildings rejected the legacy of historical styles, and marked a caesura with the ‘heavy and simplified classicism’ traditionally employed by the country in these fairs.1 By commissioning these architects and these schemes, it was decided to use a new vocabulary to present the nation and its Empire to the eyes of the world. Lightweight structures, plain white façades, and window walls symbolised a turning point; the architecture embodied an engagement with modernity and seemed intended to evince the ‘spirit of the age.’2 The consensus during the 1930s held that modernism in Britain was problematic because it was perceived as a foreign language, an ‘unwelcomed style’ not compatible with British vernacular and architectural norms.3 However, it is necessary to analyse these pavilions considering the parameters and the issues associated with these exhibitions. There, architectural modernism served a different agenda. It was chosen for its material and functional purpose, the possibilities of expression it endorsed, as much as for the democratic message with which it was associated. While the emergent totalitarian states defined their identity through historicist and monumental forms, democratic nations found in modernism a way to break the limits imposed upon tradition. It allowed them to counteract the pomposity of the authoritarian regimes, and, as expressed by Siegfried Giedion, to carry a message of emancipation and liberation.4 It was visual 9
WORTHY OF THE MOTHER COUNTRY
propaganda intended to advocate ideas of freedom. These pavilions represented three different attempts to create a reflection of the country (its government, Empire, Monarchy, industries, craftsmanship, and traditions) and to design a British modern style. Analysing them reveals that they were not planned following a common agenda, but according to the issues imposed by three distinct political and diplomatic contexts. Oliver Hill’s pavilion at Paris was an attempt to revive and modernise the tradition of British craftsmanship, especially the Arts and Crafts movement. Because critics judged it unable to compete with the overwhelming scenography of the German and Soviet pavilions, the subsequent examples would stress dignity and grandiose effect. However, its renunciation of identifiable British icons showed how the qualities of architecture were sufficient to express national ideals. The Government pavilion by Herbert J. Rowes at the Glasgow Empire Exhibition emphasised the exhibition’s purpose to give a modern image of the Empire. It illustrated perfectly how architecture broke with historicist traditions of style, but did not renounce ornaments and magnificence to glorify the nation, celebrate its power, and natural resources; a ‘powerful, yet sleekly stylised object.’5 The New York British pavilion by Easton and Robertson was a diplomatic accomplishment. The rhetoric created by the architecture was devoted to celebrating the Monarchy and the Magna Carta, presented as the symbol of freedom. It was an object of political and cultural propaganda to ensure the support of the USA if war broke out. To do so, the pavilion adopted a theatricality embodying the qualities of national character, which from the end of the 18th century had embraced some of the main aesthetic concerns in British architectural design, such as picturesque scenography, dignity, and simplicity. In this sense, it showed the possibilities brought by modernism in expressing national values in the context of an international exhibition. The aim of this dissertation was to define how these pavilions’ design contributed to the development of Britain’s exhibition architecture abroad, and how they have paved the way for the next generation of architects through their search for expressive qualities in modernist architecture. The purpose of these pavilions should be understood as an attempt to express the values championed by Britain in these exhibitions: namely democracy, freedom, and simplicity. In doing so, these buildings succeeded in establishing a British pedigree of modern architecture, which expressed tradition and national character, while also formulating a new design language. This contributed to the creation of an alternative version of modernism.
Crinson, Modern Architecture, 95.
* nature-culture, semiotic rectangle, representation, frontier, human agency, plant agency, productivity ‘L’aspect du jardin varie extrêmement d’une année sur l’autre et quelquefois au cours de la même année. Il y a deux périodes d’intervention. En avril-mai commence le dessin des îles — le déplacement naturel des espèces forme des sortes d’îles’: Gilles Clément, ‘Jardins en Mouvement, Friches Urbaines et Mécanismes de la Vie.’ Journal d’Agriculture Traditionnelle et de Botanique Appliquée 39, no. 2 (1997): 162 1
Note that this feature is specifically reminiscent of English picturesque compositions. For example, Philip Miller goes into great detail of the gradation of plants from small to large, as they move away from the path, in order to hide their stems and create the feeling of a more profuse nature: Philip Miller, The Gardeners’ Dictionary (London: Printed for the author and sold by Charles Rivington, 1735), 515. 2
Louis Marin, Utopics: the Semiological Play of Textual Spaces (New York: Humanity Books, 1990), 239. 3
My own translation. Garden and ‘friche’ are defined in the French dictionary Larousse in terms of production. ‘Garden’ (jardin) is a ‘Terrain, souvent clos, où l’on cultive 4
Vagabonds and Islands in the ‘Gardens in Movement’ of Gilles Clément: Looking for the Unexpected Albert Brenchat-Aguilar
Gilles Clément’s ‘Gardens in Movement’ have been considered a theoretical and practical approach to reveal unexpected spatial configurations. This article questions this position through certain formal aspects of Clément’s gardens that reproduce existing – and expected – landscape practices. This article is part of a broader research that pinpoints, spatially and temporally, unexpected qualities of Clément’s gardens in La Vallée (Creuse, France) and the Parc André Citroën (Paris) – in their 40th and 25th anniversary correspondingly – to find the source and the value of ‘the unexpected’ in spatial configurations. In the different Gardens in Movement, there are formal configurations that Gilles Clément names Islands.1 They are temporary, compact masses of vagabonds – plants that die once they have reseeded, changing their position every one or two years (rarely more). Islands are surrounded by trimmed or trampled grass, with plants increasing in size towards their core [Fig. 1-2].2 Islands’ spontaneity promotes richer biodiversity than any managed flowerbed. The stark contrast between grass and Islands shapes a significative border. It suggests the aim to be isolated, to have frontiers. Also, plant Islands in themselves are frontiers between nature and culture, in which each agency – of culture and nature – is expected to behave in a certain way, respecting the form of the Island as a totalitarian condition. Fig. 3 presents a semiotic rectangle that attempts to deconstruct the semiotic values that Clement’s Islands construct. Culture and nature are conceived of here in terms of production: ‘garden’ refers to productivity, and ‘friche’ refers to the absence of productive labour. The top of the rectangle draws the speculation that any resolution to the conflict between the oppositional terms garden-friche must be a myth: ‘a narrative that resolves formally a fundamental social contradiction.’3 The aim of this rectangle is to find in society a complex term that already embodies the opposition garden-friche. In this hypothesis, Clément’s Islands at the bottom would neutralize the myth (or complex term) at the top, that is, Islands would deny the opposition but reproduce it nevertheless. The term ‘Islands’ lies between the terms ‘not-garden’ and ‘not-friche.’ A ‘garden’ (jardin) is a ‘terrain, usually enclosed, where one cultivates vegetables, flowers, trees, fruit and ornamental shrubs, or a mix of these;’ where cultivation is ‘the work of the land to make it productive.’4 11
VAGABONDS AND ISLANDS IN THE ‘GARDENS IN MOVEMENT’ OF GILLES CLÉMENT
Fig. 1 IslandofGiantHogweedin LaVallée, Creuse, 2017 / courtesy of the author
VAGABONDS AND ISLANDS IN THE ‘GARDENS IN MOVEMENT’ OF GILLES CLÉMENT
(top) Fig. 2 An Island at the Garden in Movement in Parc André Citroën, Paris, 2017, (middle) Fig. 3 Semiotic rectangle. 2017 (bottom) Fig. 4 Greenhousesin ParcAndréCitroën, Paris, 2008 / all courtesy of the author
des légumes, des fleurs, des arbres et arbustes fruitiers et d’ornement ou un mélange de ces plantes;’ ‘cultivation’ is to ‘Travailler la terre pour la faire produire’ (Larousse); and ‘friche’ is a ‘Terrain dépourvu de culture et abandonné’ (Larousse). According to Oxford English Dictionary, ‘productive’ means ‘Having the quality of producing something, typically through effort or work; that produces, esp. some significant amount or result; creative, generative’ (OED). According to Larousse, ‘productif’ means ‘Qui rapporte de l’argent, qui est rentable’ (Larousse). 5
see note 4.
My own translation. This situation was referred specifically to Le Champ, a plot of land in which Clément mows the garden once a year in September, and paths are not clearly defined: ‘cuando se sale de los senderos puede caminar sin destruir las plantas… si no te comportas como un destructor, No?’ Brenchat, Albert, and Gilles Clément. Interview to Gilles Clément in La Vallée. 2017. 7
‘Je préfère, pour un jardin public, des îles assez compactes où les gens n’entrent pas. Car la peur à l’égard du végétal est un sentiment général, encore aujourd’hui’ Gilles Clément, ‘Jardins en Mouvement, Friches Urbaines et Mécanismes de la Vie.’ Journal d’Agriculture Traditionnelle et de Botanique Appliquée 39, no. 2 (1997), 162. 8
My own translation. See note 8. 9
The problematics in the terminology of wilderness and the wild is broadly discussed between thinkers such as Robinson (1870) and Stevenson (1985). The discussions on the wild affect Clément because while Robinson believes that the wild garden is mostly populated by durable plants, Stevenson believes that the wild garden is composed by those plants that grow without any help (see Dagenais for further explanation): Danielle Dagenais, ‘The garden of Movement: Ecological Rhetoric in Support of Gardening Practice.’ Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 24, no. 4 (2004): 313–340. 10
Vagabonds do not fall in the categories mentioned or need any work to thrive: they are usually considered weeds for their spontaneous and vigorous growth. Neither are they economically valuable.5 Islands deny productivity as we understand it nowadays. Meanwhile, a ‘friche’ is an ‘abandoned land that lacks culture.’6 However, the plant Islands are solely abandoned in their core. The careful construction of their borders and the consequent isolation protect them from passers-by (human and animal). The normal ‘unproductivity’ of the ‘friche’ is contested because the gardener protects it, a sort of production of unproductivity, or ‘not-unproductivity.’ The horizontal axis of the rectangle shows two transformative forces that respond to the traditional opposition nature-culture. Islands respond both to plants’ movements – or nature’s agency – and to the gardener’s desires – or culture’s agency. Through the forces presented above, Islands affirm plant’s agency (nature) by enhancing, through isolation (culture), nature’s own development (nature). Simultaneously, Islands affirm the cultivation (culture) of nature’s spontaneous species (nature) through the gardener’s desire (culture). This entanglement of agencies reveals Islands as not one or the other, but a synthesis of multiple forces. By promoting dense Islands, Clément excludes other types of plant movement. For example, foxgloves and other vagabonds often appear in individual configurations if left on their own. What kind of practice is represented in Clément’s Islands? After walking with Clément in a part of his garden in which Islands are sparse and paths are scarce, he acknowledged that one of the reasons to promote dense Islands in parks is a certain mistrust towards its users’ behaviour: ‘When one gets out of the path one can walk without destroying the plants… unless you behave as a destructor, right?’7 Clément recommends Islands for public gardens because they discourage people from entering them.8 In this approach there is a certain acknowledgement that plants and humans do not understand each other. For Clément, ‘the fear with regard to the plant is a general feeling, even today.’9 Islands epitomize a relationship of mutual fear between humans and plants, or culture-nature, already present in society. The green (nature) houses (culture) that populate the part of the Parc André Citroën not designed by Clément embody this complex term [Fig. 4]. Greenhouses protect and isolate exotic plants but, in general, prevent public contact. They show human fascination and fear towards some of nature’s most unknown and powerful species – whether vagabonds, weeds, or exotic plants. Greenhouses are thus a sort of culturally managed nature and at the same time contain the wilderness which exotic plants represent.10 Islands are certainly not unexpected spatial configurations. Where then, is ‘the unexpected’ in the Gardens in Movement? 15
The Vele, Scampia, Naples - 2017/ courtesy of the author
* Vele, Scampia, historiography, forces, base/superstructure, neo-marxism Joseph Beuys’ solo art show ‘Terremoto in Palazzo’ was presented at Lucio Amelio’s gallery in Naples on 17 April 1981, 5 months after the Irpinia earthquake. It developed from the artist’s two-week stay in Irpinia, an experience which connected artistic imagination with telluric violent evidence. The experience developed into installations, drawings, performances which all extended the Beuysian idea of human creativity as the ultimate forceful repository for a process of transsubstantiation from nature. Michele Bonuomo, ‘Joseph Beuys’, in Michele Bonuomo (ed.), Terrae Motus, (Naples: Guida, 1987) 66. 1
Raymond Williams, ‘Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory’, Raymond Williams, New Left Review, Vol.0, (November 1973). 5-6. 2
The idea of forces that this extract presents finds its origin in Marxist theory, which would be later expanded through Neo-Marxism. Interestingly, there is not a precise ground or definition of this category. ‘Unless we are mistaken, neither Marx nor Engels ever formulated a precise definition of ‘productive forces.’ This is undoubtedly not an accident. Since they were [...] not metaphysicists, they were more concerned with the relation between things, and their transformation, than with their inclusion in a static and fixed formula which would inevitably reduce one’s comprehension of them.’ Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line, ‘Productive Forces’. edited by Malcolm Saba and Paul Saba, In Struggle! No. 226, (November 11, 1980). Encyclopedia 3
Terremoto in Palazzo: Contextualising forces in the architecture of the Vele of Scampia Paola Camasso Terremoto in Palazzo (Earthquake in the Building) exalts, in its own spatiality, the materialist conception of the architectural historiographic making of the Sails of Scampia, a modernist social housing project in the northern part of Naples conceived by the architect Franz Di Salvo during the 1960s–1970s. This involves the recognition of a complex interplay of structural forces contributing to the disruptive production of its architecture. In order to analyse the knotted, material construction of these buildings, I am intentionally taking the title from Joseph Beuys’ 1981 ‘Terremoto in Palazzo’1 Naples exhibition, which responded to a particular period of time in Naples when the building itself became disrupted. Terremoto in Palazzo describes the historical-philosophical condition of the Vele, a social housing disruptively conceived during its planning and construction, which was radically complicated by the temporal forces of the 1980 Irpinia earthquake and the ensuing social unrest. By transposing the title from the Beuysian event to the Vele, the reader is engaged in a poetics of metaphor. The Vele have become their own earthquake. An architecture almost made of quakes, never secure, established as perpetual in-becomingness in its own disrupted structuralisation, ‘containing fundamental contradictions and variations, and, therefore, always in a state of dynamic process’.2 The ongoing state of disruption formalises an incomplete historiography of the Sails, constituted by different material and located forces, subversive to the dominant, empowered history-making of architecture. From its planning and construction, through the earthquake and its radical occupation, the Vele can be reformulated as a complex process of forces, rather than a smooth, discrete and pure architecture. Joseph Beuys, through his political Neapolitan artistic experience, in response to the same earthquake force that produced the Vele, addressed the need to analyse disruptive forces (in their political, material, and aesthetic aspects) within the creation of material architectures. His artistic, situated production gives clear architectural insight into how the Vele emerged through and as part of the intra-relation of forces and matters. How can we talk about forces in the architectural history of the Vele? The notion of forces exposed here encompasses a great diversity of material and intellectual factors, including labour skills, techniques, tools, bodies, and elements of nature, and how they disruptively relate together towards the definition of the architecture of the Sails.3 Troubled forces take on productive capacities through their disruptive temporalities. In their rupturing nature, forces are described through neo17
TERREMOTO IN PALAZZO
The Vele, Scampia - Naples, 2017 / courtesy of the author
TERREMOTO IN PALAZZO
Marxist vocabularies, specifically through the returns to the Marxist base/ superstructure model by Antonio Labriola, Antonio Gramsci and Raymond Williams.4 By using a formal architectural metaphor, Karl Marx originally defined ‘human society’5 as composed of base and superstructure. The base consists of forces and relations of production, while the superstructure comprises the social, political, and intellectual life. Neo-Marxism radically overthrew the narrow dualism of the original base/superstructure theory: the underlying structure of temporality which Marx conceived to be naturally related by economic and class determinism comes to be opened up, made subject to spacing, thus exposing new sets of forces organically and dynamically creating history. The rhythm of history began to be shaped by ‘agitated and immense complexus’6 of forces as cultural expressions and energized mannature interpenetrations. Labriola developed a specific materialist analysis of the productive forces, within a dialectical inversion of the base/superstructure, which is radically conceived as conflictual and processual. According to the author, the base/superstructure should follow an organic constitution, instead of a crude dichotomous process. This theory was not to be understood primarily through economy: in Labriola’s opinion, Marxism is not merely interested in the contradictions of capitalism through an economic analysis, but instead it looks to sets of elements organically and dynamically creating history. The environment, the earth, the instruments, the circumstantiality of experience would be active forces in shaping architectural superstructures. Furthermore, Antonio Gramsci, whose theoretical corpus expanded on Labriola’s philosophy, reworked the base/superstructure through troubled relationalities and unpredicted moments. The Gramscian base started to accommodate a new, relational formulation of forces through ‘human actions,’ as the result of a particular interaction between objective circumstances and the creative spirit of man.7 Human activity is connected indissolubly to a specific organised and historicised matter, forging active intrarelationships between human and nonhuman through work and technique.8 Human activity is the compound of nature catalysed by man, through specific historical and geographical combinations. Raymond Williams continued the analysis of the Gramscian forces, by placing art, a specific activity of men shaped by real relationships, as one of the forces of production. Cultural activities, through their symbolic struggles, are ‘constitutive forces, shapers of history and not reflections of a material base.’9 The Vele, as a produced environment, is materially pregnant with new possibilities of understanding relational production beyond traditional dimensions (economic, financial, ownership), in that its historiography is radically carved by knotted heterogeneous forces and potentialities of troubling and worlding their relationship.
