Contemporary Architectural Discourses, Subaltern Spatial Practices and the Resistance to National Identifications

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Sandra Zito, Independent Researcher, California, USA


    Experimental and radical architectural research on the transformations to contemporary political borders contributes to a critical discourse on the relationships between national identifications, state violence, and sovereign national borders. A comparative analysis of the works of Teddy Cruz, Stefano Boeri and Multiplicity , and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, et al., reveals the structural double bind between nations and states, immigrants and citizens, and fictive ethnic imaginaries and heterogeneous, multiple and mixed national and racial identifications. This paper analyzes three representations of the geopolitics of contemporary borders in terms of their contributions to a critical discourse on national identifications. Boeri and Multiplicity’s “Border Syndrome: Notes for a Research Program”, Cruz’s projects on the US – Mexico border, and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro et al.’s collaboration with Paul Virilio titled “Video Control Room and Dynamic Maps,” reveal the tensions between globalized capital and the movements of labor, which are producing new modes of identification. From a subaltern, or ground – up perspective of urban spatial practices, these works demonstrate how immigrant, refugee, postcolonial and other diasporic subjects are threatening the state ideological apparatuses of nation – states, particularly the institutions which reproduce national identifications, or the ethnos , as a homogenous racial imaginary. Refugees, immigrants and other diasporic identities are subject to increasing violence within civil societies of nation-states because of this; in fact, their bodies are the battlefield in which a war over identification is occurring. At the same time, these alternative identifications are the basis for re-imagining and re-organizing polities from around borders of racial domination and subordination towards ones around the empathy for historical differences.