Publics and Counter-Publics

As this Biennial averred that Buildings are Not Enough!, then we would do well to ask in what ways they are insufficient? Or, more precisely, what disciplinary, political, or economic assemblages align to make the category of building carry meaning, and what is being excluded in this assemblage? We believe the exclusions center around a particularly pervasive and barren notion of “the public”—one that has been doubly stripped of its specificity as well as its solidarity—and in its place the politics of building, alongside the responsibility of actual buildings, has been abandoned to the market. From a wide range of contexts, geographies, and scales, this panel addressed the spatial politics of the city with a particular eye to questions of publics and counter-publics, investment and dis-investment, and formality and informality, to tease out a more complicated picture of the diverse publics of the city.

In a conversation moderated by Levan Asabashvili (Georgia, Urban Reactor), we are joined by Ruben Arevshatyan (Armenia, Institute of Contemporary Art), Merve Bedir (Turkey/Hong Kong, Land+Civilization Composition), Stefan Rusu (Moldova/Kyrgystan), and Dubravka Sekulić (Serbia/Austria, T.U. Graz).