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Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary Social Coexistence through Everyday Spaces

PhD Dissertation by

ESPEN LUNDE NIELSEN

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PhD Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by: ESPEN LUNDE NIELSEN Master of Art in Architecture Principal Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Johan Verbeke Secondary Supervisor: Chris Thurlbourne Print: Aarhus School of Architecture, Nørreport 20, DK-8000 Aarhus C ISBN: © 2016 Espen Lunde Nielsen

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Summary

This research project investigates the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst for social coexistence and interaction. The term infraordinary is used to describe what is worn invisible by daily use and as an opposite to the extraordinary. It is the overall claim that the infraordinary dimension of the city plays a vital role for the social coexistence of and the correlation between its inhabitants. In an era of explosive growth of our cities, it is crucial to critically examine the everyday social dimension, if our cities are to be liveable in the future. To enquire into the everyday topography, a tactical research methodology is adopted, informed by a variety of alternative artistic and interdisciplinary practices, different from the prevalent working methods within architectural research. The research is facilitated and structured in a series of urban biopsies, where a range of spaces identified as infraordinary are explored from within. The urban biopsies should be seen as critical spatial practices. Some of the identified spaces are emerging directly from my own subjective life-world. Through this rigorous procedure, actual excerpts and fragments of the city are extracted. As a consequence, they are closer to the perspective of lived experience than the overall macro-view often favoured by architects and planners. Within this research project, the specificity of the given situation is embraced, rather than trying to create universal claims.

territory from initial constraining techniques for seeing different, literary devices, various photographic apparatuses, moving pictures and interactive installations. The urban biopsies, performed in Denmark, United Kingdom, Norway and the United States, bring together manifold perspectives on the infraordinary as a catalyst of social coexistence. Ultimately, in this dissertation, these are compiled into and presented through the narrative of The Infraordinary City. This research endeavour, as experimental practice, is not prescriptive, but an explorative supplement to existing practices, built on an implicit critique of the current procedures of the profession. Consequently, this research project contributes with a range of possible routes to understanding the everyday topography and our social coexistence within it, through an alternative and more nuanced prospect. Through my critical spatial practice, the infraordinary is uncovered in a micro-scale in order to see new opportunities for spatial invention - and potentially inform large-scale planning and the architectural discourse at large.

Accordingly, the research project introduces two conceptual approaches for probing into and interrogating the infraordinary: frameworks of perception and situated probes. Both are deployed in order to get at distance of the familiar and by-pass the usual hierarchies of perception to gain new knowledge. These critical spatial practices span an interdisciplinary

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S u m m ary


Danish Summary

Dette forskningsprojekt udforsker det infraordinære som omdrejningspunkt for social sameksistens og interaktion. Termen infraordinær betegner det upåagtede, som vi på daglig basis knap perciperer - og kan således forstås som et modstykke til det ekstraordinære. Det er den overordnede påstand, at den infraordinære dimension er vital for den sociale sameksistens og interaktion mellem byens beboere. Set i perspektivet af en epoke med eksplosiv vækst i verdens byer, er en kritisk undersøgelse og tilegnelse af den hverdagslige sociale og rumlige dimension essentiel, for at sikre at fremtidige byer socialt bæredygtige. For at udforske den hverdagslige topografi iværksættes igennem dette forskningsprojekt en taktisk diskurs, som er informeret af kunstneriske og interdisciplinære praksisser, som adskiller sig fra de gængse arbejdsmetoder indenfor samtidsarkitekturen og arkitekturforskning. Forskningen er faciliteret og struktureret omkring en serie af urbane biopsier, hvor en række rum identificerede som infra-ordinære, eller besiddende infra-ordinære kvaliteter, er udforsket indefra, igennem kritiske rumlige praksisser og interventioner. Nogle af disse udspringer direkte fra min egen subjektive livsverden. Igennem denne procedure tilegnes uddrag og materie, som ligger i forlængelse af den oplevede virkelighed. Igennem forskningsprojektet bliver det specifikke og iboende i den givne situation omfavnet, i stedet for at tilstræbe en objektiv gengivelse og universelle påstande.

praksisser udspænder et interdisciplinært felt bestående af indledende anskuelsesteknikker, litterære tilgange, fotografiske apparater, levende billeder og interaktive installationer. De urbane biopsier og udtræk heraf, udført i Danmark, Storbritannien, Norge og USA, tilvejebringer tilsammen en række mangfoldige perspektiver på det social sameksistens igennem det infra-ordinære og upåagtede. I sidste instans, i denne afhandling, er disse sammensat til ét overordnet narrativ: Den Infraordinære By. Hensigten med denne eksperimentelle praksis skal ikke anskues som normgivende, men som en sondering og supplement til etablerede praksisser indenfor arkitektur, delvist bygget på et indlejret kritik heraf. Således bidrager dette forskningsprojekt med en række alternative forståelser af den hverdagslige topografi og den sociale sameksistens igennem et alternativt og nuanceret prospekt. Det infra-ordinære udfoldes herigennem på et mikroskopisk plan for derigennem udpege en række muligheder og omdrejningspunkter for fremtidig rumlig og arkitektonisk nyskabelse – som potentielt kan informere stor-skala planlægning og samtidsarkitekturen generelt.

Således introduceres en række konceptuelle tilgange til at tilgå og udforske det infraordinære. Disse tager afsæt i kunstneriske praksisser, som iværksættes for at komme på afstand af det velkendte og omgå de gængse måder at anskue det hverdagslige på - og derved opnå nye erkendelser og ny viden. Disse eksperimentelle

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D an i s h S u m m ary


Acknowledgements

This dissertation would not have been possible without the generous support and positive attitude by countless people. First, I would like to acknowledge my principle supervisor Prof. Johan Verbeke for his enduring commitment and for his ability to know when to raise critical questions and when to give intuition space. Also, I would like to thank my secondary supervisor Chris Thurlbourne for valuable comments along the way. I would like to thank Aarhus School of Architecture for giving me the opportunity for conducting a research project like this, which I am immensely gratefully for. In that regard, I would like to thank Head of Research Claus Peder Pedersen for making it possible. Special acknowledgement goes to the late Platform for Architectural Experimentation: Izabela Wieczorek, Maya Lahmy, Stine Henckel Schultz, Anne Elisabeth Toft and especially Claudia Carbone, who have been a close collaborator, for instance in organising the symposium Spatial Experiments – Sound and Moving Pictures in 2016. Also, I would like to acknowledgements the faculty members, staff and students of Aarhus School of Architecture at large, for inspirational dialogues and support. Warm regards go my fellow PhDs (and post-docs) who on a daily basis made this research possible and pleasant. A special acknowledgement goes out to my office partner and constant collaborator Anders Kruse Aagaard.

people I met there. Along the way, collaborations and interesting discussions with Shin Egashira, Nat Mosley, Nat Chard, Michael Jemtrud, Florian Köhl, Colin Herperger, Carleton Immersive Media Studio (Stephen Fai, James Hayes, Ken Percy), CJ Lim, Mikhail Karikis, Jacob Kirkegaard, John Skoog et cetera, have been of paramount importance. Beyond the context of the period of this dissertation itself, I would also like to acknowledge the impact of Tine Nørgaard, Morten Daugaard, Stephen Willacy, Chris Thurlbourne, among other, who have been essential in developing my critical discourse over the years. A special thank goes out to Christian Wassmann for showcasing me an alternative discourse within the architectural practice and to SLETH for being collaborators since being a young student back in early 2008. Beyond everyone, I would like to thank my partner Karianne Halse without whom this dissertation and research project would not have been possible. She has been my biggest supporter and hardest critic throughout all parts of this project, and I owe her eternal gratitude for her crucial support.

I would also like to thank The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where I was a visiting research student in the spring of 2014. Especially, I am grateful to Jane Rendell and Iain Borden who functioned as supervisors for the duration being, and whose insights proved instrumental in the development of the research project. Also, special thanks to all the dedicated

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A ckn ow led g em ents


Preface / The Beginning

It is hard to tell where my interest in the spaces that I will later identify as infraordinary started. It seems like it was always there, but for a while repressed by undergoing the architectural educational programme, where the emphasis to a great extent is on the spectacular and the format of architectural competitions. Maybe, it started when being a small child occasionally staying in my grandparent’s grocery store, H Hansen Svan’s Efterfølger, in Bagsværd. Here my grandmother – by everyone referred to as ‘Moster’ (‘Aunt’) – had an intimate relationship with the costumers, high as low. This space was a true anchor point - a social vertex - in the local community. Not only did it supply the neighbourhood with basic goods, it also became a daily go-to point for many people. The kiosk was located in one of several building blocks run by a local housing association and the neighbourhood presented a diverse cast of dwellers, a good portion of which were offbeat characters. The kiosk became a basic social structure not only facilitating chance encounters, but also regular meetings and gatherings. Regulars would be offered a cup of coffee from the backroom – or others would, illegally, hang around to drink afternoon beers in the storage basement, that was accessible through a steep stair that penetrated the floor. It is not hard to imagine, how this would turn into a gossip house. For many, this would provide one of the primary interfaces for social interaction, and my grandmother greeted everyone without prejudice. The customers that could not make the trip to the shop called in and had one of the delivery boys to come by. In this way, the shop held the neighbourhood together and provided a sense of social cohesion. It was an implosion and condensation of the surrounding neighbourhood. Or perhaps it started much later, being a student working in New York and afterwards living in Berlin, realising other cultural-specific

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Prefac e

everyday topographies and the distinct qualities of Delis, Spätkaufs, Diners, etc. Subtle differences and divergences from what I was used to, which made the ordinary and trivial comes across as extraordinary and exotic. Having some months in Berlin doing nothing but touring the trams, spätkaufs, wastelands and bars with various versions of homemade pin-hole cameras, gradually directed me onto a path, that I would follow when returning for my last year of my studies and ever since. This interest was picked up and pursued during my last two projects of my architectural training, with a strong focus on everyday social coexistence. The diploma project, entitled ‘Eroding Permanences of the Infraordinary’, verbalised and explicitly explored the infraordinary, which laid the foundation for the formulation of the later research project. Here, the first prototypes of probes were deployed (a camera, tape recorder and boîte-en-valise), in the end informing the design of a motel, which represented a sped-up and miniature version of the surrounding neighbourhood in Queens, New York. Both during my education and my work experience from architectural practices, I have been oscillating between the discourses of urbanism/planning and experimental architectural design, before ultimately positioning myself in the hybrid territory between the two - to the degree where one teacher labelled my approach as schizophrenic (in the best possible understanding of the word, I hope). In a research context, the emergence of and focus on research-by-design and habitation as core strategies at Aarhus School of Architecture, as well as an ambitious upgrade of workshop facilities, machinery

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and technology, further laid the foundation for the becoming research endeavour based on exploratory making and practice-based experiments.


Summary 3 Danish Summary 5 Acknowledgements 7

Index

Preface 9 Index 11 A Short Introduction 15 Social Coexistence through the Everyday Topography 15 Lived-Life and Experience 15 Georges Perec, the Infraordinary and Ways of Seeing 16 Urban Biopsies, Probes and Frameworks of Perception 16 Research Domain 17 Structure of Research 17 Concluding Passageways 18

Reader’s Guide 19 The Infraordinary 20 Everything that is usually left out 20 Infraordinary Architecture and Inhabitants as Co-Authors 21 The Art in a Coffee Cup 23 The Ambiguity and Indeterminacy of the Infraordinary: An Impossible Enquiry 23 Making the Unfamiliar Familiar 24 Shifting Baseline Syndrome 25 The Infraordinary as Revolutionary Opposition to Rationalism 25 Positioning: Two Takes on the Infraordinary 26

Urban Biopsies, Lived Experience and Situated Knowledge

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Probing, Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes

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Socio-Spatial Coexistence: City as Archive

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Two Approaches to Probing the Infraordinary: Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes 30 What is Most Difficult to Discover 30 Cross-Fertilisations: Artistic Practices as Modes of Enquiry 30 Making Strange and Defamiliarising the Ordinary 32 Perec’s Frameworks of Perception 34 Microscopic Gazes 38 Probing the City 38 ‘To Get Out of the Ordinary’: Submersion and Distance 40 Design Probes 42 Productive Ambiguity 44 Critical Spatial Practices 45

Two Modes of Socio-Spatial Coexistence 48 Inhabitation and Urban Temporalities 49 City as Archive 49 Initial Positioning on the Infraordinary Social Dimension 50

Itinerary 53 THE STAIRWAY AND THE APARTMENT 59

The Stairway 68 The Protagonists of the Stairway 68 Peephole Camera: Ephemeral Non-Events 71 Failure: A Situated Way to Begin 71 Spatial Devices for Projecting Life: A Journey Around My Apartment 100 Sonic Wallpaper and Ordinary Acoustics 100 Parallel Worlds 102 The Relevance of Acoustic Communities and Sonic Disruptions in Everyday Life 103 Re-Wiring the Infraordinary 106 Sonic Environment 106 Drawing Occupation and Architecture ‘Undone’ 108 Alternative (Photographic) Representations 108 Intermixing of Suspended Life-Worlds 108 The Potentials of a Porous Everyday Realm: Indeterminate Socio-Spatial Boundaries 109

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THE BEDROOM WINDOW AND THE COURTYARD

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Window Panorama 116 Theatrical Performance 116 Stratification of Views 122 Window as Aperture to Other Worlds 122 Ethical dilemmas 126 The Boundaries of Public Space? 126 Street Mirror 132 Distorting the Perceived World 132 Bedroom as Camera - What is Far is Near 132 Architecture as Theatre of Social Coexistence 134

THE KITCHEN AND THE LIVING ROOM 137 Inventory / Surveying 138 Architectural Drawing 152 Lists and Description - A Way of Looking and Gaining Insight 152 House as Memory Machine 154 Collective Memory; Archive of Social Relations 158 Dispersed Social Coexistence 164 Social Vertex of the Friends, Family and Neighbours 164 Infraordinary Museum 164

Urban Cartographies and Paradoxes of Representing Reality

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The Cultural Specificity of the Infraordinary

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Paradox of Representing Reality 167 Photography as Evidence and Documents 168 Representations of Cities 168 Representing Reality through Alternative Urban Cartography 169 Staged Reality and Alternative Truthful Representation 171 Interweaving ‘Real’ and ‘Representational’ Materiality 171 The Impossibility of an Undistorted Representation of Reality 173

THE DRY CLEANER 179 Walking a Slice of London 219 Two Parallel Practices 221 Montage and Rag Picking 222 Another Gaze at the Habitual 222 Deconstructing Formal and Everyday Language 224 12 Takes on the Dry Cleaner 224 Re-Construed: The Dry Cleaner as a Socio-Spatial Vertex 226 Infraordinary Socio-Spatial Interface 226 Urban Vitrine: Reading the Neighbourhood 226 Allegory of the City: A Fragmented Totality 229

Socio-Spatial Laundry Landscapes 231 Short Detour on the History of Cleaning Clothes Prospect: The Social Topography of the Everyday Disordering and Porosity as Strategies for a Re-Calibration of the Socio-Urban Dimension

City as Theatre, Museum, Archive—or Hotel Lobby?

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THE LAMPPOST AND THE CITY 239 Prosthetic Probing 244 5 Acts 246 THE CITY AS COLLECTIVE MEMORY MACHINE 246 THE INHABITANTS OF THE HISTORICAL PAVEMENT 246 TRACES OF THE EVERYDAY 248 EXTRAORDINARY MEMORY RECONSTRUCTED 256 ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR 258 The Monuments and the Everyday 258 The Archive in Future Tense 258

THE HOT-DOG KIOSK 267 Footfall 343 Two-fold Critical Spatial Practice 343 1) Situated Probe(s) at the Hot-Dog Kiosk 343 2) Re-Choreographing the Infraordinary 348 A Day at ‘Ditten Fast Food’ 348 Vanishing Before One’s Eyes: The Challenge of Situated Research 352 Two Configurations Emerging from Failure 354 The Eroding Moment 354 Exhaustive Accumulative Practice 354 (Mechanically) Restricted Gaze 360 Photography as ‘Humble Servant’? 360 De-Familiarising and De-Territorialising Trivial Objects 364 Token of (Non-)Event 364

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Embodying the Users 368 By-passing the Usual Hierarchies of Perception through Making 370 Unpretentious and Including Aesthetics 370 Architectural Probes, Miniatures and Re-Choreographing of the Infraordinary 372

Implosion of the Neighbourhood 391 THE DANISH TABAC 393 Coffee, Salmon and Tobacco: A Conversation at my Grandmother’s Dining Table 396 The Regulars 396 Undocumented and Untold 398 Death of the Tabac-Kiosk(s) 398 Socio-Political Site-Writing 402 Infraordinary Monument 402 Out-Dated Technology or Lost Craftsmanship? Urban Melancholy, Continuity and Collective Memory 409 Kiosk Variations and Infraordinary Aesthetics 413 The Danish Tabacs: To be Taken Seriously! 413

Passageways (A Sort of Conclusion)

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The Infraordinary City 417 A Quick Stroll through the Infraordinary City‌ 417 Everyday Topography as Socio-Spatial Interface 418 Re-Calibration of the Everyday Socio-Spatial 419 Inhabitants as Co-Authors and Implosions of Neighbourhoods 420 Pledging for Porosity and Spatial Gapes 420 Redefining the Notion of Public Space 420 The Infraordinary as Design-Parameter 421

Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary as Spatial Discourse

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Closing Remarks and Future Research Terrains

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Uncovering the Infraordinary through Critical Spatial Practices 423 Two-Fold Situated Encounters of the Infraordinary 424 The Infraordinary as Indeterminate Category 424 Dialectics Between Micro and Macro 424 Inherent Paradox of Making Strange 425 Urban Biopsies and Theory as Relays 425 Challenging the Status Quo 425 Extended Situated Research Practice 426 Between the Representation, Presentational and the Socio-Political 426 Re-Choreographing the Infraordinary 427 Infraordinary and Unfamiliar Architectural Entities 427 Architectural Probes as Architectural Miniatures 427

Bibliography 431 Filmography 440 Photo Credits 442 Exhibition at Defence 445 Epilogue 447 Appendix 449

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A Short Introduction

Social Coexistence through the Everyday Topography The focus of this research project is on the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst for social coexistence and interaction. The city is understood as a framework through which people coexist through space and time. It is my argument, that the infraordinary – understood as the unregarded and seemingly insignificant everyday spaces – plays a vital role in this, and that in this lays a latent spatial potential and innovation. The social coexistence and interaction happen through events in real-time (e.g. direct face-to-face encounters) and deposits over time (e.g. an indirect encounters through materials and artefacts). However, in the recent years, our cities have gone through significant and rapid changes, which highlight the needs for addressing these issues critically, since they are often neglected and gradually vanish. Frequently, the city is planned in a top-down macro-view and in (so-called) rational and economic terms, which is in turn reflected in the architectural and urban topography.

Lived-Life and Experience Because of the beginning of this endeavour, stemming from my lived experience, I decided to continue to favour and explore this through the research project. Plainly, it seemed counter-productive to discard the lived and empirical dimension, to step into the role of the researcher, reflecting upon reality, yet withdrawn from it. Since, after all, I am not only a becoming researcher but also a member of this socio-spatial network of relations (that we call the city) myself. Consequently, I have used this as a starting point and catalyst for the research. Gradually, this turned into an operational and

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A S h or t I ntrod u cti on

1 Georges Perec, ‘Approaches to What’, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 209–11. 2 Tom Emerson, ‘From Lieux to Life...’, in AA Files 45/46: P for Perec and Paris ( Annals of the Architectural Association School of Architecture), ed. by Enrique Walker, 2 vols (London: Architectural Association Publications, 2002), 45/46, 92–97 (p. 92).

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critical discourse, in which it has been the aim to insist on the particular and situated, rather than the general and totalitarian view (see chapter ‘Urban Biopsies, Lived Experience and Situated Knowledge’).

project, Perec has been an essential source of inspiration and something to mirror my work and emerging concepts and theoretical perspectives in. Although, in the end, my undertaking takes an entirely different form.

Georges Perec, the Infraordinary and Ways of Seeing

Urban Biopsies, Probes and Frameworks of Perception

Many years ago, I encountered the work of the French author Georges Perec that instantly resonated with and extended my understanding of the spaces of the everyday topography that had caught my attention. Opposite many, Perec took a positive attitude and approach to the everyday, the daily routines and the seemingly banal. In his essay ‘Approaches to What’1, he coins the term ‘infraordinary’ as an opposite to ‘extraordinary’ and what is ‘below ordinary’, hence unseen. The theme is something that underlies his entire oeuvre, which has been labelled an ‘anthropology of everyday life’2. Not only did he write about the infraordinary, but he was also an experimental writer that kept inventing new ways of seeing and interrogating the everyday topography, often using formal constraints - and his gaze often favoured the spatial, visual and material encounters. This was the initial stepping stone, which lead to formulating the question on how we as architects can learn from this in order to see (and represent) the qualities of these unregarded spaces differently, to critically discuss them. However, the critical methodology of Perec does not stand alone, which I will elaborate on in the chapter ‘Probing, Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes’, which takes on a wider perspective on how artist, filmmakers, photographers have dealt with the subject matter in various ways, deploying practices different from the traditional modus operandi of the architect. Throughout the research

From an academic perspective, extensive research on everyday life has been conducted, evoked with new strength throughout the last decades. However, many of these favours political and theoretical perspectives – and a significant portion of these, from a critical standpoint, seem to stem from the same mould, building on seminal texts by scholars such as Lefebvre3 and Certeau4. Conversely, the aim of this research has been to use the actual spatial encounters to bring in a different and situated perspective. Thus, the research is facilitated through a series of urban biopsies, where a range of spaces considered infraordinary is explored from within - some emerging directly from my personal subjective life-world. Here the specificity of the given situation is embraced, rather that trying to create an objective account and universal claims. The city thus works as an active laboratory. The bioptic process is conducted through using various situated probes and frameworks of perception, being artistic and critical spatial practices, where the overall intention is to get at distance of the well-known and explore it through an analytic apparatus and thus bypass the usual hierarchies of perception to gain new knowledge, as will be explained in the introductory chapters ‘Probing, Frameworks of Perception & Situated Probes’ and ‘Urban Biopsies, Lived Experience and Situated Knowledge’. As will become evident, I have experimented with various critical spatial practices, setups, techniques and

3 Henri Lefebvre, The production of space (Oxford, OX, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell, 1991). 4 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984).


mediums in the intersection between art and architecture.

Research Domain Hence, the overall domain of the research has been pivoting around two central aspects (a twofold research domain) that need each other in a dialectical relationship, in order to bring in alternative perspectives: 1) Conduct research on the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst of social coexistence 2) Experiment with how artistic practices lend themselves to explore and articulate this

Structure of Research: Throughout the research, there has been a constant dialectical interplay between practice and theory, experiments and reflection. These have informed each other and pushed the research forward. From the beginning, the research project has been formally divided into three parts that appear differently on how the appears in the final dissertation. Three parts have been conducted in parallel: 1) Artistic Cross-Fertilisations: studies of existing artistic practices and their ways of exploring the infraordinary differently than what we usually as architects do. These have informed and cross-fertilised my practicebased experiments (urban biopsies) as well as providing a methodological and thematic contextualisation. 2) Urban Biopsies: practice-based experiments within the urban realm, where actual (tissue) samples are extracted from spaces and situations considered infraordinary. To obtain and see these spaces differently, situated probes and frameworks

2 1 3 Continuous exchange between the three structural parts of the research project.

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A S h or t I ntrod u cti on

of perceptions are deployed, informed by the parallel studies of artistic approaches. 3) Collocation of Urban Biopsies: The practice-based experiments are counterposed with each other, theory, related practices and architectural discourses to form perspectives and an overall whole: The Infraordinary City. Throughout the dissertation, I will introduce several methodological concepts of my own, some of them briefly mentioned above, such as urban biopsies, situated probes and frameworks of perception. Many of them serve as the methodological founding and have helped to structure the research and give the practice-driven experiments direction. In many ways, this journey did not follow a strict path that was set out from the beginning, but rather tried to navigate a partly unknown territory, using these as tactical guidelines. Along the way, I have interrogated the spatial encounters that occurred; that I had a hunch needed further research to unwind its intrinsic qualities and potentials. Thus, the end-goal and final endpoint of this endeavour have been partly ambiguous, undetermined and open-ended from the very beginning. The research project incorporates a horizontal scope touching on various elements within the profession, spanning from urbanism, architectural design, sociology, the arts, theory and philosophy.

Concluding Passageways In the last section, Passageways, and the following chapters some of these trajectories and perspectives serve as concluding remarks. The prime and overall contributions of this research project are to present another way of perceiving and treating the infraordinary and everyday social dimension

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of the city. The endeavour of this thesis contributes to a range of possible routes to understanding the everyday topography and our social coexistence within it, through an alternative and more nuanced prospect. Through critical spatial practices, the infraordinary is uncovered in a micro-scale in order to see new opportunities for spatial invention - and potentially inform large-scale planning and the architectural discourse at large.


Reader’s Guide

This is at the same time a dissertation and a travel guide. A city constructed by the urban biopsies, empirical experiments and fragments of reality obtained will guide the reader through the elements of the research project. It is the intention of this overall narrative to ease the understanding and cast some perspectives of the performed research. The dissertation is divided into two types of writing and formatting: 1) Urban Biopsies: The empirical experimentation and accounts of both the critical spatial practices and technical activity of making. The gaze is inward and detail-oriented. These urban biopsies are performed in a Danish (Aarhus and Copenhagen) and International context (the UK, US and Norway). 2) Perspectives, contextualisation, diagonals and theories: Takes a more metaposition of the research, in which the intention is to tie together some of the urban biopsies (empirical elements) with historical accounts, related discourses, overall contextualisation and emerging perspectives. In a way, this dissertation comes together as a ‘book’ but consists of several books. This structure also suggests multiple ways of reading the dissertation and its open-ended nature. I hope the reader does not get too lost along the way, although navigating it will, perhaps, be a challenge at times.

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Th e I n fraord i n ary

The Infraordinary

The everyday and its practices go by many names: the ordinary; the habitual; the common; the commonplace; the familiar; the quotidian; the day-to-day; the usual; the wonted; the trivial; the customary; the routine, and the list goes on.

1 Oxford, ‘Thesaurus: Synonyms of Ordinary’, Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2016 <https:// en.oxforddictionaries. com/thesaurus/ ordinary> [accessed 21 November 2016].

2 Georges Perec, ‘Approaches to What’, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 209–11. 3 An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, trans. by Marc Lowenthal (Cambridge, Mass.; New York: Wakefield Press ; D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers [distributor], 2010).

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Most of these words have different connotations. Where routine and trivial indicate a physical activity, often in a negative perspective, words as habitual, familiar and usual rather indicate a cognitive process of familiarity. Ordinary is usually not meant in a positive way either. Following the Oxford Thesaurus1, one soon arrives at the words such as banal, uneventful, uninteresting, dull, boring, uninspiring, non-essential, insubstantial, having rather negative connotations. Conversely, out-of-theordinary is often understood as something to strive for in all aspects of modern society. However, the infraordinary as coined by Perec takes on an utmost positive attitude. Rather that being something to be fought against and overcome, conversely, it is to be celebrated, explored and ‘make them speak’. How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs every day: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infraordinary, the background noise, the habitual? 2 The infraordinary is coined by Georges Perec in ‘Approaches to What?’ and later explored further in ‘An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris’3 and runs through most of his writings (which will be elaborated in the coming chapters), as an interest in the banal, the obvious, the common, the background noise, the habitual: To question the habitual. But that’s just it, we’re habituated to it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to

pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither questions nor answers as if it weren’t the bearer of any information. This is no longer even conditioning, it’s anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?4 This anaesthetic condition is backed up by Anthony Vidler, who argues that ‘we seldom look at our surroundings’5. Streets, buildings and monuments are in everyday life only the backdrop, passages through which our bodies pass, ‘on the way to work’. He goes on: In this sense cities are “invisible” to us, felt rather than seen, moved through rather than visually taken in.6 Also Paul Virilio, who commissioned Perec’s Species of Spaces, picked up on the infraordinary and added that in our cities nothingness and void can never exist: There will always be a background noise, a symptom, a sign, a scent, that traditional notions of urban geography failed to pick up, and it is these things which are ‘infra’. What interested Perec was, according to Virilio, the potential of the things that are ‘not hidden in the obscure, but hidden in the obvious’ and the potential of the banal to ‘become remarkable’ 7.

Everything that is usually left out Another way of approaching the infraordinary is through the early films by Jim Jarmusch that are often comprised of what usually – in a Hollywood movie – would be left out and considered unimportant trivialities. If you think about taking a taxi, it’s something insignificant in your daily life; in a film when someone takes a taxi, you see

4 Perec, Approaches to What, p. 209 5 Anthony Vidler, Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000), p. 80. 6 Vidler, p. 80.

7 Paul Virilio, ‘On Georges Perec’, in The Everyday, by Stephen Johnstone (London; Cambridge, Mass.: Whitechapel ; MIT Press, 2008).


8 Jarmusch quoted in: Peter Keogh, ‘Home and Away’, in American Independent Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader, ed. by Jim Hillier (London: BFI Publishing, 2000), p. 127. 9 Stranger Than Paradise, 1984. 10 Mystery Train, 1989. 11 Night on Earth, 1991. 12 Coffee and Cigarettes, 2004. 13 Paterson, 2016. 14 Andrew Otway, ‘Chapter 10: Night on Earth, Urban Wayfinding and Everyday Life’, in Urban Cinematics: Understanding Urban Phenomena Through the Moving Image, ed. by François Penz and Andong Lu (Intellect Books, 2011). 15 Paul Auster, ‘Night on Earth: New York—Jim Jarmusch, Poet’, The Criterion Collection, 2007 <http://www. criterion.com/current/ posts/571-nighton-earth-new-yorkjim-jarmusch-poet> [accessed 27 June 2016]. 16 Otway, p. 172.

them get in, then there’s a cut, then you see them get out. So in a way, the content of Night on Earth is made up of things that would usually be taken out…8 Often, his films, such as Stranger Than Paradise9, Mystery Train10, Night on Earth11, Coffee and Cigarettes12 and the recent Paterson13, are set in the everyday locations such as in a diner, taxi, hotel, etc. and is engaged in the (non-)events of daily life and coexistence through time and space, using the city as medium. Jarmusch is neither interested in the grand stories and blockbuster narratives, but rather the insignificant events, everyday life and destinies of the inhabitants of the city. For instance, although through the title and the opening shot of Night on Earth (depicting the earth seen from outer space), promises a totalitarian gaze, it instead zooms in and gives a few accurate accounts of what it means to live on this planet following the moment in life of a handful of cab drivers and their customers in 5 different cities14. Here, the microscopic view is favoured over the macroview, giving a rich and manifold account from the ground focusing on the insignificant and daily ‘non-events’. On Jarmusch’s films, Paul Auster writes (almost mirroring Perec’s ‘what happens when nothing happens’): Nothing happens, or so little in the way things traditionally happen in stories that we can almost say that there is no story 15 As architects, we are usually very fond of concepts, often based on preconceptions and expresses a stylistic logic within the profession instead of resonating with the surroundings and the people inhabiting it. A concept in architecture could be understood similar to a plot in a film. Jim Jarmusch believed that fiction should have no plot, because neither did life16 – subsequently, why should architecture, then? After all, plot as a

term is derived from navigation and concerns the connection of points on a map or chart. It prescribes a route or, alternatively, it outlines a secret plan. Instead, what is presented throughout this thesis is an extended range of subplots – or put in other words, the simultaneous coexistence of several plots, reflecting the city and human existence at large.

Infraordinary Architecture and Inhabitants as Co-Authors Similarly to Jarmusch’s films, this thesis focuses on the infraordinary and social dimension in an architectural discourse: everything that is left out, unnoticed, unassumed, not considered or included in the way that we, as architects, conceive, design and understand space. In many ways, the infraordinary can be found in the margins of architecture: in the in-between. As Spoerri and Wigglesworth’s drawings of the inhabitation of dining tables, the architecture serves as a framework in which life happens and unfolds through occupation, inhabited and mediated by ordinary elements. In Topography of Chance, even the simplest elements can be signifiers of triggers of a wide range of narratives17. Like the table, architecture engages in a dialectic and reflexive relationship between the build and the lived. As architects, we are always dealing with the everyday topography in one way or another, through creating the framework for new realities through building upon existing ones. Architects tend to work from certain inherent codecs (way of understanding and processing): We take certain things for granted, and almost follow certain ‘scores’ on how to operate. It is my claim that we need to question those practices. Constantly, the profession is in search for the extraordinary

17 Daniel Spoerri and others, An Anecdoted Topography of Chance (Re-Anecdoted Version) (New York: Something Else Press, 1966).

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Daniel Spoerri, The Topographical Map of Chance, 17. October, 1961.

Daniel Spoerri, tablecloth with ‘snare-picture’.

Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till, ‘Increading disorder at a dining table’, 1997.

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18 Jane Rendell, ‘Doing It, (Un)doing It, (Over)doing It Yourself : Rhetorics of Architectural Abuse’, in Occupying Architecture: Between the Architect and the User, by Jonathan Hill (London; New York: Routledge, 1998).

and spectacular, rather than elevating the qualities in what lies directly in front of us, yet hard to see. We do architecture, and after this is conceived and built, people move in and undo it18: hanging up curtains, lamps and family photographs on the walls; moving in their outof-style furniture and oriental rugs; relocating doors and partitioning walls; leaving traces of their footsteps on the floors. In the course of time, the space becomes theirs. Needless to say, architecture is more than simply twodimensional images of spectacular shapes and compositions. First and foremost, it is to be occupied and used by people – and hence, these should be understood as co-authors of space.

almost infinite range of historical, social and cultural trajectories. Similarly, Perec asks us to question even the smallest of things that we encounter on a daily basis: What we need to question is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms. To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us. We live, true, we breathe, true; we walk, we open doors, we go down staircases, we sit at a table in order to eat, we lie down on a bed in order to sleep. How? Where? When? Why? Describe your street. Describe another street. Compare. Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out. Question your tea spoons. 20

The Art in a Coffee Cup

19 Keith Tyson, ‘Art in a Coffee Cup’, Louisiana Channel, 2014 <http:// channel.louisiana.dk/ video/keith-tyson-artcoffee-cup> [accessed 22 October 2014].

A cup of coffee comes to mind. What seems very ordinary represents a series of extraordinary technologies and inventions: the porcelain cup that we drink of; the stovetop espresso or filter machine that brew the coffee; the roasting techniques of the bean; the transportation device that brought the beans to this far-away country; the farmers that for generations invented methods for cultivating the plant, etc. Furthermore, all of these stem from other inventions and technological gains. A given cultural codex even inform the act of drinking itself. The artist Keith Tyson goes even further and argues that even though a coffee cup ‘hides behind its utilitarian function’ – being something that you acquire for 2.99$ and drink off – it also deals with the evolution of materials, design, laws of physics and even the universe. Like everything else, he argues, the coffee cup does not exist as a separate entity but is part of an infinite field of relations.19 A very precise artefact that has been shaped during centuries, from which one can follow an

20 Perec, ‘Approaches to What’, p. 210.

The Ambiguity and Indeterminacy of the Infraordinary: An Impossible Enquiry If following the section above, the infraordinary is a construct between individual experience and culture, it hence eludes ultimate definition. It is not possible to do a list of infraordinary spaces; what is infraordinary in one context, for one human being and in a particular situation, may be utmost exotic for another or in a different situation. Let us take a kimono: very ordinary in Japan, but not so in Denmark. Following Blanchot, the everyday is a dimension of human experience rather than an abstract category21, and hence outlines a challenging encounter. As with the general philosophical and practical approaches to the everyday and the quotidian, the concept of the infraordinary is full of paradoxes and ambiguity. ‘… the everyday escapes. This is its definition.’ Blanchot claimed.22 The everyday is not only the left-overs when everything else is categorised – it is also

21 Michael Sheringham, Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 16. 22 Maurice Blanchot and Susan Hanson, ‘Everyday Speech’, Yale French Studies, 1987, 12–20 (p. 15).

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23 Sheringham, p. 19.

24 Sheringham, p. 18.

25 Blanchot and Hanson.

26 Blanchot and Hanson; Sheringham, p. 18.

27 Sheringham, p. 19.

28 Sheringham, p. 22.

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potentially ‘the present, alive with the forces of lived but uncategorizable experience’23. Blanchot argues, that even though a variety of sciences have developed tools to study it (disciplines such as sociology, ontology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, literature) the quotidian is ‘inexhaustible, unimpeachable and always open-ended and always eluding forms or structures’. It simply eludes an unambiguous definition, and hence the infraordinary presents itself as a difficult encounter also in an architectural discourse. The main problem for studying the everyday dimension is, may be that it is simultaneously too much with us and ‘yet remote from us, still in the horizon.’24, echoing Blanchot: man is… at once submerged in the everyday and deprived of it25 Blanchot identifies the everyday as 1) insignificant, 2) uneventful and 3) overlooked26. This research project, following the trajectory of Perec, questions this threefold notion, and especially picked up on the infraordinary as the ‘overlooked’ dimension. For many of the scholars (Lefebvre) and artists (situationists, surrealists) dealing with the subject matter, the city street is the quintessential space of the everyday, at times to the extent where the street is more important and vital than the points it connects. The street presents itself as an arena infused by the public and private realms: a space where ‘the intimate and personal is anonymized through chatter and hearsay.’27. However, this project takes another stance and identifies other boundaries and interfaces of exchange between the private and public domains. Far from being dominated by sameness, the everyday is an arena of endless difference28. Nor should the ordinary dimension of the each day be understood as

a contrast to some extraordinary. It is not an ‘empty time’ or ‘nul moment’ that awaits the next ‘extraordinary moment’ for the latter to ‘give it meaning, suppress or suspend it’29. Following this, it is my critical stance that it is in the infraordinary that much of the social correlation lays, since this is our prime territory – and if we start paying attention, this is in fact quite miraculous. Accordingly, the ‘big social order’, is made possible by the ‘small social order’ of the everyday, and vice versa30, but should not necessarily be understood as binary oppositions. However, to probe and enquire into the infraordinary and everyday dimension presents itself as a critical balance act. To pay attention to the everyday involves a tension between knowledge and experience: We fail to connect with the everyday when we make it an object of ‘scientific’ knowledge, reducing it to its statistical content – but equally, we miss out when we lavish too much attention on it, when we invest it with superior qualities, in a redemptive vision, for example…31

29 Blanchot and Hanson, p. 16.

30 Søren Kristiansen and Nils Mortensen, Sociologiske analyser af hverdagslivet (Roskilde Universitetsforlag : [sælges på internettet, 2014), p. 11.

31 Sheringham, p. 21.

Making the Unfamiliar Familiar The telegraph, telephone and internet used to be extraordinary things, but by the cause of time, they have become ordinary things - some of which we carry in our pockets and consider indispensable. Ben Highmore argues, that this very process of making the unfamiliar familiar lies in the centre of modernity. It is a process for getting accustomed for the new - for transforming the most revolutionary of inventions into the mundane32. Most inventions (especially technological ones) undergo a development from extraordinary to common – and some of them even become extraordinary and exotic again, as they become out-dated and rare: a steamship, typewriters and telephone boxes

32 Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London u.a.: Routledge, 2010), pp. 2–16.


could be in this category. Even long before modernity, unfamiliar items, such as tea or spices imported by the Dutch, were gradually made familiar in a European context. This also highlights how complex a category the infraordinary is, as it is based on familiarity and mental processes. As I will discuss in ‘Probing, Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes’, this is the reverse process of making strange, which is central to see the ordinary afresh.

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

33 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 91. 34 Daniel Pauly, ‘Anecdotes and the Shifting Baseline Syndrome of Fisheries’, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10.10 (1995), 430.

My spaces are fragile: time is going to wear them away, to destroy them33 Growing up in at a specific time surrounded by infraordinary typologies, these presents a biased notion of an ‘original’ and, in turn, ‘ideal’ world, through ‘the shifting baseline syndrome’34. This may also be the reason that some of the spatial typologies that you meet throughout this dissertation may seem on the verge of being antiquated or slightly out-dated. Thereby not said that I am longing for a past world that is close to extinction, but rather that I am trying to bring some of these qualities forward to our future build environment. For older readers than myself, some of the typologies that I represent and explore may seem to present only one specific time-period of many. However, these typologies are also the one that does still widely exist, yet gradually disappearing and changing shape – so the moment for capturing, conserving and reinventing them is this very moment. Because it is on the verge of disappearing it becomes visible to us again: When fading away that we can grasp it, its meanings and qualities, like that of a fainted photograph. Accordingly, the once-familiar gradually slides back into being unfamiliar. Our cities are changing rapidly – and

instead of anchoring architecture to the neighbourhood, it is anchored to global paradigms. The small grocery stores that used to be an almost prosthetic extension of a person (and the local community) are replaced by generic supermarkets (owned by large, sometimes even foreign, corporations). These out-dated spaces seem to have more texture, more friction, more personality, being more situated. As our cities and societies at large, the infraordinary itself is everchanging.

The Infraordinary as Revolutionary Opposition to Rationalism Historically, the practices relating to the everyday are born out of a critique of the way that society is going. Perec’s infraordinary and his contemporaries’ discussion of the quotidian in general, was a reaction to the rapid modernization of Paris and the French society as well as the functionalism associated with it35. Eugene Atget’s photographs documenting ‘Old Paris’ was a reaction to the fast Haussmannisation and modernisation of Paris, where the old urban fabric with all its lived life had to be demolished to make way for spectacular boulevards and urban structures. The infraordinary in many ways are an opposite of architecture as purely rational and ‘functional’ that is based on statistics, diagrams and economic rationality. It is the position of this research project that buildings and objects that form our daily environment have ‘a function that is separate from their practical use’36.

35 Sheringham.

36 Asger Jorn, ‘Architecture for Life’, Potlatch #15, 1954.

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Positioning: Two Takes on the Infraordinary In this thesis, I take up two positions on the infraordinary. The first is the infraordinary understood as the spaces of the everyday that is worn half-invisible by daily use. This takes up the original meaning of infra-ordinary, being below ordinary as well as the notion of the invariables, the things that we take for granted because it is – to some degree – our stable daily companion37. Here the focus is on the seemingly insignificant elements of architecture itself in relation to the social dimension and coexistence. The other is the infraordinary understood as the unseen, unregarded and unassumed urban typologies in a disciplinary perspective of the architectural profession and urban planning. This is the spaces and places that are so ordinary that we do not notice nor value them. These includes the familiar social vertexes of hot-dog kiosk, tabac and stairway as well as other the unregarded elements belonging the (semi-)urban realm and overall framework of the city, through with we coexist on a daily basis, directly or indirectly.

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37 G Adair, ‘THE ELEVENTH DAY: PEREC AND THE INFRA-ORDINARY’, The Review of Contemporary Fiction: Spring 2009: Georges Perec Issue, 29.1 (2009), 176–88.


Urban Biopsies, Lived Experience and Situated Knowledge

The research is facilitated through a series of urban biopsies, where a range of spaces considered infraordinary is explored from within - some emerging directly from my subjective life-world. Here the specificity of the given situation is embraced, rather that trying to create an objective account and universal claims. 1 Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (London: Vintage, 1972).

2 ‘Definition of DIAGRAM’, 2016 <http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/ diagram> [accessed 1 April 2016].

In Invisible Cities1 two ways of understanding the city are put forward: that of the cartographer, who knows the city in numbers and overall features, and the one of the camel driver, who knows the city through its physical, everyday appearance and encounters through lived experience. As with the camel driver, I am exploring other ways of understanding the ‘infraordinary’ socio-spatial dimension of the city than the diagrammatic and reductive macro-views often favoured by planners and architects. Although the process of simplifying complex situations through tracing and ‘drawing out by lines’2 is in itself a valid and powerful tool, it is ultimately a process of excluding information until the desired relations are rendered visible. However, one may ask, to what degree this act of filtering and classifying is based on a set of culturally inherited practices within the profession and predefined world-view, and rather constitutes what we already know and hence less productive for spatial invention and other ways of understanding the everyday topography. Perhaps, the process of understanding the city on a macro-level is more often than not a projection of concepts or ideas onto the city, rather than the other way around. Conversely, the city is multiperspectival and –dimensional and thus resists being reduced to an overall diagram or macro-view. This brings to the front this research project’s criticism of scale, which is often

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U r b a n Bi ops i es, Li ved Ex peri en c e an d S i tu ated Kn ow led g e

3 Niels Albertsen, ‘SCALE CONCEPTIONS: A Dialogical Adventure into Human Geography, Actor-Network-Theory and Architecturology’, (Unpublished), 2012, 12. 4 Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to ActorNetwork-Theory (Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008).

5 Donna Haraway, ‘Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective’, Feminist Studies, 14.3 (1988), 575–599.

6 Oxford Dictionaries, ‘Definition of “Biopsy” in English’, Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2016 <https:// en.oxforddictionaries. com/definition/biopsy> [accessed 21 November 2016].

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considered an indispensable concept in architecture and planning3. However, in my perspective (partly owing it to Niels Albertsen), the city does not operate with ‘already gives sizes or levels’, but instead ‘dynamic and changeable scalar dimensions of socio-spatial reality’. It is not a vertical hierarchy (as the cartographic ‘zoom’), with binary oppositions between micro and macro, but instead an intricate set of relations between objects, spaces and people, which may evoke Latour’s Actor-NetworkTheory4. What seems a small (in scale) and insignificant element or action can play a (decisive) role elsewhere in the network. Therefore, it is the aim of this research endeavour to embrace the specificity of the given situation, rather that trying to create an objective account and universal claims. The approach is partly auto(bio)graphical and takes departure in my own experienced lifeworld. A position that takes into account both the agent of the knowledge producer (me) and the object of study and thus lies in line with Haraway’s definition of situated knowledge5, which favours the partial and situated view and questions traditional objectivity: […] how to have simultaneously an account of radical historical contingency for all knowledge claims and knowing subjects, a critical practice for recognizing our own “semiotic technologies” for making meanings, and a no-nonsense commitment to faithful accounts of a “real” world, one that can be partially shared […] In the discipline of medicine, a biopsy is defined as ‘an examination of tissue removed from a living body for diagnostic purposes’6. However, originally the word is a bringing together of bios ‘life’ and opsis ‘sight’ or ‘to see’, and thus means ‘to see life’. Hence the propositional concept ‘urban biopsy serves as an operational methodological position and way of sampling the actual city and to

see lived life or traces thereof as part of the spatial entity. The city becomes an active and living laboratory in the scale of 1:1. As is medicine, the process of conducting a biopsy calls for specific types of devices, instruments and techniques, which will be examined in the coming chapter.


Probing, Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes

1 ‘Definition of PROBE’, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2016 <http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/ probe> [accessed 30 March 2016]; Jacob Riiber, Generative processes in architectural design: phd thesis ([Kbh.]: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, School of Architecture, 2013), p. 57 <https://issuu.com/ cita_copenhagen/docs/ cita-phd-thesis_jacob_ riiber-2013>. 2 Tuuli Mattelmäki, Design Probes (Helsinki: University of Art and Design, 2006). 3 Riiber, p. 57.

Through using various situated probes and frameworks of perception, being artistic and critical spatial practices, the intention is to get at a distance of the well-known and by-pass the usual hierarchies of perceiving to gain new knowledge. The practice-based experiments do not provide a solution to a particular problem but are deployed as ways of seeing, probing into, entering dialogues as well as discussing, informing and catalysing the research domain and subject matter forward. In the following section, I will describe the background for the practice-based and explorative techniques deployed throughout the project. First, I will briefly outline the theoretical background and how artistic practices can lend themselves as modes of enquiry. Then I will draw up the two conceptual approached that I have utilised in this project, frameworks of perception and situated probes, before exemplifying and contextualising these distinct approaches through the practice of Georges Perec and other artistic kinships interrogating the ordinary. Finally, I will relate to existing research methodologies Design Probes and Critical Spatial Practices and introduce the term Productive Ambiguity. The word probe has a double meaning: it may signify both a physical device (noun) as well as an activity (verb)1. Hence the title of the research project, Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary, assumes a double meaning, both as an enquiry into the ordinary and the physical devices implied in this interrogation. Both are active modes of enquiring into something in an explorative manner: […] probes always act as instruments to answer (research) questions. When an experiment is labelled as a probe, it designates it with an explorative nature, rather than making them instrumental in solving a known problem. In this way, a probe is something created and observed in context 2+3

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Two Approaches to Probing the Infraordinary: Frameworks of Perception and Situated Probes

4 Frederik Tygstrup and Claus Peder Pedersen, ‘Æstetisk Geografi - Jean-Luc Godards kortlægning af Lausanne (Aesthetic GeographyJean-Luc Godards Mapping of Lausanne)’, in Cartography, morphology, topology., by Cort Ross Dinesen (Kbh.: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole, 2009).

Through deploying various physical experiments the intention is ‘scientifically, to get at distance of the well-known and explore it through an analytic apparatus to gain new knowledge’4. In this project, a distinction can be made between two ways of probing into and conducting the urban biopsies: 1) frameworks of perception and 2) situated probes. The first is directly inspired by the practice of Georges Perec - which will be explained in the coming part - a structured gaze using constraining techniques or formal rules. This is primarily a way of focusing awareness on certain aspects and hence be able to look at it afresh and allows for a re-evaluation of its (socio-cultural) connotations and values. Often, the outcome of this approach is representational. The second approach is situated probes, which is spatial implants and devices that operate in a closer and constant dialogue with the surroundings, situations, places and people. This critical spatial practice not only aims to explore and represent the space and situation in question but also simultaneously engages in a direct spatial dialogue and reflexive questioning.

What is Most Difficult to Discover The infraordinary and everyday surroundings are hard to see, because of its ambiguity and indeterminacy5. We are at ‘at once engulfed within and deprived of the everyday’ and thus it is ‘most difficult to discover’6. Perec goes even further and says that ‘we sleep through our life’ in a sort of spatial anaesthesia. Furthermore, Kracauer defines the phenomena ‘blind spots of the mind’, a group of things normally unseen as ‘habit and prejudice prevent us from noticing them’ 7, in which ‘the familiar’ is a subgroup: Nor do we perceive the familiar. It is not as if we shrank from it […] we just take it for granted without giving it a thought. Intimate faces, streets we walk day by day, the house we live in—all these things are part of us like our skin, and because we know them by heart we do not know them with the eye. Once integrated into our existence, they cease to be objects of perception, goals to be attained8 Consequently, this calls for special techniques to see and understand these familiar things and surroundings worn invisible by use.

Cross-Fertilisations: Artistic Practices as Modes of Enquiry Various artist, photographers and filmmakers have operated with different frameworks of perception to look at the everyday topology through. Often, these incorporate other ways of enquiring into the urban and spatial reality, than those typically used by architects, often with a focus on open-ended questioning rather than proposing answers. According to Pallasmaa, the architecture of architects most often expresses ‘architecture’s internal stylistic set of codes

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5 Michael Sheringham, Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006). 6 Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation, trans. by Susan Hanson, 2nd edition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), pp. 238–39. 7 Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 53. 8 Kracauer, pp. 54–55.


9 Juhani Pallasmaa and Peter B MacKeith, ‘Spaces of Melancholy and Hope: Mise-EnScéne in the Films of Aki Kaurismäki’, in Encounters 2: Architectural Essays (Helsinki; Manchester: Rakennustieto ; Cornerhouse [distributor], 2012). 10 Nigel Coates, ‘Narrative Break-Up’, in The Discourse of Events, by Architectural Association (Great Britain) (London: Architectural Association, 1983). 11 Hence, in direct prolongation of the Beaux-Art approach to architecture and didactics of Aarhus School of Architecture.

more than the individual ways of living of the inhabitants, whereas the milieus of artists, photographers and film-makers resonate with the characteristics and fates of their inhabitants’ 9. What he identifies, is a discrepancy between the profession of architecture and lived-life of people, while artistic enquiries are closer in-sync with the present tense. Evidently, this is not always true. However, many artists incorporate another sensibility that we, as architects, can learn from: through question the everyday spaces and our habitual existence in a multitude of ways.

Jim Jarmusch, Coffee and Cigarettes, 2003.

The greatest impact, it seems, can be caused by unsettling the things which are normally too ordinary even to be noticed 10 Hence, cross-fertilisations from artistic fields can lend themselves to provide alternative ways of probing into the world, from an architectural perspective11. The formulation of the initial methodological framework of this research project started with a three-fold interest in Georges Perec’s experimental writing, Atget’s extensive photography and Jarmusch’s films, which all depicts the infraordinary and lived dimension of our cities and the people inhabiting them. These represented three distinctly differently disciplines, techniques and approaches, which informed the initial experimentation, urban biopsies and probing techniques, to look differently at the ordinary. Subsequently, in addition to inspiration from writers, photographers and filmmakers, this was concurrently informed by a multitude of artistic, mixed-media enquiries of the infraordinary of less representational and more performative character: from Duchamp’s readymade Fountain, Spoerri’s snare-pictures of dinner tables, Allan Wexler’s unsettling of the community around the coffee table in Coffee Seeks its own

Eugène Atget, Coin rue de Seine, circa 1924.

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12 Jane Rendell, Art and Architecture: A Place between (London: I. B. Tauris, 2006), chap. Social Sculpture; Shelley Sacks and others, ‘A Banana Is Not an Easy Thing’, in Exchange Values: Images of Invisible Lives. (Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2002); Joseph Beuys, ‘Not Just a Few Are Called, but Everyone’, in Art in Theory, 1900-1990: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell, 1993). 13 Claire Bishop, ‘Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics’, October, 1.110 (2004), 51–79. 14 Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational aesthetics (Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2002), p. 113. 15 Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London u.a.: Routledge, 2010), pp. 12–16.

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Level, Benoît Maybrey’s Speaker Mailboxes, Sophie Calle’s performative encounters in for instance a Venetian Hotel, Matta-Clark’s Fresh Air Cart, etc. Furthermore, this is highlighted by concepts such as Beuys and Sack’s social sculpture12 and Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics13, in which the artistic practices and artworks are intertwined with the social dimension, moving outside the gallery: a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space 14

Making Strange and Defamiliarising the Ordinary Central to the process of viewing the ordinary in a new light (within a culture of rationalism) is the process of making strange15: Through disruptions, the common can be reconceived differently. Such a disruption could be extreme events or disasters that make one re-experience the habitual surroundings. Similarly, artistic practices lend themselves to do so on a smaller scale, which was central to the Surrealist movement, with for instance their displacement of objet trouvées. By slightly altering the reality or common objects provides a way of getting out of the ordinary, of ‘unsettling it’. In the essay ‘Art as Device’, Viktor Shklovskij argues that the ‘automatization’ (or familiarisation) ‘consumes’ things (‘clothing, furniture, one’s wife’) to the point beyond recognition, and continues: … Art exists in order to recover a sensation of life, to feel things, in order to make the stone stony. The goal of art is to give the sensation of things as seen, not known; the device of art is to make things “unfamiliar,” to increase the difficulty

and length of their perception, since the perceptual process in art is valuable in itself and must be prolonged; art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object, the object in art being itself unimportant16 Through a process of defamiliarization, using art as a device, the familiar may seem strange, and we can perceive it afresh, as if encountering it the first time, instead of the ‘object referred to by our practical, daily, or even scientific discourses.17

16 Viktor Shklovskij quoted in: Lawrence Crawford, ‘Viktor Shklovskij: Differance in Defamiliarization’, Comparative Literature, 36.3 (1984), 209 (p. 210) 17 Crawford, p. 210.


Sophie Calle, ‘The Hotel Room 47’, 1981.

Alan Wexler, ‘Coffee Seeks its own level’, 1990.

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Perec’s Frameworks of Perception

Perec in Rue Vilin, Paris, conducting one of his Lieux envelopes.

One such device for defamiliarising the ordinary is Perec through using formal and literal constraints. Throughout the research project, various artistic practices serve as inspiration and stepping-stones for the practice-based experiments and research conducted throughout the research project. Of these, the most prominent and instrumental is Perec, for whom interrogating the infraordinary was one of his four cornerstones throughout his oeuvre (alongside the autobiographical approach). He is interested in qualifying the unseen aspects of everyday life, through the initial and central question: How can we speak of these “common things,” how, rather, can we stalk them, how can we flush them out, rescue them from the mire in which they remain stuck, how can we give them a meaning, a tongue, so that they are at last able to speak of the way things are, the way we are?18 Perec invented methods to, in a playful manner, produce a mode of objectivity that challenges the way of operating by the social sciences19. The first step is simply to stop and describe what is so trivial, that it is hardly noticeable: You must set about it more slowly, almost stupidly. Force yourself to write down what is of no interest, what is most obvious, most common, most colourless20 Later, by meticulously following game board like rules, he made it possible to slow down perception, by-pass the usual hierarchies of perception21 and enables us to capture what lies at the fringe of our perception or latent in the spaces surrounding us. Throughout his oeuvre, Perec invented sorts of optical devices for looking with, through deploying sets of formal constraints

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18 Georges Perec, ‘Approaches to What’, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 209–11. 19 Jean-Charles Depaule, Pierre Getzler and Clare Barrett, ‘A City in Words and Numbers’, in AA Files 45/46: P for Perec and Paris ( Annals of the Architectural Association School of Architecture), ed. by Enrique Walker, 2 vols (London: Architectural Association Publications, 2002), 45/46, p. 124. 20 Perec, ‘Approaches to What’. 21 Tania Ørum, ‘Det Infra-Ordinære’, in Virkelighed, Virkelighed! - Avantgardens Realisme Antologi., by Karin Petersen (Tiderne Skifter, 2003), pp. 133–69.


MICROCOSM

22 Stefanie Elisabeth Sobelle, ‘The Novel Architecture of Georges Perec’, in Writing the Modern City: Literature, Architecture, Modernity, by Sarah Edwards and Jonathan Charley (London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2012). 23 David Bellos, Georges Perec a Life in Words (London: Harvill Press, 1999).

24 Jean-Paul Thibaud and Nicolas Tixier, ‘L’ordinaire Du Regard’, Le Cabinet D’amateur, Presses Universitaires Du Mirail, n°7-8 (1998), 51–57.

that ‘motive a kind of conceptual thinking in parallel with that of any architect’22.

