Goldsmiths Art Research / Centre For Research Architecture

Questioning Practice Seminars: Session 8

!!!Change of Venue!!!

Studio A, Barriedale @ Art Research
2nd March, 2015 @ 1pm

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Emily Rosamond

The Unknown Unknowns
Daniel Fernández Pascual

The Unknown Unknowns:

Reading the Housing Crisis Through a Regime of Planned Uncertainty


Daniel Fernández Pascual

Can governance be exercised through that that we do not know? This research investigates how the failure in providing citizens with the universal right of housing allows to formulate the concept of a regime of planned uncertainty in a neoliberal economy. In order to do so, it uses the paradigm of the unknown unknowns to proof how uncertainty has been embraced to both carry out and resist evictions. Dismantling the welfare state in the name of the common good is a fallacy often used by neoliberal governments facing austerity measures. Even the very notion of affordable housing has become a violent way to exercise control over a basic human need. It is the constant redefinition of “the public good” and reappropriation of its subjectivity what can alter the status quo of current law, allowing to operate in complete opposite directions through a set of legal and policy circumventions. This research is structured in three chapters according to planned uncertainty tactics deployed by three key players in the provision of housing rights: real estate market, national governments and social activists, and how they appropriate each other's weapons. Chapter One focuses on activist citizens implementing house lotteries as a way to crowdfund debt in Andorra, Portugal and the U.S., given the uncertainty of any other body solving the problem of imminent foreclosure. Chapter Two revolves around real estate agencies using anti-squatting schemes as a market niche and the invention of the outsourced dweller in the Netherlands and the UK. The agreement on a potential eviction to happen any time is at stake in the newly invented forms of “licenses to occupy” vacant property. Chapter Three investigates the evictions along coastal land and how the Spanish state has kept the demarcation of the end of building land ambiguous enough to instrumentalise it for convenient demolitions. Two practice works constitute part of the research methodology to understand the problematic from within: a) signing my own license to occupy  in London; and b) implementation of a house lottery in Lisbon


Daniel Fernández Pascual is an architect, spatial practitioner, urban designer and researcher based in London. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at CRA, Goldsmiths University of London, focusing on the making of territorial boundaries through uncertainty, speculation, and the housing crisis. He co-runs Cooking Sections with Alon Schwabe, which was part of the exhibition at the US Pavilion, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their work has also been exhibited at the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin; Storefront for Art & Architecture New York; dOCUMENTA(13); Peggy Guggenheim Collection; CA2M; the Bartlett; ETSAM; TEDx Talks Madrid; Fiorucci Art Trust London; ACC Weimar; 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale; SOS 4.8; HKW Berlin; 2014 Biennale INTERIEUR Kortrijk; and have been 2014 residents in The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation, London. His work has been published in Domus, Volume, The State, and Sternberg Press amongst others. His contribution to Rooms: No Vacancy was shortlisted for the 2014 YAP MoMA PS1. In 2010, he founded Deconcrete and in 2011 co-founded TICK Journal at IFREX, Olafur Eliasson Studio.




Emily Rosamond

In 2007, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated that Google’s future ambitions were “‘to enable Google users to be able to ask questions such as “What shall I do tomorrow?” and “What job shall I take?”’[1] Such statements reveal an emerging cultural logic that goes well beyond mere prediction: a fully oracular ambition. An age of both big data analytics and unprecedented precariousness (for instance, in the job market, and in finance) brings great emphasis to future-oriented forms of thought; but what kinds of truth value can they claim? How do new predictive practices discipline decision? In light of these questions, I look to older arenas for envisioning the future, such as the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece, as loose reference points for a new body of work. How might idiosyncratic practices of prediction, which make use of unusual methods for reading objects, or emphasize the embodied experiences of oracles, speak back to the increasingly hegemonic predictive methods used today, and perhaps reveal something of their idiosyncrasies?

My ongoing project, Weathervane, presents an album of scores, salves and scaffolds for the decision-making process. I explore the oracular mode of address through object-making, song, dialogues with objects, video and performance. In doing so, I examine the libidinal economies that underpin the desire to know the future, and to imprint uncertain worlds with "good" decisions.

[1] Karl Palmås, “Predicting What You’ll Do Tomorrow: Panspectric Surveillance and the Contemporary Corporation” (Surveillance and Society 8:3), p. 347.

Questioning Practice: A Bi-weekly Art/CRA PhD Seminar

What constitutes the research in an object, spatial product, image or performance? How can we discuss its agency in relation to aesthetic, social, spatial, political, and philosophical research? This regular bi-weekly PhD seminar will explore the ways in which the making of an object, spatial product or image, and the conditions of its presentation, are subject to and modified through critical scrutiny. Each session will focus on the practice of two PhD students (drawn from either Art, Curating or from CRA) who will be invited to present their work under the premise of these methodological questions. This can take place in any available and accessible space at Goldsmiths that is appropriate to the practice.