of Anti-Revisionism On-Line. https://www. marxists.org/history/ erol/ca.secondwave/isproductive-forces.htm#fw05 (Accessed August 20, 2017.) All the roads of Scampia are named after leftist, Marxist and neo-Marxist Italian figures. Not surprisingly the Sails are placed alongside Antonio Labriola Road. Neo-Marxist philosophers are therefore material structures alongside the Vele, rather than just disciplinary agents. 4
Human societies and their development over time signify Marx’s conception of history, namely historical materialism. Gerald Allan Cohen. Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), 27. 5
Antonio Labriola, Essays on the Materialistic Conception of History, translated by Charles H. Kerr, (Monthly Review Press, New York, 1966), 102.
Joseph V. Femia, Gramsci’s Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987), 60; Walter L. Adamson, ‘Marxism and Historical Thought’, in Lloyd Kramer and Sarah Maza (eds.), A Companion to Western Historical Thought (Oxford: Blackwell Publication, 2002), 216. 7
When Gramsci refers to human activity or praxis, he does not reinstate a dualism between human and nonhuman, on the contrary what is established is a process of coevolution. Moreover, Gramsci eluded ideology by positioning mannature ontological making as concrete historical act, that is to say within the production of history. Alex Loftus ‘Gramsci, Nature, and the Philosophy of Praxis’, in Michael Ekers, Gillian Hart, Stefan Kipfer and Alex Loftus(eds), Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 184. 8
Donald S. Moore, ‘Marxism, Culture, and Political Ecology: Environmental struggles in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands’ in Richard Peet and Michael Watts (eds), Liberation Ecologies: Environment, development, social movements, (London: Routledge, 1996), 127-128. 9
* Nordic noir; Scandinavian Cinema; Television Studies; Atmosphere Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992), 17-44. 1
Jacob Ion Wille and Anne Marit Waade, ‘Production Design and Location in the Danish Television Drama Series The Legacy,’ Kosmorama 263 (2016). http:// www.kosmorama. org/ServiceMenu/05English/Articles/ The-Legacy.aspx [Accessed 2 July 2017] 2
Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny, 17-44. 3
Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny, 21-23. 4
Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny, 217-225. 5
A Testimony of the Unhomely and Homely: A study of the representation and architectural language of domestic space in the Danish model of televisual Nordic noir and its influence on spectatorial identification as a narration device among domestic audiences Cecilie Juhl Capel
The discourse surrounding the Danish home has become popular in the international media in recent years. The cultural phenomenon hygge, native to Denmark and embedded in Danish identity, is in the spotlight. In contrast, many of the domestic spaces that we find in the Danish model of televisual Nordic noir appear uninviting, claustrophobic, and depressing. They are created using cinematic devices such as close-ups, lighting with emphasis on shadows and fragmented framing, and apparently lack hygge, which feeds into Anthony Vidler’s concept of the uncanny and its distinctive connection with modern architecture.1 Naturally, we also have to remember that many of these spaces are homes to people either involved with or victims of a crime, or spaces of domestic instability – in the case of Arvingerne and Borgen, in which we see joyous, happy spaces transform into unhomely ones through changed family patterns as a result of divorce. This is why I do not see Nordic noir as representing an idealised version of Danish lifestyle, given these societal critiques. I am not denying that the homes in Nordic noir are presented as unhomely. We see multiple examples of the uncanny, specifically with regards to Sarah Lund in Forbrydelsen and how she, time after time, manages to come home to a dark, unsettling apartment with cut wires, or how, as Jacob Ion Wille and Anne Marit Waade highlight, the ghost of artist Veronika Grønnegård haunts the present-day Grønnegården in Arvingerne through her omniscient presence in the physical artworks placed around the home.2 However, I find these two examples to be more in the traditional sublime of the unhomely, as Vidler stresses,3 and also within Freud’s conception of the aesthetic uncanny, which is rooted in connotations of ‘all that is terrible.’4 The unhomely occurs most prominently through the ambience created as a result of association with characters, which, compared to something like hygge, reveals it as an atmospheric dimension, and not necessarily a material one, as Vidler argues with modern architecture.5 Many of the material features that Vidler suggests are uncanny, such as transparency of building materials and the flow of air and light, are simply representative 21
THE TESTIMONY OF THE UNHOMELY AND HOMELY
of traditional Danish practices, as stressed by Nils-Ole Lund,6 and thus to a Danish audience these elements will not appear ostensibly uncanny. However, when approached by a foreign audience, these practices might seem unhomely. Rochelle Wright discusses this subject in relation to the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, which was popular among domestic and international audiences.7 As the film is set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in the 1980s, domestic audiences recognise and understand the setting as completely ordinary, feeding into the social realist tone that dominates the film.8 However, according to Wright non-Swedish spectators (and English-language audiences in particular) respond to the setting differently, categorising it as somewhat exotic, out-of-the-ordinary, and unhomely - even attributing a set of secondary qualities to the architecture that conflicts with the perception of the social realist narrative and aesthetic, that Wright associates with Swedish spectatorship.9 Wright therefore shows how misconception of the architectural language confuses spectatorial identification, as some of it is not applicable to broader, non-domestic audiences. In addition, we see how the social realist tone of Let the Right One In and Nordic noir adds another layer to the domestic observation of the settings. Wright argues that the realistically portrayed suburban setting in Let the Right One In ‘makes the paranormal segments of the narrative easier for the viewers to take on face value,’10 thus concomitantly making the gruesome crimes, dysfunctional family relations, and political and social tensions – which are among the most common themes in Nordic noir TV series – relatable to the Danish audience through spectatorial identification with the settings. This tendency is also dominant in Nordic noir as many recognisable settings are presented to the spectator. Humleby, an historic working class neighbourhood in Copenhagen, becomes the crime scene of Nanna Birk-Larsen’s murder in Forbrydelsen I. While non-Danish audiences may perceive the setting as disturbing, when taken in through the miseen-scène and cinematographic representation that relies on low and high angle framing as a way of creating a distressing atmosphere, or its suspected desolateness – inferred visually as well as through the dialogue – it still remains a recognisable national and historical symbol of better living conditions for the working class in Denmark as Olaf Lind writes11 and is, disconcertingly, right in the centre of Copenhagen.
6 Nils-Ole Lund, Nordic Architecture, (Copenhagen: The Danish Architectural Press, 2008), 61.
Rochelle Wright, ‘Vampire in the Stockholm Suburbs: Let the Right One In and Genry Hybridity’ Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 1, no. 1 (2010): 56. 7
8 Wright, ‘Vampire’, 58. 9 Wright, ‘Vampire’, 64-65. 10 Wright, ‘Vampire’, 59. 11 Olaf Lind, ‘En Boligform Skabes’ in Bag Hækken, edited by Olaf Lind and Jonas Møller, (Copenhagen: Arkitektens Forlag, 1996), 43.