THE PAGE

Perec had 4 ‘modes of interrogation’ running through all of his writing: 1) Sociological / How to look at the Everyday (Sociologique / ‘Comment regarder le quotidien’), 2) The Autobiographical (D’ordre Autobiographique), 3) The Ludic (Ludique: his taste for formal, systematical and mathematical constraints) and 4) Le Romanesque23. The infraordinary - as theme and critical practice - is strongest in the works where the sociological and the ludic converge: THE UNIVERSE

Species of Spaces moves linearly from the microcosm to macrocosm: starting with the page of the book, then zooming out through the bedroom, apartment, building block, neighbourhood, city and finally ends in the universe. A journey through the variations and complexity of the concept of space, that renders the spaces as bits and pieces, diversified, fragmented and ambiguous. The constraining rules provide a mode to assess and question the layers of space as complex human constructs, nested inside one another, each with a rich multiplicity of meaning. For the unfinished Lieux-project he returned to the same 12 places once a year for 12 years, each time to describe them from experience as well as memory, before sealing the descriptions in envelopes. Here he followed a mathematical permutation scheme that would result in 288 texts, with one of the practical constraints being that it was to be written in-situ. As Thibaud and Tixier trace out24, description is often performed while walking, entering from different angles and with changing visual orientations. Each of the descriptions provides a temporal snapshot and survey of the particular location. Where Species

MACROCOSM

Above: The spatial nesting of Species of Spaces. Below: Permutation scheme and superimposed descriptions (memory + experience) of the Lieux-project. If the endeaveaur had been finished, this would result in 288 texts.

3 4 6

1

5 2

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of Spaces moves linearly through space, Lieux moves through time - and employing the accumulated descriptions it captures the changing urban morphology and ongoing gentrification, as well as his changing perception of these places.

Perec’s permutation scheme based on the Knight’s Tour, which was instrumental in forming Life a User’s Manual.

The corresponding section of the building block of Life a User’s Manual.

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An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris feeds directly off the abandoned Lieux project. An Attempt works with the constraint of describing ‘what happens when nothing happens’ from stationary positions around Place Saint-Sulpice during a three-day period. From his liminal positions at cafés, at tabac windows and benches he records what is within his field of vision – sometimes his even pointing away from the square itself, looking at the people arriving and leaving. Perec is less interested in the actual architecture and square as such, since ‘these things have been described, inventoried, photographed, talked about or registered’25 already, but rather what happens in-between the walls and spatial demarcations: the occupation, non-events and passing of people, cars, clouds and pigeons. Life a User’s Manual26 follows the systematic movements of Knight’s Tour around a 10 x 10 grid representing a section of a fictitious apartment block in Paris while describing the inhabitants, objects, embedded narratives, social relations and temporalities within, following a series of other constraints (among other, a series of objects to described informing the narrative). Here he ‘focalizes’ and moves in and out of space and time through objects and present and past inhabitants. Rather than a traditional narrative following one or a few protagonists, this is a cross-section of the simultaneous coexistence of several fates and histories of its residents, collectively forming an overall narrative.

25 Georges Perec, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, trans. by Marc Lowenthal (Cambridge, Mass.; New York: Wakefield Press ; D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers [distributor], 2010). 26 Perec, Georges, Life, a user’s manual, trans. by David Bellos (London: Vintage, 1987)


Tabac St. Sulpice 18. OCT 1974 10:00 AM 1 19. OCT 1974 10:45 AM 5 19. OCT 1974 2:00 PM 7

Café de la Mairie 18. OCT 1974 12:40 PM 2 18. OCT 1974 5:10 PM 4 20. OCT 1974 11:30 PM 8 20. OCT 1974

+

+

+ (Former) Brasseri-Bar La Fontaine Saint-Sulpice 18. OCT 1974 3:20 PM 3

+ Bench

19. OCT 1974 12:30 PM 6

Perec’s approximate positions and views of An Attempt to Exhaust a Place in Paris.

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27 G Adair, ‘THE ELEVENTH DAY: PEREC AND THE INFRA-ORDINARY’, The Review of Contemporary Fiction: Spring 2009: Georges Perec Issue, 29.1 (2009), 176–88. 28 Tom Emerson, ‘From Lieux to Life...’, in AA Files 45/46: P for Perec and Paris ( Annals of the Architectural Association School of Architecture), ed. by Enrique Walker, 2 vols (London: Architectural Association Publications, 2002), 45/46, 92–97. 29 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 51. 30 Bernard Magné, ‘Georges Perec, Oulibiographer’, trans. by Daniel Levin Becker, Drunken Boat <http:// www.drunkenboat.com/ db8/oulipo/featureoulipo/essays/magne/ oulibio.html> [accessed 9 June 2014].

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Perec is concerned with describing the material world, objects and space rather than the internal life and psychological depth of the characters featured in his writings. Often, he describes what is within his cone of vision as a sort of camera27 - moving through or situated in space while describing it creating a ‘simultaneity of perception and representation’28. There is a reciprocal relationship between the spaces and the people that inhabit them: both is fragile and ‘melts like sand running through one’s fingers’, constantly in the process of changing. Perec ‘decipher[s] a bit of the town’29 one step at a time, guided by the formal constraints and techniques: A traditional screenplay proceeds for a central ‘idea,’ simple enough to synopsize in a few lines, which is then expanded and enriched through appropriate scenes. Here, conversely, it is from that play of elements derived from the initial constraint that a story is constructed 30

Microscopic Gazes Similarly to Perec, also others have worked with formal constraints, rules and techniques to (re-)experience the spaces of the everyday. In his Paris documentaries Dalí engages in a series of reports in which, during 5 minutes every morning, he records everything within a much more restricted field of vision - being a 25cm2 surface at the ground of a Parisian park observed from his position at a bench or the temporal occupation of hands, fingers and objects at table tops at a bar31. Walter Benjamin’s mental tour down One-Way Street32 where each element encountered becomes a queue for larger discussions and his cumulative Arcade Project33. Here he used a combination of his ‘microscopic gaze’34 and ‘indefatigable command over theoretical perspectives’35.

Probing the City Formal constraints as can serve as scores for navigating the larger urban complexity, chance encounters and seeing different: In the documentary film SacroGRA36 the director Gianfranco Rosi set out on a journey, following the ring-road highway, Grande Raccordo Anulare (‘Great Ring Junction’), that encircles Rome. During the 68,2 km orbit, we are presented for a cross-section of the diverse people and (sub-)urban topography, offering an everyday Rome very different from how we usually perceive the city. Although the overall constraint is drawn in the large scale, it zooms down into the microscopic (underscored by the ant on top of the map on the poster). In many ways, the formal structure of this experiment is echoing Perec’s formal constraints of Life A User’s Manual, although instead of fictional writing here the camera acts as probe or prosthesis for investigating, collecting and conserving

31 Salvador Dalí, Robert Descharnes and Yvonne Shafir, ‘32. Documentary - Paris 1929 - III’, in Oui: the paranoid-critical revolution : writings, 1927-1933 (Boston: Exact Change, 1998), pp. 98–100. 32 Walter Benjamin, OneWay Street, and Other Writings (London: NLB, 1979). 33 Walter Benjamin and Rolf Tiedemann, The arcades project (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1999). 34 Iain Borden, Jane Rendell and et al., ‘Things, Flows, Filters, Tactics’, in The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001), p. 4. 35 Susan Sontag, ‘Introduction’, in OneWay Street, and Other Writings, by Walter Benjamin (London: NLB, 1979), p. 19. 36 Sacro GRA, 2014.


37 London Orbital, 1st Penguin Edition (London: Penguin, 2003).

38 François Maspero, Roissy Express: a journey through the Paris suburbs (London; New York: Verso, 1994). 39 Elizabeth Wilson, ‘Roissy Express: A Journey Through the Paris Suburbs (Review)’, AA Files, 1997, 109–11 (pp. 147–49).

actual fragments of lived life. Years before, British psychogeographer Iain Sinclair performed a similar journey in London Orbital37, walking along London Orbital Motorway M25 and ‘stumbling upon converted asylums, industrial and retail parks, ring-fenced government institutions and lost villages’. Through this extreme walk, he gradually uncovers an alternative representation of London. The writer Francois Maspero and photographer Anaik Frantz followed the express subway Roissy Express (RER) that crosses Paris and its suburbs. They would get off one stop a day and thus create a ‘picture of daily life in France that tourists seldom see’ – a very multi-dimensional and ethnically diverse one38. The idea came to Maspero after doing a documentary in China and realising that he had never truly explored his own city, which formed his everyday. Opposite of the Disneyfied’central Paris marketed to tourists, Maspero is looking for the real Paris and real Parisians in the neglected suburbs39. Both SacroGRA, Orbital London and Roissy Express take an off-center point of view to reveal a different – or perhaps the true – metropolis, through a multiperspective and impressionistic approach. Also, the Situationists’ techniques of dérive and détournement offered other ways of critically (re-)experiencing and representing the everyday urban geography and familiar objects, although less formal and systematic in its approach. Similarly, when living in Berlin as a student (on leave) having nothing to do for four months, I also set out on a series of journeys (alongside Karianne Halse). Although not bound by particular physical constraints like Maspero and Rosi, it followed a few simple rules: First and foremost to maximise the use of the monthly unlimited travel pass through simply jumping on the first tram or train that appeared, without knowing where it would

Poster, Sacro GRA. Depicting at the same time the miniature ant and the grand urban tour.

Roissy Express, diagram of journey performed by Maspero et al in 1994.

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lead us (looking at maps was banned). If something interesting occurred along the way, we would follow the flow. At times, we would change to another line or mode of transportation just to see where that would lead us. The ultimate goal of the journey was to see the other (or perhaps real) Berlin’. We would bring one or two one-shot pinhole cameras made of cardboard shoe-boxes, and when we came across something that we wanted to capture, the journey ended, and we would return home to develop the single photograph. The transportation system became our office, sometimes circling the ring-line for hours, and what we encountered along the way would, naturally, took the discussions in new directions. Through the situated drifting, following a situationist mindset, through experience and the camera as ‘situated probe’ we would gradually gather our private version of Berlin, different from the representation on the tourist postcard.

‘To Get Out of the Ordinary’: Submersion and Distance

40 Tygstrup and Pedersen. 41 Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache (Original Title: Lettre À Freddy Buache), 1983.

40

Similarly, in the essay ‘Aesthetic Geography- Jean-Luc Godard’s Mapping of Lausanne’ Frederik Tygstrup40 puts forward the idea that the camera and moving image, in the case of A Letter to Freddy Buache41, is a sort ‘prosthesis of insight’ (‘erkendelsesprotese’), through which we can see the world differently and thus gain new knowledge. As Godard himself puts it toward the end of the filmed essay, the aim is ‘to get out of the documentary, of the place where we live or lived, and try to examine it scientifically.’ Constraining techniques, being a device or formal constraints, provide a sort of exteriority while at the same time being situated within and grasped by the space of enquiry: as Lefebvre overlooking the street from his liminal position at his balcony.

Trying to grasp the rhythms of the street, he argues that it is necessary to get outside them, but not entirely: ‘A certain exteriority enables the analytic intellect to function. However, to grasp a rhythm it is necessary to have been grasped by it; one must let oneself go, give oneself over, abandon oneself to its duration.’42. Hence, it is necessary to ‘situate oneself simultaneously inside and outside’ – be it through illness or technique. For Lefebvre, the balcony overlooking the busy street represents a situation where one is simultaneously grasped by and removed from it. However, the problem of representing reality is not unproblematic, which will be discussed in the chapter ‘Infraordinary Cartographies and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’.

42 Henri Lefebvre, ‘Seen from the Window’, in Rhythmanalysis space, time, and everyday life (London; New York: Continuum, 2004), pp. 27–37 (p. 27)


Photograph from Berlin drifting, 2010 .

One of the large impromptu cardboard camera constructed during Berlin drifting.

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Design Probes In the field of design, the concept of design probes (at times also referred to as cultural probes) is established as a way of enquiring into a given situation with the help of artefacts, as a way to embody a different set of sensibilities than most social research methods:

43 Kirsten Boehner, William Gaver and Andy Boucher, ‘Probes’, in Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social, by Celia Lury and Nina Wakeford (London; New York: Routledge, 2012), p. 185.

44 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 186.

42

Probes are a method for developing a richly textured but fragmented understanding of a setting or situation. Developed in a design context, their purpose is not so much to capture what is so much as inspire what might be43 These probes propel conversations between designers, people, situations and places. As alternative research instruments, they make a virtue of uncertainty and risk, different from the ones traditional methods offers: their primary aim is to open up new possibilities, rather than converging towards singular truths. This approach drew from the theory and playful techniques of the situationist international and (to some extent) surrealist: for instance the surrealist techniques of ‘provoking new dialogues’ and ‘elevating the unconscious’ through dream writing and games of chance44. This was in prolongment of inspiration from the situationist’s idea of situating these into the everyday and the fabric of place through techniques such as dérive and détournement. Often, the design probes would be a physical artefact handed over from the researchers to the people, who are given various tasks, asked to fill in the blanks and return them back after a pre-defined duration. Examples of this is a dictaphone for capturing dreams; a ‘Listening Glass’ and notepad for registering the neighbour’s conversations; disposable cameras with specific instructions; and other curious inventions and provocative items that would

produce ‘rich and evocative glimpses of the varied participants’ lived and communities’. It was not the intention to analyse the returns of the Design Probes in the traditional sense. In general, it is problematic to generalise, compare and make summaries due to the nature of the responses. Rather, altogether, the probes produce a multidimensional and textural understanding. To rationalise the playful, subjective approach embodied by the probes – such as to design them to ask specific questions and produce comprehensive results – is counterproductive since it misses the very point that gave birth to the conceptualisation behind Design Probes: …the Probes embodied an approach to design that recognizes and embraces the notion that knowledge has limits. It’s an approach that values uncertainty, play, exploration, and subjective interpretation as ways of dealing with those limits45 Rather, instead of analysing and generalising on the received feedback, the researchers would work on sketch proposals from specific fragments and the overall texture of the returns. Later these would be followed by prototypes and final designs that made their way back to the intended user group. Tracing a direct narrative line between the probes and the proposals would, according to the researchers, be a mistake46. Rather, the whole process of creating the probe artefacts, the framing of the enquiry, interpretation of returns, prototyping of design responses and the assessment of design implementations is of equal importance. As their primarily motive is to aspire new and unexpected areas in the space of possible designs, the probes ‘need not to be accountable to values such as replicability, representativeness and comprehensiveness, generalizability, or even accuracy’47. Instead,

45 William W. Gaver and others, ‘Cultural Probes and the Value of Uncertainty’, Interactions, 11.5 (2004), 53–56.

46 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 194.

47 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 195.


they are about getting designers, researchers and participants out of their comfort zones, with an emphasis on uncovering surprising particularities and invite unexpected responses, which standard methods (with their emphasis on certainty and generality) would disguise. Hence, they provide a fresh view of the familiar surroundings and situations. What my version of the situated probes primarily shares with the notion of design probes, are well summarised in the following excerpt:

48 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 195.

49 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 197. 50 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 197.

Courting the unexpected uncovers subjective truths: interpretative, multiple and provisional ways of acting and making meaning in the world. Valuing subjectivity over objectivity shapes the corresponding values embodied in the probe process. Idiosyncratic and felt experiences are valued over the majority or statistically significant ones. Evocative glimpses are preferred to complete pictures. Uncertainty is valued as a productive state for exploration rather a condition to be resolved. Playfulness is valued as an attribute that stimulates creativity and engagement. Intuition is valued as a powerful source of knowing and acting. In short, inspiration for design areas is valued over information 48

A variety of Cultural Probes, developed by researchers at the Royal College of Art (RCA) as part of the EU-funded Presence project. A kit of design probes were handed over to elderly people in Norway, The Netherlands and Italy to foster a mindful and playful interaction between researchers, people and place.

The most important aspect is, that a probe must be probing, and thus requires some kind of engagement and to give people something to react upon: a prompt rather than a script49. It is evaluated on its ability to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open up conversations, provides inspiration, and results in innovative ways of thinking about and designing for a specific contextâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;50. Always specific to the gives situation and site, probing and enquiring into the (partly) unknown, as a generative and productive force: To place value on not knowing as generative or productive is itself to work

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against the tide of certain teleological thought, which imagines progress as a one-way passage, the move from what is not known towards the goal of knowing and knowing more51

51 ‘Tactics for Not Knowing: Preparing for the Unexpected’, in On Not Knowing How Artists Think, by Elizabeth Fisher and Rebecca. Fortnum, 2013. 52 Boehner, Gaver and Boucher, p. 195. 53 Gaver and others.

Here, nuance, complication and ambiguity are embraced, opposite of science’s pursuance of certainty, fixity and simplicity. Instead, their interpretation is provisional which allows several interpretations to coexist.52 Through a hint of strangeness, the probes produce something evocative, which gives an inspirational response from the given situation and people, meant to elicit inspirational and fragmentary clues about the probed reality.53

Productive Ambiguity

54 Jo Reichertz, ‘Abduction, Deduction and Induction in Qualitative Research’, A Companion to Qualitative Research, 2004, 159; Miri Levin-Rozalis, ‘Searching for the Unknowable: A Process of Detection — Abductive Research Generated by Projective Techniques’, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3.2 (2004), pp. 1–18

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Accordingly, the performed urban biopsies, frameworks of perception and situated probes navigate the yet unknown to arrive somewhere new. They indeed present a way of probing without an already predefined plot, but rather following a hunch that there is something of importance there, without knowing exactly how it will materialise. Even in their most ‘finished’ state, the experiments retain some of this productive ambiguity that is open to various interpretations and conceptualisations, rather that producing hard scientific facts. Evidently, this methodology is not the most cost-effective strategy: sometimes you find what you are looking for, at times nothing at all. Nevertheless, to see things differently, it is necessary sometimes to get lost and find oneself at a dead end street. Hence, it follows an abductive method of producing the best possible circumstances for being there ‘when lightening strikes’.54 This, in its own right, by-passes the usual way of perceiving the infraordinary:

The question perhaps is how the experience of not knowing can lead towards new lines of flight, conceived as new forms of invention and intervention within reality, rather than performed as an escape from it. Not knowing is not experience stripped clean of knowledge, but a mode of thinking where knowledge is put into question, made restless or unsure. Not knowing unsettles the illusory fixity of the known, shaking it up a little in order to conceive of things differently55

55 Cocker.


Critical Spatial Practices Inevitably, even the slightest intervention, physical or not, affects the space that it is positioned in. This is a well-contested fact related to, for instance, the discussion on bias in ethnography. A central paradox arises when pointing at something infraordinary since it will then not be infraordinary anymore (perhaps even extraordinary), by default. The infraordinary is bound to the viewing subjects, the situation, cultural context and temporality. Rather than seeing this as an insurmountable problem, in this research project, I have instead chosen to work with it.

56 Jane Rendell, ‘SiteWriting’, Jane Rendell, 2013 <http:// www.janerendell. co.uk/wp-content/ uploads/2013/02/SiteWriting.pdf> [accessed 1 April 2016]. 57 Jane Rendell, SiteWriting: The Architecture of Art Criticism (London: Tauris, 2010).

58 Rendell, Art and Architecture, p. 6.

The concepts of site-writing and critical spatial practice by Jane Rendell lend themselves to this. Here, conversely, the focus is on how to write the site, rather than writing about the site56 through aiming for situatedness and site-specificity. The theory of critical spatial practice originating in a critique of art criticism, as a way to draw out the spatial qualities of the critic’s engagement with art, including the sites (material, emotional, political, conceptual…) of the artworks construction, exhibition and documentation, as well as those remembered, dreamed and imagined as opposed to the traditional and objective written encounter.57

Thus the performed urban biopsies, to different extents, not only become representational but also gain presentational and direct relationship with the actual space and people of the enquiry. Another related research rationale, which lies in direct prolongation of this research project is ‘critical artefact methodology’59 that utilises provocative conceptual design to foster the innovation of human-centred design ideas.

59 Simon John Bowen, ‘A Critical Artefact Methodology: Using Provocative Conceptual Designs to Foster Human-Centred Innovation’ (Sheffield Hallam University, 2009).

I suggest a new term, “critical spatial practice”, which allows us to describe work that transgresses the limits of art and architecture and engages with both the social and the aesthetic, the public and the private. This term draws attention not only to the importance of the critical, but also to the spatial, indicating the interest in exploring the specifically spatial aspects of interdisciplinary processes or practices that operate between art and architecture58

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Saul Steinberg, from ‘The Art of Living’, 1949.

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Socio-Spatial Coexistence: City as Archive

1 Georges Perec, Life, a user’s manual, trans. by David Bellos (London: Vintage, 1987). 2 Edward W. Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (Verso, 1989). 3 Anthony Pascal, ‘The Vanishing City’, Urban Studies, 24.6 (1987), 597–603. 4 Christian NorbergSchulz, Intentions in Architecture (MIT press, 1968), p. 119 5 Georg Simmel David Frisby Mike Featherstone, ‘PART IV: SPATIAL AND URBAN CULTURE. The Sociology of Space.’, in Simmel on Culture: Selected Writings, by David Frisby and Mike Featherstone (SAGE, 1997), p. 143; Steve Pile, N. J Thrift and Iain Borden, ‘Boundaries’, in City A-Z (London; New York: Routledge, 2000). 6 Georg Simmel, ‘The Stranger’, The Sociology of Georg Simmel, 1950, 402–408.

The inhabitants of a single building live a few inches from each other, they are separated by a mere partition wall, they share the same spaces repeated along each corridor, they perform the same movements at the same times, turning a tap, flushing the water closet, switching on a light, laying the table, a few dozen simultaneous existences repeated from storey to storey, from building to building, from street to street.1 In Saul Steinberg’s drawing ‘No Vacancy’, from ‘The Art of Living’ the façade is peeled off a residential building and consequently reveals the dense, diverse and animated life that is contained within the architectural framework. Architecture is the spatial structure of our collective existence and what constitutes and makes possible the lived life that unfolds inside, around and in-between. However, it is not a one-way relationship designed solely by architects (and the likes), but rather, as put forward by Edward Soja, a socio-spatial dialectic: an interactive relation where people make places and places make people2. Hence, the inhabitants should be understood as co-authors of space and the city. The social aspect of the city and the social coexistence and interaction between residents is its very raison d’être3. Paradoxically, ‘Buildings and cities both divide and bring together human beings’4. According to Georg Simmel boundaries are not spatial facts with social consequences, but sociological facts that form themselves spatially5. It is an intricate balance act between withdrawing into delineated private territories while remaining apertures and openings to the social dimension of the city, which echoes the ‘unity of nearness and remoteness involved in every human relation’6.

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S oc i o- S pa ti al C oex i sten c e: C i ty as A rch i ve

parasitic shared office

45 deg mirror

parasitic bedroom

sound pipe output

existing bedroom

flexible mirror; change of view

Two Modes of Socio-Spatial Coexistence

odour gap

existing kitchen peek hole

sound pipe input; transmitting conversations

the globe

45 deg mirror

basement

hole for sound

Corridor of communication, model, wood.

Events in real-time: Direct social coexistence between the inhabitants of a building block. ‘Coexistence in a Restless Borough’, 2011.

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Depositions over time: Indirect social coexistence between the inhabitants of a motel, mediated through animated objects. ‘Eroding Permanences of the Infraordinary’, 2012.

On a daily basis, people coexist and interact through the physical dimension of the city as an interface. This research project applies and explores two distinct concepts and understandings of socio-spatial coexistence: 1) Events in real-time: Interaction that happens through space in the actual time during which the event occurs. This includes the straightforward face-to-face encounters, but also less obvious ways of interaction, coexisting and correlation in actual time. 2) Deposits over time: Spatio-temporal correlation between inhabitants mediated by architecture or through objects. The timespans can vary: it can be a deposit from an event that just happened or a distant event. Be it cigarette stub, shop front, or neighbourhood. It can be described as similar to the rippling effect of the water in a swimming pool still vibrating after the incident which caused it unfolded, nonetheless signifying the co-presence of other, although displaced temporally. Perhaps, it could be understood as a spatial echo. This further relates to Duchamp’s term infra-thin (‘inframince’), being the thin separation between two things, illustrated by the presence of an absent person through the warmth that still resides a seat7+8. This relates to the city-as-archive, which will be described in the following sections.

7 Ursula Berlot, ‘Duchamp and the Notion of Optical Tactility’, in Art, Emotion and Value–5th Mediterranean Congress of Aesthetics, 2014, xii 8 Dr Penelope Haralambidou, Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013), pp. 68–69.


Inhabitation and Urban Temporalities 9 Geoff Dyer, ‘Inhabiting’, in Restless Cities, ed. by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart (London; New York: Verso Books, 2010).

10 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 8.

In the essay ‘Inhabiting’9 Geoff Dyer finds that everything around him in the city is inevitably and constantly changing. From the smallest of things, at the local café that was his everyday anchor point at the time: the quality of the brewed cup of coffee (depending on the waitress) and the doughnuts (due to changing the bakery who delivered them). The pattern repeats itself on all levels: not only are the waitresses, coffee and donut of café replaced, but the whole enterprise is replaced by another; the building itself changes appearance and use and is ultimately knocked down to make way for another building; whole streets and neighbourhoods are gentrified, deleted and rebuild. Things and spaces obliterate each other, takes each other’s place. Spatiomaterial entities and temporalities are nested inside each-other like Russian dolls, which brings to the mind Perec’s citation of a children’s song, which outlines his approach to space and endeavour of Species of Spaces: In Paris, there is a street; in that street there is a house; in that house there is a staircase […] the staircase knocked the house over; the house knocked the street over; the street of Paris knocked the town of Paris over.10

City as Archive Seeing a city archivally, as layer upon layer of compacted material detail…11 The city is complex, heterogeneous and fragmented – meant in the most positive way: it is a repository full of wonders, micro-histories, people, hidden spaces and strange artefacts, which somehow are all interrelated and interweaved. It is no object or ordered totality, composed of separate and monumental objects, but rather an intrinsic element of everyday life12. The city is considered a living archive13: a physical framework in constant transformation. It is not only a spatial construct but as much a construct in time. It consist of ‘layer upon layer of compacted material detail’, each informed by the earlier development of the city14, echoing the situationist’s idea that cities were profound historical landscapes, shaped by the strata of the successive events ‘that time has buried, but never completely effaced’15. The city-asarchive embodies a collective memory16: the grand history is remembered through street names, monuments, squares, historical artefact and extraordinary buildings. On the other hand, there are the infraordinary and day-to-day archival processes. What the to include in an Archive of the Everyday?, Ben Highmore asks17. My argument would be, that such an Archive of the Everyday already exist in the form of the city itself: it remembers, records, deletes and forgets our ordinary existence and everyday activities, through the way people re-shape and coauthor the micro-cosmos of the city, however, trivial these deposits may seem. These include material traces and spatio-material deposits, which are not always readable, sometimes only as abstractions. Looking at Eugene Atget’s images, rendered void of people presents us with a visual topography of everyday life and its ephemeral character,

11 Michael Sheringham, ‘Archiving’, in Restless Cities, by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart (London; New York: Verso Books, 2010), p. 4. 12 Iain Borden, Jane Rendell and et al., ‘Things, Flows, Filters, Tactics’, in The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001), p. 3. 13 Vyjayanthi Rao, ‘Embracing Urbanism: The City as Archive’, New Literary History, 40.2 (2009), 371–383 14 Sheringham, p. 4. 15 Tom McDonough, The situationists and the City (London; New York: Verso, 2009), p. 11. 16 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994); Maurice Halbwachs, ‘Space and the Collective Memory’, in The Collective Memory (New York: Harper & Row, 1980).

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17 Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London u.a.: Routledge, 2010), pp. 24–26. 18 David W. Dunlap, ‘A Wallet Lost 40 Years Ago Now Is Found’, City Room, 1298218216 <http:// cityroom.blogs.nytimes. com/2011/02/20/awallet-lost-40-yearsago-now-is-found/> [accessed 27 October 2016]. 19 Rao, p. 382. 20 Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to ActorNetwork-Theory (Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008). 21 Georg Simmel, ‘The Metropolis and Mental Life’, in The Blackwell City Reader, by Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2002).

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mutability and indirect signs of human presence. At other times, these deposits can be surprisingly apparent and particular: as a man reunited with his wallet and oneoff personal memento retrieved from a wall in Times Square Building after 40 years of separation18. The city is an infinite set of timecapsules and stratification of timescales, brought together by the present: Both cities and archives play a central role in constituting our understanding of social life. The modern metropolis as medium constantly mediates, produces, and maintains relations among strangers.19 Consequently, the relations between people are mediated by objects, artefacts, architecture and the city at large which relates to Latour’s actor-network-theory20. The city becomes a tightly interwoven network, almost as a living entity in its own right: The relationships and concerns of the typical metropolitan resident are so manifold and complex that, especially as a result of the agglomeration of so many persons with such differentiated interests, their relationships and activities intertwine with one another into a many-membered organism 21

Initial Positioning on the Infraordinary Social Dimension Hence, throughout this research project the experiments covers and enquiries into a multi-faceted understanding of the infraordinary social dimension of everyday life. The value of public spaces in the traditional sense, such as squares, parks, institutions, etc., are evident and has been well-contested and researched22. Although it may seem to bear some resemblance, I am critical of, for instance, Jan Gehl’s formalistic and reductive view on the social ‘life between buildings’, based on fixed schemes, public space and pedestrianism. Conversely, this research project opts to explore an extended version of the infraordinary socio-spatial dimension: the way that we, the inhabitants of the city, coexist, correlate and interact on a daily basis, through infraordinary spaces worn half-invisible by use. It should be mentioned, that this owes to the (partly romantic and retrospective) thoughts on the sociality, community and neighborhoods of the city put forward by, among other, Jane Jacobs23 and NorbergShulz’ definition of ‘social milieu’24, cast in a critical and contemporary understanding of the city as heterogeneous, fragmented and critical understanding25. If cities are to continue being socially sustainable and liveable, with the fast-paced growth, splintering26, and privatisation of space, a re-calibration of the city’s social dimension becomes gradually more urgent. Current estimates indicate that by 2050 more than 80% of the population in Europe and Northern America will live in urban areas27: We become more people, sharing less space which urgently calls for a focus upon how to live together in a sustainable manner on an everyday basis. The primary inspiration and motive force for architecture and urbanism should be the people and human culture

22 Jan Gehl, Life between the Buildings: Using Public Space (Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press, 2006). 23 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992). 24 Norberg-Schulz, pp. 118–22. 25 Fran Tonkiss, Space, the City and Social Theory: Social Relations and Urban Forms, 1 edition (Cambridge ; Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2006); Iain Borden and others, The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001); Ash Amin, Graham, Stephen, ‘The Ordinary City’, TRAN Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 22.4 (1997), 411–29; Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (New York: Monacelli Press, 1994).


26 Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin, Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition (Londonâ&#x20AC;Ż; New York: Routledge, 2001).

and everyday life, rather than attention towards economic gain: In too many cases the inhabitants seem to have become victims rather than participants in the development of cities.

27 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revisionâ&#x20AC;Ż: Highlights, 2014.

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Itinerary

It is now time to enter the Infraordinary City: a collocated entity of the urban biopsies performed throughout this research project. However, before we proceed, it is important to stress, that these are not presented in a chronological arrangement. Many of these have been developed and conducted parallel (an overall chronology is marked by the blue line on the map). The itinerary that follows provides a possible route for crossing through the city.

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Itinerary . 1 First stop of this journey is probing into the domestic realm in ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’. This everyday backdrop forms a spatial, sonic and visual interface, where one interacts indirectly with other people. Here, we will listen to the walls and peep on the co-inhabitants of the building block. . 2 Next, we arrive at ‘The Bedroom Window and the Courtyard’, which lies in direct prolongation of the first stop. Here, the everyday theatrical performance of a vast window panorama gradually unfolds itself, if we take our time to look. . 3 Then we enter ‘The Kitchen and the Living Room’ and interrogate the constellation of infraordinary objects and elements carefully, through a spatial archaeology. From these artefacts, several trajectories emerge, which point towards the house as an archive of social relations through deposits over time. .

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After that, we slightly shift perspective to the urban and visit a social vertex in ‘The Dry Cleaner’. This space is a place where private items are deposited and exhibited in the semi-public realm. .

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Then, we take a tour of the streets and overall framework of the city. ‘The Lamppost and the City’ examines the infraordinary and extraordinary memory and fiction of the city as a reciprocal condition: from cigarette pack and lamppost to grand theatres and monuments. .

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Next up is an archetypical Danish typology in ‘The HotDog Kiosk’: an informal meeting point between a broad cross-section of people. Here one can enjoy a quick bite while reading the gossip magazine, supervising the street or eavesdropping on conversations. . 7 Finally, in ‘The Danish Tabac’ we re-visit the location of the small tobacco and grocery shop that served as the starting point of this overall journey. In this now by-gone and bricked-up social vertex the local neighbourhood meet on a daily basis.

proposed tour of the infraordinary city, 2016

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I ti n erary

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Map of the Infraordinary City


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5 6 °0 8 ’43.0” N 1 0 °1 2’01. 6” E

THE STAIRWAY AND THE APARTMENT

T H E STA I RWAY A N D T H E A PA RT M E N T A A RHU S, D K

SPATIAL HINGES OF SOCIAL CORRELATION

09.2013 - 09.2014

Next to the front door lies a cigarette still smouldering and slowly burning itself to ash. Behind it, a stairway rises. Each step brings you upward and closer to the next floor. You think to yourself: ‘How many times did I not raise up one stairway after another, while almost sleepwalking?’ Suddenly, as you move a little closer, the peephole of one of the front doors blinks at your with a mechanical sound, followed by a vague creaking noise. In the end, you wonder how you ended up at these two doors at all, each with their particular name tags, handles and keyholes? You realise, that behind each door is a set unique inhabitants, daily routines and everyday life-worlds. In a way, you know them already.

Photograph, Peephole Camera.

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‘Spatial Hinges of Social Correlation’, Board #1 (Separate poster-size version found as appendix)

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‘Spatial Hinges of Social Correlation’ Board #2 (Separate poster-size version found as appendix)

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Door & Peep-hole

Shaft

Glass Box Panorama

This is where the line goes between the my apartment and the semi-public space of the stairway: if I open the door, these two worlds becomes one for a brief moment and the city enters filtered though this. At most times the door remains closed and locked up; yet the outside is constantly projected to the inside through the peep-hole situated in eye level at the door. The exterior becomes superimposed on the interior.

Next to the shaft of the bathrooms is another vertical tunnel, hosting the ventilation upcast, electronic conduits, pipes etc. Most of all it consists of air, sounds and voices moving up and down at this very point.

The glass-cladded annex was added to the building - alongside the toilets - during a major restoration in the nineties, at the expense of the back stairs. From this point one have the full view of the inside(s) of the block, surrounding the shared courtyards with each their plastic chairs, grills, bike parking and playgrounds. A panorama of suspended existences and their domestic realms can be observed; stairways, living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms; Pot plants and cats in the window; people preparing dinner or walking around in their underwear; a couple refurbishing their apartment; hands opening windows of the bathrooms to let steam out; birds occupying the ventilation shafts.

From this point one can safely monitor what goes on at the stairway, without revealing oneself (except if the fatal moment occurs when one activates the squeaking floorboard or a button scrapes the door): people passing, the conversations, carrying down of waste bags, moving of furnitures, the monthly cleaning of the stairway, people returning from the laundry room with clean clothes or rising with arms full of groceries and all of the other innumerable non-events playing out in this space...

This works even stronger the other way around. Dining in the glass box one has a sense of always being monitored - and that this part of the apartment is an annex into the public sphere. From time to time the eyes looking out and eyes looking in meets in an odd moment: the observer realising that he himself is being observed. A web of sightlines inhabits the panorama of the backyard.

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Stairway Shaft & Threads

Creaking Floorboards

Neighbour Projection

The communal stairway: a ‘neutral place belonging to all and to none’ and that everything that enters the building arrives though. The stairway is what binds us together, yet separates us: the spatial facilitator of our coexistence as familiar strangers. It is here that we encounter each other face-to-face, politely nodding or exchanging a brief phrase before continuing our endeavour or closing the door behind us.

At the threshold between the hallway and the kitchen two floorboards reveals the presence of the weight of a person with a loud squeak, penetrating the intermediate floors. When the inhabitants of the building cooks, cleans up or for some other reason traverse this area, the whole building creaks.

Towards the street rises a steep wall of living rooms. Through the large windows one can follow the life of the people on the other side of the street, like a mirror image of our own building: the apartment on third floor, where a man and wife have each their television (thereby bypassing fighting over the remote control); the young students having a get-together around an oval table, drinking beers; the elderly woman drinking coffee in front of a backdrop of family photographs and faded wall covering; the light turning on in the stairway and glimpses of feet rising...

The partly hollow construction of the sweeping staircase makes the vibrations and sounds of footsteps reverberate through the party walls and into the apartments: the stairway becomes an auditory device for monitoring the coming and goings of the building. One listens to the constant, rhythmic sound of footsteps moving in on one’s landing, or fading away: one starts to count the floors that the person rises, giving an estimate of who entered or exited. In the end, you feel that you can almost recognise people by their style of climbing, their rhythm and interval of short breaks at each landing. Sometimes conversations, someone talking in cell phone or a last minute message yelled through several floors echoes in the stairway.

This construction fault - due to the tension build up in the floorboards because of the kink in the wall - leads to a vertical communication, speaking of activity and presence of other people; someone awake at night, cooking late or mounting ones shoes before leaving for the early morning train...

Again, this is not a one-way mirror, and the potential gaze of the others on the south side of the road penetrates a substantial part of the bedroom. One hides in the blind angle behind the clothing rack when getting dressed or rolling down the blinds when returning from the shower.

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Bathroom Wall & Shaft

Invisible Stairway

Boulevard Caféen

The bathroom is the newest appendix of the apartment and situated halfway into the adjacent apartment. It is the only place where one interacts with the next-door neighbour: through the wall one hears the metal hinge of the toilet paper holder whining, the brushing of teeth or the shower running.

From the position in the sofa (one of the apartments most favoured) can from time to time be heard vague sound of footsteps; slowly approaching before disappearing vertically down the invisible back stairs belonging to the adjacent building.

On the corner right across the street is a typical Danish bodega, with its brown interior, regulars and cheap bottles of Tuborg and Ceres Top (20 kr. each). Through the position in bed one can hear the comings and goings, the conversations and arguments, making its way in through the window ajar. Like the constant flow of a river, this makes one aware that the city is always in motion and alive, even if the interior of ones apartment seems stable and yourself is caught in an internal mental world. Sometimes it wakes you up at night; a loud argument; a fight; a glass bottle breaking as it hits the asphalt or pavement. One rises from the bed, rolls the blind up and looks at the spectacle from the window frame - alongside the other spectators popping out windows.

Also in the vertical direction this space seem closer to the neighbours; the flushing of toilets from upstairs, water lingering through the drain or vague sounds that travels through the pipes and conduits that speaks of the presence of other people.

At other times, I find myself at the other side of the window. I am the one sitting in the evening sun or chill outside the bodega, having conversations that roars down the canyon of the street, entering peoples living rooms, bedrooms and eventually their auditory canals. Note: the fact that we sleep in what was supposed to be the living room, and lives in the supposed bedroom of course enhances this direct connection to the street and Boulevard Caféen.

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Mr. Worm 2nd floor, right

He is our closest neighbour, yet we know almost nothing about him. His (assumed) lady-friend sneaks in and out secretly, when no-one else can be heard in the stairway. Yet, from the bathroom we can confirm his existence and we know he live a life parallel to ours just in his apartment mirrored along our parting wall. So many other of the inhabitants of the building remains unknown to us. They glide through the stairway and our door as vague shadows and fluid images, unable to materialise themselves as clear images. And to them, so do we.

‘Spatial Hinges of Social Correlation’, Board #1 (Separate poster-size version found as appendix)

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Radiator Conversations

In-bed listening / Walls speaking

The radiator is underestimated as a device for communication. Not unlike telephones or door phones it transmits sounds; objects hitting the pipes or grill and the vibrations of music or loud conversations are absorbed and transmitted throughout the building by it. However, one is not able to hang up or decide what messages one sends or receive - it constantly whispers in your ears.

Sometimes sounds from a running television or stereo enters through the walls while lying in bed. As the floors of the next door building is staggered in relation to ours we have two direct neighbours behind this wall. The upper one leaves the vibrating alarm of his cell phone on the floor next to the wall (and supposedly his bed), approximately a meter above our bed-pillows: often we would wake up simultaneously. The one below occasionally listens to jazz and classical music, lulling us into sleep or softly waking us up a Sunday morning (if not already awake due to the other neighbours vibrating alarm clock).


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Thin Floors The traversals and steps of the upstairs occupants goes directly into the floorboards, muffled into our space underneath together with the squeaking sound of the intermediate floorboards. It seem that the floors are as thin as cardboard - making even conversations, sudden expulsions and exclamations resound underneath, while almost no sound travels the other direction; When the national team plays, we could cheer along with the ones upstairs. Since living underneath the mutest inhabitant in the building (4th floor, left), they themselves seems to be unaware of the easy transmission of sound; loud arguments and erotic activities reverberates downstairs.

ground floor, left

Message Board This is the official medium for posting messages across the diverse existences living in the building. It features a list when to conduct the mandatory cleaning of the stairway, guidelines for garbage handling along with spontaneous messages such as ‘Please pick up your own cigarette stubs!’ or ‘Tonight I am having a party starting at 21.00’.

Living just a few steps from the entrance of the building behind a door with carved, pink wooden letters saying SARA lives a women. She is in her late thirties, with long, coloured red hair. Because of her location at the ground floor (and the fact that she is currently unemployed) she takes up the role as an unofficial concierge: everyone that enters the building passes by her door - and their footsteps roars inside her walls. If too much activity goes on, you hear her closing in on the door to look out of the peep-hole, before ultimately opening the door with outburst asking ‘if this is a train station, or what?’ (which once lead me to demount my shoes in order to climb the stairs unnoticed)’. Even the sound of the laundry room’s door slamming and vibrations of the tumble dryer enters her domestic world to her great frustration. After Mr. Noer on the top floor, she is the one staying here the longest and one of the few currently owning her own apartment, although FOR SALE-signs has inhabited the outside window for years (apparently she can not escape it in order to take up the job in Hvidovre as a care assistant she was offered long ago). Her windows close to the street level makes the interior of the apartment fully visible to all of the other inhabitants (as well as by-passers). We can see her pink, glossy, acrylic chandelier and family photographs on the wall everything above her landing remains a mystery to her.

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Our Predecessor

Mr. Noer

3rd floor, left

4th floor, left

Living at the top floor, Mr. Noer is the one who stayed the longest in the building. Next to his door is a door sign made using a bead plate depicting his name on a rainbow coloured background. He lisps slightly when he talks due to his cleft lip.

It is a bit unclear exactly who lives here, and who are more transient inhabitants. At first two young women lived together, but later it seem that the boyfriend moved in and the girlfriend moved out. The woman is in her twenties with blonde-dyed hair.

Mr. Noer is proud of his apartment - except for the next door neighbour, he is the only elevated high enough to glimpse the Modern Museum of Aros and its extraordinary, colourful aura. A view for him alone, since he’s apartment is always ‘to untidy to invite anyone inside’.

At one point also the mother and the father lived there; a grey car (of an older model) stopped quickly outside, before the woman opens the door to help her (supposed) mother out. She was wearing crutches, a headband, had a black eye and swollen nose. After her followed the father with a bag of duvets or clean clothes, and then the (supposed) boyfriend - for some bizarre reason carrying a large box of strawberries, as if prescribed by a doctor. What this was all about remains a mystery, maybe a car accident, maybe a plastic surgery. The fact is, that weekend there was a heavy traffic up and down from the third floor.

Because of his status of him being the longest resident at the spot combined with his nature - he takes great pride in keeping the order of the building; laminated notes are put up, inhabiting everywhere from the stairway to the wash-house of the basement with messages such as ‘please remember to lock door’, ‘close door quietly!’, ‘turn off light -->’, ‘the washing machine is not for you sport club’s dirty laundry!’, ‘no washing after 10pm!’, and so on. If you leave your shoes, waste bag or anything else on the stair, he will be there, pointing at it. If your party is too loud or too late, he will come down in his pyjamas closing it. If you forget that its your time to clean the staircase, he will kindly remind you.

The upstairs neighbours used to rent what later became our apartment, before moving on and buying the one they live in now. This remind us, that space and the city is ours only on loan, that before us were others and after us other people will inhabit what we used to think of as ours and that facilitated our most intimate thoughts and moments. The building block as well as the city is a collective project unfolding through time.

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Himself can be heard entering and leaving the stairway at the oddest times: he works at the information desk at the hospital just outside town, and often night shifts. He tries to move as silently as possible - and knows which floor boards to avoid in the kitchen, not to wake up the downstairs neighbour. Nevertheless, if you hear anyone climbing the stairway at 4 or 5pm in the morning, chances are that its him on his way or heading back for his bed.

Door phone This by-passes the buffer of the stairway and connects the public and the domestic spheres directly. Sometimes your get call intended for your neighbours. At other times there is no-one in the other end, just a silent hiss of the street. You open the locks to let people in. Yet, you can still decide not to open the door to the apartment, capturing them is this no-man’s land. I wonder, when it seems that all of the door phones are one system, why is it not possible to call the others - to ask them to turn down the music, for a cup of sugar or invite them in for coffee? Below the door phone inside the apartment is a switch for controlling the light on the stairway from the inside: particularly useful if someone climbs the stairway in darkness (thereby unseen through the peep-hole), or acts as an indicator of someone leaving the apartment in a matter of seconds...

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The Young Couple 3th floor, right

Students, in their twenties. She is small with dark hair and skin. He is blonde, a bit taller. This is the only apartment that is known to me - at one of the yearly communal work day they invited all of us in (meaning the one who showed up: Mr. Noer, SARA and us) for coffee, soda and sandwiches. Their apartment is exactly like ours, except that it is mirrored (causing a bit of nausea). Sometimes I meet him in the basement. We have almost the exact same red Peugeot Course racing-bikes from the sixties. We share knowledge on the subject: and once he told me of a place just outside Grenaa, where an old bike mechanic still stocks re-used original parts, as a last bastion.

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Mailboxes

Scattered on and around the threads outside leading to the entrance are discarded cigarette stubs all-over. They act as indicators for the daily non-events that are unfolded at this given spot countless times: primarily the woman from third floor, left, sitting on the concrete steps smoking cigarettes while chatting in phone. Her favourite position is the top thread, just in front of the door - which fosters a constant negotiation between her and the comings and goings of the building. At times you can hear snippets from her conversation - that she maybe has with some other person in the city, also smoking on his or hers doorstep.

The mailboxes are a miniature of the building itself. Letters from various places enters each compartment. A full mail box means that someone is not home, out travelling or too busy to take care of their usual business. A mailbox with no name means that someone moved out and the empty space (and mailbox) awaits a new inhabitant to take its place. Over the years the names will change, be replaced, disappear - until eventually, none of the names remains: Someone will have taking our place, our apartment, our stairway. It will now be theirs, and they will fill it with their desires and thoughts; listening to Boulevard Caféen, smoking cigarettes on the door steps, putting up notes in the wash room, keeping an eye on the comings and goings of no. 38.

It is as if the liminal space of the stairway at this point bleeds onto the pavement of the street. The private gradually becomes first semi-private then semi-public (because for some reason one does not smoke cigarettes on someone else’s doorsteps) through a set of spatial demarcations, before finally one finds oneself at the street, heading into the city.

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THE STAIRWAY AND THE APARTMENT SPATIAL HINGES OF SOCIAL CORRELATION*

* Part of this chapter is based on my paper ‘Hinges of Correlation: Spatial Devices of Social Coexistence’ published in Journal for Artistic Research, 8 (2015)

1 Georges Perec and David Bellos, ‘On the Stairs, 1’, in Life, a User’s Manual: Fictions (London: Vintage, 1987).

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Yes, it could begin this way, right here, just like that, in a rather slow and ponderous way, in this neutral place that belongs to all and to none, where people pass by almost without seeing each other, where the life of the building regularly and distantly resounds. What happens behind the flats’ heavy doors can most often be perceived only through those fragmented echoes, those splinters, remnants, shadows, those first moves or incidents or accidents that happen in what are called the “common areas”, soft little sounds damped by the red woollen carpet, embryos of communal life which never go further than the landing. [The inhabitants] entrench themselves in their domestic dwelling space – since that is what it is called – and they would prefer nothing to emerge from it: but the little that they do let out – the dog on a lead, the child off to fetch the bread, someone brought back, someone sent away – comes out by the way of the landing. For all that passes, passes by the stairs, and all that comes, comes by the stairs: letters, announcements of births, marriages, and deaths, furniture brought in or taken out by removers, the doctor called in an emergency, the traveller returning from the long voyage. It’s because of that that the staircase remains an anonymous and hostile place. 1

This urban biopsy is performed through the building block where I lived at the time (20132014). Here, the social coexistence and correlation between the inhabitants within my apartment building is explored, by using my own experienced life-world, 3d scanning and alternative photography in combination. It started with an interest in the communal space of the stairway, being the primarily spatial structure that physically facilitates all the comings and goings of the inhabitants. The stairway connects the domestic ‘cocoons’, the private lifeworld and destinies of a variety of people. This particular stairway contains ten doors, in turn leading to ten dwellings. However, though the stairway is the most obvious and prominent spatial device of the apartment block, the attention of this biopsy soon diverted to the dwelling itself. The place of habitation forms the primary interface between ourselves and the larger social entity of the city. Unlike the stairway that one transcends (sometimes almost while sleepwalking, wondering how you reached your destination) in a brief moment, the domestic realm is the spatial reality for many hours a day. One physically encounters neighbours on the stairs – yet, one also encounters them in other ways within one’s private apartment. Consciously, or partly unknowingly, one interacts with others through spatial demarcations, using the embedded spatial devices (in lack of a better word), such as a squeaking floorboard, a peephole, mailboxes, etc. that all project life and thus the presence of other people through sound, light, or matter. Most of these devices are partly unintended, often serve other practical functions, and go unnoticed.2 Using my own subjective lifeworld and critical spatial practices these devices are uncovered, deciphered and exposed bit by bit.

2 Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Hinges of Correlation: Spatial Devices of Social Coexistence’, Journal for Artistic Research, 8 (2015) <http://www. jar-online.net/>.

Right: Detail from processed laserscan / pointcloud ‘Spatial Hinges of Social Correlation’


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The Stairway

3 By Friedrich Mielke who devoted his whole life to this architectural element. Rem Koolhaas and others, Elements of Architecture (Venice: Marsilio Editori Spa, 2014), vol. Stairs. 4 ‘The End of the Stairs?’ <http://www.wilkhahn. com/en/about/pressservice/press-service/ detail/news/detail/News/ the-end-of-the-stairs/> [accessed 25 August 2016].

5 Erik Balling, Tom Hedegaard and Ebbe Langberg, Huset På Christianshavn, 19701977.

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As mentioned, it all began with a special affection for the stairway, a shared social space and facilitator of correlation that we pass through daily without giving much attention: ‘a neutral place that belongs to all and to none’. It seems that staircases, its qualities and potentials have been neglected in modern architecture, undermined by the arrival of the elevator (itself another sort of social vertex). The staircase has been referred to as ‘the queen of architecture’3, and yet threatened by extinction and can only survive as a secondary emergency exit according to Rem Koolhaas4. In its extraordinary counterparts, stairways have a strong symbolic significance. It often signifies institutional power through the act of moving (transplanting) its user from one world into another, as in the case of the grand and spectacular stairway of L’Opera Nationale in Paris that gradually takes you from the city to the internal world of the Opera. In urban areas with more dramatic topography and more southern climates, the stairway even becomes urban armatures, furniture and public spaces. However, the ordinary staircases are interesting for a variety of other reasons, beyond its obvious spatial qualities and potentials: First and foremost as an informal social meeting point, but also as a spatial construct closely calibrated to the body. The stair is almost the archetypal space of chance and odd encounters. Often, it is used as an emblem of social coexistence, as in the press material to the seventies Danish television series, Huset på Christianshavn5, about the community, conflicts and life of the tenants of an apartment block in Copenhagen. On the stairway one cannot hide, but is destined to continue ones move up- or downward move, whoever comes in the other direction – making face-to-face confrontation inescapable. Hence, it is a site of constant social negotiation. It not only mediates and bridges different levels vertically: The public (city) gradually becomes the domestic (apartment) through a sequence of spatial demarcations. Even though the stairway is truly an anonymous space, opposite Perec’s argument of the initial quote, the typology is not generically ‘hostile’. However, its more recent versions tend to favour a cold and institutionalised materiality and appearance, highlighting that this is a place of transition that you want to escape as fast as possible. There is not invested in it or added spatial value to it, neither economically or from the design

by architects. On the contrary, the materiality and aesthetics of the particular stairway of this biopsy have something inviting about it: the soft curves of the wooden, varnished handrails and the velvetlike lighting coming in from the windows. As one ascends the stairway, passing by the neighbours’ domestic realms, the sound of one’s conversations and footsteps are projected through the partly hollow steps into the adjacent apartments - as is the visual projection through the peepholes of the neighbours’ doors. According to Michael Sorkin, stairs such as this serve as important social spaces that allows stopping and conversing in mid-flight: Shared of necessity, they form a useful and gracious element of the collective environment6

The Protagonists of the Stairway In my apartment building, it seems that some inhabitants fill out almost stereotypical roles: in this case, the woman living next to the front door entrance (most likely unwillingly) takes up the role of the (angry) concierge, controlling and supervising the comings and goings of the flight, always on the watch. Also, the oldest inhabitant of the stairway takes the role as the caretaker of the building and takes care of law and order on an everyday basis (e.g. ‘No shoes outside the doors’). Both these overlapping roles have long been officially abandoned: it has in most cases been outsourced to companies that specialise in administrating buildings. Hence, the building has lost their designated caretaker that, in the romantic representation (as in Huset på Christianshavn), always was present and aware of the status of the maintenance of building as well as the social relations hereof. Space has been put under central administration and in turn this direct relation the stairway, and the rest of the building, as a shared and collective space it at stake.

6 Michael Sorkin, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (London: Reaktion, 2009).


Huset pĂĽ Christianshavn (The House in Christianshavn), TV-Series, Danmarks Radio, 1970-1977

Urban biopsy: Odensegade 38, Aarhus, 2014.

Promotional image of Season 8. The stairway features as the element tying the diverse inhabitants and their experienced worlds together and as an emblem of social coexistence.

The caretaker of the building and stairway is constantly struggling to fix the wooden sphere of the railing, constantly falling of due to the wear and tear of the people passing by.

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The grand and extraordinary stairway at the L’Opéra National de Paris. Actress Wenda Rogerson wearing clothes from Christian Dior.

Andrey Tarkovsky’s stairway (Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome) of ‘Nostalghia’ (1983) as collective space, urban armature and cross-road between inhabitants.

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Peephole Camera: Ephemeral Non-Events 7 This was the first situated probe of the research project.

8 Stanley Milgram, ‘The Familiar Stranger: An Aspect of Urban Anonymity’, in The Individual in a Social World: Essays and Experiments, ed. by Thomas Blass, 3rd Revised edition (London: Pinter & Martin Ltd., 2010).

To start off the overall research project , this particular biopsy and follow the evocation for the stairway, the Peephole Camera was realised. Situated on the inside of my own door, it used the existing peephole – being the only visual aperture between apartment and staircase – as an optical lens. The arduino-microprocessor driven, fully automatic and analogue camera captured an image every time it sensed activity on the stairway’s side of the door. Technically, it is very similar to home-security systems, but somehow with the reverse (and more positive) intention of not keeping out, but letting in the presence of other people. Hence, the camera captured the comings, goings, and non-events of the stairway in a performative manner, different from the usual static, diagrammatic architectural drawing and statistical notation system. Logging pragmatic data such as time of activity, who and why was unimportant: the intention was to get a rich, textural and atmospheric input, that would allow to think differently on this typology and, perhaps, bypass some of the inherent preconceptions. The images produced by the camera rendered the passing people only as partly readable shapes: as familiar strangers8 that one recognises, yet knows almost nothing about. Perhaps, one exchanges a polite nod or ‘hello’ when meeting, but the extend of further direct interaction is limited. The ephemeral nature and recurrence of the depicted non-events are partly due to the shortcomings of the camera, which is using a rather slow lens (peephole) that renderes everything as a motion blur. The image incorporates the temporal and fleeting moment that repeats itself over and over again, yet different every time. 7

To make something new requires a leap into space where the rules are not yet fixed. […] If you start with a fixed end in mind, you foreclose the possibility of discoveries made along the way.10 Throughout the process of building, installing, and calibrating the camera I spent significant time at this threshold that one normally transcends and crosses in seconds. In combination with the properties and nature of the camera itself, this led to a realisation of the intricate network of already existing spatial projection devices (or hinges) of correlation in the apartment block, which facilitate our correlation with others. The camera became a relay11 for gaining new insights and for moving from one point of understanding to another.

10 Stan Allen, ‘Working’, in Hunch 11. Rethinking Representation., by Penelope Dean and Berlage Institute (Rotterdam: Berlage Institute, 2007), xi, 116–21. 11 Michel Foucault, Donald F Bouchard and Sherry Simon, ‘Intellectuals & Power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’, in Language, countermemory, practice: selected essays and interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977).

Failure: A Situated Way to Begin

9 Ernst Neufert and John Thackara, Architects’ Data (London; New York; New York: Granada; Halsted Press, 1980).

As such, the Peephole Camera was intended as neither a solution nor a perfectly qualified input for the succeeding research. Rather, the intention was to start off somewhere: to actively work with actual matter and within the situated spatial realm, rather than hesitating and conceptualizing the ideal starting point from behind the office desk (reaching for the Neufert standards9). Even though in most ways, the camera was abandoned prematurely and proved a failure in many ways, it worked as an opening to other perspectives and other routes of insight and knowledge:

Developed filmstrip of Peephole Camera. Failed test-run.

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1:10 ELEVATION, Door and Peephole from inside apartment.

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1:2 AXO Shutter in aluminium with brass blades. 2. Existing peephole lens in door. 3. X-band motion sensor, senses movement through door. 4. Arduino Nano microprocessor. 5. Servo controlling shutter mechanism. 6. Lens from an old opticianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s set, for focusing light onto film. 7. House for 35mm film, 3D-printed plastic, coated. 8. Mechanism for rewinding film. 9. Gear and servo for advancing film after each shot. 10. Body, water-jet cut metal sheets. 

