Alan Moore re: anarchism and psychogeography

The Occupied Times of London recently published an interview with Alan Moore.

“In anarchy’s insistence on no leaders is the implication that each man or woman takes on the responsibility of being their own master and commander; the pursuit of these demanding duties being the sole means by which meaningful individual freedom is attained…The concept of psychogeography, derived at least in part from Situationist conceptions of the city, is a means by which a territory can be understood and owned, an occupation in the intellectual sense.

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on the one-year anniversary of Occupy

The problem?

Ultimately, it’s the ability to manipulate state power to extract a portion of other people’s incomes. Wall Street and Washington, in other words, have become one. Financialization, securitization and militarization are all different aspects of the same process. And the endless multiplication, in cities across America, of gleaming bank offices—
spotless stores selling nothing while armed security guards stand by—is just the most immediate and visceral symbol for what we, as a nation, have become.

The solution?

Occupy was right to resist the temptation to issue concrete demands. But if I were to frame a demand today, it would be for as broad a cancellation of debt as possible, followed by a mass reduction of working hours—say to a five-hour workday or a guaranteed five-month vacation. If such a suggestion seems outrageous, even inconceivable, it’s just a measure of the degree to which our horizons have shrunk. After all, only fifty years ago many people assumed we would have gotten to such a point by now. It is only by breaking the power of the engines of extraction that we can once again begin to think on a scale and grandeur appropriate to the times.

Via David Graeber in Can Debt Spark a Revolution?, an article which appears in the September 24, 2012 edition of The Nation.

Recently in Domus: Urban exploration and usufruct, a striking Chinese dragon in Mérida, Open Source Architecture (OSArc)

What urban explorers assert though action, in the words of Ninjalicious, “revives an old and long-out-of-favour legal concept called usufruct, which basically means that someone has the right to use and enjoy the property of another, provided it is not changed or damaged in any way.”…Where late modernity has buried these systems in an attempt to present a frictionless interface that is to remain unseen, unquestioned and taken for granted, urban explorers, as active participatory citizens, are asserting the right to know how these things work, where they exist and what they connect to. 

More on how an unlikely mix of media attention and marketing exploitation threatens to polarize an otherwise apolitical practice (urban exploration) in an op-ed by Bradley L. Garrett over at at DOMUS.

the Factoría Joven phot by Iwan Baan

Pedro Gadanho architect and writer, reviewed a playground project by Spanish practice Selgascano. Gadanho compares the project to Rafael Moneo’s Museum of Roman Art which opened in the same town 25 years earlier. The comparison is clarifying. He notes that the musuem “was made for tourists and visitors, offering ruins to interpretation in an adequately contextual environment; theFactoría Joven caters for local, disenchanted populations in the semi-industrial periferia, in an effort to prevent the city’s desertification. Rafael Moneo aspired to perpetuity, and dialogued with ancient, enduring construction techniques; José Selgas and Lucía Cano are interested in ordinariness, and engage with a built landscape that is determined by low-budget, off-the-shelf materials and practices like graffiti, skating, cycling or wall climbing.

Carlo Ratti, Paola Antonelli, Adam Bly, Lucas Dietrich, Joseph Grima, Dan Hill, John Habraken, Alex Haw, John Maeda, Nicholas Negroponte, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Carlo Ratti, Casey Reas, Marco Santambrogio, Mark Shepard, Chiara Somajni and Bruce Sterling contributed to -a 21st-century manifesto of sorts-on the theme of open source architecture.

Domus also published multiple essays on the various spatio-political occupation and encampment movements that made the news this year. First Andrés Jaque on the indignados protests in Spain, then Joshua Simon on the tent republics of Tel Aviv and then greater Israel and finally Chris Cobb on Occupy Wall Street. All authors explore the protocols, strategies and meanings of these various efforts in relation towards the idea of reclaiming public space as the key trajectory of contemporary, urban(ism).

Site plan and plan of the two Tokyo stadiums: Kenzo Tange, architect with engineers Yoshikatsu Tsuboi and Uichi Inoue. via Domus

Finally, the above image comes from a “re-print” of an old essay Kenzo Tange for Tokyo, an first hand account written by the Japanese architect, soon after he finished the stadiums for the 1964 Olympic Games. Originally published in Domus 424-March 1965.

In it Tange described the relationship between the two stadia “But the true definition of their relationship with the context came about when we resolved the architecture of the ‘street’ with which would connect them. This is the long building having the function of a ‘street’ running, between the two stadiums. It is a long ‘corridor’ which collects all stadium-related services and offices and that has a restaurant and a training pool at the two ends.

Occupy…personal space…

Is it a little weird that this passage made me tear up for a second?

99% / MIC CHECK! / LOOK AROUND / YOU ARE A PART / OF A GLOBAL UPRISING / WE ARE A CRY / FROM THE HEART / OF THE WORLD / WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE / ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE / HAPPY BIRTHDAY / #OCCUPY MOVEMENT / OCCUPY WALL STREET / list of cities, states and countries / OCCUPY EARTH / WE ARE WINNING / IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING / DO NOT BE AFRAID / LOVE.

It was the text projected onto  the blank facade of the “Verizon Building” (375 Pearl St., so-named because of a large lighted Verizon ad) facing the recent OWS march across the Brooklyn Bridge…

Via a post by sevensixfive on some Spatial Intervention: Five Moments from #occupy.

To be truthful a number of other parts from the post moved and encouraged me. Fred ends with a hope “Other models of spatial production, and indeed, even of reality creation…have the potential to defuse the political control over the built environment. Inhabitation is speech, and it can create new realities.