Category: inspirations

eat your sidewalk

a new SPURSE project… eating as a tactic to claim and put into action our “right to change ourselves by changing the city” (Harvey, 2008: 23).

read the introduction to the project:

“Eat Your Sidewalk is an urban festival that challenges you and a community of like-minded participants to eat and live on what you find right under your feet for 7 days straight.  The goal of this immersive event is to change our sense of food, the local and all that surrounds us (plants, food, materials, waste, kindness, communities, and our fellow critters). Imagine a mash up of the 100 mile diet, plus foraging skills, and commons thinking, all combined with a closeness to the occupy ethos, and the slow food movement, — plus a healthy dose of experimentation and the simple pleasure of eating and sharing!

and find out more about it here, as well as on the spurse website.


‘crowd funding’, that is – as we framed it during the making of citámbulos – building up a circle of friends and godparents that get involved with a project already during the process that leads up to it is also a tactic of public engagement.

performance lecture (on research)

On research was a 2-day symposium at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, on possible modes of ‘artistic research’. In its presentation format, the symposium has also been the showcase of a very effective ‘engaging tactic’, namely of the performance lecture.

From the symposium website:

“The debates about new models in academia, art and education have drawn additional attention to the topic of “artistic research”. What academic methods do artists use and what artistic methods do academics use?

Complementing the discussion, Rabih Mroué and Hito Steyerl focus on the (im)probability of events in the research field of mathematics; Ina Wutdke and Dieter Lesage devote themselves to gentrification debates in the context of academic studies; Xavier Le Roy explains how the academic that he once was became an artist.”



Probable title: zero probability // Lecture Performance by Hito Steyerl and Rabih Mroué // Fri 04.05.2012 20:30h

Kuhle Wampe Remix, oder Wem gehört die Stadt? // Lecture Performance von Ina Wudtke und Dieter Lesage // Sat 05.05.2012 20:30h

Product of Circumstances // Lecture Performance by Xavier Le Roy // Sat 05.05.2012 22:00h


performance pieces

Ciudades Paralelas is an exploration of urban social relationships through the medium of performance and theatre. The engaging tactics at work in these pieces might be framed as the creation of ‘personal (more or less) guided encounters with the other/the unexpected’.

please have a look yourself: at  CIUDADES PARALELAS / PARALLEL CITIES

excerpt from the project concept:

“For “Ciudades Paralelas”, Lola Arias and Stefan Kaegi have invited several artists to devise interventions for hotel rooms, shopping centres, factories… functional city places, not usually thought of as interesting to the outside eye. Eight artists have each chosen a location in the city as observation stations for urban phenomena. Some of them chose to work with radio receivers or headphones, others with a choir or with people in their workspaces. The pieces vary in form: You can listen to some of them, others you can read or touch. Some are for 1, others for 100 spectators. Some of the performers are singers, others writers, passers-by or even the audience themselves.”

The project includes a piece by Ant Hampton & Tim Etchells in a Public Library: The Quite Volume!

Ciudades Paralelas – The Quite Volume

Smell in the City

A one-day inter-disciplinary workshop at Manchester Architecture Research Centre, in search for capturing, recreating and representing smells in, and of, the city.

///// from the introduction to the topic/workshop:

“A number of artists such as Sissel Tolaas and Hilda Kozari have recreated the odours of cities using the techniques of the perfumier, and writers such Patrick Süskind have described urban smell environments in words. More recently, graphic designer and sensory artist Kate McLean has experimented with and developed ways of capturing, recreating and representing urban smell-scapes using every-day materials.”

///// date:


///// call:


///// more information and registration email to: victoria.henshaw (at)



not-so-digital bodies

This is not my voice speaking

performance/installation by Ant Hampton and Britt Hatzius

Ant Hampton and Britt Hatzius take another look at the phenomenon of recorded voices and images, refuse to take them for granted and ask, implicitly, how our relationship to them is changing as they shift over to a more ‘solid state’. In pressing the button ‘now’ (more or less), in the dragging of a finger to slow the record, a bit, and in the unsettled clatter of so many frames of delicate film passing per second, ‘One’ and ‘Zero’ – that is you and me – find themselves closer to the clumsiness and steady deterioration of their own not-so-digital bodies.

more information here.



collapsing boundaries


Kat, we met David today – it was productive and we will try to finalise the call for papers by next week. Prior to meeting him we spoke and drew out some ideas.
We were thinking about how, as sociologists, we take sociology out and apply it to ‘real-life’ situations/objects and conversely how we might apply ‘real-life’ everyday situations to thinking/doing sociology.

Perhaps there is no need for this division.

It would be interesting to get papers that collapse and transform this boundary (between sociology and publics) in different ways.

So we have a beginning theme of: how do methods/strategies of dissemination relate to what you are researching? For example, how can Christian develop an informal method to research the informality of the city.