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1:20 SECTION, Door and Peephole Camera.

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1:20 ELEVATION Doors to apartments, seen from stairway. Peephole camera is installed at the left door.

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Two traditional peephole apertures that punctures the threshold of the door.

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Peephole and lenses from an opticians optometric device opticians.

Devices controlling and mediating the boundary between public and private.

Technical detail of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;doorscopeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by manufacturer.

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Front of camera house. Latest revision of Peephole Camera.


Back of camera house. Latest revision of Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, Photograph, January 35mm, 2014, ISOPeephole 200 Camera. January 2014, Peephole Camera.


Photograph, Photograph,January 35mm,2014, ISO 200 Peephole Camera. 83 January 2014, Peephole Camera.


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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.


Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera.

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Photograph, January 2014, Peephole Camera. Door open and looking partly into the apartment. 97


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TOP:

BUND/MELLEMSTYKKE: (én eller to dele)

SAMLET LUKKE-MEKANISME: CLOSED POSITION

LUKKET:

OPEN POSITION

ÅBEN:

SERVO MOTOR servo-motor

3 THINblade SHUTTER BLADES

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SHUTTER 1:2 Based on the Packard Ideal Shutter invented in late 19th century and still widely used today due to its solid performance.

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Various versions of shutter, optical system and camera body. As the door, the shutter in a similar way negotiate an aperture between two distinct worlds.

Early prototype mounted and calibrated at door.

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Spatial Devices for Projecting Life: A Journey Around My Apartment In turn, the attention was turned towards the apartment itself. I toured my apartment with a Faro Focus 3D laser scanner systematically for two days, mapping out the ways we interact with our neighbours in less obvious ways than the direct encounters on the stairway. It became evident, that the coexistence is as much an auditory encounter as it is visual, if not more. As laser scanning is a slow and meticulous process, it slowed down my own perception: the exposure time of each of the twenty scans took 2–4 minutes, followed by a careful repositioning of the device and later of the software processing. It heightened the sensitivity towards all the banal and vague sounds that through their habitual presence I had become accustomed to as a sort of trivial sonic wallpaper of our everyday life. In the end, sixteen spatial projection devices and encounters within the apartment and stairway were identified. Some more obvious than others: for instance the doorbell, peephole and window. But also devices that served other practical functions, but had these unintended bi-effects emerged: thinly walled areas, radiator pipes, technical shafts, creaking floorboards and discarded cigarettes by the entrance door. However, this is not an absolute and finite number. Rather, it provides a range of different scales and media used for projecting life across the spatial demarcations: from the acoustic relation with Boulevard Caféen across the street, reflected through the window left ajar (an event in real time), to the discarded cigarette still smouldering by the entrance door, providing a sense of prior presence or of an event that just unfolded (a deposit over time).

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Sonic Wallpaper and Ordinary Acoustics The projections of life could be classified into three categories: 1) Matter and physical deposits over time, such as artefacts and material traces hinting of the temporal co-presence of other. 2) Visual encounters in actual time, through sightlines and (micro-)views. 3) Sonic projections, being fragments of (non-) events that transgress the spatial demarcations. Especially the sonic dimension seems underexplored by architects, who tend to favour the visual part. This is also what will be the primary focus of the coming chapter as the two other will be dealt with elsewhere. Perhaps, the centre of attention upon the visual has to do with the heritage and limits of the typical architectural drawing: lines on a flat piece of paper, delimiting and segregating space. Nevertheless, through hearing the fragments of conversations, activities and non-events that escape ones private realm and enter another fosters an acoustic community. For instance, when living in an old apartment building in Brooklyn, I had several neighbours that I could only identify sonically, but never visually. One was ‘the man who yells’, who’s temper would suddenly explode in a sequence of loud and harsh vituperations. From another wall, the constant sound from a television emerged (most likely situated up against the wall). In the later case, we would only know the person indirectly from the choice of television programs – but the sound of it also signified that someone was home, which served comforting and reassuring in some odd way. The same goes for the alarm clock and invisible stairway hiding behind a wall in the performed biopsy. These interactions do not only happen between and limit itself to the inhabitants sharing the stairway, but also transgress demarcations vertically and enters the building next door. Here the interaction is purely passed on what can be heard, since the wall screens visual contact. Such sonic encounters through walls is a classic feature in various films; often it is an activity of eavesdropping (sometimes using a glass to enhance the listening experience) on what is supposed to be limited to the private realm of others.


Raw point-cloud data of assembled 3D-scan provides the opportunity to inspect my life-world from new perspectives.

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Parallel Worlds 12 Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train, 1989.

13 Yvette Blackwood, ‘Parallel Hotel Worlds’, in Moving Pictures/ stopping Places: Hotels and Motels on Film, by David B Clarke, Pfannhauser, and Marcus A Doel (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009), p. 281. 14 Daniel Koch, ‘On Avoidance: Reflections on Processes of SocioSpatial Structuring’, Civil Engineering and Architecture, 4.2 (2016), 67–78 <http:// dx.doi.org/10.13189/ cea.2016.040204>. 15 Blackwood, p. 283.

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In Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train12 the parallel hotel world and the stories of multiple lives is bound together by the sounds emerging between the rooms, hotel and from the outside city (such as the train). These sounds ‘run like a spine through the narrative, like a corridor that connects the disparate stories of the viewer and to some extent the other characters’13. Even though the characters in the film are not directly aware of the particularities of the lives of the others, they react on and respond to the sounds which in turn foster the idea of the hotel as a social entity. In one room, is a girl, Dee Dee, who is hiding from her husband, Johnny – who happens to be in the room next door (hiding from the police), without any of them realising that only a wall separates them. Architecture is a balancing act between separating (avoidance14) and binding people together (encountering). As the viewer, we are aware of the three very different, yet overlapping, narratives that unfold in near proximity to each other, framed by the space and architecture of the hotel. Hence, the hotel serves as a chronotope able to withhold this (overlapping) polyphonic narrative15 and can be understood as an accelerated miniature version of the apartment block and city itself (people moving in and out on a daily basis).

Two of the parallel hotel worlds of Mystery Train, connected by sonic encounters and exchange.


The Relevance of Acoustic Communities and Sonic Disruptions in Everyday Life

16 Frederico Miyara, ‘ACOUSTIC VIOLENCE: A NEW NAME FOR AN OLD SOCIAL PAIN’, 1998 <http://www.fceia.unr. edu.ar/acustica/biblio/ ac-viol.htm> [accessed 5 September 2016]. 17 Brandon LaBelle, Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (New York; London: Continuum, 2010), p. 56. 18 Several researchers and artists have worked with a positive approach to urban soundscapes, such as William J. Davies and others, ‘The Positive Soundscape Project: A Synthesis of Results from Many Disciplines’, 2009 <http://usir. salford.ac.uk/2106/> [accessed 5 September 2016]. 19 LaBelle, chap. Home:Ethical Volumes of Silence and Noise. 20

LaBelle, p. 53.

Often, sound emerging from one apartment to another has negative connotations and is considered as intruding the domestic realm. This is underlined by the regimes and politics of ‘sound-pollution’ that rule the soundscape of our cities. Here, silence equals the ideal order, while any sound falls under the category of noise and disorder. Some go even further and discuss these unwanted sounds, such as the TV running nextdoor, as ‘acoustic violence’16. In this perception, the ideal home is a controlled and protected safeground insulated from the sounds and noises of the city. The suburbs and gated communities are extreme examples of this view, through their strict control of their ‘acoustic horizon’ and the clear demarcations between inside and outside and in turn the exclusion of external, uncontrolled sound17. However, my argument is completely the opposite: even through these sounds may seem (and some truly are) inferior, they are also vital in raising awareness of the other and foster an acoustic community as well as insight in other ways of living. Hence, urban soundscapes can be understood also in a positive way18. The complete sonic insulation between interior and exterior – as if two completely incompatible worlds – is highly problematic. To come home is not only to seek absolute refuge from the city, but also to dwell in it and to be part of it. Obviously, there needs to be a balance between a productive exchange of sound and health-threatening, constant noise, but what I advocate here is that some intrusion can benefit the social dimension of the city. Some of these invasive sounds can cause conflict, yet also serve productively when it comes to the feeling and production of community (near and far). This view is shared by sound-artist and researcher Brandon Labelle19: How then to regulate the movements of urban noise without seeming to undermine the core condition the urban comes to offer as a social experience or community? If sound, as I would stress, provides a key relational means for registering social contact and feelings for place, how then to silence without arresting the coming of future community? 20

Labelle argues that strict spatial divisions (such as total sonic insulation) remove one from the important encounters and discoveries that come with public interaction and social negotiation. According to this view, communities are born out of confronting each other – which in the case of my apartment block is mediated through the fragments of sounds and noise slipping through walls, radiators, floors, the stairway, etc. This could be understood similarly to the concept of spatial gapes (perhaps as sonic gapes), that will be discussed in a later chapter. Rather than restricting and removing opportunities to interact could, Labelle ask if [N]oise, as a deviating sonority, grant opportunity for meeting the other, to afford a productive instant of exchange in the making of community life?22 All in all, this calls for a calibration of the concepts of home as an insulated entity and the politics and regimes of sound management and the concept of sound pollution. Also, it raises the discussion on what should be the prime motive of our cities, which are currently, in some ways, undergoing a process of suburbanisation23 through stricter (sonic, visual and spatial) regimes governing public-private relations and segregation. Can an acoustic community be built from the sounds invading the domestic realm through a radiator pipe? I would argue in favour of this. The things regarded most banal and insignificant can have a great impact on the social relations and micro-communities. Ultimately, a further qualification of everyday soundscapes and sonic infrastructure is crucial.

21 Richard Sennett, The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity & City Life. (New York: Knopf, 1970); Richard Sennett, The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities (New York: Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1990).

22 LaBelle, p. 61-

23 The important discussion of the current homogenisation and suburbisation of out cities, among other raised by: ‘Go Away, Petty Bourgeois - before You Totally Destroy the City (Rejs Nu Væk, Småborgere Før I ødelægger Byen Helt)’, 2013 <http:// politiken.dk/debat/ profiler/brianesbensen/ ECE2009612/rejsnu-vaek-smaaborgere--foer-i-oedelaeggerbyen-helt/> [accessed 5 September 2016].

Simply put, the sonic disruptions emerging through the spatial demarcations provide a chance of indirectly knowing each other (‘the other’) and social contact. Building on Richard Sennett21,

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Cross-section of a Parisian building, illustration from ‘Le Magasin Pittoresque’, 1883.

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Robert Doisneau, Les Locataires (The Lodgers), 1962.

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Re-Wiring the Infraordinary Sonic Environment

24 Marie Kølbæk Iversen, ‘Lyden af smedejernssøjler på Broadway’, Dansk Musik Tidsskrift, 7.Tema om Lydkunst (2006). 25 David Byrne, Playing the Building, 2008 <http:// www.davidbyrne.com/ archive/art/art_projects/ playing_the_building/>. 26 Vito Acconci, Talking House, 1998 for the ‘Home Show II’ exhibition in Santa Barbara, CA, USA. 27 Benoît Maubrey, Speaker’s Mailboxes, 1986 <http://www. benoitmaubrey. com/?p=859>. 28 This point towards a set of experiments to be conducted after the PhD. For instance, I want to rewire the sonic reality of my apartment to render it acoustically invisible and in turn bypass the urban soundscape and foster new acoustic communities.

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In his work Broadway sound- and installation artist Jacob Kirkegaard builds onto the existing sonic infrastructure of the Swiss Institute in New York. Here the central columns are not only considered architectural and structural elements, but also as mediums that transport sound and vibrations from the street and subway below. Through recording the sounds of the columns using accelerometers and conversely playing them back into the columns by means of sixty small exciters, the columns’ quality as loudspeakers are enhanced and the spectators are offered an extended experience of the reverberations of the urban environment. As in many of his other works he deals with enhancing and revealing the latent soundscapes and ‘sonic resources’ of a particular space and place24, which often goes unnoticed. David Byrne goes even further in his series Playing the Building25 and conceives the architecture as a potential instrument to be played. Vito Acconci Studios’ Talking House26, turns the public and the private realms inside out in a suburban house, through setting up microphones in the interior life-world and projecting the sound along the sidewalk, that would normally mark the limits between the public and private in this suburban context. Hence, the public can overhear the everyday conversation and domestic soundscape that is normally (partly) restricted to the private realm. In his seminal sound-installation work, Speaker’s Mailboxes27, Benoît Maubrey too flips the private-public inside-out, but with very different means: each tenant was asked to do a cassette recording for their respective mailbox, resulting in a compressed version and alternative representation of the building block and its variety of tenants. All of these contextualised examples differ from the sonic reality of the apartment block: for instance, Talking House is set in a suburban setting and Broadway is an installation situated in a gallery space. Nevertheless, these works combined with the findings in this biopsy point toward potentials of working deliberately with the sonic realities and beyond architecture as a purely visual entity. Through these modes of rewiring new socio-sonic realities within everyday life can be imagined, reinvented and realised28.

Broadway, sound installation by Jacob Kirkegaard, Swiss Institute, New York, 2007.

Vito Acconci Studio, Talking House, 1998. Private realm turned insideout.


BenoĂŽt Maubrey, Speakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mailboxes, 1986. Installed in stairway in Berlin, featuring the inhabitants own soundscapes.

David Byrne, Playing the Building, Battery Maritime Building, New York, 2008.

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Drawing Occupation and Architecture ‘Undone’

29 Jane Rendell, ‘Doing It, (un)doing It, (over)doing It Yourself : Rhetorics of Architectural Abuse’, in Occupying Architecture: Between the Architect and the User, by Jonathan Hill (London; New York: Routledge, 1998).

Obviously, it is a paradox that neither of the representations showcased in this biopsy directly deals with sound as the base material, which highlight the necessity to develop the subject further. However, the representations and shift of medium makes it possible to withhold the sonic and spatio-material reality together. Furthermore, both the peephole camera and the 3D scanning captured not only the blank spaces of architecture but also everything in-between: the occupation of people (me and the neighbours), the imperfections and the messiness of inhabitation: Not only how it was projected to be like from the drawing table but how it ultimately ended up being (for the moment of the ‘snapshot’). Usually, this is something that is absent in architectural drawings or in the thinking of architects in general: in most cases, in the eyes of architects, architecture ends with occupation. Architectural drawings are most often prospective, while the 3d scan of this biopsy is more in line with surveying. Architects do architecture, which is then later ‘undone’ when occupied by people29: hanging up curtains, lamps and family photographs on the walls; moving in their out-of-style furniture and oriental rugs; relocating doors and partitioning walls; leaving traces of their footsteps in the floors. As architects, we need to consider the inhabitants as co-authors of space, and embrace that architecture is to be inhabited, altered, changed, reinvented and, ultimately, destroyed. This undoing and spatial extension of the architecture has a direct implication on the projection of life across the demarcations and hence the social contact: even a banal thing such as the type of shoes one wears augment to what extend one’s footsteps is heard on the floor below.

Alternative (Photographic) Representations The camera, the 3D laser scanning and the written descriptions could all be related to photographic practices and lend terms such as ‘field of view’, ‘exposure’ and ‘development’. This could also be applied to the projected encounters themselves and the architecture mediating these exposures. Each work is complimentary to one another: the vague and temporal images of the camera, the precise depiction of geometrical space produced by the laser scanner, and my own lived encounters withheld by memory and

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processed through written descriptions. They all play their part in the overall perception of the space, like instruments in an orchestra collective forming a whole. The photographs and the laser scans are ‘proofs’ that something existed30 and a snapshot depicting how reality looked like in that given moment, while the written part is ‘[unable] to authenticate itself’31 because ‘language is, by nature, fictional’ since it is filtered through the body and mind of the author.

Intermixing of Suspended Life-Worlds On a daily basis, people coexist and interact through the physical dimension of the city as interface. As described, this also goes for the (so-called) private apartment, where spatial and sonic gapes offer glimpses across the spatial demarcations that we often consider solid and opaque. The architecture of the building block serves as a framework, in which a range of different life-worlds is suspended (as in Robert Doisneaus’ photographic montage ‘The Lodgers’). The architecture is simultaneously the force that holds together and separates the inhabitants. The glimpses offer us not only insight into other ways of living and alternative realities, but furthermore provides a social construction of security, where people collectively look after the building, their neighbourhood and, in turn, each other. Jane Jacobs description of safety and contact facilitated by the city’s sidewalks32, can easily be transferred to the stairway and building block in a even more condensed and introverted version: here the ‘natural proprietors’ (being the dwellers) maintain the safety and codes of behaviour of the informal (and partly undefined) micro-community based on a more or less clear demarcation between public, semi-public and private domains. If strangers are seen prowling around in the stairway, they will soon be kicked out, perhaps spotted through the peephole (as a sort of inverted panopticon). Conversely, it is unlikely that one sits down on the staircase and reads a book or revising tax papers, while it is expected to happen just a few metres (or even centimetres) away, on the other side of the wall. However, the old-fashioned distinct definition of ‘public’ and ‘private’ are debateable, as this example illustrates: due to the porosity and gapes of the bordering demarcations dwelling in the city should always be understood as having a direct relation to others, being the neighbours and the larger social entity.

30 Roland. Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), p. 85. 31 Lonneke de Groot, Look with All Your Eyes Look! Georges Perec and the Photographic Gaze on Space. From Atget to Gefeller. (Amsterdam: L. de Groot, 2013), p. 7.

32 Jane Jacobs, ‘2. The Use of Sidewalk: Safety + 3. The Use of Sidewalk: Contact’, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), pp. 29–73.


The Potentials of a Porous Everyday Realm: Indeterminate Socio-Spatial Boundaries

33 Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis, ‘Naples’, in Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, by E. F. N Jephcott and Peter Demetz (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), pp. 163–73. 34 Benjamin and Lacis, p. 171

As shown and described, the architecture is more porous that we may think. In Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis’ version of Naples33 the boundaries between the public and the private are indeterminate: the house is ‘less the refuge into which people retreat than the inexhaustible reservoir from which they flood out’ and ‘each private attitude or act is permeated by streams of communal life’34. Similarly, even in our own cocoon, the dwelling, we are in a constant relationship with the other inhabitants, through projections of life permeating trough the spatial demarcations, that we consider solid and impenetrable. These projections happen directly or indirectly, through the infraordinary elements and dimension which form the backdrop for our daily life, hence hardly perceived. The construction method and centurylong life of this particular building resulted in a large quantity and degree of imperfection and porosity. Nevertheless, this enhances the sense of belonging to a larger collective entity and being. In modern building practices, there is a tendency to strive towards the opposite: ultimate auditory (and sometimes visual) isolation from others. Instead of attributing negative connotations to these phenomena there lies a spatial potential in embracing this porosity, to prompt future building practices and architecture with a larger emphasis on (indirect) socio-spatial interaction, if the city is to remain social sustainable. Architectural

planning has several shortcomings that need to be further addressed: one of them being the preference for order, control and impermeable demarcations.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban Biopsy: The Stairway and the Apartment Location: Odensegade 38, 4.TV 8000 Aarhus C Denmark Coordinates: 56°08’43.0”N 10°12’01.6”E Period: 09.2013 - 09.2014 Framework / Probe: Peephole Camera (situated probe) 3D Lidar scan (framework of perception) Fabrication Techniques: Waterjet-cutting, 3d-printing, soldering, programming Materials Aluminium, plastic, cork, optician’s lenses, misc. electronics, mechanical elements, analogue film (ISO 200, Kodak ColorPlus), Arduino Nano

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THE BEDROOM WINDOW AND THE COURTYARD

5 6 °0 9’49.1” N 1 0 °1 2’07. 2” E T H E B ED RO O M W I N D OW AN D T HE CO U RT YA RD

PANORAMA AND HORIZON OF OTHERS

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You look out the window like you do so often out of habitual routine. Perhaps looking is not the right word, because you are not looking at anything in particular. You move your pot-plant a little and make yourself comfortable at the windowsill. After a while, you see someone smoking in the furthest corner of the courtyard. You observe the smoke drifting from the window. You grab your binoculars, to have a better look. When finally being able to focus the binoculars, you realise that the person is looking at you too. For a while, you occupy each other window with the glances before the light suddenly goes off. Another window across the courtyard light up instead.

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What is far is nearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, camera obscura in my bedroom: the neighbouring windows are superimposed onto the interior.

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Window Panoramaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Collage of all neighbouring windows visible from my bedroom window.

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THE BEDROOM WINDOW AND THE COURTYARD PANORAMA AND HORIZON OF OTHERS

3 After returning from the external research stay in London, spring 2014.

Leaping directly from the emerging insights of the urban biopsy of ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’, this particular biopsy probes the ‘panorama of the backyard’ further, from the perspective of the apartment that I subsequently moved into3. Thus, this further investigation lies in direct prolongation of the previous biopsy. The backyard represents a theatrical arena, where the life of a wide range of different existences is on display simultaneously. Rather than a singular probe, this biopsy is made up of several different experiments and frameworks of perception that informed each other. This particular backyard is mostly filled with old garages, asphalt, trees and bicycle parking, which leaves no space for shared space or facilities in the traditional sense: there is no area for barbequing, no playground, no piece of grass to enjoy the evening sun at, nothing facilitating social encounters or gatherings. However, the light from the windows fills the courtyard and through these the inhabitants can follow the daily life of the other people: the air is dense of sightlines and views, which creates the sense that this truly is a public and shared space, although one are unable to (physically) occupy the ground.

Window Panorama

4 Similar to the mathematical knight’s tour used by Georges Perec for Life a User’s Manual. See figure ‘Window Occupation Diagram’. This was later abandoned, as the task was too massive and other biopsies more pressing.

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The window of my bedroom is where I can perceive the courtyard through an almost panoramic view. The view from the window is most often a background image that one does not think much about on a daily basis. However, when doing this biopsy, I spend a great deal of time in my window. At first following a formal system4, that would allow me to sit for two hours each day, over the course of 84 days. In the end, this would lead me to have a full week’s account of what happened during every hour of a full week, in total 168 hours of observing. The duration of two hours was to

I didn’t know their names. I’d never heard their voices. I didn’t even know them by sight, strictly speaking, for their faces were too small to fill in with identifiable features at that distance. Yet I could have constructed a timetable of their comings and goings, their daily habits and activities. They were the rear-window dwellers around me.1 A web of sightlines inhabits the panorama of the backyard2

1 Cornell Woolrich, It Had to Be Murder, 1942 <http://www.miettecast. com/woolrich.pdf> [accessed 12 September 2016]. 2 Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Hinges of Correlation: Spatial Devices of Social Coexistence’, Journal for Artistic Research, 8 (2015), sec. Spatial Device #9 <http://www. jar-online.net/>.

forcefully look at and (re-)experience the window panorama, instead of it being a visual backdrop of everyday life.

Theatrical Performance During the act of sitting there immobile and watching, the ordinary view gradually became vivid and surreal. The panorama of windows in the backyard engages in an almost theatrical performance, which is further highlighted when night falls: it is a play unfolding, having its own sort of spatial choreography in light, shadow, sound and movement. The windows become the apertures through which glimpses of life escapes from the private realm: it punctures the boundaries between inside and outside, and hence the window frame becomes one of the few areas where the inhabitants can occupy (semi-)public space and make their mark on the architecture and the city at large5. It is both a device for looking out with, but also works the other direction, displaying the inside to the public. Hence, one does not only perceive this performance one is an active part of it. Historically, artefacts such as candles, lights, curtains, shutters, pot plants etc. filters and screens the view, to limit the glance from outside in to various degrees, while still allow the inhabitants to see out. Nowadays, recent technological inventions such as polyester window film are applied, making the inhabitants able to look out, without compromising their own privacy6. However, in turn, a whole social dimension is lost: if all windows function as oneway mirrors, what is then left to look at, except the changing seasons and the sky? What is filtered out are the glimpses of life of other people.

5 See ’Window Panorama’ collage on previous page.

6 The prevalence of this it highlighted by ’window tinting’ and ’vindue folie’ (Danish for ’window film’) being the most searched enquiries related to windows on Google.com


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‘Window Occupation Diagram’. Mathematical system deciding what daily two hours periods to sit at the window.

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‘Bedroom as Camera’. Pointcloud that depicts what is visible from the position of my bedroom window.

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After darkness falls each window projects light into the courtyard, as reversed cameras.

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Stratification of Views

7 This is due to the nature of the 3d-scanner, that projects out an equal number of points in every direction. The further away, the more distance between each point. 8 Yet, has a sonic presence, as described in the preceding chapter.

From the position at the window of my bedroom, there is a stratification of views. From my vantage point, I can see directly into the room of the closest neighbours, living in the building secluded into the courtyard: able to identify the objects in the windowsill, clothes on the dress rail, pictures on the walls, even faces. The next layer is the windows in the periphery of the backyard, all following the contours of the surrounding streets. Here presence and activity become identifiable as silhouettes: one can see what people are doing, but cannot decode the specific details. The third level is the horizon of windows that is visible over the rooftops of the first rows of windows. Here, the life can be glimpsed vaguely through a play of shadow and light. This stratification is well illustrated by the point-cloud (figure: ‘Bedroom as Camera’, previous page), where the near is depicted as sharp, rich and dense, while the further away from the window, the contours are drawn by fewer points, resulting in a vaguer image7. This only captures what can be perceived from this specific position and renders everything else blank. However, realities closer to the window, but outside the field of visions, is completely out of the experienced world. Thus every window represents its own particular life-world and experience of the social dimension. For instance, our next-door neighbour, although very close, is completely of sight8. The spatial configuration of the void and sight-lines between buildings then has utmost importance on the visual social contact and experience of urban communal life.

Window as Aperture to Other Worlds

9 In a way, it is equal parts alarming and comforting how closely related my activities of this biopsy are of the equivalent of my childhood.

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When I was a child, I had a friend and an Aunt that both lived in apartments in two different parts of Copenhagen. From my friend’s window, we had a perfect panorama of windows, quite close. When bored we would sit in the window and spy9 on the activities of the other people, however banal they were: The bankers in the lower atrium eating their lunch or drinking afternoon coffee; the women vacuum cleaning or dressing up; the men shaving; people walking around in their underwear; the arguments and fights. In the same way, when visiting my aunt at Islands Brygge in central Copenhagen, we would gather in the bay window where we could supervise the

intriguing performance of the windows on the other side of the street. Even someone watching a modern television or cats playing in the window was enough to entertain us for hours. It was our way of experiencing difference and alternative ways of living than what we were used to (from our families’ villas in the near surburbs). This resonates with Walter Benjamin’s writing on the Berlin loggias10 of his childhood that provided a look into the courtyard with its ‘muted street noise’ and offered ‘a view of unknown courtyards with porters, children, and organ grinders’11 and worked as ‘cradle in which the city laid its new citizens’12: The rhythm of the metropolitan railway and of carpet-beating rocked me to sleep. It was the mold in which my dreams took shape – first the unformed ones, traversed perhaps by the sound of running water or the smell of milk, then the long-spun ones: travel dreams and dreams of rain.13 Benjamin’s courtyard is obviously of a gone time but points towards what we are on the verge of losing entirely. In Rear Window14, the entire film takes part from the perspective of an injured and immobile photographer’s home and the narrative that unfolds through the glimpses of life emerging from the courtyard panorama. What is usually a backdrop of everyday life becomes centre stage. Not only the narrative of individual people, but also that of the metropolis and architecture through the crossing of pathways and reflexive relations between its inhabitants. The protagonist perception is slowed down due to his immobility, which makes him re-experience what normally goes unnoticed15 and Lefebvre’s statement about seeing and grasping the ordinary rhythms ‘be it through illness or a technique.’16

10 Walter Benjamin, Berlin childhood around 1900 (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006). 11 Benjamin, p. 89. 12 Benjamin, p. 38. 13 Benjamin, p. 39.

14 Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window, 1955.

15 See chapter: ’Probing, Frameworks of Perceptions and Situated Probes’. 16 Henri Lefebvre, ‘Seen from the Window’, in Rhythmanalysis space, time, and everyday life (London; New York: Continuum, 2004), pp. 27–37 (p. 27)


‘Window Occupation’. Excerpt from video sequence.

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01.02.16 Large cranes hovers over the horizon, building a grand extension to the University.

07.12.15 Woman chopping vegetables in her kitchen, lit in candle light 01.02.16 Workmen constructing a new building.

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15.12.15 Woman taking her time to smoke a cigarette leaning out the window.

25.02.16 An elder man enjoyi the sun.

15.12.15 An elderly woman, 07.09.15 rolling her blinds up In the evening: the and moving her pot sound from an plants around. intimate concert in an 15.12.15 apartment featuring Another elderly woman a singer and cellist looking out of the fills the void of the window. 25.02.15 courtyard. 22.08.16 Pregnant woman The window is knoc polishing the windows out to make room fo in the sun. Wearing balcony. yellow gloves.


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15.12.16 A window not visible in the summer frames a young woman.

10.08.16 A roof terrace is constructed.

05.12.15 Man in blue polo shirt peeps out. 25.02.16 Same man cleans his woollen socks from dust out the window.

09.03.16 Dark smoke raises from a hidden chimney. 14.06.15 Man sleeps on the balcony.

05.12.15 Young man in front of 05.12.15 his laptop. Mid-age man dining by himself.

05.12.15 Women put on makeup in front of the mirror. 12.01.16 Man emerges from the bathroom window pounding his shoes together. Echoes fill the courtyard.

07.03.16 In the middle of the night, the light in the adjacent window turns on and wakes me up. 09.03.16 A new vase inhabits the window, next to a plant. The window are damped from wet clothes hanging on a drying rack.

15.12.15 Woman walks the dog in the tiny backyard.

09.03.16 The window is for once open and the blinds closed half-way.

04.06.16 Woman reads a book on a plastic chair in the sun. 09.03.16 An old man dining on his Opel C200.

04.09.15 A group of young people discussing politics all night. 14.06.15 Laundry inhabits the lines between the buildings.

Some observations from my window during a year.

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Ethical Dilemmas: The Boundaries of Public Space?

17 Weeks, Jonny, ‘The Art of Peeping: Photography at the Limits of Privacy’, The Guardian, 19 August 2013, section Art and design <https:// www.theguardian. com/artanddesign/ photographyblog/2013/aug/19/artpeeping-photographyprivacy-arne-svenson> [accessed 14 September 2016]

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Similar to the photographer in Rear Window, to conserve the experienced performance, I started filming it to capture the spatio-temporal nature of it. At the time, I believed that what could be seen with the naked eye, belongs to the public domain. However, when filming the life with a 300mm lens, I soon realised that this was too invasive into the private space, and it raised several ethical concerns. Even though the filmed material only depicts rather innocuous events that can already be seen by the naked eye and only a few metres into the windowsill, I could not control what I could eventually end up seeing. In turn, this would raise several issues on what to record, what to edit out and ultimately how (and if) to interfere in the case of activities that called for action. Finally, I felt like a prying, and the neighbours’ reaction to my constant (camera-equipped) silhouette was worrying. This showcases that the boundaries between public and private are ultimately undefined and fluid - and the unclear delimitation between the two. As a researcher, how can one decide what to see and what not to see? In the end, I abandoned the film project and systematic approach, and instead engaged in a more loose approach to this biopsy, building on the large set of experiences that I already obtained through the act. Several artist have worked in this borderline territory between public and private. For instance, Michael Wolf’s ‘Window Watching’ and Arne Svenson’s ‘The Neighbours’, where they photographed their neighbours with zoomlenses and later exhibited these on galleries. As a consequence of this, Svenson was sued by two of his neighbours, but ended up winning under the first amendment‘s guarantee of free speech. After the verdict he explained, that this work could only be conceived by these means, by peeping on reality, rather than staging the photographs: I find the unrehearsed, unconscious aspects of life the most beautiful to photograph, as they are most open to interpretation, to a narrative [...] A dramatic moment has the single power of action, but tiny, linked moments are how we mark time on this earth – I am much more interested in recording the breath between words than I am the actual words themselves.17 A counter-argument to this, is the produced reality of Max Kestner’s documentary Copenhagen Dreams, which will be unfolded in the chapter ‘Urban Cartographies and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’.

Window Montage of Life The fragments of the recorded material from recorded from my window was (prior to abandoning this part of the biopsy) collected and synthesised in a short video montage, where the spatiality and temporal relation of the window panorama were condensed through montage (see figure ‘Window Montage, next two double spreads). As a result of this, the socio-spatial network was reconfigured on a speculative level, though the representational means of the moving picture. Architecture too has the same ability of spatial reconfiguration that can lead to other ways of experiencing the social dimension and the city at large. For instance, Lundgaard & Tranbergs’ Tietgenkollegiet (Copenhagen, 2006) is organised around a circular courtyard surrounded by the shared facilities of each stairway unit (such as their kitchen and communal dining areas). The internal courtyard becomes a rich display of the simultaneous semi-public activities that fosters the feeling of a shared community beyond the local unit. Reversely, each private dwelling is organised on the outside periphery of the building, facing the empty horizon. Even though this formal design makes sense on the level of the diagram, one could argue, that this is a perhaps a too simplified version of the city block: it does not offer the juxtaposition, stratification and collision of different realities, privacies, activities and the world at large, but instead constitutes an interior and ordered regime of what to see when, were and how.


Image from Arne Svensson’s Neighbours project, 2013

Film frame from Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock, 1955. View from the protagonist/photographer’s window, where a montage of life unfolds.

Max Kestner’s Copenhagen Dreams (Drømme I København), 2010

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‘Window Montage’. Excerpt from video sequence.

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‘Window Montage’. Excerpt from video sequence.

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Street Mirror: Distorting the Perceived World

18 At a moment, it was the idea to conceive an apparatus that would engage in this distortion of views and the theatrical performance of the courtyard. See figure ‘Sketch for Window Mirror’. 19 ‘Edmund Husserl: Hvordan verden træder frem.’, in Filosofi og arkitektur i det 20. århundrede, by Carsten Thau and Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskoles Forlag, 2006); Dan Zahavi, Husserl’s Phenomenology (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2003). 20 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 24.

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Similar to Tietgenkollegiet, but on a microscopic and everyday level, the perceived world from the window can be altered though simple architectural interventions. On the building of this biopsy, several windows on the façade facing the street are occupied by ‘window-mirrors’. In Danish, these are called ‘gadespejle’, meaning ‘street mirrors’ or ‘mirrors of the street’, due to their primary function as a distortion of the view so that one is able to supervise the street and the passing of people, busses, cars, etc. In English, they have the nickname ‘gossip mirrors’, for obvious reasons. These additions to the optics of the window make the world appears differently: new visual networks and sightlines can emerge. Suddenly, one can see the neighbour smoking a cigarette in her window, from the position inside one’s apartment18. This, of course, taps into a phenomenological approach of the perceived life-world19. Also, for Perec, reality is always perceived through the perspective and position of the self. For him, change in perception and hence the experienced world stems from the simplest modifications: even laying in the opposite direction of the bed provides an entirely different way of experiencing the world: When, in a given bedroom, you change the position of the bed, can you say you are changing rooms, or else what? 20

Bedroom as Camera - What is Far is Near. Architecture is a multi-aperture apparatus that mediates our experienced worlds through its ability to decide what of the surrounding world is let in and what is left out. In this sense, architecture has camera-like features, through using its ability to focus, frame, reveal, screen and shut out views and images, and furthermore it operates with concepts such as shutters, field of view and exposure. In this case, my bedroom is the camera, that lets the images of the others in (and conversely projects it out too). Literally, the bedroom was converted into an actual room size camera obscura, through extending the optical performance of the window with an optical/optician’s glass lens (see figure ‘what is far is near’, first page of this chapter). Here, the window panorama was projected into the internal topography of the bedroom. Hence, the inside and outside worlds were juxtaposed:

the windows and inhabitants of the courtyard occupied the clothing racks, shelving units and walls. A neighbours window lit up between a Feodor hat and a bottle of perfume; another next to the door handle and light switch; The curtains were drawn down in the corner of the bedrooms wall. This leads to the fact that, even though at a distance, the view from the window has a vital importance and enters the life-world of the dweller. Truly, what is far is near and what is near is far. As stated by Danish philosopher Dan Zahavi21, one cannot determine if something is near or far purely from its geometrical and mathematical distance. In a phenomenological perspective, it has to be defined in relation to activity, context and perception. He uses the example of the telephone: what is closer, the actual telephone or the person that we are talking to22? In the case of my apartment, what can be perceived from the window decides what is near, even though in mathematical terms, I am situated closer to other neighbours, but who’s presence will never be visible (or audible), hence ‘does not exist’ in the particular life-world. To take it one step further, Merleau-Ponty in his essay ‘Eye and Mind’23 describes the materiality of water in a pool: he argues, that the water is not only in the pool, but also present at its reflections on the nearby screen of cypresses: I must recognize that the water visits it as well, or at least sends out to it its active, living essence.24 In the same way, the reflections and images of other inhabitants’ windows are present inside the internal world of the dwelling, and should not be understood as something outside of it: Reflections, projections, light and shadow produced by other and emerging from their life-worlds are part of one’s private realm – exactly as in the acoustic environment described in the preceding chapter25 and further highlighted by the images produced by the camera obscura, where the window projections reside the interior.

21 Dan Zahavi, Fænomenologi, Problemer, Positioner og Paradigmer, 3. opl. (Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur, 2007). 22 Zahavi, Fænomenologi, p. 50.

23 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, ‘Eye and Mind’, in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting, ed. by Galen A Johnson and Michael B Smith (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1993), pp. 121–49. 24 Merleau-Ponty, p. 142.

25 Chapter: ’The Stairway and Apartment: Spatial Hinges of Social Correlation’.


Dog with street-mirror, on my daily route.

Plan and diagram of Lundgaard & Tranbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tietgenkollegiet, 2006.

Sketch of window mirror devices.

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Architecture as Theatre of Social Coexistence

26 As in the two-channel video installation: Jesper Just, THIS NAMELESS SPECTACLE, 2011 <http://www. jesperjust.com/ thisnamelessspectacle. html> See figure. 27 Formulation adopted from Danish postmodernist writer Inger Christensen. Inger Christensen, Susanna Nied and Anne Carson, It (New York: New Directions, 2006), p. 12. 28 Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to ActorNetwork-Theory (Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2008).

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The socio-spatial network exceeds the geometrical and mathematical arrangement and is rather an intricate spatio-temporal system, that can be reconfigured by means of its architecture and architectural interventions. Doors, windows, balconies, loggias and courtyards have other functions than their functional use: they are also apertures that mediate the experience of the social entity of the city, through allowing views, shutting out and exposing. In a sense, the architecture is the scenography, theatre or framework that allows this to theatrical play and social negotiation to take place. The collective being of the city is impressive and overwhelming. In fact, we are all part of each others lives, in an indirect way: and we all have the ability to change and alter fraction of this relation. A simple thing like the reflection of the sun in my window that can be diverted into the house of someone else26, on the other side of the courtyard, can perhaps ‘set each other in motion’27, in some way or another. This is a networked interplay between people, things and space – human and non-human actors – similar to Actor-NetworkTheory28. Even the seasons and weather conditions are part of this infraordinary choreography: trees screen the view in the summer and the elements blur or filters it temporally. Even though the window panorama most often works as an unnoticed backdrop of everyday life, from time to time one catches glimpses of it, acknowledging a world beyond our interior. Obviously, architecture needs to maintain the balance between what exposed and what is not, though spatial demarcations of public and private. Nevertheless, to screen everything away (for instance with polyester window film) may provide an unconditional protection of the private, but the result would be an architecture and city that is opaque and does not allow casual social contact, encounters and negotiation between its inhabitants. Bringing this back to the discussions in the former chapter and urban biopsy ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’, one could critically argue, that to critically question the assumed divide between the public and the personal (visually, acoustically and spatially). Perhaps, this understanding need to be obliterated in order to quality the socio-urban condition and thus maintain social coexistence through the infraordinary dimension, such as perceived through a bedroom window.

Three neighbours interacting from Roy Andersson’s ‘ You The Living’.


Jesper Just, THIS NAMELESS SPECTACLE, 2011. Dual-screen video-installation displaying the correlated life of two apartments in adjacent building blocks.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban Biopsy: The Bedroom Window and the Courtyard Location: Ny Munkegade 74, 3TH 8000 Aarhus Denmark Coordinates: 56°09’49.1”N 10°12’07.2”E Period: 11.2014 - 01.2016 Framework / Probe: Systematic and constrainted observation through camera (framework of perception) Fabrication Techniques: Mixed. Video montage Link to video montages (sketches): vimeo.com/193396638 vimeo.com/193396699

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THE KITCHEN AND THE LIVING ROOM

6 0 °4 1 ’ 50 .0” N 8 °5 4 ’20 . 9” E T H E K I TCHE N A N D T H E L I V I N G RO O M

AN ARCHIVE OF RELATIONS: FOCALIZATION THROUGH EVERYDAY OBJECTS

GOL, NO 08.2013 -10.2013

While going up the hill, the houses get fewer and fewer. The buildings no longer share walls and ceilings but stand in solitude. More and more square meters of lawn divides them. The woods starts to invade the in-between space. The roof of a wooden house peeps up behind an overgrown embankment. You move closer and surprise yourself by deciding to enter, though the front door, which is left open ajar. As you enter, the constellation of objects overwhelms you instantly: decades of lived life are animated immediately. You have the feeling that someone is home, or perhaps just left.

Some of the mnemonic devices of the living room.

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THE KITCHEN AND THE LIVING ROOM

The death of my grandmother spelled the end of the house […], which was her family’s fiefdom and then ours. The town council acquired the house by compulsory purchase and by now it has probably been knocked down so that the route nationale can be extended2

AN ARCHIVE OF RELATIONS: FOCALIZATION THROUGH EVERYDAY OBJECTS1

1 This biopsy was initially conceived and mainly conducted in collaboration with Karianne Halse, in late summer 2013.

In the edge of the village, Gol, Norway, on a road that has no house numbers and where the woods start to invade the suburban lawns, lies a small wooden house. This house belonged to Anne (1917-2012) and Knut T. Bakken (1915-2013) , who criss-crossed its imitated wooden floors for nearly six decades (1955-2012) – the last couple of years almost without leaving the house altogether. The house remains after its proprietors passed away. They build it themselves and lived their life in it; It stands their as a testimony to their existence. When entering, the constellation of things and objects hints of their (prior) presence: the slippers at the entrance door; the thermometers still expanding and contracting; the clocks ticking away; the traces of the traversed pathways into the floorboards; the coffee machine in its waiting position at the kitchen.

3 The Gol Stave Church (built 1157-1216) has been moved to Oslo, rescued by ’Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments’ in 1884 when the local authorities decided to demolish it due to the recent construction of a new church. Later, for turist purposes, Gol Stave Church was rebuilt i Gol in scale 3:4. Jørgen H. Jensenius, ‘Gol’, Stavkirke.info <http://www.stavkirke. info/stavkirker/gol/> [accessed 9 August 2016].

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This is a very typical house for this area: It is nothing out-of-the-ordinary and it is surrounded by an almost infinite amount of similar ones. Anyway, this is cultural history. Obviously, not as significant and extraordinary as the nearby (replicated) stave church3, but nevertheless important in its own right. It is something familiar, and thus resonates with many people and their daily life-worlds. In this house four children where brought up and events and non-events played out as the seasons went by. An accumulation of objects and traces went along. To this day, it remains in the ownership of the children, since its affective value surpass its economical counterpart. It stands back as a slowly fading photograph. But what should one do with this piece of microhistorical and, to most people, partly insignificant and rather ordinary building? What comes out if you put it under rigours scrutiny? This biopsy was performed as a precursor, both thematically and technically, which helped formulate the overall

research endeveaur. It applies two straigh-forward techniques, one derived from our profession, being the architectural drawing (considered a motive instrument of architecture and architects4) and the other imformed by Georges Perec’s excessive lists. These techniques was a way of probing and seeing this space differently, as a starting point for alternative modes of representation presented later in the PhD.

2 Delphine de Vigan, Nothing Holds Back the Night (A&C Black, 2013), p. 36.

4 Peter Cook, Drawing: The Motive Force of Architecture (Chichester, England; London: Wiley, 2011).

Spatial Archaeology of the Ordinary At some point, the house will be sold or sink into the woods, become something else. In a hundred years, this could be excavated from the earth by archaeologists and be identified as a sign of how ordinary life was like at this moment in history. Obviously, the prices of property will never allow this house to be swallowed by the ground, but rather, it will be demolished to give way to a more modern building. If this is a sort of container of a collective memory5+6 of the family, how should – or could – this be preserved, if at all? As it stands, it could be understood as a selfinduced (and unintended) infraordinary museum7, not unlike Dennis Severs’ interactive house-comemuseum at 18 Folgate Street in London8. However, unlike Dennis Severs’ House, this display of things and artefacts is not curated, but simply appear how they were left: like a spatial snapshot of the moment when the inhabitants left. Hence, to discover what lies embedded in the strata of all these ordinary artefacts is a process of spatial archaeology.

Inventory / Surveying Leaping directly from the prompt, given by Perec, ‘make an inventory of your pockets’9 I, alongside collaborator Karianne Halse, set out

5 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994). 6 Maurice Halbwachs and Lewis A Coser, On collective memory, 1992. 7 Calum Storrie, The Delirious Museum: A Journey from the Louvre to Las Vegas (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007). 8 Dennis Severs, 18 Folgate Street: The Tale of a House in Spitalfields (London: Chatto & Windus, 2002). 9 ‘Approaches to What’, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 209–11.


The house in between the woods and the small village.

( ANNE ) ( KNUT )

The proprietors in the home they spend more than six decades in. Date unknown.

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The nearby (extraordinary)Stave church of Gol (now moved to Oslo)

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Map of Tuppeskogen

Glasses found in drawer

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GANG:

EN LISTE OVER OBJEKTER FUNDET I KØKKEN / AN INVENTORY OF OBJECTS FOUND IN KITCHEN (Danish)

Efter at have løftet sig selv op af 4 stejle trin, indtræder man i husets første rum, hvad der fungerer kaldes et ‘vindfang’: en mellemzone mellem inde og ude. Rummet står i hvide og beige-malede brædder samt gråt tæppegulv (dækket af yderligere to tæpper). Døren udefra er delvist i glas, med et blomstret translucent gardin foran. Det første der møder en er en rød pulverbrændslukker, sidst kontrolleret 13/9 1991. Modsat er et lille vindue og et loftsskab, der primært skjuler udsugningen, men også opbevaring af plastikposer og en flettet kurv. Under denne, bagved et antal puder, står en kummefryser på ca. 1,5 gange 1 meter, åben og med stikket frakoblet. Mærket, som er delvist slidt væk, siger 'Electrol..'. I sprækken mellem denne og væggen står to gangstave, en paraply og en moppe. På væggen hænger en blå regnjakke.. KØKKEN: Fra gangen ankommer man til køkkenet: et lyst rum, beklædt med gråligt, imiteret træ i varierede bredde. Modsat indgangen er en åbning til stuen. Gulvet er beklædt med linoleumsgulv forestillende lyse, gullige træplanker og loftet i hvidmalede plader. Der er to vinduer – ét henvendt mod indkørslen, med en elektrisk JØTUL-radiator under, og ét mod haven samt garagen – hvorfra først nedhængte, blomstrede gardiner i en cirkelslagsform skygger for solens gang, mens et tværgående gardin i samme mønster skygger for direkte indsyn udefra. I det første vindue hænger to termostater af samme model (omend selve skalaen er af forskelligt design, og den ene er falmet til en gullig farve), i hver sin yderside. Temporaturen er hhv. 28oC og 26oC. Yderligere et (digitalt) termometer er monteret på væggen, til højre for vinduet, efterfulgt af en knagerække hvorpå hænger: En falmet, hvid kasket med tydelige slidmærker omkring skyggen. En fluesmækker. To klædeshængere (én hvid plast, knækket i den ene side – én i træ). En tang, af den slags, som man samler op ting fra gulvet, uden at skulle bukke sig. Over indgangen til køkkenet hænger to instrumenter, tydeligvis relaterede. Den ene er med en ledning forbundet til ringeklokken. Op af den anden, placeret klos op af førstnævnte, kommer en antenne ca. 15 cm lang. Modulet har påskriften

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[MF] FLEXIBLINK DØRKLOKKESENDER DKS3

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gaveindpakning, med forskellige motiver af vinternatte i en typisk norsk by af ældre dato, med dens røde træhuse og smågader.

(Dette apparat sendte lyden af dørklokken videre til et apparat i stuen: en isbjørn i solidt, gennemsigtigt glas lyser op ved dørtryk, samt afspiller en lyd fra den base, forstillende en form for ø, som bjørnen er placeret på) På væggen, til højre for døren befinder sig en række elementer; et miniature hus, med to åbninger på hver sin side af et termometer, hvorfra enten – alt efter vejret - en mand iklædt sort hat og frakke, med sammenfoldet paraply i hånden eller en kvinde sort/hvid kjole og blåt forklæde fremtræder, bagved et rensdyr i forgrunden; en anordning i mørkt træ, som ved første øjekast holder salt og pebberkværn samt 6 små glas med krydderier, men hvis primære funktion egentligt er to små skuffer med diverse nøgler; en lukket beholder indeholdende 3 poser med krydderi: hel karve, stødt kanel, fennikelfrø; en varmeskåner i træ, med en indfattet klinke med et motiv af en blomsterkurv med påskriften 'Portugal'. På gulvet herunder står et par udtrådte tøfler og 2 par uldne sokker, hensat på en rektangulær bomuldsmåtte. Dernæst begynder det reele køkkeninventar: Arbejdsbord med skuffe til service, integreret skærebræt samt opbevaringsplads, hvorpå en servietholder, 'Dermagel handdesinfektion' og køkkenrulle huserer. Dette element indeholder: 13 teskeer i forskellige design, 3 små 'spyd-gafler'. 6 variationer af større knive med træskaft, kartoffelskræller, ostehøvl, 2 kagespader (én cirkelformet, én spids), samt en plastikring med teksten 'FAREX KAKE KUTT'. 23 knive, i 4-5 forskellige modeller. 22 spiseskeer, ligeledes i 4-5 forskellige modeller. 25 gafler samt 2 fejlplacerede spiseskeer. 2 ostehøvle, en flad serveringsske udført med flere detaljer, et kagehjul i metal, kagehjul i plast, plastikske til udformning af iskugler. 6 forskellige gryder inkl. tilhørende låg. 4 bordskånere. 2 sier. 1 flaske med rapsolje, 1 flaske med soyaolje. Bunden er isoleret med et ark, normalt brugt til 3

'Grepa Classic'-komfur med 4 kogeplader, ovn og emhætte af mærket 'Whirlpool'. Hvide klinker, med malede frugter og blomster, beskytter væggen, mens to hængte grydelapper har til formål at beskytte brugeren mod eventuel varmeoverførsel. Omkring udtrækket til emhætten er et skab indeholdende, fungerende delvist som lager, delvist til opbevaring af hvad der med rette kunne omtales som 'diverse', blandt andet: Toro-færdigblanding til 'Vaffelrøre'. Knorr flødesovs, fransk kyllingesovs, Hollandaise saus. 3 pakker med kaffefiltre. Pakke med salt. Gele. Vitaminpiller, vitamin C. 'Dekorasjons Perler' Et æggeur, forestillende en rød peber, smeltet da den kom i kontakt med komfuret. Opskrifter, kogebøger og madkort fra 'Norsk Ukeblad'. Et grønt glas, udsmykket med en børnetegning med teksten TIL GOFA FRA THEA, JULEN 2000. I denne opbevares assorterede nøgler, hvoraf flere er samlet i et læderhylster. I midten af skabet står en translucent plastikboks med et varieret indhold; en gul kartonpakke med rød tekst 'SYLTE VOKS – tilsatt antimuggstoff '; halve krydderipakker samlet i en cylindrisk SUN-MAIDrosinpakke; Heinz 'Eple Cider Eddik', bronzefarvet boks med løs thé, aflang kartonpakke: 'myggestikker (med rose duft): stopper mygg og knott'; fiskesnørre; dråbeformet gummiballon til rensning af øre etc... Primære arbejdsbord, placeret under vinduet med udsyn til haven, hvorpå en radio, potteplante og en Technivorm Moccamaster-kaffemaskine i beige metallic. I vindueskarme befinder sig en lommelygte, elektrisk timer, indkøbssedler, nål og tråd, 'Løs Raffinade', 3 krukker samt et tomt brilleetui, indholdende en finmasket serviet med påskriften Deres Brille fra Svein Ness – Optiker N.O.F. GOL Tlf. (067) 7 47 27

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(en optiker, som ikke faldt i god jord, efter han forsøgte mer-salg ved at omtale husets herre's briller som 'dame-briller', som under ingen omstændigheder kunne bruges) På kanten mellem bordet og vindueskarmen balancerer et lyserødt spejl, som bærer spor af at være faldet ned fra sin tidligere position i kanten af vinduet eller på væggen. Under arbejdsbordet, befinder sig et skuffesystem med i alt 5 etager og mod højre en Siemens-opvaskemaskine af modellen 'LADY'. Skuffesystemets indretning er tilpasset, overlagt eller igennem tid, i forhold til funktionelle krav. Således indeholder øverste skuffe diverse remedier til madlavningsprocessen, let og hurtigt tilgængeligt:

Hovedet fra en større øse. Pebber. Øloplukker, kompakt i mørkt træ og bukket metal. Lille, kurvet øseske Bronzefarvet øloplukker, med fod. Flad øloplukker i metal, med grønt prismærke 'HAGAFOSS LAVPRIS', 3.05 En lille si i plast og fintmasket metalnet. Øloplukker, håndmalet ansigt i gul. Lille måleske, KRYDDERMÅL = 1ml. Større måleske, med to ender, hhv. ' TBS' og 'tsp'

Skærebræt i træ Aflang kartonpakke i orange, med hvid påskrift 'SALAD SERVER SET' Et par træspader af ældre dato Citronpresser Jerntragt, modificeret til at have mindre munding Suppeøse Proptrækker med rødt håndtag Dåseåbner Æggeskærer i mat metal Rivejern En lille si En flad, grov si med langt håndtag. Diverse skeer (iskugleske, æggeske, flad suppeøse) Jern-tang Fint salt 3 tomme peberdåser En rød plastikanordning med 'Canderel' kunstigt sødestof, pakke til 300 stk. 'BLACK BOY® Sukker og Kanel (sukker 85%, kanel 15%). 8 g.' 2 nødeknækkere, en klassisk version i metal, samt én 'patent-pending' i hård, sort plast 'Maggi. Klar hønsebuljong' Rød kaffeske, 'FRIELE' Tupperware æggeske, til forsigtig nedsænkning af æg i kogende vand. Større si.

Etagen under indeholder krydderier: Hjortetaksalt, i syltetøjsglas, til søde egnsretter som 'kvikaku' etc. Gul-grøm cylinger i pap, 'FENNIKEL (foeniculum vulgare). Biologisk dyrket. 80g.' Bagepulver Orange dåse i plast, 'BLACK BOY GRILLKRYDDER. Inneholder pepper, paprika, allehånde, karri, selleripulver, løk og salt. 160 g. Bør brukes innen 1984.' Gelatinpulver Ristede sesamfrø i klaskrukke Tørsleffs natron Stødt kanel på glas Vaniljesukker Åben kartoncylinder med bagepulver 'Kylling Buljong. Magisk kraft!' 2 karri-krydderi på glas. Diverse halve krydderipakker, hovedsageligt Santa Maria og Black Boy, samlet i en plastikboks: Nelliker, hel Sort peber, hel Purløg 4 pakker med TwinningsTM Java Green Tea. Enebær Hjortetaksalt Nelliker, stødt Sort peber, hel Hjortetaksalt Ingefær, stødt Timian (Hindu)

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Fiskebuljong (Toro) Ukendt pakning Karve (Nordkronen) Nelliker, malt Nelliker, hel (Nordkronen) 2 gule plastkasser med flere krydderier, primært på glas: Basilikum Fransk salatkrydderi Ingefær, malt Paprika Rosmarin Sukkerkulør Kanel, stødt (pose) Hjortetaksalt (pose) Sort peber, hel (pose) Purløj (pose) Hvidløgssalt Sort peber, stødt 'Kakepynt med sjokoladesmak' Natron (pose) 'SICILIA' citronsaftsbeholder, indeholdende ukendt substans. Ehlers Oregano Leaves. Net wt. 1/2 oz. 'Bergmynte, Oregano er hemmeligheten ved tilberedning av Pizza Pie, risotto og spathetti sauser. 1/2-1 ts til 6 personer. ∑BAKH∑ ∆. MIXAHA. Eksotisk krydderiblanding, formodentligt givet som souvenir fra Grækenland. Åbnet, men fuld til kanten. Grøn plastkasse: Gelépynt Pyntegelé 'Potetmos med melk' Kagefyld Ét brev Yellow Label Lipton thé.

