3 -DAY WORKSHOP ON CITIES
at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty
This workshop discusses cities as composites of small forces of energetic selves. Energetic self here is the dimension of the self that drives one to undertake specific activities connected to one’s desires. These could include - collecting strange objects, behaving like spies, writing stories, achieving mundane targets, opposing new ideas, making antennae to listen to strange sound waves, counting every tree, tracking obscure data, etc. Energetic selves also express themselves in everyday friendships and compassions. These practices go beyond the acts of routine and are considered unproductive in generating grand conceptualizations of cities. They are often discarded as stray individual preoccupations, anecdotes or subjective obsessions. While some of these are related to earning and occupations, others are simply ‘useless’. Everyone seems to have a trip that one lives with and for. Trips seem to provide individuals with their energy. Such energies, expressed in absurd quests, unusual obsessions and bizarre interests cumulatively appear to be producing the city. The city seems to acquire its generative energy from such small forces. In many ways the city seems to be a mad house and madness seems to be running it. Urban theory and pedagogy has seldom engaged with an understanding of these small forces or extended it for speculative / projective purposes. The workshop aims at exploring frameworks for engaging with small forces. The conceptual coordinates for this workshop will be the works of Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire, Peter Linebaug, Marcus Redikar, James Gibson, Abdoumaliq Simone and Solomon Benjamin.
The workshop will be conducted through 3 sessions (over 3 days from 6pm to 8pm IST). These sessions will be largely conversational anchored with short presentations (of 1 hour) that will make the provocations followed by responses and discussions. The session shall be as follows:
SESSION 1: Rethinking CIties as a composite of Energetic Selves
What are the dominant ways of thinking about cities? Why rethink them? What are the coordinates for rethinking? What are the methods? What are energetic selves?
SESSION 2: The Mechanics of Friendships & Compassion
How are urban moralities and ethics produced? What are the roles of friendships and compassions in making cities? What are the mechanics though which friendships and compassions work?
SESSION 3: Small Forces and Form
What are the frameworks / methods to understand small forces and mobilise them? How do small forces shape urban form and life and vice-versa?