Book Talk and Discussion about Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces with Alan Smart of Other Forms (part of the Squatting Europe Kollective conference 2016)
Sunday May 22, 20.00-22.00, free entry
V2, Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL Rotterdam, Netherlands
Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces (edited by Alan W.Moore and Alan Smart) is an anthology of texts on art, media and aesthetic practice in the context of squatting, occupation and urban space activism. It includes pieces by activist researchers working between the academy and the movements they write about, journalistic first-person narratives by squatters, original photography, and interviews with artists, theorists and activists involved in struggles over urban space and creative production in the city.
Making Room is focused primarily on the European context but also traces international relations and connections, and highlights the contrast between a range of different voices and frames of reference. While many of these assert accounts of a narratives, international squatter movement or are committed to specific political projects, the anthology, when taken as a whole, tells a more complex story about constellations of movements and practices intensely engaged with local conditions that have developed — sometimes independently, sometimes in dialog with one another — as people have struggled to survive, express themselves, carve out zones of autonomy and resistance, and push back against the dominance of capitalism in the city.
In this, “cultural production” appears in a variety of forms ranging from conventional art practices, to the organizing of communities and networks, to the production of media and setting up of information systems.
Likewise, squats, occupations and social centers are figured as art projects themselves, housing and workspaces for artists or, most significantly, constituent parts of an alternative infrastructure for the autonomous production of knowledge, discourse, and aesthetics.
The book is available for free download via: http://joaap.org/press/makingroom.htm
The hardcopy book will also be on sale at the event. Many of the authors will also be present.
Other Forms is a mobile research and design collective working in multiple intersections of architecture, graphic design, and publishing. We are interested in considering how design might engage critically with the material and social conditions of its practice. As one of our early efforts in combining design, and publishing Making Room has been both a book about media and cultural production and an ongoing experiment in producing and distributing a book in using the network and capacities we have found at hand in the context we move through and work within. As much of what we have done and continue to do is opportunistic, provisional, and excessive we make no claims to authoritative expertise, technical mastery, or ideological rectitude. We would, therefore like to initiate an truly multi-directional discussion about the conditions and possibility of production in the contemporary realties that we each inhabit. This presentation of our work and projects will also be and invitation to collaborate, an exchange of information and practical advice, and both a call for and offer of support, solidarity, and comradeship between communities.
The Squatting Europe Kollective (SqEK) is a research network focusing on the squatters’ movement. Our aim is to produce reliable and fine-grained knowledge about this movement not only as an end in itself, but also as a public resource, especially for squatters and activists.
This event is part of the 2016 SqEK conference, happening in different venues in Rotterdam.