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Translocations


In the near future, it will become important to seek the new possibility as much as possible and to produce the human space following the model of the collective. … Here, works are not "created" by a single author, but "produced" by collaborations regarded as the production of the space … and the space could be said to be a "public space"… This space can be realized by taking the way of the "public domain" or the "commons." Where do those "commons" exist?[21]

We might think of this as a new kind of translocal entity, which is an agent or agency to connect with us and others, and also to connect us with each other (this is also done, for example, by Knowbotic Research's IO_dencies project).

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From: Steve Dietz <steve.dietz@walkerart.org>
Date: Wed Mar 13, 2002 9:31am
Subject: Re: translocations


Yukiko,

Thanks. I think the movement you make from translocal to information commons is important. There is a certain parallelism between global/local, nomadic/fixed, public/private, which is very interesting.

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From: Raqs Media Collective <raqs@sarai.net>
Date: Wed Mar 13, 2002 8:28am
Subject: nomadism and routes


Dear Steve, Yukiko, and Guna,

It is great to see the list really warming up and all of our postings substantiating one another.

Guna has raised a very important point about the "limits of nomadic strategies" because, as he says, "there is a tendency for such strategies not to have a life after their initial interventions and effects."

While this is a very necessary caveat to keep in mind, it also presumes that nomadism is seen as being inherently contingent on impermanence.

We think, however, that nomadism is not a one-off singular movement from one location to another. It requires regularities, and returns. This is the difference between the nomad and the migrant. The nomad walks the same paths between places; the migrant leaves one place for another.

The betweenness of the first movement and the finality of the second departure enclose between them a world of a difference. In fact, this difference may be what we are struggling to define as the distinction between translo-cality and the hegemonic form of globalization. This is not to say that translocality is antithetical to all forms of the global imaginary, but of that, more later.

The paths on which nomads walk need to be maintained over time and across generations. While settlements have witnessed ebbs and flows, cities have been depopulated and repopulated, and so have trade routes. The entire history of Central Asia, and the languages that many of us speak, from Turkey to Bangladesh, bear witness to the obstinate persistence of nomadism across generations. This permanence requires that there be stable institutions of hospitality for practices of nomadism. Hence, sarais. Hence, the settlements that grew with sarais as their nuclei. Nomadism and location have in this instance at least a symbiotic relationship. And the decline of many cities and seemingly permanent settlements in our geographies has to do with the inability

21 See Henri Lefebvre, La Production de l'espace (Paris: Éditions Anthropos, 1974); author's translation from the Japanese ed. (Tokyo: Aoki-Shoten Publishers, 2000).