Site-Writing

Francesco Borromini, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome (1640–50)  Erich Mendelsohn’s The Einstein Tower, Potsdam (1919-21).  Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The Uprising: on Poetry and Finance (Semiotexte, 2012). (Fink Inspirations) Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study http://www.tenstakonsthall.se/uploads/141-The_Undercommons_Harney_Moten.pdf  Daphne Brooks, Liner Notes for the Revolution: the Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2021). U.S. Theatre Director Peter Sellars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GD0BxzesTk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRDKPkv5o8E (Skantze Inspirations)

Four-Second Decay

Among the many artist researchers that have enabled me to realize my work I would like to name three here: Firstly, Emma Cocker whose exploration of spaces of not-knowing, aesthetic precision and perseverant coherence are a constant reference in my work. See No Telos! and the first publication of the SAR-Special Interest Group Language-Based Artistic Research.  Secondly, two film makers that fundamentally influence my approach to this medium: See Heinz Emigholz, whose film, among many others, Goff in the Desert changed my way of looking at architecture (see: https://mubi.com/cast/heinz-emigholz); and James Benning, whose film Thirteen Lakes has been a key stone of my visual thinking (see: https://mubi.com/cast/james-benning). I considered both artists – artist researchers in my opinion – to be masters of the practice of framing.


Hannah Williams, ‘Drifting Through the Louvre: A Local Guide to the French Academy.’ In S. Sloboda & M. Yonan (eds.). Eighteenth-Century Art Worlds: Global and Local Geographies of Art (New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019) 171–190. Iain Sinclair, The Last London: True Fictions from an Unreal City,  2017). La Friche Belle de Mai, a cultural arts centre building in Marseille.


The Aspen Journal, New York City, Roaring Fork Press, 1965–1971, nos 1–10. Series Editor: Phyllis Johnson. Studio International: Journal of Modern Art, London, July–August 1970, vol.180. no. 924. Editor: Peter Townsend, Assistant Editor: Charles Harrison, special 48-page exhibition curated by Seth Siegelaub. Convolution: Journal of Conceptual Criticism, New York City, Fall 2011–19, issues 1–7. Editor: Paul Stephens.


Bratton, Benjamin H., Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2015). Grosz, Elizabeth, Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2001). Harney, Stefano, and Moten, Fred, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions, 2013).

Elliot C. Mason

Late Spring (1949), dir. Yasujiro Ozu. Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic, (Faber & Faber: 2019). Heinrich Böll, Murkes Collected Silences, in The Stories of Heinrich Böll, (Northwestern University Press, 1995).


Henry James Portrait of a Lady Read one way, a proto-feminist tragedy. Read another, an acutely observed suite of vignettes about bodies, precisely positioned in spaces, that tell their tale without anyone having to say a word. Jorge Luis Borges Labyrinths A wonderful pastiche of scholarly writing that points up the absurdity of its model. Or just a book of compelling stories about spaces and how we know them. Mario Praz, An illustrated History of Interior Decoration A camp classic, and the best philosophical writing about cushions and curtains there is.

Edward Hollis & Rita Alaoui

Berger, John (1984/2005) And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. London: Bloomsbury. Cixous, Hèléne (2004) ‘Enter the Theatre’. In: Prenowitz, E. (ed.), Selected Plays of Hélène Cixous. London & New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 25–34.  Gilman, Charlotte Perkins (1892/1989). The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings. New York, NY: Bentam books.


All writing by Marguerite Duras, Hélène Cixous, Clarice Lispector. 


Julia Kristeva The Revolution in Poetic Language (Columbia UP 1984).      Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898).     Independent feminist activism.


Marcel Duchamp, Tu m’, 1918 Walter Benjamin, Passagenwerk [The Arcades Project]  Pierre Nora, Lieux de Mémoire, 3 vol., 1984; 1986; 1992 


The hotels of Argyle Street, King’s Cross, London Good Morning, Midnight (1939) – novel by Jean Rhys A Ghost Story (2017) – film directed by David Lowery


Max Porter, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, London, 2015. David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, New York, 1996. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Paris, 1958.

