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Design for Hypercomplexity: Megacities and Adaptation in the Anthropocene
presentation to the
by Etienne Turpin, Ph.D.
SMART Infrastructure Facility
Faculty of Engineering + Information Sciences
University of Wollongong
NSW Australia 2522

Keywords: postnatural hypercomplexity, equitable urban development, urban poverty, climate change

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The Architecture of Mineralization by Etienne Turpin
Launched at New York Art Book Fair

To support the publication of Etienne Turpin's forthcoming book Stainlessness by the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, we have released a special edition broadsheet publication featuring a short essay and a set of four prints which present the story of labor movements in North America and show how they have shaped the cities of Sudbury, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. While processes of urbanization have all but erased these struggles from our cities and left only ambivalent monuments to mark the past, contemporary architectural "capriccios" of The Architecture of Mineralization assert the centrality of labor as a force capable of transforming the nature of cities, the culture of America, and the geologic deep-time marked by the Anthropocene. The publication was designed by Sara Dean ( and is distributed by Sound&Language.

To order copies or receive promotional samples for your gallery or bookstore, please contact Sound&Language.

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SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 - Excess - edited by Etienne Turpin
Launched at New York Art Book Fair

Thanks to Sara Dean, Marnie Briggs, and Sound&Language / Alexis Bhagat for making sure the Excess issue made it to the New York Art Book Fair!
If you missed the book fair, you can order a copy on Amazon or CreateSpace.

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SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 - Excess - edited by Etienne Turpin

Purchase on Amazon or CreateSpace

We are pleased to announce the release of SCAPEGOAT’s Excess issue. With over 60 contributors, it is a delicious new release, and one we hope you will order, share, and disseminate to other friends. The issue features contributions from:

Tings CHAK
Heather DAVIS
Jennifer JACQUET
Abidin KUSNO
Stanisław LEM
Meredith MILLER
Srimoyee MITRA
John Paul RICCO
Ana Luisa SOARES
Raphael SPERRY
Anna-Sophie SPRINGER

You can purchase your copy on Amazon or CreateSpace

We hope you will pass along this announcement to your contact list. SCAPEGOAT operates entirely independently, with no outside institutional support (other than subscriptions by libraries), no advertisements, and no grants; we depend on our sales to sustain the publication.

Any support you can lend us – posting on your Facebook, blog, Twitter, etc., and sending our announcement out to colleagues, friends, and allies – is very much appreciated. We are also continuing to develop our subscriptions with libraries, which help us immensely. If you would be so kind as to recommend the publication to a library near you, we would be grateful to begin their subscription with our issue on Excess

Scapegoat Editorial Board _ Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette, Nasrin Himada, Jane Hutton, Marcin Kedzior, Chris Lee, Christie Pearson, and Etienne Turpin
Designer _ Chris Lee
Assistant Designer _ Raf Rennie
Circulation _ Tings Chak
Copy Editors _ Jeffrey Malecki & Lucas AJ Freeman
Excess Cover Design _ Prachi Kamdar
Excess Issue Editor _ Etienne Turpin

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REVIEW for Studio Perancangan Arsitektur, UPH & Rempah Rumah Karya

Scapegoat editors Adam Bobbette and Etienne Turpin joined the review for Studio Perancangan Arsitektur, Universitas Pelita Harapan & Rempah Rumah Karya, Solo, Indonesia. Above: Adam, David Hutama, Paulus Mintarga, and Etienne at Rempah Rumah Karya, Solo, Indonesia. Thanks to David for his generous invitation to join the review.

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In celebration of the printing of the book Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation, edited by Etienne Turpin, Adam Bobbette, and Meredith Miller (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013), we are happy to post recent videos from our second Joint Design Research Workshop in Jakarta.

Visit the vimeo page to see video documentation from the studio; to read more about the Architecture + Adaptation project, the INUNDATION 2 Studio, and the 2nd Jakarta: Joint Design Research Workshop, please visit our blog.

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation is currently being printed; please stop by in a few weeks to find out where to order your copy.

Images from Muara Baru, Jakarta Utara; courtesy of Architecture + Adaptation; for more photography and documentation, please visit my Flickr page.

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ARCHITECTURE + ADAPTATION article published in Kerb Journal of Landscape Architecture

Architecture + Adaptation (Adam Bobbette, Meredith Miller, Etienne Turpin) are excited to be a part of Kerb Journal's forthcoming issue on "Uncharted Territories."

All images that accompany the article are taken by David Hutama during the January 2013 floods in Jakarta Utara, Indonesia; photograph courtesy of David Hutama.

The issue launches on Friday, 30 August, but a sneak peek is available online.

You can download our essay - "Architecture, Adaptive Capacity, and the Future of Hypercomplexity" - as a pdf.

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[block party for the residents of the Waduk]
Friday 21 June 2013
Muara Baru, Waduk Pluit
Jakarta Utara

The final review for the 2nd Joint Design Research Workshop - co-directed by Adam Bobbette (Hong Kong University), Meredith Miller (University of Michigan), and Etienne Turpin (SMART Infrastructure Facility, UOW), in collaboration with Ms. Herlily (Universitas Indonesia) and Research Coordinator Farid Rakun - will be held in the Muara Baru neighborhood of Waduk Pluit. Please join us for this free event with presentations by the student research teams, live music and free food!

For more images from the INUNDATION 2 studio, as well as other recent photography,
visit my Flickr page.

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Sunday 12 May 2013
16 Beaver Street, New York, NY

Scapegoat: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy presents a launch of issue 04—Currency
w/ issue editors:
Adrian Blackwell
Chris Lee
& contributors:
Steven Chodoriwsky
Jack Henrie Fischer
Christina Goberna
Urtzi Grau
Andrew Herscher
Alessandra Renzi
Paige Sarlin

This launch event is a gathering of past and present contributors and friends of Scapegoat to discuss the question of currency's relationship to the production (and design) of space.

At our recent Cambridge launch, the anthropologist of finance Anush Kapadia suggested that currency was fundamentally relational, in such a way that any attempt to ground it in things – such as labor or land – was nostalgic. In response to this proposition, we would like to use this event to continue to explore the issue’s hypothesis that currency has a special relationship to territory. We see this at both the origin of the capitalist money form and in the present moment. Modern currencies were founded in three intertwined spatial dimensions of primitive accumulation: first in the capital accumulated through the forcible seizure of labour and resources in colonialism, second in the construction of sovereign territories as the guarantee of new national currencies, and finally in the private enclosures of common lands. Today, we are witnessing the becoming currency of territory within our neoliberal period of financialization. So what interests us is not that the value of currency is firmly based in land, but rather the way in which the increasing immateriality and relationality of property has provoked our current financial and existential insecurities.

