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+3 votes
I've been reading some situationist stuff as well as some Foucault recently. Foucault writes about power being built into architecture, and I wondered if those types of buildings can be détourned.

edit: There is a section in "At Daggers Drawn" that I was just reminded of, which I think is relevant.

"Anything that has been designed for economic or religious purposes cannot fail to impose anything but economic or religious desires. A desecrated church continues to be the house of God..."

by (290 points)
edited by
my knee-jerk tendency is to agree with daggers drawn author. but i think that a) that is overly materialistic, and b) if true, it might only be true for some interim period of values readjustment.
ie - right now as products of our culture, we have ingrained responses to particular kinds of builidings (which include echoes, distances, etc) but i can imagine that there could be a shift, when those same stimuli have different associations for us culturally.
tl/dr: i don't agree with noam chomsky.

2 Answers

0 votes
Detournment as an attack on a building would be to make it speak subversively. I'd recommend molotovs and dynamite. You might have a better way of doing it. Hakim Bey's concept of poetic terrorism comes to mind to aid in this endeavor.

Edit: Minor spelling/grammar corrections.
by (3.9k points)
edited by
+1 vote
yes, any building can be detourned. whether it will be sufficient to the purpose is another question.
the israelis famously drilled holes through walls in occupied territory. that is the most significant detournement i can imagine off the top of my head.
ursula k leguin talks about this topic in her short story "the day before" (i think that's what it's called), a prequel to The Dispossessed.
by (53.1k points)
it's called "the day before the revolution". i should go re-read it. :)