Max Olof Carlsson Wisotsky

Jane Rendell, SILVER (Hobart: A Published Event, 2017). 96pp., 32 illustrations.

Valérie Anex, Ghost Estates (photography series, 2011). http://www.valerieanex.com/index.php/ghost-estates/

Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopaedia of Trouble and Spaciousness (Dublin: Trinity University Press, 2014). 

Maria McLintock

Oliver Laric, Yuanmingyuan 3D, 2014, KODE Art Museums of Bergen Norway Hito Steyerl, ‘Is the museum a battlefield?’, lecture at the 13th Istanbul Biennial, 2014 Lito Kattou, Battlespot 1, HD video, 2016


John Outram, ‘London as a Mythological Landscape’. Lecture, Public Lecture series from the Architectural Association, London, August 8, 1991. (available: https://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=754 ) Barbara Maria Stafford, Visual Analogy: Consciousness as the Art of Connecting (Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press, 1999). Mark Dion, Archaeology (London: Black Dog, 1999).


Grotowski, J. (1969) [1968] Towards a Poor Theatre, London: Methuen Tschumi. Bernard (1990) Questions Of Space, London: Architectural Association. Williams, D.J. (2001) [1953] Hen Dy Ffarm/The Old Farmhouse, trans. Waldo Williams, Llandysul: Gomer.


Ed. Ruscha, and Mason Williams, Royal Road Test, (Los Angeles: self-published, 1967). Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, ed. John Sturrock (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1997) Kaja Marczewska, This is Not a Copy (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)


Adriana Cavarero, Relating Narratives. Storytelling and Selfhood, Routledge 2000. Rem Koolhaas, Fundamentals: 14. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura. La Biennale di Venezia, Marsilio, 2014. Caroline Bergvall, ECLAT. tour of a house, tour in a book, Institution of Rot, London 1994 [http://carolinebergvall.com/work/eclat-2/].


Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (2018) (Art Installation/Site specific) Shelley Sacks, Project Exchange Values: Images of Invisible Lives (Ongoing project) (Art Research project) Hello World: Revising a Collection, exhibition, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2018. (Art Exhibition/Project)


THE RED BOOK Author: Carl Gustav Jung Original title: Liber Novus ("The New Book") Translators: Mark Kyburz, John Peck, Sonu Shamdasani Publisher: Philemon Foundation and W. W. Norton & Co. Publication date: 2009 ON THE CONCEPT OF HISTORY Author: Walter Benjamin Source: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/benjamin/1940/history.htm Translation: © 2005 Dennis Redmond Accessed on: May 24, 2019 AGENT INTELLECT AND BLACK ZONES Author: Gavin Keeney Source: https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/agent-intellect-and-black-zones/2018/03/08 Accessed on: May 24, 2019


Jane Rendell, ‘Alien Positions’, in Site Writing (London: I. B. Tauris, 2010), pp. 244–7. Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands / La Frontera (San Francisco: Spinters / Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987). Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction’, in Dancing at the Edge of the World (New York: Grove Press, 1989), pp. 165–70.


James Wyatt (1746-1813), Heaton Hall, (1772), Greater Manchester, UK.  Rosalind Krauss, ‘Notes On The Index: Seventies Art In America. Part 2’, October 4: 58 (1977).  The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, (2013).


Benjamin, Walter. One-Way Streets and Other Writings. London: Verso, 1992. Sadler, Simon. The Situationist City. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1998. Stilgoe, John R. Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places. New York: Walker Publishing Company Inc., 1998.

Elita Nuraeny

Tan Pin Pin, To Singapore with Love, 2013, Singapore. (Film). Charles Lim Yi Yong, SEA STATE, 2005 – Present, Singapore (art works) David Jones, The Anathemata, 1952, London. (Poetry/novel)


Novel: Charlotte Brontë, Shirley. ed. J Cox (St Ives, Penguin classics, 2006). Fanzine: Laura Oldfield Ford, Savage Messiah (London, Verso, 2011). Exhibition: ‘The Colours of India’, London Quilters Exhibition (Swiss Cottage Library, 06 March-15 April 2017).


Donald Judd, 15 untitled works in concrete, (1980–84) Marfa, Texas Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology, London & Durham, 2006.