* Fen drainage, temporality, labour, administrative landscapes, environmental politics Sir Cornelius Vermuyden, A discourse touching the drayning of the great fennes, lying within the severall counties of Lincolne, Northampton, Huntington, Norfolke, Suffolke, Cambridge, and the isle of Ely, as it was presented to his Majestie (London: Thomas Fawcet, 1642). 1
H.G. Richardson, ‘The Early History of Commissions of Sewers,’ The English Historical Review, Vol. 34, No. 135 (July 1919), 385-393. 2
Warrant from the Commissioners at Ely to the constables of Swaffham Prior, 1639, Cambridge University Library, University Registry guard books, CUR 3.1, item 17. 3
Certification of scouring of ditches running into the Cam, 1633, Cambridge University Library, University Registry guard books, CUR 3.1 item 49 . 4
Land, Water, and Time: The administrative architecture of the Cambridgeshire Fens in the early 17th century Joe Crowdy At the beginning of the 17th century, the landscape of the Cambridgeshire Fens had been under construction for several centuries. According to international investors – keen to speculate on the improvable value of the Fens – this landscape had been ‘abandoned to the will of the Waters,’ and consequently lay ‘wast and unprofitable.’1 But this image of an untended wilderness bore little relation to local reality. The spatial arrangement and social programme of this patchwork of reedbeds, summer grazing meadows, and eel-filled meres was in fact carefully engineered to provide a rich variety of resources, through a long-standing network of administrative technologies and customary practices. This productive environment was designed and constructed, I argue, through particular temporal regimes of administration, governing the effective function of waterways and distributing rights and privileges on farmland. Water: the temporality of commissions of sewers Systematic water management was vital to the maintenance of an inhabitable fen landscape. Flood-prevention protected agricultural land and homes, and the Fenland economy depended on the predictable flow of waterways, for transporting people and goods. The fluctuation of river currents demanded a responsive temporality of administration, that could gather information on the state of channels, take decisions, and physically enact these decisions. Since the 13th century, this process had been the responsibility of local commissions of sewers.2 Through a legal mechanism of court sessions and neighbourhood juries, the commissions directed the labour of local inhabitants to maintain drainage infrastructure, by ‘cleansing & scouring’ channels, and repairing riverbanks.3 Certificates of works detail rhythms of shovelling and dredging, and the hours spent removing willow branches and ‘other annoyances… fallen into the water...’4 Overall, the success of commissions depended on the imbrication of their operational rhythms with other regulatory temporalities of the landscape, through a punitive regime of deadlines, and by exploiting a network of local officials. Court and view - rhythms of decision making The temporality of the commissions was constituted through the correspondence and conflict between its two main subsidiary rhythms, pertaining to its internal decisionmaking processes, and the external activities it directed. The former rhythm initially appears a lifeless and bureaucratic realm of minutes and reports. A close reading of the paperwork produced by commissions, however, reveals a distinctly performative and spatially situated pattern of operation. The 23
LAND, WATER, AND TIME
Drainage channels at Sedge Fen, Soham, Cambridgeshire - August 2017 / courtesy of the author
LAND, WATER, AND TIME
Ditch near Soham Mere, Cambridgeshire - August 2017 / courtesy of the author
Record of proceedings at Sessions of Sewers from October 1639 to July 1640, Cambridge University Library, University Registry guard books, CUR 3.3, item 154. 5
Sessions of Sewers, October 1639 to July 1640. 6
Sessions of Sewers, October 1639 to July 1640. 7
Presentment of wrongs done to the King’s Mill and Bishop’s Mill, 1634, Cambridge University Library, University Registry guard books, CUR 3.1 item 30. 8
Presentment of wrongs done to the King’s Mill and Bishop’s Mill, 1634. 9
Presentment of wrongs done to the King’s Mill and Bishop’s Mill, 1634. 10
Presentment of wrongs done to the King’s Mill and Bishop’s Mill, 1634. 11
records of a series of sessions held at Cambridge’s Guildhall demonstrate the regulation of embodied attendance as the dominant rhythm of court business.5 Local constables and community representatives were summoned to court to give testimony or hear orders, under pain of exponentially increasing financial penalties. Absent from the documentation of attendance and assembly are the journeys to court required to avoid a fine of contempt, or the everyday rhythms which attendance must have interrupted, present only in the inscriptions of absentees: those for whom a fine was perhaps a lesser hardship than a break in their routine. Whilst its decision-making practice was confined to the courtroom, the commission extended its power out over the landscape, into the fields, fens, and lives of its inhabitants, through this regime of deadlines. Breaking court time Over the course of six months, these sessions record only two occasions when missed appointments were not penalised. In one case, a juror was ‘subpoened up’ to attend a higher court in London.6 In the second, the obligatory work of scouring ditches for every inhabitant of Thriplow was excused only because ‘the small pox is so rageing in that towne they have no persons to performe the workes.’7 These allowances for non-compliance demonstrate the limits of the power of commission time – the biological or legal forces that surpass the court’s normal rule over the lived rhythms of its subjects. Records of wrongdoings expose specific ruptures to commission time. Several orders prescribed the duties of millers from three watermills in Cambridge, directing their harmonious use of the river’s energy and protecting adjacent meadows from inundation, through ‘law stakes’ (measuring water height), and a ‘mill horn’.8 The mill horn regulated the operational rhythm of the three mills, in order to share the flow of a single watercourse. Since at least 1570, Newnham Mill was forbidden from operating before the horn at the King’s Mill had been blown, and was obliged to halt work on a later sounding of the same horn. The mill horn’s authority was seriously undermined in 1634 by miller William Loe. In June that year, Loe and five other men had been found illicitly drawing water away from the other mills. In July and August, Loe set Newnham Mill to work when the other two mills ‘did stand for water and had bloen the horne before.’9 Worse, Loe was later caught by rival millers, ‘in the night goen with one mill after the horne hath been blone and againe before the horne.’10 This accusation links the rhythm of horn blowing not only to the requirements of the other mills, but to the regular cycle of the day – the horn apparently signalling a night-time curfew. In the most flagrant disregard for the rhythm enforced by the commission, Loe installed his own, entirely independent temporal regime of horn blowing and mill ‘going’: ‘Loe... hath two boyes and they have a horne, which they bloe at their pleasure at all seasons both night & daie, and although it be not halfe a pond, upon the bloeing of their horne, they will sett their mills on worke, contrarie to the order concerning the bloeing of the horne.’11 27
Plan of Athens with indication of the area of study / courtesy of the author
* radical politics, mourning, anti-austerity protests, Greek crisis, neoclassicism, urban ordering Wolfgang Rüdig and Georgios Karyotis, ‘Who Protests In Greece? Mass Opposition To Austerity’, British Journal Of Political Science 44, no. 03 (2013): 487513. Marilena Simiti, ‘Rage And Protest,’ Contention 3, no. 2 (2015). Dimitra Kotouza, Surplus Citizens: Struggles in the Greek Crisis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent (2015). Myrto Tsilimpounidi, ‘Athens 2012’, City 16, no. 5 (2012): 546-556. Stavros Stavrides, ‘Squares In Movement,’ South Atlantic Quarterly 111, no. 3 (2012): 585596. 1
Jonathan Pugh, What is Radical Politics Today? (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 2. 2
The Subversion of Power Hierarchies by the Spatialisation of Radical Politics: The case of the Athenian city centre under the Western gaze Mariza Daouti Since the outburst of crisis, Athens’ city-centre has become the locus of political struggle. Public space – streets, squares, pavements and building facades – offered the spatio-material canvas on which protesters mapped their struggles for equal voices against the reforms imposed with the aim of reducing public debt. En masse, people turned to street politics, where they articulated claims and negotiated supremacy in front of national and international audiences, what came to be known as the ‘anti-austerity movement’. As many commentators have argued, the anti-establishment nature of the protests and the heterogeneity of the participants originated in a collectively felt loss of power’s legitimacy,1 which subsequently, contributed to the radicalisation of significant segments of Greek society. ‘Radicalisation’ here does not encompass a priori positive or negative connotations. Instead, it is understood as a movement that makes different pathways possible, as a process that generates a form of politics, which, if effective, ‘also turns over, or ‘roots out’, and redefines how society functions.’2 Accordingly, this disinvestment from conventional political models of action gave place to an understanding of the protesters’ active presence in public space as a mode of political participation, which consequently defined urban space as not only a space of representation and visibility, but also of new modes of political action, and unmediated modes of social conduct. Yet, the field on which this struggle took place is not a tabula rasa. On the contrary, the particular area where marches, rallies, and demonstrations regularly take place – two parallel avenues, Stadiou Street and Panepistimiou Street, running from Omonoia Square to Parliament on Syntagma Square – sustains a distinctive urban ideology, stemming from 19th century urban planning, that is nowadays incorporated in the representation of contemporary symbols of power: governmental buildings, banks and department stores. Essentially, the production of this urban site was a project of dominant elites at the birth of modern Greece, intimately linked to the building of a national identity. Neoclassicism, the prevalent style of the 19th century, marked the character of the particular site. It was employed as both aesthetic and ideology, shaping the city-plan, the official architecture, and the identity of the city and its inhabitants. It can thus be argued that the site, as a material and immaterial agent, participated in two distinct periods of profound identity formation. 29
THE SUBVERSION OF POWER HIERARCHIES BY THE SPATIALISATION OF RADICAL POLITICS
The centre of Athens / alignment based on Google maps aerophotographies, courtesy of the author
What lies beneath / Collage of images, courtesy of the National Historical Museum Archive and the author
THE SUBVERSION OF POWER HIERARCHIES BY THE SPATIALISATION OF RADICAL POLITICS
Investigating these two moments of history and aiming to address the means by which architectural space is used to spatialise power and politicise the spatial, a common denominator manifests itself as an ‘absent presence’: the Western gaze. While a concentrated European interest through identification and possessiveness shaped and determined the urban development of Athens and the spaces of representation of national identity in the 19th century, a fierce collision between Greece and Western Europe as a result of the Greek crisis has re-inscribed the occidental gaze on urban space through the power of the indebtedness. Articulating a response against the Western gaze, representing not only European hegemony but also dominant national elites, the antiausterity movement, which activated subjects and places for at least five years (2010-2015) materialised novel forms of struggle. Yet it is clear that the spatial practices of the protesters differ regarding their potential for political action, resisting and subverting hegemonic spatial ordering, and breaking urban protocols. For this purpose, the study introduced a psychoanalytic vocabulary that explains diverse reactions to loss – which is the common ground of the demonstrators and arguably made these protests possible – that aims to understand the emancipatory potential of the spatial practices performed by radical subjects. The Aganaktismenoi3 movement was an occupation of Syntagma Square lasting two months, and involving two million people. Paying particular attention to mourning as an ethical processing of loss, the movement is read as a spatial practice of subjects in mourning. These subjects publically recognise their loss, detach from security and familiar ways of acting, and engage in an open-ended process of resubjectification. A new understanding of space is possible: not only imagined, but materialised and experienced. In such a space, those who are uncounted, ‘whose fantasies are only registered as noise,’4 produce a metaphorical and material space that is inclusive and egalitarian – a common space. As a result then, Syntagma square passed from a mechanism of the ‘police’ to a material agent of ‘politics’ to use Rancière’s vocabulary. Unmistakably, 19th century urban planning and architecture that caters for the implementation of hierarchies, ordering and distribution can be considered as one of the dispositifs of the police.5 Conversely, politics refers to ‘a double moment of disruption of the existing police order and the constitution of a new subject through the (successful) claim to equality.’6 The spatial practice of mourning, as it unfolded in the Syntagma occupation, entails political activity, constructing a space from an essentially bottom-up process that has agency to recast equality by reshaping the urban fabric.7 Through such a practice, subjects claim and re-establish a different right to the city.
3 Aganaktismenoi (Αγανακτισμένοι) in Greek translated as indignant, outraged.
Erik Swyngedouw, ‘Every revolution has its square’ available on https:// citiesmcr.wordpress. com/2011/03/18/ every-revolution-hasits-square/ [accessed 20 September 2017]. 4
5 Swyngedouw writes: ‘‘Police’ for Rancière refers to a heterogeneous set of technologies and strategies for ordering, distributing, and allocating people, things, and functions to designated places.’ https:// citiesmcr.wordpress. com/2011/03/18/ every-revolution-hasits-square/ [accessed 20 September 2017].
Marina Prentoulis, Lasse Thomassen ‘Political theory in the square: Protest, representation and subjectification,’ Contemporary Political Theory Vol. 12, (2013)166–184. 6
David Harvey, Rebel cities (London: Verso 2014).
* Chinese SOE/Danwei welfare housing, family archive, autobiographical narrative, Taiyuan Railway Bureau, Railway employees’ residential quarter Author’s Personal Family Archive: a. Interviews of my family members and close neighbours in July 2017. Total length 06:34:29. b. Family albums from 1970s to 2016. c. Family videos in 1990/1994/1995. Total length 02:04:03. d. The property ownership certificates of B5F3/B5F2/B4F8, 2000s. e. The marriage certificate of my grandparents, 1953. f. The health insurance card of my grandfather (showing the location of B4F8 in the Yong-Ding Rd. Quarter), 1992. g. The maps of Taiyuan in different years from the private collection of Mr. Hao Bo. 1
Yong-Ding Road Railway Employees’ Residential Quarter 1950s-2010s: A microhistory of Chinese state-owned enterprises/Danwei welfare housing Ruijun Duan
Chinese State-Owned Enterprises/Danwei welfare housing was a national housing policy in Mainland China before 1978. Under the system, danwei was the basic organizational unit of China. The danwei community (residential quarter) constituted the elementary spatial unit of the city. The formation of Chinese cities has a unique historical background; it was a combination of tradition and the reality of that time. It forms a different spatial personality from cities in the Western context. The origin and evolution of danwei community is a very important clue in exploring the development of urban space in China and is key to understanding this space. It has great historical value to the culture and society in modern China. This dissertation centres its research around the residents’ view of the Chinese SOE/Danwei welfare housing. The selected case, the Yong-Ding Road Railway Employees’ Residential Quarter, is a typical SOE/Danwei residential quarter in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, China. My family has three generations of history living in this quarter. The family archives are the basis of this research.1 The method consists in relocating and translating oral history interviews and family albums/videos/documents into autobiographical narratives and visual architectural diagrams. Moreover, selected photos of the same place taken in different years will speak for themselves in the text. This research aims to reveal the developments of Chinese SOE/Danwei welfare housing estates as a microhistory. Autobiographical Narrative Fragment 2 My family moved to house No.78 in 1968, when my father was 4 years old. The original Japanese house design was a one-storey semidetached type. The structure of the house was brick and wood. In order to host more residents, they sealed one original door in the middle of the house to divided the house into four parts. Then, the original semi-detached house could be occupied by four families. Partitions in the house were made of wood. The sound insulation was terrible. They had hardly any privacy from their neighbours. During quiet nights, they could even hear the sound of their neighbours using a chamber pot. It was embarrassing and funny, but unavoidable based on their living conditions. 33
YONG-DING ROAD RAILWAY EMPLOYEESâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; RESIDENTIAL QUARTER 1950S-2010S
1. ‘I stood outside of my door. The righthand side building is the B5’ - 1993 / courtesy of the author 2. ‘My grandmother and her three daughters in front of the No. 78 house’ 1970s / courtesy of the author 3. ‘My neighbour and friend Lee Tong stood at the yard between B6 and B7. The background building is B10’ - 1993 / courtesy of Li’s family.
Because the quarter was built in a low-lying area, the houses were built with the Japanese-style raised floor to improve moisture resistance. There were three steps to enter the house. When you entered No.78, on the right-hand side there was a cooker, a long sink, and a smaller sink in the corner. On the left-hand side were the original toilet and bath. The pipes were sealed and the Japanese-style bathtub was torn down to make more room for living. Residents had to use the traditional public dry latrine outside, at the west end of the West Row. Aunt Ping had a vivid memory of carrying a bucket of the waste from the chamber pot in the morning to throw away in the public latrine. The floor inside the room was all made of fine wood. There was a plank on the floor that could be opened in the centre of the bedroom. Under the floor, there was connecting space, about one meter high. The supporting pillars of the floor were built with bricks. It was a good place for children to play hide-and-seek. There was an airvent beneath the window of this under-floor space. For safety reasons, every family sealed it with bricks. When it rained heavily, it would flood through the under-floor space. It brought a lot of fun for young children to play with. In the wintertime, they used the under-floor space as a natural refrigerator to store vegetables. The Chinese SOE welfare housing is a special kind of public housing. It is only public to a specific group, which is in general the SOE employees. More precisely, the SOE welfare housing residential quarter belongs to the SOE/Danwei, which plays the role of residential developer. The SOE/Danwei that built the residential quarter made the housing public to its own employees. It could be said that the national welfare housing policy shaped the lifestyle in Yong-Ding Road Quarter. It was the Chinese SOE welfare housing policy that, practiced under the danwei system, made the residents meet and live in the same quarter. The residents of the same generation share a great similarity in working, living, education, and family situations. As a group, the stable quasi-clan danwei community is formed. When they are at work, their danwei governs their lives. When they are at home, their danwei community influences their lives. The hierarchy of the governance in pre-reform China was familydanwei-government. In this way, the Chinese SOE welfare housing policy helped greatly with governance, through forming a new type of social space.
