Joana Rafael. Building Reserves: Toward a Theory of de Facto and Fictional Conservation(ist) Regimes
Reserve arrangements intended to act as architectural solutions; agents or safeguards for the future and safety of (human) life on the planet, contrarily to what they are set out to do, have created a unique geography of problematic and open, rather than closed spaces. In recent years, interest in these spaces has made visible the vulnerability of our general laws of action upon the planet and in relation to the future. This interest is increasingly related to the fact that many extant reserve arrangements have resulted in the production of unwelcome situations. However, and most ironically, it increasingly relates to the fact that many of these very arrangements are nonetheless still presented as solutions to offer environmental and ecological security and safety.
In this lecture, I will explore how these reserve arrangements are informed by: 1. present/real dangers; 2. (inspired by campaings) destined to cope with our fears and hopes and to guarantee a future free from risk; and 3. mobilized as means to impose limits with limits of its own. To do so, I will describe forms of housekeeping that extend from our most private spaces to the planet outer limit and to its ´core `, and that are helpful to understand the struggle for security undertaken via reserve arrangements. There may be no clearer image than that manifested in domestic efforts to counter both real and perceived threats of destruction and danger, depletion of resources, waste and contamination: i.e. threats to, and arising from the planetary environment. Our efforts to counter the ticking clock must be included amongst these; against irreversible ageing and the biological imperatives of things, ourselves included. These reveal the illusion of security that architecture and the reserve afford ‘us.’
This lecture is part of a larger research project which 1. problematises the construction of the planet through the logic of the reserve; 2. attempts to construct a theoretical framework necessary to address the way of managing and organising (things in) space exposing architecture and the reserve fragile limits and, ultimately, cementing them as fictions; and 3. calls for new methodological approaches.
Joana Rafael will deliver a presentation titled: Building Reserves: Toward a Theory of de Facto and Fictional Conservation(ist) Regimes, on ideas of ecology, warfare and infrastructure.
Joana Rafael is an architect, lecturer and researcher. Her work spans the disciplinary boundaries of architectural practice and theory, the Arts, scientific and technological studies, ecological thought and political philosophy. Currently, she is editing a magazine about the misappropriation of "public" spaces, and preparing her PhD project for publication. This book will examine how ecological and environmental crises are manifested in a hybrid repertoire of actions that simulate and assimilate patterns of crises to sustain, rather than negate the threat of The End.
Stolen Futures: When He Woke Up, The 1970S Were Still There
The 1970s didn't simply signal the beginning of the cultural, economical and political period we have not awoken from yet (Postmodernism/ Neoliberalism), but were also the watershed moment when two temporal disruptions occurred:
A) Other possible futures, that might have turned into our present today, were drastically aborted
B) The 'End of the World' replaced "Social progress" as the dominant narratological blueprint for the Western imagination, effectively abolishing the future
Reading Materials and excerpts from:
Stafford Beer, "Fanfare for Effective Freedom"
Mark Fisher, "The Slow Cancellation of the Future", from Ghosts of My Life
David Graeber, "Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit"
Benjamin Peters, How Not to Network a Nation
Assorted online materials on the origin of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency)
1970s television: UFO: Timelash, Logan's Run, Alternative 3
Jon Mikel Euba. Writing Out Loud
Performative Book Presentation
Writing Out Loud brings together the transcriptions of eight lectures by the artist Jon Mikel Euba that were live-translated from Spanish to English during the course Action unites, words divide (On praxis, an unstated theory) at the Dutch Art Institute. The lectures were presented at the invitation of If I Can’t Dance across the academic year 2014 – 2015. The resulting texts sit within a larger writing-centred project by the artist, which he has been pursuing for almost a decade, with the aim of defining a form of praxis that could evolve into a technical theory.
Jon Mikel Euba (Amorebieta, 1967) is an artist based in Bilbao. His work is grounded in drawing as a procedure, and sculpture as a programme resolved in diverse media. Since the late 1990s, he developed a particular system of production through an 'economical technique' which has guided his practice since. This search, which he also considers a form of resistance, requires processes that involve other people, in which Euba plays the role of a mediator or filter. From 2006 on, continuing his performative work in other media, he developed a series of performances whose result condensed in the Re:horse series. In 2010 he, Txomin Badiola and Sergio Prego devised the experimental pedagogical project Primer Proforma 2010. 30 Exercises, 40 days, 8 hours a day. In 2015, together with Itziar Okariz, Asier Mendizabal and Sergio Prego carry out the Kalostra school project in San Sebastian. During the last four years he has been working on a writing-centred project aimed at defining a form of praxis that may evolve into a technical theory.
Apocapitalism Now: Uneven And Distributed
Apocalypse is not an event; it's a spatial structure, a technology of land planning- it's not about (future) history; it's about (current) geography. The reason why it's easier to imagine the End of the World than the end of Capitalism is because neoliberal Capitalism IS the End of the World
Reading Materials. Excerpts from:
Evan Calder Williams, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse
Antony Loewenstein, Disaster Capitalism
Ahmad Mahia- Fleeing the Desert: Hydropolitics in The Wet Gulf
This session explores the Persian Gulf's, specifically the United Arab Emirates, lived forms of environmentality and hydrology as expressed in its infrastructural realities and state-led simulations. This is articulated through The Wet Gulf, an invented landscape composed of techno-political speculations and observations, literary interpretations, geo-engineering ruminations, spiritual and personal affectations, who together create a political vocabulary for operating in the contemporary world. The session aspires to dis-lock and unlearn dry masculinized geographies -- land, property, nation, region, continent -- of belonging and propose for the instrumentalization of wet and aquatic infrastructures.
Ahmad Makia is a geographer from Dubai. He writes about wet matters, Gulf landscapes, and sex. He also makes books with friends and employers. In 2011, he co-founded THE STATE, a publishing and editorial platform based out of Dubai, UAE, which focuses on south-south relations, the 'printernet', Gulf visual culture, and digital humanities. Some of his work has been published in Future Anterior, The Hypocrite Reader, Cartha Magazine, Ibraaz, The Avery Review, and The Outpost.
Into the zone:1/The secured
The Zone is the operating system of the Neoliberal world; it governs bodies and spaces, separating the lives that matter from the lives that don't
Reading Materials and excerpts from:
Brian McHale, "In The Zone", from Postmodernist Fiction
Keller Easterling, "Zone", from Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space
Mike Davis, Evil Paradises
Presentation escuelita & season 1
With José Manuel Bueso, Margarida Mendes, Julia Morandeira and Manuel Segade
The Forensic Imagination Unit: Futural Infrastructure And Archaeology Division
During the first session the focus is on methodologies and non-linear time
Reading Materials and excerpts from:
Fredric Jameson, "The Future as Disruption", from Archaeologies of the Future
Eyal Weizmann, "Forensic Architecture: Only the Criminal Can Solve the Crime", from The Least of All Possible Evils
Dan Simmons, “Hyperion's Cantos"
Assorted online materials on infrastructural fictions