>> recent work

Below are some recent projects and publications. Complete details are available on the linked project pages. For more information on any projects, copies of publications, or to discuss collaborations on research, exhibitions, or publications, please contact me via email.

The Intelligence of Excess
a guest lecture by Etienne Turpin
MScDesign 6438 What is energy and how (else) might we think about it?
by Sanford Kwinter & Kiel Moe
Harvard GSD
Gund Hall 14:00-17:00

The hydropolitics of evacuation in Jakarta, Indonesia, during January 2014 floods.

The lecture will address the contribution of Georges Bataille to a theory of urbanism by way of the concept of expenditure. Bataille's articulation of a theory of general economy and his premonitory vision of the Anthropocene will help us to examine questions of desire, energetics, and waste within contemporary complex urban systems. Such questions will be addressed theoretically, but also, more importantly, as they play out in the context of Jakarta, Indonesia, where Etienne currently co-directs the PetaJakarta.org project for urban resilience and climate adaptation. As the Fifth Assessment of the IPCC confirms that the sixth great planetary extinction is now well underway, the question of how to collaborate with excess is no longer an aesthetic paradigm but an art of survival on a planet afflicted by a suspicious, violent abundance.

PetaJakarta Receives Twitter #DataGrant for
"Using GeoSocial Intelligence to Model Urban Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia" Proposal

From Twitter Engineering Blog:

"In February, we introduced the Twitter #DataGrants pilot program, with the goal of giving a handful of research institutions access to Twitter’s public and historical data. We are thrilled with the response from the research community — we received more than 1,300 proposals from more than 60 different countries, with more than half of the proposals coming from outside the U.S. After reviewing all of the proposals, we’ve selected six institutions, spanning four continents, to receive free datasets in order to move forward with their research."

Read more from the Twitter Engineering Blog here...
Read our interview with the United Nations Pulse Blog here...
Watch the video trailer here ...

PetaJakarta Receives UOW Global Challenges Strategic Funding

PetaJakarta researchers Ariel Shepherd, Tomas Holderness, and Widya Ramadhani during post-flood damage assessment survey in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The PetaJakarta research project was awarded Strategic Funding Support from the University of Wollongong Global Challenges 'Support Coastal and Marine Zones' Program. PetaJakarta brings together researchers in Australia and Jakarta with backgrounds in modelling, engineering, design and geo-social intelligence. Chief Investigator Dr. Etienne Turpin is a Vice-Chancellor’s Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the SMART Infrastructure Facility, where he is also the leader of the Geo-social Intelligence for Urban Resilience and Liveability Research Group. Chief Investigator Dr. Tomas Holderness is a Geomatics Research Fellow in the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Investigator Dr. Rohan Wickramasuriya is an expert in spatial simulation modelling in the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Investigator Professor Ian Buchanan is the Director of the Institute of Social Transformational Research in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Investigator Associate Professor Rodney Clarke is the Manager of the Collaboration Laboratory (Co-Lab) at the SMART Infrastructure Facility and is based in the Faculty of Business. Investigator Associate Professor Katina Michael is based in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Science.

Read more about the Global Challenges here ...
Watch the video trailer here ...
Read our interview with the United Nations Pulse Blog here...

Open Source City: Innovation & Urban Resilience from a GeoSocial Intelligence Perspective
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
'Innovation and its Contestants,'
5th Annual Emerging Scholars Conference
Department of Art History and Communication Studies
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

As cities evolve to become increasingly complex systems of people and interconnected infrastructure, the impacts of both extreme and long-term environmental change are significantly heightened. Understanding the resilience of urban systems and communities in an integrated manner is key to ensure the sustainability of cities, which face considerable climatic, economic, and socio-demographic challenges in the 21st century. As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta’s residents are exposed to rapid transformations of urban structures and systems. Recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme pollution, severe land subsidence, and river and coastal inundation make Jakarta a key site for researching and responding to the 21st century challenges of urban resilience. Moreover, the combination of Jakarta’s progressive municipal government, active civil society organizations, and increasing foreign capital investment all
suggest a unique potential for both transforming and improving the social life of residents through
a technologically-sophisticated, scientifically-innovative, and publicly accessible networked GeoSocial Intelligence framework.

In this presentation, we will argue that although the proliferation of social media might first appear as so much noise for civil and information system engineers, with the proper open source software innovations for gathering, sorting, and analyzing data, this noise can be transformed into critical information for both understanding and promoting urban resilience and democratic practices. By connecting network models of urban infrastructure to crowd-sourced and social media-based data collection, and then making this information and analysis available through a public, web-based platform, our project links innovative areas of information science research and multiplies the potential of each by producing an innovative, open source framework for citizen-participation in the co-monitoring and co-management of urban systems.

