32 thoughts on “Articles

  1. My new review of Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro By Janice Perlman (published in the journal Social Forces):

    Posted by aangelini | November 19, 2012, 2:56 pm
  2. Occupy Sandy’s Spirit of Solidarity Resonates with Latino Values

    (a rare moment when corporate media report on grassroots organizing without a disparaging or patronizing tone.)

    Posted by aangelini | November 9, 2012, 7:23 am

    November 5, 2012

    If there was ever any doubt that we are entering a serious period of crisis
    both locally and globally, it is shockingly, stunningly, dispelled by a
    visit to Ground Zero Rockaways this weekend. To say it is a place in ruins
    is underestimating matters–this amazing shoreline, one of the best beaches
    within the city limits, has become a post-apocalyptic sci-fi scene of
    people roaming around looking for food and water amid piles of belongings
    and memories and a kind of silent cry of anguish from having witnessed 5
    feet of water surging through their streets and into their houses.

    Read the rest here:

    Posted by Themistoklis | November 6, 2012, 2:35 pm
  4. Sandy temporarily reduced NYC’s carbon footprint by interrupting industrial and transit activity, but the city will be at full metabolic power soon enough… Here’s a stunning visualization of carbon dioxide emissions in NYC:

    Posted by aangelini | November 5, 2012, 10:59 am
  5. Great article about what’s going on at St. Jacobi’s. this is where much of our organizing, donations, etc. went.


    Posted by Drew | November 4, 2012, 7:01 pm
  6. John Seabrook’s 2007 New Yorker article ‘Sowing for Apocalypse’ on food systems, privatization of seeds and intelectual-property rights.

    Posted by Sara Bissen | October 30, 2012, 1:56 pm
  7. Sternberg Press
    Alex Coles
    The Transdisciplinary Studio

    Sternberg Press is pleased to announce the first volume of Alex Coles’s exploration of expanded studio structures and contemporary praxis, The Transdisciplinary Studio. We have entered a post-post-studio age, and find ourselves with a new studio model: the transdisciplinary. Artists and designers are now defined not by their discipline but by the fluidity with which their practices move between the fields of architecture, art, and design. This volume delves into four pioneering transdisciplinary studios—Jorge Pardo Sculpture, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Studio Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke—by observing and interviewing the practitioners and their assistants. A further series of interviews with curators, critics, anthropologists, designers, and artists serves to contextualize the transdisciplinary model now at the fore of creative practice.

    Including interviews with Jorge Pardo, Konstantin Grcic, Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke; and Vito Acconci, Gui Bonsiepe, James Clifford, Dexter Sinister, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Caroline Jones, Ronald Jones, Maria Lind, Alessandro Mendini, Rick Poynor, and Andrea Zittel.

    Alex Coles is Professor of Transdisciplinary Studies, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield

    For further information about the book launches, press inquiries, and orders please contactmail@sternberg-press.com.

    Alex Coles
    The Transdisciplinary Studio
    2012, English
    12.9 x 19.8 cm, 372 pages, softcover
    ISBN 978-1-934105-96-2

    Posted by Sara Bissen | October 30, 2012, 1:51 pm
  8. A. G. Frank’s 1966 Monthly Review article ‘The Development of Underdevelopment’ (link as follows) on the metropole-satellite structure in Latin America as result of mercantilism and capitalist integration. Looks at how autonomous economic areas were able to thrive, counter to full adoption of capitalist and institutional structures. http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3682_f08/Articles/FrankDevofUnderdev.pdf

    Posted by Sara Bissen | October 30, 2012, 1:50 pm
  9. http://celdf.org/downloads/Book%20-%20Smith%20Chapter%20on%20Municipal%20Government.pdf

    Not sure if this link will work, but maybe just copy it into your browser. Check out the bottom of 286 – 287 if you only want to read a piece of it. I haven’t read the whole thing through yet, but I jumped to that part and found it relevant to property in cities.

