The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is sponsoring the working session “Occupy as Form” on February 10, 2012. Participants have been invited to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Kate Mattingly, graduate student in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley.
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.
Kimmelman ends the article: “The occupation of the virtual world along with Zuccotti Park is of course jointly propelling the Occupy Wall Street movement now, and neither would be so effective minus the other. That said, on the ground is where the protesters are building an architecture of consciousness.”
Architecture not only describes links between people who gather, it also binds physical and virtual. Images from the ground are mobilized. They show up on screens and in conversation. People intertwined with structures or arms linked to form blockades. Bodies becoming architecture; their arrangement triggers thoughts about social strata.
|Source: Kent Porter, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 2011|
Do they function architecturally as mobile design and document?
|Source: Anda Chu / Oakland Tribune / MCT|
In his article “Blows Against the Empire,” Ted Purves describes the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ) “a concept developed by the scholar Hakim Bey as a way to envision the contemporary possibilities for social resistance and freedom…. Bey speculates that spaces of freedom, or autonomy, must arise spontaneously in locations that present themselves in the moment so that they cannot be predicted and undermined by the pressure of societal forces.” (from What we want is free)
|Source: AP Photo, Kent Porter, Santa Rosa Press Democrat|