For the opening of Disruptive Voices, WALTER BOOKS curated a special selection of books with a common thread but also loosely associative. Below you’ll find a few titles from this selection covering unheard voices, unseen structures, disrupting movements. As an independent bookstore, we cherish places where critical voices are heard, shared and fostered and we would like to underline the importance of the offline bookstore as a place to meet, to think together, to see something new and to support your community. Please support your local bookstore.
EXTRASTATECRAFT: THE POWER OF INFRASTRUCTURE SPACE by Keller Easterling
Part of our communication is enclosed in the spaces where we meet before we have even uttered a single word. Spaces (and also who has access to these spaces and who doesn’t) structure our movements and influence not only who is heard but ultimately what is being said. This is wat Keller Easterling calls ‘infrastructure space’:
“We might not think of space as an information technology unless it is embedded with sensors and digital media, and there is digital software to generate and analyze urban arrangements. Yet infrastructure space, even without media enhancement, behaves like spatial software. And while we also do not typically think of static objects and volumes in urban space as having agency, infrastructure space is doing something. Like an operating system, the medium of infrastructure space makes certain things possible and other things impossible. It is not the declared content but rather the content manager dictating the rules of the game in the urban milieu.”
RADICAL CITIES ACROSS LATIN AMERICA IN SEARCH OF A NEW ARCHITECTURE by Justin McGuirk
More on this we found in Justin McGuirk’s book about the “radical” vision of a group of architects in Latin America, who helped shape cities such as Lima and Santiago. These architects seem to uphold a radical-social interpretation of the use of architecture and “secretly” set themselves to task as social utopians in contrast to star-architects such as Rem Koolhaas.
“Unlike their forebears, these architects are not the agents of a welfare state, and they can no longer count on wholesale political support. The world is a more complicated place: they have to negotiate cities governed by increasingly by private interests. In the early twenty-first century it is possible to be political and yet to believe in the market as a tool. They have to play off the private against the public to get the most out of both. They have to insinuate themselves into politicians’ plans. They have to be radical while pretending not to be (there is no greater turn-off to a politician than the idea that you want to try something radical, something risky. They would never call themselves ‘activist architects’.”
BOOK OF DISSENT, edited by Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim
A beautifully made bloodred anthology which tries to capture 3000 years of protest and dissenting voices, from Spartacus to Snowden. The book contains well-known and lesser known speeches such as these words from Binyavanga Wainaina:
“Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear. I am a homosexual, mum.”
The Kenyan author, journalist and founder of the literary journal Kwani? published this piece amid a wave of anti-gay laws in Africa such as a bill in Uganda that sought to impose life sentences for homosexual acts.
DIRECT ACTION: PROTEST AND THE REINVENTION OF AMERICAN RADICALISM by L.A. Kauffman
Recently published volume from L.A. Kauffman, a so-called movement historian. In this book, she traces the radical ghost of the sixties, still seen and felt in recent movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy Movement.
FREEDOM IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE by Angela Y. Davis
A collection of interviews, speeches and essays by the famous Angela Davis in which she stresses the intersectional struggle of racism, sexism and classism. Davis makes sure to point out the importance of a sense of community:
“I don’t know whether I would have survived had not movements survived, had not communities of resistance, communities of struggle. So whatever I’m doing I always feel myself directly connected to those communities and I think that this is an era where we have to encourage that sense of community particularly at a time when neoliberalism attempts to force people to think of themselves only in individual terms and not in collective terms. It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.”
WHAT’S THE USE? CONSTELLATIONS OF ART, HISTORY AND KNOWLEDGE, edited by Nick Aikens, Thomas Lange, Jorinde Seijdel and Steven ten Thije
We end our list with the artist and the romantic notion of the lonesome genius. In What’s the Use you won’t find anything of the kind. A collection of essays which stresses the importance of collectivity and a culture of commons in relation to art practice:
From the chapter Understanding the Social Power Plant written by contstructLab:
“A museum can become a social power plant when users, curators, artists, and museum employees come together to create different forms of agency that serve different values: the pollination of a culture of commons, struggle against private interests, and the use of a social decision process.
WALTER X Disruptive Voices
Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 63-A
IN THE PURSUIT OF… is the year program of the Expoplu that (re)thinks our personal position towards the issues and challenges of the 21st century.
Thu: 17:00 - 20:00
Fri: 17:00 - 20:00
Sat: 13:00 - 17:00
Sun: 13:00 - 17:00