Last year in response to events Wilfried Hou Je Bek wrote, Occupy as psychogeographic urbanism.
Towards the end, Je Bek explains the deeper meaning;
“#There is a maxim that a culture in decline needs to look outside of itself to freshen up and Occupy is a good example. It has borrowed the idea of a tent camp from Tharir Square, the general assembly model from Quaker public worship (as the Spanish Indignadas claim) and it comes as no surprise that David Graeber, an anthropologist, has become the most visible representative of Occupy Wall Street and by affiliation of the world wide movement. Graeber’s thesis advisor was Marshall Sahlins, whose 1966 essay ‘The Original Affluent Society’ is a foundational text in modern day hunter-gatherer studies (and often reprinted as a primitivist punk zine) pioneering the thought that foraging people are not backwards but free, egalitarian and happy. Add Pierre Clastres’ observation that most foraging societies are not relics from the stone age but forms of self-barbarization, a way to be flexible and permanently ready to escape from outside control and you begin to see the true vision of Occupy: the tent is not just a symbol of resistance, it’s a promise of tactical lightness that is not defined by protest but by its incorporation of alternative sources of practical skill. Occupy doesn’t need politicians, it needs Eskimo’s, Aboriginals, Bushmen and other people with genuine commitment to their independence. Looked at like this the Occupy movement is not an anarchist movement but an anthropological experiment“…
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.”
Graham Harman, Associate Provost for Research Administration and Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo, Egypt of Object-Oriented Philosophy fame, has a brief post supporting Žižek’s assertion that the protestors not fall in love with themselves.
I personally, haven’t posted anything here regarding the occupy wall street protest except a bit on Archinect. Where they have a thread discussing/following the whole series of events.
One thing I am fascinated by is the concept of the human microphone. I have heard the term used in the context of the protests but didn’t have a clear sense of what it means. Watching the Žižek videos illustrates the concept perfectly.
For more information on the idea read Richard Kim of the Nation in We Are All Human Microphones Now. There Kim explains the tactical reasons for the deployment of the human microphone, “New York City requires a permit for “amplified sound” in public, something that the pointedly unpermitted Occupy Wall Street lacks. This means that microphones and speakers are banned from Liberty Plaza, and the NYPD has also been interpreting the law to include battery-powered bullhorns. Violators can be sentenced for up to thirty days in prison.”
It seems a perfect example for contemporary Tactical Urbanism, reactive, low tech, and open sourced.
Finally, for some perspective on the human microphone and the possibilities for amplifying sound via the built environment versus that more low tech method see Nick Sowers The Revolution will not be Amplified