Beyond Utopia examines the space beyond utopia’s concern with the primacy of the single idea. Set at the intersection of the architectural imagination, the reality of urban development, dialogical art practice, critical writing and fiction, the publication creates a space of speculation and an opportunity for conversation between multiple hybrid forms.
The book is edited by Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley and includes essays and works by:
Maria Fusco - writer and Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London;
Brandon LaBelle – artist, Professor of New Media, University of Bergen;
Marie-Anne McQuay – curator;
Paul O’Neill – curator, artist and writer;
Elizabeth Price – artist;
Jane Rendell – writer and Vice Dean of Research at the Bartlett, University College London;
Lee Stickells – senior lecturer in architecture and urban design, University of Sydney;
Robin Wilson – writer on architecture, art and landscape.
The publication is centred on a screenplay of a film never intended to be made. The screenplay restages the process and exchanges of a project that queries the function of utopian thinking in urban development and spatial culture.
The project, initiated by the collaborative practice of Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley with writer Robin Wilson aimed to establish a critical dialogue with institutions of city design and to find new sites of productive tension between the “real” and the “fictional”. Submitting a utopian architectural proposal for a real site in London to the scrutiny of the institutions that dominate the design and programming of city space, the project enacted a form of playful provocation, drifting in and though the procedures, systems and languages of planning, architecture and city development. As a fiction, the utopian work gained life as it was recounted and discussed, its narrative shared, activated and engaged through dialogue with and by officials and reviewers.
Elaborating on the aims of this project, the screenplay provokes speculation, proposition and play in the idea of “something missing” in the production of city space and urban relations. Writers and artists from various fields have been invited to fasten onto concepts raised in the screenplay, to develop their propositional nature and establish new grounds for speculation as to how to play utopia. The contributions juxtapose a series of discursive and visual systems that construct, conflate and collapse ideas on utopian thinking. Beyond Utopia presents the reader with a collage of reality. Created as a holding place for multiple subjective and discursive narratives and positions, it is as much defined by the gaps exposed between the works as the points of their intersection, overlapping and contingent relation. Beyond Utopia foregrounds and tests the limits of our present urban condition to reveal a state of continuing difference.
Edited by: Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley
Published by Errant Bodies Press: Surface Tension Supplement No. 5
ISBN : 978-0-9827439-3-5
Distributed by DAP , New York
Copyright 2012 / www.errantbodies.org
The Surface Tension Supplement series focuses on contemporary spatial and sited research and practice.
Series editors: Ken Ehrlich & Brandon LaBelle
Designed by: fliegende Teilchen, Berlin
Funding received by:
Arts & Humanities Research Council
University of the West of England, Bristol