Advanced Architectural Studies (History and Theory ofArchitecture) BENVGA02 Territory: Legacy of Situationist tactics within contemporaryartist groups. Anexamination of the Deterritorialisation andReterritorialisation implemented by the contemporary Artist group (Warren &Mosley) This essay aims to establisha non-spatial definition of ‘territory’ then study Deterritorialisation andReterritorialisation through the tactics and transgressiveadaptive techniques implemented by Bristol based artist group Warren &Mosley. The investigation is carried out through the analysis and thenconceptualization of elements and techniques found.
UCL Bartlett School of ArchitectureMArch Architecture Year 4Student Name: Giles F. K NarteyStudent ID: January 2018Word Count: This study was completed as part of the MArch ArchitecturePart 2 at theUCL Bartlett School of Architecture. The work is my own.
Where the work ofothers is used or drawn on, it is attributed to the relevant source.Contents Chapter 1_Introduction Warren& MosleySituationist Chapter 2_Theorical contextTerritorialisationRe/De-TerritorialisationTransgressionTheoretical Tactics & Transgression Chapter3_Host W&M, Situationist &Territorialisation Research QuestionMethodology Chapter4_ Analysis of Work Research Methods Findings Conclusion & Discussions Introduction. · Etymology of Territory(Biologist vs Sociologist – Imagined vs functional territories – RobertSack, Robert Ardreys, Jakob von Uexkull) · Territorialisation(Theory behind the formation of territories- Erving Goffman) · De/Reterritorialisation (decontextualizing of a set of relations and reconfiguringand restructuring of decontextualized relations – Deleuze & Guattari,James Dovey)· Exploration ofreterritorialisation as a transgressive act (Foucault, Tshumi, Jenks)· Tactics to create de/reterritorialisation (Transgression- Michel de Certeau)· Situationist and theirtactics to de/re territorialize/ devaluate capitalist urban society.· Legacy of Situationistmethods through contemporary artist groups (Warren and Mosley)· Analysis of key projects – first establishingwhat constitutes as a ‘territory’ within each specific art work and thenhow Warren and Mosley participate in de/re terriolisation of the’territory’. Whatam I looking at?Whyis it important?Whoare the major figures?Whatcould be an outcome? SituationistInternational—————————————————————————————————————————-Warren&Mosley—————————————————————————————————————————-Territory A/Territoryis defined as the following: o ‘An area of land under thejurisdiction of a ruler or state.o ‘the government was prepared togive up the nuclear weapons on its territory’ o Zoology an area defended by ananimal or group of animals against others of the same sex or species.
o An area defended by a team orplayer in a game or sport. o An area in which one has certainrights or for which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type ofactivity. o Mass noun, with adjective or nounmodifier Land with a specified characteristic.o ‘woodland territory’ o (Especially in the US, Canada, orAustralia) an organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to thefull rights of a state. o An area of knowledge, activity, orexperience.
‘ Theorigin of the word base Latin word ‘territorium’ which is used in reference toland or a district has 2 etymological theories. According to the first, theterm comes from the Latin word ‘terra’ (dry land) + orium, the suffix denotingplace. The second alternative theory draws the origin to have been derivedinstead from ‘t?rrere’ (to frighten) thus meaning a territory is “aplace from which people are warned off”, which unlikethe 1st theory places a more functional purpose for territory. The ethologicalconception draws our attention to two important points. The first point is thatterritory has fundamentally to do with functions. For both animals and the human being, these functions areusually described as defence, control, reproduction, and access to resources.The second point is that territory is an imagined entity, a space that is carved out, excerpted andcircumscribed in view of a set of tasks to carry out. One of the maindifficulties in talking about territory is that this concept is transversal toseveral different disciplines—ranging macro to micro, from geography tosociology, from ethology, to ecology, from anthropology to law—all of whichhave their own idiosyncratic definition.
Which is further more interestingbecause through the process defining what each disciple regards as itsdefinition of territory. Each discipline creates respective boundaries of theirinterpretations of the concept thus making the definition of territory aterritory. The sociologist Andrea Brighenti remarked on this phenomenondescribing it as, ‘the tool one uses to grasp the object is part of the veryobject one tries to seize’ (Andrea Brighenti,2006) Brighenti,in his article titled ‘On territory as relationship and law as territory’continues to define two pivotal categories to appreciate the relationalfeatures of territory are scale and visibility. Contrary to initiative a largerscale of a territory does not mean a higher visibility; the most visibleterritories are established in practice or custom as part of an officialorganization – institutionalised. Relationship,rather than space, is at the theoretical core of territory, so that spatial andnon-spatial territories can be seen as overlaid one onto the other forinstance the following can be consider territories: the nation-state, the cityand its functional places, the interpersonal sphere, the body, and the psyche.