Combining 'Big' and 'Small' Data to Build Urban Resilience in Jakarta
Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness interviewed by Giulio Quaggiotto
for the United Nations Global Pulse Blog

The SMART Infrastructure Facility project PetaJakarta.org aims to help communities tackle the chronic problem of flooding in the Indonesian capital, using a combination of crowdsourced data, social media and big data analysis. Pulse Lab Jakarta (PLJ) conducts Big Data for Development research and so we were interested to hear more from directors Etienne Turpin and Tomas Holderness about their perspectives on citizen engagement and the role that big and small data can play to increase urban resilience.

Read the interview ...
Watch the video ...

From Noise to Knowledge: Crowd-sourcing GeoSocial Intelligence in Jakarta's Urban Villages
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
Association of American Geographers Annual Conference
Tampa USA

Session 4605 Environmental Justice Research
Contemporary Issues and Emerging Topics IV
Room: Room 5, TCC, First Floor (Paper Session)

Organized by Jayajit Chakraborty, University of South
Florida, and Sara Grineski, University of Texas at El Paso
Chaired by Bruce C Mitchell

Image: post-flood damage assessment survey with PetaJakarta.org/SMART Infrastructure Facility and Ciliwung Institute, Ciliwung River, March, 2014.

In this paper, I consider several forms of political violence and postnatural urbanism as revealed by the current DKI Jakarta government’s plan for widespread “normalization.” This normalization plan—whereby Jakarta’s urban poor are first blamed for congestion, overcrowding, and recurrent flooding, and then violently displaced, only to be replaced by more affluent and ecologically imperiling settlements—is presented as a an aesthetic strategy for “urban renewal” characteristic of the auto-hypnosis of development under neoliberal capitalism. This strategy is, fundamentally, an attempt to decisively and coercively separate “urbanism” from “poverty.” Rather than posing a critique of such coercive processes of dispossession, I attempt in this paper to show how a design research practice can create modes of interference among these processes. I will suggest how platforms for crowd-sourcing "geosocial intelligence" can be used to promote social emancipation and develop civic co-management strategies for infrastructure and resources that meaningfully alleviate political violence by advancing strategic forms of urban solidarity and community mobilization.

This paper was presented on our behalf by Ellen van Holstein (@ellenvan_h), a PhD Candidate in the Global Challenges Program, Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research, University of Wollongong.

Between a Rock and Hard Plastic: Art in the Anthropocene
Sylvère Lotringer in conversation with Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin
Human Resource Los Angeles

In 2008, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power dumped 400,000 black plastic balls into the the Ivanhoe Resevoir to block out the sunlight, which was said to be causing the formation of carcinogenic bromate in the water. Although bromide is naturally present in groundwater and chlorine is used to kill bacteria, sunlight created the conditions for potentially lethal consequences for the 600,000 customers in downtown and South Los Angeles served by the reservoir. With the addition of 3 million more black balls in the following months, the LADWP battled against the sunlight as it undertook a new, massive earthwork-a 55 million gallon underground reinforced concrete tank, stretching over 7 acres, and hidden by a landscaped park-as a buried replacement reservoir to eliminate bothe Silver Lake and the Ivanhoe Reservoir, which, as "open air" water storage sites, were said to be obsolete.

Covering the reservoir with millions of polyethylene balls as a stopgap measure to prevent the production of carcinogenic compounds while hastening to reduce whole ecosystems to mechanical, subterranean tanks suggests a few of the unintentional aesthetic maneuvers revealed in the Anthropocene. How does our understanding of human "intention" change as we enter the era of Anthropocene? What does the shift demand from contemporary artistic and curatorial practices? What conceits does the this transformation demand from our aesthetic regimes? Art in the Anthropocene editors Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin will discuss the aesthetic implications of the Anthropocene with Sylvère Lotringer by considering the relative mineralogy and plasticity of recent installation, video, and literary works.

Navigating Postnatural Spatial Politics: Jakarta as the City of the Anthropocene
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference
Philadelphia USA

As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta , Indonesia, is a city of remarkable complexity. However, recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme river pollution, river flooding, and coastal inundation have helped create, through multiplicative effects, one of the key sites for researching the combined effects of ecological and urban transformation as they influence 21st century Southeast Asian metropolitan existence. Our work examines the intersections of extreme environmental circumstances, especially the problem of inundation, and creative engineering and architectural production. Focusing on highly-dense urban locations that face the regular and damaging occurrence of inundation, our project harnesses the power of social media to understand pressures on infrastructure in the city. Our paper will explain our current research in Jakarta and develop the themes of the postnatural and hypercomplexity in relation to Asian Studies today.

