‘Spectres of the State Avant-Garde’
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A research sponsored by the Korea-England Research Fellowship (Arts Council Korea [ARKO] and Arts Council England [ACE]) and supported by the UCL Urban Laboratory.
This research focuses on surplus in urban space as the production of the neoliberal economy. The creation and demolition of surplus (including related spaces) are currently ongoing phenomena throughout the globe, and artists’ engagement with them is significant. Thus, it ultimately raises a question on the relationship between art and the social—or art and the urban. Before discussing the notion of ‘surplus’ in urban space, it would be helpful to understand the ways in which the expression ‘surplus space’ has been used. So far, landscape architects have widely used the term ‘surplus space’ to indicate abandoned facilities or spaces of the industrial era that are no longer in use. Architectural designers have, thus, been involved with renovating such spaces to impose a new value on them. Read More
Presented in the 10th Conference of the Pacific Rim Community Design Network: Agency and Resilience (15-17 December 2016 at CUHK)
Precarious Life and Subversive Potential: Nanjido Landfill (1978-1993) in Seoul
Jeong Hye Kim
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Adhocism by Charles Jencks, Nathan Silver
Trans. Jeong Hye Kim, Jay Lee
Seoul: Hyunsil Books, 2016 (expanded and updated edition, MIT Press, 2013) (from the translator’s afterword … draft)
When the extended edition was published from the MIT Press after four decades of the first publication, Financial Times reviewed that the book “now appears prescient, this is an exploration of an idea of design that blends Dada, high-tech and DIY. The result is close to contemporary ideas about hacking and mass customisation.” Jencks reminds of making as an alternative to the mass production and consumption, and emphasizes the reason why individuals need to create their own environment as follows: “By realizing his immediate needs, by combining ad hoc parts, the individual sustains and transcends himself. Shaping one’s personal environment toward desired ends can break the vicious circle of sensory deprivation; much of the present environment, blank and unresponsive, is a key to idiocy and brainwashing.” (p. 23) Furthermore, he claims that “Having architects represent the people’s design interest has the same drawback that representative government has: it can never be a complete representation and it actively discourages people from shaping their own locale and taking care of it.”
SPACE No. 581 (April 2016)
Art’s engagement with urban space is not a new subject. The art form that is widely known as ‘public art’ has been practiced for many decades, primarily to defy the prevalent white cube of the modernism art. It has been presented mainly in the form of outdoor installation and performance, focusing extensively on the interaction with the public. In spite of consistent efforts made by artists and critics to articulate the meaning of public art, the discourses have remained within the domain of fine art and determined by art’s relationship with the public: how artworks communicate with an audience or contribute to the community. What about seeing art through the lens of the urban or through urban studies? The essays on this issue attempt an alternative interdisciplinary approach to broaden the meanings of art in/on urban space and understand art as a part of a specific yet broader urban fabric. The feature of this edition will examine how artists explore the urban spaces that have been laid to waste throughout the modern and postmodern era, thinking through what public space means today and considering how artists research the security issue in privatized-public space through an interview with Max Colson.
*This research at the UCL Urban Laboratory was supported by the Korea Arts Management Service and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.
It was a coincidence that I returned to Korea when fear of MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) was at its peak in the nation. I had never before experienced passing the immigration desk without queuing in double or triple snaking lines. The airport almost seemed strange without crowds of Chinese tourist groups. After a month, MERS showed almost 19% fatality, hitting a hard blow on the nation’s economy by decreasing the potential annual economic growth rate below three per cent. As Korea gained notoriety for its rank as the region with the second highest risk for MERS next to Saudi Arabia and for its ill-prepared public health protection system, the media often described this incident as a national humiliation. Read More