[-empyre-] From autonomous zones to radical pedagogy…via Land Art

School of Missing Studies info at schoolofmissingstudies.net
Tue Jan 22 08:20:23 EST 2008

In response to Christina's post from yesterday....

Two major autonomous zones in Ljubljana are:
Metelkova is the long-running squat (since 1993), and it has a  
complex of buildings with many social activist and cultural  
organizations inside.

Rog Factory, now a squat used, notably, for working--for production  
only--not for living.

Although autonomous zones are truly admirable for their chutzpah and  
engagement, they are possibly temporary by their very nature. True  
autonomy would have the potential to become harmful and dangerous, as  
it is a way of staking out territory both physically and  
psychologically that can become authoritarian and exclusionary. As I  
mentioned in my last post, there are many individual initiatives to  
create autonomy that we saw along LHE that were really private  
endeavors. Private, as in big corporations like BTC in Ljubljana, a  
huge shopping mall in the suburbs, or private as in fenced off  
villas. Living in a matrixial borderspace (in Bracha Lichtenburg  
Ettinger’s words) is more my style perhaps, though also not without  
its traumas.

The complication of attempts at autonomy can be seen very strikingly  
in Land Art of the 60s and 70s in the US. As John mentioned earlier,  
Smithson was not only “seeking the sublime outside the city but …  
dismantling the opposition.” Going further, Heizer’s and Smithson’s  
Land Art pieces defy adequation, yet they are not autonomous. That is  
to say that Double Negative or Spiral Jetty cannot be adequately  
presented outside of the experience of the site, which is at a remove  
from the whole art system. Nor, very importantly, can they be  
adequately consumed. However, the pieces are completely entwined and  
supported by the art market—at the time through direct patronage and  
in the gallery system through the sale of inadequate representations,  
glimpses, of the works, like drawings and photographs. These become  
very complex issues with regard to autonomy.

Today art like that of Christoph Buchel follows to some extent in  
this trajectory. Also with the efforts in the last few decades to  
bring institutions in sync more with art practice, the ending of  
Manifesta 6 was an unfortunate outcome. Instead of the institution  
being a buffer, a mediator, etc. it went to the mat and proved there  
is no autonomy from politics.

Moving to the topic of radical pedagogy, here is the site, organized  
by Bojana Piskur, curator at Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana: http:// 
The text quoted by Christina is not mine but Adela Zeleznik’s (I was  
just posting it). But more on that later,


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