These all exist within the same interconnected context but are separatedaccording to different scale and degrees of visibility but only the mostvisible ones are recognized as proper territories. The study of territory is exploredmostly in Biology and Sociology. In the former the studied concept is ‘territoriality’which is expressed as an instinctive act (in reference to animal behaviour):the ability to react in aggressive and defensive patterns under requiredcircumstances and developed as a biologicaltrait. This hypothesis is reached in Robert Ardreys’ ‘book ‘The TerritorialImperative’, Where he explains the territorial imperative is an evolutionaryinstinct and in modern society manifests itself in practices such as propertyownership and nation building. SociologistRobert Sack pushes the idea a step further and says that territoriality is instinctual andat the core of the concept is strategy. He definesterritoriality as “the attempt by an individual or group to affect,influence or control people, phenomena and relationships, by delimiting andasserting control over a geographic area” (Sack, 1966).By making strategic aims a coreprinciple, Sack frames the question of territory as inherently political.Theproblem with Ardreys’ and Sack understanding is they make aggressiveness thebasis of the territory.
Deleuze and Guarttaricounter this by using the understanding of territory advanced by ethologistJakob von Uexkull to shift the focus away from a functional understanding oflife onto a more expressive one. Jakob von Uexküll was probably the first topoint out that territory appears as a ‘subjective and aesthetic production,which cannot be inferred from mere characteristics of any objective physicalenvironment’ (Uexüll, 2015). In A ThousandPlateaus by Deleuze and Guarttariborrowing from von Uexkulls they say that the nature of a territory is “an actthat affects milieus and rhythms, that ‘territorialise’ them” Deleuze& Guarttari, 1987) meaning a territory coming to being when ‘milieu’ partsstop only being functional but instead become multi-dimensional and ultimately become art. “Functions do not explain theterritory but presuppose it “(Deleuze & Guarttari, 1987). Terriolisation. “Territory is regarded as an activity of boundary-drawing andas a process which creates pre-assigned relational positions a way of socialsorting” (Andrea Brighenti, 2006) Territorialisation is actof organizing as a territory, a process of reordering physical or virtualrelationships Territorialisation presupposes an appropriation of a territorythat can take several forms.
This appropriation could be a demarcated territoryof land redrawn due to new ownership or lessintuitive territories, such as objects, rituals, and culture. Itcould be the formation of an idea or a religion, the classification of arelationship, the interconnectivity of a set of relations or theacknowledgement of a situation one finds them in. A defined boundary, thresholdor limit is the single commonality but within the playground of this condition,territorialisation can range from a mapped geographical set of physical spaceto existing in the realm of the meta-physics and ephemeral abstraction. Therefore territory-drawing (territorialisation)becomes a way of creating relations within and among society through signs, symbols, objects, spaces and place.
Oncewe shift our perspectival lens away from an objectivist view-point towards amore imagination based theory of territorialisation, the activity ofboundary-drawing can be investigated through a series of questions proposed byAndrea Brighenti in essay ‘On Territory as Relationship and Law asTerritory’ where she attempts to explore’the features of a non-intuitive, radical conception of territory and proposesto apply it to law’ (Andrea Brighenti, 2006). The InvestigativeTerritorialisation Questions are: o Who is drawing? o How is the drawing made? o What kind of drawing is being made? o Why is the drawing being made? Thesequestions are at the core of Canadian Sociologist Erving Goffman work, whosemajor area of study is the sociology of everyday life through socialinteraction as well as, social construction of self and social organisation ofexperience. In ‘Relations in public’ (Goffman, 1971) he proposes that allterritories can be divided into categories depending on their organisation andtheorized a link between each kind of territory and its ‘temporal extension’. Heidentified three types of territory—Fixed Territories, Situational Territoriesand Egocentric Territories. ‘Fixed Territories’ have a geographical foundationand to which a person can declare formal legitimate ownership. One example of afixed territory is real estate or physical property.
