Disobedient archives: liberating the architecture of an urban genre
Adolfo Estalella (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Paper short abstract:
Moving between the digital domain and the urban public space, disobedient archives constitute an urban genre that infrastructures the liberating impulse of free culture
Paper long abstract:
Archives constructed by civic projects and activist initiatives have proliferated in the political climate of urban uprising that have spread over Spain in the last years: Urban allotments have been occupied to build community gardens and vacant plots of land have been furnished with new public infrastructures. Citizens and urban dwellers profusely document on the Internet these material interventions expanding the city in the form of archives that narrate the disobedient reinvention of the urban fabric. This archiving impulse takes a distinctive shape among a series of architectural collectives that have been relevant players in the urban scene in Madrid. Inspired by the liberating culture of Free Software and impinged by their professional sensibility, these collectives have been experimenting in the last years with the material architecture of archives. Drawing on an STS sensibility, I pay attention to one of these architectural collectives called Zuloark, an urban guerrilla whose professional activity is articulated around the construction of pieces of furniture for the public space and the documentation of these practices. Zuloark has experimented in their urban/artistic projects with the architecture of their archives by moving between the digital domain and the urban public space, translating into material infrastructures the digital repositories that account for their grassroots urbanism. In this paper I suggest the opportunity to think of these archives as an urban genre that infrastructures the liberating impulse of free culture.