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Find more of this series here. In July, Melbourne experienced a second wave of the virus and the introduction of further restrictions forced the city to a standstill. Workplaces, [expand title="more"]student accommodation and universities remained empty as local businesses were also required to close their premises. During this period, we witnessed public housing residents forcibly contained to several inner-city housing towers, and a small minority of anti-lockdown protestors used the Shrine of Remembrance as the backdrop for a supposed symbol of individual freedom. The structures of the state, city and its residents were again laid bare. This volume addresses many of these issues by gathering talks held prior to the pandemic alongside recent interviews. Kate Shaw shows how the recent lockdown of the housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne reveals the government's underlying attitude towards public housing tenants. Tony Birch used the Shrine of Remembrance as the site for his talk on the Indigenous protest movement Camp Sovereignty and the significance of monuments in shaping collective values. Nicole Kalms outlines the experiences of women in Melbourne's public spaces through data gathered by XYX Lab. Sarah Lynn Rees discusses the complexities of engaging and working respectfully with Traditional Owners when intervening in the built environment. Andy Fergus & Brighid Sammon expose the failings of planning in the modern development of Melbourne, and Philip Brophy declares the general failings of the built environment profession at large.[/expand]

The Politics of Public Space is a quarterly publication of transcripts that speak directly to the city and the way we read it.[expand title="more"]The first issue contains excerpts from Mark Jacques, Tania Davidge, Tom Andrews & Peter Chambers, Libby Porter and Claire Martin. Each to an individual extent touch on recent events which have shaped how Melbourne’s public spaces are discussed and understood. Tom Andrews & Peter Chambers provide a summary of their research into the development of general protective measures instigated by Governments here in Melbourne. Following the community response to the proposed redevelopment of Federation Square’s Yarra Building site, Tania Davidge spoke on the proposal and the relationship between physical and digital public space. Libby Porter outlines the processes of dispossession in the city and the Swanston Square apartment building. With Lincoln Square as the backdrop, Mark Jacques proposes devices of inclusion in the design of public space. Claire Martin speaks about the privatisation of public space, and how this impacts the way the city is formed and occupied.[/expand]

The Politics of Public Space is a quarterly publication of transcripts that speak directly to the city and the way we read it. The second volume addresses the effects of COVID-19, including the sudden changes in the way we interact and view our public spaces. [expand title="more"]It contains excerpts from Myria Georgiou, Saskia Sassen, Jack Self, Brooke Holmes, Ian Strange and Alfredo Brillembourg. This publication curates a series of global perspectives as we all come to terms with a new way of life due to the virus. Myria Georgiou observes the emergence of digital solidarity groups throughout the UK as inequalities and vulnerabilities are foregrounded. World-renowned sociologist Saskia Sassen reveals the pervasiveness of power as the fragility of our global connectedness is further disclosed. The true publicness of our cities is revealed in Jack Self’s account of protest and opposition to the political structures. Brooke Holmes depicts an interconnectedness between the health of the city and it’s citizens traced back to antiquity. Australian artist Ian Strange unpacks his understanding of the home as he recounts a decade of practice into the subject. And Venezuelan architect Alfredo Brillembourg calls to arms the architecture profession to deal directly with issues of injustice within the built environment.[/expand]

The objects of architecture are not simply inert assemblies of material—they are complex entities that unfold their potential agencies (whether political, social, or environmental) in equally complex ways. [expand title="more"]Exploring these forms of architectural agency has in recent years been a central aspect of the work of Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation, who, in addition to their built works, pursue a research practice through the many other media of architectural production. Their projects are reactive, intervening on what already exists to demonstrate how design, politics, and criticality operate across different scales and at the intersection of multiple realities. Jaque’s performances, videos, and installations—and this book, which collects a range of recent research projects—bring new subjects into the fold of architecture, focusing on alternative actors, distributions of power and representation, and the sociocultural effects of architecture. These episodes address ideas like genetic manipulation, the necessary requeering of dequeered spaces of online interaction, and the selling of modern architectural comforts in order to subvert the field from within and to contest capitalism's flattening-out of public life. Rather than propose alternative-from-scratch futuristic or idealized realities, Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation claim that reality is produced at the intersection of things like porn, interior design, maintenance, and the territorial distribution of toxicity. Documenting a series of performances, research projects, installations, films, characters, and exhibitions, Superpowers of Scale demonstrates the breadth of architectural knowledge and its possible representations.[/expand]