Plastfolie Fryseposer Spiseplader i hvid plast Skærebræt i træ Pose med propper i kork. Et par plastikbokse i varierende kvalitet og formsprog. 3 stablede rugbrødsforme, indeholdende diverse låg i glas og plast. Øverst et låg fra 'NORRØNA. SILD', med påtegnet fisk, 3 måger og en trætønde. Yderligere 3 stablede brødforme En pakke 'Lipton Citrus'

Næste etage bebos af Kagerulle Bagepapir Mellemlægspapir, pakke á 500 stk. 7

Næstnederste etage er i stigende grad kaotisk: Plastpose med (bløde) kikspakker Plastposer med plastiklåg Plastposer med brødkrummer Tomme plastposer Affaldsposer Brødposer Alufolie Pakning med husholdningsklude Madpapir Malertape Tupperware-låg Diverse låg, f.eks fra O'boy kakaopulver. Tupperware boks i en trekantet oste-form Strips I nederste skuffe er etableret et ordnet kaos af Flere plastikposer, tomme En kasse med 25W spotpærer En tom O'boy kasse indeholdende 5-6 pakker med 25A og 16A 500 V-sikringer. Hjemmelavede grydelapper Flere pærere (11W sparepærer, 60W 'Classic'), sikringer etc. 10-12 viskestykker og klude. Efter vinduet, i rummets knæk, befinder sig øverst et L-formet skab, med en V-formet skabsdør samt, på den længere side, to glidedøre. Mod vinduet og kaffemaskinen, hænger en rød holder til kaffefiltre. På skabet hviler nogen af husets flotteste porcelæn, placeret på beskyttende madpapir, til 8


frit skue: en kop, bemalet med en typisk norsk trold foran en butiksbygning (med norsk og hollandsk (?) flag), med teksten BEITOSTØLEN over og JOTUNGUBBEN under; sovsekande i porcelæn; isterningsbeholder i aluminium; 3 skinnende, mønstrede skåle i grønne, gule og hvide toner. I hjørnet befinder sig, fordelt i tre horisontale inddelinger Et utal elektriske pærere (hvoraf flere er samlet i en Nestle Nesquik og 'Gull quick sjokoladedrikk'-beholder. Beholder med piskeris, hvorpå røremaskine kan påsættes. Diverse tupperware og beholdere Vitaminpiller (B og C) Maizena-jævner Melis Strø sødemiddel i stor glasbeholder Kokos Multi-Lim-Creme Vase Analog vægt i hvid plast Diverse plastik skåle Möllers Blåbær-ekstrakt Samarin, mod halsbrænd og sure opstød Helt mod venstre er fastklemt et brev adresseret til Anne T. Bakken, Tuppeskogen, 3550 Gol fra I.M. Thovnegt. 23, 3015 Drammen. Frimærket forstiller en bygningsstruktur der skyder sig ud af sneen: 'Svalbards globale frøhvelv, Arkitekturens år 2011. NORGE INNLAND A', stemplet 07 JUN 2011. Konvolutten indeholder et brev fra datteren, sendt kl. 15.45, samme dag, men konvoluttens primære funktion er at indeholde to pakker med blomsterfrø: Sommerfrue og Sommerdahlia. Linfrø Hele bygkorn Geisha grødris Ældre decilitermål i jern, med teksten 'ULOVLIG VED KJØP OG SALG' samt en deciliter- og gramskala indtrykket i metallet. Nyere mål optil 4 CUPS = 32 oz. = 1 QUART fabrikeret i translucent plast: denne har den fordel, at indholdet kan ses igennen, men er i øvrigt af væsentligt dårligere kvalitet. Saks Diverse servieringsfade og beholdere Melis Røremaskine

en nål i.

og SENNAE FOLIUM 4 mm Sennesblad 4 mm. På hylden under står en mikrobølgeovn Philips / Whirlpool Jet900w, med autostart funktion og 'double emission system', hvorpå en blomstret termokande og et jernfad hviler på diverse brugsanvisninger. Et andet objekt hviler på ovnen: en ramme med to billeder af børn der meget tydeligt ligner hinanden, tydeligvis taget med 20-30 års mellemrum. Det ene i sort/hvid af en dreng udklippet en avis; det andet et ældre farvefotografi af en pige iført blå seler, poserende foran et af datidens moderne vægtæpper. Yders til højre på hylden står en træholder til blyanter, kuglepenne etc., hvoraf den ene er lyserød og iført et storsmilende dukkehoved med rottehaler. Ca. 3 cm fra kanten hænger et søm med to udslidte forklæder. Under alt dette befinder de to vaske sig, som er udført i ét stykke bukket metal og med tilhørende område, med dræn, hvor opvask kan stå til afdrypning. Vandhanen, som deles af de to vaske, styres ikke fra roden af denne, som ellers er kotyme ved køkkenvaskdesign, men fra en termostat og to armaturer på ydersiden af elementet, lige over de to inkluderede skabe: Det ene skjulende rørføring, skraldespand og opvaskebørster. Det andet indholdende en lang række af produkter forbundet med at opretholdelsen af skinnende overflader, pletfrie klæder og brusende afløb (læs: negentropiske aktioner): 4 kasser med vaskemiddel i pulverform Maskinrens Sølvpudsemiddel Gylden flaske, 'KOBBER/MESSING PUSS. UTVIKLET AV EN GULLSMED' Musefælde i træ, med et tryk af to katte og teksten LUNA Zalo ultra Zalo frisk Uåbnet håndsæber Afkalkningsmiddel 11

NYCO frugtsalt Kvikk Strips-plaster

Bag glidedørene befinder sig, ligeledes delt over 3 hylder: En sovsekande 7 assorterede desserttallerkener 11 underkopper Jerntang med gummiender En tom pakke 'Rømme' indeholdende En terning En metalknap, af typen som sidder på en bunad. 4-5 møtrikker og filtre fra en vandhane Et par plastbeholdere og serveringsfade 13 stablede tallerkener ovenpå et fad 9 mindre forskellige fade og bowler. 13 dybe tallerkener, i mindst 5 forskellige modeller En lille flad krukke med mønter: 8 norske 50-ører, samt 3 kroner. Ubestemmelig gul plastdims. 3 forskellige sukkerbeholder til bordservering 3 ølkrus 9 glas 5 underkopper 12 små kaffekopper 2 større kaffekopper med regnbue på, som bærer tydeligespor af vedvarende og insisterende brug Til højre for dette skab er to hylder, som på det nærmeste fungerer som et appendiks til det L-formede skab. På den øverste forsættes udvalget af kopper, denne dog forbeholdt 5 glas, som er mere til skue end brug: to i gråt stentøj med hhv. teksten VERDENS BESTE FAR og VERDENS BESTE MOR påskrevet. De to andre bærer farverige portrætter af en fersken omgivet af druer, bær, jordbær, pærer, blommer etc. Det sidste er en orange kop med en børnetegning af en sol og hvad der er beskrevet under som 'Muse-Spøkelse', men i virkeligheden nærmere er en bunke med vilkårlige streger. I bunden findes teksten 'TIL MOSTE FRA NORA JULEN 2000'. Bagved disse står to store beholdere med urteblandinger fra Norske Medisinaldepot, begge i klinisk hvidt, falmet apoteksdesign:

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KJERRINGROKK. EQUISETI HERBA 4 MM Til te, trekkes i kokende vann

En kop med afslået hank, med et norsk flag af papir påmonteret

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Sun glansmiddel Sølvpudsemiddel på flaske 'EFFEKT Vindues Spray' Grill og ovnrens. Blødgøringsmiddel. Finvaskemiddel. Yderst mod højre, over metalbordet, hænger en holder til runde plastiklåg, efterfulgt at en krukke med diverse træredskaber til madlavning, primært store skeer til omrøring, samt piskeris og 2 slikkepotter. Dernæst: termokande, termokopper, kaffebeholder, elkoger, litermål. I den dybe vask mod venstre ligger en orange, udtjent opvaskebørste i selskab med et glas i et metalnet, hvor den hvide maling er slidt væk i den mest udsatte områder, primært i dan primære opvaske-zone. Bagved vasken står Zalo ultraopvaskemiddel. Jif Kjøkkenrens, en grøn vandkande samt håndsæbe. Over dette, på første del af langsiden, hænger et aflangt, symmetrisk element med 8 store, 2 mellem og 4 små gennemsigtige skuffer. Denne indeholder: 1. - 2. tv. (store): Tørrede grønne ærter Tørrede grønne ærter Melis Makaronipasta

1. - 2. th. (store): 'Sammalt hvetemel' Havregryn Sukker Sigtet hvedemel I midten øverst (små): Karve og hel muskatnød i poser 2 pakker malt kanel Ubeboet Ubeboet I midten, 1.: Majsmel Ubeboet Dette element efterfølges af en holder til visp, stegespade, brødkniv, 12


kødøkse, pallet, lille kniv samt længere væk et stavblender påført piskeris.

Vaskemaskine 'Bauknecht' WATS 5135, hvorpå en fluesmækker trygt hviler.

B-vitamin Tændstikker Citronpresser i glas. Glasfade B-vitamin En blå kasse, hvorpå et stykke malertape med kuglepen er påskrevet SØNDAG, indeholdende 3 små plastcylindere cylindere: MORGEN, KVELD, AFTEN. Kartonpakker 'Laxoberal', Omnic 0,4 mg, Tramadol 50 mg, SOMAC Control. Cognac-glas Æggeholdere Olivengrøn beholder med håndskrevet tekst: ' SOVE-TABL + SOBRIL' Kopper Underkopper Desserttallerkener.

Hjørnet af rummet modsat af indgangen, optages delvist at skorstensskakten og diverse ting der læner sig op af eller omgiver sig med denne: Sort støvsuger (AEG) To bradepander i jern 1 stort glasfad med krystalmønster Dalmatinplettet kost ned tilhørende holder som dobbeltfungerer som fejebræt. En knage monteret på væggen, hvori ledningen fra en ladningsadapter har fået ny funktion som nedsænket holder af en stor jernsi og -suppeøse. En aflang tændstiksæskeholder i jern, hvor tyngdekraften tilfærer en ny af de op til 6 æsker, når den nederste udtages. 5 huller i denne visualiserer, hvornår det er på tide med en genopfyldning. Et rengøringsstativ med klide, svabere, en blå spande, hvorunder et par grå tøfler er parkeret. Efter knækket hænger et skab, placeret over et AEG SANTO-køleskab. På skabet hviler endnu to elementer til frit skue, men uden egentlig funktion: tomme, firkantede porcelænsbeholder med påskrifterne 'Sukker' og 'Mel'. Yderst på venstre kant balancerer en medicin flaske 'Cosylan Mikstur' øjensyneligt, men virkeligheden er, at den for længst, i kraft af den klæbrige mikstur, er groet fast og blevet en integreret, uflyttelig del af skabsarrangementet (/indretningen). Bagved står en identisk flaske i en uåbnet kartonpakning. Dette skab, placeret i umiddelbar nærhed til stueindgangen, indeholder primært serveringselementer 4 fade af glas, i to etager eller på pedistal. Osteklokke i jern. Porcelænskande, 'ABC. TEA. SOLENS BLOMST' Buttet glaskande Stentøj Tom flaske ubestemmelig essens, med afrevet mærke. En næsten tom whiskeyflaske, gemt i hjørnet: AINSLIE'S ”King's Legend” Finest SCOTCH WISKEY GLASGOW SCOTLAND 43o G.L. 37.5 CL.

GUARANTEED ABSOLUTELY PURE

På køleskabet hviler en sort og rød serveringsbakke, 'MARTINI. VERMOUTH', med 4 stk. kleenex, samt en uåbnet pakke 'Twinings Blackcurrant Tea', en blyant, en lille saks og en bomuldsserviet. Ved siden af, ligger et 9V batteri, et rødt biliieetui, hvorpå en hjørnebygning i to etager er afbilledet, samt teksten OPTIKER ANDERS LÖCHEN FOGHT [] TLF. 21 437 [] LØCHENGÅRDEN [] 3500 HØNEFOSS (Denne fjerne adresse refererer til stedet hvor den ældste søns svigermor arbejdede på daværende tidspunkt) et firkanten forstørrelsesglas, der kan roteres ud af sit læderhus; 5 små plastfigurer a la dem fra chokoladeæg; en tom lille plastpose med SINEQUAN 10 MG, 1 STK, udskrevet til Bakken Knut T (25/05/1915 GO14041), søndag 16/08 kl. 21.00, xx., pakkedato: 15/07/09, FARMAKA AS 255. Køleskabet er tomt, bortset fra en påmonteret magnet, cirkulær, forestillende silhuetterne af to siddende hunde, der klør sig bag ørene med

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væggen til højre fra åbningen befinder sig det første af de mange ure, som befinder sig i huset: skåret i træ og gået i stå kl. 6.54, ukendt dag. Herunder hænger køkkenets femte termometer, matchende de to i vinduet, blot 1-2 meter derfra. Denne måler temperaturen på indersiden af klimavæggen. Dernæst følger 3 ophængte i en formation der tydeligt afslører, at der på et fjerde søm engang har hængt endnu en tallerken. 2 af tallerkener forestiller i et cirkulært udsnit en herre der eskortere en kvinde iført en blå og lyserød kjole igennem et havelandskab. Rundt om disse er udskæringer, der praktisk talt modarbejde en tallerkens primære funktion som samlende og understøttende element. I rummets knæk, til højre for døråbningen, under uret og tallerkenerne, er placeret et mørk træbord i en form for superelipse. Bordet kan komprimeres ved at fjerne den centrale plade, men fremstår nu i sin maksimale udtrækning, der ligepræcis passer til hjørnets dimensioner. På denne ligger en let dug, med et blomstret mønster, der lader den mørke træfarve trænge igennem. På denne står et objekt der udgiver sig for at være en gul potteplante, men egentligt er i plast. 3 stole i træ, med sort lædersæde, omringer bordet, hvoraf de ene er klemt ind mellem væg og bord. På det sidste stykke væg efter rummets knæk, før vinduet med udsyn over adgangsvejen, hænger de sidste objekter i dette rum: et billeder af to fugle (enten Kjøttmeis eller Dumpap' på en gylden gren; et A4-ark med et billede af 2 piger og 3 drenge, som også inkluderer en grøn plastiktraktor og -scooter; et søm med en jernklemme og diverse breve og informationer fra Gol Kommune, samt en lille dug; en tom holder til indkøbssedler, der nu holder to reflekser i en snor; en pude med nåle. Slutteligt er et snortræk, der penetrerer væggen, til at styre de udvendige markiser foran vinduet, i tilfælde af ekstraordinær stærk sol.

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deres ene pote. Over døråbningen til stuen, er i den ene karm fastklemt en børnetegning. Tegningen forestiller en hvid hest med to lyserøde sløjfer, samt en kvindelig figur der kærtegner snuden. Halvt skjult af karmen står 'IFTU ES CFTU!', som må formodes at være en eller anden form for kodet meddelelse. På væggen til højre fra åbningen befinder sig det første af de mange ure, som befinder sig i huset: skåret i træ og gået i stå kl. 6.54, ukendt dag. Herunder hænger køkkenets femte termometer, matchende de to i vinduet, blot 1-2 meter derfra. Denne måler temperaturen på indersiden af klimavæggen. Dernæst følger 3 ophængte i en formation der tydeligt afslører, at der på et fjerde søm engang har hængt endnu en tallerken. 2 af tallerkener forestiller i et cirkulært udsnit en herre der eskortere en kvinde iført en blå og lyserød kjole igennem et havelandskab. Rundt om disse er udskæringer, der praktisk talt modarbejde en tallerkens primære funktion som samlende og understøttende element. I rummets knæk, til højre for døråbningen, under uret og tallerkenerne, er placeret et mørk træbord i en form for superelipse. Bordet kan komprimeres ved at fjerne den centrale plade, men fremstår nu i sin maksimale udtrækning, der ligepræcis passer til hjørnets dimensioner. På denne ligger en let dug, med et blomstret mønster, der lader den mørke træfarve trænge igennem. På denne står et objekt der udgiver sig for at være en gul potteplante, men egentligt er i plast. 3 stole i træ, med sort lædersæde, omringer bordet, hvoraf de ene er klemt ind mellem væg og bord. På det sidste stykke væg efter rummets knæk, før vinduet med udsyn over adgangsvejen, hænger de sidste objekter i dette rum: et billeder af to fugle (enten Kjøttmeis eller Dumpap' på en gylden gren; et A4-ark med et billede af 2 piger og 3 drenge, som også inkluderer en grøn plastiktraktor og -scooter; et søm med en jernklemme og diverse breve og informationer fra Gol Kommune, samt en lille dug; en tom holder til indkøbssedler, der nu holder to reflekser i en snor; en pude med nåle. Slutteligt er et snortræk, der penetrerer væggen, til at styre de udvendige markiser foran vinduet, i tilfælde af ekstraordinær stærk sol.

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Compressed inventory of Kitchen


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to preserve this spatial snapshot through two parallel processes of surveying: a set of precise architectural drawings and a written inventory. This was a straightforward endeavour: what can be described and what can be measured?

Architectural Drawing

10 Claus Peder Pedersen, Jyske Kunstakademi and Arkitektskolen i Aarhus, Tilfældets tektonik, Arkipelaget, 3 (Aarhus: Det Jyske Kunstakademi : Arkitektskolen Aarhus : Forlaget Antipyrine, 2013).

The drawing of course is the traditional and motive force of thought and communication within architecture. However, most often the drawing is used as a tool in future tense10 for projecting ideas onto the world, rather that conserving what already exists – and if so, mainly applied to surveying heritage buildings and sites. Here, conversely, the act of precisely and manually surveying, measuring and drawing all the elements that may seem insignificant and trivial becomes a cognitive activity: a way of looking closely and reassigning value to them. Through the drawing, everything was treated equally important, trying to bypass inherent preconditions. All the small particularities, variations and the crookedness of the house that is a testimony to the life of its inhabitants and the passing of time. This procedure is related to the later performed 3d-scanning of my own apartment, with its omniscient gaze.

Lists and Description A Way of Looking and Gaining Insight

11 Tania Ørum, ‘Det Infra-Ordinære’, in Virkelighed, Virkelighed! - Avantgardens Realisme Antologi., by Karin Petersen (Tiderne Skifter, 2003), pp. 133–69 (p. 140).

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Perhaps, this is the most simple and direct application of the technique deployed by Perec in works such as An Attempt, Life a User’s Manual, Things, Species of Spaces, etc.: to meticulously describe everything that is visible within a space through list form. Hence, this exercise can be seen as a precursor of many of the later practices, biopsies and probes of the research project. Not much inventive narration or many adjectives are added, but simply format everything as plain descriptions and simple lists, not very different from a shopping list, memorandums or itinerary, that we all know from everyday life11. Intrigued by what insight and knowledge such an endeavour would present, walls, floors, shelves, countertops and drawers was inventoried, starting in the kitchen. This provided a slow and detailed microscopic gaze, constantly zooming in and out – everything put under the magnifier. This was surely slowing down perception and the activity of being

present in the space: a drawer with spices can apparently withhold a whole universe in its own right, and every element needs to be scrutinised, examined and put onto the list. Some of the elements inventories on the list simply sets the scene: geographically, culturally and temporally: For instance, the types of spices, equipment and recipes. Other objects stands out from the large sum of elements inventoried: objects either displaced or (in this context) outof-the-ordinary such as banal things such as a Greek spice blend, a burnt egg-timer depicting a red pepper or a hand-painted beer opener. Other objects directly hints of a bodily presence and activity, such as precisely placed fly-swatters, a tinted cap and cups. Choosing what and to what detail to describe something always implies a choice. Thus, even though a list may, according to Ben Highmore (discussing the ‘surreal ethnography’ of Mass Observation), suggest a ‘scientific desire for exhaustive and rigorous investigation’ and are perhaps even classified as a rational activity. Yet, as in the case of Mass Observation’s (and Perec’s) lists, this inventory could be understood at the same time to be a ‘studied attempt at being systematically unsystematic’12, since it is at times diverts into ‘irrational’ descriptive routes – and at times bordering the absurd amid all its ordinariness. The process of inventorying and collecting these ordinary and common elements in a straightforward list could be understood as a historical parallel to Walter Benjamin in the Arcades Project. Here he, ‘the materialist historian’, is rag picking the ‘refuse of history’ and is unconcerned with what has been accredited as preciously and valuable – instead he picks up what is ‘disregarded and from the residues of history’ and through the connections between these fragments gains a new perspective on history itself13. In the same way, the inventory of the strata of the kitchen becomes something more than its ‘banal’ components: connections start to emerge and a scene is set. The former events and inhabitants become strangely present. Sometimes simply listing, acknowledging the existence of the things, while at other time more elaborately describing the spatial situations and objects. This resembles the elaborate descriptions of the environments and the mise-en-scène that Robbe-Grillet is advocating for the Nouveau Roman. According to him, modern novels (and readers) is too obsessed with proceeding in the plot, that time and description has been partly

12 Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London u.a.: Routledge, 2010), p. 84.

13 Esther Leslie, Ursula Marx and Walter Benjamin Archiv, ‘10. Rag Picker: The Arcades Project’, in Walter Benjamin’s Archive: images, texts, signs (London; New York: Verso, 2007).


Cross-section of Soane’s House.

Excerpt from on of Perec’s list in Species of Spaces

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14 Alain Robbe-Grillet, For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction (Northwestern University Press, 1989).

15 Nadin Mai, ‘Alain Robbe-Grillet – The Art(s) of Slow Cinema’, 2014 <https:// theartsofslowcinema. com/tag/alain-robbegrillet/> [accessed 10 August 2016].

16 Georges Perec and David Bellos, ‘“Notes on the Objects to Be Found on My Desk”’, in Thoughts of Sorts (Boston: David R. Godine, 2009).

17 Maurice Halbwachs, ‘Space and the Collective Memory’, in The Collective Memory (New York: Harper & Row, 1980). 18 Leon Van Schaik, ‘How Spatial Intelligence Builds Our Mental Space’, in Spatial Intelligence: New Futures for Architecture (Chichester, Englnd; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008), pp. 36–56. 19 Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (Orion Press, 1964). 20 Mieke Bal, ‘Dispersing the Gaze: Focalization’, in Looking In the Art of Viewing., by Norman Bryson (Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013).

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abandoned14. Conversely, in the thick description of this biopsy, there was no initial plot, but rather the subplot and insights emerged from the described elements themselves and hence writing becomes an activity of looking and gaining insight, rather that constituting preconditions. Description of the mise-en-scène is the classmark of the nouveau roman. 15 [N]othing seems simpler than making a list, but in fact it’s much more complicated than it seems: you always leave something out, you’re tempted to write etc., but the whole point of an inventory is not to write etc. Contemporary writers (with few exceptions, such as Michel Butor) have forgotten the art of enumeration: Rabelais’s list, the Linnaean enumeration of fish in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the listing of geographers who explored Australia in The Children of Captain Grant… 16

House as Memory Machine Thus, every collective memory unfolds within a spatial framework. Now space is a reality that endures: since our impressions rush by, one after another, and leave nothing behind in the mind, we can understand how we recapture the past only by understanding how it is, in effect, preserved by our physical surroundings. It is to space - the space we occupy, traverse, have continual access to, or can at any time reconstruct in thought and imagination - that we must turn our attention. Our thought must focus on it if this or that category of remembrances is to reappear. 17 The objects and elements of the house serve as mnemonic devices. Narrative trajectories is ignited and triggered by particular objects. One such object is an empty spectacle case, that recalls an incident and discussion (on whether a pair of glasses were for males or females) that once occurred during a visit at the local optician. This relates to Leon van Schaik’s ‘mental space’18and Gaston Bachelards’ ‘spatial histories’19. Hence, these objects could be could be understood as prisms or ‘focalisers’ that becomes openings of other narratives in a different time or outside the house. This understanding builds on Mieke Bal’s ideas20. Similarly, the idea of objects as focalisors (and mnemonic devices) can be applied to Life A User’s Manual, in which the cross-section of a building is the starting point, which then through objects and the spatial encounters diverts into a multitude of narratives. Some of these unfolded


A few objects outlines the scene: it seems as the former inhabitant just left the bed of the adjacent bedroom.

Right: The scheme of the objects the served instrumental in developing the subplots and narratives in Life A Userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manual. Through the objects the main story diverts into other directions through a sort of focalisation. Above: The schemata made into a section of the building block, each apartment with a set of inhabitants. These two list (objects, spaces, people) were juxtaposed. However, the list to the right was gradually abandoned towards the end.

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The house is filled with written lists and tokens of events and social relations.

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21 Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (New York: Monacelli Press, 1994). 22 Carsten Thau, Arkitekturen som tidsmaskine (Kbh.: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole, 2010).

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inside the building while others related to activities outside the building block that somehow influenced its inhabitants, directly or indirectly. What seemed too banal even to notice or note down becomes the focal point for a narrative. Already when being constructed, all the materials of the house in Gol had a previous life: the walls was built by the remains of some German barracks that occupied the area during Second World War (due to a general lack of resources). In the course of time, the house was rebuild several times to fit the changing size of the family: an extra extension was build; the spatial organisation changed; walls were erected, moved and torn down; a indoor bathroom and water closet was realised. Hence, the architecture can be the repository for a multitude of temporal and microhistorical narratives, throught its own spatiomateriality and the elements and objects that it contains. If fact, it is unavoidable for architecture to obtain such qualities. As the plots and building of Manhattan, described by Rem Koolhaas in Delirious New York21, that constantly changes and transforms, but constantly brings something of the past with it: be it by reusing actual building elements (like the old elevators of Astor Hotel, now a part of Empire State Building) or in less direct way being informed by the circumstances, history and the physical envelope of the past. The interior becomes a ‘world theatre’ or ‘cabinet of curiosities’22, similar to Soane’s House with its constellation of extraordinary objects, but with opposite operational signs. As an introverted museum, if refers to the infraordinary and everyday existence, rather than to distant cultures and the world at large. Hence, the history is constituted in the building itself: It stands back as a monument to their existence and all the small and mayor events that happened in this place, and at the same time being a fragment cropped from the longue durée.

Collective Memory; Archive of Social Relations The living room of the house presents a strictly curated visual family tree: the walls are filled with photographs serving as mementos of major and decisive moments in the life of the family and relatives (see next pages) This is a strictly curated collective memory of the family, which is key in order to preserve the family history and narrative identity. The main living room becomes a gallery where several times and temporalities overlap through the montage of photographs, which can be cross-read. Other of theses mnemonic devices are unintended and uncurated, simply being objects accumulating23 and laying around because they have (or once had) a practical use. One such object is yet another empty spectacle case has the imprint of an address in a far-away city links directly to the mother of the one son-in-law who worked at this particular optician, and thus provided a much-appreciated personal service. We all create and alter our own memory and identity though curating and organising our surroundings: paintings, photographs, objects, furniture, etc. In this particular space, sociality does not primarily happen directly (through space), but indirectly (through time): even though relatives came here at different times, the collective memory of the family was handed over from person to person, through the gallery and the house as a memory machine or living archive. Hence, sociality not only happens directly (through space), but indirectly (through time).

23 Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Ophobninger : Moderne Skulpturelle Fænomener, Rævens Sorte Bibliotek, Nr. 67 (Kbh.: Politisk revy, 2005).


A few objects outlines a narative and works as memory devices, outlining the former inhabitants everyday doings.

House.

Constellation of objects in Soaneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

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Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria in his Gallery, 1651, by David Teniers the Younger.

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The collection of personal mementos in the house at Tuppeskogen. 2013.

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The husband of the house was obsessed with (making) clocks, which may be understood as an allegory to the house as a temporal entity and memory machine.

The children who still uses the house as a social vertex for meeting over a cup of coffee and waffles.

The house is packed with photographic mementos.

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Dispersed Social Coexistence

Infraordinary Museum

The correlation of this house with the larger social entity of the village differs from that of an apartment in the city. Different from the a multistorey house, as in the prior chapter ‘The Apartment and the Living Room’, here you don’t experience the neighbours in the same way: you do not hear anything though the drainpipe, floors or radiators, as earlier showcased. However, the windows and doorway functioned as vital view posts: At every slight sound of a car coming approaching, the street would be intensive supervised, hence it can be understood as another version of the visual and theatrical coexistence showcased in ‘The Bedroom Window and the Courtyard’, in a suburban setting. Social coexistence here, in general, is different from that of the city: people are able to isolate more in their private cocoons. Hence, the social vertexes (as will be discussed in the chapters which follows), such as grocery stores and gas stations, become even more vital as meeting points – and the telephone and modes of telecommunication became vitals tool of keeping up-to-date with relatives.

In the village, houses like this disappear one by one in the village. Most often to make way for a new house or parking lots for supermarkets that continually grow in size. Soon this ordinary house will not be infraordinary anymore, but something exotic. As one of the few scraps left behind: as a spatial snapshot of a distant time - or perhaps an Infraordinary Museum depicting everyday life in the last half of the 20st century, through the composition and totality of artefacts which formes a complex cosmos for - and created by - its inhabitants during six decades.

Social Vertex of the Friends, Family and Neighbours. The house have always been a social gathering point. As it was one of the first households to have a television, the kids of the neighbourhood and neighbours would be welcomed to see the latest broadcast. Throughout the decades, every Sunday, the (extended) family would meet for afternoon coffee and waffles. Even after the passing of Anne and Knut, the house remains an important gathering point for the family. The house still stands there, furnished with its mnemonic devices and ephemera as a reservoir of a past time.

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The proprietor of the house himself kept a journal in which the daily weather, temperature, nonevents and life-changing events was logged with almost equal importance. “9/1 84 -18O IN THE MORNING, NICE WEATHER, COLD - TONE [DAUGHTER] GAVE BIRTH TO A PRETTY, LITTLE GIRL”.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban Biopsy: The Kitchen and the Living Room Location: Tuppeskogen 3550 Gol, Norway Coordinates: 60°41’50.0”N 8°54’20.9”E Period: 08.2013 - 10.2013 Framework / Probe: Description and surveying constraints (framework of perception) Materials: Ink, paper Fabrication Techniques: Writing, drawing and surveying

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Urban Cartographies and Paradoxes of Representing Reality

[In photography] there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality1 Throughout artistic and scientific discourses the question on an accurate representation of ordinary reality has been a discussion that continually re-emerges. In a scientific perspective, there is a pledge and search for objective encounters and clinical extraction of data. Conversely, in this research project the argument is, that such a clinical encounter, as in an isolated scientific lab, apparently does not exist within a research discourse set in the heterogeneous and infraordinary urban realm. In the following section, I will outline some of the discussions that have informed my approach in regard to representing and enquiring into the reality of the everyday and the infraordinary, and ultimately the claim of the impossibility of doing so. A proposal for a resin cast, containing an representation of everyday traces and at the same time being situated within reality and hence altering it. In collaboration with Anders Kruse Aagaard and CIMS.

Paradox of Representing Reality Then, what does it mean to possess, exhaust or represent a slice of the real world? According to the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty no representation can do justice to the lived experience of space2. Conversely, he states in relation to cinematographic drama, that it is ‘finergrained than real-life encounters: It takes place in a world that is more exact than the real world’3, echoing the above-mentioned statement by Stieglitz. Hence, there is an inherent paradox in representing and dealing with the reality, especially the everyday and infraordinary reality. The representation inevitably becomes something else – and perhaps this is where its true potential lies; that it is at the same time ‘more exact’ and insufficient to percieved experience, although being a slice of life. Representation of reality will always be filtered through a

1 Alfred Stieglitz and others, The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times: Almanac for 1897 (New York: Scovill & Adams Co., 1896).

2 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, ‘Eye and Mind’, in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting, ed. by Galen A Johnson and Michael B Smith (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1993), pp. 121–49. 3 Richard Koeck, ‘Tectonics of Film Space’, in Cine-Scapes: Cinematic Spaces in Architecture and Cities (New York; London: Routledge, 2013); Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Hubert L Dreyfus and Patricia Allen Dreyfus, Sense and Non-Sense, 1964, p. 58.

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sensory apparatus and receptacle device: be it the experiencing human body itself or the framework of perception and situated probe deployed throughout this research project.

Photography as Evidence and Documents

A. Leconte’s map of Monumental Paris, 1920s.

Barthes argues that a photograph is a proof that something existed4. According to Sontag, the earliest photographers talked about cameras as if it were a ‘copying machine’5 and welcomed as a way of accumulating information and hence considered the photographer as a non-interfering ‘scribe’6. Perhaps, such an approach is valid in the exact sciences, where the experiments can be isolated to clinical laboratory observations. Yet, when being submerged into a complex reality, the question of the possibility of unbiased encounters and representations of reality emerges. This closely relates to the discussion of bias and objectivity in other fields, such as critical ethnography7.

Representations of Cities One of the most problematic entities to represent is that of the complex and heterogeneous city. Most often, it is reduced to diagrammatic representations on a macroview. The early twentieth century mapmaker Leconte’s representation of post-Haussmann Paris ‘Nouveau Paris Monumental’ (for tourists) reduced the city to its extraordinary monuments, leaving everything in-between as a flat tone of nothingness8. Simultaneously, Eugene Atget captured an entirely different representation of Paris through drifting around in the streets capturing the infraordinary ephemera of the old Paris – street corners, shop windows, inhabitants,

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4 Roland. Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), pp. 78–80. 5 Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977), p. 87. 6 Sontag, p. 88. 7 D. Soyini Madison, Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics, and Performance (Sage, 2011)

8 Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘The Map of the Camel Driver’, ed. by Stephanie White, ONSITE Review, Photography | Cartography. 31 (2014).


street-peddlers, prostitutes, living rooms and dining tables – without any trace of the extraordinary monuments presented in Leconte’s maps. Maps are often considered as precise representations of reality; yet, according to the psychogeographer Iain Sinclair they are fundamentally untrustworthy:

9 Iain Sinclair, Lights out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London (London: Granta Books, 1997), p. 142.

[Maps] represent special pleading on behalf of some quango with a subversive agenda, something to sell. Maps are a futile compromise between information and knowledge. They require a powerful dose of fiction to bring them to life.9 These two representations of the city stand as two extremes evoking the figures of the camel driver and the cartographer, as introduced in the chapter ‘Situated Knowledge’. However, to determine which of the two can be considered the representation closest to reality could be critically discussed - although my argument, to no surprise, would be on Atget’s documents, since this is closer to the perceived experience of the urban dwellers.

Rag-picker’s Archive of Ephemera, 2012

Representing Reality through Alternative Urban Cartography 10 Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Eroding Permanences of the Infraordinary’ (Aarhus School of Architecture, 2012).

In 2012, as part of the thesis project10, I explored alternative cartographic modes of representation (precedents of the frameworks of perception and situated probes of this research project) to distil the everyday urban reality of a street in Queens, New York. As briefly mentioned in the chapter ‘The Beginning’, this took three forms: The first is a range of found and acquired objects, assembled into ‘Rag-picker’s Archive of Ephemera’ (inspired by Duchamp’s Boîteen-Valise), which expresses the area through artefacts such as old photographs, letters and everyday tokens of non-events, such as

Stair-Thread Camera, 2012

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TAPE / STRATA MEASURER Memory TapeMEMORY / Strata Recorder, 2012

cigarette boxes, receipts, a spare part from an auto-mechanic, chipotle peppers from the deli, etc. This could be seen as a contemporary version of the Victorian traveller returning with objects representing a foreign culture: (infra-)ordinary artefacts displaced as exotic souvenirs that together collocates an overall narrative about the place. The second, ‘Memory Tape / Strata Recorder’ is another kind of map produced in the entrance of Cousin’s Deli in the area. A tape recorder was altered to being cyclical: it would continuously feed itself with the same two-minute loop. It consistently recorded fragments of sound on top of earlier recordings: conversations and ambient noises of different times superimposed into a sonic cartography in constant transformation. The last device was the analogue ‘Stairthread Camera’ that captured the coming and goings of the residents in a building block (98 11th st). Different from the diagrammatic section of the building, the camera, activated by a false stair thread, captured the fleeting moments of passing-by of the postman, inhabitants, visitors and deliverymen in a different way. These explored three extreme versions of representing reality through alternative practices. In a sense, they are both as precise and untrustworthy as maps, but closer anchored to the reality of lived experience and the infraordinary dimension. Similarly, since the earliest days, films have been used as an alternative medium to create urban maps11. Seminal works such as the early city symphonies, ‘Regen’12, ‘Berlin: Symphony of a Great City’13, ‘Man with a Movie Camera’14 offered the lived-experience of the contemporary urban condition, as an opposite of the top-down representation of maps. The moving pictures provide an alternative cartography of the complex, fragmented and multi-dimensional urban realm. Brook and

11 Richard Brook and Nick Dunn, ‘Films’, in Urban Maps: Instruments of Narrative and Interpretation in the City (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011). 12 Mannus Franken and Joris Ivens, Regen, 1929. 13 Walter Ruttmann, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, 1928. 14 Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera, 1929.

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Dunn argue that a particular significance of films are as ‘diagnostic instruments’ (echoing Tygstrup’s ‘prosthesis of insight’), to describe and understand the everyday interaction with the built environment:

15 Brook and Dunn, p. 128.

16 Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 71. 17 Max Kestner, Drømme I København / Copenhagen Dreams, 2010.

[…] Films have the capacity to illustrate the experience of living in the city. They are able to convey the dynamic, temporal qualities of the city as a superorganism with its countless narratives, events and fluctuating systems15 Films are synthesised reality, made of fragments – a collocated whole, that need, as in the case of maps, and investment to read and bring to life. However, within cinema there have been regular discussions on the medium’s ability and potential to represent the everyday and lived experience truthfully, for instance by established discourses such as neo-realism, new-wave cinema, slowcinema and Dogme 95, in each their distinct way. Similarly to Stieglitz and Merleau-Ponty, Kracauer argues that films ‘evoke a reality more inclusive that the one they actually picture’: They point beyond the physical world to the extent that the shots or combinations of shots from which they are built carry multiple meanings. Due to the continuous influx of the psychophysical correspondences thus aroused, they suggest a reality, which may fittingly be called ‘life.’16

Staged Reality and Alternative Truthful Representation However, Danish filmmaker Max Kestner has another take on truth in films. In ‘Copenhagen Dreams’17 (a contemporary city symphony), he creates a partly fictional and staged documentary on the inhabitants

of Copenhagen and their relation with the built environment on an everyday basis. Many shots are when carefully examined, augmented collages, pieced together by shots during a day: for instance, two adjacent neighbours sitting in their windows did not actually do so at the same time but brought together by cinematic collage techniques. However, according to Kestner, this fact is not important: rather he claims that if it resonates with you, if it evokes something in you, then, in turn, it is a truthful representation18. This form of documentarism is, of course, controversial and widely contested. On the other hand, it acknowledges that there cannot be any unbiased and objective truth - in line with Hito Steyerl’s argument that truth is always something which is produced and constructed19 – and in turn, invents its own discourse within cinematic truth. ‘[U] ltimately, all documentaries are directed by someone’, and an unfiltered representation of reality can never be passed on. In the end, it will be perceived, filtered and interpreted by the viewing subject, which presents yet another layer of the filtering of reality. For Kestner, truth is not a specific measure that has anything to do with reality per se. Truth is, according to him, what ‘makes us laugh and cry, feel and identify’ and ‘if it works, it is true’20.

Interweaving ‘Real’ and ‘Representational’ Materiality Contemporary technologies of laser scanning and photogrammetry bring the discussion on the representational closer to the actual reality. Various forms of 3D capturing and scanning allow the physical world to enter the digital domain with high mathematical precision. Conversely, through advanced machinery and fabrication methods this representation can re-emerge in the

18 ‘Jeg Er En Af Dem, Der Tror, at Sandheden Er Min’, Filmmagasinet Ekko, 2005 <http:// www.ekkofilm.dk/ artikler/jeg-er-enaf-dem-der-tror-atsandheden-er-min/> [accessed 21 October 2014]. 19 Hito Steyerl, ‘Truth Unmade Productivism and Factography’, 2009 <http://eipcp. net/transversal/0910/ steyerl/en> [accessed 16 November 2016]. 20 ‘Jeg Er En Af Dem, Der Tror, at Sandheden Er Min’, Filmmagasinet Ekko, 2005 <http:// www.ekkofilm.dk/ artikler/jeg-er-enaf-dem-der-tror-atsandheden-er-min/> [accessed 21 October 2014].

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BRICKED UP WINDOW WINDOW 1

Concrete cast based on 3d-scan. A ‘transcribed’ reality taking another materiality (from glass and steel to concrete).

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physical domain. Hence, the representation inhabits reality in 1:1, and an interweaving of the two coexisting domains occurs. Already, historical ornaments of buildings are ‘backed-up’ digitally in order to recreate them as they deteriorate21. Soon, whole cities will be stored as three-dimensional pointclouds. However, it can still be contested to what extend spatial reality can be copied and duplicated, without becoming something else. Technology advances and higher mathematical precision does not make the representations more real, perhaps quite on the contrary. A series of experiments, conducted with PhD-fellow Anders Kruse Aagaard during a research collaboration between Aarhus School of Architecture and CIMS, Carleton University, Ottawa in late 2015 explored the relationship between physical and digital representation in a series of captures and explorative fabrication to blur the lines between what is regarded the real and the representation22. By digitising an alleyway (in Aarhus) using different techniques, a series of high-resolution point cloud representations were created. These were the basis for the transformation of the point cloud data into fabrication data. However, the transformation inevitably manipulates and modifies the data – as does the fabrication itself: through a series of in-between steps the digital is converted, translated and materialised. This could be understood similar to the steps of developing a (chemical) photographic representation, where reality is inevitably modified along the way from developing the negative into positive. Several factors beyond the framing on the initial photographs come into play. The outcome of the experimentation is a selection of casts, which are simultaneously the representation and a real physical thing in the spatial realm. These are made to inhabit the alleyway and reality from which

21 Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), ‘Digitally-Assisted Stone Carving’, CIMS, Carleton University.

22 Anders Kruse Aagaard and Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Interveawing ‘Real’ and ‘Representational’ Reality’, in WORKS+WORDS 2017: Biennale in Artistic Research in Architecture, KADK, forthcoming 2017.


they stem. They do not become threedimensional pantographic copies, but rather translated and modified into new realities. The procedures in-between, such as the casting moulds, could also be perceived as representations in their own term. The cast becomes both a real thing while still possessing their inherent representational qualities: The physical objects are representations of reality each with their distinct manipulated flavour.

The Impossibility of an Undistorted Representation of Reality All mediums that are representing the real is filtered and distorted through a series of intermediate actions. Hence, it is important to acknowledge, that it is ultimately impossible to represent perceived reality and truth with scientific objectively. Instead, throughout this research project, the representational and cartographic strategies have been to actively work with it, creating subjective, positioned encounters and representations, which resonates with lived experience, through an explorative practice where several approaches to truth and reality are deployed. Ultimately, not being able to represent reality directly causes a level of estrangement, which this research project adopts as a motive force for approaching the infraordinary afresh.

A series of intermediate formwork and translations going from 3d-scan to actual materiality. From above: CNC-routed EPS, beeswax cast, assembled SLS-print, and latex skin.

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The Cultural Specificity of the Infraordinary

An ordinary Swedish hot-dog menu. Rather strange compinations of topping, seen from a Danish perspective.

It is evident that what is familiar and infraordinary in one place, is not necessarily so in another context. First of all, a significant part of the infraordinary is bound to the daily lived experience, which shapes our everyday baseline and procedural memory. This produces the fixed and known base condition of the everyday life, the foundation for everything else to unfold. Gilbert Adair relates the infraordinary to a train ride and hence going back to Perec’s initial statement that a journalist will only write about a train ride, in the case of derailment, collision or any other extraordinary situations. The infraordinary is the invariables – and therefore invisibles of an ordinary train ride. As Adair describes, these invariables may be the same in many cases: In the UK virtually any train ride feature the ‘traveler’s glimpse of one lone black horse in a field or the quaint suburban patchwork of allotments backing against the railway lines’1. Hence, the infraordinary is particular to both the experiencing subject (person) and the cultural setting (built environment). Sometimes, one does not have to go too far away, to experience a distortion of what we take for granted. One such case is the dry cleaner, which is a common element in the larger British cities – but in a Danish context is a quite limited typology - and used only for cleaning your finest items and not on an everyday basis. Even in our neighbouring country, Sweden, the menu of the hot-dog kiosk looks strange and unfamiliar, when seen from a Danish perspective. Introducing this research project, I have already used the examples of the American Diner, Deli and French Tabac as infraordinary typologies specific to their location and cultural context. When in Paris, I am amazed by the everyday workings of the Tabacs – but the Parisians (seem to) hardly notice them, even though passing and using it daily. The local Tabac is part of the Parisians and their way of living – it becomes

1 G Adair, ‘THE ELEVENTH DAY: PEREC AND THE INFRA-ORDINARY’, The Review of Contemporary Fiction: Spring 2009: Georges Perec Issue, 29.1 (2009), 176–88.

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Tokyo Architectural Detective Agency, in Space Modulator 47, 1976.

Field notes, Tokyo Architectural Detective Agency.

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an extension of them, and they only realise their importance when they do not function or close down. These variations, in turn, alter the social dimension of the city. Small differences in our brief and enduring habits produce different ways of social correlation and interaction. Even a simple thing as the coffee culture affects this: The Diner support long-duration stays with an unlimited refill of filter coffee, while in cultures where espresso prevails, have another type of social interaction based on shorter stays (sort of pit-stops). However, even going to another city, another neighbourhood in the city that one live or the neighbour’s apartment offers opportunities to experience other versions of the infraordinary, peculiar to the way of life of other people. Nothing is per definition ordinary, but it is rendered so by what we have seen and experienced so many times that it becomes a sort of backdrop and invariable for our everyday life, which we take for granted. What could seem trivial at one place may seem outmost exotic for others: an extreme example are the everyday artefacts that the colonisers brought back to exhibit on museums as extraordinary artefacts, hinting at other (everyday) realities elsewhere. 2 Terunobu Fujimori, ‘Under the Banner of Street Observation’, Forty-Five: A Journal of Outside Research, 154 (2016). 3 Debika Ray, ‘Venice Biennale: Architecture Detectives - Icon Magazine’ <http:// www.iconeye. com/architecture/ features/item/10885architecture-detectives> [accessed 6 June 2016].

and situation. Also, time acts as a vital factor: what was infraordinary in the eighties is perhaps not today. When Atget produced his photographs of the everyday topography of Paris, these were perhaps banal and underplayed. However, a century later there are vital and extraordinary documents attesting of a past time. Accordingly, a fixed inventory of infraordinary elements is truly impossible. The infraordinary is anchored to the particular cultural context, society, life-worlds and time, which make it an unstable definition: there is not one kind of infraordinary conditions, spaces and situations, but an infinite range. What seems ordinary to one person and in one setting is not necessarily for the next – it all depends on the eyes looking and the internal world of references. If the infraordinary could be fully defined and put in closed boxes, it would seize to exist.

In the eighties, Architectural Detective Agency and Street Observation Academy, led by Takeyoshi Hori, Terunobu Fujimori and others, set out on a quest, perceiving themselves as architectural detectives and to reveal Tokyo with fresh eyes2. Although, in some ways, sharing kinship to this research project in its aim to ‘document, name, classify and publish the hidden, neglected, useless or even absent buildings and fragmentary artefacts found in the city as directly lived and experienced’3, ultimately, the output of their endeavour is rather different, simply because it is performed in a different cultural context

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THE DRY CLEANER

5 1°3 1 ’29.1” N 0 °0 5 ’37.1” W LO N D O N , U K 02.2014 -08.2014

Continuing down the street until the buildings again get taller and denser, suddenly you realise that all the shopfronts that you pass contain each their separate world of artefacts and microhistories. After a while, you stop at the endless rows of clothes lingering in the air behind a large glass facade. You look closely at the odd tickets attached to the hangers. Then you realise a few strangely familiar items, and the space unfolds itself...

‘Stain-cover’ of original publication, text in graphite dust that come off and produce marks over time.


Dedicated to all the dry cleaners out there. With a special thanks to; A&Z Dry Cleaners, London.

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PROLOGUE dry-clean verb [ with obj. ] clean (a garment) with an organic solvent, without using water: I had my winter coat dry-cleaned recently | (as noun dry-cleaning): premises which offered drycleaning.

It doesn’t look of much. What can be said about this space, worn half invisible by use, if anything at all? Why even bother? To question the habitual. But that’s just it, we’re habituated to it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither question nor answers, as if it weren’t the bearer of any information. This is not longer even conditioning, it’s anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space? I Throughout London there are thousands of them, each guarding their street corner or a few meters of pavement. They constitute a finely meshed network of points and like the Victorian chimneys all over the city they communicate: if only through vague smoke signals drifting into the clouds. Right here the external world implodes into itself. It thickens in this very point. The intricate web of trajectories, of movements, of people, of past, present and future non-events is entangled and anchored to this space, as if spun by a spider. How are we to speak of these ‘common things’, how to track them down rather, flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired, how to give them a meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what is, of what we are.II Some have stronger connections than others, as in this particular case. Like watchtowers the dry cleaner guards its territory from three positions approximately 1 mile apart, covering three districts. Constantly in radio contact arranging the intricate physical exchange of items orbiting around Old Street Roundabout: one specialises in shoe repair, another in carpet cleaning, the third in being easy accessible and centrally located. To get out of the documentary, of the place where we live or lived, and to try to examine it scientifically. Think of Voyager on Saturn. It took two pictures, and scientist have four years of work from them... to try to look at these things scientifically, try to find in these crowd movements the beginning of fiction, because cities are fiction.III A In the crowd at Silk Street a man sets out on a journey. He is around his late seventies, wearing a red beret and a beige bomber jacket. On his one shoulder he carries a red and blue nylon bag and crossing from the other shoulder hangs another, this one blue and seemingly empty. He carries himself slowly forward one step at a time, with heavy breathing and mouth wide open, eyes focused on the pavement, dependent on his walking stick to maintain progression. Lets call him A.

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VITRINE facade (also façade) noun 1 the principal front of a building, that faces on to a street or open space. the house has a half-timbered facade. 2 a deceptive outward appearance: her flawless public facade masked private despair.

These storefronts have the city’s history etched into their facades.IV shop window noun a window of a shop, in which goods are displayed: looking in a shop window. • (the shop window) a position that allows a person or organization to demonstrate their strengths: he is keen to put himself in the shop window.

You walk slowly, and return the way you came, sticking close to the shop fronts.V Walking past it people tend to look into the well-lit and shining white dry cleaner with its attentively arranged rows of clothes wrapped in transparent cellophane. The window of the storefront becomes a large vitrine displaying the insides of the dry cleaner, and thereby acts as a chart of the neighbourhood and its inhabitants. The window becomes a framing device from which to enter the multiple characters, narratives, destinies and desires of the quartier through the displayed items. …and the museum in turn has given its form to the most varied activities in daily life, so that the galleries in the Louvre and the shop-windows form a continuum. Let’s say that everything in the street is ready to go into the museum, or that the museum is ready to absorb the street.VI From place to place, the appearance of these changes with the neighbourhood to which it is helplessly bound. A dry cleaner is per definition site-specific, because nobody commutes with their dirty laundry. A walk up the gallery of Kingsland Road or Mare Street becomes a passage through time and the social structure of the city, to be read through the dioramas of the shop-fronts. ...to read across and through different layers and strata of the city requires that spectators establish a constant play between surface and deep structured forms, between purely visible and intuitive or evocative allusions.VII

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L A N G UA G E O F B O D Y PA R T S This is a place of depositions over time. An accumulation of matter, like sediments washed up ashore, just to be engulfed again by the sea soon after. People deposit their personal belongings, leaving them for full display in a partly public space. A day or more goes by, where the items travels the space of the dry cleaner and the hands of the staff until finally they return to their destined wardrobe, walk-in-closet, coat stand or hook somewhere behind locked doors and solid walls. Just to wait for dust or dirt to accumulate and stains to appear yet again. All around me I see body parts: The hands grabbing the umbrellas, into pockets, ironing the clothes, turning the keys; The absent torsos of the hanging suits, shirts and blouses, hanging from above like dismembered trunks at a slaughterhouse; the legs of the trousers and skirts; the phantom limbs of the shoes. There is a strange presence of other people, just waiting to start to speak. Like an audience of silent cinema-goers. This is a collection of signifiers: persons, narratives and past and future events, all who’s destinies intersect at this very point. The items starts silently to whisper untold stories: meetings, weddings, parties, hair cutting, dining, moving, breathing, living. They are the proof of something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you.VIII

The Hs A couple walks in to pick up a jacket. Both are wearing black coats down to the knees and hats. The woman, a bit shorter, wears a soft bowler hat, trench coat and a brown leather bag (of the messenger-type) around her shoulder. Her hair is slightly red and her skin is pale. She wears jeans and a red pair of patent leather shoes. The man’s hat is a classic masculine one: in-between a Fedora and Gaucho hat, with black band and sharp and defined crown and brim. He wears a modern Chesterfield coat.

hat noun a shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform. a black straw hat. a woolly hat. • used to refer to a particular role or occupation of someone who has more than one: wearing her scientific hat she is director of a pharmacology research group.

...worn by men doing road repairs, newshawkers, milkmen, knife grinders, rabbit sellers, and sherbet and water vendors—all manner of working folk who seemed to wear their bowlers as badges of the city street.IX ...a man’s hat, as the most immediately visible part of his costume, was a major signal of social identity and social class. Specific styles of hats were associated with different class strata. In the late twentieth century, men’s hats have become a relic of a class society based on face-to-face relationships in public spaces that has largely disappeared.X

You are still capable of being amazed by the way in which the combination of 30 or so typographic signs can generate these thousands of messages.XI

The strongest language is that of the hat. It speaks in easily read words and clear images, although limited in it vocabulary.

Mr. and Mrs. H asks for the price for dry cleaning their hats, and leaves the moment after.

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REPOSITORY Flap pockets, broad welt side pockets, patch pockets, hand-warmer pouches, gusset pockets, inset pockets, welt pockets, seam pockets, slash pockets, pleat pockets, cargo pockets. 1. pocket noun 1 a small bag sewn into or on clothing so as to form part of it, used for carrying small articles. she fished for her door key in her coat pocket. • a pouch-like compartment providing separate storage space, for example in a suitcase or car door. the pack has two main compartments and four pockets. 2 a small patch of something: some of the gardens still had pockets of dirty snow in them. • a small, isolated group or area: there were pockets of disaffection in parts of the country. • a cavity in a rock or stratum filled with ore or other material.

This space is a pocket within the vast city, filled with items simultaneously being pockets themselves and carrying again other pockets, containing everything from past and present events to forgotten contact cards and lost buttons. Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out.XII Indecipherable characters. Side by side, floor-byfloor, one follows another. I’m trying to make sense of them – both as single objects and whole entity. This space is constantly changing, taking another shape, being reconfigured collectively. The walls of brick and mortar remain as stable as such things can be – it is everything else that is in motion; hangers, shirts, suits, dresses, trousers, coats, shoes, linen, duvet covers and, very occasionally, underwear. 2. hanger noun 1 [ in combination ] a person who hangs something: a wallpaper-hanger. 2 (also coat hanger) a shaped piece of wood, plastic, or metal with a hook at the top, from which clothes may be hung in order to keep them in shape.

The three floors of racks are arranged by type of the clothes and costumers. To the right behind the counter are the expensive suits and the shirts that goes with them, dressed in opaque cellophane. In the middle are the items awaiting cleaning or repair, next to a rack with the items of regulars, who get special price and fast service (the barber of ‘The Blade’, etc.) To the left are all the rest arranged by time and ticket number: Overcoats, pea jackets and mantles; colourful dresses with ‘high neck’, ‘scoop’ or ‘Queen Ann’ necklines; blouses with peasant, raglan and dolman-styled sleeves; shirts, some coloured (salmon pink, variations of blue, mint green) and 1-button, French or Milanese cuffs; and finally trousers and a single pair of sweatpants. K Ticket number 108290 04-04-2014 10:45 6 SHIRT 1 CARDIGAN 1 DRESS SHORT 1 DOUBLE SHEET 1 DOUBLE DUVET COVER 1 PILLOW CASE 1 PILLOW CASE To pay: £26.92. 12 pieces.

£5.94 £5.00 £9.99 £3.00 £3.00 £0.99 £1.00

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C A RTOT H E QU E

ticket noun 1 a piece of paper or card that gives the holder a certain right, especially to enter a place, travel by public transport, or participate in an event: admission is by ticket only. • a receipt for goods that have been received. • (ticket to/out of) a method of getting into or out of (a specified state or situation) 2 a certificate or warrant. 3 a label attached to a retail product, giving its price, size, and other details. 6 [ with adj. ] Scottish & US informal a person of a specified kind: I think you’re all a bunch of sick tickets. fr. CARTOTHÈQUE a place of conservation and consultation of maps. from gr. Chartes [map / paper] + -theke [repository / container / storehouse] da. KARTOTEK 1. collection of maps/charts/cards that contain information about people, objects or matters, which are sorted in alphabetical or systematic order so one can locate information. 2. furniture, etc., where such information is stored, eg. a cabinet or box

The dry cleaner is a place of maps. One is able to read the surrounding neighbourhood from this position - the items points out trajectories, people and events, marked out like points on an ocean chart of the open sea. He had bought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand.XIII One can read them only in instant flashes and vague silhouettes. They are not merely maps navigating the urban topography, but charts of people adrift. They lead simultaneously nowhere and everywhere: Clerkenwell, Barbican, Shoreditch; Mr. A, The Hs, the Barber. Emerging and disappearing at the same time. Like stains on oilcloth. Fluid, unstable, reluctant to fully settle. ...rather than highlight the archive’s capacity to accurately represent a past, we use the notion of archive as a way of navigating the voids of the present, as a practice of intervening into and reading the urban fabrics created by these voids, not for reading the urban fabric as a quilt or a palimpsest of historical forms preserved within the archive.XIV The delivery cars follows an additional map: the phone numbers and addresses of the tickets. He links and enters physical locations dispersed around the city (free delivery within 2 miles): cleaning rugs from the accumulation of time, installing altered curtains and delivering cleaned suits and duvet covers. O A pink shirt, size XL, with white print and purple text across the chest. The neck is discoloured because of extensive sweating and the front bears faint coffee stains. The second lowest button (located around the stomach) has been restitched. Attached is a blue ticket with a phone number. This leads to Timber Street.

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ENTWINED Under the sign ‘HAND FINISH. DE-LUXE SERVICE & ALTERATIONS’ and surrounded by the racks of clothing and the open glass door he sits in front of his Brother Exedra sewing machine – on certain days, when enough orders have piled up for him to come in. Following the desires of the people, he alters the clothes to fit the anatomy of their bodies or stitch together holes in their favourite pieces of clothing. At this moment, he is working on correcting the length and with of a pair of trousers, while a blue jacket resting on the main desk awaits the main zipper being repaired. New lines of thread will hold the fabric together and new buttons will be sewn back on. If one follows this thread, it will always lead back to this sewing machine of the dry cleaner, like so many others before. thread noun 1 a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibres used in sewing or weaving. he had a loose thread on his shirt. figurative: the thread that bound them had snapped. • [ mass noun ] cotton, nylon, or other fibres spun into long, thin strands and used for sewing. she put her needle and thread away. • literary a long, thin line or piece of something: the Thames was a thread of silver below them. 2 a theme or characteristic running throughout a situation or piece of writing. 3 (also screw thread) a helical ridge on the outside of a screw, bolt, etc. or on the inside of a cylindrical hole, to allow two parts to be screwed together. verb [ with obj. ] 1 pass a thread through the eye of (a needle) or through the needle and guides of (a sewing machine). I can’t even thread a needle. she threaded up the machine with the right cotton.

At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping... something runs among them, an exchange of glances like lines that connect one figure with another and draw arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come on to the scene...XV Eventually, the new or original buttons will fall off and become jetsam in the streets of London (or elsewhere). A small, often unseen token of the presence of someone else, or a microscopic event in the history of mankind: the disintegration caused by an expanding pot belly or a jacket caught up in a door handle. button noun 1 a small disc or knob sewn on to a garment, either to fasten it by being pushed through a slit made for the purpose or for decoration. • used in reference to things of little worth: he will never give away anything that is worth a button.

