The Parasitic Reading Room Reader 1
Film still: Farenheit 451. Franรงois Truffaut, 1966.
“[Books] can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different."
—Neil Gaiman 'Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming.' The Guardian, 2013
The Parasitic Reading Room Aristide Antonas and Thanos Zartaloudis define ‘The Parasitic Council’ as that place “where a public space can be the plateau for the occupancy of a commonhold in order that it performs multiple parasitic functions of common use without claims to property.” Following this protocol of action and occupancy of the city, and connecting them with the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial ‘A School of Schools,’ dpr-barcelona and the open raumlabor university will set up for the opening days of the IDB a Parasitic Reading Room, a nomad, spontaneous and parasitic set of reading spaces that will take place along the biennale venues and other spots in the city, with the intention of 'parasite' the event participants, visitors, ideas, contents and places, and to provoke a contagion of knowledge. The Parasitic Reading Room is a spontaneous school, made by reading aloud a selection of texts that are related with the biennale's scope. 4 | Books as spaces of encounters
Book launch of the book Archipelago of Protocols by Aristide Antonas, [dpr-barcelona, 2016] as an spontaneous public reading in the hills of the Greek Acropolis by Urban School Ruhr and dpr-barcelona.
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On his book Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich states that most learning happens casually, and training of young people never happens in the school but elsewhere, in moments and places beyond the control of the school. When claiming for the revolutionary potential of deschooling, Illich makes a call to liberating oneself from school and to reckon that "each of us is personally responsible for his or her own deschooling, and only we have the power to do it." This is why the wide domain of academia needs to be challenged in radical and unexpected ways and we need to envision other spaces of encounter and knowledge exchange out of its walls. Similarly, Michael Paraskos rightly pointed on his essay The Table Top Schools of Art, that “we might well say that if four individuals gather together under a tree that is a school. Similarly four individuals around a kitchen table. Or four individuals in the café or bar. By redefining the school in this way we also redefine what it means to be a student in a school or a teacher.” Perhaps the essential question at this point is what kind of readings should form this alternative bibliography on different pedagogical models, about other sources of knowledge, that come not only [but also] from the pages of our favourite books? This question can have multiple answers which all of them are to be intertwined, multi-connected, overlapped. Poems, films, instagram photos—and its captions—, songs, e-mail exchanges, objects, conversations with friends over a glass of wine or a coffee, dreams; we learn from all of them albeit [or often because] the hectic diversity of formats, and sometimes its lack of seriousness. By reading aloud we share a space of intimacy, a time and place of learning not only from the contents, but from the nuances, the accents, the cadence of the reading. Abigail Williams called this ‘the social life of books,’ "How books are read is as important as what’s in them," she pointed—we call it ‘the book as a space of encounters.’ This means spaces where different books coexist and enrich each other; books as the necessary space where the author can have a dialogue with the reader, where different readers can 6 | Books as spaces of encounters
read between the lines and find a place of exchange, where to debate, and discuss ideas. Books and encounters as an open school. If everywhere is a learning environment, as we deeply believe, and the Istanbul Design Biennial wants to prove by transforming the city of Istanbul into a school of schools, we vindicate the importance of books—be them fiction, poetry or critical theory—as learning environments; those spaces where empathy and otherness are stronger than ideologies, where we can find space to ‘parasite’ each other’s knowledge and experience and create an open school by the simple but strong gesture of reading aloud together. Because, what is a school if not a promise?
—Ethel Baraona Pohl, César Reyes [dpr-barcelona], Rosario Talevi [Open Raumlabor University]
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Joanne Pouzenc Spaces of learning from the Athens USR excursion. Source: Explorations in Urban Practice. The Urban School Ruhr Series. dpr-barcelona, 2017.
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Ivan Illich The Revolutionary Potential of Deschooling. Source: Deschooling Society. Harper & Row, 1971. Image: Efficiency Beurs in RAI, Amsterdam, 1987.
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Marshall McLuhan Quentin Fiore Co-ordinated by Jerome Agel. Source: The Medium is the Massage. Penguin Books, 1967.
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Ainsworth Rand Spofford The Art of Reading. Source: A Book for All Readers. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900.
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Adolfo Natalini Archizoom Associati Source: Silvia Franceschini, Valerio Borgonuovo, Global Tools 1973â€“ 1975: Towards an Ecology of Design. SALT Research and Programs, 2015.
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Peter Cook Introduction. Source: StĂ¤delschule Architektur: the teacher learns from his students. HĂ¤usser, 1993.
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Silvia Federici Feminism an dthe Politics of the Commons. Source: Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons. PM Press, 2018. Above:
Unknown Source: IG @halfdimensional
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Houria Bouteldja Courtesy of Ross Exo Adams., for 'Body of Us.' Source: Whites, Jews, and Us: Toward a Politics of Revolutionary Love. MIT Press, 2017. Images: George Henton, The Taksim Square Book Club. Al Jazeera, 2013. Everywhere is a learning environment | 25
HĂŠlĂ¨ne Frichot Katja Grillner Julieanna Preston Writing Places Conference. Source: Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice. Spurbuchverlag, 2017.
John Hejduk Source: Victims. Architectural Association, 1986. 28 | Books as spaces of encounters
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Katherine Ball Source: The Water Runs Through Us: A Lexicon of Water Practices at Floating University. Floating University, 'Hot Terms' Lexicon workshop, 2018. Everywhere is a learning environment | 31
dpr-barcelona Alchemy of the classroom. Source: "Learning," Volume #45, 2015.
