Blog 1

In the three readings “Occupying public space, 2011’, “The office of the people” and “The Artist Will Have to Decide Whom to Serve”  it discusses how public space can alter a person’s beliefs, environmental surroundings as well as the influence of expected behaviors. According to “Occupying Public Space, 2011” written by the authors Franck and Huang, it elaborates on the utilization of the public space Zuccotti park, as a location to conduct the “Occupy wall street” movement. Although Franck and Huang began the discussion of free will within the park atmosphere they slowly progress into demonstrating how people started to abuse the public space. Inmates who were freed from rikers as well as homeless people took advantage of the shelter that Zuccotti park provided. Despite the initial intentions of the usage of the park it progressed to a seperation between the “punks and political science majors”. Originally the use of the park public space is negotiated by the people, then slowly transitioned to law enforcement creating regulations and limiting the amount of activities as well as the reduction of people entering. The overcrowding of people, tents, clothing and mattresses changed the parks beautiful surroundings from being a place of freedom and speech to constantly being radared by the police. On the other hand, “The office of the people” it creates a platform of ideas regarding to who has power over space. Golan states that in order to have authority you must meet high economical statues, such as being a CEO or a master’s degree.  Behavioral activities are expected by the space, it tells you how to act, how to think, what’s appriopate and what’s shunned down upon. Golan supports the idea that places it should be an area where every can be them. “Most places in our society is restrictive, regulatory spaces meant to maintain the status quo”. Removing the negotiation of how public space is utilized by authorities into the hands of the people, it will initiate an increase on creativity and improvement arts and cultures. The redefining of such spaces,  it will allow people to give the space a story rather than space defining them. Jeanne Van Heewisjk’s article “The Artist Will Have to Decide Whom to Serve” also discusses how spaces can be altered by people and how “cultural interventions” can play a crucial role of public transformations. The usage of expressing one’s ideas and cultural beliefs can limit people being “disinvested and excluded from their own environment”. Undergoing a reform on public domains will enhance the number of “active citizens”. Heewisjk’s also points out that “becoming part of the community and being a part of neighborhood change is key”. This can ignite a public space to be filled with endless opportunities. Although this will redefine the usage of space, it has to be conducted carefully and with collaboration from the community. Overall all three articles discuss how the selection of negotiation on public space can generate a sustainable way of living where cultural and political beliefs can be expressed freely without authority regulating people’s behaviors.

One thought on “Blog 1

  1. Nora Almeida

    Great discussion of the tension between freedom and transgressive uses of space that can lead to surveillance and regulation of public spaces. Glad you highlight the significance of cultural interventions as both part of how the use of space is negotiated and how beliefs are freely expressed in public spaces. -NA


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