Katerina Bonnevier, Behind Straight Curtains: Towards a Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture (Akademisk avhandling, 2007).

Jennifer Bloomer, ‘Big Jugs’, 1991 in Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner and Iain Borden, Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (London: Routledge, 2000) 371–384.

Mieke Bal, Louise Bourgeois’ Spider: the architecture of art-writing (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2001).


Virginia Woolf, The Waves, 1931 (read in 1990) Jennifer Bloomer, Architecture and the Text, 1993 (read in 2000) Peter Weiss, The Aesthetics of Resistance, 1975 (read in 2015)


Italo Calvino, The Literature Machine: Essays, (London: Vintage, 1997). Nicholas Rougeux: https://www.c82.net/ Peter Greenaway, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover (1989)


Judith Butler (2001). What is Critique? An essay on Foucault’s Virtue, http://eipcp.net/transversal/0806/butler/en/ Catherine Belsey, Critical Practice (London: Routledge, 2002) Janet Wolff, The Social Production of Art (London: Macmillan, 1993)


Craig Dworkin, No Medium (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2013). Craig Dworkin, Reading the Illegible (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2003: Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. trans. John Sturrock (London: Penguin Books, 1997).


I want to reference three people to whom I owe heartfelt thanks, those whom have specifically informed and influenced this project and have since continued to inspire how I work and live. I am deeply grateful for the conversations Doreen Massey and I shared before she sadly, and unexpectedly, died on 11 March 2016 (and who had generously agreed to contribute an essay to Re: development), which greatly inspired directions for this project. In particular her conception of space as ‘stories-so-far’ offered me a critical lens through which to understand – and politicise – whom this particular place, The Green Backyard and other contested spaces, belong to. Much of this material can be found in her book titled For Space, but I also want to share here a link to Doreen’s essay titled ‘Landscape/space/politics: an essay’. It was after reading this essay I plucked up the courage to speak with Doreen in the sidelines of a conference at which she spoke, which prompted her to call me up one Sunday morning and kick-started a series of meetings and discussions. In Doreen’s collaboration with Patrick Keiller I saw her enthusiasm for working with others outside and beyond academia, and it did not seem too unthinkable to hope she might consider working with me. Doreen Massey, For Space (London: Sage, 2005). Doreen Massey, ‘Landscape/space/politics: an essay’ (2011), accessed 8 September 2016. thefutureoflandscape.wordpress.com/landscapespacepolitics-an-essay/. Another person I have been fortunate to come to know well during the lifetime of this project is Dougald Hine, social thinker, writer and founder of a series of projects and organisations including the literary journal Dark Mountain. In his text for Re: development, Dougald invokes the idea of ‘magic’ to reflect upon the qualities inherent in The Green Backyard, and other volunteer-run projects, by sketching out a model – beyond that of the public and private – which instead explores them within a logic of the commons. It is his three forms of language (Inward, Upward and Outward) needed by people close to a project to enable it to survive that I have continued to turn towards in times of challenge. Dougald Hine, ‘Spelling It Out’, in Jessie Brennan, Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016). Accessed 31 May 2020. dougald.nu/spelling-it-out-the-three-languages-you-need-to-take-a-project-from-dreams-to-reality/ One of the people I want most to express my gratitude to is Jane Rendell. I first came to know of Jane’s fierce intellect through Art and Architecture: A Place Between. In 2016, during my visiting research fellowship at The Bartlett, UCL, where Jane was my mentor, I was fortunate enough to get to know her bright mind and witness the endless generosity with which she shares her seemingly limitless knowledge and performs daily acts of care towards her students. Reading (and writing), of course, has its own particular relational qualities, and anyone who takes the time to pick up a book or scroll through an online essay by Jane will be rewarded, but in person the theories and practices upon which such books and essays are based, really sing. In particular, Jane’s practice of ‘site-writing’, in which she interweaves analysis, autobiography, archives, socio-political issues and writing in the expanded field, directly informed my artwork If This Were to Be Lost (and to which Jane’s essay contribution for Re: development responded). More recently for me, Jane’s concept of ‘critical spatial practice’, in which such practice critiques the sites into which it intervenes, continues to help me situate my work within a striated landscape. A public art commissioning landscape in which the language of intuition and everyday usage rubs up against the language of power and resources. Not every artist has the benefit of such a mentor and critical friendship, but every artist who has a situated practice and comes across the concepts of ‘critical spatial practice’ and ‘site-writing’ will undoubtedly be galvanized by Jane’s intellectual brilliance and generosity of knowledge, and by the feminist voice with which she speaks to the challenges of the sites, situations and situatedness in which we, as artists, architects, citizens, find ourselves. Jane Rendell, Art and Architecture: A Place Between, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006). Jane Rendell, ‘This Subjunctive Mood of Mine’, in Jessie Brennan, Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016). 


