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  • 1.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Aesthetics of Agonism and Informal Action of the Others: The Role of Architecture in Producing Agonistic Politics2012In: International Interdicsiplinary conference of “The Others”  University of Ljublijana, Slovenia- 16, 17 Nov 2012, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In contraposition to formal world, the so-called informal “others”, are not always passively excluded but operates actively through different forms of resistance and action. Informality is a tool for the excluded to create situations of participation through breaking the predefined and controlled frameworks in the society. These active forms of informality have the potential of inverting the position of “the others” as exploited, to the ones leading the changes towards emancipation. This, in many cases is materialized in urban spaces through occupation and transformation of architectural spaces and structures.

     

    Here the relation between two sides of otherness or their operations as formal and informal defines the politics of otherness. This politics produce different spatial characteristics. On the other hand architecture and planning can promote specific kinds of politics by defining this very relation. In a consensual model of politics advocated by post-political perspective, the dialogue among different positions is pacified by consensus and agreement. Ultimately it will leave no room for differences and otherness. But in an agonistic model of politics this platform will generate active dialogue through conflict and dissensus and create more chances for “the others” to participate. Architecture can prepare and develop this platform to generate ongoing dialogue between two sides of otherness.

     

    Some formal architectural and urban structures have the potential of creating specific situations to be used differently and informally. This informal use and consequently transformed architectural space is the scene for “the others” to be heard, to perform and to produce the dissensual dialogue. This paper studies the aesthetics of architecture of agonism. It will study how otherness can operate as a force in agonistic politics and how architecture can operate in this context to optimize the opportunity for the others to express themselves; how architecture can create a conflictual relation between “the same” and “the other” through the relation between formal and informal and how it will promote building up the emancipation project?

  • 2.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    De/Ascending: Torre David, The Second Episode of Ballard's High-Rise2015In: Lo-Res: Architectural Theory, Politics, and Criticism, ISSN 2002-0260, Vol. 1, p. 80-89Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    In Search of Utopia in The Silent Rebellion.2012In: Research Weekend PhD Presentation – Sint Lucas, Ghent, Belgium, 24-25 Nov 2012, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Interrupt2014In: Strong Research Environment Projects 2014, Architectural History, Theory and Method. School of Architecture, Chalmers University, 10-11 April, 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Interrupting Architecture2015In: On Theory and Method: Architects in Formation. KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, 5-6 Feb 2015, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Interruption as Dissident Gesture2015In: RUUKKU Studies in Artistic Research, ISSN 0080-5319, E-ISSN 2056-5917, Vol. 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We need to dissent. It would appear that politics of dissensus is the sine qua non for change in the world today. Nonetheless, consensus as a mode of government is an institutionalized gesture of democracy in the so-called civilized world. Consensus is the agreement upon 'one unique reality' despite the acknowledgement of differences in people's values and aspirations. That 'unique reality' apparently becomes the measure of judgment, values, actions, interventions and construction of the politics of exclusion and inclusion in different contexts. Universities and institutions of knowledge production are not exceptions within this global scope, but paradoxically, they are in a serious crisis: Where the norms should be contested, they have succumbed to the common pitfall of conformism – to academic consensus if you like, or 'professionalism', to borrow Edward Said's term. Within this discussion, it is essential to look at institutions for art and architecture research and education through the lens of the politics of dissensus. After all, art should dissent; it should 'introduce dissensus by hollowing out' that 'unique reality'.

    The journey in this paper, then, bypasses the question of dissensus, using artistic practice or artistic research not as a walking stick but as an axe to break through the uncompromising walls of institutions. It cuts through the problems of eradication of politics of dissent in the mistaken belief in institutional loyalty, and thereby investigates the potential of dissensus as a methodology in the field of artistic research and practicing it as dissident research.

  • 7.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Interruptor2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Pause2013In: Art Academy Research Days– Umeå Art Academy, 23-25 Nov 2013, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Pause: A Device for Troubling Routines2015In: Drawing On, ISSN 2059-9978, no 1, p. 75-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pause is a technique for troubling routines, a tactical device for change capable of disturbing established flows. Where urban public spaces are concerned, a pause is a device, an act however tiny that unsettles the balance or order of those spaces, bringing about a moment of dysfunction in which an individual is liberated for an unspecified duration. While the dominant power is busy ‘fixing’ this pause, alternatives can emerge. In this paper taking on the voice of a fictional character, I investigate the ins and outs of pause through the case of the Standing Man of the Occupy Gezi movement in Turkey (2013). The pause of Standing Man is used as a concept to rethink the architectural profession. Drawing on Lefebvre theory of ‘moment’, pause is discussed as an event destined to fail. This inevitable failure of the pause makes the moment of failure intense and tragic. In this way duration matters, and one of the contributions that architectural practice could make in working with pause would be to work with this duration – and to expand it.

