Site-Writing

Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • Sebastian Buser | Various locations in London Borough of Hackney and Tower Hamlets

  • 1/6 2/6 3/6 4/6 5/6
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (Wanc) has been described by its participants/punters as a ‘mish-mash’ of things: queer, feminist, creative, ephemeral, changeable, DIY and participatory. The DIY aspect of WANC cafe was its essence, it could only emerge through collaboration, participation and people volunteering their time. I therefore have attempted to research and write-the-site by employing these methods in the hope that it will evoke the multivalent nature of the cafe. These have been written up using the DIY format of a zine.

    The site of Wanc changed throughout the project; initially it was the event then it became the physical site of the buildings, the dialogical sites of the interviews/conversations/encounters, the site of oral history as well as the listening site of the recordings. These constellations of sites are presented in dialogue with one another. The writing further traverses multiple sites – they appear as transcriptions, a monologue, voice poetry collages and a collective poetry reading.  

    The module brief required that the project be accompanied by a commentary of some kind. Here the work and the commentary are entwined within the zine. The commentary’s use of intertextuality is employed to further contextualise the interscript devices used and their fragmentary nature. The zine becomes the archive, the writing, the documentation of the project as well as the work and the commentary. The zine operates to tell and show a history told by many, sometimes similar sometimes contradictory; it explores the relationship between the voice, transcription, interscript, collage, poetic form and history making.


    Biography:

    Sebastian Buser comes from a fine art and theatre design background and teaches art and design at OnCampus Southbank University. They undertook Jane Rendell’s module: Theorising Practices/Practicing Theory: Art, Architecture and Urbanism as part of their MA in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL).  

    They will be continuing developing their Wanc research, from a transgender perspective, through the Architectural History and Theory PhD programme at the Bartlett in September. Their main research interests are in queer DIY spaces, examined through the lenses of feminist philosophy, queer and transgender theory as well as exploring collaborative and academic writing practices. Sebastian continues to disseminate Wanc café in collaborative performances with UCL’s Urban Lab’s research project of disappearing LGBTQ+ Nightlife in London and the zine will appear in the forthcoming Whitechapel Gallery exhibition: Queer Spaces: London, 1980’s – Today.

    Sebastian has taken part in group and solo exhibitions, as well as collaborative performance lectures with Bird la Bird, Queer Armchair Walking: Capitalism and the City of London and performances with UCL Urban Lab Fabulous Facades (devised by Ben Campkin and Lo Marshall)


    Practices:

    My work has adopted site-writing practices that focus on the encounter between the work and the researcher; specifically, as Jane Rendell suggests, employing ideas of how one might write with the work or to the work. I have borrowed this site-writing technique to explore multiple sites (‘works’) such as sites of listening, reading, architectural sites and the site of my own body. This has been developed to encompass spatial practices such as hair cutting and transgender transitioning. The performative aspects of site-writing have been particularly influential, asking how the text itself can enact aspects of the spaces, places and locations being researched.


    Keywords:
    Queer, Poetry, Voice, Feminist, Women, Anarchist

    References:

    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 


    Other projects:
  • Situated Writing as Theory and Method (2019)
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21-24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016-2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • Heaton Hall: A Palimpsest (2017)
  • Phantom Railings (2012-17)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • Urban Literacy (2013 / 2014 / 2016)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23-26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • The Italic I (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
  • Back to Top