4. The view of the back half of the quarter. (a.) The far back building is B9. 1990. (b.) The first building on the left is B6 and on the right is B13 - 2016 / courtesy of the author
Topographic representation of La RĂŠunion viewed from the South / courtesy of the author
* maronage. slavery, subaltern, spatial agency, landscape, production of space, geography
Agency at the Threshold: Maronage, landscape and the formation of geographies in Bourbon-La Réunion (1663-1767) Kirti Durelle
Scale I: Geology La Réunion is a remote island in the western Indian Ocean, yet also a constituent part of France’s national territory. A product of intense geological processes spanning the last five million years, its landscape comprises one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and the Indian Ocean’s highest peak, 3069m high. Around this summit, three calderas (large-scale depressions caused by the collapse of volcanic structures) constitute self-contained isolated zones, only accessible from the coast via deep and narrow gorges. This topography attests to the dynamic forces that animate the earth – it is a grounding element into and out of which human spatial practices have evolved, and any historical account of the colonisation of La Réunion should be perceived as entwined with the deep, million-year-long process of its material formation. Scale II: History The French took possession of the virgin island in 1663, during a period of colonial expansion that saw the establishment of new trading routes between Asia and Europe. For a hundred years, the French East India Company governed the island, then known as Bourbon. During this period, it sought to draw value from this territory by developing coffee agriculture along the island’s coastal regions. The enormous demand for labour generated by this endeavour was the motor of a considerable slave trade. Tens of thousands of bodies from Senegal, Benin, Mozambique, Madagascar, and India were imported to Bourbon, making up as much as 80% of its population. Owned by Créole planters, slave workers became material commodities whose status was regulated by the Black Code, a document defining the conditions of slave trading in French overseas colonies. In order to escape the conditions of bondage, some slaves fled into the uncolonised wilderness at the centre of Bourbon, an abrupt and seemingly inhospitable landscape where no humans had previously ventured. This practice of fugitiveness is known as ‘maronage’. Communities of fugitive slaves were the first to inhabit the calderas. Many returned to their master’s habitation, unable to sustain a life in the hinterland. Others managed to settle, albeit precariously – threatened by hunting militias sent out to capture or kill them. Scale III: Bodies Back on the plantations, slaves were tied to 37
AGENCY AT THE THRESHOLD
their master’s land parcel. That particular relationship is expressed by the legal concept of ‘immovability’. In French civil law, most objects are deemed ‘movable,’ ie. they can be displaced in space. Others, however, are ‘immovable,’ such as land or buildings. The concept is so pervasive in French culture that the most common term to describe a building is ‘immeuble’ (literally, immovable) and furniture, ‘meuble’ (movable, mobile). In the Black Code, slaves were described as ‘meuble’ – ie. movable assets. Nevertheless, their status changed to ‘immovable’ as soon as they were recognised as indispensable to the proper functioning of their master’s land as a unit of agricultural production. Originally, the concept of immovability was applied to livestock, ensuring that its withdrawal did not compromise the exploitation of farmland. With slaves, their bodies constituted the fundamental labour force of agricultural activities and were thus irrevocably fixed to the spaces of coffee plantations. Maronage – the flight of bodies, at large in the landscape, away from plantations – was thus simultaneously an effort to regain subjective freedom, and the withholding of crucial manpower from the colony’s plantation economy. It was a subversive political act across space – a spatial practice – by subaltern groups, dialectically shaping and shaped by the landscape. In performing acts of self-displacement, fugitive slaves introduced a spatial dichotomy foreign to their masters’ geographic understanding, by articulating the threshold between spaces of colonial sovereignty and zones of refuge escaping it. This spatial rupture discloses maronage as a productive practice, and places fugitive slaves among spatial agents shaping the geographies of early modern Bourbon-La Réunion. The agency of the landscape The role of the landscape in shaping maronage is paramount, for it afforded fugitiveness. Topography, ecosystems, biodiversity, meteorology and climate, should all be recognised as agents influencing the human settlement patterns on Bourbon: the impenetrably dense vegetation and the daily hygrological conditions in its native forest presented ideal conditions for the concealment of slave bodies; the topography of calderas offered natural enclosures divorced from coastal environments within which territorial surveillance could easily be performed; the fauna, poor in reptile species and characteristic of young island formations like Réunion, posed no threat to bare escaping bodies. To draw a history of maronage necessarily mobilises such human and non-human processes that work along varying spatial scales, and therefore also different timelines: the million-year long duration of geology, the century-long span of history, and the decades, days and hours of human biography. If maronage can be said to operate across spatial thresholds, it is also situated at the intersection of these temporalities – its historiography must work across space and time simultaneously. 38
* sculpture, public art, concrete, cathedral design, liturgical reform William Mitchell, Self Portrait: The Eyes Within (London: Whittles Publishing, 2013), 141. 1
British Library Sound Archive. ‘Mitchell, William,’ National Life Story Collection: Artists’ Lives, recordings 1-8, ref. C466/324, 2012. Online: http:// sounds.bl.uk/Oralhistory/Art/021MC0466X0324XX0005V0 (accessed 21 August 2017). 2
Art, Architecture and the Modern Catholic Church: William Mitchell’s contributions to two British cathedrals (1960-1973) Grace Etherington Design background: William Mitchell was born in 1925 and has contributed artistic elements to numerous architectural projects around the world over the past 70 years. Mitchell is known for his dramatic style of sculptural relief work in concrete and other industrial materials. Following a background in decorative design, he created reliefs and sculptures for London County Council’s post-war housing developments, and explored innovative methods of artistically manipulating concrete for the Concrete and Cement Association. The conditions of post-war immigration, urbanization, and population growth created a demand for new Roman Catholic churches in metropolitan areas in the UK. Several of these projects took a drastic break from convention to redefine key characteristics of Catholic architecture. Mitchell provided artistic contributions to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (Frederick Gibberd, 1967) and Clifton Cathedral (Percy Thomas Partnership, 1973) and this collaborative approach contributed to the significance of these projects. The design philosophy behind these buildings was understood and shared by all who contributed to the cathedrals’ planning and construction, creating a synthesis between all individual elements. New cathedrals: Mitchell was one of several artists invited by Frederick Gibberd to contribute to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Gibberd’s design won the 1960 competition held by the Liverpool Diocese and the RIBA, and his circular plan met the requirements for an altar-focused layout that would enable the congregation to experience closer participation in religious services. At a time when the rethinking of traditional church layout had not been formally accepted by the Roman Catholic Church, this was a big gamble, especially combined with the decision to halt the construction of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ earlier, monumental design. The stakes were high for Archbishop Heenan, head of the Liverpool Diocese, as the decision to call an open competition was a first for a Catholic project of this scale, and showed a clear break from the convention of employing only Catholic architects. Similar to how the cathedral’s plan facilitated interaction, Mitchell chose emotive imagery to adorn the building. He designed a sculptural relief for the Portland stone façade of the bell-tower, and produced two sliding, fibreglass and bronze doors, both marking the front entrance to the cathedral. The bell-tower relief portrays the crucifixion and was chosen to symbolise the philosophy of the Catholic faith. Despite being misinterpreted 39
ART, ARCHITECTURE AND THE MODERN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Interior view of nave and Stations of the Cross. Clifton Cathedral, Percy Thomas Partnership / courtesy of the author
ART, ARCHITECTURE AND THE MODERN CATHOLIC CHURCH
as ‘barbaric’ animals, Mitchell’s doors depicted Old Testament symbols for the Evangelists: the winged man of St. Matthew, the winged lion of St. Mark, the winged calf of St. Luke, and the flying eagle of St. John. Both the artist and the architect agreed on the importance of the entranceway to the building, ushering visitors into a place of calm reflection, and symbolising the importance of the Catholic Church to the city of Liverpool. These in-your-face statements serve as physical manifestations of the push for clarity and emotive response in religious practices, and reflect the shifting ideas about liturgy that were being formally addressed in the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican between 1962 and 1965. In Clifton Cathedral, Mitchell also contributed sculptural reliefs that sought to encourage the engagement of the congregation with important biblical narrative. The cathedral was designed by Ronald Weeks, an architect with the Percy Thomas Partnership. The plan wholly reflected the guidance laid out as a result of the Second Ecumenical Council, and was meticulously designed around a geometric ratio of hexagons and equilateral triangles, with the regulating dimension being one foot and six inches. The strict geometrical principles were met with a dedication to the tonality of the concrete, ensured by one Laing O’Rourke construction worker who insisted on mixing the white Portland cement alone. The uniform texture of the concrete was also intensely monitored through the use of specially chosen redwood from Russia for the pouring moulds. Mitchell produced the 14 Stations of the Cross for Clifton Cathedral, marrying the strict material focus of the design with the attention to interaction among the building users. The Stations display the Passion story and offer the only textural difference in the vast surface of concrete inside the Cathedral. The literal depictions are taken directly from the Bible to aid understanding and clarity in the congregation’s personal relationships with faith and worship. Cast in Faircrete, a new concrete-based material developed by Laing, the Station designs needed to be carved into the concrete in under an hour, as the mix was fast-drying to enable manipulation of a flat surface. This led to clear, dramatic imagery that was met with shock, with one criticism that this portrayal of the Passion was unusually cruel. Synthesis in practice: Mitchell’s contributions to these two cathedrals reveal the ambition of all parties involved in these projects. They sought to create a synthesis between all practices and to produce examples of the possibilities of unconventional Roman Catholic cathedral design. Invitations to secular artists led to pieces that evoke emotive responses from visitors, and enable focused experiences of individual moments within the traditionally cavernous schemes. The adoption of an integrated design approach amongst architects, artists, and the dioceses as clients ensured the success of these radical projects, with ample cross-consultation to secure a clear break from convention. 42
* mimicry, Chinese architecture, building codes and regulations Bianca Bosker, Original copies: Architectural mimicry in contemporary China (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2013), 7. 1
Bosker, Original copies, 7. 2
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are considered the first tier cities in China. The tier system is ranked according to the Chinese central government’s development priorities. 3
Susan Jakes, ‘Soaring Ambitions: The world’s most visionary architects are rebuilding China,’ Times Asia, May 3 (2004), 34. 4
Mimicry 2.0 in Contemporary Chinese Residential Built Environment: A study of the relationship between the Chinese building codes and their architectural manifestation. Jane Yajing Huang
When discussing contemporary architecture in the People’s Republic of China, the topic of architectural mimicry invariably arises. Many of the popular blogs, such as ArchDaily and Dezeen have featured posts mocking this ongoing trend of ‘knock-off’ buildings. Disturbing yet fascinating, one could interrogate this phenomenon from different perspectives, such as legal, ethical, cultural, and architectural. At a glance, these buildings seem to have been simply created by importing the original drawings into a computer program, then stretching and scaling to fit the new site. However, upon closer inspection, the process is more complex. The counterfeit and the original have very little in common other than the exterior appearance, which translates to the general form, the colour, and the materiality. Bianca Bosker, author of Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, has described this phenomenon as ‘Duplitecture’.1 Bosker has extensively researched the origins of mimicry, and has explained the act of duplication through the historical evolution of Chinese societal values, which are reflected through the built environment. An important component of Bosker’s argument is that – unlike the ‘Chinatowns’ around the world, which are the byproducts of immigrants representing cultural traditions – these contemporary constructions in China are designed by Chinese architects for the Chinese people.2 The European-themed residential towns responded to the aspirations of China’s growing middle and upper-middle classes, and offered a standard of living commensurate with these aspirations. However, since Bosker published her research in 2013, a new phenomenon has emerged in China. Due to the Beijing Olympics of 2008 and the Shanghai Expo of 2010, foreign architects have increasingly established satellite offices in first tier cities around China.3 Renowned and respected offices, especially those associated with the title ‘starchitect,’ have been able to design at an unprecedented pace, and with an absence of stylistic or aesthetic constraint, which would not have been possible in their country of origin. China became the testing ground to manifest architects’ aspirations. In 2004, Zaha Hadid claimed China was ‘an incredible empty 43
MIMICRY 2.0 IN CONTEMPORARY CHINESE RESIDENTIAL BUILT ENVIRONMENT
canvas for innovation.’4 Yet within a few years, the Chinese Government has become much more stringent in obtaining planning consent and famously prohibited Qiqiguaiguai (‘weird’) buildings.5 The speed and quantity of foreign iconic architecture have since reduced dramatically, and foreign architects have turned instead to various developments, such as office complexes, commercial mixed-use, and, notably, luxury residential. Unlike ‘Duplitecture,’ these developments are located close to city centres and are designed to correlate with the existing urban form and master planning, while integrating the signature architectural elements to be marketed to the general public as a new ultra-luxury living style for the emerging upper-middle class. It is a form of mimicry, but an imprecise one, which involves the convergence of the society’s aspiration for Western-style living and the existing urban fabric. Western architects are designing specifically for the Chinese residents in a Western stylistic language that has to comply with the numerous Chinese building codes. Although architectural practice inherently involves compromise in response to building codes and regulations, these serve as guidelines to protect the users from foreseeable dangers and to ensure the quality of inhabitation. Every country has its own set of building regulations, but what makes the current architectural trend in China unique is that the building codes and regulations result in one type of architectural language derived from inherent cultural preferences, values and political shifts, while the current design and aesthetic aspiration speaks another very different architectural language, derived from another cultural context and background. This combination of, and contradiction between, externally ‘Western’ and internally ‘Eastern’ approaches creates many tensions between the original design intent and the actual construction. With the rise of China’s dominance globally, instead of the mimicry formerly pursued by Local Design Institutes, the government and developers are seeking foreign architects to design more authentic iconic architecture in China. However, with the inherent discrepancy between society’s rapidly rising aspirations and the limitations of preexisting building regulations, these supposedly ‘authentic’ designs become just another form of mimicry. Chinese residential developments are constrained by building codes that have failed to evolve at the same pace as China’s socio-economic condition. By investigating the origins of these building codes through specific residential typologies, it is possible to understand why they came about, but also how they have become obstacles to innovative architectural solutions, creating ubiquitous housing models and monotonous urban fabric. Without synchronising the building codes with societal progression, contemporary residential development will only continue to appear modern through the exterior façades with various adaptations and iterations of mimicry.