From a bowl of assorted buttons, the one corresponding better to the fabric, clothing style and maybe to the likes of the costumer will be chosen to become part of the item. An anticipation of future destinies and threads through the city.

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S H A R E D D I RT The FIRBIMATIC dry cleaning machine stands in the middle of the space as a monumental tomb, just behind the counter and fully visible to all costumers and by-passers. It bears a red sticker ensuring ‘FINEST DRY CLEANING ON THE PREMISES’. Inside is the very heart of the dry cleaner, its most valuable space, that without there would be no existence. Most of the items pass through this space, before or after other treatments. Tumbling together with other strangers’ personal items, all soaked in solvent. 300 items, or approximately 80 persons, per day. solvent adjective 1 having assets in excess of liabilities; able to pay one’s debts: interest rate rises have very severe effects on normally solvent companies. 2 [ attrib. ] able to dissolve other substances: osmotic, chemical, or solvent action. noun the liquid in which a solute is dissolved to form a solution. • a liquid, typically one other than water, used for dissolving other substances. • something that acts to weaken or dispel a particular attitude or situation: an unrivalled solvent of social prejudices.

I think of Laundrettes. With its line of machines, like apartment blocks, where people put their laundry into private compartments, while sitting next to each-other, reading books, waiting for the time to pass, looking secretly at each-other. Dirt are separated from the clothes. At the dry cleaner my stains becomes partly yours. And if unlucky, one’s shirt colours another’s dress. People never meet, but the clothes speaks of their mutual presence. Linen that had been washed [The Emperor] would never touch, saying that washed linen was worn only by beggars.XVI The facade of the machine facing the costumers is covered in shiny metal and white glossy paint. The back, however, is a completely different story: dirty and rusty surfaces, dark liquids running down the many cylindrical tanks and a substance as black as tar is leaking into a red bathtub.

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Pipes, conduits, tunnels, shafts and pumps connects the different spaces with each their function, while manometers spin and turn and motor roars.

filter noun a porous device for removing impurities or solid particles from a liquid or gas passed through it. • a filter tip: [ as modifier ]: a cheap filter cigarette. • a screen, plate, or layer of a substance which absorbs light or other radiation or selectively absorbs some of its components. verb 1 [ with obj. ] pass (a liquid, gas, light, or sound) through a device to remove unwanted material. • process or assess (items) in order to reject those that are unwanted: you’ll be put through to a secretary whose job it is to filter calls 2 [ no obj., with adverbial of direction ] move slowly in a specified direction.

The dirty clothes enters into the basket and drum, where it is soaked in solvent to remove soil, stain and dirt, before the drying process is started. The solvent now starts a journey through this miniature industrial plant to get clean again: first trough a button trap that filters solid impurities followed by three other filters (nylon, deco, cartridge), then it is purified in the still, condensed in the condenser, and separated in the separator, before finally returning to the tank, ready for yet another cycle. Cooked muck and sludge are the by-products, separated first from the clothes then the solvent. This is the unwanted soil of a thousand persons, expelled to the waste dump. muck noun [ mass noun ] dirt, rubbish, or waste matter: I’ll just clean the muck off the windscreen. • farmyard manure, widely used as fertilizer. he was covered in cow muck and mud. • informal something regarded as distasteful, unpleasant, or of poor quality: why do you let her read this muck? verb [ with obj. ] 1 (muck something out) chiefly Brit. remove manure and other dirt from a horse’s stable or other animal’s dwelling. I was mucking out some of the dirtiest piggeries I had ever seen. 2 dialect spread manure on (land). half the farm is mucked every year.

Waiting for the marble to crumble away, for the wood to turn to pulp, for the houses to collapse noiselessly, for the diluvian rains to dissolve the paintwork, pull apart the dowel-joints in hundred-year-old wardrobes, tear the fabric to shreds, wash away the newspaper ink, waiting for the fire without flames to consume the stairs,waiting for the streets to subside and split down the middle to reveal the gaping labyrinth of the sewers...XVII In a thousand years, the dry cleaners will be excavated and unravelled from the dirt and building debris. Archaeologists will examine these as important places - like the Roman fulleries at Pompeii and Rome - and silent witnesses of a past metropolis.

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UNTRACED stain verb [with obj.] 1 mark or discolour with something that is not easily removed: her clothing was stained with blood | (as adj.stained: a stained beer mat | [no obj.]: red powder paint can stain. • [no obj.] be marked or be liable to be marked with a stain. • damage or bring disgrace to (the reputation or image of someone or something: the awful events would unfairly stain the city’s reputation. 2 colour (a material or object) by applying a penetrative dye or chemical: wood can always be stained to a darker shade. noun 1 a coloured patch or dirty mark that is difficult to remove: there were mud stains on my shoes. • a thing that damages or brings disgrace to someone or something’s reputation: he regarded his time in gaol as a stain on his character. 2 a penetrative dye or chemical used in colouring a material or object.

It all comes down to this. These unwanted and foreign elements, that needs to be removed at all cost: Grease, rust, coffee, wine, yellow underarm sweat, mustard, ketchup, gravy spills, bread dough, egg yolk, carrot juice, beer, green beer (St. Patrick’s day), soil, grass, blood, gum, lipstick, spermatozoa/ seminal fluids, and the list goes on. Some show, some smell, some tint the fabric, some are almost invisible. All of them can be traces back to an event or a series of such, however abstract or unimportant it might seem: a tea party at the parents-in-laws; a slippery pen while filling in forms; a deceitful pigeon; or the hundreds of already forgotten walks down the underground station rubbing against walls, handrails and strangers. …the detective is repeatedly asked to diagnose the origin of a speck of mud, which is nothing but moist dust. The presence of a spot on a shoe or pair of trousers immediately made known to Holmes the particular quarter of London from which his visitor had come, or the road he had traveled in the suburbs.

XVIII

spot noun 1 a small round or roundish mark, differing in colour or texture from the surface around it. • a small mark or stain: a spot of mildew on the wall. • a blemish on someone’s character or reputation. 2 a particular place or point: a nice secluded spot • [ with adj. or noun modifier ] a small feature or part of something with a particular quality: there was one bright spot in a night of dismal failure. • a place for an individual item within a show. 3 a pimple. 4 informal, chiefly Brit.a small amount of something: a spot of rain

They have different temporalities and endurances. Some of them vanish without much effort, others fights hard and stays present until the clothes must be discarded.

verb (spots, spotting, spotted) [with obj.] 1 see, notice, or recognize (someone or something) that is difficult to detect or that one is searching for. 2 mark or become marked with spots. [with obj.]: the velvet was spotted with stains. • [with obj.] cover (a surface or area) thinly: thorn trees spotted the land.

At the shining spotting table extra attention are put into particular difficult stains or delicate items. The eyes run over the fabric with scientific precision to


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spot spots to spot with solvent followed by gentle brushing. In this process, there is plenty of time to determine the origin, type and dive into the history of the stains. Although at first glance this particular spot seemed like a spot of ketchup, it is not and hence another chemical product needs to be applied. V Meanwhile, at 13 Northburgh Street (approx. 7 minutes walk away), a woman sits in front of her working desk. A short, black jacket in imitated leather hangs over her chair. She wears dark-blue jeans; long grey scarf; bleached light hair down to the shoulders; pink ballerina shoes; Ray-ban Aviator sunglasses awaiting on the table. She anxiously wonders if the dress that she will pick up in the lunch break will ever be white again: at a co-worker party the office manager bumped into her, squashing the garnish of his Blueberry Martini deep into the texture of her dress - before nervously trying to rub it away, but really just making it all worse by massaging it further into the exquisite fabric.

A C C U M U L AT I N G AND FORGETTING

press 1 verb move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force: [with obj. and adverbial of direction] : he pressed his face to the glass | [no obj., with adverbial of direction ] : her body pressed against his.

The clock hanging on the wall is off, adding to the sense that this space is caught in another time, time-less or perhaps consists of several temporalities. At the other wall hangs a painting in a golden frame of a Victorian lady reading a book, comfortably sit in an soft armchair. Is this the guardian of the dry cleaner, a modern-day Minerva?

press 2 noun a device for applying pressure to something in order to ďŹ&#x201A;atten or shape it or to extract juice or oil. â&#x20AC;˘ a machine that applies pressure to a workpiece by means of a tool, in order to punch shapes.

The LP-570U-Single Buck Shirt Press Machine stands almost in the middle of the working space, like the trunk of a Roman statue defending its space. One by one it is dressed in shirts, before pressing them to shape in a bustling eruption of steam. The torso seems to have absorbed all the stains, soil and traces onto its own skin: The Torso of a Thousand Shirts. The machine adapts to the specific measurements of the shirts: it grabs the arms and extend the fabric until fully stretched, thereafter inhabiting it with warm air. It expresses these measures in a 12-24 seconds pose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; then letting go of the shirt, ready to get dressed in the next. It is as if all traces somehow remain in this space, on its surfaces, tiles and floorboards. Accumulated dirt and dust grows into strata of history, unable to be read, swept away during the annual spring clean.


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Like developing a negative of a photograph the finishing process of dry cleaning can oxide invisible stains, such as white wine, making them emerge from the forgotten sea.

Iron noun 1 [ mass noun ] a strong, hard magnetic silvery-grey metal, the chemical element of atomic number 26, much used as a material for construction and manufacturing, especially in the form of steel. • used figuratively as a symbol or type of firmness, strength, or resistance: her father had a will of iron | [ as modifier ]: the iron grip of religion on minority cultures. 2 a tool or implement now or originally made of iron: a caulking irovvn. 3 a handheld implement, typically an electrical one, with a heated flat steel base, used to smooth clothes, sheets, etc. verb [ with obj. ] smooth (clothes, sheets, etc.) with an iron. PHRASAL VERBS iron something out solve or settle difficulties or problems: they had ironed out their differences.

The final step, before being wrapped in cellophane and returning to the rack of clothes to await pickup: Folds and wrinkles must give their way for a flat and homogeneous topography. All traces of the process, of the hands and machines touching the fabric, must let go. The inherent will and determination of the clothes must be fought in order to establish a formal appearance. Not a single wrinkle, fold or unevenness. wrinkle noun 1 a slight line or fold in something, especially fabric or the skin of the face: she smoothed out the wrinkles from her skirt. • informal a minor difficulty; a snag: the organizers have the wrinkles pretty well ironed out. 2 informal a clever innovation, or useful piece of information or advice: learning the wrinkles from someone more experienced saves time. verb [ with obj. ] (often as adj.wrinkled) make or cause lines or folds in (something, especially fabric or the skin): Dotty’s wrinkled stockings. • grimace and cause wrinkles on (a part of the face): he sniffed and wrinkled his nose. • [ no obj. ] form or become marked with lines or folds: her brow wrinkled.

Wearing it one can not move and becomes a prisoner inside one’s own skin. Children in backseats of cars are told to sit still like frozen mime artists, until arriving at the destination to be inspected by the audience. First, a wrinkle under the arm pit. Then a fold where one leaned against the back of a chair. Gradually it all falls apart: traces of the body makes its way back one after the other, and hence again one becomes alive. Living means leaving traces. In the interior, these were stressed. Coverings and antimacassars, boxes and casings, were devised in abundance, in which the traces of everyday objects were moulded. The resident’s own traces were also moulded in the interior.XIX Wrapped in cellophane the clothes lingers in the wind from the open door, like ghosts. Clean, divine and virgin.

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CITY AND BODY shoe noun 1 a covering for the foot, typically made of leather, having a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle. • a horseshoe. 2 something resembling a shoe in shape or use, in particular: • a drag for a wheel. • short for brake shoe. • a socket, especially on a camera, for fitting a flash unit or other accessory. an accessory shoe. • a metal rim or ferrule, especially on the runner of a sledge. • a step for a mast. • a box from which cards are dealt in casinos at baccarat or some other card games. PHRASES be (or put oneself) in another person’s shoes be (or put oneself) in another person’s situation or predicament: if I’d been in your shoes I’d have walked out on him.

They isolate us from the pavement, asphalt, puddles of water and discarded cigarettes and bubble gum. In the corner next to the entrance and the full-floor window: there is a line of shoes and boots, seemingly abandoned, like at the seashore when swimming in the ocean. I wonder if this is the case. That they went swimming – not in the literal sense of the word, but somewhere in the currents of London. Maybe, the downhill current caught them, or the whirlpool at Old Street roundabout sucked them in. Or maybe, they are just out there following their usual trajectories, returning to collect their shoes within moments. sole noun the undersurface of a person’s foot: the soles of their feet were nearly black with dirt. • the section forming the underside of a piece of footwear (typically excluding the heel when this forms a distinct part). the join between the upper and the sole. there was mud caked between the heel and the sole. • the part of the undersurface of a person’s foot between the toes and the instep. a big blister on each heel and sole. • the undersurface of a tool or implement such as a plane or the head of a golf club. • the floor of a ship’s cabin or cockpit.

Each single step causes friction between the shoe (the prosthesis of the body) and the pavement (the city). In this process either the shoe marks the ground, or the ground marks the shoe, or both: An ephemeral footprint in the dirt or the scraping off varnish of floorboards. Tiny sediments are separated from the sole in contact with the rough concrete pavement, invisibly tracing out the trajectories of the walker. The inner lining, the sole and the shoe gradually becomes detached. The shoe is out of shape, deformed in the battle, exchange and friction between body and space. This necessitates an occasional repair; new soles, re-gluing and resewing elements back together: Shoes and feet are measured, templates made and soles cut to exact shape. The leftover sole-material themselves (collected in a shelf between the polishing and resoling machine) becomes an inventory of the shoes and feet that passed through the hands of the cobbler.

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Mrs. A A continues his slow paced drift along the pavement. Next to him, following his pace and partly hidden by the crowd, is a woman, a bit younger, with silver hair and a tan skin. She is wearing a stylish brown bubble jacket, black leather gloves, dark jeans and short leather boots. When the crowd becomes too dense, she works as an icebreaker, forming a passage for Mr. A by her slipstream. Finally, only the step of the door thread remains, before they enter the premises. Straight away he is recognised and a pair of black shoes (practical, new solid soles, polished to perfection, a blue ticket attached to its cuff) are moved from the line of shoes at the shoe repair desk to the main desk. Inspected by Mrs. A, followed by a couple of silent nots. An exchange: a few pounds one way, the shoes in return. Now in Mr. Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nylon bag, he looks toward the exit. O, again In the same instance O enters: A bit choppy, thinhaired guy wearing golden-brown sunglasses and a colourful shirt with print, partly unbuttoned, revealing another pair of glasses hanging in the under-shirt. He carries with him two or more items, both grey, newspaper under the left arm, cell phone in the right. His eyes meet with Mr. A. They both recognise each-other, but only as strangers of the neighbourhood. He holds the door for them. The unity of nearness and remoteness involved in every human relation is organized, in the phenomenon of the stranger, in a way which may be most briefly formulated by saying that in the relationship to him, distance means that he, who is close by, is far, and strangeness means that he, who also is far, is actually near. For, to be a stranger is naturally a very positive relation; it is a specific form of interaction.XX

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NEIGHBOURS UNIVERSAL, ACE, BERKEREY, ERA, EURO, EURO (Cont.), GIBBONS, GUARDIAN, LEGGE (ASEC), MERCHANT, SECURITY, YALE, WALSALL, WELLINGTON, WAGNER, WINKHAUS, WEISER, WMS, HENDERSON, MASTER, SOFI, TESA, VIRO, REGAL, CES, CENTURY, FLAT STEEL, PADLOCK, CABINET, PIN SAFE... key noun (pl.keys) 1 a small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, which is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close it. there were two keys to the cupboard. a room key. • an instrument for grasping and turning a screw, peg, or nut, especially one for winding a clock or turning a valve. • a pin, bolt, or wedge inserted into a hole or between parts so as to lock the parts together. 2 each of several buttons on a panel for operating a computer, typewriter, or telephone. 3 a thing that provides a means of achieving or understanding something: discipline seems to be the key to her success. • an explanatory list of symbols used in a map, table, etc. • a set of answers to exercises or problems.

They look like keys. However, they are nothing but shapeless and useless pieces of metal, waiting to be picked by a costumer and pressed into the desired shape (‘as you wait’). They provide a prospect of yet another space (building, apartment, cabinet, safe) being unlocked and accessible for yet another person. A key is brought in and duplicated: then two keys exist, opening the same room, somewhere the same place of the city. More spaces will become accessible to more people. In the end all inhabitants must have keys to all spaces of the city. But of course not. Keys are lost in drains, locks are changed, doors are removed and buildings disappear. As with cleaning clothes, the process of key duplication is basically about removing material. As the two keys are laying at the desk, next to the SKS 101 key duplicating machine, I think that it is strange how a few millimetres of metal can mean the difference between yours and mine, inside and outside, locked in or locked out. For a brief moment the dry cleaner holds the keys to unknown spaces, somehow all connected through this very point. The keys-to-be hanging on the wall draws a section of a building - but not a physical one of stone and concrete: but an immaterial one of fragmented and dispersed space. The dry cleaner becomes the entrance, the stairway, the access point, its infrastructure. Maybe, above all, the keys are themselves the key to understand and solve the mysterious and miraculous workings of the dry cleaner as a vital place of the city.

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EPILOGUE ...the city has been such a difficult object of study, for the city constitutes a very messy kind of archive XXI The city remembers: Monuments, landmarks, boulevards and street names. In-between this history writing in brick and mortar are the dry cleaners alongside newsagents, shops, hairdressers, grocery stores. I wonder if the city will remember me? If I will be remembered by the city? Does the dry cleaner remember all of the people that walk through the door, all the stains coming off the clothes, all the shoe soles replaced? Mr. and Mrs. A, the Hs, O or V? If only for a little while: the uncollected shirt sways in the shop window, silently calling out for its owner to the full attention of the passing crowd. It is not the item that is lost - it is the person. Joe... was more present in his absence, in being present in name only than he ever was on other days when, careful, polite, looking straight ahead [...] We turned toward absence, thrilling to the prospect of Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lateness, his possible punishment or truancy: where was he? XXII After three months, the contract and obligations runs out and the shirt are given to charity or used to polish the machines. Soon forgotten or displaced. Between the fleeting memory of the individual and the lasting memory of the city, the dry cleaner is a repository of short time memory. Take heed, gentrification is also happening in our own towns, streets and interesting quarters. Cleansing processes of progress need to take care not to remove the very soul and character of the places which give them their own special identity.XXIII This repository is situated inside the archive of the city, itself constantly in motion, changing, rewriting and overwriting itself. At some point the dry cleaner and its users will be ruled less important and make way for more extraordinary or monumental buildings. Itself being considered a sort of stain or tint on the fastidious urban fabric, they are only waiting for the right solvent and moment to take care of it. Eventually it will disappear â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but just to reappear somewhere less pretentious. Because fabric will always get stained â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the city will always need dry cleaners. Archives can be treated as anchors in the reconstitution of social relations rather than as reflections of an already existing set of underlying conditions.XXIV

Without the anchors of the dry cleaners, the whole city would lift off and vanish into thin air. K A businessman, dressed in suit with a light blue silk lining, walks without hurrying towards South, before heading down some residential streets. At Seward Street he briefly stops to chat to two guys similar in age and appearance, one with a travel trolley. He enters the elevator at Worcesterpoint (apartment 44-67). He does not think too much about dry cleaners, clean clothes or who clean the bed pillows on which he sleeps so well at night. What he does think of is the new investment opportunity of which he was just introduced.

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I

Perec, Georges. “Approaches to What.” In Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, translated by John Sturrock. London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997. p. 209 (First published in Cause Commune, February 1973) II

Ibid. III

Godard, Jean-Luc. A Letter to Freddy Buache. Documentary, Short, Drama, 1983. (Min. 27.) IV

Queysanne, Bernard, and Georges Perec. The Man Who Sleeps / Un Homme Qui Dort. Drama, 1974. V

Short, Kevin. “Watch NYC Gentrify Right Before Your Eyes.” Huffington Post, March 29, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/29/nycbefore-after_n_5049801.html. / Murray, James T., and Karla L. Murray. Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. 1st edition. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press Inc., 2009. VI

Calvino, Italo, Hermit in Paris; Autobiographical Writings, translated by Martina McLaughlin (London : Jonathan Cape, 2003) p 172. quoted by Storrie, Calum. The Delirious Museum: A Journey from the Louvre to Las Vegas. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007. VII

Boyer, M. Christine. The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994. VIII

Arbus, Diane, quote from a letter to Davis Pratt, Fogg Museum, Cambridge, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs. IX

Crane, Diana. “The Social Meanings of Hats and T-Shirts.” In Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing, 2000. (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/ Chicago/117987.html.) X

Ibid. XI

Ibid. IV, (Min. 32) XII

Ibid. I XIII

Carroll, Lewis, and Helen Oxenbury. The Hunting of the Snark. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1970. XIV

Rao, Vyjayanthi. “Embracing Urbanism: The City as Archive.” New Literary History 40, no. 2 (2009): 371–83. XV

Calvino, Italo. “Trading Cities 2” in Invisible Cities. London: Vintage, 2002.

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XVI

Ballou, Susan H., Hermann Peter, and David Magie. “The Life of Elagabalus.” In The Historia Augusta, April 28. http://penelope.uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Historia_Augusta/ Elagabalus/2*.html#26. XVII

Ibid. IV (min 1.08) XVIII

Locard, “The Analysis of Dust Traces,” In Revue Internationale de Criminalistique (1929) quoted by Berg, Stanton O. “Sherlock Holmes: Father of Scientific Crime and Detection.” J. Crim. L. Criminology & Police Sci. 61 (1970): 446. XIX

Benjamin, Walter. “Paris: The Capital of the Nineteenth Century.” In Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. London: NLB, 1973. XX

Simmel, Georg. “The Stranger.” The Sociology of Georg Simmel, 1950, 402–8. XXI

Ibid. XIV XXII

Pollock, Della. “Performing Writing.” In The Ends of Performance, by Peggy Phelan and Jill Lane. New York: New York University Press, 1998. XXIII

Willacy, Stephen (City Architect of Aarhus) Facebook page, accessed April 28, 2014, https://www.facebook.com/stephen.willacy XXIV

Ibid. XIV

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1. Dry clean 2. Dry clean, any solvent 3. Dry clean, (HCS) hydrocarbon solvent only 4. Dry clean, petroleum (PERC) based solvent only 5. Do not dry clean! 6. Dry clean, short cycle 7. Dry clean, low moisture 8. Dry clean, low heat 9. Dry clean, no steam 10. Dry clean, special instructions 11. Dry clean, extra careful

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ISBN: 87-91051-15-0 1st edition of 50 hand-made copies 2015 Arkitektskolens Forlag Aarhus School of Architecture Nørreport 20, DK-8000 Aarhus C


THE DRY CLEANER TONGUE OF THE DRY CLEANER1

Right here the external world implodes into itself. It thickens in this very point. The intricate web of trajectories, of movements, of people, of past, present and future non-events is entangled and anchored to this space, as if spun by a spider2

When thinking of dry cleaners, what comes to mind is their utilitarian function: they are places one visits to drop off dirty laundry or reversely pick up the cleaned items. We can no longer see them as they appear—they are simply worn half invisible by use. To bypass these inherent preconceptions of this typology, I explored a London dry cleaner— from an urban perspective—using creative writing and critical spatial practice as research tools for gaining insight. This resulted in the publication Tongue of the Dry Cleaner that moves through the spatial elements and production line of the dry cleaner in 12 tableaux, unfolding it one bit at a time. This served as a way of collecting empirical observations/fragments/data and counter-posing this with theories and various perspectives to see the dry cleaner beyond the purely utilitarian and familiar. The publication is a conglomerate of academic textual techniques, creative writing and (documentary) photography.

Walking a Slice of London

My jacket, neatly wrapped up after returning from the production line of the dry cleaner.

The actual place for the biopsy was selected through a range of empirical observations. Walking up Kingsland Road (later Stoke Newington High Street) and Mare Street (later Upper and Lower Clapton Road) from the centre to the periphery of the city provided an empirical and quantitative slice of London, moving through very diverse areas and encountering a vast variety of dry cleaners: old as new; modern and antiquated; home-made and highly designed ones; moms-and-pops run and city-wide branches. The walk, measuring 6 km in bee-line each way, was performed over a couple of days. At every intersecting street, I would look for dry cleaners in each direction, and hence, the logics of geographical positioning of the dry cleaners (and Laundrettes) gradually became apparent. The walk also provided a situated space for reflection and wider societal contextualisation

2 Espen Lunde Nielsen, Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, 2015, p. 5.

1 Performed while affiliated with the Bartlett, UCL, London and supervised by Jane Rendell. Chapter partly based on the following papers: Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Tongue of the Dry Cleaner: The Infraordinary as Spatial Discourse’ (presented at the Arch&Lit: InterArtsDialogue(s), Lisbon, Portugal, 2014); Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Urban Function of the Infraordinary: Dry Cleaners as Social Vertexes’, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 9 (2017).

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T HE DRY C L E A N E R

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Homerton Homerton Forum Forum

North North East East Neighbourhood Neighbourhood Committee Committee

Shoreditch Neighbourhood Neighbourhood Committee Committee Shoreditch Stoke Stoke Newington Newington Forum

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DD D LLLLLLDD IE IE IE FFFFIE G GG GG IN IN IN IN RRIN RR PR SSSSSPPP

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LEABRIDGE LEABRIDGE LEABRIDGE LEABRIDGE LEABRIDGE LEABRIDGE

CLISSOLD CLISSOLD CLISSOLD CLISSOLD CLISSOLD

STOKE STOKE STOKE STOKE STOKE STOKE NEWINGTON NEWINGTON NEWINGTON NEWINGTON NEWINGTON NEWINGTON

HACKNEY HACKNEY HACKNEY HACKNEY HACKNEY HACKNEY DOWNS DOWNS DOWNS DOWNS

KING'S KING'S KING'S PARK PARK PARK PARK KING'S KING'S KING'S PARK PARK

CENTRAL CENTRAL CENTRAL

CHATHAM CHATHAM CHATHAM CHATHAM CHATHAM CHATHAM

WICK WICK WICK WICK WICK WICK

VICTORIA VICTORIA VICTORIA VICTORIA VICTORIA VICTORIA

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ABBEY CLOSE......D4 ABBOT STREET......C5 ABERSHAM ROAD......C4 ABNEY GARDENS......C3 ABNEY PARK TERRACE...C3 ACTON MEWS......C6 ADA STREET......D6 ADEN GROVE......B4 ADEN TERRACE......B4 ADLEY STREET......F4 ADOLPHUS ROAD......A2 AINSWORTH ROAD......E5 AITKEN CLOSE......D6 ALBERT CLOSE......D6 ALBION DRIVE......D5 ALBION GROVE......C4 ALBION PARADE......B4 ALBION ROAD......B4 ALBION SQUARE......C5 ALBION TERRACE......C5 ALCESTER CRESCENT......D3 ALCONBURY ROAD......D3 ALDEBURGH CLOSE......D3 ALEXANDRA GROVE......A2 ALFEARN ROAD......E4 ALKHAM ROAD......C3 ALLEN ROAD......C4 ALLERTON ROAD......B3 ALMACK ROAD......E4 ALPINE GROVE......E5 ALVINGTON CRESCENT...C4 AMBLESIDE CLOSE......E4 AMHURST PARADE......B2 AMHURST PARK......C2 AMHURST ROAD......D4 AMHURST TERRACE......D4 ANCHOR MEWS......C5 ANDERSON ROAD......E5 ANDRE STREET......D4 ANDREWS ROAD......D6 ANNA CLOSE......C6 ANNING STREET......C7 ANNIS ROAD......F5 ANTON STREET......D4 APPLEBY ROAD......D5 APPLEBY STREET......C6 APPOLD STREET......C8 APPRENTICE WAY......D4 APPROACH CLOSE......C4 APRIL STREET......C4 ARBUTUS STREET......C6 ARCOLA STREET......C4 ARDEN ESTATE......C6 ARDLEIGH ROAD......C5 ASH GROVE......D6 ASHANTI MEWS......D5 ASHENDEN ROAD......F4 ASHTEAD ROAD......D2 ASHWIN STREET......C5 ASKE STREET......C7 ATHERDEN ROAD......E4 ATHLONE CLOSE......D4 ATLAS MEWS......C5 AUDREY STREET......D6 AYRSOME ROAD......C3 BACHES STREET......B7 BAKERS HILL......E2 BALCORNE STREET......E5 BALLANCE ROAD......F5 BALLS POND ROAD......C5 BALMES ROAD......B6 BALTIC PLACE......C6 BANBURY ROAD......E5 BARBAULD ROAD......C3 BARN STREET......C3 BARNABAS ROAD......E5 BARRETTS GROVE......C4 BARTON CLOSE......E4 BASING HOUSE YARD...C7 BASING PLACE......C7 BASLOW WALK......E4 BATEMANS ROW......C7 BATH PLACE......C7 BATH STREET......C7 BATLEY PLACE......C3 BATLEY ROAD......C3 BAYFORD MEWS......D5 BAYFORD STREET......D5

220

BAYSTON ROAD...C3 BEANACRE CLOSE...F5 BEATTY ROAD......C4 BECK ROAD......D6 BEECHOLME ESTATE...D3 BEECHWOOD ROAD......C5 BEEHIVE CLOSE......C5 BEESTON CLOSE......D4 BELFAST ROAD......C3 BELGRADE ROAD......C4 BELSHAM STREET......E5 BENJAMIN CLOSE......D6 BENN STREET......F5 BENNETT ROAD......C4 BENTHAL ROAD......D3 BENTHAM ROAD......E5 BENTLEY ROAD......C5 BERGER ROAD......E5 BERGHOLT CRESCENT......C2 BERKSHIRE ROAD......F5 BETHNAL GREEN ROAD...C7 BETHUNE ROAD......C2 BEVENDEN STREET......B7 BIG HILL......D2 BIRKBECK MEWS......C4 BIRKBECK ROAD......C4 BLACKALL STREET......C7 BLACKSTOCK ROAD......A3 BLACKSTONE ESTATE......D5 BLACKWELL CLOSE......E4 BLAKENEY CLOSE......D4 BLANCHARD WAY......D5 BLETCHLEY STREET......B6 BLETSOE WALK......B6 BLUEBELL CLOSE......E6 BLUNDELL CLOSE......D4 BLURTON ROAD......E4 BOCKING STREET......D6 BODNEY ROAD......D4 BOHEMIA PLACE......D5 BOLEYN ROAD......C4 BONHILL STREET......C7 BOOT STREET......C7 BOOTH CLOSE......D6 BOSCOMBE CLOSE......F4 BOUNDARY STREET......C7 BOUVERIE MEWS......C3 BOUVERIE ROAD......C3 BOWNESS CLOSE......C5 BRACKENFIELD CLOSE...D3 BRADBURY MEWS......C5 BRADBURY STREET......C4 BRADSTOCK ROAD......E5 BRAMPTON CLOSE......D3 BRAMSHAW ROAD......E5 BRANCH PLACE......B6 BRAYDON ROAD......D2 BRENTHOUSE ROAD......E5 BRETT CLOSE......C3 BRETT PASSAGE......D4 BRETT ROAD......D4 BRIDGE GARDENS......B4 BRIDPORT PLACE......B6 BRIGGEFORD CLOSE......D3 BRIGHTON ROAD......C4 BRINKWORTH WAY......F5 BRITANNIA WALK......B7 BROAD COMMON ESTATE...D2 BROADWAY MARKET......D6 BROADWAY MARKET MEWS...D6 BROADWAY MEWS......C2 BRODIA ROAD......C3 BROKE WALK......D6 BROOKE ROAD......D3 BROOKFIELD ROAD......F5 BROOKSBANK STREET......E5 BROOKSBYS WALK......E4 BROUGHAM ROAD......D6 BROWNLOW ROAD......D6 BROWNSWOOD ROAD......B3 BRUNSWICK PLACE......B7 BUCKINGHAM MEWS......C5 BUCKINGHAM ROAD......C5 BURDER ROAD......C5 BURMA ROAD......B4

7 BURNETT CLOSE......E4 BURTLEY CLOSE......B2 BUSHBERRY ROAD......F5 BUTTERMERE WALK......C5 BUTTESLAND STREET...B7 BUXHALL CRESCENT......F5 BUXTED ROAD......C5 BYRON CLOSE......D6 CADOGAN TERRACE......F5 CALDECOTT WAY......E3 CALVERT AVENUE......C7 CAMERTON CLOSE......C5 CANAL PATH......C6 CANAL WALK......B6 CARLISLE WALK......C5 CARRARA MEWS......D4 CARRIAGE PLACE......B3 CARYSFORT ROAD......B3 CASIMIR ROAD......E3 CASSLAND ROAD......E5 CASTERTON STREET......D5 CASTLE CLOSE......F4 CASTLEVIEW CLOSE......B3 CASTLEWOOD ROAD......D1 CAVENDISH STREET......B6 CAZENOVE ROAD......C3 CECILIA ROAD......D4 CELANDINE DRIVE......C5 CENTURY MEWS......E4 CESTER STREET......D6 CHAILEY STREET......E3 CHAPEL PLACE......C7 CHAPMAN ROAD......F5 CHARDMORE ROAD......D2 CHARLES SQUARE......B7 CHARLES SQUARE ESTATE...B7 CHARLOTTE ROAD......C7 CHARNOCK ROAD......D3 CHARNWOOD STREET......D3 CHART STREET......B7 CHARTERHOUSE ROAD......D4 CHATHAM PLACE......E5 CHATSWORTH ESTATE......E4 CHATSWORTH ROAD......E4 CHELMER ROAD......E4 CHERRY TREE CLOSE......E6 CHESHOLM ROAD......C3 CHESTER CRESCENT......C4 CHESTNUT CLOSE......B3 CHEVET STREET......F4 CHIPPENDALE STREET......E3 CHISLEDON WALK......F5 CHOW SQUARE......C4 CHRISTCHURCH SQUARE......E6 CHRISTIE ROAD......F5 CHRISTINA SQUARE......A2 CHRISTINA STREET......C7 CHRISTOPHER STREET......B7 CHURCH CRESCENT......E5 CHURCH WALK......B4 CHURCHILL WALK...E4 CITY ROAD......B7 CLAPTON COMMON......D2 CLAPTON PASSAGE......E4 CLAPTON SQUARE......E4 CLAPTON WAY......D4 CLARENCE MEWS......D4 CLARENCE PLACE......D4 CLARENCE ROAD......D4 CLARENDON CLOSE......E5 CLARISSA STREET......C6 CLARKE PATH......D2 CLERE STREET......B7 CLERMONT ROAD......E6 CLEVEDON CLOSE......C3 CLEVELEYS ROAD......D3

8 CLIFDEN MEWS......E4 CLIFDEN ROAD......E4 CLIFTON GROVE......D5 CLIFTON STREET......C7 CLISSOLD CRESCENT......B4 CLISSOLD ROAD......B3 CLONBROCK ROAD......C4 CLUNBURY STREET......B6 COBBLE MEWS......B3 CODICOTE TERRACE......B3 COLBERG PLACE......C2 COLENSO ROAD......E4 COLLEGE CLOSE......E4 COLLENT STREET......E5 COLLISON PLACE......C2 COLNE ROAD......F4 COLTHURST CRESCENT......B3 COLVESTONE CRESCENT...C4 COLVILLE ESTATE......B6 COMBERTON ROAD......D3 COMMERCIAL STREET......C7 CONISTON WALK......E4 CONNOR STREET......E6 COOPERSALE ROAD......E4 CORNTHWAITE ROAD......E3 CORONATION AVENUE......C4 CORONET STREET......C7 CORSHAM STREET......B7 CORSLEY WAY......F5 COTESBACH ROAD......E3 COTTAGE WALK......C3 COTTONS GARDENS......C7 COURTHOUSE LANE...C4 COWPER ROAD......C4 COWPER STREET......B7 CRABTREE CLOSE......C6 CRANSTON ESTATE......B6 CRANWICH ROAD......C2 CRANWOOD STREET......B7 CRAVEN CLOSE......D2 CRAVEN PARK ROAD...D1 CRAVEN WALK......D2 CREMER STREET......C6 CRESSET ROAD......E5 CRESSINGTON CLOSE......C4 CRICKETFIELD ROAD......D4 CROFTON TERRACE......F4 CROMER TERRACE......D4 CROMFORD PATH......E4 CRONDALL STREET......C6 CROOKED BILLET YARD......C6 CROPLEY STREET......B6 CROSBY WALK......C5 CROSSWAY......C4 CROSSWAYS TERRACE......E4 CROSTON STREET......D6

CROWFOOT CLOSE......F4 CROWN PLACE......C8 CROZIER TERRACE......E4 CRUSOE MEWS......C3 CULFORD GROVE......C5 CULFORD MEWS......C5 CULFORD ROAD......C5 CUMBERLAND CLOSE....C5 CURTAIN PLACE......C7 CURTAIN ROAD......C7 CYPRESS CLOSE......D3 DAINTRY WAY......F5 DALEY STREET......E5 DALSTON LANE......D4 DANESDALE ROAD......F5 DARENTH ROAD......C2 DARNLEY ROAD......E5 DARVILLE ROAD......C3 DAUBENEY ROAD......F4 DAWSON STREET.....C6 DE BEAUVOIR CRESCENT...C6 DE BEAUVOIR ESTATE......C6 DE BEAUVOIR ROAD......C5 DE BEAUVOIR SQUARE...C5 DEACON MEWS......B5 DEAN CLOSE......E4 DEFOE ROAD......C3 DELLA PATH......D3 DENNINGTON CLOSE...D3 DENTON WAY......E3 DENVER ROAD......C2 DERBY ROAD......E6 DEREHAM PLACE......C7 DERICOTE STREET......D6 DETMOLD ROAD......E3 DIGBY CRESCENT......B3 DIGBY ROAD......E5 DOMFE PLACE......E4 DOVE ROW......D6 DOWNHAM ROAD......C5 DOWNS COURT PARADE....D4 DOWNS LANE......D4 DOWNS PARK ROAD......D4 DOWNS ROAD......D4 DRYSDALE PLACE......C7 DRYSDALE STREET......C7 DUBLIN AVENUE......D6 DUDLINGTON ROAD......E3 DUMONT ROAD......C3 DUNCAN ROAD......D6 DUNLACE ROAD......E4 DUNLOE STREET......C6 DUNN STREET......C4 DUNSMURE ROAD......C2 DUNSTON ROAD......C6 DUNSTON STREET......C6 DURLEY ROAD......C2 DURLSTON ROAD......D3

DURRINGTON ROAD......F4 DYNEVOR ROAD......C3 DYSART STREET......C7 EAGLE MEWS......C5 EAGLE WHARF ROAD......B6 EARL STREET......C8 EARLSTON GROVE......D6 EAST BANK......C2 EAST ROAD......B7 EASTWAY......F5 EBENEZER STREET......B7 EDENBRIDGE ROAD......E5 EDMESTON CLOSE......F5 EDWARDS LANE......C3 EDWINS MEAD......F4 EGERTON ROAD......C2 ELDERFIELD ROAD......E4 ELEANOR ROAD......D5 ELLINGFORT ROAD......D5 ELMBRIDGE WALK......D5 ELMCROFT STREET......E4 ELMTON WAY......D3 ELRINGTON ROAD......D5 ELSDALE STREET......E5 ENFIELD ROAD......C5 ENGLEFIELD ROAD......B5 EPWORTH STREET......C7 EVANS CLOSE......C5 EVELYN WALK......B6 EVERGREEN SQUARE......C5 EVERING ROAD......D3 EXCHANGE SQUARE......C7 EXMOUTH PLACE......D5 FAIRBANK ESTATE......B6 FAIRCHILD PLACE......C7 FAIRCHILD STREET......C7 FAIRHOLT CLOSE......C2 FAIRHOLT ROAD......B2 FALKIRK STREET......C6 FANSHAW STREET......C7 FARLEIGH PLACE......C4 FARLEIGH ROAD......C4 FASSETT ROAD......D5 FASSETT SQUARE......D5 FAWCETT ESTATE......D2 FELDMAN CLOSE......D2 FELSTEAD STREET......F5 FELTON STREET......B6 FENN STREET......E4 FENTON CLOSE......C5 FERN CLOSE......C6 FERNCLIFF ROAD......D4 FERRON ROAD......D3 FIELDS ESTATE......D5 FILEY AVENUE......D2 FINSBURY MARKET......C7 FINSBURY PARK ROAD......A3 FIRSBY ROAD......D2 FISHER CLOSE......E4 FLANDERS WAY......E5 FLEETWOOD STREET......C3 FLETCHING ROAD......E3 FLORFIELD PASSAGE......D5 FLORFIELD ROAD......D5 FORBURG ROAD......D2 FOREST GROVE......C5 FOREST ROAD......C5 FORMAN PLACE......C4 FORSTON STREET......B6 FORTESCUE AVENUE......D5 FOULDEN ROAD......C4 FOULDEN TERRACE......C4 FOUNTAIN CLOSE......D4 FOUNTAYNE ROAD......D3 FOXLEY CLOSE......D4 FRAMLINGHAM CLOSE......E3 FRAMPTON PARK ROAD......E5 FREDERICK TERRACE......C5 FREMONT STREET......E6 FRENCH PLACE......C7 FRESHFIELD AVENUE......C5 FULLWOODS MEWS......B7 FURROW LANE......E4 GAINSBOROUGH STREET...F5 GALSWORTHY TERRACE...C3 GARDEN PLACE......C6 GARDEN WALK......C7 GARNHAM CLOSE......C3 GARNHAM STREET......C3 GASCOYNE ROAD......E5 GATESBOROUGH STREET...C7

HOFFMAN SQUARE......B7 HOGAN WAY......D3 HOLCROFT ROAD......E5 HOLLAR ROAD......C3 HOLLY STREET......C5 HOLMBURY VIEW......D2 HOLMLEIGH ROAD......C2 GATEWAY MEWS......C4 HOLMLEIGH ROAD ESTATE...C2 GAVILLER PLACE......D4 HOLYWELL LANE......C7 GAYHURST ROAD......D5 HOLYWELL ROW......C7 GEFFRYE ESTATE......C6 HOMEFIELD STREET......C6 GEFFRYE STREET......C6 HOMER ROAD......F5 GELDESTON ROAD......D3 GEORGE DOWNING ESTATE...C3 HOMERTON GROVE......E5 HOMERTON HIGH STREET...E4 GERARD PLACE......E5 HOMERTON ROAD......F4 GIBSON GARDENS......C3 HOMERTON ROW......E4 GILDA CRESCENT......D2 HOMERTON TERRACE...E5 GILLETT STREET......C4 HOPWOOD WALK......D5 GILPIN ROAD......F4 HORTON ROAD......D5 GLADING TERRACE......C3 HOUGHTON CLOSE......C5 GLASERTON ROAD......C2 HOWARD ROAD......C4 GLEBE ROAD......C5 HOWS STREET......C6 GLENARM ROAD......E4 HOXTON MARKET......C7 GLIDDON DRIVE......D4 HOXTON SQUARE......C7 GLOUCESTER DRIVE......A3 HOXTON STREET......C6 GLOUCESTER SQUARE...D6 HUMBERTON CLOSE......F4 GLYN ROAD......E4 HURSTDENE GARDENS......C2 GODWIN CLOSE......B6 HYDE ROAD......C6 GOLDSMITHS ROW......D6 ICKBURGH ESTATE......D3 GOPSALL STREET......B6 ICKBURGH ROAD......D3 GORE ROAD......E6 IMPERIAL AVENUE......C4 GORSUCH STREET......C6 GOULD TERRACE......D4 INDEPENDENT PLACE......C4 GOULTON ROAD......D4 INDIGO MEWS......B3 GRACE JONES CLOSE......C5 INGLESHAM WALK......F5 GRAHAM ROAD......D5 INSTITUTE PLACE......D4 GRAND UNION CRESCENT...D6 INVER CLOSE......E3 GRANGE STREET......B6 ISABELLA MEWS......C5 GRANGECOURT ROAD......C2 ISABELLA ROAD......E4 GRANSDEN AVENUE......D5 IVEAGH CLOSE......E6 GRANT TERRACE......D2 IVY STREET......C6 GRAYLING ROAD......B3 JACARANDA GROVE......C5 GRAZEBROOK ROAD......B3 JACKMAN STREET......D6 GREAT EASTERN STREET......C7 JACKSON CLOSE......E5 GREEN LANES......B3 JARROW WAY......F4 GREENWAY CLOSE......B3 JEGER AVENUE......C6 GREENWOOD ROAD......D5 JENNER ROAD......C3 GROOMBRIDGE ROAD......E5 JESSAM AVENUE......D2 GROSVENOR WAY......E2 JOHN CAMPBELL ROAD......C4 GROVE ROAD......E6 JOHNSON CLOSE......D6 GUINNESS CLOSE......F5 KEATS ESTATE......C3 GUNSTOR ROAD......C4 KEIR HARDIE ESTATE......D2 GUNTON ROAD......D3 KEMEYS STREET......F4 HABERDASHER ESTATE......B7 KENMURE ROAD......D4 HABERDASHER PLACE......B7 KENMURE YARD......D4 HABERDASHER STREET......B7 KENNINGHALL ROAD......D3 HACKNEY GROVE......D5 KENT STREET......C6 HACKNEY ROAD......C7 KENTON ROAD......E5 HACON SQUARE......D5 KENWORTHY ROAD......F5 HADRIAN ESTATE......C7 KERSLEY ROAD......C3 HAGGERSTON ROAD......C6 KEYWORTH CLOSE......F4 HALCOMB STREET......C6 KIDRON WAY......E6 HALESWORTH CLOSE......E3 KILLOWEN ROAD......E5 HALIDON CLOSE......E4 KING EDWARDS ROAD...E6 HAMOND SQUARE......C6 KING JOHN COURT......C7 HANA MEWS......D4 KINGS CRESCENT......B3 HANDLEY ROAD......E6 KINGSGATE ESTATE......C5 HARCOMBE ROAD......C3 KINGSHOLD ROAD......E5 HARE WALK......C6 KINGSLAND BASIN......C6 HARLESTON CLOSE......E3 KINGSLAND GREEN......C5 HARRIET CLOSE......D6 KINGSLAND HIGH STREET...C4 HARRINGTON HILL......D2 KINGSLAND PASSAGE......C5 HARROWGATE ROAD......F5 KINGSLAND ROAD......C6 HARTLAKE ROAD......E5 KINGSMEAD WAY......F4 HARTWELL STREET......C5 KINGSMERE PLACE......C2 HARVEY STREET......B6 KINGSWAY PARADE......B3 HARVINGTON WALK......D5 KIRKLAND WALK......C5 HASSETT ROAD......F5 KNIGHTLAND ROAD......D3 HAWKSLEY ROAD......C3 KNIGHTS CLOSE......E4 HAWKWOOD MOUNT......D2 KREEDMAN WALK......D4 HAY STREET......D6 KYNASTON ROAD......C3 HAYLING CLOSE......C4 KYVERDALE ROAD......C2 HAYTON CLOSE......C5 LABURNUM STREET......C6 HAZLEWOOD CLOSE......F3 LAMB LANE......D5 HEARN STREET......C7 LAMPARD GROVE......C2 HEATHLAND ROAD......C2 LANCASTER CLOSE......C5 HEDGERS GROVE......F5 LANCELL STREET......C3 HELENA PLACE......E6 LANGFORD CLOSE......D4 HELMSLEY PLACE......D5 LANSDOWNE DRIVE......D5 HEMSWORTH STREET......C6 LAUNDRESS LANE......D3 HENRY ROAD......B2 LAURA PLACE......E4 HERMITAGE ROW......D4 LAURA TERRACE......A3 HERON DRIVE......B3 LAUREL STREET......C5 HERTFORD ROAD......C6 LAURISTON ROAD......E5 HEWETT STREET......C7 LAVELL STREET......B4 HEYWORTH ROAD......D4 LAVENDER GROVE......D5 HIGH HILL FERRY......E2 LAVERS ROAD......C3 HIGH HOUSE MEWS......C3 LAVINGTON CLOSE......F5 HILLMAN STREET......D5 LAWFORD ROAD......C5 HILLSIDE ROAD......C2 LAWLEY STREET......E4 HILLSTOWE STREET......E3 LEA BRIDGE ROAD......E3 HILLYFIELD CLOSE......F5 LEABANK SQUARE......G5 HILSEA STREET......E4 LEABOURNE ROAD......D2 HINDREY ROAD......D4 LEADALE ROAD......D1 HOBBS PLACE ESTATE...C6 LEAGRAVE STREET......E3

LEASIDE ROAD......E2 LEATHERHEAD CLOSE...C2 LEAWAY.....E2 LECONFIELD ROAD......B4 LEE CONSERVANCY ROAD...F4 LEE STREET......C6 LELITIA CLOSE......D6 LENTHALL ROAD......D5 LEONARD PLACE......C4 LEONARD STREET......C7 LEOPOLD MEWS......E6 LESWIN PLACE......C3 LESWIN ROAD......C3 LEWESTON PLACE......C2 LEWIS PLACE......D4 LIDFIELD ROAD......B4 LILIAN CLOSE......C3 LINDISFARNE WAY......F4 LINGWOOD ROAD......D2 LINK STREET......E4 LINSCOTT ROAD......E4 LINTHORPE ROAD......C2 LISTRIA PARK......C3 LIVERMERE ROAD......C6 LOANDA CLOSE......C6 LOCKGATE CLOSE......F4 LOCKHURST STREET......E4 LODDIGES ROAD......E5 LOMAS DRIVE......D5 LONDESBOROUGH ROAD...C4 LONDON FIELDS EAST SIDE..D5 LONDON FIELDS WEST SIDE..D5 LONDON LANE......D5 LONG STREET......C7 LORDSHIP GROVE......B3 LORDSHIP PARK......B3 LORDSHIP PARK MEWS...B3 LORDSHIP ROAD......B3 LORDSHIP TERRACE......B3 LOUISA CLOSE......E5 LOWER CLAPTON ROAD...E4 LOWESTOFT CLOSE......E3 LUKE STREET......C7 LUSHINGTON TERRACE...D4 LYDFORD CLOSE......C4 LYME GROVE......E5 LYN MEWS......C4 LYNEHAM WALK......F4 LYNMOUTH ROAD......C2 MABLEY STREET......F4 MACKINTOSH LANE......E4 MADINAH ROAD......D5 MAGNIN CLOSE......D6 MAITLAND PLACE......E4 MALLARD CLOSE......F5 MALPAS ROAD......D5 MALVERN ROAD......D5 MANDEVILLE STREET......F4 MANOR PARADE......C3 MANOR ROAD......C2 MANSE ROAD......C3 MAPLE CLOSE......D1 MAPLEDENE ESTATE......D5 MAPLEDENE ROAD......D5 MARCON PLACE......D4 MARE STREET......D5 MARGARET ROAD......C2 MARIE LLOYD WALK......D5 MARK SQUARE......C7 MARK STREET......C7 MARKET PARADE......D2 MARLBOROUGH AVENUE...D6 MARLBOROUGH PARADE...B2 MARSH HILL......F4 MARTABAN ROAD......C3 MARTELLO STREET......D5 MARTELLO TERRACE......D5 MARTON ROAD......C3 MARY SEACOLE CLOSE...C6 MASSIE ROAD......D5 MATTHIAS ROAD.....C4 MAURY ROAD......D3 MAYFIELD CLOSE......C5 MAYFIELD ROAD......C5 MAYOLA ROAD......E4 MEAD PLACE......E5 MEADOW CLOSE......F4 MEDIAN ROAD......E4 MEESON STREET......F4 MEHETABEL ROAD......E5 MENTMORE TERRACE...D5 MERRIAM AVENUE......F5 MEYNELL CRESCENT......E5 MEYNELL GARDENS......E5 MEYNELL ROAD......E5 MICAWBER STREET......B7 MIDDLETON ROAD......C5 MIDHURST WAY......D4 MILBORNE STREET......E5 MILDENHALL ROAD......E4 MILDMAY PARK......C5 MILL ROW......C6 MILLARD CLOSE......C4 MILLERS AVENUE......C4 MILLERS TERRACE......C4 MILLFIELDS ROAD......E3 MILTON GARDEN ESTATE......C4

MILTON GROVE......C4 MINSON ROAD......E6 MINTERN STREET......B6 MONDAY ALLEY......C3 MONRO WAY......D4 MONTAGUE ROAD......D4 MONTEAGLE WAY......D4 MORESBY ROAD......D2 MORETON CLOSE......E3 MORLAND ESTATE......D5 MORNING LANE......E5 MORPETH GROVE......E6 MORPETH ROAD......E6 MORTIMER ROAD......C5 MOTHERS SQUARE......D4 MOTLEY AVENUE......C7 MOULINS ROAD......E5 MOUNDFIELD ROAD......D1 MOUNT PLEASANT HILL......E3 MOUNT PLEASANT LANE......D3 MOUNTGROVE ROAD......A3 MOYE CLOSE......D6 MUIR ROAD......D3 MULBERRY ROAD......C5 MUNDFORD ROAD......E3 MUNDY STREET.....C7 MURRAY GROVE......B6 MUSTON ROAD......D3 MYDDLETON AVENUE......B3 MYRTLE STREET......C7 MYRTLE WALK......C6 MYRTLEBERRY CLOSE......C5 NAPIER GROVE......B6 NAPOLEON ROAD......D3 NARFORD ROAD......D3 NAVARINO GROVE......D5 NAVARINO ROAD......D5 NAYIM PLACE......D4 NAZRUL STREET......C6 NEVILL ROAD......C3 NEW ERA ESTATE......C6 NEW INN BROADWAY......C7 NEW INN STREET......C7 NEW INN YARD......C7 NEW NORTH PLACE......C7 NEW NORTH ROAD......B6 NEW RIVER WAY......B2 NEWICK ROAD......E3 NEWINGTON GREEN......B4 NEWNTON CLOSE......B2 NIAGARA CLOSE......B6 NIGHTINGALE ROAD......D3 NILE CLOSE......C3 NILE STREET......B7 NIMROD PASSAGE......C5 NOLAN WAY......D4 NORCOTT ROAD......D3 NORTHCHURCH ROAD......B5 NORTHCHURCH TERRACE...C5 NORTHDENE GARDENS......C1 NORTHFIELD ROAD......C2 NORTHIAM STREET......D6 NORTHWOLD ROAD......D3 NURSERY LANE......C6 NUTTALL STREET......C6 NYE BEVAN ESTATE......E3 OAK PARK MEWS......C3 OFFAS MEAD......F4 OLD NICHOL STREET......C7 OLD STREET......C7 OLDFIELD ROAD......C3 OLDHILL STREET......D2 OLINDA ROAD......C1 OLYMPUS SQUARE......D3 ORCHARD MEWS......B5 ORIEL ROAD......E5 ORIENT WAY......E3 ORMSBY PLACE......C3 ORMSBY STREET......C6 ORPEN WALK......C3 ORSMAN ROAD......C6 OSBALDESTON ROAD......D2 OSBORN CLOSE......D6 OSBORNE ROAD......F5 OSCAR FABER PLACE......C5 OSRIC PATH......C6 OSTERLEY ROAD......C4 OSWALD STREET......E3 OSWALDS MEAD......F4 OTLEY TERRACE......E3 OTTAWAY STREET......D3 OULTON CLOSE......E3 OVERBURY STREET......E4 OVERLEA ROAD......D2 PACKINGTON STREET......B6 PAGET ROAD......B2 PAINSTHORPE ROAD......C3 PALATINE AVENUE......C4 PALATINE ROAD......C4 PARAGON ROAD......E5 PARK CLOSE......E6 PARKHOLME ROAD......D5 PARKSIDE ESTATE......E6 PARR STREET......B6 PASTON CLOSE......E3 PAUL STREET......C7 PEAR TREE CLOSE......C6 PEARSON STREET......C6 PEDRO STREET......E4 PEGASUS CLOSE......B4 PELLERIN ROAD......C4

PEMBERTON PLACE......E5 PEMBURY CLOSE......D4 PEMBURY PLACE......D4 PEMBURY ROAD......D4 PENDAS MEAD......F4 PENDULUM MEWS......C4 PENN STREET......B6 PENNETHORNE CLOSE...E6 PENPOLL ROAD......D5 PENSHURST ROAD......E5 PEPPIE CLOSE......C3 PERCH STREET......C4 PETHERTON ROAD......B4 PETIVER CLOSE......E5 PHILLIPP STREET......C6 PHIPP STREET......C7 PHOENIX CLOSE......C6 PICKERING CLOSE......E5 PITFIELD STREET......C7 PLOUGH YARD......C7 POND FARM ESTATE......E3 PONSFORD STREET......E5 POOLE ROAD......E5 POOLE STREET......B6 POPLAR CLOSE......F4 PORTLAND AVENUE......C2 PORTLAND RISE......B2 POULTON CLOSE......D5 POWELL ROAD......D3 POWERSCROFT ROAD......E4 POWNALL ROAD......D6 PRAH ROAD......A3 PRESBURG STREET......E3 PRIESTLEY CLOSE......C2 PRIMROSE SQUARE......E6 PRIMROSE STREET......C7 PRINCE EDWARD ROAD......F5 PRINCE GEORGE ROAD......C4 PRINCES CLOSE......B2 PRINCESS CRESCENT......A3 PRINCESS MAY ROAD......C4 PRINCIPAL SQUARE......E4 PRINTING HOUSE YARD......C7 PRITCHARDS ROAD......D6 PROUT ROAD......D3 PROVIDENCE CLOSE......E6 PROVOST ESTATE......B7 PROVOST STREET......B7 PURCELL STREET......C6 QUEEN ANNE ROAD......E5 QUEEN ELIZABETHS CLOSE...B3 QUEEN ELIZABETHS WALK...B3 QUEENS DRIVE......A3 QUEENSBRIDGE ROAD......C5 QUEENSDOWN ROAD......D4 RADBOURNE CLOSE......E4 RADLEY SQUARE......E3 RAM PLACE......E5 RAMSGATE STREET......C5 RAV PINTER CLOSE......C2 RAVENSDALE ROAD......C2 RAVEY STREET......C7 READING LANE......D5 RECTORY ROAD......C3 RED SQUARE......B3 REDCHURCH STREET......C7 REDVERS STREET......C7 REDWALD ROAD......E4 REEDHOLM VILLAS......B4 REGAN WAY......C6 REGENT PARADE......C2 REGENTS ROW......D6 REIGHTON ROAD......D3 REIZEL CLOSE......C2 RENDLESHAM ROAD......D3 RETFORD STREET......C6 RETREAT PLACE......E5 RICHARDSON CLOSE......C6 RICHMOND ROAD......C5 RIDLEY ROAD......C4 RITSON ROAD......D5 RIVAZ PLACE......E5 RIVERSDALE ROAD......B3 RIVERSIDE CLOSE......E3 RIVINGTON PLACE......C7 RIVINGTON STREET......C7 RIVINGTON WALK......D6 ROCHEMONT WALK......C6 ROCHFORD WALK......D5 RODING ROAD......F4 ROOKWOOD ROAD......C2 ROPEWALK MEWS......C5 ROSEBERRY PLACE......C5 ROSINA STREET......E5 ROSSENDALE STREET......D3 ROSSINGTON STREET......D3 ROWE LANE......E4 ROWHILL ROAD......D4 ROWLEY GARDENS......B2 ROYAL CLOSE......C2 ROYAL OAK ROAD......D5 RUDDINGTON CLOSE......F4 RUFUS STREET......C7 RUMSEY MEWS......B3 RUSHMORE ROAD......E4 RUSHTON STREET......B6 RUTHVEN STREET......E6 RUTLAND ROAD......E6 RYDER MEWS......E4 SACH ROAD......D3 SALCOMBE ROAD......C4 SAMUEL CLOSE......C6 SANCTUARY MEWS......C5 SANDALE CLOSE......B3 SANDBROOK ROAD......C3 SANDRINGHAM ROAD......C4 SANFORD LANE......C3 SANFORD TERRACE......C3 SANFORD WALK......C3 SARATOGA ROAD......E4 SATTAR MEWS......B3 SCAWFELL STREET......C6 SCHOLARS PLACE......C3 SCHONFELD SQUARE......B2 SCOBLE PLACE......C4 SCRIVEN STREET......C6 SCRUTTON STREET......C7 SEAL STREET......C4 SEDGWICK STREET......E4 SELSEA PLACE......C4