125,660 Specimens of Natural History
organized and curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
in collaboration with Komunitas Salihara (Jakarta), Goethe-Institut (Jakarta)
& the Center for PostNatural History (Pittsburgh)

presented at Collecting Geographies:
Global Programming & Museums of Modern Art

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
13–15 March 2014

Bird of Paradise Found, Tring Public Collecting, UK

In the era of the Anthropocene, the assumed division between nature and culture is radically destabilized. By taking a nineteenth century colonial collection of natural history as a point of departure, the international touring exhibition 125,660 Specimens of Natural History: Re-imagining the Practice of Collection Through Alfred R. Wallace's Malay Expedition (to premier at Komunitas Salihara, Jakarta, 2015) develops transcultural artistic and curatorial methodologies as means to rethink traditional views on collecting, geographies, and museological genres in light of contemporary political and environmental issues. In our presentation to the Collecting Geographies conference at the Stedelijk Museum, we will discuss the conceptual framework of the project, including our research on other scientists working in the archipelago such as Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn and Ernst Haeckel, in order to provoke further reflection on how a colonial archive can be reassessed through intercultural collaboration to produce relevant, contemporary work about both the history of Euro-Asian colonial relations and their legacies in the present.

From 1854 to 1862, Alfred Russel Wallace travelled through the Malay archipelago, ardently documenting the region’s geography and biodiversity while amassing a gigantic collection of specimens for museums in England. By combining archival research at the Natural History Museums of London, Tring, Oxford, Berlin, and Leiden with research and artistic fieldwork in contemporary Southeast Asia, 125,660 Specimensof Natural History retraces key episodes of the expedition (as published in 1869 edition of The Malay Archipelago) to directly confront the radically transformed, postnatural landscape that has replaced the idyllic purity of Wallace’s colonial impressions. Importantly, we approach Wallace’s collection not with a retrospective view, but instead propose to critically reconsider his colonial archive from a contemporary perspective that opens up challenging multidisciplinary dialogues between Europe and Asia. Essentially, the project exposes a historic, colonial archive to contemporary local knowledge and unorthodox readings and critique by both European and Southeast Asian artists and curators. While large parts of the Wallace collection are stored in traditional European Natural History Museums, 125,660 Specimens inverts the geographic itinerary and returns to the original sites of collecting with the aim of examining this cultural repository from a contemporary perspective that engages alternative epistemologies and urgent questions about ecological collapse in the Anthropocene.

Our primary goal for this exhibition is artistic and collaborative knowledge production about how colonial collections have shaped conceptions of nature and culture, and categories of knowledge, and importantly, how such historic material can be appropriated meaningfully with regards to our shared present. The secondary objective is the extensive dissemination of the results of the project through the touring exhibition and the wide distribution of the bilingual publication in both Europe and Asia. We are convinced that the encounters between the postnatural and postcolonial frameworks, and the relations between scientific knowledge production and artistic practice, can only be further interrogated by intercultural research and experimental practices.

What Do Cities Tell Us About Their Inhabitants’ Desire?
An Interview with Etienne Turpin by the architecture journal TOURETTE | encounters

Nature Revealing Her Plasticity in Photoshop (After Barrias)

From the interview:
T _ Which is the most erotic component of an urban environment?
ET _ A urban environment is a wonderland of erotic potential, isn’t it? And not just for people who enjoy public sex and salacious encounters! Living in Jakarta, I enjoy the interminable erotic play of bodies. Bodies touch, bodies slide past each other, and bodies, whether on foot or motorized, are in a constant play negotiating common space. It is amazing to see how reserved and territorial people are in Europe and America, where they have so much more space! In Asia, but in Jakarta especially, the dense commonness of space means that bodies are not repelled from each other so quickly. They can’t move out of the way. They can’t be indignant about being in common. They have to touch. They have to interact. They have to laugh together, and get wet together in the monsoon, and eat and rest together in much closer quarters. It makes me wonder about the extreme feelings of isolation that people suffer from in Europe. Even if one is “alone in the crowd” in Jakarta, the real, physical presence of other bodies, of bodies in a common condition, radically changes one’s experience of the space. Architects have been so afraid of these realities, treating them procedurally and programmatically. As Francois Roche says in our recent interview, architects have impoverished their image of desire and contagion, but, inevitably, bodies desire. This has to be the most erotic component of the urban environment, the density, the contact, the friction created by desiring bodies sharing a necessarily common space.

Read more here.

TOURETTE | encounters looks at architecture as a loose and ever-changing discipline, dealing with everything spatial directly and by way of digital culture, shifting institutional ground, political and sociological issues, representational modes, drones and gorillas. Tourette recognizes the power of architectural discourse in the shaping of the discipline and the profession, and wishes to provide an open platform for the proliferating of ideas, debate and disagreement on issues related to the project of architecture in contemporary culture.

