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Under the Mirroring Surface

In my work I experiment with ‘de-imagineering’ and intervening into the ‘urban commons,’ through practices of altering and re-purposing existing structures. The work is both informal and transgressive in its methodology, with the core intention to investigate and participate in the shaping and making of the city. Art and research can provide keys to accessing such a city in the making; a space where we can challenge the preconceptions of what is possible, and to imagine alternative strategies for the creation of realities. As the concept of ‘imagineering’ suggests; it is imagination-engineering possibilities to hypothetically look behind reality and shape it. Furthermore, I wish to specify ‘imagination,’ as the thought material that potential realities are made from. As the term ‘imagineering’ is heavily connected to its use in the creative economy, I suggest the wordplay of ‘de-imagineering’ (the deconstruction of imagination). I argue that the production of imagination is fundamental for the change of current conditions and should as such be re-appropriated. In this sense it’s an anarchist posture; it denounces everything that cuts us off from and diminishes our own power to act.
Not only imagination is held in the deposit and account holdings of corporate and commercial actors, but so are many of the tactics that are designed to contest this hegemony. Counter culture is continuously being transformed to fit as capitalism’s sanitizing tool in “redeveloping” cities, co-opted and instrumentalized in processes of gentrification. In my work this manifests the ethical issue of having a practice that risks to end up fueling the dominant system in opposition. A phenomenon that the Situationists referred to as Récuperation; “the activity of society as it attempts to obtain possession of what negates it,” or one could say: how strategies of resistance towards ‘the spectacle’ ends up being a vital part of it.
Based on this knowledge I’m researching which transgressive strategies, evasive yet present, could be practiced under the Lefebvrian concept of the ‘Right to the City.’ How could they be constructed, performed and shared?

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