Publication — Rising and Falling: How We Walk in Tampa

Rising and Falling: How We Walk in Tampa is a publication that resulted from our 8 month effort to work with walking, in a city that renders disposable bodies not confined to vehicles. This small book is our way of reflecting on our work, but it is also meant as a teaching and learning tool for young people in Tampa who may form their own walking communities. Contributors: Laura Bergeron, Rozalinda Borcila, Martin Bosman, Robert Brinkman, Desiree D’Alessandro, Sarah Hendricks, Sarah Lewison, Lou Marcus, Alan Moore, Raul Romero, Victoria Skelly

The book contains 5 durational walking projects and 6 walk/talks, folded in a handmade box. We have made a limited number of hardcopies (running out of the energy and time to make more boxes !!), and are distributing to friends and allies; please contact Rozalinda at if you would like us to mail you one. A hires pdf is available online at

This is a large file, please be patient. The book layout puts the walking conversations in relation with the durational walks; it includes images and descriptions of the walks and documents their translation in a number of different public exhibition situations. I am working on translating the booklet into a web-friendly presentation, with links to images and videos.

Below are excerpts from the Introduction, a transcribed introduction to a walking seminar with Sarah Lewison and the first walk/talk with Martin Bosman.
Many cheers


We Are Here – an Introduction

Rozalinda Borcila

Take [I 275 or I 75] to the [Fowler or Fletcher] exit. Go [East or West] until you reach Bruce B Downs Highway, turn [North or South] to Pine Drive, follow Alumni Drive, pay and park. Along the way you may see one or two people standing on the side of the on/off ramps – what the locals predictably refer to as “the crazies”. If the Shriner’s Hospital is fundraising, you may spot men in funny hats standing at one of two major intersections. During shift changes at the Mall Food Court, the occasional uniformed worker may dash across Fowler Ave from South to North. Or maybe you will see an orange-vested highway worker on foot. You drive on highways and 8-lane roads and 5 lane-roads, to smaller streets not equipped with sidewalk or shoulder. And you arrive here, where we invite you to our ongoing conversation about walking: about who walks in our city and who doesn’t, and whether walking is even possible in such a place. We want to ask about walking as a signifying practice, as a form of self-experimentation and self-knowing, as research, as trespass, as a marker or pointer… We want to ask about how power is encoded in the built environment, and about practices of daily life which can, as Henri Lefebvre has suggested, “make the edifice totter”: about walking as an attempt to break down and repurpose the city, to vacate its spaces of their current function and put them to different use.

This small publication emerges out of these ongoing discussions. It centers around a selection of 5 durational walking experiments in Tampa, and a number of contributions from scholars and researchers. But first we must situate ourselves in relation to a certain history and institutional structure.

All of the projects and all but one of the contributors are affiliated with, and financially supported by, the University of South Florida. This publication is partially funded by the School of Art and Art History, which has a long tradition of experimental pedagogy and social art practice. The art projects began their lives as part of a Performance course I taught in Fall 2007; given the highly experimental nature of the Sculpture/Ceramics program, our students frequently develop performative projects which investigate, and intervene within, the space of the city. After several months of work in locations throughout Tampa, the art projects were formalized in a number of exhibition settings: the Oliver Gallery on campus, the University’s Contemporary Art Museum, the Tampa Art Museum and Going Green, a city-wide fair on sustainability and ecology also organized through the University. The students/artists included in this publication are continuing their collaboration, seeking ways to work beyond the structure of the course which brought us together. Initially, this departure seemed simple: beyond the temporal limitation of the semester, the power relations and physical location of the classroom. However, sustaining such practice has implied not merely an exit from the advantages and limitations of the current institutional structure, but also the necessity to build something else: other structures, other functions, other spaces, other forms of cooperation and conflict. This publication comes at a crucial moment in this ongoing process, a moment of great indeterminacy and potential – which it can merely point to and not, as of yet, reflect upon.

This project is also supported by the Center for Getting Ugly – a sort of counter-institution which has been operating in various ways in the last 4 years or so, a self-organized open infrastructure intended to facilitate cooperative practices. The Center itself is a function of the desire to experiment with collective dissent and conflict as proper artistic and political work. Even though none of the current projects are formally affiliated with it, we include here an excerpted transcript from Sarah Lewison’s oral introduction to a workshop organized by the Center for Getting Ugly at Versionfest Chicago, which eloquently outlines some of the most important aspects of our own ongoing discussions about walking and not walking, and their institutionalization.

