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Call For Applications For Jan van Eyck Academie

e-artnow: 10.11.2008

Call for applications

Extrastatecraft: Hidden Organizations, Spatial Contagions and Activism
Jan van Eyck Academie

Deadline applications: 24 November 2008.

Artists, designers and theoreticians are invited to submit proposals for individual or collective research projects for a one-year, two-year or variable research period in the department of Design.

Extrastatecraft: Hidden Organizations, Spatial Contagions and Activism, a new project of the Design department, initiated by Keller Easterling, researches underexplored territory in the world's infrastructural and organizational strata. The work focuses on shared protocols, managerial subroutines and financial instruments as they produce and program physical space around the world. Perhaps because these organizations operate in the background, in an active and relational rather than nominative register, their political outcomes are often at once pervasive and mysterious.

For instance, how do organizations like the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or McKinsey determine management protocols? How do construction networks, more than the singular creations of architects and urbanists, disseminate materials and processes that determine how the world is calibrated? How do markets and financial instruments create templates that shape space?

The research also explores the political leverage latent in this renovated conception of global infrastructure. Some of the most radical changes to the globalizing world are being written, not in the language of law and diplomacy, but rather in the language of architecture, urbanism and infrastructure. Armand Mattelart argues that global infrastructure is a field that is 'young and uncharted' largely because it is often still considered in terms of national rather than international histories. Moreover, the political instrumentality of these increasingly familiar global spheres is still frequently theorized in terms of militarization or universal rationalization, when they might really be agents of more discrepant or obscure forms of polity. The notion that there is either a dominant logic or a proper forthright realm of political negotiation usually acts as the perfect camouflage for parallel political activity - the medium of subterfuge, hoax and hyperbole that actually rules the world.

Extrastatecraft will consider a number of tools effective in manipulating active organization, but will pay particular attention to the ways in which these organizations are really populations of repeatable components and formats, the arrangement and chemistry of which possess a political disposition. The project will research multipliers in the organization that make components contagious and powerful as shapers of polity, and will consider these as stealthy tools of activism. New objects of practice and entrepreneurialism, redefined in a relational register, reflect the network's ability to amplify structural shifts or repeatable moves. If icons of piety, collusion or competition often escalate tensions, might alternative design ingenuities distract from them? Having customarily absented itself from official political channels, architecture, as extrastatecraft, finds itself in an unexpectedly consequential position, manipulating codes of passage and points of leverage in the thickening back channels of global infrastructure.

While researchers will find in the topic many points of entry, some anticipated research agendas address the managerial and infrastructural substrates of space related to finance, construction, trade and marketing. Travel, language skills, archival experience and fieldwork will serve the research. Textual, graphic or design documents may contribute to the final collective product.

Candidates interested in this project can apply with a research proposal. Selected candidates gain the position of researcher at the Design department of the Jan van Eyck Academie.

Deadline applications: 24 November 2008.

The project will start in 2009.

To apply see: www.janvaneyck.nl
For content-based information contact: anne.vangronsveld@janvaneyck.nl
For practical information contact: leon.westenberg@janvaneyck.nl

Keller Easterling is an architect and writer from New York City. Her book, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) researches familiar spatial products that have landed in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world. A previous book Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America applies network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure and development formats. A forthcoming book, Extrastatecraft, examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity. Easterling has lectured and published widely in the United States and internationally. She has also published web installations including: Wildcards: a Game of Orgman and Highline: Plotting NYC. Her research and design work has been most recently exhibited at the Rotterdam Biënnale, the Architectural League and Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Easterling is associate professor at Yale University.

ENDS

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