    To study further how architecture can contribute to the idea of pause, a case of the unfinished building in Tehran during the 1979 revolution is discussed in relation to the Standing Man. The discussion is built up around the infrastructural nature of pauses, the importance of body politics to the idea of pause as a device and the post-production of space by means of occupation. In this regard, reflecting on the work of architecture, there might be a need for pause in the architectural profession itself, in its attitude to ‘completing’ the world.

    The narrator in this paper, an architect who participated in the 1979 revolution, examines the pause of the Standing Man through an architectural lens while watching a video of the event on YouTube. The argument is built up through a lecture on the subject, a discussion with a group of architecture students, and through snippets of nostalgic daydreaming and introverted contemplation. The flashbacks, the lecture, the movie and the train of thoughts interrupt one another, creating moments of pause in the narration. 

  • 10.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Pause: Unmapping Methods2013In: By Design Symposium “Plenitude and Emptiness”- The University of Edinburgh, College of Art, 4-6 Oct 2013, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    “Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.”

    (Don DeLillo, Underworld)[1]

     

    Standing in the middle of plentitude of images, objects, impositions, there is a need for explosion of silence, of emptiness where imagination finds a chance to flourish. Here architecture could become the art of editing, erasing, liberating, decolonizing the space. Design becomes a powerful method of thinking of planning a process to understand when we should stop adding to the world and instead decolonizing the space, creating points of pauses, ‘creating frameworks where interesting things can happen’[2] and at the same time breaking down those very frameworks. In other words it is about creating ‘infrastructure of pauses’; about “the architecture that leaves space for the uncertainty of the real”[3].

     That recent revolutions are mainly taking place through roundabouts, bridges, highways or in other words ‘infrastructure of high speed’, calls us to look more deeply at ins and outs of urban struggle and its subtle strategies. When increasing speed is the reality of today urban life, pause and slowing down, as a strategy to occupy infrastructure, blocks off and disturbs everyday routines and established flows. Metaphorically it makes a “stammering”[4] moment that is capable of being ensued by change in speed, shift in direction or building a completely new route. This shift, change or pause could be simply called revolution. In this matter pause becomes a method of ‘unmapping’ the city through action. Contemplating further on the idea of pause and its revolutionary potentials brings this question to mind if and how the idea of pause as a stammering moment could be applied in architecture profession and methodologies of performing in the world.

    Inspired by “fictocriticism” and taking the urban context as an established literary text this paper focuses on the concept of “pause” as a method to interrupt the dominant urban flows and tries to investigate how architecture (design) is able to perform and create ‘infrastructure of pauses’ to unmap the dominant city. How “emptiness” could not only be applied but also be created; not as a “terrain vague” but as a field that invites different forces and creates a revolutionary shift. To develop the concept of “pause” and its revolutionary potentials, part of this research[6] is being done through combination of images and text that is carried out by everyday photography.

    [1] . Don DeLillo, Underworld, Picador, 2011, Kindle ed.

    [2]. Rolf Hughes, From Form to Transformation, presentation from KU project at Konstfack, 17 May 2013

    [3] . Sten Allan, Field Conditions, 1985

    [4] . Gilles Deleuze, Three Questions about “Six Fois Deux”

    [6] . ”Image and Dialogic” research is an ongoing part of my PhD working with photography, dialogues and texts.

  • 11.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Revolution as The Moment of Silence: The Encounter of Formal and Informal and the Revolutionary Aesthetics2013In: Rethinking the Social in Architecture, Umeå School of Architecture, February 6-8, 2013, Sweden: Architecture In Effect , 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an urge to rethink architecture in our segregated and fragmented cities all affected by capitalist space production, where informality is the flipside of exclusion and segregation. The urgency of the discussion does not end and is not limited within informality. However what counts is the encounter of and the relation between informal and formal worlds. There are forms of emancipation emerging in this encounter, and I believe practices of architecture can play a significant role in enhancing and mobilizing these emancipating potentials that exist between formal and informal.

    Revolution is the vigorous infiltration of informal action to formal structure, an encounter of formal and informal without negating any side but transforming each side anew. It creates a space of “Andness” a space of encounter or the “spaces of silence” as Saskia Sassen calls it. Revolution is an unalloyed moment of encounter of the informal and formal. Hence, the revolutionary aesthetics can best describe the aesthetics of architecture in this context. The very moment of revolution is an authentic model of the realized revolutionary aesthetics, which carry with itself, a robust body of emancipation, a collective imagination, a continued passion for change and a realization of the established impossibilities. It is a dialectical moment of tranquility and agitation, pause and movement. However, in pre-revolution phase the potential is not amounted to that authenticity or in post-revolution phase it starts to be trapped in neutralization and de-politicization.