The publication includes a number of folded “maps” – outlining four durational walking projects, as well as a collaborative intervention which is deployed in a number of different contexts. It also includes contributions from a number of scholars and researchers whose work I found immensely provocative, and who in various ways address the complex relationships between space and power that seem to be at the heart of the matter. Instead of essays or interviews, these contributions were solicited as walks/talks in different locations and under different circumstances (including a sleep walk/talk recorded by artist Desiree D’Alesandro). These wandering conversations are documented in extensive excerpted transcripts. My sincere gratitude to all the contributors for their inspiring work, their honesty and candor.

Sarah Lewison / The Center for Getting Ugly
An Exercise in Stumbling
April 2006, VersionFest, Chicago (excerpted transcript)

The Center for Getting Ugly is an open infrastructure dedicated to practices of collective dissent. The Center operates on the premise that, given sufficient practice, we can develop collective revolutionary “organs”. What would it mean to develop new organs, new functions? We think that it requires a kind of plasticity in terms of available repertoire and prior experience, and that there needs to be the possibility of modification through experience.
The purpose of this meeting or workshop is to complicate our understanding of walking as a practice — this is an exercise in stumbling. By “workshop” we mean that we hope people will join with us for an active investigation on the ground, to attempt to develop a deeper understanding of walking and not walking as practices of aesthetics, politics and social organizing on different scales: from the scale of individual subjectivity, to the scale of mass actions of political resistance. But we can also think of working across different scales: for instance, human ecologist Paul Shepard talks about the development of the human eye so that it can see detail and color with speed and depth – to what degree may seeing itself be compromised by not walking? There are implications for the development of organs and biological functions, for instance…
Walking is an act that facilitates the passage through boundaries: metaphysical, political and physical. The Center sees walking as being a form, and we are looking for responses to such a definition. We see walking as certainly signifying a form (not a new form, but a long latent form for organization), and as a signifying form – one that has a high potential for criticality.
Recently I haven’t been able to walk because of an injury – sitting on my ass, I receive a proliferation of calls for psychogeography festivals. What do they mean? There is a problematic about these calls… which can be questioned. We are interested in how these calls are coming from increasingly stable locations, and how the practice and exhibition of psychogegraphy is increasingly institutionally sponsored…. small institutions, non profit institutions – but still, we wonder about the trend.
What then are psychogegraphies? The derive: walking as a form of research, a starting point – also as a social practice (references to time: with people, time in the city, time wasted, time about-to-be-lost like ancient pubs to be torn down, etc). In this sense walking as derive is antagonistic to ‘navigation’. Navigation is instrumental, it is about getting to that place… you already know where you want to go, in fact, you are a bit insensitive to how you got there.
What about psychogeography as an activity, as a festival? Who can participate in this activity and who can’t? Who is riding on the train for an hour to get to a garment district for a Sunday job, and who is enjoying a downtown experiment in wandering? Research/wandering in the city is now the privilege of those with money/time/trust/ or size — you feel like you are protected because you are a large person, or you walk with a weapon, or you have the backing of a tribe or gang. We don’t have to approach this as misanthropists, but I do think we can begin to ask productive questions about who walks and who doesn’t, and how our walking can begin to specify, to point, and to proliferate – to be meaningful.
My particular provocation has to do with the degree that these psychogeography art events, and all this walking, are not being entirely examined. I am interested in thinking about how mobility is encoded into consumption, in how there is more political friction and human expense in staying put right now than in just moving – out of town, out of state, to another country. I wonder if this walking is another metaphor for flexibility: in an atmosphere of precarity there is a kind of forced marching, of moving populations when it is convenient, sending them packing much as many large cities pack off their chronic homeless.
So I will lay out a provocation – the examination of not-walking, of staying put. Neoliberalism asks us to be flexible about employment, place, everything, to not be sticklers, to be okay with wandering – so, I am also interested in the implications and dynamics of staying put… what are the conditions that make this possible, and what kinds of walking or movement or stasis or observation can we develop that allow this to happen?

