[-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 38, Issue 13

Greg J. Smith greg.smith at utoronto.ca
Mon Jan 21 03:33:15 EST 2008

John Haber wrote:
> Am I crazy, or does the "autonomy" in "temporary autonomous zones" 
> when it describes something like the Gaza strip or anywhere with 
> people suffering displacement, violence, poverty, and lack of voice in 
> governance have to come with one heck of a lot of irony.
> There are limits to the concept of cities as uniquely constructed 
> entities that should be mentioned.  It comes a little too close for 
> comfort to the American myths that align oppositions of 
> nature/culture, freedom/civilization, east coast and wilderness, and 
> it also has a way of leaving out suburbs and highway culture, 
> themselves sustained in part by government funding and in part by just 
> those myths.  Returning to Smithson, one can see the earthworks, 
> again, not simply as seeking the sublime outside the city but as 
> dismantling the opposition.  I'd rather explore cities as both 
> specific and multiple cultural sites.
> John
I don't think you can map the TAZ onto spaces like Gaza - there is 
simply too much at stake. In my reading of the TAZ (and it has been 
about 10 years) there is a "bohemian" colour to these emergent spaces. 
These types of spaces can often be manufactured through collective 
willpower but I believe they often gestate in underused, or marginalized 
space that sits between various spheres of influence and are 
reconfigured for more contemporary uses (i.e. derelict post-Fordist 
warehouse spaces as "site" for rave culture in the early 90s). Anyways, 
I' never bothered referring to Bey again once I had read Foucault on 

This is a great discussion, as a young (intern) architect I suppose I 
can't pass this by in lurk mode. Expect me to chime in shortly.. I may 
be brandishing some Calvino (and maybe Rossi) references when I do.  :)


greg j. smith
http://serialconsign.com - design / research blog
http://vagueterrain.net - digital arts quarterly
http://highflight.tumblr.com - image / link blog
smith at serialconsign.com

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