This post is brought to you by Reality Cues. Architecture is historically complicit with the policies of those in power, both symbolically and functionally. It offers not only representations of power, but also vehicles for enacting power in its most grandiose, oppressive, and physically enduring...
the place where cities get “remade” is in the public rather than private sphere. Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) ... is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. [...]
[Pops] feel too monitored, too controlled, to allow this communal activity to simply unfold. London, and many other cities, are failing miserably to enable diversity in people’s engagement with such spaces. — theguardian.com
Builders pulled back from Mauna Kea as hundreds of protesters set up roadblocks to oppose construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on top of Hawaii’s sacred mountain. State and local police arrested a dozen demonstrators. — RT
The Whitney Museum of American Art has yet to open its doors in a new location in the meatpacking district, but on Tuesday night it unwittingly played host to its first radical art exhibition. At 11 p.m., activists from groups including Occupy Museums and Occupy the Pipeline gathered on the street in front of the museum for a performance art-style demonstration about a natural gas pipeline that is adjacent to the $422 million building and its vast art collection. — NY Times
Protestors against low-income housing demolition are not just fighting for their homes, but often for their ability to stay in London at all. The small amount of “affordable” housing being discussed as a replacement is really a figleaf. — citylab.com
Now the barracks plan has been revived. [...] Will one of central Istanbul’s few remaining green spaces become a symbol of consumerist might and the weakness of people power?
Activists have pledged to take to the streets should the plan go forward. “If this project really comes to pass despite the high level of objection from the public, that will create a second wave of uprisings, and this time it will be more influential,” said Eyup Muhcu, the head of Turkey’s main architects’ union. — nextcity.org
Two nights before New Year’s Eve, more than a thousand Macedonians gathered in the snow to hold hands and form a ring around a large shopping mall in the capital city of Skopje. That may sound like the beginning to some strange joke, but the crowd was assembled in earnest, to express its love of the modernist building known as GTC, and to protest a government plan to give it a new, baroque façade. — hyperallergic.com
NYC has been the focal point for recurrent demonstrations over the last couple of weeks, with large, long marches, die-ins and rallies. This is not surprising, since NYC is the most populous city in the country. But even more than that, the urban environment — dense, centralized, vertical, walkable — creates spaces that are conducive for these protests to pick up steam. The existence of public spaces, such as Union Square and Washington Square Park, function as easily accessible rallying points. — america.aljazeera.com
Ash-har Quraishi reports on why some Chicagoans oppose a plan for a museum for the ‘Star Wars’ creator’s artwork — Al Jazeera
A newly completed 125 ft high mural painted by Stik on a condemned council owned tower block in Acton, West London is the tallest street artwork in the UK.
The artwork depicts a mother and child looking forlornly from their condemned council block at the luxury apartment complexes being built around them. [...]
Charles Hocking House was built for low income families in 1967 and is earmarked to be torn down in 2016. — streetartnews.net
We call it “destructoporn” (since 2007, according to Urban Dictionary) and it comes, unbidden, via digital media. Where did I see that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Folk Art Museum, just thirteen years old, was down to steel and rubble? The art critic Jerry Saltz’s Instagram. [...]
The dailiness, even hourliness, of social media makes it a perfect vehicle for documenting each thump of the wrecking ball, each crunch of the backhoe. Its visual slant is ideal for activism wrapped up in pictures. — newyorker.com
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