Ciliwung Perspectives on Biodiversity, Infrastructure, and Resilience
A Workshop with PetaJakarta.org, Open Street Map, Ciliwung Merdeka, and Universitas Indonesia

Urbanization of Jakarta: 1976 (6 million), 1989 (9 million), and 2004 (13 million). In 2014, the population of metropolitan Jakarta was estimated at 28 million.
Images from Landsat MSS & ASTER; courtesy of NASA.

Mapping practices have become an integral part of architecture and design, geography and urban studies, and social scientific research. In order to study the transformation of urban systems, researchers can no longer rely on inherited, proprietary maps; the next generation of urban scholars are learning to map the city with new tools and, together with residents, develop public, open source, and open access resources for civic co-management and participatory democracy. Essential for this work is developing a better understanding of the interaction between natural systems, such as watersheds and water catchment areas, and the urban systems which transform them. In Jakarta, the watershed of the Ciliwung River is a critical ecology that requires more comprehensive study and analysis; during the Ciliwung Perspectives workshop, we will examine the role of the Ciliwung as a site of biodiversity and conservation efforts, an area for urban renewal and stewardship, and a critical aspect of the disaster planning and mitigation projects related to flooding and flood response.

The Architecture of Mineralization
reviewed by Quaderns editor Ethel Baraona Pohl

d'Arquitectura & Urbanisme
Publicacio del Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya
Read Ethel Baraona Pohl's review here.

2014.02.05 - 2014.02.07
System Tests for PetaJakarta.org
w/ Dr. Tomas Holderness and Ciliwung Merdeka in Bukit Duri, Jakarta

Ciliwung Merdeka surveyors Ariel Shepherd and Yantri Dewi show the children in Bukit Duri the Beta version of our community mapping tool for rapid post-flood damage assessments.

As part of our project development for PetaJakarta.org, we are working with the Bukit Duri community and organizers from Ciliwung Merdeka to test our CogniCity open source software and the #Grasp OSS for rapid assessment and response. A very special thanks to all the Ciliwung Merdeka members, ODOS, Open Street Map Jakarta, Ciliwung Institute, FITRA, Universitas Indonesia, Robin Hartanto, Widya Ramadhani, and, most especially, the residents of Bukit Duri. Read more about the project here.

L to R: Dr. Tomas Holderness, Yantri Dewi, Widya Ramadhani, and Ariel Shepherd during post-flood survey in Bukit Duri, Jakarta.

As the Ciliwung recedes, damage assessments begin in Bukit Duri, Jakarta.

Additional photographs from our System Tests are available here. To read more about the project, visit the SMART Infrastructure Facility.

2014.01.17 - 2014.03.21
Art ITT presents the concurrent exhibitions
by Etienne Turpin
& Chicagoaxaca: Selections from The Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca
curated by Ivan Arenas
Art in These Times
2nd floor of 2040 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647 USA
17 Jan – 21 March 2014

opening reception
12 February 2014 6p.m.

gallery hours
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. M – F
contact us at art@inthesetimes.com

For a review of the show, visit Chicago's Bad at Sports Blog

How on Earth? Cartography & Curatorial Practice in the Archipelago
a launch for SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 – Excess (Summer/Fall 2013) – edited by Etienne Turpin

by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin
in discussion with Margarida Mendes
The Barber Shop
R. Rosa Araújo 5
(metro: Avenida)
Lisbon, Portugal

While geologists and stratigraphers debate the scientific merits of the Anthropocene thesis, culture workers remain precariously exposed to experiences of the planetary upheavals characteristic of our all-too-human epoch. If, as Peter Sloterdijk has suggested, our planet of terrestrial globalization has become a world interior of capital, what are the cartographic and curatorial practices that might respond to the ecologies of excess in this world interior?

At The Barber Shop, Scapegoat editor Etienne Turpin will present the project of “Excess” in relation to a series of cartographic assemblages that describe the globalized condition of the Anthropocene. Independent curator and Scapegoat contributor Anna-Sophie Springer will then discuss contemporary curatorial practice in relation to historical and geographical images of the archipelago. These presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion of the aesthetics of the Anthropocene, legacies of colonial cartography and collecting, and recent trajectories in artistic and curatorial practice that address our planetary construction site.

In both the presentation and discussion, we will consider the provocation of Michel Serres, who has suggested, “All possible encounters have been accomplished, undertaken, ended, foreclosed. The cycle is completed, the map of the earth has covered the earth. Space is inscribed upon the charts. The globe is perceived as a ball in a net of latitudes and longitudes.” With this event, we want to introduce several new perspectives on the relationship between the map and the territory; we hope the Lisbon launch of Scapegoat 05 will provoke a discussion about how artistic and curatorial practices can navigate our planetary excesses to co-produce worlds of pleasure, passion, and conviction.

Read more about Excess here.

