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Rodrigo Barros, 'Ideological Cartography of America' in On Site review 31: mapping | photography, Spring 2014


This essay begins with a quote from Vicente Huidobro's Altazor:
'The four cardinal points are three: South and North.'

Rodrigo Barros is an architect, musician and activist from Valparaíso, Chile. He is as interested in a critical and emancipatory practice and thinking of architecture as in freejazz-punk-dub and the poetry of everyday life. You can read his essay HERE.

previous essays of the week:

Thomas-Bernard Kenniff, 'Ethics and Publics' in  On Site review 30: ethics+publics, Fall 2013.

Joshua Craze, 'Under the Soil, the People' in On Site review 29: geology, Spring 2013.

Hector Abarca. 'Revisiting PREVI: housing as a basic right, from Lima to Vancouver' in On Site review30:ethics and publics  Fall 2013

Jeffrey Olinger.  'Interstitial.  The International Criminal Court, The Hague'  in On Site review30:ethics and publics  Fall 2013

Jessica Craig.  'Terrain Vague' in On Site review30:ethics and publics, Fall 2013

Clint Langevin, Amy Norris, Chester Rennie.  'The Sisyphus Project', in On Site review 29: geology, Spring 2013.

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dedicated to literary translation and bringing together in one place the best in contemporary writing. - See more at:
dedicated to literary translation and bringing together in one place the best in contemporary writing. - See more at:

Paper Monument is a print journal of contemporary art published by n+1 and designed by Project Project

Wasteland Twinning Network hijacks the concept of ‘City Twinning’ and applies it to urban Wastelands in order to generate a network for parallel research and action.

deepest modernism: discussions from Peru


criticat: revue semestrielle de critique d’architecture

French publishing house: great catalogues that look east and south, not just west.

[brkt] 2 Goes Soft, edited by Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard. 'Soft refers to responsive, indeterminate, flexible and immaterial systems that operate through feedback, organization and resilience. These complex systems transform through time to acknowledge shifting and indeterminate situations — characteristics that are evident both in the dynamics of contemporary society and the natural environment'.

Darwin Grenwich sails the oceans of the world on Blue Monday, a CS36 traditional sloop, while maintaining his IT support business by email and on VOIP (403-283-1340). He is especially good on Macs.



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at the sign of the fist

NEHouse. painted fist, 2009

The fist of solidarity.  No letters here, just a clenched hand as a measure of intent.  Wikipedia tells us it dates from ancient Assyria as 'a symbol of resistance in the face of violence'.  It was adopted by the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World, in 1917.  It was the Republican salute in the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39, and the salute of Smith and Carlos at the 1968 Olympics during the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.  It has become a symbol for human rights.

All of these symbols originate as demonstrations against violence.  The fist works two ways: one as a punching fist, the other as a stilled hand: closed, the opposite of the open hand of the nazi salute.  It is almost as if there is an implicit threat in the fist which can be a weapon but which actually comes from numbers, rather than any threat of individual action.

All the symbols this week have been against violence at the state level: civil and human rights, disenfranchisement, discriminatory policies.  And while not all are ancient symbols, none of them are new; they aren't brands thought up by a marketting agency.  Somehow these symbols carry a great dignity with them; their original intentions are so powerful that their message bypasses the intellect.  I do wonder if this bypass of the intellect is not at the root of power, and can be used for both good and ill.


The golden fist of Qahdafi crushing an American jet, 1986. Tripoli

Below is a stencilled version of the sign for Autonomism, which is allied with socialism, marxism and anarchism, influenced by the Situationists and has a number of autonomist wings in several European countries.  As the word suggests, it favours autonomous action against the structures and processes of capitalism, rather than an sort of organised mass movement.  It appears to be more guerilla-like, under the radar, with activities such as absenteeism.  But they have a sign.  

Autonome, at the Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Vienna, Austria


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