    Posted by Braden Crooks | October 19, 2012, 9:34 am
  10. Social Movement Studies
    Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest

    Read the special issue that marks the 1 year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street for FREE here
    Social Movement Studies on ‘Occupy!’. Volume 11 Issue 3 is dedicated to reflections on the movement. The papers are listed below, and to get access simply;
    – Visit: http://www.tandfonline.com/r/csms-access
    – Log in with account details from a previous visit, or spare 2 minutes to register.
    – Sit back, relax, and enjoy reading!
    Access is free until mid-November, so please download and pass on to others who may be interested before then.

    1. Jenny Pickerill and John Krinsky, Why does Occupy matter?
    2. Jackie Smith & Bob Glidden, Occupy Pittsburgh and the Challenges of Participatory Democracy
    3. Justus Uitermark & Walter Nicholls, How Local Networks Shape a Global Movement: Comparing Occupy in Amsterdam and Los Angeles
    4. Sarah Kerton, Tahrir, Here?: The Influence of the Arab Uprisings on the Emergence of Occupy
    5. Ernesto Castañeda, The Indignados of Spain: A Precedent to Occupy Wall Street
    6. Michael Janoschka, Jacobo Abellán & Jorge Sequera, Occupying the #hotelmadrid: A Laboratory for Urban Resistance
    7. Adam Barker, Already Occupied: Indigenous peoples, settler colonialism, and the Occupy movements in North America
    8. Rebecca Schein, Whose Occupation? Homelessness and the Politics of Park Encampments
    9. Jim Gledhill, Collecting Occupy London: Public Collecting Institutions and Social Protest Movements in the 21st Century
    10. Uri Gordon, Israel’s ‘Tent Protests’: The Chilling Effect of Nationalism
    11. Curtis Smith, Ernesto Castañeda, and Josiah Heyman, The Homeless and Occupy El Paso: Creating Community among the 99%
    12. Sarah Gaby and Neal Caren, Occupy Online: How cute old men and Malcolm X recruited 400,000 U.S. Users to OWS on Facebook
    13. Sasha Costanza-Chock, Mic Check! Media Cultures and the Occupy Movement
    14. Mayo Fuster Morell, The Free Culture and 15M Movements in Spain: Composition, social networks and synergies
    15. Max Liboiron and Anonymous, Tactics of Waste, Dirt and Discard in the Occupy Movement
    16. Eitan Alimi, Occupy Israel: A Tale of Startling Success and Hopeful Failure missing
    17. Cesar Guzman-Concha, The students’ rebellion in Chile: occupy protest or classic social movement?
    18. Lorenzo Zamponi, ‘Why don’t Italians occupy?’ Hypotheses on a failed mobilisation
    19. Sam Halvorsen, Beyond the Network? Occupy London and the Global Movement
    20. Jeffrey S. Juris, Michelle Ronayne, Firuzeh Shokooh-Valle, and Robert Wengronowitz, Negotiating Power and Difference within the 99%
    Activist Interventions
    21. Anonymous, Activist intervention: Occupy: the End of the Affair?
    22. Isabelle Köksal, Activist intervention: Walking in the City of London

    Book Review

    23. Anna Feigenbaum, Occupy: Scenes from Occupied America, n+1, Verso 2011

    Posted by Themistoklis | October 17, 2012, 11:42 am
  11. http://commercialobserver.com/2012/09/the-gangs-of-new-york-who-rules-each-manhattan-zip-code/

    This should be a fascinating map to look at in understanding how Manhattan has been parceled out by the big-whig landlords (particularly on officespace).

    Posted by citybug7 | October 16, 2012, 4:21 pm
  12. NYT: Grand Plan for a Toxic Site Is Scorned and Celebrated (Gowanus Redevelopment)

    Posted by aangelini | October 11, 2012, 11:26 am
  13. Gowanusbydesign.org

    Design competition regarding the gowanus pertaining to water…. Not the same area but definitely worth taking a glance!