To approach this question and unfold its implications for design practice, we are asking a number of contributors to reflect on this question through their own contributions to Scapegoat. In preparation for the meeting please read the issue’s “Editorial Note” and the opening feature, “Fabrica Mundi: Making the World by Drawing Borders”, by Sandro Mezzadra & Brett Nielson, which we hope will serve as a background and foundation to our discussion. These texts are available for free here.

The event is a pot-luck, please bring food or beverages to share. A special thanks to Paige Sarlin for suggesting this launch and to 16 Beaver for hosting it.

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Stainlessness -- On View Now!
convenience gallery
exhibition runs 10 May - 7 July, 2013
58 Lansdowne Avenue, Toronto M6K 2V9
(at Seaforth Avenue, one block North of Queen)

Detail of Chicago plate during printing process.

convenience is a window gallery that provides an opening for art that engages, experiments,
and takes risks with the architectural, urban, and civic realm


* in concern with the exhibition of the printing plates, a limited number of prints are now for sale at
Art Metropole

Read more about the exhibition at convenience gallery here.

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CURRENCY ~ REVOLUTION: spatial strategies of resistance
MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology
Wiesner Building (E15-001), 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA
Tuesday May 7 2013
Free and open to the public

Please join Thresholds 41 REVOLUTION! editor Ana María León and Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy: 04 CURRENCY issue editor Adrian Blackwell for short presentations on the overlapping contents of their journals’ latest issues and the objectives that inform their respective structures. What spatial strategies have been deployed to resist the political and economic repressions of past and present? How can journals function as research vehicles? The ensuing discussion will be moderated by Rebecca Uchill and introduced by Gediminas Urbonas and Antoni Muntadas.

Ana María León is an architect, a teacher, and a historian. She is a PhD candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art group at MIT.

Adrian Blackwell is an artist, designer, and urban theorist. He teaches at the University of Waterloo and is a visiting assistant professor at the Harvard’s GSD.

Rebecca Uchill is an activist, writer, and curator. She is a PhD candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art group at MIT.

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Reflections on Stainlessness:
Urbanization and Erasures of Political Struggle

a lecture & discussion at Pro QM
Berlin, Germany
More information is online at Pro qm

Image from Pro qm discussion; courtesy of Xiaoyu Weng.

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Even the Dead Will Not Be Safe:
Memory, Labor, and Political Struggle in the Anthropocene

a lecture & discussion at Halle 14
Liepzig, Germany
More information is online at Halle 14

(English version below):
Etienne Turpins Buch- und Ausstellungsprojekt „Stainlessness“ („Makellosigkeit“) ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Geschichte des Arbeiterkampfes in den USA und dessen verloren gegangenen Spuren in nordamerikanischen Großstädten. Das Projekt verweist auf die zentrale Rolle der Arbeit als eine Macht, die das Wesen von Städten verändert, Kulturen prägt und entscheidend Einfluss auf Natur und Umwelt nimmt.

Ausgangspunkt seines Vortrags am heutigen Abend ist die Erinnerung an den brutalen Versuch der Industriellen Andrew Carnegie und Henry Clay Frick, während der Homestead-Aussperrung 1892 die US-amerikanische Arbeiterbewegung zu zerschlagen. Der Streik, der in einer Revolte mit Feuergefechten zwischen Arbeitern, Staatsmiliz und Werkschutz-Kommandos gipfelte, zählt zu den größten Streiks der US-amerikanischen Geschichte und hatte die teilweise Militarisierung der Arbeiterbewegung zu Folge.

Turpin spannt den Bogen ins Hier und Heute. Er sucht nach Parallelen zu aktuellen Widerstands- bewegungen und zeigt auf, wie die neoliberale Kapitalmaschine und die sie begleitenden Urbanisierungsprozesse fortfahren, jede Spur von Protest mithilfe brachialer, makelloser Architektur wegzuwischen. Der Vortrag wird an Walter Benjamins Warnung erinnern: „... auch die Toten werden vor dem Feind, wenn er siegt, nicht sicher sein. Und dieser Feind hat zu siegen nicht aufgehört“.

Image of Pittsburg print from Stainlessness.

Etienne Turpin’s book and exhibition project, “Stainlessness”, examines militant labor movements in the history of North America and the erasure of their physical traces in four exemplary metropolises. The project asserts the centrality of labor as a force capable of transforming the nature of cities, the culture of America, and that furthermore leaves a decisive impact on the environment.

The lecture opens by recalling the brutal attempt of Industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick to annihilate the U.S. labor movement during the 1892 Homestead lockout. The strike, which culminated in gunfight between workers, private security, and the city militia, remains the second largest strike in US history and is a harbinger of militarized labor movements.

Turpin further relates the events of these strikes to today, seeking parallels to contemporary resistance movements, and thereby reveals how Neoliberalism, the capitalist machine and the accompanying processes of urbanization erase these struggles from our cities, leaving behind only ambivalent monuments and an aesthetic characterized stainless, mechanical efficiency. Turpin ultimately reminds us of Walter Benjamin’s warning that “even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.”

An interview with Halle 14 about the project is available online here.

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SCAPEGOAT Currency Launch
Urban Theory Lab
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Stubbins 48 Quincy Street Cambridge
Copies of Scapegoat's latest issue, 04 - Currency, will be for sale at the event.

Join Jane Hutton (LA faculty) and Adrian Blackwell (visiting LA/UP faculty), SCAPEGOAT editorial board members, and Neil Brenner, director of the Urban Theory Lab, for a conversation about Scapegoat as a collective project and its latest issue on Currency.

SCAPEGOAT is an independent journal focusing on the relationship between architecture, landscape architecture, and political economy. The journal examines the links between capitalism and the built environment, addressing the power relations that structure space, the exploitation of labor and resources, and the uneven distribution of environmental risks and benefits. Since 2009, Scapegoat has addressed the foundations of spatial design practice in its issues: PROPERTY, SERVICE, MATERIALISM, REALISM and CURRENCY.

