Daily Archives: January 30, 2012

Occupy as Form: Betti-Sue Hertz

Publics act historically. They are said to rise up, to speak, to reject false promises, to demand answers, to change sovereigns, to support troops, to give mandates for change, to be satisfied, to scrutinize public conduct, to take role models, to deride counterfeits. — Michael Warner

How do members of gatherings, from theater audiences to protestors, model the potentialities of a civil society? How do publics intersect with site-specificity? How does art shape transformative experience at sites inclusive of concert halls and urban parks?

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Occupy as Form: Kate Mattingly

Defined as a way of making visible, of bringing people and structures into relation with one another and with particular landscapes.

Different from keywords that may refer to specific environments — settlement, place — architecture encompasses the design, dissemination, and evolution of structures. It also acknowledges interactions between people and spaces, reciprocal relations and flows. The Occupy movement animates spaces. Bodies and places produce architectural forms that are flexible, generative, and resistant. Architecture is creative problem-solving: floating tents.

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Occupy as Form: Blake Stimson

Anticipating the philosophical motor of the Occupy movement some fifteen years ago, Alain Badiou offered the following assessment of our long-habituated tendency to overvalorize cultural difference:

What is the real unifying factor behind this attempt to promote the cultural virtue of oppressed subsets, this invocation of language in order to extol communitarian particularisms (which, besides language, always ultimately refer back to race, religion, or gender)? It is, evidently, monetary abstraction, whose false universality has absolutely no difficulty accommodating the kaleidoscope of communitarianisms.

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Occupy as Form: Erika Langer

As direct, physical evidence of citizen personhood, the Occupy movement brings together human bodies in a symbol of speech made in stark contrast to the 2010 Citizens United ruling upholding the rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment. There is no place for corporate personhood in this vision of democracy, as muddy, dynamic and diverse as the protest sites themselves.