Sustainable Arenas for Weedy Sociality and Distributed Wilderness

Abstract

The process of globalization is causing a rapid decrease of diversity in the social, biological and cultural habitats, due to the dominant economic powers, such as proprietary communication technologies and transnational “life industries.” Physical public spaces, as arenas for a wide range of interaction and social change are losing their importance, as the global marketplace has shifted its locus from the accessible public markets to the dispersed and abstract global networks. Those physical spaces that remain have largely become ornamental simulacra of common living space - voids and deserts. In fact to call the city's voids deserts would do injustice to the harsh vitality of the desert habitats. Wastelands might be a more appropriate term in this context. It is not reality but the imaginary that we propose to grow again, in the heart of our cities. How? By seeding the city's empty spaces with 'weeds', by cracking the crystal lattices of the urban space and filling the cracks with accidents of speech, of unruly, untamed image and animate fabric.

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