Parade Glossary

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This is the draft Glossary that will accompany the Parade Publication

In no particular order............well, actually............ alphabetical

agora

The Agora was an open place of assembly in ancient Greek city-states. Early in Greek history any free-born male land-owners who were citizens would gather in the agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council. Later, the agora also served as a marketplace where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods amid colonnades. From this twin function of the agora as a political and commercial space came the two Greek verbs agorázō, "I shop", and agoreýō, "I speak in public". Our aggregated structure to facilitate our assembly for Parade was often referred to as a fractured or splintered agora.

biology of collaboration

All art is organized suggests theorist Theodor Adorno in his book on the Culture Industry. Generally culture, and especially contemporary artworlds disavow – which means hides- their ruthless organization. So, the image of a free and independent artists, of lax timekeeping, poor financial management, low levels of cooperation and poor organization is itself part of an organisational structure. In CP we take our organisation as part of our research and our practice. Part of our creative practice. We use guidelines from a website openorganizations.org on how to practice as an emergent organization. We attend to, reflect on and talk a lot about collaboration. We understand the the biology of collaboration in its consensus and common goal aims, and this is not what we do. Cooperation, where independent agents ‘freely’ decide to work together and then dissipate is closer.

Cable Ties

Smallish black plastic ties were used to hold the milk-crate structure together. Some 20,000 synched by hand over the week-long construction process. Indispensable to the physical architecture, the ties also indicate the project’s psychosocial architecture. On the one hand, the multiple fixings between crates visualized the shared labor involved in producing Parade. In the same way the weight bearing was distributed across anchor points, so too did the members of CP work together to realize Parade. To be sure, some members shoulder more weight for the project than others. But everyone contributed what he or she could and this produced a feeling of accomplishment that seemed genuinely shared. On the other hand, Parade not only created and strengthened ties amongst CP members it also promoted relations between the cluster and other initiatives. These include The Carrot Workers’ Collective, The Knot and Tangent Projects…. (WC 147)

Cluster

CP described itself as a “cluster” to acknowledge the diverse persons it brings together through a combination of strong ties (i.e. membership) and loose ones (i.e. affiliation). These persons include artists, designers, academics, researchers and assemblies thereof. The term “cluster” also resists reducing CP’s activity to a single type, as might be the case if we self-defined our practices as “collaboration”. While “collaborative” activity figures in CP, some aspects are better described as “participatory” while others “emerge” through specific instances of practice. The term “cluster” seeks to acknowledge the mixed economy of engagement through which CP’s activities unfold. (WC 102)

Commons (The)

The commons refers to resources that are collectively owned or shared among a specific community. These resources are said to be held in common and can include everything from natural resources, rights, heritages and knowledges. Although the concept pre-dates the formation of the public, the contemporary use of the commons can also include public goods such as public space, public education, public safety, public health and public infrastructures - such as electricity, water, and legal rights.

Simply, the commons cannot be commodified. If they are, they cease to be commons.

Common (In)

Not to be confused with the commons. If the latter refers to resources shared, the former describes the psychosocial experience of sharing these resources. Having something in common are social relations — how something is shared. As Massimo De Angelis suggests:

Commons are a means of establishing a new political discourse that builds on and helps to articulate the many existing, often minor struggles. One of the most important challenges we face today is how to move from movement to society?...How do we recognize the real divisions of power within the ‘multitiude’ and produce new commons that seek to overcome them at different scales of social action?

Asking and re-asking what membership in CP creates “in common” is foundational to the cluster’s self-definition as an open organization. Making public this process is core to our self-governance. Failure to build and/or recognize common ground is not the same thing as operating agonistically. The articulation of difference can itself be something held in common. What is important for CP is the negotiation around what the cluster holds in common and what this means in practice to CP’s day-to-day operations. (WC 196)

Enthusiasm

Without boundless enthusiasm and generosity, there would be no Critical Practice.