CURRENCY is structured by the contradiction between its necessary circulation and its stubborn connections to the specific geographies of sovereign and private properties. The diverse contributions to Scapegoat’s fifth issue, CURRENCY, investigate this apparent contradiction to argue that currency is land that has become mobile and urbanization is driven by financialization. The issue presents ways that the relationship between spatial design and money can be rethought through local currencies, recovered spaces, informal exchanges, new currents of information, and affective circuits.
CURRENCY issue editors: Chris LEE and Adrian BLACKWELL; contributors include: Brett NEILSON & Sandro MEZZADRA, Emily GILBERT, Keith HART, Emilio MORENO, Peter NORTH, Georgios PAPADOPOULOS & Jack Henrie FISHER, Rob KOVITZ, Robert FISHMAN, Abbas AKHAVAN, Srdjan LONCAR, Marcelo VIETA, Emanuele BRAGA, Roberta BUIANI, EXROTAPRINT, Peter MÖRTENBÖCK & Helge MOOSHAMMER, Steven CHODORIWSKY, Matthieu BAIN & Andrew PERKINS, AbdouMaliq SIMONE, Claire PENTECOST, Rosten WOO, Jordan GEIGER, Ricardo DOMINGUEZ, Alessandra RENZI, Paige SARLIN, Suriya UMPANSIRIRATANA, Adam SMITH, Ajahn KENG, Robert ADAMS, Brendan BAYLOR & Heath SCHULTZ, FAKE INDUSTRIES ARCHITECTURAL AGONISM and Alan ANTLIFF

Currency is also available for purchase online.
All content is open access and available here.

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Radical Geographers and Anticapitalist Politics
_ dispatches on research & action

Saturday April 13, 2013
The Public School
Los Angeles
951 Chung King Road, 90012

Organized and facilitated by Colectivo Acratas Los Angeles & Llano Del Rio Collective

Curated by the Protest Camp Research Collective and the AAG Subconference with visiting international scholars and activists &

Protest Camp Research Collective “Protest Camps & Experiments in Alternative Worlds”
The Protest Camps Research Collective came together around our interests in protest camps, autonomous organising, direct action and alternative world making. The project came out of our own participation and interests in protest camping. Meeting in tents, training sessions and by conference coffee tables, our network has grown to include scholars from different countries, disciplines and stages in their careers. Together, we work to create a welcoming and nurturing research environment, building some of the changes we want to see in university life and beyond.

Sam Halvorsen “Occupy London Research Collective”
Sam Halvorsen has been actively involved in the Occupy movement, and is also undertaking a PhD in geography at UCL looking at how Occupy London is part of autonomous social movements centred on the subversion of space. More broadly he is a militant researcher inspired by and involved in diverse projects to create the worlds we want to live in.

Etienne Turpin “Dual City: Kota-Kampung”
Etienne Turpin is, itinerantly, a teacher, writer, editor and curator. He is a principal investigator of Architecture + Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity at the University of Michigan's Center for Southeast Asian Studies and a contributing editor of the journal SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy. Through these and other collaborative efforts, Etienne works to assemble worlds that can sustain passion, pleasure, and conviction. His project for inquiry and assembly is

Lisa Hirmer “Marginalia”
Lisa Hirmer is an artist/writer based in Guelph, Ontario. She is co-founder (along with Andrew Hunter) and current principal of DodoLab, an experimental research collective that engages and responds to the public's relationship with contemporary issues. She is also a photographer and writer producing work that emerges from her background in architecture.

Fabian Frenzel “Value Struggles in the City”
Fabian Frenzel is a lecturer in political economy and organisation at Leicester University, School of Management. His interest in protest camp stems from research on the role of leisure and travel in social movement activism. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book Protest Camps (Zed).

Anja Kanngieser “Voicing Worlds”
Anja Kanngieser is a researcher in political geography, holding an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. With a background in performance and communication/sound studies her interests intersect contemporary labour, voice, technology, collaboration and social movements. Her first monograph, Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds, will be released by Ashgate in Summer 2013. She works extensively in community and DIY radio in London and Australia and facilitates workshops within social movements on listening and communication.

Mara Ferreri “QMary Countermapping Project”
Mara Ferreri is affiliated with Queen Mary University of London. She researches practices of temporary vacant space occupation. The QMary Countermapping was set up in 2010 by a group of students, staff and researchers at Queen Mary University, together with members of the Counter-Cartography Collective, to map the ways in which migration, border technologies, surveillance and monetary flows intersect with the university as our place of work and study.

Anna Feigenbaum “Mapping Tear Gas”
Anna Feigenbaum is a fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis and a Lecturer in Media and Politics at Bournemouth University in the UK. She researches and writes about technological innovation and communication in social movements. She is co-author of the forthcoming book Protest Camps (Zed) and leads training workshops on creative resistance & collaboration.

Morgan Buck and Malav Kanuga “Common Notions”
Drawing from a variety of autonomist political traditions, Common Notions is a publishing and programming project that aims to aid in our collective reading of contemporary social struggles as they formulate new directions for living autonomy in our everyday. In NYC, they work closely with Bluestockings Bookstore and 16 Beaver, as well as nationally with publishers such as PM Press, AK Press, Autonomedia, and artist cooperative Justseeds. As a publisher, they seek to translate, produce and circulate the tools of knowledge-production utilized in movement-building practices in an effort to generalize common notions about the creation of other worlds beyond capitalism.

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Aesthetics in Abeyance
For the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geography in Los Angeles, I will be presenting my paper "Cumulus Landscapes, or, Aesthetics in Abeyance," with Lisa Hirmer.

Image courtesy of Lisa Hirmer.

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Reading Catalytic Force
For the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Toronto, Canada, I will be presenting my paper "Reading Catalytic Force: On the Aesthetics of Human Impact in Stoppani, Deleuze, and Guattari," during the Aesthetic Turn panel organized by Robert Hughes and John Paul Ricco.

In his Corso di Geologi of 1873, the Italian geologist Antonio Stoppani wrote, “Rival of the potent agents of the internal world, man undoes what nature has done. Nature has worked for centuries at agglomerating in the bowels of the earth oxides and metallic salts; and man, tearing them out of the earth, reduces them to native metals in the heat of his furnaces.” It was in this same text that Stoppani made the argument for humans as geological agents and called for a new epoch of the “Anthropozoic.” Drawing from my research on the anthropocene, its history in the theoretical humanities and empirical sciences, and its defining catalytic process – mineralization – this paper argues that the evidence (from Latin, videre, “to see”) regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic changes to the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate cannot be seen without a radical reorientation of our reading in aesthetics. To this end, I excerpt several key moments from my book Terrible is the Earth to foreground the premonitory role of philosophy in approaching the Anthropocene, while suggesting that the most fecund conversation within this discourse is the articulation of an intensive genealogy of mineralization and its aesthetics.

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A Stroll Through the Bubbles of Chemicals and Men
in Volume 35 - "Everything Under Control"
Read a pdf of the article here.