For the second year in a row we had the pleasure to get invited to the Taipei Art Book Fair. The original plan was to go there ourselves. But as it happens: something came in between…It turned out that one of the good things about books and magazine is that they don’t spread anything but joy and togetherness – so they went instead. Within our contribution box for this year’s TABF – a platform for artists and independent publishers to showcase what they’ve got – we packed a huge stack of the nicest, refreshing European printed matter. Next to a range of COVID inspired paper works as Home Alone: A Survival Guide by Max Siedentopf, a photographic diary of the lock-down by Stanislaw Boniecki or Isolate Zine, magazines as the very first issue of Alien from Portugal, The Politics of Public Space, SICK Magazine, Hinterlands and small independent publishers as Happy Potato Press, mono.kultur or Real Review were presented in Taipei. Even though, the first thing which came to our minds while looking at these pictures was: ‘Keep the Social distance, pals!’ it made us incredible happy to see the buzz at these 3 days venture into independent publishing. Well, all good things come in threes: See you next year TABF! And this time in real!  

For the 59th Biennale, Maria Eichhorn had the extraordinary idea of moving the entire German Pavilion to another location for the duration of the Biennale and then reassembling it at its original site after the Biennale. When she examined the structure of the pavilion for this undertaking, she discovered that it was not ONE building at all, but in fact, made up of two: the Bavarian Pavilion, built in 1909, and the extensions made by the Nazis in 1938, as can be seen today. While the Bavarian Pavilion was built on a human scale, the 1938 alterations to the main room and the adjoining room look intimidating and make the visitor feel small. Massive pillars replace the previous slender Ionic columns, and an additional 4 metres in height elevate the rooms to an oppressive size with a sacral atmosphere. Are these really spaces in which an open and critical reception of art is possible?⁠ By excavating the foundations of the pavilion and removing layers of plaster from the walls to expose the connections between the previous structure and the remodelled building, Eichhorn exposes not only the history but also the ideologies manifested in architecture. ⁠ ⁠ In addition to a vast photographic documentation of the project and numerous historical photographs, the publication brings together essays and studies on the history of the Biennale and the German Pavilion, as well as on broader aspects embracing art history, philosophy, urban sociology, and politics. Buy

Here at do you read me?!, we are blessed with all sorts of interesting customers. Tourists from all over the world in search of unusual publications (and lots of tote bags); awkward couples on obvious first dates searching our shelves for books as well as a basic thread of conversation; the occasional gigantic dog roaming in with its owner and promptly sprawling over a sizable section of our little shop. But in the end, nothing tops the simple pleasure of seeing a customer derive visible, almost tactile joy, when they finally hold the latest issue of their favourite magazine in their hands. This month’s installment of our Surprise Subscription is a prime example of this particular phenomenon. We are excited to share with you… Real Review!   More

Cantiere Barca is an experimental art and architecture project for public space that, between 2011 and 2013, involved dozens of people in actions of construction and place-making under the guidance of the architecture collective raumlaborberlin, in a neighbourhood at the farthermost northeastern corner of the city of Turin. [expand title="more"]In the years of endless crisis – in the economy, in politics, and in the environment – Cantiere Barcahas fulfilled the demand for the identity and social recognition of a group of residents, breathing life into a workshop of shared creative practices and an ex- change of knowledge, thus undertaking a journey from the urban periphery to the MoMA in New York. Cantiere Barca is also a case study, which has wit- nessed both success and failure, to ponder on the meaning of such concepts as collective, community, the common good, participation, responsibility, utopia, and future.[/expand