Who Does the Earth Think It Is, Now?
a launch event for Architecture in the Anthropocene

Image of soil profiles from Three Holes: In the Geological Present by Seth Denizen

organized by Nabil Ahmed, moderated by Susan Schuppli
with presentations by Etienne Turpin, Seth Denizen, Eyal Weizman, Adam Bobbette, Paulo Tavares, John Palmesino, and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog
Center for Research Architecture
Goldsmiths, University of London
London, UK
More event information is available here

Read more about Architecture in the Anthropocene here.

Measurement as Argument:
Planetary Constructions, Postnatural Histories, and the Will to Knowledge

a seminar presentation on the Anthropocene

Photograph of A.R. Wallace's "Species Notebook" (1855-1859),
copyright by the Linnean Society of London.

by Anna-Sophie Springer, Seth Denizen, and Etienne Turpin
organized by Lindsay Bremner
Expanded Territories Research Group
Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment
University of Westminster
London, UK

In this Expanded Territories Seminar, we will consider the relationship among the construction of systems of thought, our knowledge of the Earth System, and what Michel Foucault, following Nietzsche, describes as the will to knowledge. By examining several key episodes in the mid– to late–nineteenth century—including Antonio Stoppani’s argument for an “Anthropozoic” era, Vasily Dokuchaev’s proposal for a soil science distinct from geology, Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn’s early cartography of Java, and Alfred Russel Wallace’s theory of biogeographical distribution—we can observe how measurement as argument has advanced our understanding of the Earth system in its manifold complexity. Because these systems of thought are not given, but produced, they suggest, according to Foucault, “what real struggles and relations of domination are involved in the will to knowledge.” As the Anthropocene as an object of knowledge is being constructed by stratigraphers and geologists, we can discern a series of affinities connecting measurement, aesthetic practices, and the production of evidence. How measurement as argument will challenge our inherited views of the architectural object in the Anthropocene remains to be seen; what is evident already is that this will to knowledge frames both our perception of the world and our capacity to change it.

Read more about 125,660 Specimens here.

Design Research in the Anthropocene
a launch event for Architecture in the Anthropocene

Francisco Goya's Duelo a garrotazos (c. 1820-1823),
from Nabil Ahmed's lecture "Earthly Poisoning: In the Toxic House."

lecture presentations by Nabil Ahmed, Seth Denizen, and Etienne Turpin
organized by David Clark and Suzanne Ewing
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
University of Edinburgh
20 Chambers St

Read more about Architecture in the Anthropocene here.

Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy
edited by Etienne Turpin
(Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing/Open Humanities Press, November 2013)
Available as an open access download here or for purchase here

Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is almost certain that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the Anthropocene thesis by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has also garnered the attention of philosophers, historians, and legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy intensifies the potential of this multidisciplinary discourse by bringing together essays, conversations, and design proposals that respond to the “geological imperative” for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice. Contributors include: Nabil Ahmed, Meghan Archer, Adam Bobbette, Emily Cheng, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Seth Denizen, Mark Dorrian, Elizabeth Grosz, Lisa Hirmer, Jane Hutton, Eleanor Kaufman, Amy Catania Kulper, Clinton Langevin, Michael C.C. Lin, Amy Norris, John Palmesino, Chester Rennie, François Roche, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Isabelle Stengers, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, Eyal Weizman, Jane Wolff, Guy Zimmerman.

> about the book

Although architecture has a sense of its place within broader socio-political and cultural systems, it has not, until very recently, acknowledged itself as part of the earth’s geology, despite the fact that it is a forceful geological agent, digging up, mobilizing, transforming and transporting earth materials, water, air and energy in unparalleled ways. With the Anthropocene thesis, architecture is called to think itself as a geological actor capable of radically transforming the earth’s atmosphere, surface morphology, and future stratigraphy. This extraordinary and provocative collection of essays, design projects, and conversations plots out what the planetary condition of the Anthropocene might mean for architecture, architectural theory, and design practice.
Lindsay Bremner, Director of Architectural Research, University of Westminster

The ground on which we stand—physically, conceptually, even ontologically—is becoming increasingly unstable. The same goes for our political, scientific, and planetary atmospheres. The histories of “civilisation” and “nature” are crossing paths. But how to live up to the transformation called the Anthropocene? Vectors of critical thought that align planetary politics with questions of the planning, organisation, the design of physical space and the making of environments have become urgent. This volume brings leading and emerging scholars and design practitioners together, allowing the most exciting edges of new research to speak to each other. It is a major contribution to an emerging field of study and will shape the direction of the expanded field in architectural and spatial research.
Anselm Franke, Head of Visual Arts and Film Department, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Read more about Architecture in the Anthropocene here.