From the editor:
In flipping through the future shock images of biosynthetic speculation, it’s easy to miss the historical trajectory to which biosynthetic practices belong. Etienne Turpin takes a look at the long twentieth century of ‘bubble-expanding’ invention and the underlying drive to maintain our sphere of seven billion people, in order to understand this trajectory. He regards proto-biosynthetic techniques like the Haber-Bosch process, which produced the agrarian revolution by synthetically introducing ammonia-based fertilizer to farm Felds, as a key to understanding the dynamics of living in this brave new biosynthetic world.

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Mostly What Is Unsaid
Andrew Herscher's The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit launches at Art Metropole

Mostly What is Unsaid presents:
Andrew Herscher - The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
Talk: Thursday, March 21, 7-9pm
Art Metropole, 1490 Dundas Street West

Mostly What is Unsaid (a collective project of Art Metropole + FUSE Magazine + Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy) is excited to host a talk by Andrew Herscher, author of The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (2012). The audience is invited to join a discussion afterwards.

Intense attention has been paid to Detroit as a site of urban crisis. This crisis, however, has not only yielded the massive devaluation of real estate that has so often been noted; it has also yielded an explosive production of seemingly valueless urban property that has facilitated the imagination and practice of alternative urbanisms. The first sustained study of Detroit's alternative urban cultures, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit initiates a new focus on Detroit as a site not only of urban crisis but also of urban possibility.

The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit will be available for purchase at the event and online at

Mostly What Is Unsaid is an open structure of public conversations initiated by Art Metropole, FUSE and Scapegoat, motivated by our shared conception of publishing as a political praxis, rather than a form of publicity or mere representation. Engaging in conversation amidst the monologue of the neoliberal status quo demands that we attend to gestures, hesitations and omissions as much as words. Through this programming series, we will pursue the critical role of the unspoken and the unspeakable across a spectrum running from the macro- to the micro-political. Within our respective practices, we construct publicly accessible, yet still precarious spaces of conversation. The series Mostly What Is Unsaid curates occasions to bring these discussions into a shared physical space, in order to bridge the gap between locations such as a shop, a magazine, or a journal and spaces of everyday life in the city.

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In poker, a “tell” is a change in a player’s behavior that gives clues about their assessment of the situation. In the city of Detroit, such clues from residents about the deal they have been dealt are often ignored and misrepresented. Tell: Detroit brings together a group of documentary film makers and Detroit residents to create a collaborative documentation of urban resilience. Come tell Detroit about your experiences of vulnerability, solidarity, community, and courage.

Tell: Detroit brings together a group of documentary film makers and Detroit residents to create a collaborative documentary of urban resilience.

Tell: Detroit will produce an open access, free archive to document the experiences of the people of Detroit following the declaration of the city’s fiscal emergency by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on
1 March, 2013.

Anyone can contribute an anecdote to Tell: Detroit. We want to collect and disseminate short stories about vulnerability, solidarity, community, fear, and courage. We are committed to documenting the neglected reality that Detroit is much more than a financial crisis. Tell: Detroit asks what else we need to know, remember, imagine or construct to accumulate different images of the city together?

Tell: Detroit will be filming at the Detroit Mercantile Co. on Saturday, March 16, from 10am – 4pm. Artists, film makers and community activists will greet you and find the right setting for your story. We can record your anecdote in public, in private, on video or audio. Come share your story and be part of this open archive.

For more information, visit our website:

For questions, suggestions, or donations, email us:

Because Tell: Detroit is a crowd-sourced archive, we are relying on people to contribute by spreading the word – so, please tell anyone you think would be interested in sharing their stories.

Tell: Detroit is sponsored by:
Institute of Improbable Poromechanics—Enthusiasts of Urban Leakage (Detroit)
Broken City Lab—Artist Collective & Civic Space (Windsor)
SCAPEGOAT—A Journal of Architecture, Landscape, and Political Economy (Toronto)

With producers:
Paige Sarlin (The Last Slide Projector, Buffalo)
Alessandra Renzi (Infrastructure Critical, Milwaukee)
Stephen Zacks (Flint Public Art Project, Flint)
Scott Sørli (Convenience: gallery, Toronto)
Andrew Herscher (Detroit Unreal Estate Agency, Detroit)

Images courtesy of

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Review of The Least of All Possible Evils by Eyal Weizman
in 'Palestine-Palestine,' FUSE 36-2 Spring 2013

Beginning with an agile reading of the sequence of disasters that constitute the narrative of Voltaire’s Candide (1759), the Israeli architect Eyal Weizman has, in his latest monograph, The Least of All Possible Evils, initiated another productive foray into our optimized “humanitarian
present. Read more ...

This review would not have been possible without the support of FUSE editor Gina Badger and 'Palestine-Palestine' guest-editors Nasrin Himada and Reena Katz. In this issue, the editors of FUSE highlight the shared structures and contemporary effects of settler colonialism brought to bear on communities in Palestine and on Turtle Island. You can read more about FUSE here.

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Another Atlas
RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design
Exhibition 1 March - 1 April, 2013
290 McDermot Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Opening reception - March 1st 8 pm

About the work:
Another Atlas builds on the work of Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhagat’s 2007 compendium of cartographic investigations into power, networks and social justice. The book and subsequent touring exhibition brought together work from artists, designers, geographers and activists all focusing on the role mapping has in our shared social structures. The different works lead to questions of; Who has the right to map? What do they have the right to map? How mapping changes our world. Each of the artists selected represent ways information can be gathered and how forms of mapping can be challenged.

Etienne Turpin – Ann Arbour, USA
Simon Elvins – Londn, UK
Caroline Blaise – Montreal, Canada
Jeanette Johns – Montreal, Canda
Sotirios Kotoulas – Winnipeg, Canada
Lawrence Bird – Winnipeg, Canada
& selected pieces from the touring exhibit An Atlas for Radical Cartography

Accompanying the exhibition in RAW:Books will be copies of "An Atlas for Radical Cartography," "Space Out" by Sotirios Kotoulas and limited edition prints of "Stainlessness" by Etienne Turpin.

Images courtesy of RAW gallery.

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For Immediate Release—
SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 04—Currency is Now Available in our new book format!

SCAPEGOAT issue editors Chris Lee and Adrian Blackwell are proud too announce the release of Issue 04—Currency, now available for purchase here.