Walk/Talk on USF Campus with Martin Bosman (excerpt)
Rozalinda Borcila : I don’t think I’ve ever been through here.

Martin Bosman : Neither have I, actually. This is the other side of campus. This is what I call the Military University Complex.

RB: Why, do these particular programs have military contracts? Or, is it just the aesthetic?

MB: They have military contracts.

RB: Which departments?

MB: Bio-science, this one right here. They do some work on biological warfare. Of course, they now have big contracts with Homeland Security, the Center for Bio-Terrorism…

RB: Really? Little did I know; this is very serious.

MB: Yes, yes. This is Pentagon. We’re in a new space now.

RB: You want to walk inside?

MB: You want to try?

RB: Sure

MB: I know you like going into interdictory spaces.

RB: I don’t think they’re going to stop us. It’s on campus. It still has to have the illusion of openness and accessibility, right?

MB: We can go in through into the atrium, the offices are probably, I don’t know…

RB: They might be secured.

MB: You need one of those…

RB: Passes. That’s how you know there’s some serious stuff going on, when there’s a pass system. So, you began to tell me, and this is what I want to know more about, you began to tell me about your experiences in South Africa, pre-1992, so during Apartheid… you mentioned these experimental spaces….

MB: Liberated zones, yeah.

RB: Where were you at this time? In which part of the country?

MB: I was in several places, actually. I was born in Soweto, which one of the Southwestern Townships outside of Johannesburg. But I went to school in a town which is on the Eastern coast and that’s where my activism began as a high school, or middle school, student. Then it kind of carried over into university life, in the city of Durban on the East coast, at the University of Natal, Howard College. And I got really involved with the ANC, with the United Democratic Front, and a number of local trade union organizations. So, the spaces that we were organizing were really scattered all over the country, but we were responsible as the activists in the Durban region for the ones in the townships there; particularly in Wentworth, Umlazi and Claremont. These were the three places where we had sufficient organization and community support to be able to commandeer the places and areas, and basically make them ungovernable.

RB: So, you were coming as outsiders, right?

MB: We were both outsiders and insiders. Some of us lived there. Because we didn’t, let’s go through here… oh!…. we did not have student housing.

RB: I wonder… oh, that’s a lab maybe. So… “Restricted”. Hmm. We’re not allowed to go in there, but maybe upstairs? … I’ve never been to a place on campus that has “Restricted” signs like this. Okay, so you did live in the spaces you were organizing.

MB: In some of them. We would organize in adjacent communities as well. But as one of the main organizers, I only lived in one region, but eventually over the course of the three years I really got to know people fairly well in the other areas because I’d pop in, I’d have coffee or I’d have dinner with them. We’d talk. We’d see what we can do together. And a lot of it entailed also doing what people now refer to as social work. The kind of things which I think you probably still see in the Occupied Territories.

RB: In Palestine.

MB: Yeah. A lot of it was that kind of social work. Then as the political… I wonder what this is… what it is that they do here.

RB: I wonder if it’s dangerous, if there’s, um…

MB: Strange smells…

RB: Strange things or… radiations we’re being exposed to. I wonder if there’s a lot of undergraduate research involved in some of these projects.

MB: That would be one way of containing your costs.

RB: Yeah. Oh, “Biohazardous Space”. “Caution”. Hmmm… So, when you say “making a space ungovernable” are you talking about a neighborhood? What scale of a space are we talking about?

MB: The space is really big. These townships could range from 20 to 100 thousand. And one of the initial instruments we would use is, for instance, a rent boycott. And then we would go on to utilities.

RB: So, that would mean people would just refuse to pay rent. Because, of course, it wasn’t the people living in townships who owned the property.

MB: They wouldn’t own the land, because in Apartheid black people couldn’t own land.

RB: Only white people could own land. Were there select groups designated as “colored” who could own land, or no?

MB: Only in some parts of Western Cape, because that was considered group areas. Everybody had group areas. In these areas you didn’t own the land, but you had a 99-year lease, which the government could revoke if you were found to be politically active.

RB: Ah, so you would lose your land. That’s one way to control…

MB: It’s conditional land.

RB: There’s your building.