Consuming Hong Kong
a launch for SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 – Excess (Summer/Fall 2013) – edited by Etienne Turpin

Photograph of Hong Kong coast by Jon Thompson (c. 1868-1872)

Broadway Cinematheque
(next to Kubrick Cafe and Bookstore)
Foyer area on 1/F
Prosperous Garden
3 Public Square Street,
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

To celebrate the launch of Scapegoat’s 6th issue - Excess - please join us for a discussion with contributors Melissa Cate Christ and Seth Denizen, Scapegoat editor Etienne Turpin, and moderator Hammad Nasar of the Asia Art Archive.

Read more about Excess here.

Reverse Hallucinations in the Archipelago:
From Early Javanese Cartography to A.R. Wallace's Collection

Photograph courtesy of Fred Langford Edwards

a lecture by Etienne Turpin on recent research in Indonesia
Asia Art Archive
11/F Hollywood Centre
233 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong

Etienne Turpin will present some of his recent work on the power relations which are revealed by practices of collecting. He will discuss some of his artistic and curatorial projects about the history of colonial collections and the production of natural history as a form of knowledge, including For a Minor Ornithology and 125,660 Specimens of Natural History. He will also discuss his current project that uses community-based data collection on open source platforms to promote urban and community resilience in Jakarta. By addressing the relationship between the will to knowledge and the perpetuation of violence, Etienne hopes to encourage a discussion of postnatural and postcolonial practices that foster mutual aid, interspecies solidarities, and resilient ecologies.

Read more about 125,660 Specimens here.

Without Exteriority:
Architecture After the Urban-Rural Dichotomy

a launch for SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 – Excess (Summer/Fall 2013) – edited by Etienne Turpin

from an adaptation of Jan Breughel and Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Eden (1615)

HKU/Shanghai Study Centre
298 Bei Suzhou Lu
(close to Sichuan Bei Lu)
Shanghai, China

By 1973, Raymond Williams’ The Country and the City had already located fundamental contradictions in the urban, academic image of rural life. For Williams, the rural was a myth functioning as a memory of the origins of the city; yet, despite his prescient analysis, the myth of a natural, conflict-free, rural space outside the city remains a compelling image even in our contemporary discourse. Following the continuing discussion of the rural-urban relation in China, initiated this year through the programming of the HKU Shanghai Study Center, this event introduces several new perspectives on architecture after the urban-rural divide.

In a discussion moderated by Daan Roggeveen and Xiaoyu Weng, Scapegoat editor Etienne Turpin will present the project of “Excess” as a means to better examine the past and present of urban-rural assemblages. Journal contributors Seth Denizen and Melissa Cate Christ will discuss, respectively, the therapeutic role of the pastoral in the psychosocial history of American urbanism, and the explosive growth of the garden as factory in Spain’s miracle economy. These presentations will be followed by a further discussion of China’s rural growth and its implications for designers and planners. If, as Peter Sloterdijk has suggested, the planet of terrestrial globalization has itself become a world interior of capital, we must examine how this global transition has entangled America, Europe, and Asia in a hyper-productive paradox of perpetual growth and the attendant crises of resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and megacity pollution. With this presentation and discussion, we hope our launch of Scapegoat Issue 05 will provoke conversations about excess, expenditure, and this architecture without exteriority.

Read more about Excess here.

For a Minor Ornithology
15th Jakarta Biennale

As part of the 15th Jakarta Biennale – Siasat – Etienne Turpin has curated the performance + installation work For a Minor Ornithology at the Pasar Burumg Pramuka in Jakarta, Indonesia. Accompanying the performances are a series of diagrams (below), and an essay written with Synapse curator Anna-Sophie Springer. The essay, “Some Notes For a Minor Ornithology,” considers the remarkable role of avifauna in the history of European scientific experiments, public museum displays, and taxidermy practices. The essay is available for download here.

Read more about Minor Ornithology here.

This essay anticipates the larger exhibition – 125,660 Specimens of Natural History: Re-imagining the Practice of Collection Through Alfred R. Wallace’s Malay Expedition – co-curated by Etienne and Anna-Sophie, in collaboration with Rich Pell of the Center for PostNatural History, for Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta. The exhibition will open in 2015.

Read more about 125,660 Specimens here.

Just the City: Rethinking the Image of Urban Poverty

a lecture & discussion with AbdouMaliq Simone
of the Hawke Research Institute,
University of South Australia
moderated by Etienne Turpin
for the launch of Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation, edited by Etienne Turpin, Adam Bobbette,
and Meredith Miller [English and Bahasa Indonesian bilingual edition]
(Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).
SMART Infrastructure Facility
UOW Building 6

As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta, Indonesia, is already a city of postnatural hypercomplexity. However, recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme river pollution, river flooding, and coastal inundation have made the city one of the key sites of research for urban theorists seeking to understand the pressures and politics of megacity transformation in the 21st century. Among the theorists engaged in such forms of inquiry, Professor AbdouMaliq Simone of the Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia, has developed one of the most robust and influential theories of “cityness” through his recent publications, especially in his monograph City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at a Crossroads (New York and London: Routledge, 2011). In his lecture, Just the City: Rethinking the Image of Urban Poverty, Professor Simone will present research from his ongoing projects in Jakarta, Southeast Asia, and Africa, where his work is committed to rethinking the image of urban poverty, the politics of informality, and the struggles for social emancipation within megacities of the global south.

