Reflection from readings and viewings regarding Urban Ecologies 2

Returning A Sound and Chalk by Allora & Calzadilla



Reclaiming the city since 2005.

Started as 2 hour installation but progressed to worldwide movement. With much more than just a park – lots of installation types: repair, clinic etc. All based on specific community needs. Documentation via photographs – they want not only end product – but the progress photographs. They even have a manual and manifesto to download, even a press kit!

Mapping via Google Maps – explore this for chalk my ride Maybe create chalk station and hand out chalk at next Auckland

Park(ing) Day ? Is there 2015 – not on website?

Have signed up and waiting for approval to create Auckland Group.

I like their spirit – sense of community and resourcing to empower people to activate their own local networks.

Community / Rooftop  gardens – really a wonderful concept – need more of these – ‘allotments’ – claiming back urban space – creating gardens wherever possible/probable! A bit like claiming the berm in Auckland. Facebook –

Interesting the dumpster works Oliver Bishop-Young – Skip Waste – simply filling with goodness instead of rubbish. Bins end up on the street for days on end filled with trash – who says that they can’t be filled with other stuff? Really like the provision of an urban oasis for insects and so on – why should bees get all the plush pads? Great combo of dumpster and natural/provisional materials.

Need to re-re-visit Kelmarna Gardens and talk Adrian about how things work there now.

The edible bus stop is a wonderful engagement of public space – using a wasted resource – time waiting for public transport to engage with community and public resource.

Moss graffiti – a lovely idea to revitalise urban spaces with a totally ecological ink:

Notes from Production of the New and Care of the Self

New doe not come from somewhere else – but rather comes from here – the world we live it the place that we are – and indeed – who we are. The new is not making it up from scratch – it is a recombining of what is here already. It is a duplicate of what is here – but with a change or difference.

Fashion is could be a direct repetition with minor modifications, but art is a massive and profound reassembling of the existing. So fashion is like the opposite of art.

Finding the new means to move out of a certain plane of existence i.e. move into a different space from before, not just horizontally – i.e. not just like on a map, but perhaps to move deeper i.e. uncover layers to find the relief hiding under the smooth.

Bergson, says that this other place is not actually here in our present place as such, but rather in another time, on a ‘temporal axis’ – or  ‘pure-past’ a realm of pure potentiality. This can only take place when there is a fissure or schism created between stimulus and response.

A rupture – as intimated in Art of the possible : Fulvia Carnevale and John Kelsey in conversation with Jacques Ranciere, that play is fundamental to creating the rupture required to ‘thwart expectations’. Breaking the sensory-motor mechanism which holds all the habits of a lifetime.

With the new comes the surprise or gap – that allows for hesitation in response – an opportunity for a reformulation and synthesis of idea. But this reformulation doesn’t happen instantly – a duration and movement is required – time and space to digest if you will.

Not just a recombination – more of movement into a different realm and then back again – with the journey being an important part of the reconfiguration. A changing of habit, and a change from just considering the usefulness of the thing. This allows for a new future to emerge.

Spinoza specified three forms of knowledge:

  1. General condition of being in the world – our worldly encounters are random and we are a product of these encounters
  2. As result of effort placed on understanding and categorising these encounters – we consciously start to comprehend and arrange our lives. An ethical life involves recombining to increase happiness and joy. Advanced capitalism = news + sadness/paralysis and commodities + happiness/insulation. Creativity is the production of joyful encounters through experimentation and resulting creating of common notions – or universal thoughts through the creative process. This is ‘blueprint for a genuinely creative life’ that is rooted in the discovery of the genesis of experience.
  3. Everything agrees, and produces joy with that agreement. Instead of the world being the causation of you, you become the causation of yourself and your acting into the world. Not actually knowledge per se – rather a place of being. A place of eternality like Bergson’s pure past. Being still is still moving.

Foucault calls a kind of knowledge; the truth. Not able to be communicated – but rather a state of being – as above – and ‘involves a transformation of given subjectivity’. I.e. making a change to what is presumed as an individual. Truth is traditionally linked with proof and knowledge. And so, knowledge, as science or as the humanities might see it, is really just a result of ‘evidence’ already verified, against a backdrop of ever horded, and increasing, knowledge. This knowledge is filling an empty vessel, which is us, and we are really never satiated. This knowledge is really a building, or collecting, of compounding evidence, rather than a challenge on what is thought to be known. Foucault compares traditional of knowledge/truth vs the tradition of ‘care of the self’.

Care of the self is where the production of subjectivity is the cause and effect of truth – where truth is an experience, rather than a viewing of evidence. This cause and effect, this experimental way of being with the truth in the self, is produced via a ‘certain orientation/intention’ via ‘specific technologies’, could be called a ‘ethico-aesthetic’ programme.

One cannot read and learn, one needs to practice to find this state of truth via an emergence. It is not to be discovered in academia, rather it is lived into via practice. Instead of looking for new, it about is becoming something different.

This is not a seeking of knowledge, and it will look suspect from a scientific/humanities point of view as it is so introspective and subjective in nature. Similarly considering medication and funding for expanded and de-territorialised practices.


O’Sullivan, S, The production of the new and the care of the self. From: Deleuze, Guattari and the production of the new (O’Sullivan, S., and Zepke, S. eds.); ch. 9. Publisher: London ; New York : Continuum. Date: 2008.

Carnevale, F. & Kelsey, J, Art of the possible : Fulvia Carnevale and John Kelsey in conversation with Jacques Ranciere. Source: Artforum ; vol. 45, no. 7 (Mar 2007)

hand written journal notes


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