Steven Smit, ‘Has ‘weird’ architecture had its day?’ Atkins. March 23, (2015). http://www. atkinsglobal.com/engb/angles/all-angles/ has-weird-architecturehad-its-day [Accessed July 13, 2017]. In 2015, the Chinese president Xi Jinping gave a speech on the topic of ‘appropriate architecture for China’. He was concerned with the amount of ‘qi qi guai guai’ (‘weird’) buildings designed in China in the last two decades. No specific building policy or codes have been issued defining the term, but local planning officials are more reluctant to provide planning approvals for flamboyant designs. 5
* shop-house, vernacular, cultural identity, material culture Mauritius is an island situated in the Indian Ocean, to the east of South Africa. 1
This term typically refers to Mauritians (by birth) of Chinese ancestry, but I also use it to include people of the same ethnic ancestry who have adopted Mauritian nationality. 2
Robert Brown and Daniel Maudlin, ‘Concepts of Vernacular Architecture,’ in SAGE, Section 4, Chapter 19, http:// dx.doi.org.libproxy. ucl. c.uk/ 10.4135/ 9781446201756 3
Paul Oliver, Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular Architecture (Oxford: Architectural Press, 2006), 30. 4
A Modern Vernacular: Material culture and social identity of the 1960-80s, Sino-Mauritian shop-houses in Port Louis Lavina Lee This study examines the significance of the 1960-80s urban shophouses of Port Louis in relation to the history of Chinese immigrants in Mauritius.1 Through an interdisciplinary approach engaging with the 20th century anthropological works of Burton Benedict and Thomas Hylland Eriksen, this dissertation employs the findings of new building and ethnographic fieldwork, along with extensive use of photography to understand the complex social processes played out through the material environments of Sino-Mauritians.2 This research challenges notions of vernacular architecture and reductionist interpretations of tropical architecture by analysing the relatively recent form of building which emerged to not only cater for climatic conditions, but also for the economic and socio-cultural needs of Sino-Mauritians. The study explores the idea of this ethnic group becoming native to a land, a process that spans across several generations and that is achieved through ethno-cultural identity formation. Nativism can be understood as an active process of becoming rather than simply being, where specific environments and objects facilitate this process of transition. The study also explored the dialectics of social integration and cultural differentiation through analysis of practices and materiality held within the shop-houses, suggesting that both inhabitants and materiality carry agencies from which a ‘modern vernacular’ is formed. Such analysis can enhance understandings on how ethnic minority groups and diasporic peoples evolve through long-term processes of social integration. Scholars have argued that the architectural discourse tends to position vernacular buildings in opposition to ‘Architecture,’ which consists of contemporary, modern, and innovative buildings designed by professionals. The vernacular is to be found following fixed and biased understandings of the ‘primitive,’ archaic, and traditional.3 Paul Oliver suggests that the value given to certain historical buildings is based on the narrow criteria of age, purity, and authenticity, proposing a more inclusive definition, which highlights the interdisciplinary requirements for studying vernacular buildings: ‘All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of living of the cultures that produce them.’4 This dissertation underlines the importance of contextual specificity in the interpretation of buildings, and the necessary interdependence of tradition and modernity for the emergence of Sino-Mauritian shop-houses as tropical modern vernacular forms, to be 45
A MODERN VERNACULAR
The domestic interior of a shop-house built in the 1970s, Port Louis, Mauritius - 2017 / courtesy of the author
A MODERN VERNACULAR
recognised within Mauritius. Although metropolitan discourses such as the Tropical Architecture movement in the 20th century brought tropical countries to academic attention, Jiat-Hwee Chang and Anthony King suggest that the heterogeneity of architectural forms found in such regions have been misunderstood when viewed from the technical metropolitan discourse of Tropical Architecture, where buildings are primarily presented as products of climatic response, resulting in the dismissal of their entanglement with political, social, and cultural processes.5 Aiming to move beyond the Western ‘tropical gaze’ and to overcome the scarcity of Mauritian architectural literature, this study of Sino-Mauritian shophouses serves to contest such reductionist values and displace the perception of the architect as sole author of the built environment. When Mauritius gained independence from Britain in 1968, its inhabitants became official citizens of Mauritius and, henceforth, direct purchase of land became possible for all.6 The Sino-Mauritian traders not only envisioned the expansion of their shops but further they sought a better standard of living in which a new building would also cater to their cultural and domestic needs. Land ownership and the commissioning of a building from scratch reinforced their sense of belonging to the island and marked the consolidation of their status as permanent residents. The production of shop-houses and much of their material culture was dependent on the trades and services of other ethnic groups on the island. These economic interdependencies contributed to the creation of material environments that supported the formation of ethno-cultural identity and integration of the Sino-Mauritians. Individual and collective identities can be perceived as incomplete constructions, ‘always conditional and yet never in a proper fit with the conditions of life, never forming a totality. Identities operate across difference and as discursive processes requiring what is left outside in order to consolidate themselves.’7 Anthropological sources are extremely beneficial for the study of architectural subjects, who have been scarcely documented in academia, as it may be argued that the act of constructing environments is inseparable from the ways in which humans can conceivably lead their lives. The study of Sino-Mauritian shop-houses demonstrated that the search for vernacular architectural forms should not necessarily take place in the distant past. This study of a modern vernacular architecture contributes to uncovering the socio-cultural significance behind the built environment of late 20th century Port Louis, one that has been labelled a hideous concrete jungle. The ‘unmonumental’ buildings of a tropical country serve much more purpose than simply sheltering their inhabitants against erratic climate. The interdisciplinary approach of this architectural study, more specifically employing ethnographic methodology, has brought forward the realisation that people and their material environments are undiscovered ‘living’ museums.
Jiat-Hwee Chang and Anthony D. King, ‘Towards a Genealogy of Tropical Architecture: Historical Fragments of Power-knowledge, Built Environment and Climate in the British Colonial Territories’ Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 32, no. 3 (2011): 277-282. 5
H. Ly Tio Fane-Pineo and E. Lim Fat, From Alien to Citizen: The integration of the Chinese in Mauritius (Rose Hill, Mauritius: Éditions de l’Océan Indien, 2008), 73.
6 Ole Bruun, An Introduction to Feng Shui (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 9.
* exclusion, monastery, medieval, individuality, cenoby, habit, practice Exordium Cistercii trans. in Louis Lekai, Cistercians: Ideals and Reality, (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1977) and Narratio de fundatione Fontanis Monasteri trans. in Arnold W. Oxford, The Ruins of Fountains Abbey (London: Henry Frowde, 1910). 1
Giorgio Agamben, The Highest Poverty (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013), 58. 2
Agamben, Poverty, 3-27. 3
Exordium Cistercii, Chapter IX. 4
There is a similar, more macabre example in Karen Bermann, ‘The House Behind,’ in Heidi J. Nast, S. Pile, eds., Places through the Body (London: Routledge, 1998), 165-180. 5
The Solitude at Fountains Abbey: Architecture as cenobitic practice Will McMahon
In the valley of the river Skell, a few kilometres west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, lie the dramatic ruins of Fountains Abbey. Fountains Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, and from 1132 to 1539, the monks referred to it as the location of ‘the solitude.’1 This same title applied to all the monasteries of this order, which spread across Europe. If solitude invokes some sense of an individual alone, and if the definite article suggests a single entity, how did ‘the solitude’ hold thousands of monks, across dozens of monasteries? The solitude is described as a spatial, architectural entity but is clearly defined by a combination of physical, textual, and processual mechanisms, allowing it to be simultaneously singular and plural, sealed and permeable. Fundamental to this ambiguity is the monks’ habit. Habit, from the Latin habitus, describes both the monks’ clothing, and their behaviour. Referring to their belt, or cingulis, Agamben notes that the common phrase habitus cinguli ‘obviously cannot mean ‘clothing of the belt,’ but is equivalent to hexis and ethos, and indicates a constant practice.’2 The monk’s habit was regulated, inhered to the Rule of St. Benedict, to the point that it became indistinguishable from their life.3 The Cistercians sought to match their life-Rule perfectly to that of St. Benedict, who had died centuries earlier. They wrote that, across their Order, St. Benedict’s life-Rule would ‘be interpreted and kept in one and the same way.’4 Since all their monks must follow the same life-Rule, they constituted more an individual than a collection: a cenoby. The monks’ clothing, therefore, becomes a mechanism for reinforcing their community – and an architectural practice, the covering of their figure in a new layer.5 But as well as being an architectural boundary, seemingly marking them as distinct units, its regulation enforced a disregard of human individuality, and a surrender to the cenoby. This same idea is expressed in stone at Fountains Abbey; the choir is lined with niches, each the seat of a particular monk. While these trefoil arches, like the woolen habits, seem to separate the monks, the identical replication in both cases emphasises the monk’s place as a part of this larger whole. 49
THE SOLITITUDE AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY
A location of ‘the solitude’ - 2017 / courtesy of the author
THE SOLITITUDE AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY
Identical seats for identical lives - 2017 / courtesy of the author
Chapter XVI of the Exordium Cistercii. 6
This is from the Narratio de fundatione Fontanis monasterii. However, it is almost an exact quote of the Exordium Cistercii. 7
Because of this understanding of the monks not as individuals but as cenobites, it is not contradictory that they could all inhabit the same solitude. Indeed, any disparity between the location of an individual cenobite and the cenoby as a whole becomes unsustainable – as the Exordium puts it: ‘A monk whose proper home, according to the Rule, ought to be the monastery, may go to a grange as often as he is sent, but on no account may he live there for any long period of time.’6 Though clearly spatial, this shows an architecture defined by ‘form-of-life’ rather than physical, built structures. This architecture is able to expand beyond the confines of a single site, becoming an inter-abbatial architecture. Despite the great sharing and spreading of ‘the solitude,’ it was still carefully contained. One of the Cistercians’ primary aims was a return to the eremitic life of the earliest Christian monks, far removed from secular affairs. As such, they located their abbeys in rural locations, often described in Cistercian documents as ‘a place of horror.’7 Fountains Abbey sat in the middle of thick forest. Later, it was partially surrounded by a wall, nearly two kilometres long and four to five metres high. Even in the abbey’s darkest days, we know there was an operational gatehouse, which kept the laity at bay. However, archaeological excavations at the site found the skeleton of a woman, buried with a child. The Cistercians were famous, even by the standards of medieval religious communities, for their hostility to women, and stipulated that nobody under the age of 15 was to come within their gates. These two skeletons violated that: they were buried within the claustral buildings. Clearly, this architecture of exclusion – the precinct wall, the forest, the gatehouse, the cloister, (scandalously, perhaps, the woollen habit) – worked only in relation to the habit (in the sense of practice) of the monks: the physical material could be overruled. Such an architecture, one that relies on practice as well as on physical structures, opens itself to permeations. It can accommodate changes and unforeseen circumstances. No one mechanism is responsible for maintaining the cohesion of the system, but rather they operate in concert. This allows a set of regulations to be implemented across vast geographic space and produce an interconnected space within that. Equally, this concert of mechanisms means that certain groups can be excluded without an explicit barrier. What this medieval example shows is that an attempt to disassociate architecture from these intangible mechanisms loses a level of nuance and subtlety, perhaps even to the point of being deceptive.
* agonistics, ecology, Tasmania
40,000 Years of Continuous Culture in Tasmania: A relational and agonistic exploration of the dialectic of voice and vision in the Museum of Old and New Art’s ‘reset’ vision for Macquarie Point Isabelle Morgan GL You need to start acknowledging that this has been recognised for a long time and it’s part of a broad global experience of imperialism and globalism which has had repeated impacts on groups of people who stood in the way of colonial, economic projects, like the Australian colonies. KP If it’s the truth and reconciliation art park, first of all, it needs to recognise the truth of what happened and then it also needs to be about reconciliation… it has to be a symbol of reconciliation from both sides. GL The Hobart Lord Mayor made some fairly naive and regrettable comments. Her most famous line was ‘I didn’t kill the Aborigines nor would I,’ everyone kind of went, thank goodness for that. AF ... I don’t want to speak for her but I suppose what I would say is I think that there would be a segment of the community that would say, look I like the idea that Mona has laid out but we don’t want it to be some sort of guilt trip in relation to our past history. [Fig. 1] In December 2016, the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) released an architectural vision for a reconciliation and truth art park at Macquarie Point [Fig. 2]; one of the last undeveloped industrial sites in Hobart. Mona’s vision acknowledged Tasmania’s dark history, including The Black War, the most intense period of colonial warfare in Australia, which took place in Eastern Tasmania between 1824-1831.1 The vision was released as a series of powerful visualisations of the future site showing nine fire and light installations to recognise the original Aboriginal groups, an Aboriginal History Centre and other development projects including a convention centre, Antarctic precinct, an extended pier, and upgraded cruise facilities. Although this vision appeared in the media and online as an urban or cultural masterplan, it was produced by the private art museum itself and ignored planning and consultation requirements. Since Mona opened in 2011, it has become well-known for the dissenting philosophy of its eccentric owner; self-made millionaire, professional gambler, and art collector David Walsh. Its unconventional curatorial approaches to exhibitions and public festivals are often the source of controversy, debate, and discussion, and this architectural vision was no exception. Its shock release sparked divergent voices and responses about a range of contradictions and conflicts surrounding the vision, such as the close
Nicholas Clements explains: ‘Eastern Tasmania was the scene of horrific violence between 1824 and 1831. The Black War, as it became known, claimed the lives of well over 200 colonists and all but annihilated the island’s remaining Aborigines. It was a small guerrilla war, but one of titanic proportions for the colonists and Aborigines involved.’ Nicholas Clements, The Black War (Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 2014), 1.
