Online activism as a precursor to “Foam City” - a lecture by Alexandru Senciuc at PAVILION center

Monday May 13th 2013, 1:41 pm
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On the 09th of May, 2013, PAVILION center held a lecture with architect Alexandru Senciuc under the title: “Online activism as a precursor to Foam City”. Afterwards, we officially inaugurated our beautiful courtyard for a session of q&a and further interesting dialogue.

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The events from 2011 connected to the “Arab Spring”, to “Occupy Wall Street” or to the “Indignados” movement have demonstrated the potential of online technologies and have raised the next question: can the Internet support the coexistence of different democratic systems? In order to better understand this question I propose a comparative study between online activism and the “Foam City” concept, developed by Peter Sloterdijk in 2004. This concept defines public space as a collector space that allows the simultaneous existence of multiple and often contradictory events, that may be part of different democratic systems.

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The hypothesis is that emerging forms of the “Foam City” already exist, especially within online activism. In this sense, the objective is to build a theoretical model that allows the association between the Foam City concept and a series of existent practices and tactics through online technologies. Secondly, this theoretical model of the “invisible mobilisation” acts as an ontological organising system for public space. Through the different ways of cooperation and collaboration defined by online activism, the “invisible mobilisation” model seeks to complete the existing vertical city with an ephemeral, transversal city.

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Alexandru Senciuc is an architect and a young researcher in cognitive science. He did three years of studies at UAU “Ion Mincu” in Bucharest and finished the architecture master’s degree with a research mention at ENSA Paris La Villette in 2012. Among his accomplishments we could state the participation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale within the Atelier d’Architecture Autogeree team and the nomination for the Mies van der Rohe 2013 prize for the “Suceava Water Plant” project within the team lead by arch. Constantin Gorcea. Presently he works in Paris, as an architect within the Sensual City Studio / Jacques Ferrier and as a predoctoral researcher within the MAP-MAACC laboratory of CNRS France.

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