Rainer Maria Rilke. Les Fenêtres. Dix poèmes de Rainer Maria Rilke illustrés de dix eaux-fortes par Baladine. (Paris, Officina Sanctandreana, 1927)
A cycle of 10 poems on windows, seen as both separating and uniting the interior and exterior, life and death. 

Windows (1974), directed by Peter Greenaway.
A film about people who died falling out of windows.
https://vimeo.com/28777553 

Diana Fuss, The Sense of an Interior: Four Writers and the Rooms that Shaped Them (New York: Routledge, 2004).
Book, architectural history, about the interior life of four authors living with disabilities, seen through the architectural interiors where they lived. 


MUF, Making Space in Dalston maps (2009), London, https://issuu.com/mufarchitectureartllp/docs/making_space_big Gort Scott Architects, High Street London drawings (2009-2010), London, http://www.gortscott.com/project/high-street-london/ Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966), LA.


Karel Capek, War with the Newts (1936) Paul Nash, ‘Monster Field’, The Architectural Review, October 1940, pp. 120-1 Man Ray, Terrain Vague, 1929


Jen Bervin, (2017), Silk Poems, Nightboat Books: New York. Erica Van Horn, (2014) Living Locally, Uniform Books: Axminster Robert MacFarlane (2013) The Old Ways, Penguin: London


Kundera, Milan. 2009. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. France: Harper Pernnial Modern Classics. Armand, Avianti. 2012. Arsitektur Yang Lain, Sebuah Kritik Arsitektur. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka. Ware, Chris. 2012. Building Stories. New York: Pantheon Books


architecture: Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990), and Tecton Group 1934, The Penguin Pool at London Zoo, London, England. Reinforced concrete. film: László Moholy-Nagy, film, 'The New Architecture of the London Zoo', 1936, 16mm, b&w, silent/1S/ 15’30” book: Rosi Braidotti, (2006), Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, (Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden MA.)


Derek Gregory, ‘Dream of Liberty?’ in Geographical Imaginations (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1994) pp. 328–347. Allan Sekula, Geography Lesson: Canadian Notes /Allan Sekula, with essays by Gary Dufour and John O'Brian (Vancouver; Cambridge, Mass.; London: Vancouver Art Gallery and MIT Press, 1997). A happening by Allan Kaprow, Baggage (1972 - 2007/08) reinvented by Otobong Nkanga http://www.otobongnkanga.com


Krista Woodley, Let the Data Sing: Representing Discourse in Poetic Form, History, Vol. 32, No. 1, Poetry and Power (Spring, 2004), pp. 49-58

Richard Candida Smith (eds)(2006) Text and Image: Art and the Performance of Memory (New Brunswick N.J: Transaction. 

Eva Hayward (2010) Spider city sex, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 20:3, 225-251 


Mieke Bal, Reading ‘Rembrandt’: Beyond the Word-Image Opposition (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin, 1972). Jane Rendell, Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism (London: I.B. Taurus, 2010).


Hélène Cixous, Coming to Writing and Other Essays, (Cambridge, Mass : Harvard Univ. Press, 1991). Franco Berardi, The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance, (Semiotexte, 2012).  Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1984).

