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.

Seminar on 20 January 2017

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.[1] 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.

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1see English (Translator’s afterword)

<애드호키즘: 임시변통과 즉석 제작의 미학>
찰스 젠크스, 네이선 실버 / 김정혜, 이재희 옮김
MIT 출판사 증보판 2013 (1972)
역자 후기 (현실문화, 2016)

2013년, 초판이 출간된 지 40년 만에 MIT 출판사에서 증보판이 나왔을 때 《파이낸셜 타임즈》에서는 소비자가 스스로 직접 물건을 만드는 두잇유어셀프(Do It Yourself)나 맞춤형 디자인이 부각되는이 시대에 필요한 개념을 《애드호키즘》이 시대에 앞서 예시했다고 평했다. 젠크스는 표준화된 근대 대량 생산과 소비에 대한 대안으로 스스로 만들기의 필요성을 상기시키고 무엇보다 개인이 자기 환경을 창조해야 하는 의미를 다음과 같이 강조한다. “즉각적인 필요를 자각하고 애드호크적인 부분들을 결합함으로써 개인적인 것들이 유지되고 그 자신을 초월한다. 이렇게 개인은 자신의 환경을 원하는 방향으로 만들어감으로써 감각적인 박탈의 악순환을 끊을 수있다. 무반응적이고 텅 빈 현재 환경은 대부분 인간을 백치화하고 세뇌시키는 핵심적인 요인이다.” (p. 23) 나아가 그는 건축가나 디자이너가 일반인의 디자인 관심사를 대변하는 것은 정부가 이를 대신하는 것 만큼이나 문제가 있으며, 삶의 환경을 조성하고 만들어가는 것은 ‘절대로’ 누군가 대신할 수 없는 일일 뿐만 아니라 자신의 환경을 돌보는 인간의 의지를 적극적으로 가로막는 일이라고 단언한다.

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스크린샷 2016-05-29 11.49.00see Korean

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.”

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S1604_200x207SPACE No. 581 (April 2016) kr
SPACE No. 581 (April 2016) en

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.

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'목욕도' - 초등 수신서 중에서

‘목욕도’ – 초등 수신서 중에서

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