Tag Archives | public space

Occasional Paper 6: Destructivistas

Joel Cahen (2012, revised 2016)

With our present day awareness, the arts as we have known them up to now appear to us in general to be fakes fitted out with a tremendous affectation. Let us take leave of these piles of counterfeit objects on the altars, in the palaces, in the salons and the antique shops. They are an illusion with which, by human hand and by way of fraud, materials such as print, pieces of cloth, metals, clay or marble are loaded with false significance, so that, instead of just presenting their own material self, they take on the appearance of something else. Under the cloak of intellectual aim, the materials have been completely murdered and can no longer speak to us.

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Pic Nic the Street: public spaces and the materials of the body politk

In a previous post we already discussed the ‘ergonomics of public and political life’, which we defined as the various ways in which our bodies ‘fit’ in the material environments that we inhabit and about how this ‘fitting’ shapes the quality of public and political life.

The post was a way of signaling the increasing precariousness of urban public spaces and how they enable or diable the constitution of effective political bodies.

Well, it seems that we are not alone in this .

A couple of weeks ago, the philosopher Philippe Van Parijs published this opinion piece in which he denounced the increasing pauperization of public spaces in Brussels; their reckless marketization; the dictatorship of the car; and the need to reclaim them back.…

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