This event coincides with the release of Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation, edited by Etienne Turpin, Adam Bobbette, and Meredith Miller (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013). Given Professor AbdouMaliq Simone’s central role in the theoretical approach guiding the book, not to mention his formative interview which appears in the book, it is especially fitting that he would give this lecture and participate in a discussion on the politics and paradoxes of urban poverty for to coincide with the release of the publication in Australia.

As architects, planners, and engineers all struggle to find ways to exercise their disciplinary agency through socially and environmentally responsible practices, and as the design disciplines attempt to reorganize their commitments in the face of explosive trends of urban growth, the discussion among Professor Simone, SMART Vice Chancellors’ Postdoctoral Research Fellow Etienne Turpin, and the UOW audience will consider how collaborative, engaged, situated research can advance more equitable urban development within the assemblage of the contemporary megacity.

Read more about urban resilience research in Jakarta here.

Political Violence & Postnatural Urbanism: A Seminar on Design Research in the Anthropocene

presentation by Etienne Turpin
for the Institute for Social Transformation Research
Faculty of Law, Humanities, and The Arts
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522 Australia
19.2072b (Research Hub)

I consider several forms of political violence and postnatural urbanism as revealed by the current DKI Jakarta government’s plan for widespread “normalization.” This normalization plan—whereby Jakarta’s urban poor are first blamed for congestion, overcrowding, flooding, and then violently displaced, only to be replaced by more affluent and ecologically imperiling settlements—is an aesthetic strategy for “urban renewal” characteristic of neoliberal capitalism in the Anthropocene. This strategy is an attempt to coercively separate “urbanism” from “poverty.” I will show how a design research practice can create modes of interference among these processes and suggest how architecture, as a practice of social emancipation, can confront political violence by advancing strategic forms of urban solidarity and community mobilization.

Read more about urban resilience research in Jakarta here.

Design for Hypercomplexity:
Megacities and Adaptation in the Anthropocene

International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure

a presentation by Etienne Turpin, Ph.D.
Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow
SMART Infrastructure Facility,
Faculty of Engineering + Information Sciences
& Associate Member,
Institute for Social Transformation Research,
Faculty of Law, Humanities, and The Arts
University of Wollongong
NSW Australia 2522

postnatural hypercomplexity, equitable urban development, urban poverty, climate change

In this presentation, I will define the key terms that frame my research for SMART in Jakarta, Indonesia, including: megacity, Anthropocene, postnatural, hypercomplexity, and adaptation. With this framework outlined, I will describe some of the most formidable obstacles facing my research and suggest why I believe that the potential for social emancipation at stake in this project demands a new social philosophy to bring together different trajectories of engineering and information science research.

Read more about urban resilience research in Jakarta here.

The Architecture of Mineralization
by Etienne Turpin
at the New York Art Book Fair

To anticipate the publication of Etienne Turpin's forthcoming (and long overdue) book Stainlessness by the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, we have released a special edition broadsheet publication featuring a short essay and a set of four prints which present the story of labor movements in North America and show how they have shaped the cities of Sudbury, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. While processes of urbanization have all but erased these struggles from our cities and left only ambivalent monuments to mark the past, contemporary architectural "capriccios" of The Architecture of Mineralization assert the centrality of labor as a force capable of transforming the nature of cities, the culture of America, and the geologic deep-time marked by the Anthropocene. The publication was designed by Sara Dean (linch-pin.org) and is distributed by Sound&Language.

To order copies or receive promotional samples for your gallery or bookstore,
please contact Sound&Language.
Read more about Stainlessness here.

Scapegoat: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 - Excess - edited by Etienne Turpin
at the New York Art Book Fair

Thanks to Sara Dean, Marnie Briggs, and Sound&Language / Alexis Bhagat for making sure the Excess issue made it to the New York Art Book Fair!
If you missed the book fair, you can order a copy through Amazon or directly from Scapegoat.

Read more about Excess here.