    Posted by bonnienetel | October 8, 2012, 1:18 pm
  14. Alejandro Echeverria has this to say:

    ““Innovation is a word we often hear these days. It is a something that most companies, governments and individuals want to achieve but is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. In cases, it is associated with creativity, spontaneous thinking and lateral thinking. However, innovation can arise from systemic thinking and structured programs that create spaces for individuals with that kind of thinking to thrive. In essence, innovation becomes about offering access to people of any social background to develop to their fullest.””

    Check out the article -> http://thisbigcity.net/enhancing-the-capacity-for-innovation-in-21st-century-cities/

    Posted by joelpstein | October 7, 2012, 11:17 pm
  15. While we were discussing together the reading of “El Alto, Rebel city” (Land, mine and Green/space groups) at some point we come to discuss what are the differences between “Western” type of citizenship (dating back from ancient Greek and Roman times) and “Non-Western” roots of citizenship. In this lens, here is an interesting article on “Meanings of Citizenship in Latin America” – http://www.drc-citizenship.org/system/assets/1052734448/original/1052734448-dagnino.2005-meanings.pdf

    Posted by ekaterinalev | October 6, 2012, 3:29 pm
  16. At some point we said something about a book list, well, here ya go.

    1. Making a Place for Community by Williamson, Alperovitz, and Imbroscio.
    2. Urban America Reconsidered by Imbroscio (old mentor of mine, great guy)
    3. Critical Urban Studies by Davies and Imbroscio
    4. Geographies and Moralities by Smith and Lee.
    5. The Politics of Public Space by Low and Smith.
    6. The Birth of Biopolitics by Foucault.
    7. Weapons of the Weak by Smith.
    8. Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich. (see also, Deschooling Society, Limits of Medicine, The Right to Useful Unemployment)
    9. Justice and the Politics of Difference by Iris Marion Young.
    10. Reclaiming the Land by Moyo and Yeros.

    Posted by tucka961 | October 6, 2012, 12:03 am
  17. https://vacantnyc.crowdmap.com/main

    Not an article but a resource. Vacant property map as collected by Picture the Homeless.

    Posted by tucka961 | October 1, 2012, 7:29 pm
  18. http://www.shelterforce.org/article/2770/unsorting_our_cities/
    Hi folks. Here is a reading from Mary Taylor’s methods class on unsorting our cities. Interesting stuff. Josh, you should definitely read this given your specific interest in social housing.

    As we move forward working with La Union it would behoove us to keep in mind, how can we create sustainable investment in Sunset Park without attracting development, displacement, and still protect the residents there from the effects of ‘gentrification’.

    Posted by tucka961 | October 1, 2012, 7:07 pm
  19. I took a “News Literacy” class in my undergrad where we deconstructed articles all the time to discover which were reliable, etc. I figured posting this guide would be helpful for any future articles you read…really ever. I hope it’s helpful. That was one of the best/most relevant general education classes I’ve ever taken.

    A Deconstruction Guide
    1. Summarize the main points and then check: Does the headline and the
    lead support the main point(s) of the story?
    2. How close does the reporter come to opening the freezer? Is the
    evidence direct or indirect?
    3. Evaluate the reliability of the sources using I’M VA/IN:
     Independent sources are better than self-interested sources.
     Multiple sources are better than a single source.
     Sources who Verify are better than sources who assert:“I know” vs. “I
     Authoritative/Informed sources are better than uninformed sources.
     Named sources are better than unnamed sources
    4. Does the reporter make his or her work transparent?
    5. Does the reporter place the story in context?
    6. Are the key questions answered?
    7. Is the story fair?

    If you have any questions about what any of these point mean, feel free to ask me!