Emma Cocker & Clare Thornton

Book: Italo Calvino, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, (London: Vintage, 1998)


Alvar Aalto / Finnish architecture and design The work of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, for its combination of international modern architecture and local sensitivity. Also less known Finnish architects are of interest, such as Pietelä (expressive, unconventional public buildings) and Juha Leiviskä (strong rhythmic quality and play of light, see also my description in OASE#91). Finnish architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa has been a mentor of my work, he was one of the supervisors of my PhD, and we worked together on several occasions. I studied in Finland in 1998 and since remained a frequent visitor. In 2015-17, I was visiting professor of architectural design at the University of Tampere. Literature: magic realism I find great inspiration in literary descriptions of places, especially in magic realistic literature in which facts and fiction merge. For instance, the work of Gabriel Garçía Márquez depicting life in cities and villages in Colombia, Hubert Lampo’s descriptions of Belgian urban areas, or the recent novel Malva by Dutch writer Hagar Peeters about the physically and mentally impaired, disowned daughter of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Poetic landscapes. Poetic impressions of landscapes in poetry and painting. For instance the thin Dutch horizons in the work of painter Jan Mankes; the South American, Spanish and Dutch landscapes in the poems of Fleur Bourgonje; the meadows of Groningen in the work of poet Rutger Kopland.



This essay continues on a project initiated by “Inside the cave, outside the discipline” in Suzanne Ewing et. al. (eds.) Architecture and Field/Work (London: Routledge, 2010). Significant sources, besides my own curiosity in the spatiality of pre-historic cultures, are Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. B. Massumi (London and New York: Continuum, (2004) [1980]); Catherine Malabou’s What Should We Do with Our Brain? trans. S. Rand (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008) and Ontology of the Accident: an Essay on Destructive Plasticity, trans. C. Shread (Cambridge & Malden: Polity Press, 2012). A further inspiration for my weaving together philosophy, theory and on-site observations is the work of AbdouMaliq Simone.


Francis Alÿs, Railings, (2004), London.  On sharing a similar perception of London. I discovered this piece while developing the Phantom Railings.  Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag, 1971-95, Berlin. On how the absence of an object can be a stronger way to make it present.   Usman Hacke, Burble, 2006, London. On interaction and collective participation to make an object perform. 

Catalina Pollak Williamson / Public Interventions

The poetry of Anna Achmatova, T.S. Eliot and Rainer Maria Rilke, the sculptures of Doris Salcedo, Susan Hiller and Cornelia Parker, the writings of Karen Barad, George Elliot, Laura Harris, Luce Irigaray, Erin Manning, Doreen Massey, Brian Massumi, Jane Rendell, PA Skantze and Ali Smith.


Billy-Ray Belcourt, ‘Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects: (Re)Locating Animality in Decolonial Thought’, Societies 5, (1) (2015): 1—11. Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Jane Rendell, Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism,( London: I. B. Tauris, 2010).


Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project (trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin), (Harvard University Press, 2002) see above Keywords: Brixton, Walter Benjamin, London, autobiography, the city


Book Of Days, Linda France, 2009 https://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=28 

Westpark development, poetry installations by W.N. Herbert, 2004 http://www.urbanwords.org.uk/aplaceforwords/case-study-westpark.php 

Chris Jones, River Don installation, 2007 http://www.urbanwords.org.uk/aplaceforwords/case-study-river-don.php 


The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City, California. http://mjt.org

Brian Catling, ‘Written Rooms and Pencilled Crimes’ in Catling, Brian, Fisher, and Griffiths, Future Exiles: three London poets (London: Palladian, 1992).

Susan Hiller, From The Freud Museum, (1991-1996).


Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 1987, San Francisco: Aunt Lute. Ann Hamilton, Whitecloth, 1999, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut. Susan Hiller, The Last Silent Movie, 2007. 

David Roberts

Katie Lloyd Thomas, ‘Building while being in it: notes on drawing ‘otherhow’’ in Doina Petrescu, (ed.) Altering Practices: Feminist Politics and Poetics of Space (Abingdon: Routledge, 2007), pp. 89-112. Audre Lorde. ‘The transformation of Silence into Language and Action’ in Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: essays and speeches, (Crossing Press, 1984). María Lugones, ‘Towards a Decolonial Feminism,’ Hypatia, v. 5, n. 4. (Fall 2010) pp. 742-759.


Patrick Kieller, Robinson in Space, London (1997) Georges Perec, Species of Space and Other Pieces (1997) Elizabeth Diller, Bad Press (1996)


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