Forms of Address

Refers to how the human and non-human actors comprising the modes of assembly are interpolated and interpolate each other. How exactly do these subjects communicate with each other and to what ends. In general, CP favors modes of address that are informal and that encourage small group discussion or peer-to-peer exchange. We like to create contexts that promote dynamic interaction and shared knowledge production, to critique traditional 'broadcast' information delivery systems, that could be characterized by lazy modes of address, such as formal lectures. (WC 81)

Mezquita

The Catedral de Córdoba, or Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was formerly the Great Mosque of Córdoba, or the Mezquita. The site was converted from a Visigothic church in 784 by Abd ar-Rahman I. Over two centuries the mosque was built and extended using repurposed building materials. The 856 differently sized columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite are scavanged from Roman buildings and Visigoth churches to form a forest of trunks. These variagated trunks are roofed and the building unified by double arches of alternating red and white voussoirs; it's an architectural wonder. After the Spanish Reconquista in 1236, it once again became a Roman Catholic church when a Gothic cathedral was plunged into the centre of the gigantic Moorish forest. The two structures create a hybrid whole, agonistic architecture and an inspiration for Parade.

Milk Crates

The idea of constructing with milk crates emerged out of a workshop between architects Ola and Michal, members of Critical Practice and Ken's MA Interior and Spatial Design students. The original proposal of using recycled plastic 'bales' proved unrealistic, partly because of their significant weight and partly because a hazardous materials license is necessary to handle them. The milk crate provided a basic unit that was strong yet lightweight, perfect for furniture - one crate for low stall, two crates for a chair, three or four crates for a table to sit or stand around- as well as defining space. They could easily be assembled and dis-assembled with cable ties - thin wrists were of particular value - and the crates themselves proved perfect for holding pints of beer, an essential building material given the heatwave that accompanied the construction. The structure was assembled out of 4320 crates, this was the precise number that would fit into two articulated lorries. The beauty of the solution was that not only were the crates made entirely from recycled plastic - hence the colour black, the easiest to produce - but that they were borrowed from the distribution process. Having assembled Parade, they returned to delivering milk in Glasgow.

Modes of Assembly

For CP, refers to ecologies of aggregated human and non-human actors. In the case of Parade, these included;

1. the construction of the milk-crate structure, which brought together members of CP, staff and students of Chelsea College of Art and Design, the commissioned architects, suppliers and funders.
2. the barcamps, which aggregated both invited and drop-in contributors into an un-conference-like structure comprised of short presentations and lively discussion.
3. the market of ideas, which brought together some thirty-five stalls, with stallholders exchanging knowledge with a milling crowd around issues as diverse as the socialist history of the Pimlico neighborhood, and the melting of the Antarctic ice caps.

Notional Grid

Describes the key organizing principle of the milk-crate structure. The grid was “notional” because although always present in the architects’ plans, the built structure was more organic in development and feel. Aspects were recalibrated onsite and elements developed “off the plan” in response to emergent needs. The result was a modular structure that was purpose build to facilitate the forms of assembly for Parade. (WC 58)

Parade

The project’s name originates from its site-specificity. Parade took place on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground of Chelsea College of Art and Design. The space is so called because it was home to the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital and military personal would parade in public as part of their training exercises.

The Parade Ground was renovated in 2006 by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation, according to the Chelsea College of Art and Design website:

The Parade Ground is a most extraordinary space, not just for its vastness - 3500 square metres, but also because it is in a unique location: in the centre of London, in the heart of Westminster, next door to Tate Britain and the River Thames. Due to its scale and location the Parade Ground has enormous potential for hosting large-scale London-wide events.
The creative industries have also discovered the space. Burberry presented the final show of London Fashion Week in September 2009 and 2010 to much acclaim in the national and international press. More recently the site was used for a Nokia Siemens Networks Roadshow in conjunction with the opulent rooms situated in 45 Millbank, next door to this impressive outdoor space.

