2022 / Form of Resistance


Call for Papers: Form of Resistance

The edi­tors of AR/Architecture Research 2022—Form of Resis­tance—are call­ing for papers that, through research and/or projects, posit Form as a trans­mit­table rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the cor­re­spon­dence between acts of resis­tance, where­by its performance—superficies, space and shape—can be under­stood as a com­plic­it, even if at times spu­ri­ous, entwine­ment with substance.



The part is the whole: each of the two sides which is the whole goes back over to the oth­er: anti­do­sis twixt a lan­guage and a world; exchange of a reci­procity of proofs,” whose myth is that of the flood, when world things climb aboard the book of Noah, ark of the covenant, through the pro­ces­sion of nam­ing under pres­sure of the end of the world that has begun. On the thresh­old the throb­bing of lan­guage where criss­cross a world for the being who speaks of it and the poem of a tongue for a world there­in con­fig­ured, at this divide stands a sub­ject as in the utopia that finds its metaphor in every tim­ber­line: scene of the crease of the world’s dif­fer­ence through its fig­u­rants, as where for­est breaks with field, sea with land; a tim­ber­line path where the bor­der col­lie roams; said path where things break togeth­er, sand wave, snow mead­ow, alle­go­rizes the word thing divide for an utter­ance where­in the rhythm of their sym­ph­ysis is fig­ured. (Dokei de mega ti einai kai kale­pon lêph­tê­nai o topos) ( = Place is regard­ed as some­thing of great impor­tance but dif­fi­cult to grasp [Aris­to­tle, Physics IV, 212a 7; tr. note])1


1. Trees and Trajectories

As a child I was fas­ci­nat­ed by the shape of trees, espe­cial­ly the windswept ones that lined the marsh­es and beach­es where I roamed. We called the con­tort­ed oaks Scrub Oaks, and then there were the hunch­backed cedars and the two-faced red bay trees; all of them were shaped by acts of resis­tance to the con­stan­cy of the South­east Tradewinds. Their trunks and limbs—bodies—overtly expressed the inter­stice of their inter­nal and exter­nal resis­tance and the poten­tial ener­gy bound with­in. The inter­course between grav­i­ty-laden tra­jec­to­ry and wind gave way to trees that were short and twisted…gnarled, and the arched sweep of their limbs and leaves point­ed west­ward, acqui­es­cent­ly bow­ing to the relent­less­ness of the pre­vail­ing winds. The sto­ry of their resis­tance was etched upon their barked sur­face as evi­dence made man­i­fest through the reci­procity between inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or forces. Their form was their story.

The trees were a front­line of resis­tance that gave notice to the two topo­graph­i­cal sides of my own sto­ry. And when walk­ing upon their exposed roots and climb­ing with­in their limbs, I felt a tac­tile entan­gle­ment, a kind of uni­fied between­ness that I shared with the con­toured rough­ness of their forms: an entwine­ment that embod­ied the wry indif­fer­ence of the phe­nom­e­nal world. This embod­i­ment con­tin­ues to fos­ter the notion that per­ceiv­able forms are a cap­tured inter­stice of the dual­i­ty of resis­tance: the mnemon­ic trees; a body’s coun­te­nance, made vis­i­ble through the inter­face between DNA and grav­i­ty. And grav­i­ty – the silent har­bin­ger of spec­u­lar aware­ness, indif­fer­ent to both mat­ter and emo­tion, all-the-while sur­rep­ti­tious­ly pro­mul­gat­ing the latent poet­ry of decay. And to dis­miss gravity’s pres­ence, as a plum­met­ing Icarus found, is clas­si­cal­ly naïve.


2. Changeability

Any form of resis­tance is dis­rupt­ed when one oppo­si­tion­al part suc­cumbs to anoth­er. Pushed beyond the part's intrin­sic abil­i­ty to per­form, the sta­sis of poten­tial ener­gy acqui­esces, and the shape of bal­ance sways towards anar­chic reset­tle­ments, and as such forms alter – they change. Deguy’s tim­ber­line’, too, despite the sto­icism of its fig­u­rants, even­tu­al­ly shifts in one direc­tion or the oth­er, and the tem­po­ral dis­place­ment con­founds one’s mem­o­ry of place to the point of dis­ori­en­ta­tion: sym­phys­tic topogra­phies become frac­tured and are then uncan­ni­ly reset by Zeno as an attempt to keep pace with a fleet­ing present, only for that present to be usurped by the infi­nite com­pres­sion of time.2


3. Superficies

Super­fi­cies are observ­able modal­i­ties of resis­tance, the causal appear­ance or pro­jec­tion of coun­ter­ac­tive forces that are oft based on spu­ri­ous rela­tions to sub­stance. Joseph Brod­sky notes that surfaces—which is what the eye reg­is­ters first—are often more telling than their con­tents, which are pro­vi­sion­al by def­i­n­i­tion, except, of course in the after­life”3

4. Embodiments

Tim­ber­line [ 1 ], Pablo Picasso’s Guer­ni­ca [ 2 ], the Berlin Wall’s absence [ 3 ], Protest [ 4 ], Botticelli's Annun­ci­a­tion [ 5 ], Käthe Kollwitz’s engrav­ings [ 6 ], the fre­net­ic bell founder in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (the resis­tance of doubt) [ 7 ], a bed [ 8 ], the frag­ile taut­ness of the Steil­ne­set Memo­r­i­al by Louise Bour­geois and Peter Zumthor [ 9 ], the absur­dist sub­ver­sions of DADA [ 10 ], Richard Serra’s torqued steel [ 11 ], Ai Weiwei’s Seeds [ 12 ], Walk­ing.

  1. 1

    From Michel Deguy

  2. 2

    Excerpt­ed from the intro­duc­tion to the forth­com­ing exhi­bi­tion Form of Resis­tance, by stu­dio Paul O Robin­son at galer­i­ja Krško, Krško, Slovenija.

  3. 3

    From Water­mark, Joseph Brod­sky Far­rar, Straus & Giroux

Deadlines & Submissions

Abstracts: 15/05/2022
Papers: 15/08/2022