Museum of Old and New Art, ‘Macquarie Point Mona Vision 2050: Confidential Draft,’ December 5, 2016, Hobart, 21. 2
Chantal Mouffe, Agonistics (London: Verso, 2013), 7. 3
See Jane Rendell, Site-Writing, (London: I.B.Tauris, 2011), passim. 4
Tausif Noor, ‘On Curating Dissensus: Notes on democracy,’ Curating the Contemporary, 20 February, 2017, https:// curatingthe contemporary.org /2017/02/20/oncurating-dissensusnotes-on-democracy. 5
Mouffe, Agonistics, 92. 6
Tore Sager outlines the main criticisms of communicative planning: ‘Consensus is always shallow and does not respect difference, Consensus is a threat to freedom, Consensual discourse necessarily involves the exclusion of some voices and the foreclosure of certain possibilities; it might silence rather than give voice and Consensus is utopian.’ Tore Sager, Reviving Critical Planning Theory: Dealing with pressure, neo-liberalism and responsibility in communicative planning (London: Routledge, 2012), 12. 7
Sager, Reviving Critical Planning Theory, 12. 8
relationship of Mona to the state government; eco-contradictions of a working port and forestry terminal on the site of a reconciliation park; and questions of how to realise or represent reconciliation. Using an ecofeminist, yet agonistic approach, this research engages with voices present and absent, agreeable and disagreeable. It asks whether the relations of Mona’s vision are productive for ethically thinking the future of Macquarie Point as a place ‘where the darkest histories are transformed into the brightest of futures.’2 It also considers what constitutes a bright future, and what it means to be ‘properly’ ethical. Combining secondary sources and primary interviews, it investigates whether this vision of reconciliation might be productive, in light of the many contradictions and conflicts. I draw on Jacques Ranciere’s notion of dissensus and Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic model to explore the inevitable role of power relations in establishing any order,3 and what this means for a neoliberal arts institution to operate within (or outwith) the context of city planning, which is dominated by a colonising and consensus-based approach in which voices are often suppressed. Although Mona’s vision proliferates exclusive relations, the vision has also been disruptive and has prompted new subjectivities, instances of differentiated voice, knowledge and heterogeneous ruptures. By re-framing research as a performative practice of ‘knowing in action,’ I explore the inclusions and exclusions of my own process. I assert these through a Site-Writing4 method that is used to construct fictional ‘conversations’ [Fig. 1] and set voices from separate interviews in relation with each other. This is a creative-critical writing method to illustrate the critical reflections alongside visuals. This practice assertively blurs the lines between voice and vision, theory and practice, going beyond the representation of difference to acknowledge ‘that the abstract and material ways of determining inclusion and exclusion rest on a logic of permissibility.’5 In doing so, I advocate agonistic dialogue, provocation, and contradiction as critical to working through the issues unique to the Tasmanian context and imagining the future of Macquarie Point as a site of reconciliation and truth in which ‘a final reconciliation is never possible.’ 6
Whilst Mona’s vision has the potential to be political, it is more than likely to be recuperated and abstracted into the rigid processes of neoliberal planning and symbolic rhetoric of ‘consensus’ and ‘cooperation.’7 Confronting assumptions, acknowledging emotions, frustrations and failure must be part of the conversation, which consensual planning processes do not allow for.8 Mouffe’s call for artistic and cultural institutions to challenge hegemonic relations is as important as ever as the voices of excluded histories in Tasmania continue to surface, catalysed by Mona’s Macquarie Point vision. 55
40,000 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS CULTURE IN TASMANIA
Fig. 2 Monaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Macquarie Point 2050 Vision, Hobart, Australia. Image credit and copyright to Fender Katsalidis Architects with rush\wright associates and SCENERY.
* The Knowledge of London examination, driving, written test
The Knowledge of London Written Test and the Emergence of Equal Space Elita Nuraeny
The history of the Knowledge of London started with the Great Exhibition in 1851, which attracted visitors from all over the world. However, the success of the Great Exhibition did not mirror the visitors’ travelling experience. It was reported that the visitors were ‘appalled, dismayed, and vexed’, because their taxi drivers failed to find their way to the exhibition and around London.1 After public outcry, the Public Carriage Office was established to maintain and regulate the taxicab services in London; with their main responsibility being the issuing of licences for all taxi drivers in London. The Knowledge of London test was released between 1865 and 1866.2 Also known as the topographical examination during its early years, the Knowledge of London was examined in a one-on-one oral test called the ‘Appearance.’3 However, due to the driver shortage during the First World War, the British Motor Cab Company filed complaints against the oral examination. In their opinion, the test was too difficult, and so, to follow up on their complaints, the British Motor Cab Company demanded a more relaxed test and recommended a written test to replace the oral examination.4 Since the high-level test was deemed necessary, the written examination was introduced in 1915 - a decision that would reshape the future of the Knowledge of London. Unfortunately, candidates who took the Knowledge written test performed worse than candidates who opted for the oral examination. As reported by Superintendent Bassom on 29 November 1915, no candidates passed the written Knowledge of London test.5 Therefore, the written test failed to solve the problem of driver shortages in London. To overcome the driver shortage during the First Word War, the Public Carriage Office decided to expand the diversity of applicants for the Knowledge. The most prominent and revolutionary change was their decision to allow female candidates to apply for the Knowledge in 1917. Their decision was based on how war-time had forced both men and women to push beyond gender norms and reduce the gender disparity in the context of driving.6 The emergence of female taxi drivers was also supported by women’s curiosity to explore the city in motorcars. By travelling away from
Hugo J. Spiers, ‘What Goes On in the Mind of a London Cabbie?’ (lecture, in UCL Lunch Hour Lectures, 26 November 2013) https:// www.youtube.com/ atch?v=B4keunVx6hs [accessed August 8 2017]. 1
2 C. Harmsworth, H. Nield, and W. Crooks, ‘London Motor-Cab Drivers Examination (Topographical Test): Report of the Committee with Appendix,’ The National Archives, MEPO 2/1682 (Public Carriage Office: Knowledge of London Test, 1915). 3 Public Carriage Office, ‘Becoming a Licensed Taxi Driver in London’ Transport for London Group Archives, LT001869/030 (2002): 8-9 and Transport for London, ‘Knowledge of London One-toOne Appearances’ Transport for London Online (2017)
http://content.tfl. gov.uk/knowledge-oflondon-appearancesguidelines.pdf [accessed August 10 2017]. Harmsworth, ‘Drivers Examination’. 4
Superintendent Bassom, ‘Memo from 29 November 1915,’ The National Archives MEPO 2/1682 (Public Carriage Office: Knowledge of London Test [Cab Drivers], 1915). 5
Virginia Scharff, Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age (New York: Free Press, 1992), 91. 6
Scharff, Taking the Wheel, 3. 7
Roy Porter, London: A Social History (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1994), 209. 8
Sandy McCreery, ‘The Westway: A Road too Far’ in Carchitecture: When the Car and the City Collide, ed. Jonathan Bell (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2001), 72. 9
Jörg Beckmann, ‘Mobility and Safety,’ Theory, Culture, and Society 21, no. 4-5 (2004): 175. 10
Transport for London, ‘MC&CD Brief—Taxi Perception Promotion, 12 January 2004,’ Transport for London Group Archives, LT 002049/012 (2004). 11
home, women were expanding their private sphere and the intimacy of the house into the public realm. Cars, therefore, were seen as a rebellious tool for women to challenge the old Victorian notion of gender roles, where women were restricted to staying at home and with the family.7 The road also played an important role in female empowerment; with the growing population, industry, and urban density in London,8 the road served as the network of home-commerce – a continuous stream that kept the city and capitalism alive. As the ‘roads brought homes and jobs,’ they became the arena of commodity dominance.9 Therefore, women who travelled with their cars were projecting their dominance over capitalism and confidence against male dominance. Women’s curiosity to explore outside their houses had become the first step to gender equality and employment, all thanks to the modern road. Motorcars and women, therefore, act as the ‘social glue,’10 eliminating gender disparity once it enters the road. The written test, which was introduced in 1915, continues to be part of the Knowledge of London examination and has become the symbol of equal employment for the London taxi service, because writing is not related to gender, social class, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, or ethnicity. The act of writing offers a neutrality that liberates people, freeing them to express themselves. Through writing, candidates are given the freedom to answer the question as best as they can. The spatial relationship between the candidate and the paper during the written Knowledge examination is an intimate relationship that reflects the driving experience; on the paper and in their minds, the candidate is travelling across London, but physically the candidate is immobilised. With the written test, the Knowledge of London wants to be more relatable to people from various backgrounds, improving the public image of the London taxi service and in particular, dispelling the myth that taxis are a ‘socially elite form of transport.’11 In the end, the Knowledge of London test became the representation of the modern motor-road, no longer representing one community: it became the representation for anyone and everyone. London taxi drivers are themselves representing hybrid mobility; a perfect balance between the car-driver relationship in London. As traffic congestion creeps in all of London streets, the driver’s brain is busy connecting spaces as they move around London. The driver’s physical body might be static, but their mind is always travelling, maintaining the mobility as well as the life of London.
The multi-layering of materials reflects an aesthetic ambition to return to an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;authentic past â&#x20AC;&#x2122; /courtesy of the author
*human-centred architecture, urban regeneration, Actor-Network-Theory Anna Minton, Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City (London: Penguin, 2009). 1
Sharon Zukin, The Cultures of Cities (Oxford: Blackwell 1995), 28. 2
Gordon MacLeod, ‘Urban Politics Reconsidered: Growth Machine to Postdemocratic City?’ Urban Studies 48, no. 12 (2011): 2645. 3
Kvæsthusprojektet and the Ideology of Human-Centred Architecture: On the urban regeneration of Copenhagen’s post-industrial inner harbour Andreas Volquartz Overgaard
In this paper, I investigate how a recent urban regeneration project - Kvæsthusprojektet, a former industrial pier that has now opened as a leisure-area for the public - is assembled as an actor in composing the official narrative of turning Copenhagen’s formerly industrial harbour into a ‘human-centred’ recreational harbour. I consequently discuss some of the conceptual assumptions that support the legitimacy of this narrative. I initially situate the site within a recent history of the city’s urban waterfront development. Kvæsthusprojektet proposes to symbolically differentiate itself from ‘the architecture of the new economy’1 materialised by earlier commercial projects such as Fisketorvet, a big shopping mall, and Kalvebod Brygge, an office park; not slippery abstraction through vertical glass and steel, but tactile realness through a horizontal surface of brown cast iron and ridged concrete. However, despite its claims of tactile honesty, I argue that Kvæsthusprojektet is carefully and deliberately composed to help establish Copenhagen as a 21st century tourist destination. In particular, a generic version of a fixed ‘History’ becomes a complicit actor in the fabrication of Kvæsthusmolen. The 2016 redesign has laid Kvæsthusmolen’s recent industrial past behind in exchange for a leisure-able present dependent on a generic understanding of ‘old days’ supported by ‘authentic’ materials, such as the aforementioned brown cast iron, thus materialising its deliberate move from modern industrialisation to postmodern leisure. Being a place for leisure, Kvæsthusprojektet is financially dependent on café life and food outlets, and as a Business Improvement District, I show that the social order of the site is continually made manifest in the ideology of beautification. The idea of beautification as a strategy for urban restoration is not unique to Kvæsthusprojektet. It has been widely discussed in urban studies literature, presented as ‘domestication by cappuccino’2 or a biopolitical endeavour to instil a civilized atmosphere throughout the urban fabric3 and thereby produce a welcoming appearance for the affluent middle class to experience the life of the city. The analysis hereby aims to show how the supposedly universally welcoming, human-centred architecture of Kvæsthusprojektet seeks to produce a public space which instils civilised behaviour as norm, thus acting discursively and materially to demarcate the field of recognized 61
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Standing near the water’s edge and looking towards the city / courtesy of the author
KVÆSTHUSPROJEKTET AND THE IDEOLOGY OF HUMAN-CENTRED ARCHITECTURE
behaviour in this branded space. By finally discussing the category ‘human-centred architecture’ within key concepts from the feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti’s The Posthuman,4 I suggest we challenge the universalist notion of ‘human’ applied throughout the project and insist on recognizing the specific differentiations of subjects and behaviours mobilized at Kvæsthusprojektet. The ‘Human’ universalised at Kvæsthusmolen seems to be one who drinks cocktails, feeds at food trucks and reproduces the cleanliness of a beautified area. It would be too simple to present Kvæsthusprojektet as a mere result of singular, overarching power-structures, for example as a move towards what Neil Brenner and Nik Theodore describe as an ‘urbanisation of neoliberalism.’5 I frame my analysis within a position labelled assemblage urbanism, which begs us to avoid such conclusions. On the contrary, it seeks to study the situated ordering of agency capacities distributed within specific urban relations.6 As an urban hybrid, Kvæsthusprojektet is the result of continuous conflicting negotiations between a network of actors who work to create inclusive public space in Copenhagen while still producing the city as a recreational scene for consumption. The recent history of Copenhagen’s waterfront development shows how the ideology of humanism has helped produce a public space genuinely interested in accommodating a wider range of people than ‘the architecture of the new economy’ at Fisketorvet and Kalvebod Brygge. But I argue that the category ‘human-centred architecture’ is essentially a modern endeavour, because it seeks to situate architectural production within a ‘grand narrative’ that is expected to facilitate an undifferentiated human subject. I suggest we move beyond such modern categories and describe Kvæsthusprojektet as the result of an inherently decentred set of actors with particular, but heterogeneous political and aesthetic interests. Neither ceding Kvæsthusprojektet to overarching power-structures, nor viewing the site as facilitator of a universally inclusive humanism, my analysis keeps insisting that Kvæsthusprojektet must be read as the result of specific distributions of agency capacities rather than of abstract ideological categories. Rather than presenting ‘human-centred architecture’ as a descriptive category including an undifferentiated human subject, we should study its site-specific regulatory performativity, and how it plays out its role in the larger networks it is helping to assemble. In this case, it is the careful production of a branded space in the post-industrial harbour of a 21st century city that proposes universal inclusiveness through the ahistorical finitude of the body, but exercises expectations of civilized order and beauty via a hybrid of public and private architectural materialities.
Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013). 4
5 Neil Brenner and Nik Theodore, ‘Cities and the geographies of ‘actually existing neoliberalism’ In Spaces of neoliberalism: Urban restructuring in North America and Western Europe Neil Brenner and Nik Theodore, eds. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 2-32.
Anders Blok, ‘Urban Green Assemblages: An ANT View on Sustainable City Building Projects’. Science & Technology Studies 26, No. 1 (2013): 5-24 and Ignacio Farias, ‘The Politics of Urban Assemblages’. City 15 No 3 (2011): 365-374. 6
*urban revitalisation, politics, space, urban policy, Jakarta, Indonesia Henri Lefebvre, State, Space, World: Selected Essays, edited by Neil Brenner and Stuart Elden, translated by Gerald Moore (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 168. 1
Lefebvre, State, 170.
David Kloos, ‘Living in a Makeshift World? Mobility, Temporariness, and Everyday Life in Indonesia’, Visual Anthropology Review 31, no. 2, (2015): 156. 3
Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 38. 4
Turning the Red Lights Green: Following the spatial translation of politics in the urban environment through the remaking of Kalijodo Helen Pangestu
The production of space ordinarily passes as technological for its engagement with the ‘concepts and methods of a predetermined science, [such as] demography, political economy, geography, [et cetera].’1 Space becomes a product of its science and at the same time, the site of its production. It goes hand-in-hand with knowledge to the point where practice is expected to give a flavour of neutrality to space, and render it immune to political disposition. But this is not always the case: space is political because it is a social product. As objects of study, as well as beneficiaries in the production of space, people end up moulding space not only physically, but also psychologically. The practice of politics was, and still is, regarded as a kind of ‘irrationality’ in urban planning mostly because it enables extraneous motives and distorts the ‘effectiveness of its science.’2 Space is the ultimate locus of struggle ‘in which resistance [is] rife and transformation [is] possible.’3 It carries multiple responsibilities: from containing the materiality of everyday function, to the social relationships built around it. According to Lefebvre, there are three ways of understanding space: as ‘spatial practice’ in which the daily activities of survival take place, as ‘representation of space’ where ideology and empirical knowledge is translated into spatial form, and as ‘representational space’ which emits the interactional and sociocultural values of its occupants.4 These are useful to either preserve existing order or generate change, and they negotiate with one another unrelentingly – even more so in an urban environment, with its endless, dynamic, and wildly diverse nature. This was revealed in the wake of urban revitalisation in Kalijodo urban park in Jakarta, Indonesia. Centuries-old riverside settlements were dismantled and replaced with greenery. This was in accordance with city planning, which aimed to restore a green belt and public space to the city. In this particular study the negotiation is simplified into reciprocal actions between three groups: the people, the government, and the space. The public, green, open space of Kalijodo is a rather disorienting experience. Stretching over 3.5 hectares of land in North Jakarta, it features recreational facilities such as a skateboarding park, jogging track, bicycle trail, and resting area, while also serving as natural border to balance urban development in surrounding areas. Here, visitors can 65
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sense overtones of territorial ownership in what is supposed to be a free and accessible space for all. Locals try to open themselves to the public while maintaining a certain level of communal seclusion, but also want to taste the social animation, and profit from it. Temporary structures ranging from amusement rides to kiosks, which are generally perceived as an irritation to the space are, on closer examination, solid testimony to this phenomenon. The effort to create respect and admiration for the city through modernising its built environment ended up creating the opposite. The clean and verdant landscape where these structures are located is, in every way, disconnected with the urban experiences of the community and instead adds to the contrast, ‘[t]oday more than ever, the class struggle is inscribed in space.’5 It is publicly known that the government and the people never really met, which led to confusion when figuring out how the space was received. Moreover, individuals invited to take part in the project were detached from the community they were actually representing. As a result, space that could and should be representational of the community in Kalijodo celebrates lifestyles of minimal relevance to the area. In this context, space as the product of human agency became an arbiter that ‘helps to shape social, economic, […] and political relations.’6 Indeed space is flexible, because of the ability of people to adapt and control it, and it does not diminish the role of public participation in the production of space. Planning ideas with communities that are continually regarded as peripheral can not only administer more tailored solutions to urban problems, but also advise on the accuracy of representations in space. With this mentality, cities should be built to accommodate people of diverse backgrounds, temperaments, occupations, and classes. Lefebvre asserted that the right to the city is hereditary in the urban environment, as it allows space to develop its characteristics in an organic and democratic manner.7 This authorisation should be put into urban policy, which would give all involved parties the power to regulate city planning. It should become the benchmark for sensible urban development that should be deployed for the good of communities big and small. 72 years after the independence of Indonesia, the separation of actors in the urban revitalisation project in Kalijodo still bears resemblance to the colonial era. With such treatment of others, perhaps it is worth contemplating if we have been truly independent after all. This study closed with a quote from Soekarno during his speech on the 435th anniversary of Jakarta in 1962, which also became the heading of an open letter by City Village Forum addressed to President Joko Widodo in 2016: ‘Let us build the city of Jakarta with grandeur. Grand not only in a materialistic sense, grand not only for its skyscrapers, its avenues — grand in every sense of the word, where it can be felt even in the smallest abode in the city.’8
5 Lefebvre, Production, 68.
Chris Butler, ‘Critical Legal Studies and the Politics of Space,’ Social & Legal Studies 18, no. 3 (2009): 7.
7 Henri Lefebvre, The Survival of Capitalism (London: Allison & Busby, 1976), 17.
Aktual, ‘Pidato Soekarno dan Paradoks Kebijakan Ahok ke Warga Miskin Jakarta,’ http:// www.aktual.com/ pidato-soekarno-danparadoks-kebijakanahok-ke-warga-miskinjakarta/ [accessed August 31 2017]. 8
*Michel Foucault, affect, biopolitics, baths Alfred W. S. Cross, Public baths and washhouses: a treatise on their planning, design, arrangement and fitting: having special regard to the acts arranging for their provision with chapters on Turkish, Russian and other special baths, public laundries, engineering, heating, water supply, etc. (London: Batsford, 1906), 223. 1
Baths and Barthes: The myth of hygiene Abhishek Senapati
I want to provide a contingent history, reading from the site of Ironmonger Row Baths and its complications (in the sense of a watch, in terms of its devices and enchantments) to see how it seeks to validate institutions of hygiene derived from state concerns over the biological corpus or ‘social body’. In this process, I would like to challenge the primacy of affect, and suggestions of its emancipatory potentials. This necessitates an examination of bathing typologies and the discourses surrounding them, primarily focused on the last half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. The resulting history argues that every affect, every intensity is vital and contested; architecture is complicit, in its incorporation of technologies and typologies of bathing, in its arrangements of the space, and in its very programme – it must be plumbed. The classical evocations of Ironmonger Row Baths, particularly in the architecture of the original 1931 iteration, in conjunction with the Latin terminology and typology of the baths, demonstrate how the discourse surrounding these baths was grounded in the almost mythic significance of Rome. The architect, Alfred W. S. Cross, wrote the 1906 Public baths and wash-houses, a guide to their construction. His title ‘having special regard to the acts arranging for their provision with chapters on Turkish, Russian and other special baths’ makes no reference to Roman baths as a type – despite his very clear desire to embody them, in the Roman hot room trialectic and typologies that are interposed in baths that are variously described as ‘Turkish’, ‘Russian’ and ‘Islamic’. Thus, the Turkish baths become populated with a variety of appeals to this classic Roman bathing typology, despite being nestled within an appropriated and errant terminological framework. Cross’ description of how these baths should be enjoyed provides further illumination in this respect, ‘[w]ith the application of a final cold tonic supplied by one of these baths the bathing operations are completed, unless, instead of the shower, the bather prefers the cold plunge bath which has become a recognised feature of all public Turkish baths.’1 It demonstrates how the typology of the baths cater and respond to public interests, but continue to claim their initial signifier of authenticity, that of tradition. Thus, it is combined with alternate signifiers and spatial rituals to undergo change beyond all recognition, eliding this difference as the 67
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Ironmonger Row Baths - 2017 / courtesy of the author
BATHS AND BARTHES
site is used to more completely mobilise affect through continued claims to tradition, to further manipulate bodily resonance. That this is a cognisant and continued process is indicated by Kenneth M.B. Cross, in the revised 1938 Modern Public Baths that he edited and published in the same year as his extension of Ironmonger Row Baths, to include a Turkish Baths Suite – with vapour room. As he says, locating his complicity, ‘[t]hough the process of steam bathing properly forms an essential feature of Russian and not Turkish Baths, there has been a demand of recent years for such provision to be made in the Turkish Baths suite.’2 This demonstrates how this manipulation of Turkish, Roman, and Russian bathing terminologies involves distortion of these typologies, in the mobilisation of affect. However, this mobilisation of affect transcends the purely historical or cultural. A.W.S. and K.M.B. Cross, in the 1932 Modern Public Baths and Wash-Houses which they wrote together, argue that ‘whether the water is scientifically free from bacteriological or other defects or not, it is essential in the interest of the bathing establishment as a whole that its appearance shall be fresh and clean’3 and going so far as to advocate that ‘[a]eration is required to impart the sparkle to the water and obviate the apparent ‘flatness’ that would otherwise be apparent.’4 This focus on appeasing the senses suggests that these notions of cleanliness are located, and indeed distorted (given the lack of care for such defects), within affect. I suggest these distortions parallel Roland Barthes’ notion of myth. My reading of Barthes’ idea of the myth, as messages transmitted and reinforced by media, is that they are constructed through mobilisations of affect. I take his signification that ‘pictures, to be sure, are more imperative than writing, they impose meaning at one stroke, without analysing or diluting it,’6 to ally it with my reading of affect – these autonomous resonances that similarly impose meaning at one stroke, without analysis or dilution – within these baths. The production of myth acts to locate meaning around this affect as ‘myth hides nothing: its function is to distort’7 in the baths, so that this distortion within the bathing discourse acts to legitimise – in what I term affective legitimations – the myth of hygiene. The distortion and reduction of typologies and the appearance of water to affective legitimations, pronounces them as mythological, acting to endorse an affective myth of cleanliness.
2 Kenneth M.B. Cross, Modern Public Baths (London: Amateur Swimming Association, 1938), 31.
A. W. S. Cross and K. M. B. Cross, Modern Public Baths and Wash-Houses (London: Simpkin Marshall, 1930), 23. 3
4 A. W. S. Cross and K. M. B. Cross, Modern Public Baths and Wash-Houses, 24. 5 Richard Brody, The Uses of ‘Mythologies’, http://www.newyorker. com/culture/ richard-brody/theuses-of-mythologies [accessed 10th September 2011].