MB: There’s my building.

RB: And does your office face this way?

MB: No, mine faces that direction. We had a big debate as to whether or not we should actually be in this part of campus, because of the biohazard concerns; whether or not the stacks go up high enough, so we had to do some plume modeling to make sure that whatever comes out of these buildings blows in the right direction and it’s high enough. We have a couple of geographers who are doing a lot of work on that.

RB: Because you also have physical geographers who do this sort of work…

MB: Spatial modeling of pollution. And then once we had done those studies we said Okay, it’s fine. Otherwise, we couldn’t have gotten the building without them. They were the ones who really brought the money to be able to get our building.

RB: I’m sorry, “they” who?

MB: The scientists, and biologists, you know, they have the money. They get the grants. We kind of just piggybacked onto them.

RB: Yeah… oh, “Caution”…hmmm. So you would organize rent boycotts.

MB: That’s how we would begin.

RB: Right. So, the boycott would have to be pretty massive in order to work, no?

MB: Highly organized. I mean, there was a lot of centralization of organization. Because in those days these things just didn’t happen voluntarily. You had to explain to people why were we making their lives uncomfortable.

RB: Right, and there were tremendous risks, I would imagine.

MB: Both for us and for them, because, you know, individually the risk was that they were a customer who had now chosen not to pay a particular bill. So, they would get that first call. And then we would go and speak on their behalf and say no they’re not going to pay because, you know, we are launching a boycott. So, who are you people? Well, this is who we are, and that’s our office over there.

RB: I see, so you became also not just the organizers, but in a sense, the representatives or spokespeople…

MB: Yeah, we became the face of the movement. Until ’86, you know, that’s when this first series of successive martial laws, or military laws, was implemented – where they suspend habeas corpus. The constitution is suspended. Right to shoot orders are issued. And then we still organized, in those same spaces, but we just organized underground…

RB: So, first you were able to organize very openly and actually representing yourselves as doing a boycott; this was the strategy, right?

MB: Yes, and then once that began to build some momentum regionally and then nationally, we then had to disappear and kind of episodically come back. Once we had sufficiently achieved what is referred to as the conditions of ungovernability, then we started building liberated spaces.

RB: How would you define these conditions? What are some examples?

MB: Well first of all the people did not pay what has been referred to as Apartheid fees, whatever the fees might have been: water, electricity, rent, and so on. Students didn’t pay their school fees, and yet we insisted they should go back to school, and so on. Those kinds of things were met, and they were met for three successive months. Then we considered that community, or that cell, to be ready for the next thing. Then a series of activists and trainers would go in. And then we would start talking about what do we need now? How do we support the next phase?

RB: So it’s interesting that the first operation happens not upon the physical or material space, in a sense, but on the organizational structure or – the space of financial flows, for instance, is the space targeted for destruction. These kinds of operations might be different from, say, burning down a physical structure like a building, or building physical structures like barricades?

MB: There was also some of that going on. Some people did go down and burn down the utilities office. Some people did go and burn down official buildings. So there was a bit of that, but our emphasis was not to do that because it is one way of discrediting a political strategy, and you want to pull as many people along with you, and you don’t want to give the media any reason to start creating negative pictures of what you are doing. But after ’86 it was unavoidable, because then the battle became an open one.

RB: And more physical, material. When systemic violence becomes more “naked” it is in a sense less masked, more present as direct physical violence.

MB: Yeah, and then a lot of the burning began, and it’s from that point on where you have to start barricading particular places. So that’s how this kind of thing started, and then we had to find alternative sources of money, alternative sources of support both for ourselves and some of these communities. So, we would cook. We would bake. We would…

RB: Build a whole alternative economy, basically.

MB: That’s basically what we did, you know. We built what were referred to then as LETZ- local economic trading zones. And people start bartering with each other. There’s a lot of back and forth, like an economy of care I suppose. And a lot of it was also infused with trade union money. So a lot of the money was actually coming out of the cash economy, as well, through transfers from the ANC externally, from the UDF, the United Democratic Front, internally, the trade union movement, and also from the churches, the Catholic and the Anglican church which was extremely, extremely progressive.

RB: Interesting. It’s a kind of detourning of funds to feed something else than the existing system.