SEVEN SISTERS ROAD......B2 SEVILLE MEWS......C5 SEWDLEY STREET......E4 SHACKLEWELL LANE......C4 SHACKLEWELL ROAD......C4 SHACKLEWELL ROW......C4 SHAFTESBURY STREET......B6 SHAFTON MEWS......E6 SHAFTON ROAD......E6 SHAKSPEARE MEWS......C4 SHAKSPEARE WALK......C4 SHARON GARDENS......E6 SHEEP LANE......D6 SHELFORD PLACE......B3 SHELLNESS ROAD......D4 SHEPHERDESS PLACE......B7 SHEPHERDESS WALK......B6 SHEPHERDS LANE......E4 SHORE PLACE......E5 SHORE ROAD......E5 SHOREDITCH HIGH STREET...C7 SHRUBLAND ROAD......D6 SIDWORTH STREET......D5 SIGDON PASSAGE......D4 SIGDON ROAD......D4 SILKMILLS SQUARE......F5 SINGER STREET......B7 SKELTON CLOSE......C5 SKIPWORTH ROAD......E6 SMALLEY CLOSE......C3 SMALLEY ROAD ESTATE...C3 SNOWDEN STREET......C7 SOJOURNER TRUTH CLOSE...D5 SOLWAY CLOSE......C5 SOMERFIELD ROAD......A3 SOMERFORD GROVE......C4 SOMERFORD GROVE ESTATE..C4 SOTHERAN CLOSE......D6 SOUTHBOROUGH ROAD......E6 SOUTHGATE GROVE......B5 SOUTHGATE ROAD......B5 SOUTHMOOR WAY......F5 SOUTHWOLD ROAD......E3 SOVEREIGN MEWS......C6 SPEECHLY MEWS......C4 SPELDHURST ROAD......E5 SPENSER GROVE......C4 SPORTSMAN PLACE......D6 SPRING HILL......D2 SPRING LANE......D2 SPRING PARK DRIVE......B2 SPRINGDALE MEWS......B4 SPRINGDALE ROAD......B4 SPRINGFIELD......D2 SPRINGFIELD GARDENS......D2 SPURSTOWE ROAD......D5 SPURSTOWE TERRACE......D4 ST. AGNES CLOSE......E6 ST. ANDREWS GROVE......B2 ST. ANDREWS MEWS......C2 ST. BARNABAS TERRACE......E4 ST. JOHNS CHURCH ROAD......E4 ST. JOHNS ESTATE......B6 ST. KILDAS ROAD......B2 ST. MARKS RISE......C4 ST. PETERS WAY......C5 ST. PHILIPS ROAD......D5 ST. THOMAS'S PLACE......E5 ST. THOMAS'S SQUARE......E5 STAMFORD GROVE EAST...D2 STAMFORD GROVE WEST...D2 STAMFORD HILL......C2 STAMFORD ROAD......C5 STANARD CLOSE......C2 STANDARD PLACE......C7 STANNARD MEWS......D5 STANNARD ROAD......D5 STANWAY STREET......C6 STATHAM GROVE......B3 STATION APPROACH......C3 STATION PARADE......D3 STAVELEY CLOSE......E4 STEAN STREET......C6 STELLMAN CLOSE......D3 STEPHAN CLOSE......D6 STEVENS AVENUE......E5 STOKE NEWINGTON CHURCH STREET......B3 STOKE NEWINGTON COMMON......C3 STOKE NEWINGTON HIGH STREET......C3 STOKE NEWINGTON ROAD...C4 STUDLEY CLOSE......F4 SUMMERHOUSE ROAD......C3 SUMMIT ESTATE......D2 SUN STREET......C8 SUNNYHILL CLOSE......F4 SUTTON PLACE......E4 SUTTON SQUARE......E4 SWINNERTON STREET......F4 SYDNER MEWS......C4 SYDNER ROAD......C4 SYLVESTER PATH......D5 SYLVESTER ROAD......D5 SYMINGTON MEWS......E4 SYMISTER MEWS......C7 TABERNACLE STREET......B7 TAPLOW STREET......B6 TAUHEED CLOSE......B3 TAVISTOCK CLOSE......C4 TEALE STREET......D6 TEMPLECOMBE ROAD......E6 TEMPLETON CLOSE......C4 TERRACE ROAD......E5 THACKERAY MEWS......D5 THE CEDARS......E5 THEYDON ROAD......D3 THISTLEWAITE ROAD......D3

THORESBY STREET......B7 THORNBURY CLOSE......C4 THORNBY ROAD......E3 THRASHER CLOSE......C6 THURTLE ROAD......C6 TIGER WAY......D4 TILIA ROAD......D4 TIMBERWHARF ROAD......D1 TIME SQUARE......C4 TOLSFORD ROAD......D4 TOTTENHAM ROAD......C5 TOWER MEWS......F4 TOWN COURT PATH......B2 TOWN HALL APPROACH......B4 TOWPATH WALK......F4 TRAFALGAR MEWS......F5 TRANBY MEWS......E4 TREDERWEN ROAD......D6 TREHURST STREET......F4 TRELAWNEY ESTATE......E5 TRESHAM WALK......E4 TRIANGLE ROAD......D6 TRINITY CLOSE......C5 TROWBRIDGE ROAD......F5 TRUMANS ROAD......C4 TRYON CRESCENT......E6 TUDOR GROVE......E5 TUDOR ROAD......D6 TYLER CLOSE......C6 TYSSEN ROAD......C3 TYSSEN STREET......C5 UFTON GROVE......B5 UFTON ROAD......C5 UHURA SQUARE......C3 UNDERWOOD ROW......B7 UNDERWOOD STREET......B7 UNION WALK......C7 UPPER CLAPTON ROAD...D3 URSULA MEWS......B2 URSWICK ROAD......E4 VALENTINE ROAD......E5 VALETTE STREET......D5 VANDY STREET......C7 VESTRY STREET......B7 VICARS CLOSE......E6 VICTORIA PARK ROAD...E6 VICTORIAN GROVE......C3 VICTORIAN ROAD......C4 VINCE STREET......B7 VIVIAN COMMA CLOSE...A3 VIXEN MEWS......C5 WALFORD ROAD......C4 WALLIS ROAD......G5 WALSHAM CLOSE......D2 WALSINGHAM ROAD......D3 WALTON CLOSE......E3 WARBURTON CLOSE......C5 WARBURTON ROAD......D6 WARBURTON STREET......D6 WARMINGTON CLOSE......E3 WARNEFORD STREET......D6 WARWICK GROVE......D2 WATERCRESS PLACE......C5 WATERDEN CRESCENT......G4 WATERDEN ROAD......G4 WATERLOO CLOSE......E4 WATERSON STREET......C7 WATERWORKS LANE......E3 WATSON CLOSE......C4 WATTISFIELD ROAD......E3 WAVERLEY PLACE......A2 WAYLAND AVENUE......D4 WEALD SQUARE......D3 WEBB ESTATE......D2 WELFORD CLOSE......E3 WELL STREET......E5 WELLESLEY TERRACE......B7 WELSHPOOL STREET......D6 WENLOCK ROAD......B6 WENLOCK STREET......B6 WEST BANK......C2 WESTGATE STREET......D6 WESTLAND PLACE......B7 WESTON WALK......D5 WETHERELL ROAD......E6 WEYMOUTH TERRACE......C6 WHARF ROAD......B6 WHISTON ROAD......C6 WHITMORE ESTATE......C6 WHITMORE ROAD......C6 WICK ROAD......F5 WICK SQUARE......F5 WILBERFORCE ROAD......A3 WILDE CLOSE......D6 WILDERTON ROAD......C2 WILLOW COURT......C7 WILLOW STREET......C7 WILMAN GROVE......D5 WILMER PLACE......C3 WILSON STREET......B8 WILTON ESTATE......D5 WILTON MEWS......D5 WILTON WAY......D5 WILTSHIRE ROW......B6 WIMBOURNE STREET......B6 WINCHESTER PLACE......C4 WINDSOR TERRACE......B7 WINDUS ROAD......C2 WINDUS WALK......C2 WINSTON ROAD......B4 WOODBERRY DOWN......B2 WOODBERRY DOWN ESTATE...B2 WOODBERRY GROVE......B2 WOODBINE TERRACE......E5 WOODLEA ROAD......C3 WOOLRIDGE WAY......E5 WORDSWORTH ROAD......C4 WORSHIP STREET......C7 WORSLEY GROVE......D4 YOAKLEY ROAD......C3 YORKSHIRE CLOSE......C3 YORKTON STREET......D6


3 Francesco Careri, Walkscapes: Walking as an aesthetic practice = El andar como practica estetica (Barcelona: Editorial Gustava Gili, GG, 2002). 4 Merlin Coverley, Psychogeography (Harpenden: Pocket Essentials, 2010). 5 Klaske Maria Havik, Urban Literacy a Scriptive Approach to the Experience, Use and Imagination of Place. (Delft: TU Delft, 2012). 6 Works such as: Iain Sinclair, London Orbital, 1st Penguin Edition (London: Penguin, 2003). 7 Patrick Keiller, The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes, 2013; Patrick Keiller, London, 1994.

8 Similar to the extreme stalking of ‘Henri B’ performed by Sophie Calle, which initiated ‘Suite Vénitienne’, 1980.

of this typology, which is not very common in my native Denmark. Walking as a practice for slowing down perception and experiencing the urban topography (and the small things inbetween) has been dealt with by several scholars, such as Francesco Careri3, Merlin Coverley4 and lately Klaske Havik5 - all of which leads back to the Situationists, the Dadaist and the figure of the flâneur. For many contemporary writers, artists and self-acclaimed psychogeographers urban wandering and drifting are central to their practice: in a London perspective these modernday ‘connoisseurs of the street’ includes Iain Sinclair6, Patrick Kieller7, Will Self, etc. Through the performed walks they recast their native city and its everyday dimension anew. In the end, A&Z Dry Cleaners at 98 Old Street in Clerkenwell (just south of the Hackney map), were selected for the biopsy for two reasons: First of all it presented a typical London dry cleaner, not too push or trashy and with a typical diverse clientele. Secondly, but crucially, because they were very open to being part of the project, and allowed full access to exploiting their daily operations and for me to become part of it.

Two Parallel Practices The project was conceived in a dialogue between two parts: the physical collection of coded messages (the book, Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, emerging from a typical academic activity) and a spatial practice: Parallel to the actual production of the text of the main narrative it circulated the dry cleaner on tickets attached to the hangers (see figures next page), as part of a process of maturing or settling to its final written form. The aim of this was twofold: to start an informal feedback loop and at the same time reintroduce the dry cleaner to its users and engage conversations. At first, the customers were invited to respond back with their everyday narratives and destinations of the clothes via social medias, but this ultimately proved a failure and perhaps a total misunderstanding of the engagement (and surplus energy) of the target group. Instead, another strategy was adopted, based on observing the customers coming in, and at times following them until their returned to their home or disappeared in the crowd of the streets8. Hence, gradually, the users themselves found their way into the book through building on these investigations: Mr and Mrs A, O, V, the Hs, and K.

Opposite page: draft route of performed walk to locate dry cleaner.

Selection of dry cleaners of Hackney Borough, 2014

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9 Jennifer Bloomer, ‘A Priming’, in Architecture and the Text: The (S) crypts of Joyce and Piranesi (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1993), p. 7. 10 Charles Baudelaire, ‘The Rag-Picker’s Wine’, in Les fleurs du mal, trans. by Eric Lawrence Gans, 2015. 11 Jacob Wamberg, Krass Clement, Dansk Nutidskunst (Kunstbogklubben og Forlaget Søren Fogtdal A/S, 1993), xix, p. 9 12 Walter Benjamin quoted in Esther Leslie, Ursula Marx and Walter Benjamin Archiv, ‘10. Rag Picker: The Arcades Project’, in Walter Benjamin’s Archive: images, texts, signs (London; New York: Verso, 2007). 13 Louis Aragon, Paris Peasant (Boston: Exact Change, 1994). 14 Susan Buck-Morss, ‘Introduction, Dialectics of Seeing’, in The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). 15 Perec discussing the cinematic project ‘Signe particulier néant’ Bernard Magné, ‘Georges Perec, Oulibiographer’, trans. by Daniel Levin Becker, Drunken Boat <http:// www.drunkenboat.com/ db8/oulipo/featureoulipo/essays/magne/ oulibio.html> [accessed 9 June 2014].

222

Montage and Rag Picking The word text emerges from Latin texere, ‘to weave’, which is a useful analogy to the act of writing9. Different arguments are weaved together in a constellation of threads and forming one or several arguments. This resonates with the figure of the poet as a rag picker as put forward by Baudelaire10 (and later also ascribed to the urban photographer11) and taken up by Benjamin for his Arcade’s Project. Method of this work: literary montage. I needn’t say nothing. Merely show. I shall purloin no values, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse – these I will not inventory but allow, in the only way possible, to come into their own: by making use of them 12 Also, Aragon was making use of the ephemera (shop signs, advertisements, notes, newspaper cuttings, pricelists) that he encountered in the Parisian arcades and reinserted these into forming his anti-novel ‘Paris-Peasant’13. Many decades later this stands out as a vivid representation of everyday Paris in the 20th century. Through the work of montage new realities are woven (and revealed) by linking the residues, fragments and scraps of the encountered reality. In Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, the montage is deliberately made of counter-posing what is commonly understood as binary oppositions. It withholds the productive energies and friction between these, and needs an investment from the reader (as does Perec’s descriptive list form and Walter Benjamin’s montage work14) – myself being the reader and writer simultaneously, trying to make sense the montage-writing as it proceeds. The ultimate goal is to wrest the common open rather than boxing it in well-known categories from the beginning. The familiar is put under a new light, without a preconceived plot, but following a constraining technique: A traditional screenplay proceeds for a central ‘idea,’ simple enough to synopsize in a few lines, which then expanded and enriched through appropriate scenes. Here, conversely, it is from that play of elements derived from the initial constraint that a story is constructed. 15 The geometric structure that these pieces are montaged into resembles an architectonic layout. One can read it in multiple ways and the usual linear layout and reading are boycotted in favour of this. The blank, void paper in between

hints about potentially missing pieces that could be added to this ‘puzzle’ - and thus compelling our acknowledgement that this is one of many simultaneous representations and realities that could (and does) exist of this. This relation is further highlighted by the spatial practice, where the quotes of the becoming book were situated within the actual architectural layout of the dry cleaner, and thus, in some sense, directed the writing back to what it originally represented. According to Perec (and many other, including Derrida), the relation between language and the world is far from straightforward16. For Perec, rhetorical play is what ‘offers access to communal ground, to the everyday world in which we collectively live’ and is a way of ‘working through and towards this dimension of experience’: Perec’s aim is not to create an image but to devise a mode of description that makes a certain level of reality visible, a project that is in some respects phenomenological but whose tactic is rhetorical.17 Although mirroring reality, Tongue of the Dry Cleaner is not a realist slice of life following the traditional literary methods, but instead presents another level of reality through a radical deconditioning and deterritorialisation18 that generates fresh perceptions on the infraordinary elements and dimension.

Another Gaze at the Habitual The structure of the book is fragmented and ambiguous and thus mirrors the way one ‘reads’ the dry cleaner itself. Apart from the photographs, it contains coded messages in three columns. Firstly, the utilitarian function of the objects encountered is described through dictionary entries. Secondly, there are the other voices in the form of quotations from literature and academic papers that provide a context outside the writing and intertextual dialogues. Finally, there are the central narratives running through the book. The photographs affix the textural fragments to the actual space (and as documental proofs19), and the images and text works as dialectical annotations of each other20. From the friction between these, gradually meaning gains a sort of viscosity and insights (and hypotheses) appear through a nonlinear argument. As Baker argues in his fiction novel The Mezzanine21, truth is ‘not smooth, welling and gathering from paragraph to shapely paragraph’

16 Michael Sheringham, ‘Perec: Uncovering the Infra-Ordinary’, in Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 252. 17 Sheringham, p. 253.

18 A ‘reterritorialisation’ through the literary montage, expanding on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).

19 Roland. Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), p. 85. 20 As Roni Horn’s annotations of water in Roni Horn, Another Water: (The River Thames, for Example) (Zurich; London: Scalo ; Thames & Hudson (distributor), 2000). 21 Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine (London: Granta Books, 2011), p. 121-3.


Tickets with text fragments at dry cleaner. Follows the clothing item back home to its user.

Ticket at hanger

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22 As with Benjamin’s ’Arcade Project’ fragments could be added continuously and the totality hence reconfigured.

but ‘encrusted with a rough protective bark of citations, quotation marks, italics and foreign languages’, which exactly echoes the pursuit of this biopsy and techniques adopted. Hence, gradually, through deploying this framework of perception the dry cleaner is thoroughly examined and understood in other ways than the familiar and purely utilitarian. The familiar is rendered unfamiliar by way of extracting fragments through the microscopic gaze and simultaneously inserting these into a formal, textual construct that provides an exteriority and distance. In turn, this allows for allocating new, alternative values to what ‘we already know’ and take for granted. Tongue of the Dry Cleaner was conceived and performed as a tool to develop insight, rather than a final product (in this sense, it is never done22). The process of writing and the work of montage within the deployed framework opened up the space to new meanings and potentials. These alternative ways of understanding the dry cleaner as a semi-public social entity will be explained in the succeeding sections.

Deconstructing Formal and Everyday Language

23 As discussed in Tania Ørum, ‘Det Infra-Ordinære’, in Virkelighed, Virkelighed! - Avantgardens Realisme Antologi., by Karin Petersen (Tiderne Skifter, 2003), pp. 133–69

24 Bloomer, p. 6.

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The column containing the central narrative takes a variety of textual forms: From fragments of everyday language, such as list, description and receipts23 to evocative creative writing. At times, this links, completes or adds to the quotes and dictionary entries that it is counterposing – at other times, it works more as autonomous fragments directing a line of thought. The dictionary entries represent the imperial, constituted meaning of a word, thing, artefact or action that is inherited and produced through decades or centuries – put simply, this is what we learn a word mean, and in turn defines what the thing is. In the middle of these two extremes are the intertextual quotations, being scraps and fragments cut loose of a larger whole and different context, but here operating on their own, while at the same time referring to their origin. As Jennifer Bloomer argues: When I use the word writing in this text […] I do not refer simply to that concept of writing as a mirror or documentation of speech, but to writing as a constructing, nonlinear enterprise that works across culture in networks of signification. This writing, although it makes use of language, is not limited by conventional concepts of language; that is, it does not exist in identity with language.24

The structure and nature of the Tongue of the Dry Cleaner can be seen in line with the deconstructivistic (in the Derridean version25) approach to fragmentation of language and construction of meaning. Furthermore, it also deals with a deconstruction of the dialectic oppositions of everyday language and academic quotations; dictionary entries and creative writing; objective description and the subjective imaginary; formal and casual.

12 Takes on the Dry Cleaner: The journey through the space and production line of the dry cleaner cast the familiar into new possible understandings. It does so through 12 tableaux, chapters or preliminary takes, exploring each conceptual expounds on a potential comprehension that this place could alternatively absorb: PROLOGUE, VITRINE, REPOSITORY, LANGUAGE OF BODY PARTS, CARTOTHEQUE, ENTWINED, SHARED DIRT, UNTRACED, ACCUMULATING AND FORGETTING, CITY AND BODY, NEIGHBOURS, EPILOGUE From these, a series of alternative readings of the dry cleaner arise, which is explained in the coming sections.

25 Jacques Derrida, ‘Linguistics and Grammatology’, in Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).


Another dry cleaner encountered during my journey of Hackney: ’STITCH ‘N’ TIME’ dry cleaner, also providing special tailoring and repairs.

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Re-Construed: The Dry Cleaner as a SocioSpatial Vertex

26 Asger Jorn, ‘Architecture for Life’, Potlatch #15, 1954.

27 Stanley Milgram, ‘The Familiar Stranger: An Aspect of Urban Anonymity’, in The Individual in a Social World: Essays and Experiments, ed. by Thomas Blass, 3rd Revised edition (London: Pinter & Martin Ltd., 2010). 28 Here I address the polynuclear in an urban setting, rather than the suburban version addressed in: Tom Nielsen, ‘Formløs: den moderne bys overskudslandskaber’ (Arkitektskolens Forlag, 2001); Tom Nielsen, ‘The Polymorphic, Multilayered and Networked Urbanised Territory’, Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, 115.2 (2015), 88–104. 29 This will be dealt with in the forthcoming chapter ’Socio-Spatial Laundry Landscapes’.

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Apart from its utilitarian function, the dry cleaner evidently has other functions and practical use echoing Asger Jorn26 and the situationist movement. It is not simply cleaning clothes but is a social vertex: understood as an anchor point between (physical and non-physical) trajectories that is part of the overall structuring of the everyday social topography. Here, people coexist and interact on an informal level, and events unfold, in real time (spatial) and deposits over time (temporal). There is the direct face-to-face encounters with the familiar strangers27 of the neighbourhood that happen in real time. Here, the dry cleaner is part of a larger polynuclear network28 of infraordinary urban vertices (delis, cafés, diners, dwellings, work, leisure, grocery stores, etc.) that structure our everyday trajectories and experiences. The dry cleaner is, opposite the Laundromat29, not a space that you stay, but a place that ‘you pass by’ to pick up or drop off items—and thus could be understood primarily as an appendage of the street, an extension of the public realm. The direct interaction in this place is primarily with the proprietor and perhaps through chance encounters with acquaintances while waiting in line or in the doorway.

Infraordinary Socio-Spatial Interface However, we also engage with the space itself, which could be understood as a physical interface, facilitating indirect encounters with others through objects and material deposits. Deposits over time are the objects, artefacts and/or traces that is witnessing of the existence of other people who occupied the space previously. These deposits hint of the (non-)events that took place, inside the space itself, but more importantly, these deposits often refer to events that took place elsewhere. For instance, the traces and stains on a shirt suggest what happened in the private realm. Conversely, these deposits could also hint at events that have not happened yet but are anticipated by the constellation of elements, such as a wedding dress or suit prepared for events to come. Obviously, in this case, the deposited clothes are the strongest signifiers. A particular suit, a pair of wornout trousers, coloured shirts—all these, some more than others, feed our imagination of other

realities parallel to that of our own: people, events, micro-histories. Perhaps, this is not consciously perceived by most (and may even seem almost delirious), but the scenography of our everyday plays an important role in our perceived societal life-world.

Urban Vitrine: Reading the Neighbourhood This is a place of depositions over time. An accumulation of matter, like sediments washed up ashore, just to be engulfed again by the sea soon after. People deposit their personal belongings, leaving them for full display in a partly public space. A day or more goes by, where the items travels the space of the dry cleaner and the hands of the staff until finally they return to their destined wardrobe, walk-incloset, coat stand or hook somewhere behind locked doors and solid walls. Just to wait for dust and dirt to accumulate and stains to appear yet again.30 The window of the shop front itself can be perceived as an urban vitrine, from where one can read the surrounding neighbourhood like a chart or diagram from the street: similar to museum dioramas displaying historical artefacts. The dry cleaners are implosions of the local neighbourhood—an inward concentration of matter and energy—through the collection of items belonging to the neighbouring inhabitants and could thus be understood as a visual résumé or aesthetic chart of the particular area. The transient nature of the deposited items makes this space constantly transform into new constellations, day by day. It is a repository of private items meticulously lined up in this intermediate space between the public and semi-private realm, to the full display for the by-passers. We only need a quick glance at Atget’s photographs of Parisian shop fronts before realising that these documents are evidence or representations of a specific place and time in history, not only through the shop fronts but also the montage of ordinary objects that it frames. In these photographs, void of people, ‘objects take on an unwonted density, an uncanny presence.’31 The constellations of objects depicted hint of the temporal presence of other people, yet without exposing them directly. In the same way, although harder to see because we are biased by our own habitual experience, the contemporary shop-front windows of dry cleaners with their montage of clothing items tell us something about the location, the people, the gender, the culture,

30 Lunde Nielsen, Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, p. 11.

31 Eugène Atget and Laure Beaumont-Maillet, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1993), p. x.


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Be Smartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; dry cleaner at Beck Road, London, 2014. The corner windows works almost as a museum diorama, displaying ordinary objects. The deteriorating billboard hints that this address is not yet too expensive for operating an locally anchored neighbourhood cleaner.

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32 Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Ophobninger : Moderne Skulpturelle Fænomener, Rævens Sorte Bibliotek, Nr. 67 (Kbh.: Politisk revy, 2005).

and our own contemporary time. This partly unintended accumulation of matter is generated by active and passive actions by several agents32: people handing in their items, the dry cleaner hanging the cleaned items on the continuous row, people picking their items up after a couple of days—or forgetting to pick them up altogether. As such, this phenomenon is simply a by-product of the given practicalities of the dry cleaner and everyday necessities of people. However, it is one of the last remaining places where you encounter people’s private laundry (or items in general) in the public realm of the contemporary city, as will be dealt with in the coming chapter ‘Socio-Spatial Laundering Landscapes’.

Allegory of the City: A Fragmented Totality In many ways, both the dry cleaner and the Tongue of the Dry Cleaner serve as an allegory to the city and architecture. Both are a complex totality of fragments. In an urban perspective, the dry cleaner provides a casual, everyday socio-spatial interface between inhabitants, positioned in the margin of the public and private. This infraordinary space is constantly changing: it remembers and forgets micro-events on an everyday basis - and thus works as a miniature version of the city, which is a continuous process of transformation and reconfiguration by the sum of elements. This repository is situated inside the archive of the city, itself constantly in motion, changing, rewriting and overwriting itself. At some point the dry cleaner and its users will be ruled less important and make way for more extraordinary or monumental buildings. Itself being considered a sort of stain or tint on the fastidious urban fabric, they are only waiting for the right solvent and moment to take care of it. Eventually, it will disappear – but just to reappear somewhere less pretentious. 33 In this process, it is vital to acknowledge the relevance of unheeded spaces like the dry cleaner, not as urban stains or wrinkles that need to be streamlined, but rather as what gives the social dimension of our cities character. Like in Georges Perec’s Life a User’s Manual where the grid refers simultaneously to its centre and to its periphery, this biopsy is both about the dry cleaner itself as well as the city in general:

Museum dioramas, ‘Early Native American Exhibition’, United States National Museum, 1911.

presented as a mere fragment, a tiny piece arbitrarily cropped from an infinitely larger fabric [...] compelling our acknowledgment of a world beyond the frame34 In the chapter that follows, I will zoom out to see the socio-spatial implications of the everyday practice of laundering in a wider historical perspective.

Opposite page: first set of tickets ready to circulate the dry cleaner.

33 Lunde Nielsen, Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, p. 33.

34 Rosalind Krauss, ‘Grids’, October, 9 (1979), 51–64; via Peta Mitchell, ‘Constructing the Architext: Georges Perec’s Life a User’s Manual’, Mosaic : A Journal for the Comparative Study of Literature., 37.1 (2004), 1–16.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban Biopsy: The Dry Cleaner Location: A&Z Dry Cleaners 98 Old Street EC1V 9AY London UK Coordinates: 51°31’29.1”N 0°05’37.1”W Period: 02.2014 - 08.2014 Framework / Probe: Creative writing, photography and Critical Spatial Practice Materials: Ink, paper, book Fabrication Techniques: Writing, photographing and book-binding

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Socio-Spatial Laundry Landscapes1

Cleaning clothes is one of the primal and essential needs of people. This everyday, trivial and hence infraordinary procedure has produced ever-changing socio-spatial landscapes and urban environments. Historically, one can draw a division between washing your clothes yourself and getting someone else to do it for you, producing two parallel realities, which will be explained in the following part of the paper.

1 Based on the journal article: Espen Lunde Nielsen ‘Urban Function of the Infraordinary: Dry Cleaners as Social Vertexes’, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 8 (2016), 57–67

Short Detour on the History of Cleaning Clothes ‘American Odyssey: A Monday Washing, New York City’. The laundry lines become a shared infraordinary spectacle and signify the internal life of the buildings.

The first of these two realities takes its origin in the essential need for water: women washing and drying at the local riverside or near watercourses. This was a public event and often performed as a group. The clothes were dried and dyed by the sun on ‘bleach fields,’ producing spectacular landscapes of people’s personal items. Thereafter, washhouses emerged (by law in France from 1851) that became known as ‘gossip houses’ of the cities, where women would exchange stories, informal reflections, and everyday experiences during the hard labour of washing clothes. In addition to the small and basic backyard washhouses, many modern versions emerged in the UK in partnership with the public baths from the middle of the nineteenth century. Many, like the later Scottish ‘steamies,’ were large, often coalpowered, industrial complexes that served whole neighbourhoods, while remaining social gathering points2. However, the decline of the public washhouse was inevitable due to advances in building, sanitary, and washing technology. With water and heating becoming available in the apartments - or at least within proximity - the laundering gradually moved into the domestic sphere. Yet the cleaned, wet clothes inhabited the clothing lines

2 ‘Washing Pens’, The Glasgow Story <http:// www.theglasgowstory. com> [accessed 6 October 2015]; ‘Remembering Tradition at Wash-Houses’, Evening Chronicle Your Stories and Pictures, 2013 <http://www. chroniclelive.co.uk/ lifestyle/nostalgia/ rememberingtradition-at-washhouses-1450146> [accessed 6 October 2015].

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crisscrossing the semi-public backyards to the full display of the neighbouring inhabitants. The private exposed inside out, the entrails of the apartment dragged out.

Women in a Public Washhouse, Glasgow, 1939

Laundromat in Nørrebro, Copenhagen with its almost homely interior decoration and newspapers left behind, 2014.

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Between 1947 and 1949, the first coinoperated Laundromats and laundrettes emerged in the US and the UK, offering people the latest in affordable and easy, accessible electronic washing technology, and gradually, but efficiently, outmatched the municipals’ washhouses during the ‘60s and ‘70s. However, many of its old users kept the public washhouses (then converted to electric-operated machines) alive up and through the ‘80s because of their social function. The laundromats have, needless to say, gained an almost mythical reputation as a social institution and as a site for chance encounters3. In these spaces, you find - or perhaps rather in past tense found - a wide cross section of people of the neighbourhood, both men and women, bringing their most private items to a public space full of familiar strangers, regulars, and irregulars. However, the advances in living standards caught up with the laundromats themselves: More and more buildings invested in their own well-equipped washing rooms located in the basements - soon followed by each household starting to obtain their own private machinery. In 1984, there were 499 Laundromats in Denmark - in 2008, this was reduced to 103. In 2010, 82% of Danish families owned a washing machine and 53% a tumble dryer. The consequence of the advances in tumble-drying is that the formerly so rich landscapes of laundry lines in the backyards are also disappearing. What started as a public and social event and gathering has ended as a domestic event, hidden away in the darkest corner of our dwellings. Parallel, the option of outsourcing the caretaking of dirty laundry remains - since the emergence of the Roman Empire’s fullery,

3 Edwina Attlee, ‘Strayed Homes: A Reading of Everyday Space’ (Birkbeck, University of London, 2014) <http:// bbktheses.da.ulcc. ac.uk/99/> [accessed 25 September 2015].


4 Miko Flohr, The World of the Fullo: Work, Economy, and Society in Roman Italy (Oxford (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP): OUP Oxford, 2013).

which was a ‘normal element in urban space’4. Around the transition to the twentieth century, washing services were widely commercialised in Denmark, where shopkeepers offered a combination of steam washing and drying - and sometimes chemical dry cleaning and bathing facilities with hot water. In this period, the vitrine-like shop-front windows started to emerge. After the coin-operated laundrettes became economically feasible, many steam laundries either converted to chemical dry cleaners or moved to the outskirts of the city to convert to industrial laundries servicing restaurants, hotels, etc. Today, with the emergence of intelligent services like LaundrAPP in the UK and Washa in DK that offer pick-up and drop-off services, the industrial services might outmatch both the dry cleaners and the laundrettes, removing the practice of laundering from the urban landscape altogether.

Prospect: The Social Topography of the Everyday

5 Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge, 2001), p. 36. 6 Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin, Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition (London ; New York: Routledge, 2001).

The practice of cleaning clothes could be understood as an analogy to the city. The clothes themselves have stains and traces of events. In the process of cleaning, the main task is to get rid of these unwanted traces and bring the item back to its ‘ideal’ state and is thus a process of accumulating and forgetting. It is a system of ordering, which implies two conditions: ‘a set of ordered relations and a contravention of that order’5. Our cities are also becoming more and more ordered: Things are put into well-defined categories and zones. At the same time, there is an on-going splintering and privatisation of space6. The domestication of laundering clothes is just one of many functions that are gradually moving from the public and urban sphere to the private. Furthermore, the boundaries that separate us are becoming ever more solid and impenetrable. In architectural building

Photo collage showing the latest development of laundering technologies and its spatial implications. Top: A coin-operated Laundromat occupies the street corner. Middle: Each building has its laundry in the basement. Bottom: Each household has their own private machines.

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Women at washhouse, Liverpool.

practices, there is a movement toward a higher degree of visual and sonic isolation within one’s own apartment7. At the same time, there is a focus on more and better public spaces in our cities. Hence, there is a strong division between what could be understood as the hyper-public dimension and the hyper-private spaces of our cities. However, in this system, the strict control on which everyday events to expose and which not to expose can be unproductive for the social dimension and the way that we encounter other people on a daily basis. For instance, Attlee8 argues (following Barthes) that at the laundromat we are offered ‘spatial gapes’ of the familiar and private displaced as ‘matter out of place’9. The spatial gapes and ‘glimpses of disorder’ through otherwise strictly policed boundaries provide an intimate snapshot of the lives of other people and an opportunity for mixing socially, physically, or mentally. Dry cleaners, clothing lines, laundromats, etc. are parts of this negotiation and exchange between the private and public realms and could be understood as a sort of infrastructure that connects people through the overlapping trajectories. Hence, it is not only the overall and intentional urban and spatial structures of the city that order our everyday social interaction but also everything in between, many of which are partly unintended. Similar to the collective memory10, the everyday urban topography could be understood as a spatio-material interface for person-toperson interaction and relations, using the architecture as a medium for communicating. Here, Latour’s actor-network theory could lend itself in the sense that ‘human sociality is a sociality that includes material things as well as humans’11. These spatial and material things project life through the signs of action and presence, and, hence, the city is a complex artifice that mediates between the individual life of people and the larger social entity of it— through this constant performance.

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7 Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Hinges of Correlation: Spatial Devices of Social Coexistence’, Journal for Artistic Research, 8 (2015) <http://www. jar-online.net/>.

8 Attlee, p. 64 9 Douglas, p. 36.

10 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994). 11 Niels Albertsen and Bülent Diken, ‘Artworks’ Networks: Field, System or Mediators?’, Theory, Culture & Society, 21.3 (2004), 35–58 (p. 46).


City as Theatre, Museum, Archive—or Hotel Lobby?1

It is not surprising that many performative building analogies have been used when describing the socio-spatial dimension of the city: theatre2, (living) museum3, and archive4. Central to the concept of the theatre is the idea of the play, performance, and choreographed exposure, unfolding itself in real time and faceto-face through architectural archetypes: Buildings are used as a popular stage. They are all divided into innumerable, simultaneously animated theatres. Balcony, courtyard, window, gateway, staircase, roof are at the same time stage and boxes5

Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.

City as Museum. Istanbul Archaeological Museum, 2015.

The museum communicates through its precise constellation of elements and artefacts. This is a strictly curated and more or less static spatial interface of, often, extraordinary deposits and prestigious artefacts that refer to a selective past or future events. In many ways, it is exclusive. The archive, then, is a combination of both the museum and the theatre in its capacity to engage simultaneously with the temporal and the spatial through real-time encounters and deposits over time. It embraces everything in an inclusive way: It records, collects, remembers, and hands-down without much in-between filtering. It is concerned not only with the extraordinary but also with the everyday and its infraordinary non-events. When engaging with the city-as-archive, it is a spatial encounter from which you may only read tiny fragments at a time, signs of the presence of others, but nevertheless points towards the larger entity. The city should remain all of these: simultaneously a theatre, museum, and archive. Its boundaries should remain porous and open, allowing social exchange and projection of life between people, both direct and indirect. However, it seems that the cities are moving in another direction and becoming more and more privatised and domestic and perhaps end up reassembling more the hotel lobby that ‘accommodates all who go there to meet no one’6.

1 Based on the journal article: ‘Urban Function of the Infraordinary: Dry Cleaners as Social Vertexes’, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 8 (2016), 57–67 2 Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis, ‘Naples’, in Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, by E. F. N Jephcott and Peter Demetz (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), pp. 163–73. 3 Calum Storrie, The Delirious Museum: A Journey from the Louvre to Las Vegas (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007). 4 Vyjayanthi Rao, ‘Embracing Urbanism: The City as Archive’, New Literary History, 40.2 (2009), 371–383; Michael Sheringham, ‘Archiving’, in Restless Cities, by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart (London; New York: Verso Books, 2010). 5 Benjamin and Lacis, p. 167.

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C i ty a s T h ea tre, M u s eu m , A rch i ve—or Hotel Lobby ?1

Here, spaces are introvert and in their solemn stillness concerned with not encountering others. But if the chief raison d’être of the city gradually vanishes, being the face-to-face and indirect encounters7, what then is left?: The launderette is a place that has resisted the ever-encroaching commodification and privatization of public space so far. A country without launderettes would be intolerable. It will have succumbed to the cult of frictionless living8

Disordering and Porosity as Strategies for a Re-Calibration of the Socio-Urban Dimension

Archive in Bart’s Pathology Museum, London.

Spatial segregation as facilitator of ‘non-encounters’, as in the hotel lobby in ‘Playtime’ by Jacques Tati. 1967.

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Despite all the obvious benefits of improvements in living standards, sanitation, and washing technology (women empowerment being one of them), there are implications for the social dimension of our urban topography. While we gained something in comfort, we lost something through the domestication and introversion of this practice. Once, one could look out the window and see other inhabitants and people hanging up their laundry—or one could meet at the laundromat or washhouse, engage in a conversation, or simply look at the other people present. On the other hand, because of these technological improvements, one may have more spare time to interact through the formal and traditional public spaces of the city. Hence, it is important to understand dry cleaners - and the other practices of laundering as well as the infraordinary dimension in general -beyond its intentional and practical use. The dry cleaners, laundromats, and washhouses could, each in their own way, be understood as social vertexes, urban nodes9, or anchor points within the urban entity that structures and facilitates our social coexistence, encounters, and interactions with the local familiar strangers, the others, and the larger social

6 Siegfried Kracauer and Thomas Y. Levin, ‘The Hotel Lobby’, in The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 173–88. 7 Anthony Pascal, ‘The Vanishing City’, Urban Studies, 24.6 (1987), 597–603. 8 Edwina Attlee, ‘Long Live the Launderette: Washing Dirty Laundry in Public Is Good for Society’, The Guardian, 3 April 2015 <http:// www.theguardian.com/ commentisfree/2015/ apr/03/long-livelaunderette-washingdirty-laundrylaundrapp> [accessed 25 September 2015].

9 Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1960); Nikos A. Salingaros, ‘Mathematical Theory of the Urban Web’ <http://www.rudi.net/ node/4706> [accessed 21 April 2016].


entity of the city on an informal basis—as equal supplement to the formal, institutional, and traditional public dimension. If our cities are to remain socially sustainable, it urgently calls for a recalibration of current urban development and renewal practices. Instead of creating formal boundaries, the infraordinary spatial dimension can stimulate informal interconnectivity and social cohesion, put forward by many as one of the cornerstones of social sustainability. Through allowing for a higher degree of disordering, urban porosity, and spatial co-authorship in a planning and architectural perspective, we can promote these ‘spatial gapes’ and interfaces for direct and indirect social interactions on an everyday basis between the city dwellers. Instead of striving for an impossible order, allowing for possible disorder10 can allow intermixing between semipublic realms and people and in turn sociospatial cohesion and a truly liveable city.

10 Thomas Sieverts and Morten Daugaard, ‘Fra En Umulig Orden Til En Mulig Uorden’, 2008; Tom Nielsen, Morten Daugaard and Thomas Juel Clemmensen, ‘QUALIFYING URBAN LANDSCAPES’ (presented at the As Found, Copenhagen University, 2010).

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C i ty a s T h ea tre, M u s eu m , A rch i veâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or Hotel Lobby ?1


THE LAMPPOST AND THE CITY THE INFRA- AND EXTRAORDINARY DONE AND UNDONE

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DK US US US

10.2015 -03.2016

As you continue to drift around the streets for a while aimlessly, you pass infinite shopfronts, urban armatures, grand buildings and everyday jetsam. The pavement shift under your feet and you walk past yet another lamppost, without as much as thinking about it. Later, in bed, right before falling asleep, your mind does a fast-rewind, processing the impressions that you accumulated during the day - many of which you hardly noticed. You realise that things may not have been as trivial as they seemed at first.

Derelict barbershop in Detroit: the infraordinary undone.

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Still from short-film. Act. 2: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Inhabitants of the Historical Pavementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

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Still from short-film. Act. 2: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Inhabitants of the Historical Pavementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

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THE LAMPPOST AND THE CITY THE INFRA- AND EXTRAORDINARY DONE AND UNDONE

2 Link supplied in appendix and in technical summary on last page of this chapter.

3 As elaborated in chapter ‘Urban Cartography and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’. 4 Paula Amad, CounterArchive: Film, the Everyday, and Albert Kahn’s Archives de La Plante (Columbia University Press, 2010), p. 299.

This urban biopsy is conducted through a short-film2 that explores the (infra-)ordinary versus the extraordinary collective memory of the built environment: from churches, music halls and boulevards to kiosks and cigarette packs. Throughout the film, the reciprocal relationship between the individual infraordinary memory and the overall collective history of the city is interrogated. If one looks closely, the history writing occurs not only in the grand gestures but also through everyday situations, which lies in direct prolongation of perceiving the city as an archive in constant transformation. The approach in this urban biopsy differs from the others, as it has been a procwess of accumulating fragmented realities in various cities, including Copenhagen, Chicago, Detroit and New York. Hence, in this sense, it incorporates multiple biopsies. This serves as a horizontal contextualisation and backdrop for the other biopsies. The location of the footage is not captioned in the filmessay, but rather produce its own reality. Moving pictures have the potential to produce their own synthesised reality, from a sequence of imagery3. [F]ilm as a counter-archival technology, one capable of recording and reordering the given configuration of social reality, producing a mosaic-like assemblage4

The Paris you loved then Is not the one we love today And we are slowly making our way Towards the one we’ll forget again Topographies! Itenaries! Towns through which we’ve strolled! Memories of timetables of old! The difficulty of memories!’1

1 Queneau’s early poem ‘Amphion’ (1936) quoted in: Raymond Queneau and Rachel Judith Galvin, Hitting the streets, 2013, p. xvi.

Prosthetic Probing I ask that a film discover something for me5 In direct prolongation of the camera as a ‘prosthesis of insight’, as claimed by Frederik Tygstrup6, the camera, in this case, becomes a prosthetic device for experiencing and looking through. Here, reality is framed, captured and represented into an augmented representation, which ties different locations and realities together in a totality, that at the same time is fictitious, yet already in existence. This biopsy applies a less rigid approach: it consists of snapshots, some of which were planned, while other products of chance encounters and being present at a given location for other reasons7. No screenplay was designed beforehand: instead, the plot and subplots emerge from the ‘play of elements’8. The approach was simply to capture fragments which I instantly and intuitively felt contributed to the overall paradox between the infraordinary and extraordinary memory of the city-as-archive, by using the camera to capture that which ‘escape our attention in everyday life’9. Again, Baudelaire’s figure of the rag picker and the montage practice of Benjamin are evoked, ‘systematically unsystematic’10 capturing these fragments while drifting around (globally) as a modern-day flâneur. Hence, it further calls to mind Raymond Queneau’s ‘Hitting the Streets’11 in which he ‘lyricises urban flux’12 of Paris in 155 poems (taking departure in places such as Boulevard Haussmann and incidents as a woman waiting for the bus). All of the material, snapshots and rag picked fragments are animated in the short-film, through a process of assemblage: The material came to life; the parts started to function reciprocally, as if linked by a bloodstream; and as that last, despairing attempt was projected onto the screen, the film was born before our very eyes.13

5 Luis Buñuel quoted in: Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), p. 46. 6 Frederik Tygstrup and Claus Peder Pedersen, ‘Aesthetic GeographyJean-Luc Godards Mapping of Lausanne’, in Cartography, morphology, topology., by Cort Ross Dinesen (Kbh.: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole, 2009). 7 For instance, the snapshots from Chicago were made while attending the conference ‘Spaces & Flows’. 8 Perec discussing ‘Signe particulier néant’, quoted in: Bernard Magné, ‘Georges Perec, Oulibiographer’, trans. by Daniel Levin Becker, Drunken Boat <http:// www.drunkenboat.com/ db8/oulipo/featureoulipo/essays/magne/ oulibio.html> [accessed 9 June 2014]. 9 Kracauer, p. 53.

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Stills from short-film, Act 1: ‘The City as Collective Memory Machine’.

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10 Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction (London u.a.: Routledge, 2010), p. 84. 11 Queneau and Galvin.

5 Acts: The film is arranged in 5 tableaux or acts (related to the structure of Tongue of the Dry Cleaner). In the following section, I will briefly reflect on each of the collocated acts:

THE CITY AS COLLECTIVE MEMORY MACHINE The opening act depicts a postcard view of a city: the overall urban framework of high-rise buildings, grand squares, monuments, institutional buildings, spectacular billboards and name of a train station, which as a spatial compound is constituting the overall narrative and collective memory of the city, each in their different ways. The various buildings signify each their historical time and refer to regimes, kings, people or epochs. The monuments serve as mnemonic devices that withhold specific past events. The street and train station, Hoyt Avenye / Astoria Blvd, could be named after either: An actor, a local politician; a scandal; a baseball pitcher; a fiction writer an economist; or perhaps a once-famous professional wrestler. The fact is unclear, and perhaps unimportant. As Marc Augé points out, the names of the metro stations present a point of convergence between the social/collective and the personal memory14, through private associations connected to it through the private and daily trajectories. Similarly, Benjamin called street names for ‘intoxicating substances’, which can generate what de Certeau calls ‘semantic pathways’15. In this sense, the city is an elaborate compound: a semantic labyrinth (of ‘layer upon layer of archival material’) and an explicit memory machine of deposits over time.

THE INHABITANTS OF THE HISTORICAL PAVEMENT This tableaux presents a framed, long-shot view of a quasi-historical pavement in downtown Chicago and the coming and going of people: some are passing by without paying much attention; for other, this is their daily workplace; and for some an exotic starting point for yet unknown adventures, in a city yet unknown and fresh to them. The pavement will most likely outlast all of them – but while they are here, they ‘set each other in motion’16 and even the most trivial elements of the street

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12 Queneau and Galvin, p. xv. 13 Andrey Tarkovsky, Andrey Tarkovsky: Sculpting in Time : Reflections on the Cinema (London: Bodley Head, 1986), p. 114.

14 Marc Augé and Tom Conley, In the Metro (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002). 15 Michael Sheringham, ‘Archiving’, in Restless Cities, by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart (London; New York: Verso Books, 2010), p. 11.

16 Formulation lend from: Inger Christensen, Susanna Nied and Anne Carson, It (New York: New Directions, 2006).


Stills from short-film, Act 2: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Inhabitants of the Historical Pavementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

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become part of this choreography. The lamppost proves as an urban armature or furniture that attracts occupation, it has a ‘magnetic field around it’17, being the taxi drivers’ favourite point of inhabitation while smoking cigarettes and waiting for customers. It could be considered a social vertex (as the dry cleaner, hot-dog kiosk, and Danish Tabac), although in a miniature and passive version: it marks a structural point at the surface to revolve around. Moreover, the pavement itself consist of a composition of technical elements, such as a fire hydrant, mesh grating (most likely for ventilation) and a yellowpainted zone marked for non-parking, each of which may have functions in addition to its practical use. A fire hydrant provides an excellent spot for tying shoes, for instance. The cast concrete tiles mark off the ground almost as graph paper inbetween which objects and people are suspended, as if under scientific measurement. This act is the longest of the film-essay. Time is dragged out, which make the viewers’ eyes (in the double sense, both the viewer of the film and the observer through the prosthesis) wander across the image as if studying a painting and paying attention to looking. Through this literate way of slowing down perception, which may recall ‘Slow Cinema’ (contemplative cinema) and works by Jarmusch, Tarkovsky, Kaurismäki, Antonioni, Leth, Dogme95, etc. People and objects move in and out of the framed reality, cropped by the camera, before disappearing again to the world beyond.

17 Formulation invented through sketching a voice-over meant for the video, incorporating material from Georges Perec and Inger Christensen. Sketch attached in the end of this chapter.

TRACES OF THE EVERYDAY it is something that awakens an enormous number of associations and interpretations in a purely emotional level, often in a completely enigmatic way; something that never represents an entirety but rather always constitutes a fragment, a piece belonging to a ‘whole’ that can only be reconstructed or imagined [...] structured like archaeological strata...18 The quote above could just as well describe this act, which zooms into the spatio-material deposits that are constantly created and re-created on a daily basis: The jetsam, the insignificant small elements and human artefacts that inhabit the city, consisting of a multitude of overlapping scales. From abstract traces and marks (e.g. bubblegum, inscriptions, motor oil, alterations, etc.) in the pavement and surfaces, which is the visible consequence of our daily actions and wear

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18 Thierry Greub, ‘Cy Twombly’s Inverted Archeology’, in The Essential Cy Twombly, by Nicola Del Roscio and others, 2014.


Stills from short-film, Act 3: ‘Traces of the Everyday’.

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Still from short-film Act. 3: ‘Traces of the Everyday’.

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Still from short-film. Act. 3: ‘Traces of the Everyday’.

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Still from short-film. Act. 3: ‘Traces of the Everyday’.

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and tear, to the shop fronts with their display of everyday artefacts. In the middle of all this, we follow a man, who have seen the urban landscape around him change. ‘Cities change faster than mortals’19, which is evident by the sum of elements presented in the microscopic gaze of this act: the city is nothing but layers of temporal occupation, constantly overwriting each other. Much of the footage stems from Queens, New York – where my academic interest in the infraordinary started20. Here, endeavour fostered questioning by the locals who observed my doings. A young Afro-American man wearing crutches and an elderly white man (unrelated) started to following me and questioning ‘why on earth I photographed all these things?’ from ‘trash of the streets, newspaper stands and the likes’. Suddenly, I felt like a reincarnation of Paul Auster’s enigmatic rag picker in ‘City of Glass’, who to a similar question answered: You see, the world is in fragments, sir. And it is my job to put it back together […] my work now takes place in the realm of the everyday21

EXTRAORDINARY MEMORY RECONSTRUCTED The collective memory of cities is constantly being written, rewritten and constituted spatially by its ruling regime22. Cities ‘need their histories as proof of their dynamism’23 and in order to maintain these, extensive energy is put into conserving it: worn-down stones of churches are replaced with new bespoke ones; scaffolding are put up; ornaments are patched up; concrete is poured; unregarded buildings are removed to make way for more prominent ones. Patch by patch, stone by stone, the overall narrative and collective memory is nourished. Ultimately, the city becomes a collection of picture-perfect postcards of extraordinary narratives.

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19 Rosemary Lloyd, Baudelaire’s World (Cornell University Press, 2002), p. 25

20 Through being the site my thesis-project, ‘Eroding Permanences of the Infraordinary’ (Aarhus, 2012)

21 Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy (Faber & Faber, 2008), p. 76.

22 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994). 23 Sheringham, p. 10.


Stills from short-film, Act 4: ‘Extraordinary Memory Reconstructed’.

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ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR

24 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997).

Space melts like sand running through one’s fingers. Times bears it away and leaves only shapeless threads.24 Yet, even the extraordinary and institutionalised memory can fade away, although set in stone. When it is not longer part of or to any value of a society or a functioning part of the everyday - it falls into oblivion. This act showcases, that the small thing (e.g. the infraordinary jetsam of the street) and the large elements (the monumental/spectacular/ extraordinary) are not much different when all comes to all. Neither are universally constituted. A music hall can decay and crumble away in the same way a pack of cigarettes in the gutter of the street: when it is empty and without function, it is discarded and left to decay. The same goes for the infraordinary and social vertexes of the city: without its inhabitants and daily investment of life, it too fades away. In this act of the film essay, barbershops, houses, streets, music halls stand back as tombs and epitaphs of a past city, of past inhabitants and their everyday life, in itself extraordinary. However, the fiction and narrative of the city may be reconstituted.

The Monuments and the Everyday As the film essay shows, the relation between the grand collective memory of cities and the infraordinary and individual memory by its inhabitants is helplessly bound to each other. The one could not exist without the other. Ideally, the grand narrative of the city resonates with the inhabited and infraordinary dimension. However, the balance between overall, institutionalised structures and the everyday life are intricate. In cities such as Venice, there is are discussion to close the entire inner city centre off, and convert it into a museum, and hence split the everyday (infraordinary) and monumental (extraordinary) topography in two. Almost as anticipated in the poem ‘Urbanisme’ by Raymond Queneau: By means of modern (or future) science and history we could very well relocate the historical monuments and stick them all in the same neighbourhood which we would have previously razed to the ground

258

the way there would be side by side the Eiffel Tower the Sacré-Coeur Saint-Honoré-d’Eylay Sainte-Chapelle the Commercial Court les Deux-Magots Sainte-Clotile the Opera The Ennery museum et cetera Which would avoid tourists throughtless spreading throught the city streets.25

25 Queneau and Galvin, p. 129.

The Archive in Future Tense The city is, at all levels, constantly doing and undoing itself. Godard said, that ‘all cities are fiction’26. This fiction is made and unmade through a dialogue between the extra- and infraordinary. It is related to the House and Memory Machine and Infraordinary Museum proposed in the chapter The Kitchen and the Living Room, yet in a larger scale. Peter Zumthor argues of an architectural materiality that is able to absorb the ‘traces of life’27 is essential - an argument that equally could be applied to the urban dimension and the city as well. In order for the inhabitants to truly inhabit the city, being able to mark it is essential, however banal this may seem. ‘Living means leaving traces’, Benjamin claimed28, accordingly. However, in a Danish context, the spatio-material traces of the past is continuously eradicated. Unlike other cultures, we do not keep spatial relics such as old shop signs, etc. - instead, if it has no pragmatic function, it will be wiped away and evened out. Danish archaeologist Tim Flohr Sørensen argues that, in Denmark, we especially have a problem with the ‘short-term memory’, since we do not value the traces of the not-so-distant past29. These traces - from abandoned cigarette packs, surface traces, gable advertisements for old liquor brands and buildings at large - works as deposits over time, through which the inhabitants coexist through the infraordinary dimension, consciously or unconsciously. Hence, the city-as-archive should not be perceived in a past tense, but rather in the present and future sense, as defined by Rao: …rather than highlight the archive’s capacity to accurately represent a past, [I suggest] we use the notion of archive as a way of navigating the voids of the present, as a practice of intervening into and reading the urban fabrics created by these voids, not for reading the urban fabric as a quilt or a palimpsest of historical forms preserved within the archive [...] The cityas-archive [...] serves as a methodological intervention into the re-creation of everyday relations [...] The city-as-archive works as a tool, re-fashioning our relation to the future.30

26 Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache (Original Title: Lettre À Freddy Buache), 1983.

27 David Leatherbarrow, ‘Materials Matter’, in Architecture Oriented Otherwise (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009) p. 78 28 Walter Benjamin, ‘Paris: The Capital of the Nineteenth Century’, in Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism (London: NLB, 1973) p. 84 29 Outlining an upcoming cross-disciplinary research project on ‘Ruin-phobia’ in: ‘Er vi Danskere Bange for Ruiner?’ <http://politiken.dk/ magasinet/premium/ ECE3362193/er-vidanskere-bange-forruiner/> [accessed 21 November 2016]

30 Vyjayanthi Rao, ‘Embracing Urbanism: The City as Archive’, New Literary History, 40.2 (2009), 371–383 (pp. 381–82).


Stills from short-film, Act 5: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;All that is Solid Melts into Airâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

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A former grand theatre of Detroit undone and disintegrating .