‘Situational Territories’are restricted to specific locations and which the person may make his/her’property’ for a limited period of time thus temporally appropriating a space.These spaces tend to be public spaces like restaurants, a bench in a park ordesk in libraries this type of territorialisation is linked with the type ofactivity that is considered to be the norm in that given context. The third and last type of territory is an’Egocentric Territory’, which unlike the pervious types is completely’moveable’ and is carried by a person. Goffman further subdivided this categoryis into 8 subtypes: ‘The personal space’, ‘The stall’, ‘use space’, ‘turn’,’Sheath’, ‘Possessional territory’, ‘informational territory’, ‘conversationalpreserve’. These all relate to the territory of being and existing as a human,whether that is our personal space, the territory we intend to use, theterritory of the things we possess or the territory of our words. Goffman turnshis attention to ways of violating these territories an idea he called’Modalities of violation’ ways of engaging in ‘territorial offense’ whetherthat may be moving too close to someone, disregarding ones words, contaminationof thought or actual defilement. These ideas spring up in the work of Gilles Deleuzeand Felix Guattari’s. They propose that when a boundary is temporallypenetrated or deconstructed in an attempt to dislocate the set of relationsthat constitute the territory the territory is exposed to new organisations andthus ‘de-terriolisation’ shatters the territory.
De/Re -Terriolisation. Deterritorialisationoccurs when the membrane around a territory fractures allowing the set ofrelations to become recoded, inscribed, invaded and even annexed. This holdstrue for cities or nation-states but also ideologies, an image, humansubjectivity and individual perspective. After the dislocation follows thereformation of the relations and membrane this is called ‘Reterritorialisation’and was proposed by Deleuze and Guattari, definedby architectural theorist Kim Dovey as ‘invasion of urban interstices, construction of houses, theinscription of boundaries’ through the implementation of informal practices(Dovey, 2012) Theconcept having two modes: ‘Deterritorialisation’& ‘Reterritorialisation’ (Deleuzeand Guattari,1972).
Deterritorialisation is associated withdecontextualizing of a set of relations and Reterritorialisation is thereconfiguring and restructuring of decontextualized relations, creatingsomething new. The two modes happen simultaneously with deterritorialisation always accompanied by reterritorialisation. They embodythe process of reconfiguration and reconfiguration with the reconstructedfragments having traces of the previous form but in its entirety becomes a newexpression. The creation of aterritory produces a threshold between the inside and the outside, inclusionand exclusion.
“These basic territorial operations ofdeterritorialisation and subsequent reterritorialisation generate on-goingprocesses of separation and fusion with each deterritorialisation entails achain of subsequent reterritorialisation, the two movements recursivelyembedded into one another.” (Andrea Brighenti,2006) The terms are originally related to theanalysis of capitalism and cultural globalization explored by Gilles Deleuzeand Flex Guattari in their book ‘Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia’where they attempt to diagnose the “Dissipated nature of human subjectivity incontemporary capitalist cultures” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1972). They draw parallels between aschizophrenic and capitalism, the major link being both modes have the abilityto implant themselves in any context as a ‘decoder and scrambler’. ‘Decode’ notmeaning to translate or decipher, in this context ‘decode’ relates to theundermining of existing codes that govern (in this case) society andparticipate in the deterritorialisation (decontextualizing of a set ofrelations) within said society. Through this deterritorialisation all customsand norms are scrambled as a ‘schizophrenic process’ (Meaning its resembles theschizophrenic unconsciousness where everything is twisted and undistinguishedfrom everything else) the structure of identity collapses.
TransgressionTheoretical Reterriolisation is expressed as atransgressive act; an act that breaks rules and norms in the repurposing ofideals and cultures through the crossing over and merging of the multipleentities. This merging literally negates the form society expectsof it and becomes neither or and all simultaneously. Defined by Foucault as “Profanation, which no longer recognizes anymeaning in the sacred” (Foucault, 1980) The concept of subvertingideals or going against an ideal has been present in literature and the ideasof theorist/philosophers but only recently has it become contemporary in thesense of place. In Foucault ‘A preface to Transgression, 1980 he heavily linkstransgression with Nietzsche’s’Death of God’ concept (the term being synonymous with ‘deterritorialisation,schizophrenia or capitalism). Foucault says “Death of god creates an urgencyfor meaning” as before god was present, this search for meaning leads to the ‘infinityof interpretation’ and transgression is the process that seeks to overcomeinterpretation and the ‘hermeneutical space’ left by the removal of meaning togod/ through the deterritorialisation of society, Transgression must then’stretch and break the boundaries of each meaning’ to reveal new limits to onceagain break. Cementing the mutualistic relationship between transgression and territory & invasion.
