Page 1

The Parasitic Reading Room Reader 2


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


Thoughts for Breakfast, Mind awakening with poems selected by Ethel Baraona Pohl for Public Space: Fights and Fictions, "36hour Factory of Thought," Organised by the Goethe-Institut and the Akademie der KĂźnste, 2016.

Everywhere is a learning environment | 5


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]

Everywhere is a learning environment | 7


Anonymous black woman Lullaby, Colombia and Venezuela region. Widespread by Atahualpa Yupanqui. 8 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 9


10 | Books as spaces of encounters


Eliza Hoxha (ed.) The Hertica's School-House, 1992-1999. Source: The City is Everywhere, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Everywhere is a learning environment | 11 of the Republic of Kosovo, 2018.


Rebekka Kiesewetter Source: Under Trees. The “Third School”: Changing our perception around education. Aformal Academy, 2016.

12 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 13


To step over, or between. Against or around. Each step pushes against what is already there, to bring forward all the embedded forces preceding this body, this figure. The step brushes the latent energies, to bring them into relief and to confront what lies in wait. To step, is to step forward, and in doing so, to produce a spatial effect: the emergence of a path, and the horizon in the distance. From the step we learn to imagine what is further, and out of reach; to understand that there is always more, beyond our grasp and apparent to the senses. And that there is always something we leave behind, or that leaves us. The education of the step is thus one that generates a range of fantasy, a belief in possibility and the promise of the path, as well as the emotional bond between a body and its place. Yet what of the immobile, the locked in, the handicapped? What kind of imaginary horizons appear in their thoughts, or within the body that cannot step? In stepping, I also imagine those who cannot. I think of the prisoner: as a figure which knows the joy of the step, but whose horizon is fully controlled and held in. The step haunts the prisoner, to linger in the muscles and produce a set of longings: Brandon an entire LaBelle network of desire beating in the body. -

Source: Handbook for the Itinerant. Sideways, Belgium, 2012.

14 | Books as spaces of encounters

- 76 -


A prisoner writes: “Four walls can never hold me in They are physical, like bone and skin The body trapped behind this wall cannot contain my soul at all Imagination sets me free Beyond the fence that surrounds me. No bricks can ever stop my mind. No bars can keep my thoughts confined I can go deep inside myself Like a dusty book on a shelf Another world exists inside My heart is free – I am outside!” Such words give radical suggestion to the dynamics of the imagination, and importantly, the book as what the writer further calls “a magical object”. “Books are doorways into another dimension and imagination is the key that unlocks them. Sometimes, the ability to leave an intolerable situation, if only for an hour, is the only thing keeping a person sane.” The book, the text, the space of writing, is precisely an imaginary zone for taking a walk – for flight toward another horizon, the one that the prisoner knows lurks just outside. I take this then as a metaphysics of reading: that the mechanics of the book, its textual rhythms and sensual surfaces, all contribute to an imaginary construction tied to the full dynamics of longing, a cosmology in which words, bodies, and the flows of reading perform. As another kind of itinerary. - 77 -

Everywhere is a learning environment | 15


Marcell Mars, Manar Zarroug Tomislav Medak Public library (essay).

16 | Books as spaces of encounters

Source: Public Library. What, How & for Whom / WHW, 2015.


Above: Book Bloc protest against Berlusconi’s education reform, 2011. Below: Book Bloc, Oakland, June 2011.

Everywhere is a learning environment | 17


Stefano Harney Fred Moten The General Antagonism: An Interview with Stevphen Shukaitis Source: The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Minor Compositions, 2013.

18 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 19


20 | Books as spaces of encounters


Audre Lorde The Transformation of Silence. Source: I Am Your sister. Collected and Unpublished writings of Audre Lorde. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Everywhere is a learning environment | 21


Alex Martinis Roe The Milan Women’s Bookstore co-operative and their practice of collective difference. Source: To Become Two. Archive Books, published in partnership with Casco, 2017.

22 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 23


24 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 25


Elke Krasny Source: Caring Activism Assembly, Collection, and the Museum. Collecting in Time, 2017.

26 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 27


28 | Books as spaces of encounters


Adam Rothstein List of Atemporal Conspiracies. Source: Astronaut Luggage. Link Editions, 2015. Everywhere is a learning environment | 29


30 | Books as spaces of encounters


Rosario Talevi Markus Bader Introduction Source: Explorations in Urban Practice. The Urban School Ruhr Series. dpr-barcelona 2017.

Everywhere is a learning environment | 31


Mierle Laderman Ukeles Manifesto for Maintenance Art. Source: Andrea Phillips, Markus Miessen (eds.), Actors, Agents and Attendants. Caring Culture: Art, Architecture and the Politics of Public Health. Sternberg Press and SKOR, 2011.


Colin Ward Source: Talking Schools: Ten Lectures, Freedom Press, 1995.

34 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 35


36 | Books as spaces of encounters


Gregory Bateson Metalogue: How Much Do You Know? Source: Steps to an Ecology of Mind, University of Chicago Press, 1972.

Everywhere is a learning environment | 37


J. D. Salinger Source: The Catcher in the Rye, Little, Brown and Company, 1951.

38 | Books as spaces of encounters


Everywhere is a learning environment | 39


40 | Books as spaces of encounters

Atti Fondamentali. Educazione. Supersutudio, 1971


Everywhere is a learning environment | 41


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.

42 | Books as spaces of encounters


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.

www.dpr-barcelona.com @dpr_barcelona

raumlabor.net/open-raumlaboruniversity-2 #raumlaborberlin #oru

Everywhere is a learning environment | 43


The Parasitic Reading Room dpr-barcelona + open raumlabor university A School of Schools the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial

Profile for dpr-barcelona

Parasitic READER 02  

For the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial ‘A School of Schools,’ dpr-barcelona and the open raumlabor university will set up for the opening days...

Parasitic READER 02  

For the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial ‘A School of Schools,’ dpr-barcelona and the open raumlabor university will set up for the opening days...

Advertisement