MB: So it became really, really successful. This is actually how the United Democratic Front built itself as an institution. It was drawing from these various cells, these liberated zones, where we would not only organize the community, but also train ourselves. You know, what do we need as activists? What do we need to read about? I was in the political theory section. So I had to read about, you know, what was happening in Cuba, what was happening in Nicaragua, and what was happening in China… And because I was also a university student I had certain skills. I had to write memos and that kind of thing. Up until about 1990, when Mandela was released, and from that point on things began to change. It was just an open battle, because they tried to kill as many of us as they could, and we tried to stave off that damage as long as we could. 1994, it was fairly clear, after CODESA, you know, Convention for a Democratic South Africa, the transitional government…

RB: A strange alliance.

MB: Yeah. So they just kind of just evaporated then.

RB: So there’s a certain kind of regulation that hap… I mean…I shouldn’t say that because what you’re describing sounds like a highly organized and regulated system of creating something new. It’s not just saying, okay we totally deregulate everything, but it’s that we’re looking for different structures.

MB: Yes. No, we couldn’t afford that because there was already so much of that happening. For instance, when something would happen we would immediately try and pull it back into the organizational fold. For instance, some of the high school students would organize a protest about some books or about Afrikaans, having to speak this language in school. And then they would just march off down to the local counsellor’s house, and we didn’t know about it.

RB: Ah, it didn’t go through the proper channels of your organization.

MB: It didn’t go through the proper channels, and then the cops would come in, spraying rubber bullets everywhere, and because we didn’t know about it we weren’t prepared for it, and there’s a lot of damage that can result to children, to old people, to women, to everybody who might just be around, because that’s what they did. It was extremely indiscriminate. They tried to intimidate the entire community, and collective punishment was one of their strategies. So you come in, and even if it’s that group, and they know who that group is, they have intelligence on that group, they come and shoot everybody. So, that’s one of the reasons we say, you know, we have to organize this together. Do what you want but we need to know, so when the time comes and you go to jail we need to make sure the Defense Fund is there, the lawyers are there, we are there, we know what’s going on so we can give this united front to the media, to the rest of the world, to the cops, to whomever.

RB: Did that mean an internal hierarchical organization? Did you find that problematic?

MB: It was always problematic. There were always tensions between the various kinds of factions within the movement, because that’s really what it was. With some people saying, “Well, we should do this or that”. We always had a lot of debate internally about how do you create a non-racial space?

RB: (laughing) Interesting…

MB: You know, and can you really do that? Some people say maybe we should not go straight for non-race, and maybe we should ease through multi-racialism and then through multi-culturalism…

RB: (laughing) Interesting!! So, that would be like the radical vs. the moderate positions?

MB: There were moderates and radicals who would say let’s just do this thing right or let’s not do this at all.

RB: So, give me an example of how you would have seen it at the time, or how you see it now, the difference between a non-racial space vs. a multi-racial space.

MB: Well, I must confess I was a radical. I said that if the end result is non-racialism then the means must also be non-racial. You can’t have a multi-racial means toward a non-racial end.

RB: Right.

MB: You know, it’s… But some people say, “No, we have to do it because, you know some people need…

RB: a transition process…

MB: …some people need time to adjust to this new thing. You know, it doesn’t just happen like that. You can’t just forget history and culture, you can’t wipe it away,” and I said “No, we must!”.

RB: But there are two parts to it: you say non-racial, and then you say space. In this expanded notion you mentioned before: it could be the physical things, it could be forms of sociability, financial structures or social practices…okay, what would be some examples of a debate around nonracial space?

MB: Well, one of the things, for instance, a point of contention with us was, should our white comrades… should they be allowed into the space?

RB: Aha! Into the space? The liberated space…

MB: Into those spaces, yes. And also should they be allowed into our organizations, and if yes, in what capacities?

RB: Can they occupy different positions…

MB: Or sometimes, could they just be there? At all ? Because, maybe they’re a security risk, you know, maybe they’re just here for the fun of it. Maybe it’s just their semester off, you know.

RB: Right, there’s clearly a privilege and safety that comes with being white, you can’t deny that.

MB: Yeah. So, there was a lot of debate about that, and I said no, no, no. If we’re going to build a non-racist society this is where you begin. Okay, you take the risk of learning to trust people.

