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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Subversive Space Idea - dara

Subversive Space

Let me start by stating the obvious:
- An action requires a location
- The character of a location determines the character of the actions that can be carried out there.

Obviously, the relationship between actions and locations is reciprocal. Successive actions build up the character of a location and this character determines, to a great extent, the actions that will be carried out. A location is largely defined by its utility to the person, through the various apparatuses that are situated at the location.

In our current existence, the overwhelming majority of locations are characterised by their particular relationship to the market, to the economic functions that they serve.

It may be argued that even households cannot be excluded from this generalisation, due to several factors. We might suggest that the family unit is the most basic training for participation in economic life. I will not over-examine this point, in favour of the following. All legitimate households exist as commodities. That is, a house has been purchased, is rented, leased, or some other financial agreement. The legitimate occupation of an abode is largely dependant upon the occupant’s direct or indirect participation in a capitalist system.

If a house is owned, it has been purchased, or inherited. Either way, it is an owned product of labour. The possession of the right to use this household is determined by labour. If one rents, or has a mortgage, the possession of this right demands one’s present and future labour. That is, one’s continual reproduction of capitalist activity within everyday life.

By defining all locations by their place within an economic system, we define the vast majority of actions as existing within this economic, namely, capitalist system.

We can resist this in one of two ways, both with the express aim of creating an alternate way of life; the use of spaces in a way that is antithetical to the actions that are intended to be carried out therein. Examples of these are critical mass, reclaim the streets and graffiti. These have a dual purpose. Liberating those involved and the indirect liberation of others. Both critical mass and reclaim the streets disrupt the economic function of the streets, that of facilitating the movement of resources and thus, wealth-creation.

Graffiti, primarily, exists to be seen. First of all, in the case of billboard liberation (and that of all advertisements), it disrupts the stable message that the advertisement contained, pointing to a dissenting voice that is otherwise ignored. Also, graffiti allows for the viewer to experience a location in a way that is not serving the location’s intended function. It allows the viewer to experience an alternate (and usually subversive) understanding of the location. This is often characterised by humour and a direct engagement with the environment by the image (Banksy’ rats etc.).

The other way is to create a space that is not a commodity, and whose occupation does not necessitate the participation within the economic system. This is a space that can truly be said to be the basis of an alternate way of life. The acquiring of a free space by squatting is itself, a subversive action. Therefore, from the outset, the free space has been defined by subversion. It is therefore the ideal location for subversive actions.

The space allows for people to exist to a certain extent, (though we wouldn’t suggest totally) outside of the pervasive economic system. It is thus a space that can exist for individuals without demanding their reproduction of the capitalist activity to allow their occupation.

A subversive space in this way allows for the concentration of subversive thought. In the examples of reclaim the streets, critical mass and graffiti, the actions, however effective, are characterised by their brevity. The first two last for a matter of hours, mainly for the individuals involved while graffiti allows for a continual series of individually brief moments of subversive experience, until the graffiti itself is removed. However, a free space is characterised by its continuing occupation.

The successive subversive experiences that are allowed to exist within a free space means that an alternate, subversive identity can be created that is given a geographical base. We might put up a sign reminiscent of those ‘Nuclear-Free Zone’s and declare a free space, precisely that, a space that does not serve an economic function, let us declare a Capitalism-Free Zone!!

The massive majority of locations within an urban environment serve an economic function, that is, their function is concerned with commerce of some description. A free space allows for us to create an alternative to this, to provide a solid anchor from which subversion can flicker outwards, and create a playful vitality amidst the city.

It can be a continuing source of radicalism, where people and ideas meet and evolve, where the tendency to subversion can be fostered, allowing for the development of a network of radical spaces. The creation of subversive space within the city allows for the continued transformation of people by the radical actions and inter-actions that are integral to these locations and the perceptual transformation of the individuals involved and thus the city at large.


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Monday, April 18, 2005

next meeting/community gardening

next Seomra Spraoi is in seoidins in Kilmanham on Thursday April 28th after a film on deportation actions - about 9pm (film is at 8pm)

Details on how to get there e mail me krossie@eircom.net

Mean time the comunity garden is up and running in Dolphins barn

(info and minutes here)

Greetings !

We have just started a new community garden here in dublin and we would like to know if there is similar projects in your towns and cities. if so perhaps you could give us their info, websites, adresses, photos...
perhaps some of you are already involved in a similar project.
this is part of greening the city project which is attempt to make an ecological corridor/greenway for the city

Some reports with pictures and info




Help is needed !

Contact Dunk fuspey@yahoo.co.uk for location of the garden and more info


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Monday, April 11, 2005

minutes - next meeting thursday 14th April

Seomra Spraoi meeting: 7 April 2005

Venue: Meet and Dine (seoidin's shop front space)

Peoples: Krossie, Anile, Darra, Cian, Dunk, Clare, Ferdanando, Seoidin, Ownsie, Eoghan

Scouting: Eoghan mentioned 2 potential properties. Anile, Seoidin, Krossie and William agreed to investigate there ownership and possible usage further.

Account: Ownsie and Darra agreed to set up a Seomra Spraoi account with a credit union, they will also manage and treasure the account. They agreed to approach CAZ, Cork for there experience of how to keep the cheques balanced. It was said that there are many people that would be interested in a monthly / weekly contribution to Seomra Spraoi. Standing orders and direct debits should remain anonymous to the group, to avoid bias. This will be possible once the account has been set up and potential donators will be scouted.

Zine: It was agreed that a monthly zine or web log should be created to promote Seomra Spraoi, whats going on ? what we are at? This will be discussed further.

Gig after RTS: Ferdanando, Krossie, Clare and William to organise this. William to find out about usage of Cobbelstone and Krossie the Belvedere and Conways.

Cafe: We will meet friends at Vegan Death Cafe, Sunday 10th to talk about the Arts as always.

Community Garden: Duncan told us about a planting on Tuesday at 7pm at the garden to be, we were asked to bring stuff to plant and garden with. (can catch the 150 bus)

We ate and chatted, and william drank a guiness.

The next meeting is on 14 April 8 pm another Meet and Dine (at Seoidin's Shop Front) and you'd be mad to miss it.
from the desk of

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