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of becoming an updated heroic version of Howard Roark, perpetuating the roles of master and student. We should distrust those who bring headlines referring to the ‘death of the architect’ or the ‘death of architecture’, while at the same time showing the paths for change. As soon as prospective students realize that they are being prepared for a world that doesn’t require all the skills they are paying tuition for, they will become aware that they are already learning and teaching the contents that really interest and provoke them – those that will configure their future practice (whatever its name) – by sharing through relational networks. By this understanding, emancipated students and teachers would be less prone to accept the scenarios of debt, fear and inequality in labor that are constantly reproduced in capitalist work-life. How to catalyze change when relying in the same old vocabulary? Perhaps the first clever movement would be to ‘unlearn’ unconscious concepts, ideas and references that have been acquired during the academic years, from debt and fear to excellence and prestige. We should critically decolonize our minds and start questioning the importance of an accredited academic curriculum, the hierarchies, the economic system behind them, and the ego of the Self in architecture. Paired with this, we foresee an alchemy of the classroom, transforming it into a node of exchange, where you can go (connect, attend) to share and learn; not to ‘teach’ in the conventional sense of a master giving pieces of knowledge to minds that live in ignorance, but to use Rimbaud’s alchemy of the word, to reframe the [academic] world. Previous knowledge based on the experience of architectonic realizations like calculus, chemistry, soil science and physics should then merge with new fields of exploration that describes the layers of reality within which we are now immersed. That is the material we already have and that can be shared in spaces of exchange, transformed by a new understanding of the territories we inhabit and the means we use to occupy and modify it.
emish, as tual l and
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Julia Udall, Sam Vardy How do we know? Who knows? A history of enacting spaces of learning. Source: Explorations in Urban Practice. The Urban School Ruhr series, dpr-barcelona, 2017.
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Alberto Manguel Source: The Library at Night. Alfred A. Knopf Canada., 2006. Everywhere is a learning environment | 37
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From Book to Books In the final scene of Alain Resnais’s meditative short film on the French National Library of Paris, Toute la mémoire du monde (1956), the narrator’s voiceover highlights the crucial shift of value that occurs as soon as a specific book has been selected and requested from storage by an individual user: And now the book marches on toward an imaginary boundary / More significant in its life than passing through the looking glass / It’s no longer the same book / Before, it was part of a universal, abstract, indifferent memory, where all books are equal / … / Here it’s been picked out, preferred over others / Here it’s indispensable to its reader, torn from its galaxy / … / This and other universes offer up their keys to us / … / simply because these readers / Each working on their slice of universal memory / Will have laid the fragments of a single secret end to an end…1 Echoing the Bergsonian concept of actualization, this emphasis on selection and constellation, however idiosyncratic, is at the heart of curatorial thought and practice as one method of making meaning, however esoteric. And, as will become clear, the pulsation of the library—the very push and pull between axioms of organization and subjective propositions—plays a Anna-Sophie Springer specifically powerful role in the following essay, both formally Etienne Turpin (eds.) and conceptually. 1
Alain Resnais, Toute la mémoire du monde (F 1956), B/W, 21 min (included in the DVD Alain Resnais, Last Year at Marienbad (F 1961), B/W, 94 min, The Criterion Collection).
From Book to Books.
Source: Fantasies of the Library, K. Verlag, 2015. Image: Film still Toute la mémoire du monde. Alain Resnais, 1956.
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AndrĂŠ Gorz Reclaiming Work, Beyond the Wage-based Society. Source: WhatsApp, private conversation. Sept. 2018
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Images: Sara Giannini, Unfold #1: A Library Where the Books Have Melted Into One Another and the Titles Have Faded Away. The Volume Project, 2015.
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Ronald Ross 1897 original notebook records of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes. Source: Memoirs with a Full Account of the Great Malaria Problem and Its Solution, J. Murray, 1923.
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Disclaimer: A parasite does not ask permission to interact, it nourishes itself from its host, and causes changes for good and for bad... it depends on who tells the story. The parasitized texts in these readers are reproduced without asking permission, the only reason is its nutritional value for the survival of a non-mercantilized form of school. As if a genetic trail the source is cited the result is uncertain and it only depends on who reads it.
dpr-barcelona is an architectural research practice and independent publishing house founded by Ethel Baraona Pohl and César Reyes, dealing with three main lines: publishing, criticism and curating. Their research and theoretical work is linked to leading publications in architectural discourse, such as Quaderns d’arquitectura i urbanisme and as Archis advisors for Volume magazine, among others. Curators of the third Think Space programme with the theme “Money” and the exhibition Adhocracy ATHENS at the Onassis Cultural Center, 2015. dpr-barcelona is member of the Future Architecture platform, the first panEuropean platform of architecture museums, festivals and producers.
Open Raumlabor University (ORU) is a fictional institution offering workshops, excursions, summer schools and open discussions as educational formats. Founded in 2015, it builds upon a long history of learning related formats by raumlaborberlin based on dialogue, deep collaboration and lasting relations. The ORU is part of a wider move to shift from project to practice, it is not fixed in time and space, and its structure and methods will vary with the context of each iteration. These iterations—which include Osthang Summer School, Urban School Ruhr and The Floating University— hope to extend beyond the university’s members, to a wider network involving local actors as well as international partners.
raumlabor.net/open-raumlaboruniversity-2 #raumlaborberlin #oru
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The Parasitic Reading Room dpr-barcelona + open raumlabor university A School of Schools the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial
For the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial ‘A School of Schools,’ dpr-barcelona and the open raumlabor university will set up for the opening days...
Published on Sep 18, 2018
For the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial ‘A School of Schools,’ dpr-barcelona and the open raumlabor university will set up for the opening days...