Agit Arch Experiments

In 1968, Hannah Arendt used Bertold Brecht’s characterization of an era–dark times–as a framework for exploring lives and actions of a series of different historical characters. The men and women she studied had little in common among each other, except for their ability to respond to the “dark times” in a way that Arendt found worthy of exploring, and even admiring. “Dark times” on the other hand, she felt recurred in history in different forms, always trying public figures and their contemporaries, and compelling those that interested her the most to find courageous and constructive responses in their actions and attitudes. She proposed that “even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination…” and in the collection of essays she introduces with these words, she indeed looked for illumination in lives lived and entire bodies of work. These are some of the premises of Agit Arch series of workshops. That we may be living in dark times is still relatively easy to ascertain for we still remember things could be otherwise, but the workshop will provide a platform for discussing and describing what dark times might mean to its participants. Agit Arch will be an experiment in both allowing us (as the participants in our own dark times) to produce seeds of the kind of sustained acts of illumination that guided Arendt’s characters, and her own work. Some of our work, depending on the participants’ interests and temperament might also focus on seeing and studying “illuminations” in things around us. 

To do all of this we will stay at least loosely tethered to the realms of art and architecture and their intersection with political topics. The three workshops will explicitly cover a collection of related topics allowing room for others. Direction for doing so will be provided by a series of guests, all involved in curating and broadcasting architectural discourse. Critical Broadcasting Lab supplies the medium and the register for the final deliverables of this experiment, we will provisionally and generously call it: architectural exhibition, as we challenge and experiment with its efficacy in the contemporary architecture media complex from biennales to Instagram.

Critical Broadcasting Lab is a space and a platform for the production of discursive interventions in architecture culture. Its key medium is the architectural exhibition broadened to include experiments with the entire contemporary ecology of broadcasting media. Its aim is to critique the contemporary, expose its deep histories and mount a form of a strategic preparation for the possibility of seeing and thinking a better and more just future for and through architecture.