    Posted by gabrielleandersen | September 26, 2012, 4:17 pm
  20. Hi guys,

    Here is an interesting mapping document of vacant lots in both Bed Stuy and Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Hope you find it useful. Here is the link:

    Posted by greenspaceunion | September 26, 2012, 3:34 pm
  21. I am reading an article on war and simulation for my Critical Security class. After the GIS workshop and seeing your drawings in Monday’s studio (particularly the map of Manhattan), I thought of you all when reading this tonight:

    No matter if the medium is paper and ink or software and code, we have seen how the mapper, in seeking to get it right, is structurally and graphically inclined to colonize the status quo, reduce the other to the same, even confuse the map for the “real thing.” Whether it is in the name of abstraction, parsimony, or tradition, there is a scientific predilection in mapping that favors the global reach over the grasp of the local, the thin over the thick description, the revisionist over the visionary perspective. This is why the traveler must go where the signs say not to: the edge of the map. There we might find the dangerous complexities, banal evils, or even absurd circumstances that the mapped world avoids or effaces.

    Posted by Sara Bissen | September 25, 2012, 11:21 pm
  22. Teddy Cruz has some interesting strategies centered around conflict that is starting to influence our group’s work. Check his site when you have the chance!



    Posted by citybug7 | September 24, 2012, 3:06 pm
    or, why does New York City have a housing
    shortage, with so many vacant apartments?


    Posted by Themistoklis | September 23, 2012, 8:07 pm
  24. “Billionaires Club” in Midtown Manhattan. Thoughts about the role of real estate as an investment, and the predominant forms of property that shape our cities?


    Posted by joelpstein | September 19, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Found this short article to be interesting in terms of property, housing, and Lefebvre’s concept of “habitat”.


    Posted by Desiree | September 17, 2012, 8:42 pm
  26. What is Useful? The paradox of rights in Tania Bruguera’s ‘Useful Art’
    Posted on September 16, 2012 by GREENSPACEUNION

    Queen’s Dream Team, Immigrant Movement International. October 2nd. 2011.
    Courtesy Immigrant Movement International.

    Full article: http://www.artandeducation.net/paper/what-is-useful-the-paradox-of-rights-in-tania-brugueras-useful-art/

    If the question for socially engaged art, as the curator Nato Thompson has recently argued, is no longer “Is it art?” but rather “is it useful?” What is the appropriate evaluative framework for art as a social ‘tool’? If we are asked to understand artist practice as undertaking progressive cause, are the traditional analytics of art historians and critics effective in this endeavor? What does ‘good’ mean for art that seeks justice? In this article, I will attempt the use of a critical methodology extracted from Critical Legal Studies in the evaluation of Tania Bruguera’s project Immigrant Movement International or art as “social and political movement.” Namely, a project that has instigated claims for rights. The critique is drawn from a faction of theorists within Critical Legal Studies, the rights critics, who, beginning in the 1980s, questioned basic claims of utility in campaigns for social change. Specifically, they argued against the status of rights as paramount for systematically subordinated groups, stemming from ongoing, and in many ways reinvigorated, inequality despite the legal achievements made by the civil rights movements of the 1960s. As the legal theorist Duncan Kennedy illustrates, if one is to seriously deconstruct the “Left project,” namely the pursuit of “greater equality and participation in public and private government,” “it follows that the status of all kinds of normative assertions, including utilitarian assertion, become uneasy.” Already, such a claim, that the notion of ‘social tool’ should be subject to critical analysis, poses a different answer to Thompson’s query for art: what is useful? Can there be consensus or a stable point of reference to deduct if something is useful for achieving social gains?

