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Daily Archives: November 21st, 2010

Utopia

WORLD COMMUNAL HERITAGE MANIFESTO

Since the so called victory of western neo-liberal capitalism, communal services and public space are being predatory privatized. It’s our task to stop the destructive appropriation of communal heritage by the tycoons! Before the words public and communal fade away from our vocabulary we want to remind of one great achievement of the 20th century: equally accessible public space. Here we are not referring to the public space as the place of representation for the state and its elites, such as public squares or state cultural institutions.
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We think of the non-proprietary communal space created around the Modernist apartment-blocks often – though not always – built at the periphery of urban centers.
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From France to the Soviet Union, Modernist town planning and public housing was driven by the idea of securing equal access to urban infrastructure, to light, air and green space. The solution were high-rise apartment-blocks that left a lot of open space for communal facilities such as schools, kindergartens, community houses with playgrounds, sports fields, pathways, and meadows in between the developments. These park-like spaces, immediately outside the dwelling, are available to all in equal measure and open for everybody’s use.

Let us constitute those open spaces as political space! There are no safeguards or fences that could slow down your pace! You can gather together without paying a fortune for the gentrified lifestyle in the inner-city! The openness, porosity and communicability of Modernist social architecture and landscaping that takes shape in a wealth of free space, pedestrian pathways, bridges, passages, niches, little woods and bushes is giving possibility of direct action, so let’s take it:
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Between the blocks, social movements are born! Obviously some part of society perceives this potential as a security risk that is hard to control. In former welfare-states, Modernist multi-storey apartment-blocks are being violently condemned and – like the Heygate Estate in London – are being torn down to make room for new buildings for wealthier clients. According to the same profit-driven logics, the city authorities in former socialist states sell open communal spaces to private investors that use them for the purposes of individual exploitation.
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The World Communal Heritage campaign supports communities and individuals that want to organize and take action to prevent the destruction of communal space in their neighbourhoods.
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We affirm the idea of common goods that are managed by the community and we acknowledge the communal as heritage that must be further developed by the community – and not by individualistic interests.
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Therefore we call to organize and to take over the future of the communal spaces in our hands!

Join in the World Communal Heritage Campaign!
Any communal, open space can be nominated by citizens, individuals, groups or communities as World Communal Heritage.

We initially present several spaces that bear the attributes of World Communal Heritage. These are communal spaces in the following micro-raions, housing estates or satellite towns: Botanica, Rîºcani and Buiucani in Chiºinãu (Moldavia), Heygate Estate in London (United Kingdom), Block 70 and Block 63 in New Belgrade (Serbia), Gropiusstadt in Berlin and Langwasser in Nürnberg (Germany).

We invite everyone interested to nominate and affirm their additional suggestions!

You can use the stickers, the logo and material for the initiation of a new campaign anywhere in the world.

You are invited to self-organize and to install a panel indicating that a space is acknowledged as World Communal Heritage Site as shown on the pictures from New Belgrade and Chiºinãu.

World Communal Heritage is an initiative by Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremiæ to affirm the open spaces of Modernist urbanism as non-proprietary communal heritage.

WCH: http://communalheritage.wordpress.com/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Utopia

ALTERNATIVE WORLDS

Alternative Worlds: A retrospective of the last 111 years

Call for Papers / Art Presentations

Seminar in Visual Culture 2011
Deadline for proposals: 13 December 2010

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, Room ST 274 (School of Advanced Study, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN London)

This series of seminars acts as a forum for practicing artists, researchers, curators, students, and others interested in visual culture who are invited to present, discuss and explore a given theme within the broad field of Visual Culture.

In an attempt to escape the doom and gloom of the economic crisis the theme for 2011 is ‘Alternative Worlds’. The aim is to examine the dreams, plans and hopes, but also the nightmares and fears reflected in utopian thinking since 1900 in the Western hemisphere. What has become of all those possible worlds? How do they reflect their contemporary culture and society and what, if anything, do or can they mean for our present, or indeed, our future? What alternative worlds are engendered by our own times, by the world of 2011 itself? This is, hence not only a retrospective of past utopias and their after-lives but also an invitation to look towards our possible futures.

