City at a Time of Crisis



Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.


IV. Plastic Deformations of “Common Sense”

And so, we find ourselves at the cross-section between two crucial active processes that include, on the one hand, the shady characteristics of the financial crisis ––and hence, the articulations of the state of emergency as well–– and on the other hand, the persistent demands for the urbanisation of the military subject, with the necessary emphasis upon the asymmetric dimensions that characterise the contemporary environment of armed conflict.

III. Paradigmatic constructions at a time of crisis

Our brief but nevertheless demanding perambulation in both the world of linguistics and the field of epistemology aimed at setting the theoretical foundations for an alternative comprehension of the informal, undeclared and performative appearances of the state of emergency. We now ought to test out the limit of these, by peeking over the bleak present as outlined by the intensive police operations against select façades of public space in Athens and beyond. An opportunity to conduct such an exercise is offered by the coordinated eviction operations of specific squats that took place in the city of Athens in the period between December 2012 and January 2013 (whilst it is not yet possible for us to tell whether the current period, today, comprises a mere pause in the materialisation of this plan).

II. From language to paradigm.
The structural relationship between language (and therefore, its pragmatic function too) and law (and therefore, the state of emergency too) is also revealed in another, indirect way through Agamben's work. Many years before he attempted to offer some clarifications upon the central position of the notion of paradigm in his work, the Italian philosopher wrote: “exemplary is what is not defined by any property, except by being-called” [1].  It would therefore suffice to even briefly ponder over the definition above in order for one to see the similarity this holds with the exposure-to-language that Agamben focused upon in the late part of the same book, and to which he dedicated and continues to dedicate a large part of his work as a whole [2].

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About Us

City at the Time of Crisis is a research project tracing and researching the effects of the ongoing financial crisis on urban public spaces in Athens, Greece. Read more...