Roland Barthes, Mythologies (New York: The Noonday Press, 1984), 108. 6
7 Barthes, Mythologies, 120.
*modern bazaar, arabesk, modernisation, IMÇ Meral Özbek, ‘Arabesk Culture: A Case of Modernization and Popular Culture,’ in Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, eds. S. Bozdogan, and R. Kasaba (Seattle & London: The University of Washington Press, 1997), 212. 1
An Architecture of Arabesk: The (re)making of Istanbul Manifaturacılar Çarsısı Pinar Senol
The term ‘modern bazaar’ implies a desire for adaptation, as well as being a seemingly contradictory synthesis. Yet the tension between the two notions constituting it generates a new meaning, rather than an individual comprehension of each. Doğan Tekeli, Sami Sisa and Metin Hepgüler’s İstanbul Manifaturacılar Çarşısı (İMÇ, Istanbul TextileTraders Bazaar, 1967) is an embodiment of this synthesis. Situated in the historic district of Unkapanı, stretching along the Atatürk Boulevard (which was constructed as a symbol of the modern city) the bazaar is a dialogue between the two conflicting ends, which eventually intertwine and create a new reality. Influenced by the spatial organisations of traditional bazaars and elements of vernacular architecture, the architects’ intention was to embody the local bazaar typology while embracing modernism and modern-day shopping habits. However, what came to define the bazaar’s identity over the years was the way in which it was appropriated and occupied by its users. Their acts of appropriation have implications that are beyond mere architectural interventions as, while they endowed the bazaar with flexibility and identity, they also contested the dichotomies that came to define modern urban life, by way of everyday acts. Therefore, the bazaar acquired a resistant character against the homogenising impact of modernity, while also being a means of existing within the modern urban environment. In this sense, İMÇ bears the characterisations of arabesk culture, which emerged in the city during the period when the bazaar began its life. Arabesk was a phenomenon associated with the lumpenproletariat in the city, which Meral Özbek defines as a popular response to modernity, ‘that simultaneously opposed and affirmed the modernising practices.’1 Initially a music genre that gained popularity among the rural populace who migrated to the cities following the period of ambitious political, economic and urban developments after 1950s in Turkey, arabesk later became the epitome of degenerate values, vulgarity, and alienation in the urban environment. It functioned as the paradigm of backwardness, providing modernity with a contrast through which it could be defined. However, according to Özbek, arabesk was a product of modernity itself, and it revealed the character of the modernisation process in Turkey 71
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One of the courtyards of the IMÃ&#x2021; / courtesy of the author
AN ARCHITECTURE OF ARABESK
after the 1960s, which cannot be understood as a linear trajectory from traditional to modern, as classical modernisation theory assumes.2 Özbek states that arabesk depicts a process of ‘articulation’ that is ‘at times a combination or synthesis, while at others an eclectic whole formed by contradictory and diverse elements standing side by side.’3 İMÇ is a place where this articulation is manifested spatially. Following a process of change initiated by the arrival of users it was not originally intended for, the bazaar developed as both a fragment of the urban modern city and an avid embodiment of bazaar culture and practices. The changes also reveal that the bazaar acquired a role of its own within the city. This is particularly evident in terms of the music industry – the nurturer of arabesk – as it came to occupy a part of the bazaar and situated İMÇ within popular culture, which then led to the bazaar’s association with the ‘new urbanites’: the urban other and the migrant. Eventually, the bazaar’s homogenous, orderly image was disrupted: the place was now defined by hybridity, filled with discordant images and objects. Doğan Tekeli stated that İMÇ was turned into a ‘rural bazaar’ through its evolution that altered its appearance.4 However, even though İMÇ became a place where the experience of modern life was redefined, this does not indicate a substitution: in the bazaar, instead of meanings replacing each other, they exist simultaneously and form an intricate nexus. Diverse modes of occupation and use within the bazaar convey how the habits, spatial practices, and cultural existence is persisted and adapted. The users reveal architecture’s inherent potentials, liberate it from hegemonic ideals and limitations of form, and create the modern bazaar. This is what Gaonkar defined as a ‘creative adaptation,’ which is ‘a site where ‘people ‘make’ themselves modern, as opposed to being ‘made’ modern by alien and impersonal forces, and where they give themselves an identity and a destiny.’5 Thus, the users of the İMÇ, (re)make their own architecture as they also (re)make themselves and their own modernity. The idea of a modern bazaar transgresses the sole embodiment of form or traditional architectural elements within the narrative of modernism, it becomes a state of being: aware of its hybridity, allowed to create itself and exist in its own way. Thus, the İMÇ demonstrates a kind of modernity created by its users, one that finds its essence in potentialities and contradictions. It is an architecture of arabesk that subverts and transcends, yet affirms and adapts.
Meral Özbek, Popüler Kültür ve Orhan Gencebay Arabeski (Istanbul: Iletisim Yayınları, 1991), 27.
Özbek, Popüler Kültür ve Orhan Gencebay Arabeski, 28.
4 Dogan Tekeli, Mimarlık Zor Sanat (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2012), 178.
Dilip P. Gaonkar, ‘On Alternative Modernities’ in Dilip P. Gaonkar, ed., On Alternative Modernities (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2001), 18. 5
*colour, colour theory, architecture, other, queer, maker, art, index, palimpsest, palimpsestuous, practice; Eileen Gray, heritage, conservation Fiona McLachlan, Architectural Colour in the Professional Palette (Oxon: Routledge, 2012). 1
Sarah Dillon, The Palimpsest: Literature, Criticism, Theory (London: Continuum, 2007). 2
Sarah Dillon, ‘Palimpsesting: Reading and Writing Lives in H. D.’s ‘Murex: War and Postwar London (circa A. D. 1916-1926)’’ Critical Survey 19, no. 1 Special Issue: Modernist Women Writers Using History (2007): 30. 3
R. Krauss, ‘Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America’ October 3 (Spring 1977): 68–81. ; R. Krauss, ‘Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America. Part 2’ October 4 (Autumn 1977): 58–67. 4
All the Colours of Gray: A palimpsestuous enquiry into Eileen Gray’s work as a modernity of colour Rachel Siobhan Tyler
Colour is spatial and material: it is what makes up our vision of the world around us. It is, therefore, indivisible from architecture. Successful use of colour has the potential to inexpensively revolutionise living spaces – be these urban or rural. Yet, it is often ignored or undervalued, particularly in contrast to form. Fiona McLachlan has suggested that colour theory is, indeed, completely absent from Western architectural curriculums. 1 Once, colour was integral to the core curriculum of the Bauhaus, and was extensively reconnoitred in the Modern movement. Today it has been essentially erased – or obscured. Why? Is it the fugitive nature of colour as a subject and material concept – a fear of the un-controllable? Or that knowledge of colour rests in practical application and use; is it only by using colour, or making colour, that individuals can begin to understand its complexities? All the Colours of Gray approaches these questions through a practice-led enquiry and an engagement with the material and making of colour. It turns to a ‘palimpsestuous reading’2 of Eileen Gray’s work as an art practitioner to explore the use of colour in her work and architecture. Palimpsestuous readings have a ‘queering’ power. Sarah Dillon argues this comes from a ‘continuing capacity to reinscribe otherwise traditional literary, critical, cultural and philosophic modes of thought.’3 This reading employs the creation of indexes4 of each of Gray’s built works in collaboration with photographer Tim Smyth. Combining material engagement with multiple material iterations of Gray’s practice (lacquer, wool, cork, gouache, glass negatives, colour recipes, and note taking) these indexes reveal Gray’s use of colour to have spatial and place-making affect. [Fig 1, 2 & 3]. These archival engagements and photographic indexes approach Gray’s work outside of the traditional academic approaches. In doing so, they reveal new perspectives on Gray’s work and new perspectives on colour. Furthermore, this approach was used to overcome various difficulties in accessing the architectural sites. Little of the original material or colour is left in Gray’s three built works; E.1027, Tempe a Pailla, and Lou Perou. Art practitioners who engage with processes of colour and material making are alert to both the ambiguous nature of colour and its potential to contribute to space production. Tim Ingold names the 75
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Fig.1 Index of E.1027, 2017, by Tim Smyth and Rachel Siobhan Tyler (original work) / courtesy of the author
Fig. 2 Index of Tempe a Pailla, 2017, by Tim Smyth and R. Tyler (original work) / courtesy of the author
ALL THE COLOURS OF GRAY
Fig.3 Index of Lou Perou, 2017, by Tim Smyth and Rachel Siobhan Tyler, (original work) / courtesy of the author
Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2013), 111. 5
Ingold, Making, 111.
Richard Sennett, The Craftsman (London: Penguin, 2009). ; Ingold, Making. 7
Ingold, Making, 109. 8
Joseph Rykwert, ‘Un Omaggio a Eileen Gray; pioniera de design’ Domus No. 468, (December1968). 9
Beatriz Colomina, ‘Battle Lines: E.1027’ Renaissance and Modern Studies 39, no. 1 (1996): 95–105. ; Katarina Bonnevier, Behind Straight Curtains: Towards a Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture (Stockholm: Axl Books, 2007). ; Jasmine Rault, Eileen Gray and the Design of Sapphic Modernity: Staying In (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011). 10
knowledge of a maker ‘personal knowledge’ and distinguishes it from ‘articulate knowledge’ or ‘joined up thinking’; knowledge which linguists argue is ‘assembled in the mind of the speaker prior to its vocal expression.’5 Ingold argues that articulation arrests feeling, and takes form as ‘statements about the known’ whereas, ‘personal knowledge both grows and unfolds in the field of sentience comprised by the correspondence of practitioners’ awareness and the materials which they work.’ It is therefore, ‘raised up at the forefront of our consciousness.’6 As recently brought to light by Richard Sennett, as well as Ingold, such knowledge is of utmost importance to understandings and fulfilment of human lives.7 Ingold points out; ‘What remains unspoken need not be left unvoiced; nor what remains unwritten be left without any inscriptive trace’. 8 Nevertheless, this form of knowledge is often placed lower down the academic hierarchy and is therefore dismissed, or not considered in the first place. However, a palimpsestuous reading attempts to trace, and then voice, this unwritten, unspoken knowledge of Eileen Gray. I suggest that previous architectural histories of Eileen Gray’s work have been unsuccessful in uncovering the practitioner’s knowledge and ability to harness the spatial qualities of colour. This is in part due to the dominance of some forms of representation, such as photography. Although Gray’s work was valued for its innovative use of colour, by critics contemporary to her practice, and expensive colour photographic technology was used to represent it, its importance was successively overwritten in the latter half of the 20th Century. From Joseph Rykwert’s 1968 article in Domus9 through to more recent feminist re-reading and writings of Gray’s work beginning in the 1990s,10 each re-writing has further obscured the vivid accounts and representations of colour in Gray’s work. Uncovered archival traces point to Gray’s material and practice-led colour research. A physical engagement with the material manifestation of Gray’s oeuvre reveals the spatial qualities in her use of colour. Limitations of traditional site visits are exposed; indexes offer new perspectives; diptychs reveal the difficulties in identifying changes in hue in black and white photography. Through an engagement with the ambiguous and complex nature of colour, conclusions may be made that Gray’s architecture was a modernity of colour, led by an understanding learnt through material practice. The palimpsestuous nature of this enquiry has been crucial in revealing an underlying, alternative modernism of colour, and the unwritten knowledge of practitioners who work with the materiality of colour in the medium of architecture. The queer potential of this palimpsestuous method has future implications for writing, heritage, and conserving histories of the other. 79
both-and: writing for architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;punctuation / courtesy of the author
*punctuation, interdisciplinarity, subjectivity, voice inaccurate, yet necessary: therefore pursuing this slippery sensation by proceeding by erasure, or ellipsis. Gayatri Spivak, ‘Introduction’ in Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Spivak (Baltimore, MD; London, UK: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997). 1
adventure. Yve Lomax, Writing the Image: An adventure with art and theory (London & New York: I.B. Tauris, 2000). 2
architecture–-punctuation Lili Zarzycki
I began the study of architecture––punctuation with an unspeakable sensation. Unspeakable, whether because it was inarguable or indefensible; to put it to words seemed inaccurate.1 It was nevertheless necessary to try: when people would ask me what the connection between architecture and punctuation was, I told them that ‘I think of them as the same thing.’ To work from such an inarticulate origin requires a tactics of methodology: for me this was inspired by Yve Lomax’s idea of adventure;2 an attitude of laughter and love that evokes associated terms of exploration, excursion, experimentation, and discovery. Most significantly, I understood it as placing emphasis on the research as a reflective and directional narrative, which permits the fallibility of the initial idea and makes room for the confessional. With this in mind, the research followed a set of marks I felt to be particularly relational, designated as waypoints, each chapter working between the theoretical and the creative-critical to evoke as much as to interrogate. Before I’d begun, I’d been thinking about emergent uses of punctuation, and how all these abbreviations, re-spellings, memes and accelerated re-codings that proliferate with increasingly txt-based communications – so railed-against by the stickler contingent as harbingers of the death of language – were actually so densely and multifariously significant, so imbued with affective resonance; I felt that they had to be doing something significantly architectural. Already, this feeling relies on a redefinition of what it might mean for something to be architectural; to proceed constitutes a challenge to that definition of architecture that is preserved by the professional architectural corpus, in its privileging of presence, of scale, of the figure of the Architect, of the edifice. I advocate instead for a view of architecture as a densification of spatial (re)formations, sensitive to the impact of slighter gestures, and processes of inhabitation. Punctuation, on the other hand, is refigured in the weight of its impact, in its emphasis as a powerful device of structural value, and as embodied; as performing the writer’s body across 81
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the temporal divide between reading and writing; as a transcription of affect. In this view, punctuation works as an intervention, contributing to an understanding of textual space that is constructed, relational, and ultimately architectural. These redefinitions are posed at the very point at which architecture and punctuation are first voiced together; the utterance situates the research in a shifting, interstitial space between disciplines. In attempting to define a locus for this point of exchange between architecture––punctuation, I turned to the hyphen in this construction as a point of situation. De-centered3 as much as it is central, the hyphen evokes ‘neither-nor,’ as much as ‘both-and,’ functioning as a hinge: not a definite or grounded point but a shifting, invisible joint between fields. As the research proceeds from the interstice, it moves from one end of the hyphen to the other, questioning the structures and operations of both. Its interstitial situation performs the very action of interdisciplinarity:4 it sets itself adrift from any area of comfort or competency, placing itself in a non-space that is bordered only through what it seeks to undermine. The anxiety5 of working in the interstice is contested by a continuous willingness to open to such vulnerability. To do so constitutes an act of resilience as well as surrender: resilience as the research works to maintain its meaning in a destabilised environment, and surrender, as it slips from the safety of canonical structures. With such an operation that is defined by the destabilisation of the very idea of disciplinary ground, what remains – or returns – is to proceed by ellipses:6 at each step letting go of each concept at the very moment it is most needed.
de-centered if central. Jennifer DeVere Brody, Punctuation: Art, politics & play (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2008), 85. 3
interdisciplinarity: I understand this word from Jane Rendell, where interdisciplinarity ‘calls into question the ideological apparatus that structures the terms and methods of specific interdisciplinary practices.’ Jane Rendell, ‘Introduction: Architecture–Writing,’ in Critical Architecture, eds. Jane Rendell, Jonathan Hill, Murray Fraser, Mark Dorrian (London & New York: Routledge, 2007), 1. 4
5 anxiety of interdisciplinarity: to borrow the title of an edited collection, and assert the prevalence of such a sensation. Alex Coles and Alexia Defert, eds., The Anxiety of Interdisciplinarity (London: BACKless Books in association with Black Dog Publishing, 1998).
ellipses: as evoking erasure; this is paraphrased from a quotation of Jacques Derrida. Spivak, ‘Introduction’ in Of Grammatology, xviii. 6
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