The sociologist Christopher Jenks calls it”the modern post-god initiative” (Jenks, 2003). Tshumibrings to light the problems with ‘Definition’ which is also apparent inFoucault’s thoughts, ‘infinity of interpretation’ (Foucault, 1980). This paradoxical relationship,like Foucault’s profane and sacred, contains ‘two independent but mutuallyexclusive aspects’ (Tshumi, 1944) but whatFoucault is proposing is that the act of transgression comes from theempowerment of one aspect, profane over sacred, informal over theestablishment, the breaking of one to allow the other to reach new sacredlimits to once again attempt to break. Tshumi suggests transgression is “whereit (architecture) transcends its paradoxical nature by negating the formsociety expects of it” (Tshumi, 1944) implying transgression isn’t thecrossing of one by the other but at a ‘point of rot’ when something is neitheror and both at the same time, a proscribed place, “where death touches life. Thesetwo views are expressed by Jenks defining Transgression as “that, whichtranscends boundaries or exceeds limits” (Jenks, 2013).Jenks as Foucault did before stressed that transgression orreterritorialisation is not destruction or evil but just a reaction to anopposing force that gains its energy from ‘the perpetual threat of constraintor destruction’ (Jenks, 2013).
An example of this dualistic process is the effects andaftermath of the Spanish annexation of the Aztec empire that began in 1519. TheSpanish began the process deterritorialisation by eliminating the symbols of theAztecs’ beliefs and rituals through violence predominately. but also TheSpanish then began reterritorialisationby embedding theirown beliefs and rituals through calculated indoctrination. Now you see ahybridity between the old customs practiced before the annexation and theimplanted customs. This hybridity has manifest itself in the nuanced waycertain regions of South America practice Catholicism, borrowing from pagancustoms. Through this analysis colonisation is indistinguishable fromdeterritorialisation and reterritorialisation.
Thesecond example is less intuitive and is more important for this essay; thesituationist International. This time the dualistic process used by a counter-culturalmovement that stressed the importance of deterritorialising practices.The Situationists’ proposed two practices, the first being the practice of derive.Derive or drifting wasconceived as an exercise of “rapid passage through varied ambiances” soas to induce awareness in the detachment from places. By practicing dérive,the Situationists’ ultimate aim was to reterritorialise themselves in what theycalled “constructed situations,” which were thought of as spaces ofexperimentation in liberated social interaction.
The second practice was’detournment’, which literally is a form of deconstruction. Deconstructingalready existing media and the reformation of the fragmented element into a newexpression so as to undermine and devaluate modern capitalist society. Thesetactics were implemented as a way of reframing or reorganizing the way in whichpeople view things. Tactics.
Michel de Certeau exploresthe use of tactics in ‘ThePractice of Every Day Life’ he proposed ‘that an invisibleworld of mass cultural participation far from being a distant utopia alreadyexisted albeit surreptitiously in a twilight realm of what he called ‘thetactical’ The’tactical’ or tactics is at the core of “The Practice of Every Day Life”. He definesit as a method ” inwhich the weak are seeking to turn the tables on the strong. Tactics mustdepend on “clever tricks, knowing how to get away with things, the hunter’scunning, manoeuvres, polymorphic simulations, joyful discoveries poetic as wellas warlike. Which is a process of transgression”. He contrasts the tacticalwhich strategies, which hedefines as “asa calculus of force relationships when a subject of will and power (aproprietor, an enterprise, a city, a scientific institution) can be isolatedfrom an environment… a placewhere it can “capitalizeon its advantages, prepare its expansions, and secure independence with respectto circumstances.” Thisdistinction between tactics and strategies is used to highlight the unequalrelationship ion cultural production. Thetactical is defined as ‘Activity in the urban realm that encourages inhabitantsto re-appropriate vacant land in the city and transform it into self-managesspace’ (Petrescu & Petcou, 2013) this isdone through of course deterritorialisation and then reterritorialisation. The article goeson to suggest that ‘deviousness’ is a key factor to “get things done”.
Thisidea of ‘Artfulness’ in resistance isproposed by Certeau challenging the ‘mechanism imposed by institutions (Grid of Discipline)’ and stating “Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the propertyof others” (De Certeau, 1984). This informality is studied in thearticle ‘Informal Settlementand Complex Adaptive Assemblage’, International Development Planning Review(Dovey, 2012)’, Informal settlements are described as Transgressivebecause “they transgress the formal codes of the state in terms of land tenure,urban planning, design and construction” this transgression is not theromantised, conceptual act proposed by Foucault, this transgression is onlypresent because of the lack of choice and the lack of an alternative path, as a’resource for managing poverty’. Through this idea we see ‘utopia’ existthrough the tactical. Utopia is not the end product but the specific methods inwhich we impose our ideas of our utopia upon the city, our bedroom or ourminds. Analysis