Contributors include:
Brett NEILSON & Sandro MESSADRA, Fabrica Mundi: Producing the World by Drawing Borders
Emily GILBERT, Currency in Crisis
Keith HART, Why the Euro Crisis Matters to Us All
Emilio MORENO, Other Issues: Currency Delimiting Sovereignty
Peter NORTH, Money as Anticapitalist Praxis
Georgios PAPADOPOULOS & Jack Henrie FISHER, Grexit: Notes towards a Speculative Archaeology of the European Crisis
Rob KOVITZ, Capital of the World
Robert FISHMAN, Foreclosure and the American City
Abbas AKHAVAN, Islands
Srdjan LONCAR, The Fine Art of Repair in New Orleans
Marcelo VIETA, Recuperating a Workplace, Creating a Community Space: The Story of Cooperativa Chilavert Artes Gráficas
Emanuele BRAGA, Messages of Rupture: On the MACAO Occupation in Milan, translated by Roberta BUIANI
ExRotaprint, There is No Profit to be Made Here!
Peter MÖRTENBÖCK & Helge MOOSHAMMER, Informal Market Worlds: Instruments of Change
Steven CHODORIWSKY, From the needle and thread, all the way up to the hat
Matthieu BAIN & Andrew PERKINS, Rust Belt Vernacular: Harvesting Unnatural Resources
AbdouMaliq SIMONE, Water, Politics and Design in Jakarta
Claire PENTECOST, Notes from Underground
Rosten WOO, Big Pictures
Jordan GEIGER, Maximal Surface Tension: Very Large Organizations and Their Apotheosis in Songdo
Ricardo DOMINGUEZ interviewed by Alessandra RENZI, On the Currency of Somatic Architectures of Exchange
Paige SARLIN, Vulnerable Accumulation: A Practical Guide
Suriya UMPANSIRIRATANA interviewed by Adam SMITH, Bangkok to Chonburi, translated by Ajahn KENG
Robert ADAMS, Making a Scene: A Vivid Genealogy of the Asclepius Machine
Brendan BAYLOR & Heath SCHULTZ review The Art of Not Being Governed
FAKE INDUSTRIES review the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture
Alan ANTLIFF reviews Commerce by Artists

From the editorial note:

Currency is structured by a fundamental contradiction between its necessary circulation and its stubborn foundation in sovereign territories. On the one hand, it is designed to represent value and facilitate its exchange in standardized, fungible units; on the other, its relative scarcity generates a strong incentive to hoard it, withdrawing and storing its value, converting it into fixed assets such as property whose existence relies on the same institutions of coercion that maintain national borders. Fiat currencies, the current hegemonic form of money, while not backed by material commodities, derive their legitimacy primarily from the power of states over and within national territories. Société Réaliste remind us that the word mark, in the Deutschemark, has roots in the Gothic word marka, for “sign of a frontier.” This suggests that the national currencies that we are familiar with are at once completely abstract—special commodities containing only exchange value providing a perfect break between spheres of production and consumption—and coextensive with the very material space that the state’s military force secures. Today’s globalized capitalism only exacerbates this paradox. The ascendency of finance capital in North Ame­rica and Europe has created a condition where the accumulation of capital is based almost purely on speculation, and money is multiplied through its circulation. At the same time, the struggle to secure the territories and bodies that guarantee it has become ever more desperate as civilian spaces have been more and more militarized. The result has been an increasingly complex space of value, where the borders that produce its distinctions are no longer located at a nation’s edges, but rather lie both within and beyond it. The diverse contributions to Scapegoat’s fifth issue, Currency, investigate these contradictory tendencies within the spa­tiality of currency and present ways that they can be resisted. We follow a line that runs from the material to the immaterial, exploring divergent scales and topologies in the process.

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Chinese Launch of Scapegoat 04—Currency
“Stock Market Urbanism”

Sunday, 24 February, 3pm
HKU/Shanghai Study Centre
298 Bei Suzhou Lu (Close to Sichuan Bei Lu)

Bubbles and speculation are of all times. The 2008 financial crisis was largely caused by the subprime loan disaster in the United States. It turned out that housing was not anymore about community, living or emotions. Housing became about value, and investment.

With a lot of money in the market, for many years, it was incredibly easy to get a mortgage. One the one hand, prices increased, on the other, access to money was made even easier. The implosion of this system was comparable to the crash of the 1930’s. The biggest difference, however, was the lack of intervention by the government this time.

What actually happened in the US foreclosure crisis? What happens when buildings are no longer places to live, work or shop in, but a mere objects of investment? What is the role of the government? What can we learn from it? And could the same happen in China as well?

Speakers are Scapegoat editors Adam Bobbette and Adrian Blackwell, and Shanghai-based real estate developer Robert Chen.

To celebrate their launch in China, SCAPEGOAT have included a Mandarin translation of Robert Fishman’s feature interview, “Foreclosure and the American City,” conducted by Etienne Turpin.

For more about the Shanghai launch, visit the HKU’s Shanghai Study Center page here.

You can purchase a copy of SCAPEGOAT Issue 04—Currency here or visit our website for open access articles online.

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Politics in/as Visual Culture Working Group

As a founding editorial board member of the journal SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy, I am participating in the 8th Annual Encuentro of New York University’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Encuentro – Cities | Bodies | Action: The Politics of Passion in the Americas – examines the broad intersections between urban space, performance and political/artistic action in the Americas. From the critical poetics of body art to the occupation of public space by social movements, the event invites participants to explore the borders, identities and practices through which subjectivities, hegemonies and counter-hegemonies are constructed in the spaces of the city and beyond.

During the Encuentro, I will be a part of the “Politics in/as Visual Culture” working group, convened by Nicholas Mirzoeff and Carmen Oquedo-Villar. Read more about NYU’s Hemispheric Institute and the Encuentro model here.

Brasil antes de dormir, cortesia de

FAU USP, cortesia de

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Art After the Nostalgia for Belonging
in Big, Red & Shiny, Vol. 2, Issue 3.
The article is available online.

Thanks to BR&S editor John Pyper. The essay is dedicated to John Paul Ricco, without whom I would have never thought to take up the hyperstitial relation between Jimmie Durham and Paleolithic painting, and with whom I have enjoyed the pleasures and provocations of this friendship.

Settler Nation Rocks; digital photograph (2012), courtesy of

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Jimmie Durham in Lascaux
--- A Parable for Art in the Anthropocene

A lecture co-sponsored by the Cranbrook Academy of Art Critical Studies Program
and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture
6PM Cranbrook Academy of Art
Cranbrook Art Museum’s de Salle Auditorium
39221 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303

Jimmie Durham, Stoning the Refrigerator, 1996; from Galerie Michel Rein, Paris.

The lecture is also available online thanks to Cranbrook's Critical Studies Program.

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Making the Geologic Now - Now Available!
Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse of Smudge Studio have released their edited volume Making the Geologic Now: Responses to the Material Conditions of Contemporary Life. You can read the book online, or order or download it through Punctum Books.

