Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gijs van Oenen
: Architecture, Security and Interpassivity

April 2, Thursday, 17:30

ITU Faculty of Architecture (Taşkışla-Taksim) Lecture Hall 109

The 10th of the "Transdisciplines" lecture series organized by Garanti Gallery-Platform Garanti continues with Gijs van Oenen. The lecture entitled Architecture, Security and Interpassivity will take place at ITU Faculty of Architecture on Thursday, April 2nd.

Security is one of the most pressing concerns of contemporary societies. Gijs van Oenen discusses how and why this concern has become almost obsessive for us. Until the early 1980s, there was relatively little concern for security. Only external threats to society, in particular nuclear fall-out, raised security issues. With the advent of ‘risk society’ in the middle 80s, however, security rapidly became a social and political keyword. This change of objective was motivated by the increased fear of crime and particularly by the awareness of economic, social and technological ‘risks’. Society now had to be ‘controlled’. Strict control by government, however, does not fit easily with contemporary notions of emancipatory citizenship, democratic participation, and interactive politics. The defensive measures called for by the desire for increased security rather seem to indicate an absence of viable citizenship. This paradox can be explained by the shift from interactive to interpassive citizenship, and politics. Overburdened by the responsibilities implied by emancipatory citizenship, citizens tend to ‘outsource’ part of their responsibilties to external institutions, arrangements, and designs. Next to political and legal intervention, supervision and control is increasingly being exercised through new forms of environmental design, that may physically or electronically guide or restrain us whenever we threaten to transgress the norms of society. This will be the new shape of the ‘society of control’.

Gijs van Oenen is senior lecturer in practical philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He was born in 1959, and studied political science at the University of Amsterdam. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy of law from the University of Amsterdam in 1994. Next to the Erasmus University, he has been affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, Webster University Leiden, and the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design. He heads the research program Interpassive metal fatigue sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

The lecture by Gijs van Oenen is generously supported by the Consulate General of the Netherlands.