Wilderness Urbanisms 3: Refuge

Instructors: Cynthia Dorta-Quiñones and David Turturo

work by: Craig Bender, Christian Borger, Matt Gonzales, Dan Iordanov, Nick Kuhl, Rand Lemley


“disciplines are histories of denegation and what in fact disciplinary practice should be redefined as by the intellectual is a savage practice–a wild practice–so that the point was to transform the denegating disciplinary practice–a person within a discipline–une Pratique Sauvage.” Gayatri Spivak

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“cities are places in which relations of non-identity are possible, tolerable, even normal. They can encourage an indifference to matters of difference that affords certain protections and allows certain freedoms.”  Fran Tonkiss

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“[Benjamin focused on montage structures] as viewing instruments… they could reveal hidden secrets and provide glimpses of the estranged within the city of representation, ‘the tiny spark of contingency, of the here and now, with which reality has (so to speak) seared the subject.” Detlef Mertins

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“The stranger is close to us insofar as we feel between him and ourselves similarities of nationality or social position, of occupation or of general human nature. He is far from us insofar as these similarities extend beyond him and us, and connect us only because they connect a great many people… For a stranger to the country, the city, the race, and so on, what is stressed is again nothing individual, but alien origin, a quality which he has, or could have, in common with many other strangers. For this reason strangers are not really perceived as individuals, but as strangers of a certain type. Their remoteness is no less general than their nearness… the stranger is still an organic member of the group… of certain amounts of nearness and of remoteness.” (Georg Simmel)

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“In the person of the flâneur, whose idleness carries her through an imaginary city of arcades, the poet is confronted by the dandy (who weaves his way through the crowd without taking notice of the jolts to which he is exposed). Yet also in the flâneur a long-extinct creature opens a dreamy eye, casts a look that goes to the heart of the poet. It is the “son of the wilderness” – the woman who, once upon a time, was betrothed, by a generous nature, to leisure. Dandyism is the last glimmer of the heroic in times of decadence.” (Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project)



“…make its outline float in a wintry mist clinging to its innumerable chimneys; plunge it into deep night, and observe the fantastic display of the lights against the darkness of that gloomy labyrinth of buildings; cast upon it a ray of moonlight, showing the city in glimmering vagueness, with its towers lifting their great heads from that foggy sea; or revert again to that dark silhouette, reanimate with shadow the thousand sharp angles of its spires and gables and make it stand out, more jagged than a shark’s jaw, against the copper-colored sky of the setting sun.” Victor Hugo, La Esmeralda



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