Included in the volume are two essays from my recent research:

A New Force, A New Element, A New Input:
Antonio Stoppani's Anthropozoic

I collaborated with Italian architect Valeria Federighi to select excerpts and edit her translation of Antonio Stoppani's Corso di Geologia (Miliano: G. Bernardoni, E G. Brigola, Editori, 1873), with photographs by Lisa Hirmer. The text is available online; or, you can download the pdf here.

Photograph of Antonio Stoppani, 1824.

Robert Smithson's Abstract Geology

The second text included in the volume, Robert Smithson's Abstract Geology: Revisiting the Premonitory Politics of the Triassic, considers Robert Smithson's anticipation of the discourse of the anthropocene through a reading of what he referred to as the 'politics of the Triassic.'

Image of emergent form of the certatitda (bottom right) in the 'remote times' of the Triassic, courtesy of

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The Architecture + Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity
research initiative presents the exhibition:
Salt & Cedar 2448 Riopelle St. Eastern Market Detroit


The Architecture + Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity research initiative examines the intersection of extreme environmental circumstances and creative architectural production. The first research studio of this initiative - INUNDATION Bangkok/Jakarta - placed architecture students from Taubman College into an interdisciplinary exchange with landscape architecture faculty and students from the University of Hong Kong University, and faculty and students from the Universitas Indonesia Faculty of Engineering. Through a Joint Design Research Workshop, we studied the hydrological infrastructure and attendant social consequences in Bangkok and Jakarta.

Our site-based research was organized through the tool of the field guide, originally produced during a workshop at Salt & Cedar Letterpress in Detroit. With this tool, our research aimed to develop an image of both city’s hypercomplexities and unstable geographies of water, while specifying the localized effects of the problem to act on them through design.

The exhibition – NAVIGATING THE POSTNATURAL – returns the field guides, along with much of our visual documentation and analysis, to the Salt & Cedar Gallery as a means to reconsider the role of the field guide as a book-tool and share some the research and analysis collected from the field.

Read more about the show by Farid Rakun on Archinect.

17 Nov – 10 Dec 2012
Salt & Cedar 2448 Riopelle St. Eastern Market Detroit

_ also FORTHCOMING from Architecture + Adaptation

Futures of Hypercomplexity
Exhibition at the Taubman College Gallery,
University of Michigan
21 Jan - 15 Feb 2013

Water, Urbanism, and Spatial Justice in Southeast Asia
A Workshop Dr. Abidin Kusno
15 February, 2013 2-4PM

Guest Lecture at Taubman College
by Dr. Abidin Kusno
Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
15 February, 2013 6PM

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An Archaeology of the Showroom: This Model Society
published in WOOD TWO, edited by Christof Migone

As part of a recently released collection of work from and about Toronto’s Blackwood Gallery, directed and curated by Christof Migone, I published my research on the political economy of the model showroom. The essay An Archaeology of the Showroom: This Model Society, initiates an archaeology of the showroom, with specific regard to the peculiar space of presentation that contains both the model suite and the model building in relative proximity, as a speculative provocation regarding the presentation space of model domesticity and model urbanism in contemporary mass culture. The intention of this a preliminary investigation is to delimit the role of the model in the political-economic reproduction of our current social reality.

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The Working Committee on Architecture and Politics Presents:

1-3PM West Review Space, 3rd floor,
Art + Architecture Building, North Campus,
University of Michigan

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Lost & Found Detroit, in collaboration with 1/X and Salt & Cedar Letterpress, presents a screening of film maker and archivist Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of Detroit and a discussion with Andrew Hersher of the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency. The design collective 1/X will also discuss their curatorial project for the Detroit Design Festival - Anecdoted City - which created a collection of objects in/of/from Detroit, on view at the Salt & Cedar Letterpress Gallery and re-curated for a one night exhibition by Rick Prelinger. Please check out Kate Abbey-Lambertz's review of Anecdoted City in the Huffington Post.
All are welcome.
Pay what you can; suggestion donation $5.
Seating is limited - get your ticket online here.
Salt & Cedar
2448 Riopelle St., Eastern Market, Detroit

1/X installing the Anecdoted City collection table, courtesy of Salt & Cedar.

Photographs of the Anecdoted City opening at Salt & Cedar are available online; courtesy of Jonathan LeJune.

This event is generously supported by Corktown Cinema, 1/X, Salt & Cedar,, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan.

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Stratophysical Approximations:
A Conversation with Seth Denizen on the Urban Soils of the Anthropocene

published in Organs Everywhere, September 2012

Recent research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic changes to the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide range of scientific research positions, it is probable to conclude that humans have entered a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the new epoch by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has started to garner the attention of philosophers, artists and designers, legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Recently, I curated the symposium, The Geologic Turn: Architecture’s New Alliance, as a way of bringing architects and landscape architects more thoroughly into this conversation. Among the participants invited for the symposium, the designer and landscape architect Seth Denizen brought up several key issues regarding the relationship between evidence, design, and taxonomy that arose from his recent research. Following an invitation from Organs Everywhere editor Simone Ferracina to contribute to this issue, I asked Seth to have a conversation that would further explain his recent project, The Eighth Approximation, as well as its relationship to the history of land use practices, and its orientation among other research on the Anthropocene. Issue No. 04 of Organs Everywhere - Material Shifts - is now available online here. A pdf of the interview, including more of The Eighth Approximation drawings, is also available here. And, you can read more from Seth Denizen about soil science in the Anthropocene here.

Detail from The Eighth Approximation, courtesy of Seth Denizen.

OE No.4 - Material Shifts

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“If they do not give you work or bread …”
– Counter-Memory and Militant Labor in America

As part of the Flint Public Art Project's event Value + Ruin , Etienne Turpin presents research from his exhibition and attendant publication Stainlessness, which considers the role of militant labor history in the U.S. as means to confront and prevent the erasure of this history by contemporary processes of urban- ization. Organized by Stephen Zacks of the Institute for Applied Reporting and Urbanism, the event includes presentations by Andrew Herscher, Andrew Perkins, and video installation artists from District VII.
Inside the SpaceBuster
Flint, MI

Production of Stainlessness exhibition "March 7, 1932" plate; image courtesy of Catie Newell

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Bangkok + Jakarta: Cities of Hypercomplexity
exhibition by
Architecture+Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity
Center for Southeast Asian Studies,
University of Michigan
opening event 11am-12:30pm

The Architecture + Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity Research Initiative, organized by Professor Meredith Miller and Dr. Etienne Turpin, examines the intersection of extreme environmental circumstances and creative architectural production. The first research studio of this initiative - INUNDATION Bangkok/Jakarta - placed architecture students from Taubman College into an interdisciplinary exchange with landscape architecture faculty and students from the University of Hong Kong University, and faculty and students from the Universitas Indonesia Faculty of Engineering. Through a Joint Design Research Workshop, we studied the hydrological infrastructure and attendant social consequences in Bangkok and Jakarta’s metropolitan regions.

