Tag Archives : occupy as form

Occupy as Form: Photo Recap

On February 10, 2012, the Arts Research Center hosted Occupy as Form: A Working Session, an event which explored questions of “formal” concepts related to Occupation, reflecting on the movement’s significance, techniques, and future. We would like to thank all participants for their thoughtful contributions to a stimulating discussion. A photo album of the day […]

Occupy as Form: Cheryl Meeker

Taking an axis as a keystone, the Occupy groups utilize an organizing form that is diametrically perpendicular to, if not opposed to the vertical hierarchies employed by corporations, institutions, the academy, the church, and the patriarchal nuclear family. As an artist that has worked in a variety of collectives and collaborations, coming up against the embedded habit of top-down hierarchy has always worn me down.

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Occupy as Form: Erin Johnson

I am interested in researching and creating work around the idea of care in sites of protest. Social practice artists and contemporary artists working around issues of protest engage different value systems than traditional, market-based production, often leading to alternate systems of exchange around needs and care, both in society and on a personal level.

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Occupy as Form: Dee Hibbert-Jones

Having grown up in class-conscious Britain of the ‘70’s and 80’s (a country I like to describe as a former social democracy) it is with a growing sense of excitement that I have witnessed the rise of discussions around class within the Occupy movement. I’ve lived in the US for 20 years and still struggle to introduce dialog around social class into personal and classroom discussions, even when the topic is focused on notions of public space, public rights or power.

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Occupy as Form: Amanda Eicher

I am curious about how we have come to use the word tactic, a word which is distinctly military in form, but which is also at play in contemporary art practice through the use of phrases such as tactical aesthetics and tactical media. It seems to me that many of the gestures we make in everyday life may slip in and out of the frame of tactics, depending on their context.

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Occupy as Form: Catherine Ming T’ien Duffly

For those of us engaged in community-based art practice (via scholarship and/or via practice), what does the occupy movement have to offer our understanding of the term “community?” Miranda Joseph’s theorizing of community has asked us to think carefully about our tendency to hold up “community” as always and only a liberatory category. Other scholars have joined Joseph in questioning the use of “community” as an organizing concept for certain modes of socially engaged theater, performance, and art practice.’

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Occupy as Form: Judith Butler

Ever since the Occupy Movement emerged onto the political landscape, critics and skeptics have both asked, “so, what are the demands?” And in more recent months, skeptics have asked whether the movement has lost momentum since many of public sites occupied have been cleared by state-ordered police power. Let us consider first the question of demands, and then turn to the question of where the occupy movement moves now.

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Occupy as Form: Yasmeen Daifallah

Occupy movements bring to mind two distinct and interrelated thoughts, first is the nature and role of the state, and second is the self-organizing capacity of groups outside the context of the state and its organizational forms and resources. The “face” of the state that the occupy movement had revealed is the brutal, violent entity that uses disproportional force to tackle peaceful assemblies all of which ultimately fail to achieve their ultimate target—prevent the “occurrence” in question from recurring. This face is not new.

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Occupy as Form: Shane Boyle

Since the start of Occupy, “direct action” has gone from being a term hardly spoken to a pair of words on everyone’s tongue. Accompanying the term’s discursive proliferation, however, has been a proliferation of what direct action signifies—a development that threatens to make direct action as a term essentially meaningless. Direct action has become a category used to encompass everything from lobbying days and mass rallies to encampments and pitched street-fights with police. It has become a blanket under which Occupy’s diverse tactics are forced to restlessly fit. Its current discursive meaninglessness is symptomatic of the generally impoverished vocabulary we have for addressing the non-identity of the forms that Occupy takes.

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Occupy as Form: Joseph Thomas

What constitutes a movement? It does not seem to be a question of scale (a large united group does not necessarily make a movement), but one of organization, or, to be more precise, a lack of organization. A movement can encompass any number of organizations, fronts, or parties, but even as it binds them together, it reaches beyond them. A movement does not call for any specific action (negotiating the question of tactics) but nevertheless has a will for action: and this will is the common ground that forms the movement.

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