    The political theorist Wendy Brown, in her text Suffering the Paradoxes of Rights, asks for a space beyond the judicial which articulates what equality might look like outside of a “progressive historiography,”wherein rights function to achieve the illusion of progress within a still intact and unchanged social order. While Brown doesn’t specify as to what this new space is, I argue that it is the cultural, or at least that the cultural provides one such space for envisioning rights discourse under a wholly different set of constraints. Bruno Latour articulates the role of the critic as one who introduces ‘new spaces of assembly,’ which is a role I hope to inhabit in applying the rights critique to social practice, necessitating a third space of inquiry outside of either discipline. I am responding to the “ethics” or “aesthetics” binary which plagues scholarship surrounding social practice, also articulated as “equality” vs. “quality.”Suffering the Paradoxes of Rights offers an evaluation of ‘Immigrant Movement International,’ which elucidates the problems its rights introduce, while acknowledging their undeniable material impact. Brown’s text circles the central debate around the rights critique, in which critical race scholars such as Patricia Williams, Derrick Bell and Robert A. Williams Jr argued against it, on the grounds that rights are non-negotiable for historically marginalized peoples and even that it was “demoralizing to criticize them.” As her writing on rights crucially departs from the problem posed by this conflict, Brown occupies a central place within the debate, pressing upon its most contentious, and most productive tension, that of the “place of rights in the politics of politicized identities.”My aim is not to evoke the legal for the work of culture to aspire to, or as a distant sounding board within the realm of consequence, but rather, insofar as the work of Bruguera and her contemporaries make claims for rights which are correlative to the aligned work of those operating within the law, it is necessary to evaluate such claims through the deconstructive developments made in CLS over the past three decades.

    Brown begins by stating that the essay is not for or against rights, but rather is an attempt to “map some of the conundrums of rights for articulating and redressing women’s inequality and subordination.” Brown has worked to account for the ways in which the achievement of rights for women by feminist movements of the 20th century failed to address the modes of power through which subjects are constituted and entrapped, even while certain material gains, the right to vote, divorce, and abort, were bestowed. Critical Legal Studies as a discipline set out to theorize the ways in which the rule of law, far from being a neutral deployment of pre-constituted, transparently applied judgment, was in fact always a political exercise. Therefore, I critique IMI not with the intention of signaling wrongdoing, but rather as a method of approaching Brown’s discussion of the paradoxes of rights for the contemporary moment, through the specific frame the project provides.

    Brown’s article inhabits a Foucauldian perspective in opposition to the currency of an ‘oppression’ and ‘liberation’ binary, instead seeking to illustrate the law as one regulatory framework which continually constructs and reconstructs subjects in the service of power. As Brown points out, the “proliferation of rights for women also recalls that rights almost always serve as a mitigation—but not a resolution—of subordinating powers” and that they “vanquish neither the regime nor its mechanisms of reproduction.” Subjects are shaped as much by disempowerment as they are by access to the new freedoms rights afford. As Brown states concisely; “if we are constrained to need and want rights, do they inevitably shape as well as claim our desire without gratifying it?”

    It is important to note here that as Brown stated in her introduction, she is not against working for rights. Rather she quotes Gayatri Spivak’s incisive grasp of rights as “that which we cannot not want.” The material reality of women’s still precarious political standing, and the undeniable bodily consequences of the loss of such freedoms, requires the continual maintenance of legally recognized rights; in opposition to appeals solely for direct action, as is argued within Autonomous thought. This creates the paradox Brown outlines; a tension between rights as political citizenship, the way in which “new groups can enter into the discourse of American politics with the expectation that they will be understood,” and rights as maintaining a social order that continually produces power imbalance. As the exhibition Living as Form asked last year, “is it better for one art project to improve one person’s life than for it to not exist at all?” Brown considers that question precisely in her discussion of the paradox. How to reconcile the freedoms afforded by rights, the making lives better, with the ways in which they reinscribe the subjugation, and provide new ground for the proliferation of power, that they were meant to appeal in the first place? If an artist’s project succumbs to these problems, is this acceptable if even one person’s life is better? Of course, one could argue that the material gains of legally obtained rights are more substantial than those accessed by artist projects, and therefore such a comparison is irrelevant. However, the campaign for rights, achieved or not, large or small, is subject to the same critical dilemmas that plague any civil rights bid before the Supreme Court. What is useful? What helps?

    Posted by miguelroblesduran | September 16, 2012, 8:19 pm

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