The research aims to produce an image of both city’s hypercomplexities and unstable geographies of water, while specifying the localized effects of the problem to act on them through design.

The exhibition – Bangkok + Jakarta: Cities of Hypercomplexity – responds to the urgent issue of inundation in Southeast Asian megacities by provoking the question: what is the agency of architecture within megacities and their various compositions of hypercomplexity?

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Postnatural Inundation: Designing for Hypercomplexity
Presentation for the World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architecture - 'Landscapes in Transition,' Cape Town, South Africa

Introduction. As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta, Indonesia, is already a city of hypercomplexity. However, recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme river pollution, river flooding, and coastal inundation have helped create, through multiplicative effects, one of the key sites for researching the combined effects of ecological and urban transformation as they influence 21st century Southeast Asian metropolitan existence. Similarly, since the devastating flooding experienced in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2011, numerous organizations, designers, government agencies, and citizens have been working to understand and to design greater resilience into the city. Bangkok is an important site for a comparative methodology to research the ecological, social, and spatial consequences of inundation in Southeast Asian Cities.

The Architecture + Adaptation: Designing for Hypercomplexity Research Initiative, founded by Etienne Turpin and Meredith Miller, examines the intersections of extreme environmental circumstances, especially the problematic of inundation, and creative architecture and landscape architecture production. Focusing on highly-dense urban locations that face the regular and damaging occurrence of inundation, the project documents the constituent forces and effects that pose challenges to normative architectural production and the operations of ‘natural landscapes.’ The presentation for IFLA 2012 – POSTNATURAL INUNDATION: DESIGNING FOR HYPERCOMPLEXITY – will explain our research studio in Bangkok and Jakarta and develop the themes of the postnatural and hypercomplexity in relation to potential landscape architecture practices today.

Methods. Relying heavily on situated research and observation through visual production, the primary aim of the research initiative is to locate potential moments for architecture and landscape architecture to intervene, as a mediation, adaptation, or coordination with ecological circumstances that operate at such a large scale and level of hypercomplexity that human-scale design tends to be disregarded as a potential agent of influence. As architects and landscape architects struggle to find ways to exercise agency through socially and environmentally responsible practices, and as the design disciplines attempt to reorganize their commitments in the face of ecological collapse, the Architecture + Adaptation: Designing for Hypercomplexity Research Initiative mobilizes collaborative, engaged, situated research to advance the pedagogical model of architecture education beyond the studio, and to build new connections for architecture research today.

For architecture students to advance an understanding of these hypercomplexities, they cannot be treated as abstractions or experienced through mediated means; in order to apprehend the material and spatial reality of Jakarta and Bangkok, this project positions situated, collaborative research as its key methodology.

Results + Conclusions. Our results and conclusions will be presented to the IFLA 2012 Landscapes in Transition World Congress following our research in Jakarta in May and June, 2012.

Images courtesy of Geoff Salvatore

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The Anus is the Night
in the DIRT issue of No More Potlucks
edited by Heather Davis

This short essay contends that the writing of Georges Bataille allows for a rereading of the philosophical problematic of production and its relation to excessive states of being-expended. We revisit Bataille’s ‘Solar Anus’ and other early writings on the poromechanics of decay to consider how an unbecoming image of prolapsed excess - the solar anus inside out - undermines the patrilineality of Gilles Deleuze's image of philosophy as 'making monsters from the back.'

Detail from Decomposing Territory, by Meredith Miller, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist.

Detail from Homage to Georges Bataille, by Jumana Manna, 2007. Image courtesy of the Jumana Mana project page.

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Conceptual Persona Non Grata:
On Deleuze's Gratuitous Reading of Bataille

lecture by Etienne Turpin during the Postnatural Deleuze panel at the 5th International Deleuze Studies Conference at Tulane University,
New Orleans, United States

For liberal readers of Deleuze, one secret must forever be repressed: Deleuze hated. While his work teems with affirmation, even by way of his less than consensual but favored philosophical analogy of ‘making children/monsters from the back,’ there is one thinker too reviled for even Deleuze to thoroughly penetrate: Georges Bataille. While sparse, his remarks on Bataille betray the image of Deleuze as a perpetual affirmation machine. For this reason, Bataille, as the Deleuzian conceptual persona non grata, invites us to consider a state of delirious contamination that was too dangerous to be taken on (from behind). The paper contends that Deleuze’s gratuitous hatred of Bataille allows for a rereading of the philosophical problematic of ressentiment and a reassessment of the power of death in Deleuze’s own philosophy. We will revisit Bataille’s ‘omnidirectional acephalic revolution’ to save Deleuze’s dark side from the Enlightenment get-along-gang of necrophobic affirmatons.

Presented as part of the panel "POSTNATURAL DELEUZE:
Sensation, Annihilation, and the Ends of Desire"

The panel seeks to address the current aporia of the affirmative in Deleuze Studies (DS) by examining the limits of the body, the resilience of the negative, and the potency of political economic analysis that asks not what a body can do or how it can be read, but how it is distended, exploited, and exterminated. Drawing from recent work among the speculative realist readings of the ‘dark’ Deleuze, especially Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia, the panel asks what, for Deleuze, are the ends of desire? How might the negative, which haunts the cult of affirmation in current DS, extend the vulnerability of thought to include the captive, the terminal, the mutilated, and the acephalic? Can DS be resuscitated from the dead end of the purely affirmative through a more decisive analysis of death? We will distend Deleuze through analyses of the annihilations of inhuman collectivity, the perverse hybrid machines of anorganic sensation, and the gratuitous refusal postmortem organization.

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Repositioning Mineralization: Ecotechnical Landscape Aesthetics
lecture by Etienne Turpin at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Policy Development of the Institute Technologi Bandung,
Bandung, Indonesia

During Assistant Professor Meredith Miller and Lecturer Etienne Turpin's research studio INUNDATION Bangkok/Jakarta, Etienne was invited by Vice Dean Widjaja Martokusumo and Professor Rina Priyani to lecture at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Policy Development of the Institute Technologi Bandung (ITB), in Bandung, Indonesia. Etienne's lecture – Repositioning Mineralization: Ecotechnical Landscape Aesthetics – discusses research on Sudbury, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, that was conducted as part of his Walter B. Sanders Research Fellowship at Taubman College. In the lecture, Etienne argues for a repositioning of aesthetic commitments in response to neo-industrial processes that have left cities like Sudbury and Detroit in ecological crisis and economic despair. The lecture also addresses the role of the Anthropocene in relation to North American ecotechnical landscapes, and in relation to current design research at ITB, including the ITB and University of Florida joint cultural heritage studio on postindustrial mining towns in Sumatra province, Indonesia.

