> Of course, each of us, in the sciences or in the arts, or even at the
> intersection, we develop creative means to by-pass this problem of indicating
> what the result will be before having done the first research or work.
One 'technique' may be constructed around the concept/model of the TAZ
(Temporary Autonomous Zone* of Hakim Bey) which parallels much of my
exploratory/experimental teaching work over the years -- where there (always!)
exist spaces in the social system, 'interstitial' spaces that are (relatively)
unstrictured by dominant social protocols. These are (definitely) not
necessarily physical, Cartesian spaces, but can exist within oppressive regimes,
capitalist markets, academic insitituions, *and* in mind -- but all equally out
of sight of The 'dominant' System.
Being aware of this concept may facilitate easier identification and occupation
of such spaces. These spaces cannot be bought although Annick's idea of
undefined budget line items is a nice corollary concept. I have found that too
close a corollation with money will destroy such spaces as money is 'owned' by
the dominant system.
There are risks in occupying such transitory spaces, however: institutions
verily despise the fact that they cannot exert complete control over *every*
space of their domain and they will use whatever resources they have to suppress
the uncontrolled. (This is especially true of 'disciplinary' spaces and the
problematic of being trans/cross/intra/post/ex-disciplinary.)
However, no system can exert complete control -- for that it would need an
infinite energy supply. So, a TAZ can -- in practice as an irruption of
'un-control' -- happen anywhere, anytime. The challenge is to identify, to
occupy, to participate in these phenomena. They are not normative, and require
an embrace of chaos to some degree (more-or-less depending on one's capacities).
One of the reasons I left US academia three years ago -- despite the inevitable
personal economic catastrophe that accompanied the departure -- was I felt that
the students I was interacting with were paralyzed by a fear of the uncontrolled
(art students, no less!!). I could not mitigate that fear. And one cannot occupy
a TAZ when fearful of unknown consequences.
The innovative challenge of finding, establishing, or facilitating such spaces
is largely about pushing back the social strictures and making a fearless space
of possibility. I do think it is becoming simultaneously more difficult (given
wide-scale/wide-dimensioned surveillance and monitoring of life by purveyors of
Big Data) and easier (given that the developed world simply no longer has access
to the energy needed to exert 'complete' control over their populations) to find
or create TAZs...
Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
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