Proto-Berlin Wall

The Soviets’ earliest efforts to undermine the Western occupiers (France, the UK and the US) culminated in the Berlin blockade in 1948 and 1949. Only walking paths were left open after the Russians set up barricades of rubble across these streets leading from the Soviet sector of Berlin into the western zones. The Soviets explained that the blockade would make it easier for them to keep food and fuel from being smuggled into the western sectors of the city. (Copyright AP via Der Spiegel)

I guess this makes sense, in that temporary barriers/blockades etc would be a first step, towards what eventually became the Berlin Wall and then the Iron Curtain. Yet that being said, this image of a sort of proto-Berlin Wall, almost a desire-line of sorts brought me up short. Such a simple illustration of enormous spatial and political implications.

More here

DIY Magic by Anthony Alvarado

In short, rather than advertise this as a book of magick, it could just as well have been labeled a book of psychology hacking. Or a cookbook. Think of it as jail-breaking the iPhone of your mind. Teaching it to do things that its basic programming was never set up for. Advanced self-psychology.

I wonder how this might be related or applied in more urban-interventional terms. Tactical urbanism as DIY magic? For more see the Center For Tactical Magic

Via Arthur Magazine here

Mike Lydon on role of “tactical urbanism”

The planning process is not going to be replaced by tactical urbanism….Tactical urbanism is a tool for the more formal planning process.

Mr. Lydon provided the above quote in response to a question about the relationship between formal (bureaucratic) and informal (DIY) modes of urban planning and intervention.

via The Architects Newspaper here

A new Cultural criss-cross

the new-look Exhibition Road in London. Photograph: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Image from A farewell to pavements wherein Justin McGuirk writes on the pedestrianization of London’s Exhibition Road. Key is the re-introduction of a concept of negotiation. Also, an opening of the surrounding museums, connecting them together in a way, via a new court(s)yard.

Slavoj Žižek speaks at the OWS open forum on 10/9/11

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