Saturday, September 29, 2007

Subversive Architecture?

I agree that it was good to hear the different views on the work we have been doing, but I do not think there was a clear assessment of our efforts, and that there were some contrasting readings and ideologies about how to move forward. I understand what was being said about "intentionally marginalized" architecture, and that it probably does not make a difference. However, I don't think the architecture necessarily needs to be intentionally marginalized to embrace the margins, or the "space of resistance".

In reflecting on her introduction to "Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center", bell hooks writes that “Though incomplete, I was working in these statements to identify marginality as much more than a site of deprivation. In fact I was saying just the opposite: that it is also the site of radical possibility, a space of resistance… I was not speaking of a marginality one wishes to lose, to give up, or surrender as part of moving into the center, but rather as a site one stays in, clings to even, because it nourishes one’s capacity to resist. It offers the possibility of radical perspectives from which to see and create, to imagine alternatives, new worlds.”

Also on the space of resistance, in terms of nomadism:

“Life of sedentary or settled peoples is mostly controlled by state apparati, codified and written laws, and is dictated by resources which they transform and use. In nomadic thought, all human settlement, related to availability of resources, is only temporary.”

“Nomads reject the formation of state because it curtails their freedom of movement; besides, the formation of the state has never been able to fulfill its promises. Nomads have thus developed a way of life, and an aesthetic attitude, which defy and critique both the settlement and art inspired by the state.”

“In nomadic thought, everything is subject to aging. There is nothing timeless or enduring about beauty or aesthetics. It is, therefore, best to characterize the notion of aesthetics as transient or traveling.”

-Teshome H. Gabriel

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