Scapegoat: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 05 - Excess - edited by Etienne Turpin
Available now on Amazon, direct from CreateSpace, or as a series of downloadable pdfs

Ours is unquestionably a time of excess. While currencies and commodities continue to circulate, reifying segregation and inequality throughout the global political economy, excess leaks out in all directions, sometimes fostering movements of resistance, other times permitting improvisational opportunism among often neglected actors, and still at other moments irrevocably damaging ecologies and environments which we humans precariously but ruthlessly inhabit. The pleasures and perils of excess cross divisions of class, race, gender and sexuality, while also reinforcing aspects of these and other identities. Can we design for, or among, the excesses of contemporary culture? How do practices of architecture and landscape architecture, as well as adjacent practices of art, curation, philosophy, and typography, suggest ways to amplify, capture, or redirect excess? In EXCESS—Scapegoat’s sixth issue—we explore the productive, resistant, and imperiling aspects of excess as an attempt to advance our project of emboldening theoretical and historical modes of inquiry, scholarly research, and design practice. It is a vast conceptual terrain, but one that offers many compelling perspectives.

The issue features contributions from: Hiba ABDALLAH, Ariella AZOULAY, Georges BATAILLE, Jean BAUDRILLARD, Alex BERCEANU, Diana BERESFORD-KROEGER, James BRIDLE, Melissa CATE CHRIST, Tings CHAK, Steven CHODORIWSKY, Amanda DE LISIO, Vicki DASILVA, Heather DAVIS, Sara DEAN, Seth DENIZEN, EMIL, ÉPOPÉE, Valeria FEDERIGHI, Natasha GINWALA, HEBBEL AM UFER, Lisa HIRMER, Gary HUSTWIT, David HUTAMA, Kate HUTCHENS, Jennifer JACQUET, Martti KALLIALA, Prachi KAMDAR, Stuart KENDALL, Chris KRAUS, Abidin KUSNO, Emily KUTIL, Clint LANGEVIN, Justin LANGLOIS, Sam LEACH, Stanisław LEM, Sylvère LOTRINGER, Filipe MAGALHAES, Danielle MCDONOUGH, Meredith MILLER, Srimoyee MITRA, Jeffrey MONAGHAN, Jon PACK, Keith PEIFFER, Rich PELL, pHgH, Rick PRELINGER, Thomas PROVOST, raumlaborberlin, John Paul RICCO, Erin SCHNEIDER, Ana Luisa SOARES, Scott SØRLI, Raphael SPERRY, Anna-Sophie SPRINGER, Antonio STOPPANI, Maria TAYLOR, Eugene THACKER, Kika THORNE, Emily VANDERPOL, Kevin WALBY, Eyal WEIZMAN, Jason YOUNG, Vivian ZIHERL, and Joanna ZYLINSKA.

Scapegoat Editorial Board _ Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette, Nasrin Himada, Jane Hutton, Marcin Kedzior, Chris Lee, Christie Pearson, and Etienne Turpin
Designer _ Chris Lee
Assistant Designer _ Raf Rennie
Circulation _ Tings Chak
Copy Editors _ Jeffrey Malecki & Lucas AJ Freeman
Excess Cover Design _ Prachi Kamdar
Excess Issue Editor _ Etienne Turpin

Read more about Excess here.

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation
edited by Etienne Turpin, Meredith Miller, and Adam Bobbette
[English and Bahasa Indonesian bilingual edition]
(Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013)
Available now as a downloadable pdf or from UI Press

As architecture negotiates its adaptive capacity in relation to postnatural hypercomplexities—the interactions among urban poverty, development, and design pressurized by global climate change—we participate in the construction of collaborative design research practices that offer architects a meaningful and decisive place alongside those struggling to exercise their practices of freedom through collective enunciations of urban existence.

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation is the result of a collaborative research platform investigating the intersections among extreme environmental circumstances, urban poverty, and architecture practice and production. Relying heavily on situated research, community engagement, and field observation, we conducted intensive site-based research to produce both the visual documentation and analysis of environmental pressure and the tools for urban poverty advocacy that promote practices of mutual aid and community resilience.

> about the book

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation is a brilliant work of interdisciplinary, international collaboration at its finest. The contributors bear witness to the fragile, tumultuous lives of water within a globalized hypercity afflicted by radical inequalities in access to vital resources and exposure to life-threatening risk. Above all, this book reminds us that detailed research and intellectual innovation are compatible with the ideals of advocacy, here advocacy for communities that must scramble to survive neoliberal onslaughts against their rightful resources. The book is essential reading for students and activists of the urban impacts of climate change, privatization, urban eco-design, sustainability, resilience and the environmentalisms of rich and poor, all mapped out in thoughtful detail on the body of a major global city.
— Rob Nixon, Rachel Carson Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
& author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation is a call to arms seeking to instrumentally deploy design for climate change and environmental justice, issues the future of our planet must address. Jakarta’s relationship to water provides a prescient case study with far reaching applications. The authors are invested in the role research can play as a speculative and projective act; providing agency and on-the-ground impact for those architecture most often ignores yet are most at risk for the effects of climate change.
— Lori A. Brown, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Syracuse University
& editor of Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture

Read more about Architecture + Adaptation here.