Counternarratives

I begin this second section of the chapter with a work by Jochen Gerz, made between 1990 and 1993 in Saarbr cken. It consists of 2,146 cobble stones, each dug up, inscribed underneath with the name of one of the 2,146 Jewish cemeteries which existed in Germany before 1933 (and the date on which information on the cemetery reached Gerz), and replaced. There is no sign of the work, or notice announcing it the marked stones are interspersed with others which remain unmarked, unexcavated. Gerz says...

In Memories Of Dark Times

In the previous chapter I asked whether the form of the public monument could be democratised or subverted from within, ending with reference to the restoration of the Frauenkirche, Dresden. In this chapter I am still concerned with narratives - that is, with constructions of history and the possibility to de- or reconstruct them - but the focus is on how, if they can, narratives deal with the extreme history of the Holocaust (as remembered in the 1980s and 1990s), and how art and architecture...

Cornford And Cross Problems Solved

With a PO Box number they had registered for one year. But Camelot (as the work was called) had highlighted the problem of neglected urban spaces, to the consternation of local councillors. The artists write Camelot is a literal interpretation of the 'City Limits' theme we chose to invite reflection and debate on the physical and social boundaries which often determine the patterns of city life - in this case by denying people access to some small, neglected fragments of public urban land. In a...

Place Vendme

Nonetheless, they provide useful insights into histories. There is another, too strange to be a trick of memory or invention, that the Communards went through Paris shooting the public clocks, acting not like rat-catchers but as executioners. In the first story, Bonaparte's effigy stands in for the person of Napoleon III, and is treated as the Communards would have wished to treat that person (by then elsewhere). Perhaps some of those present remembered the...

The Means Of Production

After firing the rifle Chin read his text I begin with the constructed voices of two who abnormally mark the conclusion of life with unerring precision - a covert peacetime Marine sniper (whose accuracy is 98 at 1,000 meters), and a virion's pathological trek within a human host. The sniper and the virion are specialised entities denoting the power of the military-industrial complex and of evolutionary processes. Chin sees the analogous modes of operation they represent as elective...

Grassroots Globalisation

Early on the morning of September 12th, I heard a report on the BBC World Service of a crowd in Islamabad carrying a banner saying (in American) 'Think America, why are you so hated around the world '. Going home the previous evening I had joined a crowd watching identical replays of the Twin Towers falling down on multiple screens in the window of a television shop. Live news was framed as history and coded as apocalypse.1 The war was scripted, if not in detail, and perhaps had been for some...

Info

The social architecture - the structures of relation between people - of the Barefoot Campus is as engaging as the visual The college aims to demonstrate that village knowledge, skills and practical wisdom can be used to improve people' lives - an attitude of self-help drawn from Mahatma Ghandi's example. Since rural people already have tried and tested traditions, the college believe that all that is needed is a little training and upgrading combined with respect for local skills, which are...

The Other Davos

The chapter is titled sustainabilities because the term denotes several linked but dissimilar concepts. Sustainable development tends to dominate the thinking of trans-governmental bodies such as the World Bank, and commissions such as the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission),1 as well as the environmental agendas of governments. Sustainable development assumes continuing growth in the global economy while managing its impact on the planet's natural...

Notes

1 For discussion of the apocalyptic associations of this coverage in context of a literature of urbanism, see Miles, 2003. 2 'Many commentators have brought up a Pearl Harbour analogy, but that is misleading. On December 7, 1941, military bases in two US colonies were attacked - not the national territory, which was never threatened . . . Exactly what this portends, no one can guess. But that it is something strikingly new is quite clear' (Chomsky, 2002 11-12). 3 'Since the aim of terrorism is...

Oil And Honey

PLATFORM promotes creative processes of democratic engagement in order to advance social and ecological justice. Founded in 1983, its core members are Jane Trowell, James Marriott, and Dan Gretton 45 it works also with a range of other individuals, among whom Emma Sangster and Greg Muttitt are long-term collaborators. PLATFORM initiated the production of renewable energy using a water turbine in the river Wandle in south London and since 1996 has developed projects engaging with Londoners'...

We Sell White Bread

Ingredients white men, artificial flavorings, preservatives * contains less than the minimum daily requirement of white women, and non-whites a public service message from Guerrilla Girls conscience of the artworld. Elsewhere, they point out that US bus companies employ 49.2 per cent women drivers while in 33 New York galleries the extent of women's representation is 16 per cent 5 and explain the advantages of being a woman artist Working without the pressure of success Not having to be in...

Narrative Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Museum was opened by President Clinton on April 22nd, 1993. It is situated adjacent to national historical institutions and the Washington Monument and Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall. The history it exhibits took place in Europe (though many of those afflicted fled to North America, or sought to). Liliane Weissberg calls it 'the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum' to differentiate it from the Jewish Museum in Berlin (Weissberg, 2001 20), and this might be a more...

Relation To Previous Writing

There are two differences between this book and my previous writing first, I write here in the first person, having previously used the academic third person because it seemed to place greater value on the material than on my view of it. Perhaps now I am relaxed enough to see 'I' as affirming a legitimate presence of the writer in what is discussed. The second difference is a shift in position since I wrote Art, Space and the City a move away from public art - which I now see as a departure...

First Avantgarde From The Painters Studio To The Banks Of The Seine

I want now to look back, taking Realism in France in the mid-nineteenth century as a first avant-garde. I differentiate this from a second avant-garde in Modernism (discussed in Chapter 2), which attacks, not bourgeois social values, but art's institutions. In Modernist architecture (discussed in Chapter 3) there is a residual utopianism attached to an aim to engineer a new society. These are broad-brush statements and there are many exceptions. It could be argued, too, that an attack on art's...

General Introduction

I begin with a brief rationale for the book. This needs to go beyond reasons for writing such as the clarification of my own ideas or publication of my own research. Those are both necessary motivations for the writer, but I hope the book will contribute to debates on urban issues during the first decade of the twenty-first century. In particular, I hope it will illuminate what certain kinds of cultural practices contribute, not only reflectively, but in actively shaping the agendas of future...

Visibilities

Irigaray's proposal hints that the syntax and vocabulary of a visual language may structure thought as well as being structured by it. This accords with Massey's comments on linear perspective and a privileging of visuality.27 Perhaps there are other ways to represent a city than in the conventional plan from the god's-eye viewpoint - from engagement, street-life, or from touch, smell and hearing, or through stories.28 In a similar change of convention which is a change in power relations, to...

Working And Dwelling

To do that, local initiatives are a beginning but the term local can be understood in two ways local to place and a specific set of problems and conditions or local to a cultural or social form, or specific practice. I turn to low-impact architecture as a case of the latter. There are many cases of projects using renewable energy sources and recycled materials, restructuring patterns of mobility in multi-function zoning, and reintroducing high density living in forms other than the tower...

Why Tomorrow Never Dawns

In the previous three chapters I set out a range of avant-gardes in art and architecture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. These included the politicised avant-garde of Realism in the mid-nineteenth century, the aesthetic avant-garde of early Modernism in art, and the technocratic avant-garde of Modernist architecture and planning. I turn now to radical theory in the late 1960s, a period of affluence as well as protest, when an optimistic counterculture engendered for a moment...