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[ Sketch for voice-over ] THE CITY AS COLLECTIVE MEMORY MACHINE The city remembers. Makes you remember. Presidents, Kings, Queens, Capital, Events. HOYT A street named after: An actor A local politician A scandal A baseball pitcher A fiction writer An economist Or perhaps a professional wrestler â&#x20AC;Ś THE INHABITANTS OF THE HISTORICAL PAVEMENT Curtain call. Footfall. Somewhere. Anywhere. How many traversed this pavement, entered this frame? From somewhere to here. To somewhere else. Nowhere. Anywhere. There. Here, for a short while. Perhaps again tomorrow or the day after.

We navigate it. Leaving Waiting Passing Criss-Crossing Strutting Running Circulating Arriving From somewhere to here.

262


The street of the two cab drivers. A cigarette. A fresh breathe of air. The lamppost. It has a magnetic field around it. They all become part of the landscape. For a while. TRACES OF THE EVERYDAY Footfall. In a way, The city is a canvas upon which we are all inscribed. Remembering, in an odd way. Our daily passages Non-events Doings All that crumbles into pieces The history of man-kind inscribed in the lit of a coffee cup. Like figures inside a dome of a church. We remember. But how will the city remember us? (Perhaps this is me) Passing through. An ephemeral landscape. Destined to fade away.

All of us that doesn’t have a street named after us, But call the street by a friend’s name, who used to live there.

EXTRAORDINARY MEMORY RECONSTRUCED The city is fiction. We

Perhaps.

stabilize conserve preserve add adjust move transfer stiffen reinforce stretch stir up hide delete forget Each piece is meticulously placed. Like letters on a page. Until the sum of it makes sense. Some sense. The right sense. And the city becomes a collection of postcards.

ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR

All that is solid Melts into air

What used to be a given fact. Solid. Immobile. Crumbles away like a discarded pack of cigarettes “Space melts like sand running through one's fingers. Times bears it away and leaves only shapeless threads.” They remain As unlikely monuments Tombs preserving all the conversations, meetings, dreaming. The engraved epitaph. It is unlikely. From these scraps Another city Another fiction will overwrite the old. Like so many did already.

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Monolith: A facade done and undone.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban biopsy: The Lamppost and the City Location: Copenhagen, DK Chicago, US Detroit, US Queens, NY, US Coordinates: 55°40’33.3”N 12°34’07.6”E 41°52’18.7”N 87°37’29.2”W 40°45’48.5”N 73°55’27.1”W 42°22’46.2”N 83°03’48.5”W Period: 10.2015 - 03.2016 Framework(s) / Probe(s): Accumulative practice through camera (framework of perception) Fabrication Techniques: Video montage Video: https://vimeo.com/151373440

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5 6 °0 9 ’ 39. 6” N 1 0 °1 1’00 . 4” E

THE HOT-DOG KIOSK

T H E HOT- D O G K I O S K

FOOTFALL

A A RHU S, D K 0 1. 2 0 1 5 -06.2016

A busy intersection divides the neighbourhood into four slices: a churchyard, a university, and two residential areas. In the middle of it stands a small make-shift structure: glass-façades towards the streets, a sign hovering on top, tightly anchored to the lamppost and a pleasant smell emerging from the sliding doors. You decide to pause for a quick bite. As you enter, a spotlight illuminates your shoes and the other customers, leaning against the high desk, turn their heads towards you. Mildly confused, you order your meal. In turn, you receive a receipt of the transaction: “Sorry, you must be mistaken!”, you exclaim, “...Who is this?”

Thermal receipt bulletin.

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Her tages fotografier. I forbindelse med et PhD-projekt på Arkitektskolen Aarhus, bedes om lov til at tage fotografier af jeres fødder. Dette for at vise Dittens Fast Food’s mangfoldige liv og derved vigtigheden af denne type upåagtede rum i vores byer. Skoene illustrerer på indirekte vis hvilke rigdom af forskellige mennesker der besøger dette sted i løbet af en helt almindelig dag. De indfangede billeder kan løbende ses på Infraordinary.dk. Samtidig opfordres brugerne til at udprinte og tage en andens sko med hjem, ved at trykke på kvitteringsmaskinen ved kassen. Projektet udføres i tråd med de vejledende regler om tv-overvågning udarbejdet af Justitsministeriet og Datatilsynet. Tak for jeres forståelse og medvirken i dette forskningsprojekt!

Ved eventuelle spørgsmål, kontakt mig gerne: Espen Lunde Nielsen, Arkitektskolen Aarhus, eln@aarch.dk

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1 4 3 I M AG ES A B O U T 4 2 U N I Q U E PA I R O F F E E T ( + 4 T H AT W E N T U N CA P T U R E D)

D I T T E N FAST FO O D V i bo rg ve j 3 6 , 8 0 0 0 A a r h u s C

1 4 3 I M AG ES A B O U T 4 2 U N I Q U E PA I R O F F E E T ( + 4 T H AT W E N T U N CA P T U R E D)

FOOTFALL AT DITTEN FAST FOOD

03/05-2016

D I T T E N FAST FO O D V i bo rg ve j 3 6 , 8 0 0 0 A a r h u s C

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11:56:20 11:57:16 03/05-2016

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are here together, having a bite before returning to workâ&#x20AC;?

Two workmen, eating lunch in a calm manor while reading the gossip magazines and newspapers at the desk.

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4


11:56 :20

11:57:16

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5


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

12:13:50 03/05-2016

“I don’t know if I am a regular as such. But, when I am working in this neighbourhood I occasionally stop by here to buy lunch”

Another workman heading back to work after a quick bite and hanging out at the desk.

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6


12:13:50

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12:20:25 12:21:05 03/05-2016

unknow man, wearing practical shoes and loose pants. Perhaps a workman. Or perhaps not.

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8


12:20 :25

12:21:06

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

12:21:23 03/05-2016

Unknown customer.

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10


12:21:23

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11


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12:23:15 03/05-2016

Unknown item.

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12


12:23:15

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12:44:42 12:52:44 03/05-2016

“Yes, my shoes are quite special. I just polished them, actually. I came all the way from Copenhagen. Why I am here? I don’t know why she decided that it should be here, specifically. I guess she was born here or had some family relations, perhaps. Oh, pardon me: a funeral it was - just on the other side of the road... After a hotdog we are heading back home again.”

A man in his late twenties or thirties accompanying two young women. Supposedly for their grandmother or relatives funeral at Vestre Kirkegaard at the other side of the intersection.

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14


12:4 4:42

12:48 :07

12:52:4 4

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

12:57:49 03/05-2016

Unknown man. Either arrived from close proximity or from far away by car, judging from the comfortable sandals.

282

16


12:57:49

283

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12:59:02 03/05-2016

Someone prone to stand still.

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18


12:59 :02

285

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13:02:56 03/05-2016

A painter in her working outfit visiting to grab some take-away for herself and perhaps a colleague or two.

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20


13:02:56

287

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13:37:40 13:56:03 03/05-2016

1 3 : 3 7: 4 0

1 3 :4 4 :2 4

13:38:40

1 3 :3 8 :3 1

13:39:29

1 3 :5 0 :1 5

A man enjoying his lunch. The non-event lasted about 19 minutes and 37 seconds, according to the time-stamps of the captured images.

288

22


13:53:33

13:54:28

13:56:03

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23


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

14:30:15 03/05-2016

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a backache, but these shoes are really comfortable. I have a special sole in them too... â&#x20AC;&#x153;

Someone in ergonomic shoes.

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24


14:30 :15

291

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14:37:09 03/05-2016

Unknown customer. Yet another nike skoe.

292

26


14:37:09

293

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15:01:52 03/05-2016

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I bought these shoes during a holiday in Mallorca... I really like Mallorca. And summer holidays. But the weather is good here today, as-well!â&#x20AC;?

A middle-aged women

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28


15:01:52

295

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15:43:02 15:44:21 03/05-2016

â&#x20AC;&#x153;If I knew, that I was going to have my picture taken, I would have cleaned my shoes. Polished a bit. Or perhaps put on some nicer ones altogether. You think they are OK? Thank you, it is always nice with a compliment...â&#x20AC;?

An older man. According to himself not wearing his best shoes.

296

30


15:43:02

15:4 4:21

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15:48:38 15:50:28 03/05-2016

Nike shoe.

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32

A young man. Yet another


15:48 :38

15:50 :28

299

33


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

15:52:05 03/05-2016

A man in his fifties or sixties, stopping by for a in-between meal during his cycling exercise. Dressed in tight cycle outfit and an aerodynamic helmet.

300

34


15:52:05

301

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

15:54:21 03/05-2016

Unknown customer.

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36


15:54:21

303

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16:10:20 16:14:23 03/05-2016

Three young women (perhaps in their early twenties, or younger). Doing some studies together at Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences on the other side of the intersection. Goes here as a sort of delaying tactics.

304

38


16 :10 :20

16 :11:19

16 :14:23

305

39


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

16:40:33 03/05-2016

16:41:25

Unknown.

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40


16 :40 :33

16 :41:25

307

41


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

17:12:32 03/05-2016

Unknown customer.

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42


17:12:32

309

43


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

17:29:59 03/05-2016

Middle-aged women.

310

44


17:29 :59

311

45


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

17:46:47 03/05-2016

Man in practical shoes.

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46


17:46 :47

313

47


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

17:51:29 03/05-2016

Unknown person. Black Lacoste shoes: “Life is a beautiful sport”

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48


17:51:29

315

49


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

18:02:22 03/05-2016

â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, I am not really travelling somewhere. I just carry my stuff in a trolley bag, thats it.â&#x20AC;?

bag.

316

50

Woman arriving with a trolley


18 :02:22

317

51


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

18:21:58 18:23:30 03/05-2016

Unknown customer. New Balance shoes.

318

52


18 :21:58

18 :23:30

319

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

18:25:54 18:29:57 03/05-2016

“As you see, my feet are extremely small. About size 41! Quite extreme. On top of that I am very flatfoot. They are completely flat, no arch at all. I really like this type of shoe, though - I must have about 7 different pairs at home. Cheers.”

Unknown customer wearing Adidas shoes at Ditten Fast Food.

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54


18 :25:54

18 :28 :50

18 :29 :57

321

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

18:46:23 03/05-2016

19:00:56

“I really like this experiment and the shoes... Hey, you - you have beautiful and colorful red shoes. You should participate in this experiment: he is collecting shoes! / “I am not going to participate in no bloody experiment right now, god-dammit!”

One middle-aged women addressing another. The later clearly sceptical of the distortion of everyday life due to the installed probe.

322

56


18 :46 :23

19 :00 :56

323

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:21:27 03/05-2016

Unknown man.

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19 :21:27

325

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19:25:58 19:32:02 03/05-2016

Unknown customer with hole in the Vans shoe.

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19 :25:58

19 :26 :51

19 :32:02

327

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:30:55 03/05-2016

A man in suit.

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19 :30 :55

329

63


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:35:22 03/05-2016

Unknown customer.

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64


19 :35:22

331

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:36:20 03/05-2016

“[Ditten Fast Food] is just on the way back from work, so I stop by when I don’t want to cook myself. As today when I work a bit late. It happens once in a while, I must admit.”

Woman in her late twenties. Perhaps thirties.

332

66


19 :36 :20

333

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:40:13 19:46:22 03/05-2016

Unknown man. Note the organic traces that he leaves behind, due to his focus on consuming the gossip magazine.

334

68


19 :40 :13

19 :42:38

19 :46 :22

335

69


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:49:55 03/05-2016

19:50:41

thirties.

336

70

Two men, perhaps in their


19 :49 :55

19 :50 :41

337

71


T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

19:55:28 03/05-2016

“Today’s footfall was not as good as yesterdays... Normally there are more customers. Now I am heading home to cook Vietnamese dinner for my family...” [The telephone rings and a late order comes in: two burger menus. She switches on the deep fryer and stove again.] “Yes. OK - It is ready for you in about 10 minutes”

The proprietor of Ditten Fast Food, Thiep. All day she was wearing flipflops, but changed shoes for the photograph (due to a hole in the sock through which a toe appeared). She only goes to this side of the desk when opening and closing the shop.

338

72


19 :55:28

339

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T HE HOT- DOG KI OS K

11:42:43 20:01:36 03/05-2016

1 1: 4 2 : 4 3

125201

1 2 : 2 7: 4 8

1 4 :0 7:5 7

1 2 : 4 1: 0 0

1 5 :1 2 :0 6

Myself captured during the day. Calibrating the camera probe.

340

74


1 6 : 0 6 :1 9

1 7: 0 3 : 3 5

2 0 : 0 1: 3 6

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75


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THE HOT-DOG KIOSK FOOTFALL1

1 This chapter is partly based on Espen Lunde Nielsen, ‘Probing and Occupying the Hot Dog-Kiosk: Another Glance. Bypassing the Usual Hierarchies of Perception through Making.’, Making Research I Researching Making, 2015, 380–88.

3 Stanley Milgram, ‘The Familiar Stranger: An Aspect of Urban Anonymity’, in The Individual in a Social World: Essays and Experiments, ed. by Thomas Blass, 3rd Revised edition (London: Pinter & Martin Ltd., 2010).

This urban biopsy explores the oftenunregarded function of the classic Danish ‘hot-dog kiosk’, currently disappearing due to processes of gentrification. The hot-dog kiosk is a hybrid typology between the mobile hot dog stand, which emerged around at the streets in the 1920’ies, and the much more recent and fixed grill bar. Despite its unassuming appearance, it is a vital place for everyday social interaction and coexistence on an informal basis. Its architecture (often referred to as ‘undesigned’) is, in fact, a composition of spatial situations and artefacts, which has functions besides their utilitarian one: through events in real-time and deposits over time it articulates relationships and creates a sense of collective being. It mediates social interactions between familiar strangers3 of the neighbourhood dropping by for a quick meal and, perhaps, a small conversation with the proprietor or other customers – or just to read the daily paper by themselves, while monitoring the life of the street. Unlike many of the modern cafés around, it presents a rich diversity of people. However, this typology is expelled by processes of gentrification and is not included in new urban areas, since its social function is not fully appreciated or acknowledged by most planners, politicians and decision-makers.

Footfall The proprietor of Grill-House at Vesterbro Torv, Aarhus - where the urban biopsy was initially going to be conducted - claimed, that you could see this diversity of the hot-dog kiosk by the shoes that entered: workers boots, patent leather shoes, high heels, sneakers, etc. His statement later lends itself to the nature of the actual probe, which started as an enquiry into who (and what shoes) occupied the modern-day hot-dog kiosk. The term footfall is often used in retail

Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.2

management as the counting of people who enters and circulates through a given shop. Also, in the field of urban planning, practices such as Gehl Architects often performs extensively counts of people in streets and plazas to determine their success4. Conversely, this biopsy engages differently with the footfall of the hot-dog kiosk, not in statistical terms, but as actual aesthetic signifiers of difference and diversity, through the situated critical practice.

2 T. S Eliot, Four Quartets (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1943).

4 In a few occasions, as a young student I worked for Jan Gehl counting footfall in the streets of Horsens, Denmark.

Two-fold Critical Spatial Practice The probes of this urban biopsy are a two-fold spatial installation: one that inhabits a hot-dog kiosk in Aarhus and another located at an exhibition space5. Here a dialectical relationship between 1) a situated probe and 2) a representational instrument are developed in parallel:

1) Situated Probe(s) at the Hot-Dog Kiosk At the kiosk the situated probe(s) frames and captures the occupation. It favours the partial and constrained gaze, by photographing only the shoes of the users coming there. Thus it not only applies to and circumvents the current legislation on surveillance6 but also engages with imagination rather than giving the full account. The shoes become signifiers of the diversity, as an alternative to portraits. The photographs are triggered by motion (PIR sensor) and automatically sent to an online server through the cellular network, which processes and stores everything in a database. Whenever food is handed over the desk a printed-out thermal receipt accompanies it – although in this case, it is not a pragmatic account of items bought, price and tax level, but instead includes a photograph of someone else’s shoe, which occupied the hot-dog kiosk previously,

5 ‘Engaging Through Architecture’ (Aarhus School of Architecture), Ventura Lambrate, Milano, April 2015. And: ‘Infraordinary Deposits’, FORSK#3, Aarhus School of Architecture, Aarhus, April – June 2016. 6 Datatilsynet and Justitsministeriet, ‘TVOVERVÅGNING’, Datatilsynet.dk, 2016 <http://www. datatilsynet.dk/ fileadmin/user_upload/ dokumenter/ Publikationer/Pjece_ om_tv-overvaagning. pdf> [accessed 31 March 2016]

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Setup of situated camera probe at Ditten Fast Food.

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Ditten Fast Food, exterior


The cooking station and menu of Ditten Fast Food.

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alongside a text fragment. This develops the latent relations between people, stage encounters and re-introduces the space to its users and thus spurs a public discussion on the subject.

2) Re-Choreographing the Infraordinary Elsewhere, in an exhibition space the ‘Archiving Instrument’ stages the occupation in real-time, offering a framed and re-composed view of this seemingly banal space through a strictly curated set of elements: the main element being a continuous roll of thermal paper onto which the photographs are printed in real-time in-between historical images, quotes, statements and statistical facts. Simultaneously, it works as a piece of communication/dissemination and a device for archiving and collecting the fragments of occupation captured from day to day - and infinitely piling it up on the floor. Here, the longue durée and the ephemeral daily occupation are counterposed and mixed together into a continuous bulletin. Also, the archiving instrument incorporates a miniature ketchup dispenser and a speaker that initially played sounds from the hot dog kiosk.

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A Day at ‘Ditten Fast Food’ On a full ordinary day (the 3rd of May, 2016, in the opening hours from 11:00 - 20:00) the hot-dog kiosk casts a diverse range of users, as showcased in the booklet positioned at the beginning of this chapter. It can be summarised in a list accordingly: 11:56: Two workmen. 12:13: Another workman. 12:20: A man wearing practical shoes. 12:21: Another man wearing black shoes. 12:44: A man in his late twenties, accompanied by two young women. 12:57: A man wearing sandals. 12:59: A man in leather shoes. 13:02: A painter in her working outfit. 13:37: A man enjoying his lunch. Leaves the sight of the camera at 13:56. 14:30: Someone with a backache. 14:37: Yet another customer wearing Nike shoes. 15:01: A middle-aged woman 15:43: An older man. Not wearing his best shoes (according to himself). 15:48: A younger man. 15:52: A man in his fifties or sixties wearing aerodynamic cycle outfit. 15:54: Unknown customer in practical shoes. 16:10: Three young women. 16:40: Unknown customer. In shoes with a solid sole. 17:12: Unknown customer, with white rubber soles. 17:29: Middle-aged woman. 17:46: Man in practical shoes. 17:51: Wearing black Lacoste shoes. 18:02: Woman arriving with trolley bag. 18:21: New Balance shoes. 18:25: Man wearing a pair of his large fleet of Adidas shoes. 18:46: A middle-aged woman. 19:00: Another middle-aged woman in red Hilfiger shoes. 19:21: A man in heavy shoes, 19:25: Red Vans shoes. 19:30: A well-dressed man. 19:35: Someone in hiking shoes (?) 19:36: Woman in her late twenties. Perhaps thirties. 19:40: Man leaving traces on the floor while reading the gossip magazines. 19:49: Two men, perhaps in their thirties. One of them bare-feet inside sandals. 19:55: The proprietor herself. They came from a multitude of directions, performing different errands and represented a wide range of ages and social segments. Some came by directly from a funeral service across the street. Others took a pause from the studies at


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Material conglomerate: Thermal paper, copper pipe, aluminium pipe, hard cherry wood (cnc), aluminium (waterjet), solenoid valve, Miniature dispencer (3d-print), misc. electronics.

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Archiving Instrument, in operation at Exhibition.

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the university on the other side of the road. Some worked on an everyday basis in the area, while others simply happened to be in the area (as the painters and workmen). For other, it simply lies conveniently on the route back home, or in close proximity to it.

Vanishing Before One’s Eyes: The Challenge of Situated Research

7 Although, according to Steff-Houlberg/Tulip, in 2016 there is an increase in the hot-dog sales.

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The urban biopsy was in the beginning meant to be conducted elsewhere, specifically at GrillHouse at Vesterbro Torv in Aarhus. However, during the lengthy process of developing the probes of this biopsy, the situation changed, as the proprietor in August 2015 decided to sell his kiosk on short notice. A few months after, it closed for good, as the supermarket across the street outmatched them with hot-dogs below markedprice. The supermarket has during the last decade not only absorbed the newspaper agent, Danish tabac-kiosk and postal office - but now also the hot-dog kiosk into its all-encompassing servicecosmos under one roof, leaving nothing for the street. This proves the challenge of working with situated research and a reality that is continuously in flux. Instead, Ditten Fast Food at Viborgvej, Aarhus, was selected as the urban biopsy, due to its resemblances and similarities with the other: being personally-run, incorporating casual aesthetics and having a make-shift character inbetween mobile stand and actual building. In general, the hot-dog kiosks and Danish ‘pølsevogne’ are disappearing due to processes of gentrification as it is often considered lower-class by the municipality, who operates on an overall macro-level and does, most often, not appreciate their social function. In newly established urban neighbourhoods, areas for hot-dog kiosks are not included, and elsewhere the municipalities close the existing stalls down one-by-one. Rightly, it should be mentioned that the hot-dog’s reputation as unhealthy fast food during the last decades does not help either7. However, it is a paradox that in a time where several street-food halls are emerging in the larger cities, the true street-food stalls are being removed from the streets. In a time where the quality of social life in the urban realm is stressed, it seems counter-productive.


The proprietor of ‘Grill-House’ and early collaborator, Qmars.

Planned site of urban biopsy, ‘Grill-House’, before it was sold and ultimately closed down, making it unavailable. 2015.

Setup at ‘Engaging Through Architecture’ in Milano, April 2015. 1st version of the Archiving Instrument. Note the display rack, which was later abandoned.

First prototype and test-run of camera mounted under trash-bin at GrillHouse.

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Two Configurations Emerging from Failure Before proceeding, I would shortly explain how this biopsy and two-fold probe came into being, since it may not seem obvious. The Archiving Instrument exhibited at the ‘Engaging Through Architecture’-exhibition in Milan and the version that was displayed one year later worked in two different configurations. In Milan, the prototype for the situated camera probe at the hot-dog kiosk failed: Shortly after installing it, a young family with a dog (according to the proprietor) bumped into the camera probe and it fell to the ground and short-circuited, which left the camera module inactive and useless. The prototype was evidently not robust enough for the semi-brute setting. At then, already in Milan to set up the Archiving Instrument, a different strategy needed to be instantly invented, since there were no incoming photographs of shoes – and at that time, this was the primary data to emerge on the continuous bulletin of the installation at the exhibition. Therefore, building on the opposition of coded messages and structure of the earlier biopsy and framework of perception Tongue of the Dry Cleaner, a new approach was adopted: historical imagery, quotes and facts were continuously printed out and put into new constellations. This ‘failure’ proved as a productive and inventive potential, and the later version of the Archiving Instrument included these invented layers, and counter-posed these with the real-time, temporal photographs of shoes occupying the hot-dog kiosk.

The Eroding Moment In my own as well as the practices of Georges Perec and Eugene Atget there is a focus on retaining something about to disappear or change, being the urban structure, disappearing typologies or the ephemeral moment. As put in the closing sentences of Species of Spaces:

8 Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 92.

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To write: to try meticulously to retain something, to cause something to survive; to wrest a few precise scraps from the void as it grows, to leave somewhere a furrow, a trace, a mark or a few signs.8 Perec’s project was conducted during a weekend in October 1974, where Atget’s project lasted for more than two decades from the turn of the 20th century. Both are temporal inventories

and documents in their own right: Perec presented a record of a dense cluster of eroding moments, where Atget gave us a decade-spanning sequential imagery that can be cross-read. This is both a question of methodological aim and technique (for instance, the cumbersome process of photography at the time). According to Barthes, photography attests to our mortality9 and something ‘that has been’. Hence, already embedded in the photographs from the hot-dog kiosk lies a temporality and transitoriness. What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.10

9 Roland. Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981).

10 Barthes, p. 4.

However, these more than merely consolidates the past tense, but rather, they envision new beginnings, as I will explain in the coming sections as well as the closing chapter of this dissertation.

Exhaustive Accumulative Practice The extensive collection of photographs captured at the hot-dog kiosk mirrors Perec’s attempt to ‘exhaust’ a place in Paris through his all-embracing view from various temporal positions at Place Saint-Sulpice11. Also, it relates to the French photographer Eugene Atget’s claim that he ‘possess all of Paris’ through his more than 20.000 images12. The possibility of ‘possessing’ or ‘exhausting’ a place can be contested, and both are, obviously, ultimately impossible. However, these repetitive representations of reality question the idea of one universal representation of a place, space or activity. Both favours a totality made up of a multitude of representations from a situated perspective (being respectively Parisian streets and cafés). Perec’s endeavour is to write down ‘what happens when nothing happens’ meaning the repetitive non-events that normally would seem too trivial to pay attention to. However, when paying attention, rather than being characterised by sameness, ‘a world of infinite difference’13 becomes visible. In mathematical and diagrammatic terms, events can be reduced to the number of similar incidents (as when counting people/footfall in the kiosk or on the street). But ultimately, no events are the same, although having a resemblance with each other - and Deleuze goes even further and discuss the impossibility of repetition14. Instead of focusing

11 Georges Perec, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, trans. by Marc Lowenthal (Cambridge, Mass.; New York: Wakefield Press ; D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers [distributor], 2010). 12 Eugène Atget and Laure Beaumont-Maillet, Atget’s Paris (London: Thames and Hudson, 1993). 13 Michael Sheringham, Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 255. 14 Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (Columbia University Press, 1994).


Petite boutique, square du Bon Marché, Eugene Atget, 1912.

Kiosque à journaux, square du Bon Marché, Eugene Atget, 1910-1912.

Excerpt from Perec’s ‘An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris’

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my bedroom, camera obscura at night. Superimposition of inside and outside world.

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Pile produced by Archiving Instrument during exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Infraordinary Depositsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, with incoming data/photographs from people occupying Ditten Fast Food.

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DESPITE ITS UNASSUMING APPEARANCE,THE GRILL BAR IS A VITAL PLACE FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION AND COEXISTENCE ON AN INFORMAL BASIS.

“Why does no-one tell these stories, before all who can remember them are gone?”

THESE ARE TIGHTLY INTERTWINED WITH THE SURROUNDING NEIGHBOURHOOD.

“I once tried to install an automatic doorbell. However, not only did it capture the comings and goings of the grill bar entrance, but also of the street”

1937: AFTER YEARS OF POLITICAL RESISTANCE THE FIRST HOT DOG STAND OPENED IN AARHUS.

THESE SPACES ARE WORN HALFINVISIBLE BY DAILY USE.

FIRST THE HOT DOG SELLER INVENTED A SPACE TO PROTECT HIM FROM THE ELEMENTS. LATER HE EXPANDED TO ALSO SHELTER HIS CUSTOMERS.

THROUGH EVENTS IN REAL-TIME AND DEPOSITIONS OVER TIME THE GRILL BAR ARTICULATES RELATIONSHIPS, REMEMBERS AND CREATES A SENSE OF COLLECTIVE BEING.

AROUND THERE PEOPLE GATHER FOR A QUICK MEAL AND INFORMAL CONVERSATIONS.

“I empty this trash bin more often than the other. I think it is the gaze of the intersecting street that attracts people to this very corner”

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“Back in the days, the conversations and arguments were loud and many.”


“The grill bar owner has, alongside the bartender, hair dresser and cab drivers, obtained an intimate relationship to the customers. Here great and small problems are discussed on an informal level, during the course of the meal”

AREAS FOR STREET SELLERS WERE MARKED WITH A NAIL IN THE PAVEMENT AS THE ONLY PERMANENT MARK.

THE HOT DOG STANDS DATES BACK TO 1921 IN COPENHAGEN.

“The permanent sausage kiosks and grill bars have forever laid up, as ships pulled ashore”

“There have been written long books on kings, emperors, finance men and their empires. But when it comes to the more humble everyday history of the shopkeepers, the publications becomes few.”

ONCE, THEY WERE CONSTANTLY TRAVERSING THE STREETS - MARKING THE CITY WITH THEIR PLEASANT ODOUR.

“Today at 1 PM, a weird looking parade set out on a journey up the main street: 6 cars with red undercarriage, white body and steaming chimney through the roof. The citizens paused, sucked in the scent and said: Sausage?”

“The hot dog seller, his stand and his assortment are a gathering point for high and low”

THE RECEIPT: THE PHYSICAL TOKEN OF AN EVENT OR EXCHANGE.

“Today, almost all Danish cities have a hot dog kiosk or grill bar. But it hasn’t been without a battle that this became the most visited restaurant-type”

Excerpt from Archiving Instrument’s historical images, statements, facts and quotations.

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15 Mette Sandbye, ‘Avantgarde, Hverdagsliv Og Fotografisk Realisme’, in Virkelighed, Virkelighed! - Avantgardens Realisme Antologi. (Tiderne Skifter, 2003), p. 191.

16 Explained in chapter ’Microscopic Gazes’, p. 38. 17 Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977), p. 69. 18 As briefly described in the chapter ’Perec’s Frameworks of Perception’. 19 G Adair, ‘THE ELEVENTH DAY: PEREC AND THE INFRA-ORDINARY’, The Review of Contemporary Fiction: Spring 2009: Georges Perec Issue, 29.1 (2009), 176–88 20 Barthes, p. 15.

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on resemblance and formal categorising, the objective of the photographs of shoes is on its embedded difference, based on visual aesthetics. If no events can be considered the same, also no representation can stand-in for each other. In turn, the choice of what to represent, and what not to, becomes critical. The artist Hans-Peter Feldmann’s serial photographs of what may be considered trivially as ‘shoes’ (or in other cases ‘strawberries’, ‘slices of bread’ or the act of washing windows) reveal the inherent diversity and difference of each element, despite their overall resemblance. In the serial representation, the familiar objects undergo a ‘distanced neutralisation’15 that expose details that before went unnoticed. The sequence of photographs in this biopsy renders the habitual existence and daily practices at the hotdog-kiosk almost absurd and surreal.

(Mechanically) Restricted Gaze At the hot-dog kiosk, everything that enters the field of view of the motion sensor of the camera (guided by the ‘PIR-focuser’ on top of the camera) is automatically recorded by the situated probe - continually accumulating what ‘happens when nothing happens’: the micro-events of occupying the space. This ‘microscopic’ and restricted gaze both echoes Dalí’s exercise to describe everything that entered a 25x25 cm square in Paris16. Also, it is akin to Perec’s perceived ‘slices of the world’17, restricted by his field of vision from Parisian cafés in ‘An Attempt’18, where Perec himself absorbs the constraints similar to those of a camera19. Similar to these constraints, the restricted gaze of the camera probe is bound to act following the coding, electronic components, optical and mechanical features. Hence, it operates strictly from a determinate set of precise criteria over a given period and excerpting a fragment asserting for a larger whole. As such, it is a chrono-sequential transcriber (a sort of seismic instrument), inextricably bound to the spatio-temporal aspect, and thus may resemble Barthes’ ‘clocks for seeing’: For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches—and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood. 20

The result is a multi-perspectival representation composed by the (potentially infinite) sum of fragments, which lies in direct prolongation of the endeavour of the Peephole Camera. The continuous bulletin of the Archiving Instrument records these non-events in a linear sequence that, in principle, can go on infinitely. Events which are, perhaps, otherwise unrelated beside their spatio-temporal occupation of the same spot in the hot-dog kiosk.

Photography as ‘Humble Servant’? It’s time for [photography] to return to its true duty, which is to be servant of the sciences and arts – but the very humble servant, like printing or shorthand, which have neither created nor supplemented literature. Let it hasten to enrich the tourist’s album and restore to his eye the precision which his memory may lack; let it adorn the naturalist’s library, and enlarge microscopic animals; let it even provide information to corroborate the astronomer’s hypotheses; in short, let it be the secretary and clerk of whoever needs an absolute factual exactitude in his profession—up to that point nothing could be better. Let it rescue from oblivion those tumbling ruins, those books, prints and manuscripts which time is devouring, precious things whose form is dissolving and which demand a place in the archives of our memory...21 When using a tool, device or technique in a research endeavour, it is crucial to question how this impacts on and relates to the subject matter. The camera sensor used (OV2640) with the cellular module (SIM5218 chipset22) was limited to a 2MP resolution, which is rather low in modern-day photography.23 When initially consulting the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University, the ‘solution’ to the capturing of photographs in the hot-dog kiosk was straightforward: setting up a WIFI-connected laptop that controlled a DSLR and the thermal printer in order to make the experiment less time-consuming and the images with the best (highest) possible resolution. However, I did not opt for this for several reasons: First of all, it would be too invasive to install such an extensive ‘probe’ in the hot-dog kiosk. Instead, I went for a custom-tailored device (which resembles the precise early cameras made by clock- and cabinetmakers, as Barthes writes) that also took the aesthetic and situational into consideration.

21 Charles Baudelaire, ‘On Photography’, Salon of 1859, 1859 <http://www.csus. edu/indiv/o/obriene/ art109/readings/11%20 baudelaire%20 photography.htm>. 22 Board for Arduino/ Raspberry Pi provided by Libelium / Cooking Hacks. Detailed info: https://www. cooking-hacks.com/ documentation/ tutorials/3g-gps-shieldarduino-raspberry-pitutorial/ 23 In comparison, the majority of the photographs in this dissertation are taken with Sony A7R having a native resolution at 36MP.


24 Higgins, Why It Does Not Have to Be in Focus. Modern Photography Explained. (Farnborough: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2013), p. 6.

25 See chapter ’Urban Cartography and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’.

Secondly, the argument that higher image resolution is per definition better can be contested. Even in the early days of photography, Pictorialism deliberately defocused and disturbed their images to bypass the technological ‘exactness’ of the chemical process and emulate the aesthetics of painting24. More pixels does not make it a better photograph nor more useful in this research. Nor does it become more real or exact. Perhaps, even the contrary. When having less detailed images one need to invest something in order to see (and hence reimagine) it. The resolution of the images was further reduced and filtered through a digital dithering process, which rendered each pixel either black or white and prepared it to be printed on the monochromatic thermal printer. Hence it undergoes a process similar to that of the Pictorialists, removing the image from its technological ‘perfection’ and defamiliarising. Reality cannot be represented in its pure form; it will always be filtering through a device, medium or technique25. The relation will always be a simulacrum26, to be critically examined. Close-up on surface of dithered photograph printed on thermal printer.

26 Rosalind Krauss, ‘A Note on Photography and the Simulacral’, October, 31 (1984), 49–68.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, ‘HansPeter + Ursula’.

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Field of view focused by â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;PIRfocaliserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, which is a 3d-printet add-on deciding the spatial territory that triggers the camera.

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De-Familiarising and De-Territorialising Trivial Objects

27 Lise Skytte Jakobsen, Ophobninger : Moderne Skulpturelle Fænomener, Rævens Sorte Bibliotek, Nr. 67 (Kbh.: Politisk revy, 2005), p. 11. 28 See chapter, ’Urban Perspective: City as Archive’. 29 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).

A range of elements which inhabits the hotdog kiosks are directly affected by the inhabitation and use by its customers. One such element is the accompaniment liquid dispensers (ketchup, rémoulade, mustard), often situated in a central position and hanging from the roof. This is utilised for most orders: as time goes, the liquid level steadily falls. What if this element was isolated and displaced (deterritorialised) from the situated reality in which it exists and its utilitarian function as a container of for instance ketchup by-passed – could it then be understood as a gauge to measure occupation? A miniature ketchup dispenser at the Archiving Instrument continuously measures the occupation at the hot-dog kiosk. The close-toinsignificant effect of the individual upon this semi-public space that they temporarily occupy: the customers literally change the balance a little by their occupation. This unintended ‘passive accumulations’27 is interesting in relation to the larger processes through the City-as-Archive28. At the Archiving Instrument, it is re-territorialised29 and reduced to scale 1:10 (itself an operation of defamiliarising) and partakes in the overall choreography. The initial conceptualisation of the thermal receipts (both in the hot-dog kiosk and Archiving Instrument) stems from an idea to isolate or mirror the cash machine in a gallery setting, showcasing when and what liquid and solid foodstuff is acquired in real-time, hence create an odd sort of living ready-made installation (of the Internet of Things era). Ultimately, simply mirroring the cash machine had certain limitations. Instead it was deconstructed and ‘reinvented’ in order to remove it further from its origin and obtain prospective, architectural qualities.

Token of (Non-)Event

30 ‘Bon Eller Kvittering’ <http://www.forbrug. dk/Artikler/Test-ogrrad/Forbrugerleksikon> [accessed 13 October 2016].

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Receipts are a token of a physical and economic transaction or exchange. The thermal paper receipt is trivial and is handed over the counter whenever one shop groceries, a cup of coffee or basically anything (in Denmark by law30). Often, these are seen lying around in street corners, drains, gutters, etc. In this version, it is instead a token of a socio-spatial exchange:

Dispenser reterritorialised at Archiving Instrument in scale of 1:10


Measuring device of occupation.

Cash machine deterritorialised

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A collection of receipts produced by the situated probe and left behind on the 3rd of May, 2016.

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depicting the shoe of someone else, that you share this space (and in turn the city) with on a temporal basis. Another person who traversed this space a couple of minutes or hours (and conceptually, days or weeks) ago. In turn, it re-introduces the space to its users: some of which responded well to this curious alteration of the everyday structure, while other hardly noticed this alternative receipt before curling it into a ball and disposing it. Hence, some of the latent relationships of the hot-dog kiosk was triggered and the interventions was a conversation starter among the customers. Accordingly, the empirical data collection is turned back at itself, inhabiting (perhaps even altering) the actual space from which it extracts the photographs and the users participating, and thus embodies a twoway relationship. Some of the customers brought the receipts with them, as one occasionally does (without questioning if this will ever be useful). Potentially, some receipts (or scraps) still inhabit some jacket or trousers: or have become urban jetsam and will re-emerge some unlikely place at a later time. Furthermore, the receipts referred to the website infraordinary.dk, where all captured photographs are displayed on a digital bulletin, and background information of the project is briefly described. Meanwhile, Archiving Instrument annotates the black thermal paper and inhabits it with figures and words: it converts the nothingness into a rich archival bulletin. Paradoxically, the print of the thermal paper slowly vanishes when exposed to sunlight or general wear-and-tear. Over time, it returns to its origin: pieces of blank paper. Although a technology for remembering a transaction, it is, indeed, a short-time memory device. Shortly, it will be outdated due to digital alternatives. After a while, the customers would grow accustomed to the installed intervention at the hot-dog-kiosk, it would become familiarised through the cognitive processes of its users and blend into the everyday landscape. Hence, the idea of ‘re-introduction’ would gradually fade away, and it would strictly become a device that harvested data continuously.

Embodying the Users As some of the information extracted from running the probe reveals (such as gender and destinies of the customers, as well as the image sequence of my own shoes) on the 3rd or May 2016, I was myself present during the experiment. At

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then, it was considered a test-run, and in order for the proprietor to allow my installation she had only one requirement: that I was present, in order to explain customers who asked, what this was all about. This was, of course, a consequence of the previous closing of what was supposed to be the site of the biopsy and probe – and went directly against the intention. However, in some ways, it proved productive, as I could stand aside (eating hot-dogs) and observe the interaction between hot-dog kiosk, its users and the probes. I acted as passive and non-interfering as possible, in order to let the situated probes work function on its own as intended. In this situation, the probes served as a conversation starter between me as a researcher and the customers, through distorting the familiar space slightly. After encountering the strange probes and a few questions clarifying questions directed towards me, the customers would, without a prompt, set out about where they came from, where they were going, their preferences in shoes, daily habits, infirmities and disabilities, day-job etc. Many of them resonated with the relevance of such a space for social encounters. Accordingly, in this configuration, the situated probe and act of being present relates to strategies and tactics of participatory action research31, through knowledge generated as a collective process, and deliberately inject mechanisms of change into the situation of the enquiry. From the beginning, one of the aims of his urban biopsy was to give the mute users of the hot-dog kiosk an indirect voice In my opinion, mainstream modes of including users are often biased and favour resourceful voices. The users of the hot-dog kiosk may not even realise themselves, that this is an important and unique place in our cities worth fighting for and potentially on the verge of disappearing, and hence their voices are not mobilised. Reversely, shoe items already have a long tradition in relation to social and political activism, latest seen in Paris during the climate summit in 2015. As protests were banned, instead 20.000 shoes were positioned at Place de la Republique representing each a person unable to walk and protest (among high-heels and sandals, even the black shoes of Pope Francis were present32). A similar installation was installed in San Diego, 2015, where ‘a sea’ of 8.700 pairs of shoes represented each a homeless in need of housing33.

31 Brydon-Miller, Mary, Michael Kral, Patricia Maguire, Susan Noffke, and Anu Sabhlok, ‘Jazz and the Banyan Tree: Roots and Riffs on Participatory Action Research’, in The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, by Norman K Denzin and Yvonna S Lincoln (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2011) 32 ‘“No Planet B,” Marchers Worldwide Tell Leaders before U.N. Climate Summit’, Reuters, 29 November 2015 33 Susan Murphy, ‘8,700 Pairs Of Shoes Displayed To Represent San Diego County’s Homeless’, KPBS Public Media <http://www. kpbs.org/news/2015/ aug/25/8700-pairsshoes-displayedrepresent-san-diegocou/> [accessed 20 October 2016].


Probe situated in hot-dog kiosk: thermal printer amid napkins dispensers and gossip magazines.

Thermal printer. Situated at the corner of the cash machine.

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By-passing the Usual Hierarchies of Perception through Making:

34 Tod Machover, ‘My Cello’, in Evocative Objects: Things We Think with, by Sherry Turkle (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2007), pp. 12–21.

35 Johan Verbeke, ‘The Intrinsic Value of Artistic Research’, in Share: Handbook for Artistic Research Education, ed. by Michael Wilson and Schelte van Ruiten (Amsterdam: ELIA, 2013), pp. 123–25 (pp. 123–25).

Working with the probes is more an active process for dialectical thinking and reflection, rather than about the final design. Even though proceeding from an initial central idea, they constantly changed and unfolded themselves while working with the actual matter. The making process becomes a vehicle: Ideas not only percolate through the imagination but are also touched and given shape34. In order to do this, one needs to master – or at least understand – the tools and techniques used to ‘sketch’, explore and experiment with. In this case, a conglomerate of architecture, ethnography, technology and aesthetics (perhaps what could be understood similar to an artistic practice): and hence constantly shift between drawing, crafting, programming, writing, soldering, fact-finding, etc. The errors, mistakes, detours and unexpected findings occurring along the way can themselves lead to previously unseen potentials and become instrumental in the production of new knowledge. Being at once the generalist and the specialist offers a plurality of frameworks from which to approach, understand and develop insights. However, it is, of course, important also to consult expert knowledge at times (to some extend, I regret that I did not), since architecture is the crossroad between a multitude of disciplines35. The knowledge production emerges in the manifold intersections of the four main parts of the biopsy (see diagram on next page): 1) The situated camera probe, being situated within the physical space of the hot-dog kiosk and gathering empirical data (input). 2) Distance: Reflecting and processing through making at a distance, for instance at the office and physical workshops in which the situated probes are realised and invented, as well as processing of data, etc. 3) The situated feedback probe of the hot-dog kiosk that re-introducing the space its users and spurring conversations (feedback). 4) The Archiving Instrument engages in dissemination on a meta-level and rechoreographs it while producing new meaning. Accordingly, in a research perspective, various insights are gained through encounters with both the spatial, historical, urban and social dimension. Several positions and enquiries are made, through which could be understood as research sites and

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non-sites36, which produces a multifaceted and rich understanding. Hence, the usual hierarchies of perception are by-passed. The parallel critical spatial practice and theoretical parts inform each other, acting as ‘relays’ to move forward.37 It points inwards, but at the same time in a multitude of directions, being fragmented and maintaining a productive ambiguity – trying to cope with a chaotic sum of entities and arguments for as long as possible, before weaving (some of) these together. It is a complex conglomerate of various types of knowledge, which incorporates the past, present and future tense. Unlike cartography, it does not try to over-simplify and fix the world into a map, but rather navigates the complexity of it and evoke and withhold this. It lies in direct prolongation of my general argument for more manifold and multi-territorial research strategies and tactics, building on the field-specific knowledge of the making disciplines. Returning to the genealogy of ‘architect’, being arkhi- ‘chief’ + tektōn ‘builder’, this may represent a complex experimental methodology of architectural research, which construct its own bespoke encounters with the world, rather than following methodologies inherited from other research fields.

Unpretentious and Including Aesthetics. The casual interior layout and decoration of hot-dog kiosks often obtain a homemade character. Certainly, no architects have been involved. Mostly, the makeshift aesthetics follows the basic needs of the proprietor and the customers. The images displaying the available food are allowed to be bleached by the sun to beyond recognition and the price is often adjusted with stickers and permanent markers: it does not need to look delicate, it simply need to work. Hence, it follows the logic of the street, infrastructure or even factories, opposite other types of restaurant operations. Aesthetically, it is under-designed, and represents a space undone by non-architects38. Due to its unpretentious nature, one feels immediately welcomed and at home in a hot-dog kiosk. Newspapers and perhaps a few pot plants are scattered in between ketchup bottles and napkin dispensers. One orders and finds oneself a suitable spot to inhabit for the coming period of time: perhaps favouring a view of the busy street, reading a newspaper or a chance conversation. Paradoxically, what may be understood ‘ugly’ or undesigned can be more appealing (and practical)

36 Robert Smithson Flam, Jack, ‘The Spiral Jetty + Smithson’s Non-Site Sights + Earth’, in Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings (Berkeley [u.a.: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 143–87 Original text from 1969. 37 Michel Foucault, Donald F Bouchard and Sherry Simon, ‘Intellectuals & Power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’, in Language, countermemory, practice: selected essays and interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977); Jane Rendell, Art and Architecture: A Place between (London: I. B. Tauris, 2006).

38 Jane Rendell, ‘Doing It, (Un)doing It, (Over)doing It Yourself : Rhetorics of Architectural Abuse’, in Occupying Architecture: Between the Architect and the User, by Jonathan Hill (London; New York: Routledge, 1998).


Non-linear Knowledge Production Situated Feedback Probe

at site [Re-introduces the space to users]

architectural implimentation / spatial prothesis

performative dialogues over time (with users)

Situated Camera Probe Hot-Dog Kiosk

Distance

at office/workshop [making and reflecting / imagining and mediating]

[situated data collection and empirical input]

real-time processing and reterritorialisation of situated input

historical (urban) studies + contextualisation

Archiving Instrument at exhibition / non-site [Meta-level dissemination, socio-political and re-choregraphing]

Diagram, non-linear knowledge production

The spatial devices of hot-dog stand.

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39 Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1977).

that if architects had been involved, and here the hot-dog kiosk present a prime example. This may also evoke the discussion on ‘Ugly and Ordinary’ against ‘Heroic and Original’ building practices in Learning from Las Vegas39 by Venturi and Scott Brown. In the classic mobile hot-dog stands (pølsevogne), the specific layout that invites for inhabitation is even more apparent: everything is arranged precisely to shelter the customers from the weather element, put their bags, lean against, fix the dog leash – even small racks to rest the hotdogs. They create a defined and homely space in the busy urban realm, almost out of nothing using straightforward spatial tactics/elements.

Architectural Probes, Miniatures and Re-Choreographing of the Infraordinary.

40 C. J Lim, Devices: A Manual of Architectural + Spatial Machines (Amsterdam; London: Architectural Press, 2006), p. 6. 41 Lunde Nielsen.

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The two installations become architecture in their own right. Both the situated probe(s) and the Archiving Instrument are using architecture’s own language ‘space, time, sound and materiality to interact with its audience in a performative relationship.’40 The situated probe at the hot-dog kiosk is foreign to the setting but at the same time strangely at home. It becomes a spatial prosthesis41 entwined with the daily spatio-temporal operation of the hot-dog kiosk. It controls lighting situations of the surrounding space (through the flash – potentially also roof light or other electrical circuits, using the relay system) and creates physical outputs (the receipts), and thus has an implication on the space and city at large. The two installations have two distinct objectives and modes of operation: The situated probe is situational and the Archiving Instrument is representational. Both engage in a spatial choreography, but with inverted operational signs. The visitors at the hot-dog kiosk triggered the production of a continuous receipt and the miniature dispenser (a measuring device) at an exhibition elsewhere, where the incoming data was displayed, re-choreographed and the infraordinary given new meaning. Meanwhile, the users are themselves re-introduced to the space. One could further argue, that both the situated probe(s) and the Archiving Instrument can be perceived as architectural miniatures: it is a precise spatial layout of apertures, shutters, ventilation, sightlines, walls, lighting, etc. The situated camera probe incorporates everyday elements, such as the used opticians-lens for the camera, power

relays and thermal printing unit. Except for scale, the probes are very similar to the earlier and highly inventive hot-dog stands, which were exercises in spatial and mechanical ingenuity as experimental architectural devices for generating space and meeting practical criteria, facilitated by intricate systems of shutters, apertures, heat, smell, visual choreography etc. These were (are to some extend still are) prosthetic extensions of the urban realm and everyday life, like the situated probes. Another architectural miniature, The Archiving Instrument, is a piece of infrastructure that ties several elements together into an alternative spatial configuration, reality and representation. In itself, it is build of rather trivial components, but the conglomerate and re-choreographing of the ordinary cast these as out-of-the-ordinary and accordingly in new (prospective) perspectives. Overall, the project makes aware the social coexistence, which normally goes unnoticed. The hot-dog kiosk is one of the few semi-public places, where a wide diversity exists in our cities, and a place that most people can relate to. The knowledge produced along the way, the output and the biopsy and spatial probes themselves envision a potential architecture and recalibration of the social dimension of the city. This biopsy is not about pledging for the preservation of the hot-dog kiosk per se, but rather to acknowledge that such infraordinary social vertexes and typologies play a vital role in regard to the social dimension and diversity of our cities. Distinctly different from for instance the dry cleaner42, this is mostly about face-to-face interactions in real-time, rather than deposits over time. It is a space that allows temporal occupation and socio-spatial coexistence. Hence, there should be room for these to exist in the planning of new urban neighbourhoods and gentrification of existing ones. Furthermore, as architects, we can learn from the seemingly banal, the non-events and infraordinary qualities, of which the hot-dog kiosks are prime vessels.

42 See chapter ’The Dry Cleaner’.


Sliding door, lighting and ornamentation at Ditten Fast Food.

Hot-dog stand at ‘Rådhuspladsen’, Copenhagen.

Hot-dog stand at Rønne, Denmark, 1952.

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Camera probe, third and final revision.

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Camera probe, with adjustable opticianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lens, PIR-sensor, focaliser, and fan for cooling. Third revision.

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Technical Drawings

Situated Camera Probe

Online

Situated Feedback Probe

Database

Archiving Instrument

Schemata of electronic components and relations.

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14:49 13-08-2015

HOT DOG-KIOSK

# 10034 ONE DAY THESE FEET WILL RISE THE STAIRCASE OF YOUR APARTMENT BLOCK.

14:51

Camera Probe

Feedback Probe (Thermal Printer)

triggered when foot enters field of vision (PIR)

prints receipt with image of other persons foot + evocative message (with order done)

pressed button = dispenser activated

deposit over time

Database (PhP+MySQL) logs image + data + stores text fragments + processing/dithering photos GRILL BAR OCCUPATION / ARCHIVING INSTRUMENT

real-time 15 mm copper pipe

Sketch as of 22-03-15

speaker

real-time

Thermal paper

1:10 ketchup dispenser

1000 mm

3G antenna

Microprocessor 3d routed hard wood plate for mounting

thermal printer head

1200 mm

EXHIBITION

ONLINE

small weight floor

ELEVATION A

ELEVATION B

Diagram explaining relations and flow of data between the various parts.

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Technical Drawings / Situated Probe (Cellular Camera)

Elevation of camera probe, third revision, including relay segment at the back for controlling external light, flash or other electronics. 1:1

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Technical Drawings / Situated Probe (Feedback Thermal Printer)

Elevation and section of situated feedback probe, printing bespoke thermal receipts. 1:2

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# 10034 ONE DAY THESE FEET WILL RISE THE STAIRCASE OF YOUR APARTMENT BLOCK.

14:51

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Technical Drawings / Archiving Instrument

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PLAN 1:2


15 mm copper pipe

speaker display rack (1st version only) Thermal paper

1:10 ketchup dispenser

1000 mm

3G antenna

Microprocessor/ RPi 3d routed hard wood plate for mounting

thermal print head

1200 mm

small weight floor

ELEVATION A 1:10

ELEVATION B 1:10

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SLS 3d-printed parts for camera assembly.

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Trial and Error. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sketchingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with the formatting of data, images and text to be printed on a standard thermal printer.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban biopsy: The Hot-Dog Kiosk Location: Ditten Fast Food Viborgvej 36 8000 Aarhus, Denmark Coordinates: 56°09’39.6”N 10°11’00.4”E Period: 01.2015 - 05.2015 08.2015 - 10.2015 02.2016 - 06.2016 Framework / Probe: 1) Cellular camera and thermal printer (situated probe, at hot-dog kiosk) 2) Archiving Instrument (installation at exhibition space) Materials: Copper pipe, aluminium sheets, hard wood, Arduino Uno microprocessor, sim5218e, Raspberry Pi2, solenoid valve, thermal printer, thermal paper, bone connector transducer, plastic, misc. electronics Fabrication Techniques: Routing, water-jet cutting, 3d printing, programming All Images Available at: Infraordinary.dk

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Implosion of the Neighbourhood

The protagonists of Drifting Clouds, altering their restaurant to become an implosion of the local neighbourhood.

Throughout the research project, several encounters have been made, which can be understood as implosions of the surrounding neighbourhoods and its inhabitants. In The Dry Cleaner, people’s private items are accumulated and hence it can be read as a condensed chart or miniature representation of the neighbourhood. Several photographers, including Atget and in a Danish context Susan Mertz and Krass Clement, have been interested in shopfronts as an unintended representation of the inhabitants, their way of living and a specific era or location, through an ‘everyday poetry’1. In a similar way, but working inversely, The Danish Tabac (forming the subsequent urban biopsy of this dissertation), or any small grocery shop and kiosk, presents a bespoke selection of goods, curated to fit the needs of the local community. When visiting foreign cities, I always enter the unregarded small grocery shops and merchants to read the neighbourhood through them: the selection of newspapers and gossip magazines, beverages and specialities. One such occasion was in 2012 when I read a neighbourhood through the local deli2. Here, the vast selection of canned chipotle peppers, Modelo-beers and special pastries hinted of the surrounding demography and the diversity of people. In Drifting Clouds3, the protagonists opens a restaurant without any initial success. First after adapting to the needs, taste, timetables and surrounding demography – becoming an implosion hereof – and altering their menu they become successful. In turn, they come to be an important social vertex of the neighbourhood – similar to The Hot-Dog Kiosk.

1 Susanne Mertz, Gadebilledet der forsvandt (Copenhagen Valby: Borgen, 1991).

2 As showcased in Ragpicker’s Archive of Ephemera briefly mentioned in chapter ‘Urban Cartography and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’ 3 Aki Kaurismäki, Drifting Clouds, 1998.

In an extended line of thought, people are co-authors of spaces like this, through deposits over time. The restaurant and Tabac is a constellation of elements anticipating the users, while the dry cleaner is composed of private items displaced away from the

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domestic realm. From a perspective of architectural design, the initial way of operating the restaurant Dubrovnik of Drifting Clouds present itself as an analogy to architectural practices. Within architecture, there is a tendency to overdesigning and projecting a formal style onto a given situation. Instead, architecture should be open-ended and offer possibilities for the surrounding neighbourhood to inform and co-author it through a continuous dialectical relationship.

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5 5 °4 3’36.7” N 1 2 °2 1’32. 9” E

THE DANISH TABAC

BA LL E RU P, D K

A BYGONE SOCIAL VERTEX

(1977 - 2000) 1 1. 2 0 1 5 - 2017

As you follow the façades in red brick, one after another, suddenly you see a red neon-light flickering at a distant street corner. The sign hovers above a bricked-up shopfront. Underneath it: a simple and very typical bench. You decide to have a seat at this odd corner, in the middle of a residential area. As you sit here, suddenly the drainpipe starts to whisper untold stories about a not so distant past, and all the ordinary events that unfolded between the people that frequented this very corner, repeatedly year after year...

Close-up of installation

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THE DANISH TABAC A BYGONE SOCIAL VERTEX

2 ‘Infraordinary Deposits’, FORSK#3, Aarhus School of Architecture, 06.04 - 30.06.2016 3 Set for summer 2017, in collaboration with Baldersbo Housing Association. Still not approved by all involved parties. See figure ‘Elevation of Installation’

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This urban biopsy is a bit different from all the other since the space in question does not exist in its genuine physical form anymore. Instead, this is based on the memory and recollection of what used to be there (and what is ultimately left), through a visual-acoustic installation. The installation was first located at an exhibition2, but is planned to be installed at the former site of the kiosk in a slightly different configuration3. Furthermore, this is a space where I spend a substantial amount of time in during my childhood, and thus it may be the actual starting point for my interest in the infraordinary and these slightly retrospective typologies.

I can’t remember if I ever got recorded. When should that have been? I definitely don’t think so…1

As explained in the very introduction of this research project, my grandmother, Helga Hansen (1932-2016), had a small kiosk ‘H. Hansen – Svan’s EFT.’ in Ballerup, Denmark between 1970 and 1993. Here she sold ‘wine and tobacco’, as announced by the sign hovering above the shop front. In Danish, shops like this were called ‘tobacco-shops’ (tobaksforretning) at the time and more recently labelled ‘kiosks’, although they are not very often free-standing elements as in the original meaning of the word4. The kiosk of my grandmother was more similar to the French Tabacs selling a wide range of stable goods such as stamps, newspapers, magazines, candy, cold beer and soda – or whatever was sellable to the surrounding neighbourhood and its inhabitants. The actual name of the shop is unclear, as it varies in different official documents: it says ‘H. Hansen’s Kiosk’ on the official receipt paper pad, the official sign simply said ‘Vin Tobak’ (‘Wine Tobacco’) and on the official documents found in the municipals archive it says ‘tobacconist H. Hansen’ and stamped with ‘K. Svan’s EFT., H. Hansen’ (‘K. Svan’s successor, H. Hansen’). Perhaps it changed name during the more than two decades it existed – or perhaps the name was simply not important on an everyday basis since this was the kiosk of the neighbourhood.