Parade aimed to explore the politics of the Parade Ground as a contested site. Here diverse interests — both past and present — jostle to lay claim over the space; prison, museum, training hospital, and Art School. Most recently the privatization of the Parade Ground as this “Gallery without Walls” is rented-out to support the activities of Chelsea College of Art and Design, a once public educational institution that is slowly being privatized. (WC 311)

Pneumatic Sphere

Plastic sphere of "Kitchen monument" hosted conference about public space in Warsaw in 2007. It provided the spatial environment, which was in same time protective and divisive, transparent and elusive, promising participation and denying it, seemingly open for everybody, but occupied only by devoted experts. This experience caused the need to question the role of spatial environments in shaping publics, and led to further experimentation with architectural structures which could actively influence public events by providing spatial framing of various modes of assembly and forms of address. It also resembles the "Pneumatic Parliament" of Peter Sloterdijk and Gesa Mueller von der Hagen, ironic art project consisting of the blueprint for parachuted and inflatable parliament, in which they mocked the colonial idea of George W. Bush of exporting democratic institutions into totally different political and cultural contexts. At more metaphorical level "Pneumatic sphere" could amplify the notion of autonomous field of cultural production, seen as a semi - transparent bubble, protective glasshouse in which cultural producers thrive, distanced from the harshness of its social environment by system of supportive institutions and grants.

Plug-in

A key if contentious metaphor for describing the terms of engagement characterizing both the events CP facilitates, and the clusters contribution to other projects. The phrase implies connecting with a preexisting assembly – as in the case of plugging into a power source by way of a socket. During Parade, many contributors plugged into the event’s ethos and organization. But this was not - as the metaphor implies - a one-way exchange, the contributors did not only draw power from the project, they also shaped the project’s development and trajectory. For, had the contributors and their contributions been different, Parade would also have changed.

Public Body (The)

Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes published in 1651 is one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Hobbes saw in the chaos of civil war a condition he identified as a ‘state of nature”. In this state there is "the war of all against all" where “every man has a right to everything, even to another’s body” and contains the famous quotation describing life in this state as “the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short “ This situation could only be averted by a social contract, an agreement to surrender our individual interests, in order to achieve a security that only a mutual existence can provide. For Hobbes, the social contract, or covenant is “that a man be willing, when others are so too, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself.“ For Hobbes If people agree to this covenant, a commonwealth is instituted. A public body composed of the bodies of the multitude.

The Public Body BarCamp Warsaw, in October 2009 aimed to examine the relationships among singular and assembled bodies. What infrastructures are necessary to facilitate a public body, to enable social practice and action in public space?

public domain

In a general context public domain refers to ideas, information, resources and artifacts that are "publicly available". Although in the context of recent intellectual property law, which includes copyright, patents and trademarks; the public domain refers to works, ideas, and information which are incompatible with private ownership.

publicness

The term Public although contested, has, with the addition of various pronouns, some defined interpretations. Amongst others we could include:

  • Public Good; of, concerning, or nurturing beneficence, is the principle of doing good in the widest sense for a community or assembly.
  • Public Space; maintained for or used by a people or community.
  • Public Company; capitalized shares that can be traded on an open market.
  • Public Realm; participated in or attended by a group or community.
    "Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate" Hannah Arendt.
  • Public Office/Service; connected with or acting on behalf of an assembly or community.
  • Public Knowledge; open to the knowledge or judgment of all.
  • The Public; a community or the people as a whole.
  • Public interest, a group of people sharing a common interest.
  • Public utilities, the infrastructures necessary to facilitate a public.

On the other hand publicness is a bastardized word, a nonsense. It seems to encapsulte both the activity of sharing resources with others, and a quality of things shared. We preferred to think with this awkward term.