    The formal structures of modern cities according to Henri Lefebvre are the sites of the revolution. Without the formal structures, the revolution cannot be embodied in a robust body as such. There are many spaces in the city that have the potential of being used differently by people, by their everyday invention and informal action. During the revolution and through infiltration of informal, spaces of power could be de-territorialized and decolonized by a spontaneous participation and presence of people and these decolonized spaces are articulated through duration of action and movement to create chains of resistance and change. Decolonization and articulation of decolonized spaces are also becoming important in the revolutionary aesthetics; that is what can be extended and expanded through architecture aiming for enhancing emancipation in the encounter of formal and informal.

    Recalling the Situationist architectural proposals, such as Fun Palace of Cedric Price, there has been a vast effort before for creating such architecture; however all those exciting ideas stayed to a great extent unrealized. The automatic decolonization of space by the informal flows or actions can be a base for decolonizing architecture that enhances the potential of informality. Here the question is how can the aesthetics of revolution be applied in architecture? How the moment of revolution can be expanded by architecture, and how architecture performs through the processes of decolonization and articulation to create continuous conditions of encounter, exchange and dialogue between social classes? 

  • 12.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Scenography of Fooling2015In: On Theory and Method: Material Conditions. LTH School of Architecture, Lund, 23-24 April 2015, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Unchoreographed Dance: City and Revolutionary Aesthetics2014In: Cities That Talk - Gothenburg University- 11-13 March 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Writing at the Time of Revolution2012In: Architecture Writing: Experimental Approaches, Symposium and Worksho, KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, 24-25 May, 2012, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Your Proposal Does not Fit in Our Editorial Line: constructing a dissident researcher2015In: Transvaluation: Making the World Matter. International Symposium Searching for Alternative Making of Values Through and In Research, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article I discuss the possibility of and the necessity for dissident researchers in academia. I investigate the strategies of interruption as methods of engaging with the institution through artistic research and approaches. Art as a dissensual activity turns artistic research into a dissident research that can serve to question academic consensus rather than conforming to its established structure.

    In order to construct a dissident researcher, I go through three short architectural narrations of three places: a prison (as discipline), a school of architecture (as artistic research) and a library (as dominant discourse). These three narrations are combined with three formulae: amateur, fiction, misperformance or disloyalty; each acts as certain characteristics of dissidence that are pertinent to an ongoing micro-project explained here. Together, these aim to raise the question: How does perceiving artistic research as dissident research modify conventional evaluation systems and set up new evaluating strategies based on politics of dissidence. 

  • 16.
    Karami, Sepideh
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Van Toorn, Roemer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Ozmin, Janek
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Frykholm, Hannes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Hogenboom, Katja
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Soolep, Jüri
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    The Extraordinary Life of Elements Review Exhibition, UMA School of Architecture, October ­ November 2014:: UMA Research Group Review of the 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture: Elements of Architecture.2014Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Extraordinary Life of Elements Review Exhibition Editor Professor Roemer van Toorn, Professor Jüri Soolep, Sepideh Karami, Katja Hogenboom, Hannes Frykholm and Janek Ozmin, UMA School of Architecture, October 2014 consists of six separate reviews collated into a single exhibition. The content was captured on site at the Biennale including record conversations by the review group, interviews with Biennale exhibition contributors, collected media, photographs, sound recordings and videos by the authors. The collated work formed a pluralist, dialogical platform from which the Biennale Exhibition can be viewed. Alongside the printed review panels and video installations, a round table format was used to present various printed media, Biennale exhibition catalogues, and media from participating country pavilions and maps. This table then formed the basis for a debate on the Venice Biennale Exhibition by participating researchers. The Exhibition was mounted in Umeå School of Architecture and formed part of the Arts Campus Open House Research Days November 2014.

  • 17.
    Ozmin, Janek
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Van Toorn, Roemer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Frykholm, Hannes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Hogenboom, Katja
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Karami, Sepideh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    Soolep, Jüri
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
    The Extraordinary Life of Elements Review Exhibition, UMA School of Architecture, October ­ November 2014: UMA Research Group Review of the 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture: Elements of Architecture.2014Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Extraordinary Life of Elements Review Exhibition Editor Professor Roemer van Toorn, Professor Jüri Soolep, Sepideh Karami, Katja Hogenboom, Hannes Frykholm and Janek Ozmin, UMA School of Architecture, October 2014 consists of six separate reviews collated into a single exhibition. The content was captured on site at the Biennale including record conversations by the review group, interviews with Biennale exhibition contributors, collected media, photographs, sound recordings and videos by the authors. The collated work formed a pluralist, dialogical platform from which the Biennale Exhibition can be viewed. Alongside the printed review panels and video installations, a round table format was used to present various printed media, Biennale exhibition catalogues, and media from participating country pavilions and maps. This table then formed the basis for a debate on the Venice Biennale Exhibition by participating researchers. The Exhibition was mounted in Umeå School of Architecture and formed part of the Arts Campus Open House Research Days November 2014.

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