RB: Ooh, that’s tough, though…

MB: No, but that’s what you have to do. So that’s obviously one example. One really concrete example is what relationship should our white comrades play, or should they really be organizing their own communities? Should they be creating a non-governable zone in the white community?

RB: Non-governable spaces in the white suburbs in Melville!! (laughing)

MB: Yes, why do they just come to the black spaces? So, there was a lot of debate about that.

RB: That is a good point, however. Why aren’t they doing that, organizing in their own communities? There is a corresponding debate in socially engaged, or community-based, arts practices where you see artists, usually supported by institutions, parachuted into what might be, you know, “communities in trouble”, which is code for poor communities, and organizing or mobilizing or creating projects. And a lot of times the reaction is, “Why aren’t you doing something in your own home?”

MB: Exactly. Why don’t you organize your people and then it will make our own self-organizing easier.

RB: Or, why are you coming over here with this sense that you can participate at all?

MB: Yeah.

RB: …in a sense, especially coming from a place of privilege either financially…

MB: or otherwise.

RB: or otherwise. Even if artists are not… I mean, in America today artists are not exactly wealthy, most of them are precarious financially, but there’s the assumption of the artist having a privileged subjectivity… To my mind… it’s very problematic. But I am curious, OK, so idea of situating people within organizational structures or within relationships inside the movement, or I mean, the way participants occupy different relative positions within a system of relations, that’s clearly a spatial model, I can see what you mean.

MB: That’s right, and also are these people in place or not?… They belong up there, you know? So they come here and at the end of the day they get into their Mercedes and their Beemers or on their motorbikes and then they scoot off to a nice glass of wine. We’re stuck with the shit. You know, we have intermittent lights, intermittent water…because we’re in a boycott situation, you know. We’re wiring up, we’re stealing electricity, I mean we’re tapping into pipes… So, there was a lot of resentment sometimes, a lot of conflict about that. We’d have to convene special meetings. Somebody would come into town and the radicals would say, “These people should be allowed to come into these spaces because they’re supporting us. They bring something, you know. We don’t want to marry them. They’re bringing something strategic that we need,” and the others would say, “No, no, no, no they should go through their own communities…or they should go through the inter-organizational alliances, and then through that get vetted, and we will then debate and define what role they can and cannot play”.

RB: Well, it’s interesting to think of this, too, because Apartheid was about establishing boundaries and territories, a regime to control who can and cannot cross through here. So, if a movement that is trying to work against that uses the same logic, that seems rather problematic. The first time I went to Johannesburg I had a meeting set up with these really wonderful people at the Art department at Wits, and they said, “You know, just come to campus and look for us in the Art Building.” So I go to Wits which is surrounded by this wall and barbed wire, and there are only three access gates and I don’t have a pass and it’s incredibly, still, incredibly militarized. You know, it’s 2002, and I just couldn’t get in, and it was very scary. I was wondering why those structures are still in place now. But, of course, they’re still in place everywhere, right? Everyone has a million keys, and big gates, and everyone is barricaded in. So, these boundaries and other technologies of exclusion, were at one point embedded in a certain structure and are now maybe a part of a different structure; or is it the same kind of structure just with a different name to it?

MB: It’s the same kind of structure, but now playing a different function. You know, initially it was all about political regulation, now a lot of it is economically motivated. For instance I think the debate in South Africa is why do you close off government buildings, public buildings, and limit … you know, the big debate then was if we don’t close off these places then you’ll get, people who are looking for jobs, the poor, the homeless, they will be coming in. I know that was part of the debate at Wits, and also Natal because they have now put up barbed wire which never existed before.

RB: Really? So many of these barricades appeared post-Apartheid to “defend” against the poor?

MB: That’s right. And also, some of them, not even homeless people, but students, there are a lot of poor students, they would just camp on campus and they would, you know, create a kind of space… they used to have a term for them: temporary townships. Just people camping out, with their tents or other shelters, and their pots and pans, and cooking…

RB: Living there.

MB: Yeah, and the reason is that it’s close to a pipe, or it’s close to electricity, or… all the infrastructures we didn’t get in the townships, and I’m not going to take the bus everyday from the townships to school…

RB: Transport to and from townships is very difficult.