David gave us some ideas of speakers, after we suggested what our aims for the conference might be. These included ‘creating a dialogue between Phd researchers’, ‘ bringing together speakers who might not otherwise meet’, ‘engaging with the current and future climate of the politics of higher education’….

So we have plenty to do in the next weeks.

Clovis, Christian and I will come up with a list of potential speakers (important to note WHY we have suggested them), but in the meantime we agreed that we should all write a paragraph as a blog entry on what engaging tactics means to us. What/who should an engaging tactics sociology conference speak about/to? Lets all do this by the end of the week or asap!

Have a look at this also: unfolding academia. Previous Grad school Symposium – see links on the right for the specific activities/workshops they ran…. what do you think of these? Are they what or how you see the engaging tactics conference turning out?


Some other bits:


Brian, New Cross, April 19th 2011

reading machine

how to make a reading machine that is actually a writing machine

blog entry by Andreas Wolfsteiner, Ann-Marie Hanlon , Orsalia Dimitriou,  Christina Christoforou, Martin Glaz Serup, Adam  Drewes for the conference unfoldingacademia.

The piece is a set of instructions for collaboratively engaged reading … “step VII: Decide an eighth step”…


Centre for creative collaboration. London.

Space for collaboration

The Centre for Creative Collaboration is a neutral place where people from many different backgrounds – universities, large corporates, SMEs, freelancers – can work together on new things in the belief that real innovation happens at the edge and in the gaps between disciplines.

It is an initiative of University of London working in collaboration with Central School of Speech and Drama; Goldsmiths; Royal Holloway and Complexity Partners LLP.

The Centre supports new types of collaboration using the principles of open innovation providing space for collaborative projects and multi disciplinary working in an attractive and flexible space.

They also provide a catalogue of tools that can help document and organise a project.



from Mediations on making Aaj Kaal by Nirmal Puwar (in Feminist Review 100, 2012, p. 123-140).

“Over the last 10 years, there has been a proliferation of social research using new
media technologies, harnessing a range of materials and devices, including
photography, video, maps and blog diaries (Pink, 2001; Blunt et al., 2003; Rose,
2005; Blunt and Dowling, 2006; Kuhn and McAllister, 2006; Back, 2007). Alongside
the use of visual, audio and digital technologies, there is a steady emergence of
curatorial practices within the social sciences (Latour, 2007; Puwar and Sharma,
2012). Slowly, disciplines are making way for new modes for producing and
communicating research, beyond the flat page of the academic journal article or
book. The dominance of the written script in academia is gradually (and not
without resistance) being accompanied by exhibitions and events, including
theatrical pieces, music performances or audio and visual installations. Today,
these practices are often presented as encompassing entirely ‘new’ directions.
Suffice to say, these practices do not come from nowhere, they emerge from
somewhere. Although it is not always easy to ascertain the creative aspects of
social research in methods books, it is important to register that there have been
significant antecedents to the more experimental approaches currently being

The entire article can be read here: feminist-review


poetry baudrillard

Suicide moi – Jean Baudrillard & the Chance Band

Suicide moi – jean baudrillard & the chance band

“Baudrillard recites his poetry backed up by an all star band featuring Tom Watson, Mike Kelley, George Hurley, Lynn Johnston, Dave Muller and Amy Stoll, special guest vocalist Allucquère Rosanne Stone.” – if that isn’t a unusual tactic for a sociologist…

Live at the Chance Festival at Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Stateline Nevada, 1996 (according to Erick Diego… here comes the link.)

“a kind of” exhibition for showing “a kind of” progress

OMA’s Progress has just opened in the Barbican. Even if architecture is not particularly your field of interest, the exhibition is worth seeing for its tactics of data presentation and public engagement. In the following video, Rem Koolhaas guides through the show and refers also to the making of the exhibition, a process of collaboration – he refers to this process as the office’s “surrender” – with the curator team Rotor. The exhibition beautifully shows the potential of ‘curating’, captured in the simultaneousness of things and ideas, their relational stimulation and the possibility to express the processual nature of such simultaneousness and stimulation.

have a look yourself here…

an interview with the curators you’ll find at the Barbican webpage, i.e. here…

The ‘far side’ of engagement

Cleaning our office space we found this: “Beyond Engagement“, a conference in Manchester in 2007 on “Inclusion, Sport and Popular Culture”…

“Sport and other forms of popular culture” might not be at the centre of our focus but still, the question the conference organisers raised is an important one:

What happens after engagement
Where’s the development?”
What do you do when people are beyond engagement?”

As the organisers said: These are “difficult questions about the
‘far side’ of engagement.” WHAT ARE OUR ANSWERS?

more info on the Manchester conference here…

Making Things Public

Bruno Latour and collaborators on the exhibition “Making Things Public”, ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, 2005 (five parts, the first here…)

Curatorial managers: Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel
Curator of the web-based projects: Steve Dietz

The exhibition Making Things Public addressed the challenge of renewing politics by applying to it the spirit of art and science. more information here…