Monday, August 05, 2013

Don't sit here! [part 1]

Public urban spaces can be used for an infinite amount of creative personal and collective activities.
A tiny wealthy minority is increasingly controlling public areas of high consumption (with surveillance cameras, police, and the design of such space...). 
Our taxes and presence in the city pays for our public spaces. But benches and places to sit and lay down are disappearing from public space, and instead, being replaced with private outdoor café/restaurant seating and keep-moving!-urban-furniture.
When we think of physical/material spaces that keep us out, we tend to think fences, gates, doors, walls...  But there are many more inconspicuous examples of these everyday barriers, and they dictate what we do, what we know, and what we experience in the city, often without us evening knowing it!
Here are some examples. If you want to sit or lay in these places in Barcelona, you will need to bring a heavy plank of wood with you, or a chair.

ay/ouch for living beings such as:


people who have a sore, injured, or tired body part and need to rest or stretch

women who need to breastfeed

people who need to change a baby´s diaper

people who love yoga

kids who want to make snow angles


people who don´t have a place to sleep or want to sleep outside

clumsy people who trip a lot

tired horses, bears, or elephants

people who suddenly suffer some kind of attack

who/what else?

(from 2012-16):

Browsing through old photographs from my dissertation, I came across these SITuations from 2004-2008:

From Jacques Rancière:
--> "Move along! There is nothing to see here!" The police says that there is nothing to see on a road, that there is nothing to do but move along. It asserts that the space of circulating is nothing other than the space of circulation. Politics, in contrast, consists in transforming this space of 'moving-along' into a space for the appearance of a subject: i.e., the people, the workers, the citizens: It consists in refiguring the space, of what there is to do there, what is to be seen or named therein. It is the established litigation of the perceptible… (“Ten Theses”, #8)

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