Think Public Space SECOND ROUND
Work title: Urban Walls
Urban walls is a project which is not linked to an exact location, specific milieu or norms (here, we refer to different aspects of social diversity or economic power), but it ‘communicates’ directly with any given object or street in a city.
The main idea is to examine boundaries of ‘private’ and ‘public’, as well as ‘open’ and ‘closed’ including various socio-economic and political aspects of a society.
We have examined the importance of public space (what is its purpose?), the existence or nonexistence of genuine public space (who owns it?), concepts of its possible usages (who uses it?) as well as the whole picture it would give to the city (how does it look like?)
The idea is not to demolish existing spaces in order to create public space, but to fill neutral (tampon) spaces of the city (no man''''''''''''''''s land – public space being spontaneously arrogated). So-called tampon space placed between, next to and in front of and on top of various buildings would be seen as one universal vacuum space – new public space that belongs to everybody. The intervention is based on the permeation of the ‘public’ and ‘private’, which would reflect on the previously mentioned socio-economic and political aspects.
In this way, the binary opposition ‘public/private’ is deconstructed; the ideological stronghold, which is a warrant to such opposition (according to Derida we could say metaphysical binary opposition) and which allowed the formation of a socio-economic axiology (through clearly distinguished terms of ‘public’ and ‘private’; where the ‘private’, by definition, always meant an uneven capital distribution, and therefore a class diversification; while the ‘public’ rested on a fairly utopian concept of ‘public goods’, which, on the other hand remained under direct control of the State – under the influence of a certain power structure) loses the control over the difference between the ‘public’ and ‘private’, and therefore loses the possibility to speak in the name (and through the name) of a certain sphere of interest. In a word, the space becomes diffuse (on the ideological level). It no longer represents, at least not on a conceptual level, the delimitation of a region in which neoliberal discourse leaves its traces (though this option is not abolished), maintaining (or supporting) the existing class order thanks to the reproduction of the (private) capital, but, relying on tampon zone (zone of nobody`s capital?) opens itself to the public – civil. The space receives a new identity, where the public and private opposition can no longer be clearly distinguished. On the other hand, it does not mean that the public and private are obliterated from the space (nor that the difference is permanently obliterated – in the end, the opposition must exist), but that the space has deconstructed the difference i.e. made their ideological effects insignificant or at least invisible. The public spaces becomes the property of all citizens. .
In this way, blurring the difference ‘public’/’private’, the space becomes free – or more precisely, it belongs to nobody (or belongs to everybody). Capitalistic limitations based on the space of private property are liberated and lost in zero space (or ideologically undetermined space) of the ‘public’. The ‘public’ becomes blended into the ‘private’ and vice versa.
By isolating from the traffic areas, the level of security, freedom, undisturbed circulation and movement is increased; and a new ambient that allows greater social interactions is created.
Continuous spaces above the ground floor start bonding the city, defining it as a single space. Those bonds that bring all social groups together become equally available to everybody. Abandoned and ruined objects are renewed with new content (something that used to be private is now public) which would improve the cultural events in the city as well as the interaction between the citizens – they would represent the urban ruins merging the new and the old giving it a whole new dimension – symbolically the dimension of the deconstruction of the difference. Continuous paths have extensions over the streets; the spaces between the buildings, abandoned objects and vacuum space of the city are now turned into outdoor cinemas, sport facilities, playgrounds and all other content which is necessary to an urban environment.