Public Good (A)

Normative economic theory defines a public good as something that is non-rivalrous and non-exclusive. It is non-rivalrous because the good’s consumption by one individual does not preclude its consumption by another, and non-exclusive because everyone should have access to the good. In practice, however, it is difficult to imagine anything that is non-exclusive and non-rivalrous. Yet this ideal was a catalyst for Parade, with CP holding fast to publicness as a public good that should be available to and benefit all. (WC 85)

River Elba

River flowing through current Czech Republic and Germany, starting in Sudety moutains, and flowing into North Sea, north of Hamburg, for ages was the symbolic border between Western and Eastern Europe. From XVth century onwards Elba River demarked core capitalists societies and its close peripheries. Since this time the rapid growth of urban, capitalists societies in Western Europe has been matched by uneven development of post - feudal societies in its Eastern part. Eastern economy was based the extensive mode of production, dependant on the low investment and slave labor, producing raw materials, which were exported to countries like England and Netherlands, where they were manufactured and re-sold to comprador, noble classes from the East. The West became centre of capitalistic accumulation, while the East was petrified in drudgery and feudalistic social structures. For this reason Immanuel Wallerstein called Eastern Europe the first testing ground of the capitalist methods of domination. It resulted in the two totally different social structures. In the West the dominant force of the society became the Third Class, the townsman and burgoise, and on later stages of history the proletariat. The internal diversification of labor and technological progress were pressing for the development of new social order, which finally resulted in the modern, western style democracy and welfare state, and institutions of public sphere so much praised by Jurgen Habermas. In same time, east of river Laba witnessed a totally different kind of society, based on the formal slavery of peasants and domination of noble classes. The structures of urban, civil society did not have a chance to develop, which legacy could be still discovered today, on the different layers of society, in politics and in public life. These processes casted the fundaments for the problems, which are encountered today, like chronic underdevelopment, low urbanisation, dependency on technologies and capital imported from Western countries, weakness of juridical system and low level of social control of state power, social structure based on family ties and not on wider social bonds.

Shonky

While the dictionary defines shonky as an informal term for something that is dishonest, unreliable or illegal, for CP the term has also taken on a more positive notion as an object, that while less than perfect, embodies what Richard Wentworth would term a 'making do', An unselfconscious, inventive mending or making of something using whatever material is to hand. By embracing the notion of 'shonky' early-on we were keen to avoid assembling the kind of slick structure that resists adaptation, and to embrace a strategy that could facilitate this spirit of shonky invention. The cable tie and milk crate combination are the perfect strategy to appease architectural notions of unity while facilitating inhabitants desires to make-do and adapt.

Struggle

Public sphere never exists as something static and immobile. It is based on struggle of people who are fighting for their rights for public speech and recognition of their basic rights as members of the public. It was discussed during CP Publicamp on example of Kennington Park. As former Commons it witnessed the Chartists assembly in April 1848, who gathered there on their way to deliver their petition to the House of Parliament. They managed to animate the genuine public character of this space, turning it into the site of political expression. Soon after this breakthrough event of people's democracy Kennington Commons were enclosed and under the patronage of Prince of Wales turned into public park, defined as zone of recreation, in which political gatherings were strictly prohibited.


Return to Parade Publication

comments

These are the suggested terms done

  • Agora
  • Mesquita
  • publicness
  • the public body
  • public services
  • public works
  • public space
  • public domain
  • the public(s)
  • counter publics
  • in common
  • the commons
  • the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground
  • cluster
  • critical - as in critical practice
  • practice - as in critical practice
  • enthusiasm - Enthusiasm Index
  • self-initiated projects
  • biology of collaboration
  • archeology of location
  • notional grid
  • zones for social encounters
  • "Parade" - origins on the name
  • public good
  • minutes go analogue
  • structure/content
  • "private capital"
  • sculptures instead of buildings
  • embodied public domain
  • modes of assembly
  • forms of address
  • platform
  • plug in
  • Chartism
  • cut through
  • shared recollection
  • shonkey
  • milk crates
  • cable ties

Here are the terms I'm working on...

  • the public body
  • in common
  • cluster
  • notional grid
  • "Parade" - origins on the name
  • public good
  • modes of assembly
  • forms of address
  • platform
  • plug in
  • Chartism
  • cut through
  • shared recollection
  • shonkey
  • cable ties

yours,

Marsha