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Architecture and Activism, the footnotes. Part 1.

zaterdag 9 juni 2018
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0. Preface

0.1 This text is a collection of footnotes from the lessons architecture and activism.  With the spirit of Jacques Rancière in mind, I wrote down the philosophical and psychological notes that were mentioned in class.

0.1.1 Jacques Rancière is a French philosopher who wrote ‘The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation’ (1987). It’s a book questioning teaching and the role of the educator. The French teacher, Joseph Jacotot, was appointed to teach French literature in the university of Leuven. He did not speak Dutch and the majority of his students did not understand French. For giving lectures was not an option, he gave his students a bilingual book. To his surprise, it turned out that, after reading the book, the students were able to write a text in French. This made him question the role of the (school)master. He starts his search for an education where the teacher knows less and less about the subject of the course, he becomes ‘ignorant’. The master should strengthen the students’ confidence to learn independently because all men have equal intelligence. It’s a liberation of the students where they are not bound to the expert. This self-exploring is an attempt to better understand the handled themes in class.

0.1.2 I choose philosophy and psychology because of my personal interest in the matter. But even more because of my lack of knowledge on the subject.

0.2 They are categorized chronologically.

1. 23.02.2018.

1.1 Kick off.

1.1.1 Félix Guattari writes in his book ‘The three ecologies’ (2000) about the commons. ‘It seems to me essential to organize new micropolitical and microsocial practices, new solidarities, a new gentleness, together with new aesthetic and new analytic practices regarding the formation of the unconscious. It appears to me that this is the only possible way to get social and political practices back on their feet, working for humanity and not simply for a permanent reequilibration of the capitalist semiotic Universe. One might object that large-scale struggles are not necessarily in sync with ecological praxis and the micropolitics of desire, but that's the point: it is important not to homogenize various levels of practice or to make connections between them under some transcendental supervision, but instead to engage them in processes of heterogenesis.’ The three ecologies according to Guattari: environmental ecology, social ecology, mental ecology Guattari states ‘that only an ethico-political articulation – ecosophy- between the three ecological registers (the environment, social relations and human subjectivity)’ would answer the ecological problematics that plague our planet.

1.2 Recyclart visit.

2. 02.03.2018.

2.1 Introductory lectures Gideon.

2.1.1 Reflecting on the interference of the government on the closure of Recyclart Gideon mentions Slavoj Žižek. The government answers to a part of the demands, which paralyzes Recyclart to do anything. They can only yearn for next year, to the moment they can return to Kapellekerk. Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and sociologist. In his article ‘Against human rights’ (2005), that appeared in New Left Review 34, Žižek writes:

‘(…) we may problematize, at a general level, the ostensibly depoliticized politics of human rights as the ideology of military interventionism serving specific economico-political ends.’ By displacing the responsibility, the government disqualifies all conflicting debate in advance. Afterwards he refers to what Wendy Brown wrote:

‘such humanitarianism presents itself as something of an anti-politics, a pure defence of the innocent and the powerless against power, a pure defence of the individual against immense and potentially cruel or despotic machineries of culture, state, war, ethnic conflict, tribalism, patriarchy, and other mobilizations or instantiations of collective power against individuals.’

(‘Human Rights as the Politics of Fatalism’, South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 103, no. 2–3, p. 453.)

2.1.2 Politics is in the architectural design or within the assignment. Georges Bataille’s writings on transgression play an important role within the work and thoughts of Wim Cuyvers. Georges Bataille is a French writer and philosopher. In his book ‘L’érotisme’ (1957) he considers systematically the relationship between taboo and transgression.

2.1.3 Escape of Para-architecture. Concept of para-architecture is introduced by Lieven De Cauter. ‘It is architecture that plays out in a parallel world.’

2.1.4 Overidentification. Slavoj Žižek about the esthetics of the band Laibach. ‘The only way to be really subversive is not to develop critical potentials, ironic distance, but precisely to take the system more seriously than it takes itself.’ Subversive affirmation. ‘What Laibach is doing is precisely bringing to the light of the day this inherent transgression, which precisely in order for the system to reproduce itself, must remain hidden.’ Hystericizing. Lacan and his Discours de l’Hystérique.

S = the subject

a = surplus jouissance

S1 = the master signifier

S2 = the knowledge The question of subjectivity; primacy to the division of the subject (S), over his or her fantasy (a), producing the symptom in the place of knowledge (S1), related to but divided from the signifying chain which supports it (S2) Hysteria is the unconscious itself actively engaged in appealing to the master to produce a knowledge. Potentiality. It only exists if nothing happens. If something does happen, the potential is gone.

3. J.De Nijs

3.1 J. without potential