Constructing Interstitial Heritage: Architecture, Visions and experiences

Inaugural conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 5-8 2012

This session aims to explore the past and present modes through which alternate cultural heritage can be preserved and encouraged. In particular, it focuses on the realm of the interstice: a “space, opening, crevice etc, between things near together or between the component parts of a body”. Interstitial heritage can be located between entities as well as within them. By nature, it creates an aperture that forms an alternate field and conduit to existent structures. It needs not to negate necessarily a prevailing socio-political and economic frame (though it may well do so), but it ultimately provides individuals and groups with a ground on which to construct their environment and express themselves within it rather than be subservient to it. In the city, for example, spontaneous occupations of grounds and temporary archisculptures have offered models of interstitial production. In the ever increasing flow of images during the 20th century, visual strategies aiming to build alternate banks of visual data have grown inside and outside of the constraints of the society of spectacle. In the every day life of an increasingly global world, numerous attempts have been made to propose behaviours and experiences that challenge the predicates of top-down social fabrics. This session is concerned with the history and the present of interstitial architectures, visions and experiences. And crucially, it is concerned with the issue of their safeguarding. Given the alternate nature of interstitial production and living, their sustainability is central to the articulation of empowered individual and communal consciousness. The panel invites proposals that explore historical and contemporary forms of interstitial heritage, such as spontaneous architectures and three dimensional constructions, visual archives and alternate visual production systems, as well as the transmission of a varied and fertile bodily creativity.

Gabriel Gee and Michelle Stefano for TETI, Textures and experiences of transindustriality,

Gabriel Gee, (Assistant Professor of Art History, Franklin College, Switzerland)

Michelle L. Stefano, PhD, (Program Coordinator, Maryland Traditions; Folklorist-in-Residence, University of Maryland Baltimore County)

Program, Wednesday 6th of June 2012

Session 1: 1.30 3-30 pm, room S005

Introduction: Gabriel Gee and Michelle Stefano: a bird eye’s view on constructing interstitial heritage (5mn)
Maria João de Matos (CIAUD, Faculdade de Arquitectura – Universidade Técnica de Lisboa): Spontaneous housing as element of cultural landscape – two capitals at the edges of Europe (20mn)
Worrasit Tantinipankul (School of architecture and design, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok): Thailand’s neglected urban heritage: challenges for preserving the cultural landscape of provincial towns of Thailand. (20mn)
Discussion 15mn
Jennifer Preston & Dr Naomi Stead (University of Queensland): The stairs within an urban slot: the interstitial architecture of Moore stairs (20mn)
Discussion 10mn
Brack Hale & Alison Vogelaar (Franklin College, Switzerland): “The Space Between”: The Problem of Natural Spaces and Invasive Species in a Global Era (20mn)
Discussion (10mn)


Session 2 4-6 pm

Marita Gilbert (Michigan State University): Celebrating the Saints: Black women in the interstices of 'home' in the post-Katrina recovery of New Orleans (20mn)
Alison Vogelaar: Making Space for a Revolution: The Rhetorical and Pragmatic Functions of the “Encampment” in the Operation Occupy Movement (20mn)
Julia Székely (Budapest, Central European University), Hacking the history in Budapest (20mn)
Discussion 10mn
Andre Cicalo, A voice for the past, discussing (missing) representations of the African slave trade in the urban space of Rio de Janeiro
Toby Juliff (Leeds College of Art), A spectre is haunting (Europe) the UK - the spectre of (communism) architecture (20mn)
Discussion 10mn