Looking backwards, we could revisit the Futurist utopia of a mechanical universe based on the principles of speed and technology, or look at the somewhat similar proposals of the American Technocratic Society for a world based on the laws of engineering. Or we could examine the repercussions of Hermann Sörgel’s plan for Atlantropa, a merger of Europe and Africa created by damming the Strait of Gibraltar, meticulously worked out in the late 1920s and promoted by Sörgel until his death in 1952. Or we could look at the architectural utopias of Modernism, at Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, or at GM’s 1939 Futurama exhibit of the ‘City of the Future’ with its intricate congestion-free road systems. We could look at the social housing projects of the 1950s and ’60s – those that were built and those that were imagined. We could look at the many futures inspired by the space age, or at the alternative lives and societies envisaged in reaction to the Cold War and the nuclear threat. We could revisit the multiple Ballardian worlds or the various projects for the future proposed by the architects and artists who contributed to “This is Tomorrow”, the exhibition held at London’s Whitechapel Gallery in 1956 and restaged in 2006 at Tate Britain. We could look at the social utopias of the 1960s, the communes, sex and free love as a basis for a new society. We could look at the alternative worlds inspired by the possibilities of robotics, cybernetics or genetics; or at virtual worlds, like Second Life or all those parallel lives made possible by social networking sites. We could look backwards and at the same time look forwards.

Contributions on any of the above topics or on other alternative worlds of the past and the present are invited from individuals working in the fields of art history, philosophy, literary, cultural and visual studies, fine arts, film and media studies, theatre, history, etc.

Artists are also invited to present new (and existing) work on the theme.

Please send proposals for art presentations (200 words plus images) or academic papers (200 words) to Ricarda Vidal: ricarda.vidal@sas.ac.uk ||| by 13 December 2010.

Please indicate which date you would prefer for your talk.

Dates and times:

Wednesday 26 Jan. 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 23 Feb. 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 30 March 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 27 April 2011, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Wednesday 25 May 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Wanstead Flats

FOREST  ROOTS – FRIDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2010

Dear Forest Folk

Don’t forget this Friday we have blues singer/songwriter Roger Askew with Olly Blanchflower. You can hear them at http://www.myspace.com/rognolly and check out Roger at http://www.rogeraskew.com.

The Flats Family Band will be there and the wonderful Nick Pickett as well as local singers and surprise guests.

If you’d like to perform send us an email: jennybeeching@gmail.com

See you all Friday

Forest Gate Hotel, Function Room, 105 Godwin Road, Forest Gate, London, E7 0LW

Stay forever young

Jenny and Caroline

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Forest Gate Hotel

FOREST  ROOTS – FRIDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2010

Higher Education

REIMAGINE THE UNIVERSITY

How could we transform the university, how could students and lecturers learn differently through more creative, critical and empowering processes, is it even possible to transform the university, or do we need to create an entirely different system?

We invite you to be a part of exploring and demonstrating an alternative educational system over three days. Be it a workshop, a lecture a discussion a film an event, we are calling… on students, lecturers and staff and others to come together and show another university is possible.

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For a long time the university has been undergoing a process of privatisation.

Universities are now run as businesses, with students as consumers and lecturers as creators of products – knowledge has become a commodity that can be bought and sold. The sole purpose of university has become to train docile workers to perform functions within a capitalist system, to contribute to the enrichment of the few rather than the collective social improvement of all.

The recent Browne Report, written by former executive of BP, takes this process to a whole new level- proposing a removal on the cap on fees which will create an even more hierarchical education system, reducing research funding and rising fees to an estimated £10,000 a year. All this results in students taking on more debt for the same education, with lecturers being forced to carry out ‘economies exercises’ and staff working longer hours and harder for less money.

It is clear that the university system is becoming bankrupt and in need of profound change, but no-one can see an alternative, a solution, a way out.

As workers and students at different places within the university system, we can see a different way forward, we don’t have all the answers, but we have many ideas and are sure there are many more out there. We are putting on a three-day event across the university to facilitate the process of re-imagining the higher education system. We would like to explore how universities can become a place where creative and critical thought is fostered, where participants teach what inspires them, learn what they are passionate about, where people share and develop their skills and knowledge in order to create a more equitable and sustainable world, not simply for jobs and profit.

To be held at University of Leeds & Leeds Metropolitican University 24th -26th November

Precise locations and workshops to be announced on our website: http://www.reallyopenuniversity.org

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com