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Architecture + Adaptation: Emergent Territories of Inquiry
Lecture by Etienne Turpin & Meredith Miller at the Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture

On route to their spring research studio in Bangkok and Jakarta, Architecture + Adaptation: Design for Hypercomplexity Principal Investigators Etienne Turpin and Assistant Professor Meredith Miller were invited by The Hong Kong University Faculty of Architecture to lecture about the background, methods, and ambitions for their research initiative in Southeast Asia. Their lecture, Architecture + Adaptation: Emergent Territories of Inquiry, addresses Professor Miller's research on Other Environmentalisms and Etienne's research on the Anthropocene as the back-formation of their Inundation studio in Bangkok and Jakarta, and sets up the research methods and provocations regarding the agency of architecture for the studio.

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Design Vulnerability
Panel organized and moderated by Etienne Turpin for
RISK: Present Predicaments in Architecture and Urban Planning
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning,
University of Michigan,
Friday, March 30, 2012, Rackham Auditorium
(Video recordings of presentations are linked to speaker names below.)

Image courtesy of SYN-Atelier d'exploration urbaine

From the perspective of design research, the laboratory is a model for investigating urban scenography, interstitial space, transient icons, and the political economies which shape architecture and the city. The lab is not, in this model, the hygienic space partitioned from the world to afford a distanced observation; the lab is instead a platform for embedded forms of inquiry, intervention, speculation, and experimentation. These precarious forms of practice are affirmed through design strategies that embolden our experiences of vulnerability at the level of the city, the social, and the ecological. These practices do not attempt to erase vulnerability through design but instead leverage design research and performative experimentation by collaborating with and among various vulnerabilities. The panel considers how practices of accumulating vulnerability offer new models of courage and conviction for post-heroic architecture and design.


Introduction by Etienne Turpin

Ricardo Dominguez
Associate Professor, University of California, San Diego;
Co-Founder, Electronic Disturbance Theater

Justin Langlois
Senior Research Fellow, Broken City Lab;
Assistant Professor, University of Windsor

Jean-Maxime Dufresne & Jean-François Prost
Principals, SYN - Atelier d'exploration urbaine

Fernando Fuentes & Lorena Méndez
Co-founders, La Lleca Colectiva

Response by Etienne Turpin
Walter B. Sanders Fellow, Taubman College

All RISK events are available online.

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SIEGE: at table, within and without
Intermedia performance and locally-sourced pop up restaurant with Leon Johnson, Justin Novak, Catie Newell, Ksenya Samarskaya, Etienne Turpin, and Anca Trandafirescu
organized by Detroit Emergent Futures Lab
hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

A sequence of three meals, SIEGE traces the original footprint of the city and offers it as a sustained allegory. The dinners bring together a culinary history drawn from the ribbon farms with formal echoes of the fortification of occupied land, tactical posture, and the ethos of retrenchment, withdrawal and attrition. Detroit, originally sited at Fort Ponchartrain, then relocated to Fort Shelby, witnessed three historical sieges over the span of a century. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the first siege, the 200th of the last. At table, within and without.

Detroit Emergent Futures Lab presents three dinners at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on March 6, 7 and 8th at 7 pm. The project features custom stoneware table settings by Justin Novak, glass lighting systems, carafes and wine glasses by Catie Newell, table fabrics by Anca Trandafirescu, spoken word performances by Etienne Turpin, and Tokyo cold-pour coffee by Anthology. A book of the project is in preparation, designed by Ksenya Samarskaya, to be published at Signal-Return Press, Detroit.

Each dinner seats just 12 guests for a meal sourced, foraged and grown locally—prepared by Leon Johnson.

All images of SIEGE courtesy of Catie Newell.
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On the Line as Lived Abstraction

a lecture-performance by Etienne Turpin
Gendai Gallery,
Toronto, Canada

Image courtesy of Gendai Gallery

To draw is to produce conceptual reflection and experiential sensation with, or perhaps more precisely, on the line; thus, the practice of drawing-architecture might be considered as a peculiar mode of 'lived abstraction.' To develop these concepts, the lecture will first consider the question of measurement, and its persistent premise of calculative value, in relation to the practice of drawing-architecture. Then, through an engagement with architectural historians Hubert Damisch and Claudia Brodsky, we will sketch the legacy of the line within the hegemonic context of perspectival representation. Our attempt is then to map the problem of correlationism (in the conceptual sense given by Quentin Meillassoux) that arises through the lived abstractions of drawing-architecture, particularly through an analysis of the picket line as a form of confrontation that collapses a field of interest into a vector of force.

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Aberrant Architecture:
Typologies of Practice

National Art Gallery,
Vilnius, Lithuania

Following our interview with Gedeminas and Nomeda Urbonas about the Cinema Lietuva, I joined SCAPEGOAT journal editor Adam Bobbette to deliver a lecture at the National Art Gallerty of Lithuania, in Vilnius, where we were graciously hosted by Sabina Grincevičiūtė and Aurimas Sasnauskas, curators of the ARCHITECTURE [discussion] FUND. The fifth session was named “THE CITY. Breakpoints,” and we addressed questions of the city as follows:

Drawing inspiration from figures as diverse as Auguste Blanqui and Aldo Rossi, we ask: how can typology embolden design practices today? We look to recent design projects published in the journal Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, Political Economy to argue for a reappraisal of practice within the design disciplines.

Image of Cinema Lietuva courtesy of Adam Bobbette

The video of the lecture is here; additional images and response are here.

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The Pleasure of Poromechanics
a lecture-performance by Etienne Turpin
during "What is a Zone of Offensive Opacity? An Horror Encounter"
ZOO 2011,
Montreal, QC

Image from Rob Kovitz's Pig City Model Farm

Following from the poromechanical provocations in Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia, the lecture-performance considers various sensitivities and excitements of contemporary labiality, looking particularly at the distribution potentials of slaughter, the controlled propagation of animal protein, and the poroelasticity of distention as a means to enhance flow of pestilential (i.e. non-productive from the perspective of Capital) fluids. The body will be drained of its capacity for instrumentalization and converted to the insurrectionary project of an omnidirectional acephalic revolution. We will pursue Negarestani’s imperative: “Be a hydro-leak engineer; make things leak out.”