‘Memory and Place’ and the Dynamics of Social Space

Learning Lab Edition: Describing Architecture

Image: ‘I am the Mosque’ Hamid Buckhamseed, 2014

Venue: ‘Describing Architecture’ Exhibition, City Assembly House,
 58 South William Street, Dublin

Date: Wednesday 29 October 2014, 5:30 – 8:30pm

Time: 5:30 – 8:30pm

Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab in collaboration with MA in Socially Engaged Art, NCAD and the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, DIT


‘Memory and Place’ and the Dynamics of Social Space

In this Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab: ‘Memory and Place’ and the Dynamics of Social Space we invited artists and architects to challenge received notions of ‘memory and place’ and the dynamics of social space – to think and do in new ways to new audiences. To unpack/unsettle some of the prevailing methodological assumptions about ‘memory and place’ and the politics of social space – what Doreen Massey names as the often-unequal distribution of ‘geographies of power’.

Learning Lab interacted with Describing Architecture’s 2014 theme of ‘Memory and Place’ – comprising artists and architects working across painting, photography, mixed media, audio and film. This conversation also included presentations from Dublin-based ‘Vagabond Reviews’ and the NÓS architectural and design collective.

Whether working with or within intimate, contested, anonymous or regimented sites – refugee camps, domestic homes, public institutions, abandoned buildings, public arenas, border zones, cities, rural landscapes, housing estates or anything other – the dynamics of place and social space are repeatedly formed by intricate historical legacies and lived realities of local and global human relations.

How are we differently positioned as dwellers, architects, designers, visual artists, filmmakers and writers to critically observe, creatively imagine and contribute to the re- construction of places and social spaces? In what ways is the act of representation shaped by energies of co-creation, collaboration and participation? To what end and for whom?

Why does it matter that our cultural and disciplinary ‘toolkits’ are often determined by diverse ways of experiencing and knowing places and social spaces? How do we make sense of the human, affective dimensions of place? Can place and social space – with its traces, hauntings, marks and memories – speak its own tacit story? What role do artists and architects play in revealing the nuances of this embedded story?


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