How, why and what allows an agent to reclaim a lost space?
Inherent in the question is the desire to ‘find‘ this as yet undefined space. However, a prerequisite is that you cannot fully comprehend the potential of the found space until it has been transformed into something beyond what it was before.
There is a varied scale of activation through intervention; which can allow the exploration and re-understanding of the potential of a space. It can be seen as a temporal zoning of the potential embodied in actions by perceiving their limitations and properties.
These investigations exist as a prelude to or act to exclude formal constructs such as ownership, economic development capacity or formal planning processes. As such they can exist as investigations into potential occupations without the burden of fulfilling the requirements beyond those of the experiential.
The decision to locate yourself in a place which has no defined function for the agent or itself creates a new relationship between that landscape, you and the city. Similar to the role of the broken umbrella you have now entered a construct that fails to be what it was before. A broken umbrella is a state which does not exist; if the object doesn’t keep you dry in the rain then it is no longer an umbrella! Similarly with the broken infrastructure you have to decide whether it is best to discard, repair or create anew.
By creating a temporary transitory event the space is now inhabited by an activity it was not designed or built for; thereby suggesting a new embodied potential or line of spatial production.
It is rare that a subversive or informal event does not leave a residue; but by intentionally doing so and documenting this change – you start to create a non temporary subversion which starts to exist on a par with the residual infrastructure.
To sustain change or the emerging spatial potential; there is the necessity to involve others and communicate beyond the framework of the initial agent/s. For this emerging reading of site to be sustained it requires repeat or continual subversion, or repetition. This is an opportunity to extend a newly formed conviviality, extending trust outside of a familiar circle of people, spaces, time lines and activities. It leaves the instigator as vulnerable as the space with which they are now informing, and consequentially altering.
The implementation of constructs which necessitates permanence puts the agent/s in a position where the formal constructs which have not been engaging with thus far, become structures which must be addressed directly. The created, now embodied series of temporalities and structures now occupy the new reality of the place. The ideology of the space has been constructed but cannot be realised without engaging with its inherent restrictions. This is where the lost space ceases to exist; as it finds itself on a new trajectory of undisclosed ending, with permanence of relevant occupation at the heart of the newly found location.
This article was written in 2012 and as such is written in the context of the social and political conditions of the time
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