1 My grandmother’s comment, when I pressed record on the microphone at the dining table.

4 Term derived from Middle Persian kōšk and Turkish köşk meaning ‘palace, portico’ and ‘pavilion’. Dates back to the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century. This is something that will be dealt with in the chapter on ’The Hot-dog Kiosk’.


Exhibition set-up at FORSK#3, 2016. ‘Listening Table’ in foreground, above it the custom-made neon-sign.

This paper pad is one of the last remaining evidences of the existence of the kiosk ‘H. Hansen’.

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Coffee, Salmon and Tobacco: A Conversation at my Grandmother’s Dining Table. During a recorded interview during lunch at my grandmother’s dining table, she recollects the 23 years of running her kiosk. In between the sips of coffee, bites of salmon and apple cake and everyday conversations, the life story of the shop gradually unfolds: The diversity of people who came there; How the space functioned as an informal (and partly unofficial) social vertex of the neighbourhood; How she became known as ‘Moster’ (‘Aunt’) who was always there to talk and, more importantly, listen; All the incidents that happens; How the neighbourhood changed; And how it eventually seized to exist because of the construction of the nearby mall ‘Ballerup Centeret’ and a rerouting of the street. It shifts back and forth from the personal to the general, the situation at the dining table, the tobacco shop and the history of our family, friends, relatives and strangers – all these narratives are entwined.

The Regulars 5 Helga Hansen, interview, 2015. The following section is based on the interview.

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We had a lot of regular customers […] Very diverse people.5 Some of the regulars almost became fixtures. If you called the shop, the phone would at times be answered by one of them. Many of which also resided the unofficial basement, such as: ‘KosPeter’ (pronounced Petter), who’s day-job was a caterer for the charter flights at the nearby air base at Værløse (hence his nickname); ‘SvendBanemand’ who worked on maintaining the rail tracks for DSB; Anton, who worked for Løvens Chemical Factory (now LEO Pharma), but later got seriously ill because of this, and was then allowed to sit in the backroom; Gert the policeman (in another district); ‘Eivind-To-Bajere’, who stated that all that he owned at any given time were two beers; A dentist or dental technician; Inge Bindballe, one of the few women who would also frequent the basement; and of course my grandfather, Knud, a partly retired bricklayer, who was a vital part of the daily operation of the kiosk. In the basement, the discussions could be intense and loud, but always respectful and peaceable. To go into the basement, one had to be approved by one of the regulars. A lot of other regulars came by, but without

entering the basement: Bendixen, the owner of a near-by dance school; an actor, whos name no one can remember; motorcycle gang members; the wives of the men in the basement… The cast of characters included not only neighbours and regular customers, but also suppliers and other work related contacts, such as: Bent the accountant, who became a close friend; ‘Cola-Knud’, ‘Tuborg-Harald’, ‘CarlsbergKnud’, who delivered beverages from the CocaCola Company, Tuborg Beer and Carlsberg, and as part of their daily routine sat for a cup of morning coffee or two in the backroom (sometimes bringing breakfast rolls or Danish pastries); The Cafax Coffee delivery guy; The ice-cream supplier (who also played in a band, who later performed at my grandmother’s birthday); and all the other delivery guys that they had good relation to. Often, they would be joined by an elderly man called Viggo, (who was drinking strong Ceres Dortmunder-beers - apparently an important diverging detail to note) and would often come by the shop several times a day, until the day he could no longer walk. His wife disapproved of this for years but ultimately had to admit that his trips to the kiosk were what kept him going and alive. Another regular, Anton’s, doctor even prescribed that he should continue his daily walks to the kiosk with his zimmer frame, which would count as his daily portion of exercise. Even when the shop was closed due to some holiday, he would go there to sit on the bench outside. There was also the offbeat existences such as ‘Tosse-Jan’ (‘Nutty-Jan’): A drug addict with a bad criminal record (who couldn’t stand still due to some pills he was prescribed) and ended up being admitted to the nearby psychiatric hospital, where my grandmother would visit him and bring cigarettes. ‘Not many provides such a service, nowadays’, she expresses during the interview and agrees that many shops have lost their relation to the customers. There was also a long range of alcoholics that bought beer on credit by the end of the month some of which, when they got their social security check, were told by the people working at the municipality (also regulars at the shop) to pay their outstanding debt to Moster before anything else6. For the less fortunate, the social function of the kiosk was even more immanent: If someone had problems, people could come in, sit on the stair or perhaps go to the basement. One could not really help them, but they could have a coffee, or perhaps beer, and sit around for a while… […] At times, I almost felt like a psychologist.7

6 which may hint that the municipality was wellaware of the important social dimension of her shop

7 Helga Hansen, interview, 2015.


Helga Hansen during the interview at her dining table, 2015

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Undocumented and Untold We never photographed it. I think, that once a photograph did exist – but perhaps we didn’t save it.8

Cut-out from old newspaper, depicting the modernisation of the area surrounding the train station.

Although my grandmother’s tobacco shop existed for more than two decades, not a single photograph exists. Maybe it was so common and worn half-invisible by daily use that simply no-one gave it much thought: it served simply a background for everything else to unfold. Even my mother, who was a keen hobby photographer, didn’t spend film on it. In the grand history writing, the longue durée, this infraordinary place is commonly considered an insignificant fragment and therefore untold of, alongside so many similar ones. However, it is my argument, that these are very much worth remembering and learn from prospectively. The memory of the existence of this space – and its qualities as a social vertex – exists solely through the remembrance of my late grandmother and the people that once visited it. Even the shop front itself has been patched up with bricks, presenting only vague trace of what used to be there, as a handwritten text being edited out with correction fluid. All that exists in the official archives are a formal application for installing a tobacco sign at the façade, which later triggered the idea of resurrecting a sign at the corner.

8 Helga Hansen, interview, 2015.

Death of the Tabac-Kiosk(s) there will never be small kiosk like this again9

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The kiosk was ultimately made unfeasible due to the planning and realisation of the giant nearby shopping centre Ballerup Centeret (situated less than 60 metres away) and a rerouteing of the roads. It could not economically compete with the self-contained shopping universe with its discount supermarkets. A few years after handing it over to the next proprietor, it was closed for good and converted into an apartment. In modern planning, many of these small unregarded shops, mini-markets and grocery stores have suffered the same fate. However, these had ‘functions beyond their practical use’10: these were vital parts of the social structuring and organisation of the local neighbourhood. My grandmother adds in the interview, that such a place, in her opinion and in addition to overall planning decisions, can hardly exist with today’s legislation and all the requirements that need to

9 The customers of ‘H. Hansen’ claimed, according to the protagonist herself.

10 Asger Jorn, ‘Architecture for Life’, Potlatch #15, 1954.


Only surviving image of the kiosk from the official archives, dating from 2001 when its new proprietor, Mahmood Khalid, had been running it for nearly a decade.

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Application for putting up a new tobacco sign, 1979. Courtesy of the local archive.

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be meet.

Socio-Political Site-Writing

11 Jane Rendell, SiteWriting: The Architecture of Art Criticism (London: Tauris, 2010).

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Through a critical spatial practice, it is the aim of this biopsy and situated probe to reveal, conserve and re-imagine this latent and partly untold piece of micro-history in two steps: Firstly, the recorded interview reappears as a Listening Table at an exhibition at the canteen of Aarhus School of Architecture. The table is converted into a loudspeaker, using a surface transducer that sets the surface of the table in motion. Hence, the conversation of the interview could be overheard by lunch-goers, if they paid attention. In peak-hours, a glass could be used to enhance the listening experience, and distinguish this recorded conversation from the general buzz and sum of conversations of the canteen. Above it, a neon-sign hovers, as an oddly misplaced piece of the urban re-territorialised inside the canteen and exhibition. Secondly, the sign is to be installed at the actual location where the kiosk used to reside. In a similar way, the audio of the interview will be transmitted using the nearby drainpipe as a speaker, and audible from the bench next to it. The allusive element of the installation is important. Rather than being explicit statement, it is the intention that people should discover the vague sound themselves, and accordingly make up their own meaning and draw their own conclusions. The neon-sign will be positioned above the visible traces of the former shop front, almost as a mirage: glooming above something that is obviously not there anymore, and using a technology of another epoch. As a phantom limb the sign hints of the bricked-up shop front - it lures one closer to realise and experience the auditory dimension of the installation. A cord from the sign to the transducer-device installed on the drainpipe may guide one to realising this visually. It brings back this corner as a pseudo-social vertex for the duration of the installation. Hopefully, it will, simultaneously to re-enacting the narrative of this place, also foster new encounters between people. The purpose is to engage in a public discussion, through not only writing about the site – but, conversely, writing the site, echoing Jane Rendell’s concept of site-writing11. It presents an alternative way of disseminating our cultural history and to bring forward this infraordinary history writing

that would otherwise be untold. It also raises an important question on the role of the research (and the researcher) and the relation to the spatial reality that is being enquired: What should remain inside the loop of academia, and what should break out of it and spill into the public domain and debate. It is situated criticism12, that though this small fragment of something that used to be ordinary and taken for granted, becomes a prism to see an overall whole, that both incorporates past and present conditions – and ultimately hints about a potential future and the direction that our cities are going13. It engages both with dissemination of knowledge on a social, spatial and political level.

Infraordinary Monument The neon-sign is not meant as an exact facsimile, which is anyway impossible as a consequence of no existing photograph or documentation of the shopfront. It is not meant to be an exact representation of what did exist, but rather a commemorative and mnemonic device as delusive as memory itself. In this sense, this is the first step toward rewriting history, through taking the scraps that is known and distil a new reality. The sign is not at all true to the actual appearance of the kiosk, or even the epoch of which the kiosk existed: Neon would already be rather expensive and out-dated in the late-seventies where my grandmother took over the kiosk and it is a fact that no neon-sign hovered above it. Yet, it effectively hints of a time that passed. After all, it is impossible to objectively and truly represent something that is already gone without much physical evidence left of it. Instead, this installation favours spatial qualities and the overall narrative beyond exact and truthful representation14. It adopts almost monumental qualities: yet, instead of celebrating victorious kings, regimes and grand battles, this is an infraordinary monument to the prior existence of the Danish Tabac and the persons that made a tiny, yet important, mark within the city: at the same time ordinary and miraculous. Hence, it adds to, re-writes and engages with the collective memory of the city15 and thus the public discussion on the socio-spatial relevance and future of this typology.

12 Rendell, p. 2.

13 Jo Guldi and David Armitage, The History Manifesto (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2014), chap. Going forward by looking back: the rise of the longue durée.

14 More in chapter ‘Urban Cartographies and Paradoxes of Representing Reality’.

15 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994).


246 cm

neon, approx. 25 cm

Initial working drawing of neon-sign.

Technical drawing of ‘Listening Table’ with 3d-printed mount for surface-transducer, amplifier and RPi.

H Hansen

Neon-sign (2016)

Although my grandmothers tobacco shop existed for 23 years, no photograph exists. Maybe it was so common, that simply no-one thought about it, as it was nothing but a background for everything else to unfold. Even my mother who was a keen hobby photographer, didn’t waste film on it. The memory of the existence of this space – and its qualities as a social vertex – exists solely through the remembrance of my aging grandmother and the people that visited it. Even the shop front itself has been patched up with bricks.

A facsimile neon-sign (itself a specific technology of that epoch) is situated first at this exhibition setting and later on the former site of the kiosk. It becomes a monument to the prior existence of the tobacco-shop and a person that made a tiny mark within the city: at the same time ordinary and miraculous. It is not a direct replica or representation of what existed (since no photo exists anyway, and for sure the sign was never made in expensive neon letters), but rather a commemorative and mnemonic device as delusive as memory itself.

Infraordinary Deposits Three Works in Progress The exhibition presents three works-in-progress from the on-going PhD project ‘Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary: Social Coexistence through Everyday Spaces’ (2013-2016) . The infraordinary is understood as the opposite of the extraordinary and what is ‘worn halfinvisible’ by use. Nevertheless, these unregarded spaces play a vital role for the social dimension of the city. The selected projects (‘urban biopsies’) on display explore how people coexist through these spaces and within the city itself, either through events in real-time or deposits over time. Rather than adopting merely representational qualities, these experiments deploy site-specific critical spatial practices and thus re-choreograph the situations. Thus, they not only point towards what the infraordinary city is (or was) but, more importantly, presents a speculative prospection of what it could be. As the exhibition is work-in-progress, some parts may be subject to change along the way.

Archiving Instrument: Hot-dog Kiosk as Social Vertex

Coffee and Salmon: A conversation at my grandmother’s dining table.

Interactive installation (2015-2016) Materials: Copper pipe, aluminium sheets, hard wood, arduino uno microprocessor, sim5218e, Raspberry Pi2, solenoid valve, thermal printer, thermal paper, bone connector transducer, misc. electronics.  The installation explores the often unregarded and ‘infraordinary’ function of the classic Danish hot dog-kiosk – currently disappearing due to processes of gentrification – through a two-fold spatial implant: one that inhabits a hot dog-kiosk in Aarhus and another the exhibition. The hot dog-kiosk forms a vital place for everyday informal interaction and social coexistence between people. It has functions besides its practical use: through events in real-time and depositions over time it articulates relationships between familiar strangers and creates a sense of collective being. On this ‘Archiving Instrument’, the longue durée of the city (historical images, quotes and statistical facts) and the ephemeral daily occupation (photographs of people’s shoes, etc.) are counterposed and mixed together into a continuous bulletin.

Espen Lunde Nielsen, Ph.D. fellow, Aarhus School of Architecture eln@aarch.dk

Sound-installation (2015) During lunch at my grandmother’s dining table, she recollects 23 years of running her Tobacco-shop ‘H. Hansen – K. Svan’s Efterfølger’ in Ballerup, Denmark between 1970 and 1993. In between the sips of coffee, bites of salmon and apple cake and everyday conversations, the life story of the shop gradually unfolds: The diversity of people who came there; How the space functioned as an informal (and partly unofficial) social vertex of the neighbourhood; How she became known as ‘Moster’ (Aunt) who was always there to talk and, more importantly, listen; How the neighbourhood changed; And how it eventually seized to exist because of the construction of the nearby mall ‘Ballerup Centeret’ and a rerouting of the street. It shifts back and forth from the personal to the general, the situation at the dining table, the tobacco shop and the history of our family, friends, relatives and strangers.

Accumulations Video, 12 min. (2015-2016) Through an essay-film, the (infra-)ordinary versus the extraordinary collective memory of the built environment is explored: from cathedrals and boulevards to kiosks and cigarette packs. A fictitious, yet real, city gradually emerge from a collocation of fragments filmed on various locations. Throughout the film, the reciprocal relationship between the individual and the overall collective history of the city is questioned. If one looks closely, the history writing occurs not only in the grand gestures but also through everyday situations. The film is co-supported by a travel grant from Esther & Jep Finks Mindefond.

(Use a glass upside down to enhance the listening experience, if needed)

The installation will run at selected times during the exhibition period.

Surface of table functioned as a guide to the rest of the exhibition ‘Infraordinary Deposits’, FORSK#3, at Aarhus School of Architecture, 2016

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Transducer-device lightly mounted with wires underneath table.

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Listening Table, auditory experience enhanced by using a glass.

Listening Table double functioned as guide to exhibition.

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Neonsign + RPi controller

Transducer At drainpipe

Bricked-up kiosk

Listening bench

Proposal for public installation at former site of the kiosk.

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Detail of neon-tubes.

The neon-sign as it appeared at the exhibition.

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Neon-advertisement in-between the skyline of church-spires and high-rise buildings. The sign directly mediates the sky and the street with its slogan: ‘The Danish weather is Ga-Jol weather!’ Historical neon-sign at rooftop at Sortedams Sø, Copenhagen.

‘Blå Kys’ neon-poem installed at a gable at Valby, Copenhagen.

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Out-Dated Technology or Lost Craftsmanship? Urban Melancholy, Continuity and Collective Memory

Image of ‘The Making of Neon Sign’. Neon-tubes hand-made on top of sketch. Below iconic ‘Sammy’s Kitchen’-sign.

Neon is often considered an out-dated technology. Instead, I would argue that is a lost craftsmanship, which is deselected due to the labour invasive production cost and emergence of cheap and mass-produced solutions. Hence, what was once very ordinary and affordable is now extraordinary and exclusive. After its invention neon-signs lit up equal parts of hair-saloons and opera houses16. Nowadays, neon-signs have become symbols of a historical urbanity and continuity, as for instance the listed neon-signs of Sortedams Sø in Copenhagen, constantly lighting up the horizon of the city and reminds us of a distant past, and works as preserved ‘instruments of memory’17. It blends in between the churchspires and extraordinary buildings of the skyline, but represents familiar (and miniature) objects, such as, for instance, a box of Ga-Jol liquorice pastilles: in this way, it is a fragment of the ordinary elevated to the level of the city skyline and memory (advertisement itself is about making the unfamiliar familiar, but here, in a historical artefact, also work the other way around). The nostalgia of these signs is indisputable: Having existed for generations, through prosperity and radiance, decay and desolation, and serving to stoke and create desire, the neon sign has slipped into disappearance, unexpectedly forming an imagery of nostalgia and melancholy.18 The Danish poet Søren Ulrik Thomsen installed an animated neon-poem, ‘Blå Kys’ (2014), on a worn gable in Valby, Copenhagen. He believes, that the neon-tubes are not only about nostalgia, but has spatial qualities far beyond modern LEDs in the ‘way it reflects in the rain drizzle’19, but also that ‘it is creepy if everything is state-of-the-art’20. M+ Museum in Hong Kong have started to (digitally) collect the neon-signs that until recently have been the visual identity of its streets, and the curator declares: Neon signs both assign meanings and assume them; in this way, they inhabit the most fertile realm of visual culture, at the osmotic interface between medium, message and viewer. 21 Neon-tubes has its own material nature, and hence it will always incorporate a process of translation from drawing to sign (see figure ‘Making

The light of Ga-Jol neon-sign reflected and shimmering in the urban pavement.

16 ‘The Urban and Cultural Imagery of Neon’, NEONSIGNS. HK 探索霓虹 <http:// www.neonsigns.hk/ neon-in-visual-culture/ the-urban-andcultural-imageryof-neon/?lang=en> [accessed 20 September 2016]. 17 Boyer, chap. The Instruments of Memory. 18 ‘The Urban and Cultural Imagery of Neon’. 19 Lecture at FRESH EYES on URBAN SPACE, at Godsbanen, Aarhus, 2016 20 Søren Ulrik Thomsen quoted in ‘Blå kys over Valby’, Magasinet KBH, 2014 <https:// www.magasinetkbh. dk/indhold/regns%C3%B8vnbl%C3%A5-kys> [accessed 20 September 2016]. 21 ‘Introduction: Why Neon Signs?’, NEONSIGNS.HK 探 索霓虹 <http://www. neonsigns.hk/neonin-visual-culture/whyneon-signs/?lang=en> [accessed 26 September 2016].

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22 Hence, I have to credit Neon-Teknik in Aarhus as co-authors of the ‘H. Hansen’-sign

of neon-sign’ and ‘Working drawing of neon-sign’), according to the possibilities of both material and craftsman22. The soft curves and hand-made quality of neon-signs make them appear as handwriting marking the often streamlined urban topography with obviously handmade figures. The craftsmen put their delicate and direct signatures on the city. Obviously, shops puts up signs for profit reasons, but in turn, these becomes anchor-points that lights up street corners, gables and rooftops.

A Future for the Danish Tabac?

23 The contrast by these neighbourhoods has been explored by newspaper series: ‘2450 Sydhavn: »Det Er Altså Fedt, at Ens Bagerdame Kender Ens Frisure«’ <http:// politiken.dk/magasinet/ feature/premium/ ECE3316765/2450sydhavn-det-er-altsaafedt-at-ens-bagerdamekender-ens-frisure/> [accessed 2 August 2016]; and further in ‘»Der Vil Ske Det Samme, Som Skete På Vesterbro for 15-20 År Siden«’, 2016 <http://politiken.dk/ indland/kobenhavn/ ECE3317851/der-vilske-det-samme-somskete-paa-vesterbrofor-15-20-aar-siden/> [accessed 21 September 2016].

24 This is perhaps truly an infraordinary neighbourhood.

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In new or gentrified areas there is not room for enterprises like this, which grows out of nothing and can accommodate casual social functions. The tabacs or kiosks are often leftovers from a past time, and when its owners have to shut up shop no one takes over. Often, the kiosks are most present in former working-class areas.The contrast can be seen in the neighbouring areas Sluseholmen and Sydhavnen in Copenhagen23. The first is a newer residential area, the later is, historically, a working-class area, sometimes referred to as one of the last fragments of the old Copenhagen (before the boom in the estate sector excluded the less-well-off from the inner city). In Sydhavnen, the main streets are dotted with several kiosks and mini-markets (and bodegas, florists, grill bars, old-fashioned cafés, etc.24), while in the well-off Sluseholmen there is not a single one to be found. The social structure, hence, is largely different. It could be argued that Sydhavnen is a neighbourhood, while Sluseholmen (along most newly planned ‘neighbourhoods’) is a residential area much closer to the mentality, planning strategies and core values of suburbia. Hence, if Sluseholmen is conversely the new Copenhagen, one can critically argue, that the urban condition is being dismantled: there is not room for social coexistence in the same way as the neighbourhood of Sydhavnen. Also, Sluseholmen and the newer areas only allow a certain segment of the population due to the high estate prices, whereas Sydhavnen is (still) a rich and diverse mix of people. Sluseholmen becomes a ghetto of a certain segment of people and based on a suburban mind-set. The number or lack of kiosks is, of course, both the symptom and the cause of the people living there. However, also the kiosks are under attack as the historical working-class neighbourhoods are gentrified. As in the case of ‘H Hansen – Svan’s

Eftf’, many kiosks are converted into apartments to maximise economic output. This is also true in the former working-class neighbourhood Grünerløkka in Oslo, where more than 400 inhabitants signed a petition to save Bobby’s Butik at Markvejen 17. The trend is clear and immanent: In the area 17 shops have been converted into housing, and Bobby’s kiosk is the only one left with active activity towards the streets. One of the inhabitants expresses: The neighbours are fond of Bobby. The shop is an important meeting place for us. It is a personal and pleasant alternative to chains and high street stores that dominate [Grünerløkka]. This is one of the original shops that we find outmost important to preserve.25 If the neighbourhood loses its social vertices and shops, it also loses casual meeting points and the social encounters between inhabitants, which is vital to social cohesion. It becomes a place for receding, but not for living. The process is irreversible: it is very hard to bring back these local shops at a later time, when their value is, perhaps, more appreciated. However, the outrageous estate marked makes it tempting to make a substantial economic gain through such a manoeuvre of converting shops to dwellings. Hence, it is a delicate matter that needs to be addressed before it is too late. Of course, the kiosk typologies are not original (as stated by the inhabitants in the newspaper article), but stems from a specific period in the centuries-long development of the neighbourhood26. However, their social value is undeniable.

25 Astrid Løken, ‘Naboene Kjemper for Å Bevare de «originale» Butikkene På Grünerløkka’, Osloby <http://www.osloby. no/article/ap-8247753. html> [accessed 23 November 2015].

26 More on what is considered original is outlined in the introductory chapter ’The Infraordinary’ section ’Base-line Syndrome’.


‘Bobby’ fighting to keep his grocery shop.

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An old-fashioned neighbourhood kiosk at Eskildsgade, Copenhagen, 1979. From ‘Gadebilledet der forsvandt’ by Susanne Mertz (1991).

Contemporary facade cladding of kiosk at Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen, 2015.

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Kiosk Variations and Infraordinary Aesthetics There exist many types of kiosks today: from the unregarded local kiosk of the neighbourhood to the (almost extraordinary) kiosk-pavilions selling beer to tourists in Copenhagen to the omnipresent 7-Elevens. Chains such as the later, I would argue, has none of the qualities of an infraordinary kiosk such as ‘H. Hansen’: first of foremost, it does not reflect the neighbourhood or is an implosion of this, since it is a generic international entity selling (almost) the same goods in all its branches. Secondly, the protectionist is replaced by changing young workers, that usually has nothing at stake in the social dimension and well-being of the neighbourhood. Thirdly, it is designed in an international and clinical style (by an agency far away) that does not allow or invite any occupation. Conversely, the small neighbourhood kiosks often have something casual and home-made about them – they become a direct spatial extension of the proprietor, who constantly alters (or rather optimises) the items for sale and spatial configuration according to the customers. But even the local kiosk gradually becomes aligned, for instance, because their façades are all clad in advertisements for the same telephone operators or gambling companies (before that icecream companies) and more centralised distributor deals.

The Danish Tabacs: To be Taken Seriously!

27 ‘Not To Be Taken Seriously: Kiosks, Roadside Joys and Other Things That Are Beneath Architectural Contempt’, in Pavilions, Pop-Ups and Parasols: The Impact of Real and Virtual Meeting on Physical Space, by Leon Van Schaik, Fleur Watson, and Peter Cook, 2015, p. 63.

28 ‘Not To Be Taken Seriously: Kiosks, Roadside Joys and Other Things That Are Beneath Architectural Contempt’.

Kiosk in extraordinary disguise, Nytorv, Copenhagen, 1979. Now primarily serving beer to tourists.

If we really want to sense the spirit of a culture, the kiosk, that unworthy, un-serious facilitator and giver of delight can tell us plenty28 The title of this concluding section is a paraphrase on the title of the quoted paper by the protagonist of kiosks and avant-garde architect Peter Cook, on these typologies ‘beneath architectural contempt’. I would argue that the kiosks, such as ‘H. Hansen’ showcases, has an unquestionable value for the social dimension of our cities - and that it is utmost important that we as planners, architects and decisionmakers include this in our mind-sets, despite its unassuming appearance. It is perhaps impossible to design these spaces, but the need to allow space for them to emerge and exist is crucial. Much more is at stake than nostalgia. Furthermore, building on these infraordinary observations ‘the possibilities of a new type of architectural intelligence’29 drawing on the potentials of the infraordinary.

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TECHNICAL SUMMARY:

Urban biopsy: The Danish Tabac Location: Rugvænget 2, Ballerup, 2750, Denmark Coordinates: 55°43’36.7”N 12°21’32.9”E Period: (1977 - 2000) 11.2015 - 2017 Framework / Probe: Site-specific installation (situated probe at site and at exhibition) Materials: Neon, surface transducer, Raspberry Pi, misc. electronics Fabrication Techniques: 3d printing, programming.

Inventory of stolen goods from H. Hansen’s Kiosk. The kiosk was robbed several times during the two decades.

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Passageways (A Sort of Conclusion)

1 Maurice Blanchot and Susan Hanson, ‘Everyday Speech’, Yale French Studies, 1987, 12–20 (p. 15).

I perceive the overall outcome of the dissertation to assume both a range of conclusions as well as emerging openings. As much as the thesis has been about answering the overall hypothesis and problem domain, it has (perhaps to an even larger degree) been hypothesis generating. Questions are unfolded rather than definitively closed down. The deeper I moved into the labyrinth of the subject matter, the more I became assured on how much I do not know, and that it is truly impossible to know everything, after all: ‘…the everyday escapes. This is its definition.’1 could accordingly be said about the infraordinary too. This, of course, resonates with the journey that I set out on, although the temptation to generalise towards the end becomes greater. However, I do not believe that such temptations necessarily should be followed in this dissertation. Instead, in the following passageways, I will propose a range of diagonals, propositions, perspectives and concluding remarks. Some of these arguments are solidified outcomes and momentary conclusions, whether other are open-ended and rather define a terrain for further investigation. First, in The Infraordinary City, I summarise the problem domain and overall arguments through approaching the performed urban biopsies as an urban topography. Secondly, in Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary as Discourse, I propose how the methodological framework and practicebased enterprise can be understood as a spatial discourse, as well as critically assess the research methodology as well as drawing some perspectives and generalisations relating to the context of the architectural profession. In both of these chapters, a range of diagonals (a sort of cross-sections) both summarises the key findings and leads to a series of propositions. Finally, Closing Remarks and Future

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Pas s ag eways

Research Terrains briefly outlines some future research terrains emerging as a result of the dissertation. Since the research is pivoting around a two-fold research domain, also a twofold set of conclusions are needed. Some relate closely to the subject matter of the ‘infraordinary as place for social coexistence’ (most prominent in The Infraordinary City), while other relate closer to the methodology, and critical spatial practices applied and developed ‘to explore and articulate this’ (foregrounded in ‘Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary as Spatial Discourse’). However, it is where the two overlaps that the productive friction happens and where the main contributions lie. The contributions of this research project assert distinctly different modes. In ‘Mediators’2, Deleuze divides the modus operandi of science into making ‘functions’, arts to make ‘aggregates’ and philosophy to make ‘concepts’. This research project and dissertation work horizontally across these disciplines making simultaneously concepts, functions and aggregates – and hence mirrors the profession and architectural practice at large. The contributions assume a diverse set of arguments to contribute to discussions on different levels, from urban planning to architectural design and research methodologies of the architectural discipline, hence implying to dissolve the usual division between these.

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2 Gilles Deleuze, ‘Mediators’, in Incorporations, by Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (New York, NY: Zone, 1992).


The Infraordinary City

Together, the urban biopsies performed and presented throughout this dissertation form a collated whole: an Infraordinary City. A montage of actual spaces, places and situations: at the same time a fabricated constellation, yet already in existence: It consists of disintegrated urban fragments, put back into a new constellation – a condition it shares with most cities, being a heterogeneous entity of parts.

A Quick Stroll through the Infraordinary City…

Map of ‘The Infraordinary City’

A reflection cast by someone opening a window on the other side of the street are projected into the living room. First, it touches the windowsill, before slowly moving across the floor and then rising the wallpaper. It slightly changes shape as it moves, before finally coming to rest next to a framed photograph on the wall. A vague and muffled sound from a radio playing and conversations can be heard through the ceiling. Looking out the window, entering see other people moving their curtains to the side. The sound of footsteps from the stairway penetrates the wall. You look through the peephole of the front door to see whom it is, yet only perceive a vague shadow disappearing downwards. Walking down the stairway, you encounter the neighbour from the first floor (a familiar stranger) – we politely nod to each other. Reaching the bottom floor, you notice that a new name has appeared on a mailbox, before entering the street. Continuing down the street, you pass a dry cleaner. People are heading in and out of its doorway, picking up their clothes or conversely dropping it off. A collection of items hangs in the vast window vitrine, displayed almost like a diorama in a museum. You take a shortcut through a narrow street with its windows crisscrossed with clothing lines. It is like the entrails of the buildings appearing: dresses in summery colours; children’s underwear; a couple of socks; a tablecloth; a number of duvet convers, and so on.

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It is almost ceremonial if first paying attention. You enter another street, cross a churchyard and finds ourselves at a hotdog kiosk, order a quick bite while reading the newspaper in the corner, looking at the passers-by and overhearing some conversations between the regulars (one is wearing Nike shoes, the other workman shoes). Later, after being on your way again for a while, you take a short break on a bench in front of an extraordinary monument. You do not look at the monument, but it is there, having your back. Crossing through an alley, in the gutter, you notice an imprint and some cigarettes, that you are quite sure not were there yesterday: as jetsam or deposits of an activity performed by someone else. You walk past two taxi drivers who circulate a lamppost, before passing a derelict barbershop that once was full of lived life. In the distance, you see a lit up sign. Continuing, soon after you enter a familiar tabac-like grocery shop to buy a few items (that you do not really need, in fact). It is a micro-cosmos of objects: specific types of coffee-blends; the beer assortment; the cigarette packs all lined up. It all seem outmost specific, although at the same time casual in its appearance. These shops are like imploded neighbourhoods: from the goods on the shelves, you can read who lives here, like a chart or diagram. A retired man sits on a flimsy stool, in an idle position to resume the conversation with the proprietor. After looking through the front-page news of the displayed newspapers, you meet an acquaintance from the neighbourhood and have a quick chat before taking up the stroll again. After a while, your feet are sore, and you head back home. Rising the stairway we encounter another neighbour carrying up his dirty laundry down, before locking ourselves in. As you step on the first floorboard, it makes a squeaking and comforting familiar sound, almost welcoming you home. Light from the neighbour’s windows enters your apartment. You quickly observe, that they are having dinner, and for a brief moment feel that the odour oozes through

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the gap in the window. Then, you sit down at a table to eat, casting a glance on the objects in our space, each with their hint of some story or micro-historical event. You hear the neighbours locking themselves in and out. In a way, not much happened during the stroll – yet, perhaps more than firstly assumed. In the end, you have been part of the larger social entity of the city. Your footsteps marked the city with your copresence. This is an infraordinary city – it could be any city.

Everyday Topography as Socio-Spatial Interface Certainly, a city needs monuments, spectacular buildings, squares and extraordinary elements: but even more, it requires a qualified everyday topography. It has been the argument throughout this thesis, that the infraordinary plays a vital role in the social coexistence and interaction between city dwellers. Often, as we have seen, it is not the formal and intentional functions of the built environment that facilitate this, but coincidental by-products and all the infraordinary elements in-between. As such, the city is truly a vast archive through which people coexist through events in real-time and deposits over time. In this, the infraordinary and the everyday urban topography could be understood as a spatio-material interface for person-to-person interaction and relations, using the architecture as a medium for communicating. Through this, life is projected through the signs of action and presence, and hence, the city is a complex artifice that mediates between the individual life of people and the larger social entity of it— through this constant performance. Hence, it is important to understand the urban and build environment beyond its intended and practical use but look at its social implications and perceived realities. Consequently, this


critically questions the ‘rational’, ‘pragmatic’ and ‘functional’ planning of architecture and cities, building on the residues of modernist planning and mindsets. The Infraordinary City is opposed to this, and (conversely) based on human-centred and socio-spatial qualities: it is perhaps not the most efficient and optimised in rational and economic terms, but its qualities lie elsewhere: it is a place with softer and less measurable qualities related to the social, everyday dimension. Our cities become more and more governed by the regimens of economic gain, ‘functional’ planning and spatial segregation, which in turn foster a particular type of contemporary architecture. As a profession, we need to question and challenge this – as this proposal does through imaginative and experimental practices rooted in the already existing and near qualities, which in turn provides alternatives to the contemporary architecture and its concepts of values. This could be perceived as an alternative set of values for another type of optimisation in the long run, based on social sustainability, liveability and a humanistic approach to architecture and our cities. The collated whole, comprised of microscopic gazes, of the Infraordinary City present itself to discussions on what we want from our cities and, potentially, can inform large-scale planning strategies and decision-making.

What, then, are then the implications of such an Infraordinary City? What are the potentials of the findings in a prospective light? In the following part, I will draw up some diagonals and, in turn, some propositions, which have emerged in the friction in-between the situated practice of performing the urban biopsies. Some of these diagonals and propositions point toward conceptualising particular key findings, while other present themselves as emerging tactical design approaches or strategies. As it has become evident throughout the dissertation the everyday and infraordinary resists precise definition and eludes generalisation, as it is specific to the situation and cultural context. Therefore, what is presented in the sections that follow takes departure in the situated urban biopsies, and thus are conclusions and propositions particular to the collocation of these.

DIAGONAL 1:

Re-Calibration of the Everyday Socio-Spatial In this light, this thesis contributes to a discussion on what kind of cities, build environments and qualities we look and design for. The social coexistence and encounters must ultimately be the raison d’être of the city. However, it seems that cities and the built environment in too many cases are going in a different direction: When building and designing today, one strives for the opposite: ultimate isolation from others in one’s domestic realm. Spaces are introvert: mute and blind. Instead of the usual negative connotations, there is a latent potential in embracing these spatial ‘imperfections’ to prompt new devices, spaces, and future building practices with a larger emphasis on (indirect) social interaction and coexistence, as foregrounded in ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’.

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DIAGONAL 2:

PROPOSITION 1:

Inhabitants as Co-Authors and Implosions of Neighbourhoods

Pledging for Porosity and Spatial Gapes

The inhabitants and the architecture are potential extensions of each other, almost prosthetic. Co-authorship in the dry cleaner and hot-dog kiosk is distinctly different from the authorship within one’s domestic territory. In ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’, one does not directly curate the spatial interior layout, but nevertheless affects it by ones temporary occupation as well as investment in sustaining the existence of the typology: without its customers, such Moreover, vertex would apparently seize to exist. In a different way, ‘The Dry Cleaner’ and ‘The Danish Tabac’ are implosions of the local neighbourhood: the first being a repository of peoples private items and the latter stocking objects that reflect the surrounding inhabitants desires as a chart or diagram. ‘The Lamppost and the City’ treats the overall dialectic between the overall memory of the city and the coauthorship by its inhabitants in-between the grand gestures, which is initially explored in a domestic and microscopic realm in ‘The Kitchen and the Living Room’. Throughout the thesis, the concept of porosity continually emerges. Most prominent presented as the porosity of spatial demarcations showcased in ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’ and ‘The Bedroom Window and Courtyard’ and as an urban allegory to the processes of stain removal and paradoxes of ‘ordering’ and ‘disordering’ presented in ‘The Dry Cleaner’. This evokes the inherent discussions on the division and boundaries between public and private territories, domains and attitudes and leads to the following proposition:

Hence, I pledge for porosity, meaning a weaker and less rigid attitude of architecture and planning, giving room for the infraordinary and ‘unplanned’ in-between to flourish. It urgently calls for a recalibration of current urban development and renewal practices, if our cities are to remain socially sustainable. Instead of creating formal boundaries, the infraordinary spatial dimension can stimulate informal interconnectivity and social cohesion, by many put forward as one of the cornerstones of social sustainability. Through allowing for a higher degree of disordering, urban porosity and spatial coauthorship in a planning and architectural perspective, we can promote these ‘spatial gapes’ and porous interfaces for direct and indirect social interactions on an everyday basis between the city dwellers. Instead of striving for an ‘impossible order’, allowing for a ‘possible disorder’1 can allow intermixing between semi-public realms and people and in turn socio-spatial cohesion and truly liveable cities.

PROPOSITION 2:

Redefining the Notion of Public Space Also, in general, I propose a new position towards the idea and concept of the public. Rather that the sharp distinction between public and private, a much more multifaceted position should be taken: the city and its architecture are much more permeable than we may think. Even in our home – our cocoon – we are constantly interacting with the other inhabitants of the city. A much more confined type of exchange, but nevertheless important to acknowledge. What demarks

1 Thomas Sieverts and Morten Daugaard, ‘Fra En Umulig Orden Til En Mulig Uorden’, 2008.


and defines this limit between the public and the private? For instance, where does one draw the public-private threshold between two windows opposing each other at the street? Where the glass is, since this is the legal boundary? Or does it follow the lines of sight and extend well into other person’s apartment, as in the urban biopsy ‘The Bedroom Window and Courtyard’? And if the neighbours can hear one’s conversations through the parting wall, is it then a private space, although not (in an acoustic sense) a space exclusively inhabited by the resident? Accordingly, I propose a more ambiguous and rich attitude towards the idea of the public and private spatial relationship. This understanding transgresses the perceived spatial delimitation and fixed boundaries.

architect is not a social engineer (which has to often proved unproductive), but rather deploying tactical manoeuvres, which makes this possible.

PROPOSITION 3:

The Infraordinary as Design-Parameter In relation to practices of architectural design and planning, I propose a designpractice leaping from and informed by the potentials and qualities of the infraordinary as a condition for social coexistence, as foregrounded in this dissertation. Rather than simply starting with the brief and spatial programme (of functions), the everyday social coexistence could be an active design parameter and constraint similar to other (perhaps more measurable) design constraints such as light conditions and sustainability, which (should) infiltrate any architectural brief and design. In modern areas, there are no space for co-authorship, no space for hot-dog kiosks or tabacs – what if starting the other way around? The infraordinary and social dimension should be included when building, planning, transforming, conserving and conceiving architecture. However, the role of the

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Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary as Spatial Discourse Overall, the thesis makes the following propositions for an experimental architectural practice engaged in using critical spatial practices to probe and interrogate the infraordinary as a vital condition of social coexistence. This is partly built on an inherent critique of the current practices of our profession. Despite this statement, the following (and the dissertation as such) is meant as a suggestion and supplement to current design and research strategies, and should not be considered prescriptive.

DIAGONAL 3:

Uncovering the Infraordinary through Critical Spatial Practices

1 Theodor W. Adorno, ‘The Essay as Form’, in Notes to Literature, 1991, i.

The main objective of the methodological framework has been to ‘question the habitual’ and through that reconceive and reconceptualise the social dimension of the built environment through the lens of the infraordinary. Deploying critical spatial practices and situated experiments, the partial view and partial conclusions is favoured rather than the all-viewing gaze and totalitarian theories. Again, this is not intended as a substitute or prescriptive approach to doing research(-by-design) but offers an alternative to already established discourses within research and practice. As much as I criticise that some knowledge ‘cannot be caught in the net of science’, as formulated by Adorno1, it of course also works the other way around. Presented throughout the thesis are various alternative modes of uncovering the infraordinary and thus gain insights. From directly following Perec’s ‘framework of perception’ through the lists (and meticulous architectural survey) of ‘The Kitchen and Living Room’, the two photographic apparatuses of ‘The Apartments and the Stairway’, the creative writing deployed in ‘The Dry Cleaner’, utilizing moving images in ‘The Lamppost and

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the City’, the interactive apparatus of ‘The HotDog-Kiosk’ and visual-acoustic installation of ‘The Danish Tabac’. Together, these present a multimodal uncovering of various aspects of the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst of social coexistence, operating distinctively differently. Most of them, however, crossfertilize several artistic and architectural practices.

DIAGONAL 4:

Two-Fold Situated Encounters of the Infraordinary Throughout the research project, two interpretations of the infraordinary have been deployed. The first urban biopsies presented takes departure in the infraordinary as the everyday spaces worn invisible by use, through utilising my own life-words in ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’ and subsequently ‘The Bedroom Window and Courtyard’, and initially in ‘The Kitchen and the Living Room’. The second explores the infraordinary as the ‘unseen’ urban typologies. Here, the starting point was not my own livedexperience, but rather identifying urban biopsies in the urban realm, for instance in the case of ‘The Dry Cleaner’ and ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’, the first situated in a city abroad, which extended the notion of the infraordinary as being culturally specific. ‘The Lamppost and the City’ and the parallel accumulative photographic practice are, in their own right, also build on a similar approach. However, all of these still favours lived-experience and situatedness, although in a slightly augmented manner. Finally, ‘The Danish Tabac’, which assumes both the beginning and the end of this project, presents an overlapping of these two interpretations and discourses within the infraordinary. Leaping both from my own life-

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world as well as being an unseen (obliterated) urban element.

DIAGONAL 5:

The Infraordinary as Indeterminate Category The infraordinary can be conceived as an indeterminate category, containing the residues of the everyday elements not given much attention (by architects). I propose the infraordinary as an operational category that lends itself not with final answers (since this is truly impossible), but rather marks the need for re-perceiving what are so obvious and that it is unseen. In the end, as coined by Georges Perec, the infraordinary and the ‘frameworks of perception’ bound to it, have transcended from a literary context and have gradually been translated into an architectural discourse and situated critical spatial practices. Ultimately, it provides specific perspectives on the implications and potentials concerning the everyday social dimension in architectural design and urban planning and points out the necessity to include this dimension in the discourse of the profession. Accordingly, to probe this indeterminate category is crucial and calls for deploying and inventing bespoke critical practices to look at the banal and the takenfor-granted.

PROPOSITION 4:

Dialectics Between Micro and Macro Consequently, I propose that instead of operating from the macro to the micro, this could rather be reversed the other way around and enter a dialectical relationship where these two modes constantly inform each other. This is distinctly different from the usual mode of working within the profession,


2 Jane Rendell, Art and Architecture: A Place between (London: I. B. Tauris, 2006), chap. Collaboration.

working from the strategic to the detail 2. Deploying a microscopic gaze provides alternative ways of looking, perceiving and conceiving our cities, the infraordinary and social dimension combined. Accordingly, a multi-dimensional approach to the social dimension of the everyday can be maintained, building on the infraordinary qualities identified through the microscopic gaze. This incorporates a sensibility towards what is taken for granted and considered ‘banal’ in the everyday realm but could be elevated as a design parameter. DIAGONAL 6:

Inherent Paradox of Making Strange

3 Georges Perec, ‘Approaches to What’, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. by John Sturrock (London, England; New York, N.Y., USA: Penguin Books, 1997), pp. 209–11.

Inevitably, when dealing with and pointing towards the infraordinary, it paradoxically seizes to be infraordinary. In the process of making strange, the ordinary becomes outof-the ordinary. Simply put, the common, familiar and, perhaps, unnoticed is lifted into the spotlight. The intention has neither been to create infraordinary architecture or experiments as such, but rather experiment with the infraordinary. Many of the build probes thus, intentionally, assume a certain (perhaps, to some extend extraordinarily) unfamiliar aesthetic and become strange devices to see it in a new light and ‘wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired’3. However, it is the infraordinary socio-spatial qualities that are centre stage, and from using these as stepping-stones, we can reconceive the ways that our cities and buildings are designed. Throughout the project, I have pointed towards the infraordinary and unseen qualities. In some cases (for instance in ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’ and ‘The Danish Tabac’, to an extent where these were rendered unfamiliar, spectacular and perhaps even extraordinary.

DIAGONAL 7:

Urban Biopsies and Theory as Relays Often, the outcome and findings of one probe lead directly to another. For instance, this is the case with the photographic device of my stairway that led to a shift of attention and instead probing the apartment itself through laser scanning and writing. At times, it is the given nature, techniques or framework of perception of the probe itself that leads to the coming practice-driven experiment, urban biopsy or theory. This is the case of ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’ that is a continuation and hybrid of the constellation of coded messages first explored in the London dry cleaner and the photographic device at the stairway build for ‘The Apartment and the Stairway’. At other times, the overall urban biopsy leads to the next, as with ‘The Bedroom and the Courtyard’ that leaps directly from some key findings and identifications in ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’ that called for further examination in a different context. Thus, a fine web of relations from where concepts and theory moves back and forth is tested out and filtered through various urban biopsies and probes. Here the practice-based experiments and parallel theory works as relays4 to push the overall project forward and gain new knowledge and conceptualisation of the subject matter, through abductive reasoning.

PROPOSITION 5:

Challenging the Status Quo Accordingly, it has been the quest of this thesis to identify and contribute with another type of disciplinary knowledge to challenge the status quo. Simply, we cannot afford to take anything for granted, because if we look closely the familiar and infraordinary is full of miraculous potentials for spatial

4 Michel Foucault, Donald F Bouchard and Sherry Simon, ‘Intellectuals & Power: A conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze’, in Language, countermemory, practice: selected essays and interviews (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1977).

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invention. Hence, it is vital to constantly bring in different perspectives, through a range of ways to perceiving the infraordinary. These stimulate invention and spatial possibility, rather than, as often seen in architectural practices, working with preconceptions and predefined scripts. Implied in this lies a critique and open question of the role of the architect.

PROPOSITION 6:

Extended Situated Research Practice Artistic and critical spatial practices provide other ways of negotiating, understanding and facilitating the infraordinary and social dimension in an alternative way to the techniques and methods applied within architectural research. The situated practices lend themselves as a mechanism of reflexivity and to a performative dialogue, through an oscillation between asking questions and proposing answers. However, this proposal should not be understood as a unifying attempt for a universal research strategy or design field, but an explorative practice that indicates future potentials for coupling, grounding and situating architecture closer to the infraordinary social dimension. Making, constructing and designing are integral parts of this reflexive practice and hence in direct prolongation of the architectural profession as making discipline, however in different scale.

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DIAGONAL 8:

Between the Representation, Presentational and the Socio-Political The performed urban biopsies assume two positions, which can be traced back to the division between ‘frameworks of perception’ and ‘situated probes’. Two extreme positions within this could be identified: some are sociopolitical devices for a public and communal discussion, while other are modes of internal uncovering, representation, reflection and reconceptualising the infraordinary. Put in other words, the first is performative and the latter representational. The socio-political devices re-introduce these spaces to the users and open up new public discussions though other ways of presenting and looking at the habitual social dimension of our cities. The representational is more about somehow holding onto and consolidating fragments of knowledge. The variety of urban biopsies has different agencies and ways of triggering and producing knowledge. Some are more active than other. ‘The Hot Dog-Kiosk’ explores an unknown terrain through the critical activity of making, while ‘The Danish Tabac’ is less explorative in this sense, but more prominently a statement and way of disseminating and consolidating knowledge site-specifically. ‘The Stairway and the Apartment’ is (partly) a survey-like and static representation, while ‘The Danish Tabac’ is a more of a public socio-political device and the two-fold situated probes of ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’ becomes an interactive presentation of a re-choreographed reality and, simultaneously, re-introducing the space to its users.


PROPOSITION 7:

Re-Choreographing the Infraordinary

5 James Corner, ‘The Agency of Mapping: Speculation Critique and Invention’, in Mappings, by Denis E Cosgrove (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), p. 216.

Several of the situated probes deployed in the urban biopsies takes on an attitude toward altering the situation in question, especially for instance in ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’, ‘The Dry Cleaner’ and ‘The Danish Tabac’. Through what could be considered a spatial re-choreographing it has been the intention to develop some of the latent potentials, rather than simply identifying them. Although at first glance some of the typologies presented may seem retrospective, the endeavour of this thesis and its enquiries incorporates the past, present and future tense simultaneously. Through pointing at and re-choreographing (or perhaps rewriting) the infraordinary the project takes on a prospective attitude. Despite learning from artistic practices, all the practice-based experiments are considered architectural probes that rather than consolidating the present past may envision future building and urban practices. Like with mapping, they can be seen as productive instruments, that is more than a reproduction of what exist, but rather possess an agency that ‘lies in neither reproduction nor imposition, but rather uncovering realities previously unseen or unimagined’ through ‘first disclosing and then staging the conditions for the emergence of new realities.’5 Through manipulating existing infraordinary phenomena new spatial realities are invented.

PROPOSITION 8:

Infraordinary and Unfamiliar Architectural Entities

may look like. Building on the identified infraordinary spatial qualities as potentials for invention prospectively, however, doesn’t necessarily call for the architecture to be infraordinary per se, but rather seeks to bring these qualities forward. To distil and design with these infraordinary qualities must necessarily, in some cases, incorporate a process of making strange – of altering and building on top of the ordinary. Until, at some point, the strange and unfamiliar conceived architectural entities, potentially, becomes familiar by daily use and everyday inhabitation.

PROPOSITION 9:

Architectural Probes as Architectural Miniatures Throughout this endeavour, I have purposely experimented with different artistic practices, starting from photography, creative writing and moving pictures, but later entering more intermixed and hybrid categories. However, I do not perceive my production as an artistic one. I will insist on this as architectural experiments. As I perceive it, the frameworks of perception and situated probes become architecture in their own right in the way that it stages, filters and re-choreographs in the same way that any building would do. Buildings themselves are prime frameworks of perception and situated probes, which controls and orchestrates how we perceive our surroundings and the social entity of the city. Consequently, the architectural probes deployed throughout this project can be understood as architectural miniatures, in their own right.

Taking this and the diagonal ‘Inherent Paradox of Making Strange’ into a future perspective, calls for a critical discussion of what such an infraordinary architecture

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Closing Remarks and Future Research Terrains

The prime and overall contributions of this project is to present another way of perceiving and treating the infraordinary and everyday social dimension of the city. The endeavour of this thesis contributes with one possible route to understanding the everyday topography and our social coexistence within it, through an alternative and more nuanced prospect. Through critical spatial practices, the infraordinary is uncovered in a micro-scale in order to see new opportunities for spatial invention - and potentially inform large-scale planning and the architectural discourse at large. The open-ended nature of this dissertation makes possible a multitude of future lines of flight in a research context. As the scope of the project have been moving horizontally and interdisciplinary, touching upon various disciplines, many of the encounters could be further developed and elaborated through research endeavours. However, the most prominent question emerging is how to distil this into reconceiving architectural design, building on the experimental practice and temporal critical spatial practices deployed in this dissertation. What does such an architecture look like â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will it be infraordinary at all, or rather building on the potentials for spatial invention in regard to the social dimension as identified in this dissertation? This calls for a series of future experiments needed to gradually bring the findings, methodology and discourse closer to and potentially into actual building practices, architectural design and urban planning.

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C los i n g Rem a r ks an d Fu tu re Res earch Terrai n s

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Aki Kaurismäki, Drifting Clouds, 1998. Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window, 1955. Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera, 1929. Gianfranco Rosi, Sacro GRA, 2014. Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache / Lettre À Freddy Buache), 1983. Jim Jarmusch, Coffee and Cigarettes, 2004. Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train, 1989. Jim Jarmusch, Night on Earth, 1991. Jim Jarmusch, Paterson, 2016. Jim Jarmusch, Stranger Than Paradise, 1984. Mannus Franken and Joris Ivens, Regen, 1929. Max Kestner, Drømme I København / Copenhagen Dreams, 2010. Roy Andersson, You The Living, 2007 Walter Ruttmann, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, 1928.

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Photo Credits

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs and drawings are by the author of this dissertation.

P. 22, above and right: Copyright by Daniel Spoerri (1961). P. 22, below: Copyright by Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till (1997). P. 31, above: Copyright by Jim Jarmusch (2003). P. 31, below: Photograph by Eugene Atget. Copyright by George Eastman House Collection. P. 33, above: Copyright Sophie Calle (1981) and Tate, London, UK. P. 33, below: Copyright Alan Wexler (1990). P. 34: Photograph and Copyright by Pierre Getzler, June 1970. P. 35, in the middle: Original permutation schemes by Perec. Copyright by Phillippe Lejune. P. 36: Scheme and section by Geroges Perec. Original copyright unknown. P. 39, above: Copyright by Gianfranco Rosi (2014) P. 39, below: Copyright Francois Maspero (1994) P. 41: Copyright by Karianne Halse and Espen Lunde Nielsen (2010). P. 43: Copyright by Presence research project at Royal College of Art. P. 46: Copyright by Saul Steinberg (1949). P. 71, right: Copyright by Danmarks Radio (1970-1977). P. 72, above: Photograph and copyright by Clifford Coffin (1948). P. 72, below: Copyright by Andrey Tarkovsky (1983) P. 79, above: It has not been possible to determine copyright holder. P. 79, below: Copyright by manufacturer Doorways Plus. P. 104: Copyright by Jim Jarmusch. P. 106: Copyright by Le Magasin Pittoresque (1883) P. 107: Copyright by Robert Doisneau (1962) P. 108, above: Copyright by Jacob Kierkegaard and The

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Swiss Institute, New York (2007) P. 108, below: Copyright by Vito Acconci Studio (1998)

P. 238, below: Copyright by Jacques Tati (1967)

P. 109, above: Copyright by Benoît Maubrey (1986)

P. 357, above: Photographs by Eugene Atget. Copyright by BnF, Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique.

P. 109, below: Copyright by David Byrne (2008)

P. 363, above: Copyright by Hans-Peter Feldman.

P. 119, above: Photographs and copyright by Arne Svensson (2013).

P. 375, above: Unknown copyright holder.

P. 119, in the middle: Copyright by Alfred Hitchcock (1955). P. 119, below: Copyright by Max Kestner (2010) P. 135, right: Copyright by Lundgaard & Tranberg’ (2006). P. 136: Copyright by Roy Andersson (2007) P. 137: Copyright by Jesper Just (2011) P. 155: Copyright by Soane’s Archives. P. 157, below. Origiral permutation schemes by Georges Perec. P. 161, below: Copyright by Soane’s Archives. P. 162: Reproduction of painting, oil on canvas, 96 x 129 cm, by David Teniers the Younger. Copyright by Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

P. 375, below: Copyright by Rønne Museum. P. 395, above: Copyright by Aki Kaurismäki (1996). P. 412, above: Photograph from Instagram-user ‘kunonygaard’ at Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen, 2015. P. 412, below: Photographs by Bent Larsen. Copyright by Magasinet Copenhagen. P. 413, above: Copyright by M+ Museum (Neonsigns.hk) P. 413, below: Photo graph from Instagram-user ‘havregryn.super’ (2015) P. 415: Copyright by Astrid Løken. P. 416: Copyright by Susanne Mertz (1991) P. 417: Copyright by Dutch tourist Ed Sijmons (1971).

P. 170: Map by A. Leconte (1920s). In the public domain. P. 174-175: Copyright by Anders Kruse Aagaard, CIMS and Espen Lunde Nielsen (2015). P. 178: Copyright byTokyo Architectural Detective Bereau. P. 231: Copyright by Smithsonian Catalogue. P. 233: Photograph by Detroit Photographic Co., (1900). Copyright: Collection Marc Walter, Taschen. P. 234, above: It has not been possible to determine the copyright holder. P. 236: Copyright by Stephen Shakeshaft. P. 237, above: Copyright by Franck Bohbot. P. 238, above: Copyright by Bart’s Pathology Museum, London.

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Exhibition at Defence

It is expected to display the outcome of the urban biopsies at an exhibition in relation to the defence, in the extend that this is possible.

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Epilogue

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear Reader! It is with equal amounts of delight and despair that I have now reached the end. The boundary between my role as an inhabitant of the city and a researcher have gradually become vaguer to the extent where I, at times, felt like inhabiting a research project and writing a city. An almost schizophrenic condition, where my private domain was simultaneously something to be studied, examined and interrogated: what I heard through the walls and saw through the windows was part of both my lived-life and research endeavour. My sensitivity to paying attention to the infraordinary has been omnipresent and exhaustive. As for now, I will return to an everyday life. Yours truly, Espenâ&#x20AC;?

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Appendix

Chapter ‘The Bedroom Window and the Courtyard’: Video sketches: vimeo.com/193396638 vimeo.com/193396699 Chapter ‘The Lamppost and the City’: Video: vimeo.com/151373440 (password: Aa1234) Chapter ‘The Hot-Dog Kiosk’: All images available at: infraordinary.dk An extended appendix is available at: infraordinary.dk/phd-appendix

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Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary: Social Coexistence through Everyday Spaces

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Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary: Social Coexistence through Everyday Spaces  

PhD dissertation. Aarhus School of Architecture. This research project investigates the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst for socia...

Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary: Social Coexistence through Everyday Spaces  

PhD dissertation. Aarhus School of Architecture. This research project investigates the infraordinary as a condition and catalyst for socia...

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