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Decoding Military Landscapes Handout June 18

Decoding Military Landscapes Handout June 18

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Published by Javier Arbona
TOWARD A JUST METROPOLIS: From Crises to Possibilities June 16–20, 2010 Conference • San Francisco Bay Area

#DECODING+MILITARY LANDSCAPES

// A PARTICIPATORY WORKSHOP TO DEVELOP A PUBLIC ARCHIVAL PRACTICE
TOWARD A JUST METROPOLIS: From Crises to Possibilities June 16–20, 2010 Conference • San Francisco Bay Area

#DECODING+MILITARY LANDSCAPES

// A PARTICIPATORY WORKSHOP TO DEVELOP A PUBLIC ARCHIVAL PRACTICE

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Published by: Javier Arbona on Aug 06, 2010
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07/28/2014

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TOWARD A JUST METROPOLIS
:
From Crises to Possibilities June 16–20, 2010 Conference • San Francisco Bay Area
 
#DECODING MILITARY LANDSCAPES
//18 JUNE 2010 // A PARTICIPATORYWORKSHOP TO DEVELOP A PUBLIC ARCHIVAL PRACTICE:
http://bit.ly/demilit
 
WE BEGIN WITH THIS PREMISE
:
the crisis of the contemporary spatialcondition is produced in part by the hyper-expansion of militarization,operating in realms removed from public scrutiny and agency.
Military space
enforces conformity to a single prevailing mode and ideology of power. While space can be produced or transformed by a multitude of competingideological claims, for this workshop military space is simply meant to connote theexisting physical environment or imagined environments as these are configuredby military power, including private corporations. This basic definition is intendedto broaden the scope of what military space is, how it can be perceived as processrather than as spatial object, how it can be engaged, recorded—or archived—avoiding any preconceived idea about how military space does or does notmanifest itself. The legacies of the military exist at every scale of our society, from the historicbunkers of old military bases and tourist landmarks of earlier wars, to morecentral monuments like the Pentagon and its constellation of financial towers thatserve the defense industry. While the army base epitomizes the most literalentrenchment of military space, its sphere expands from the cordoned barracks tothe terrestrially detached orbital satellite. The spatial dimensions of militarypower persist at the very core of our society on through the grandest publicinfrastructure, and continue all the way to the atomized in the form of RFID tags,biometrics, video games, GPS, and our SSNs. Suffice to say, the environment hasalways been constituted by the spatial forces of military evolution, but todayhegemonic power only seeks to further erode any previous distinctions between‘military’ and ‘civil’ space at unprecedented scales. Military space is now apixilated blur of infiltrating actors —wealthy and legally insulated—whose logicposes great threat to the interfaces between ‘public’ and ‘private’, ‘human’ and‘mechanic’, ‘transparent’ and ‘fortified’, ‘civic empowerment’ and ‘subjugation’.
 
WHY AN ARCHIVE?
What is the political crisis of current
archival practice
?What should a public archival practice look like? If the evidence that societygathers and stores from history can no longer be used by the public to generatenew knowledge then what is the point of archiving in the first place? Who arearchives predominantly designed to serve and who are they meant to exclude?We want to not only challenge the current practices of memorializing as a systemof power, but to expose the techniques of this as they are rooted in the veryproduction of military space. The web itself is the archetypal example of amilitary-industrial complex archival practice, and the paradoxical nature of working with the web is up for critical examination—or outright rejection—as well.We welcome
hackable
project ideas.
 

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