MB: Literally, this was a sort of do-it-yourself urbanism. But listen, you don’t have a permit, you know, there’s health regulations, zoning, there’s by-laws. But I don’t care about that. Because people now have a sense that this is post-Apartheid South Africa, I can…

RB: I can go everywhere, anywhere.

MB: Yeah, I can do as I please.

RB: But even before, during Apartheid, we can say it was political regulation, but it was about economic power too, right? It wasn’t just about political power; it was all tied to controlling resources, and capital.

MB: Right, but you didn’t have to put up the actual physical barriers.

RB: Well, why? You had a race pass system, the military.

MB: You had the police.

RB: Right. So your physical barriers were the men with guns, right, and the pass regime they enforced, the papers and so forth.

MB: Right

RB: So you needed fewer actual physical walls?

MB: That’s right.

RB: But so now, after 1992-1994, you have the proliferation of physical walls because maybe the deployment of police would be a little suspect?

MB: Not only that. It’s also linked to neo-liberalism because a lot of the police forces are actually contracted, because they don’t have the money.

RB: Ah, the forms of neo-liberal power, they are very different aren’t they?

MB: So the state has had to find other ways now of fortifying its spaces. So one way you do it is just put in these permanent structures, which are, of course, cheap. You know, they don’t have health care, they don’t have to be paid a wage, they don’t have retirement. It’s just a wall.

RB: Yes, of course.

MB: Yes. And then you start putting up these spatial regimes of surveillance. There are lots of cameras now, and these weird, weird kinds of things you have to do to get into a space which is a public space, really, but it’s been treated now for the purposes of access as if it were private. It’s reciprocal too, like the malls here.

RB: Yeah, the malls here are private, but they’re masquerading as public, right. They try to look like the old town squares.

MB: That’s right. You know they always, they reserve the right to refuse you if you look like this, if you dress like this.

RB: I always like seeing the “no loitering” sign, because that’s such a nice vague thing. You know, loitering basically means.. oh hi, hello … loitering basically means doing nothing, which in the regime of capitalism is a crime…

MB: Yes, it’s terrible to be idle.

RB: You have to consume something. So how does one interpret doing nothing as the real problem? I think one of the hardest things for me to understand coming from, growing up in, a military regime in an overt dictatorial or totalitarian situation is coming to a place like this; coming to the U.S. and really trying to understand the ways in which power operates upon us here because it’s… maybe I’m just not used to the codes or the markers and am therefore confused by them, or maybe it is much more hidden and more pervasive; much more, you know, like a smooth space that seems to be undifferentiated and yet there’s a proliferation of technologies of control, but they’re so difficult to get at, somehow.

MB: Yeah. But I think a lot of it also is I think the way Foucault describes it. You know, a lot of those technologies are already in some ways internalized. So there’s a spatialization of these internal categories, so behavior is already codified in a way through the school systems. One of the things that struck me when I came to the U.S. and I went to a school … I used to be a town planner in New York for about three years and I was going to speak to the kids about Apartheid, because I was also working for the ANC while I was here in the country to help with the anti-Apartheid efforts in New York. It struck me as strange, the ways in which these school kids were regimented. When I went into the schools I got the distinct impression… it reminded me of South African prisons.

RB: Right, but except here you can’t see the mechanism.

MB: You can’t see the mechanism, but I think you can kind of imply it.

RB: Right, you can see the result. You can see the regimented behavior, but you can’t see the mechanism that’s producing it. For me that means, therefore, I can not see where I can intervene, right? If I can’t see the mechanism, I can’t do anything to put some friction in it, throw some sand in the wheels…

MB: Jam up the gears.

RB: Yeah, jam up the gears a little bit, even for tiny little moments of pause, you know, where something else might be produced. So I the educational system is a huge part of that, and the corporatization of universities…

MB: And also where a lot of the kids live — they live in gated communities, in exclusive spaces, and these are highly regulated spaces in terms of comportment, behavior, rights of access, rights of association. All these things are very, very governed. People here are extremely proper with respect to those kinds of things. They’re very, very proper in ways that one would not always associate with American citizens. They seem to respect certain things almost implicitly.

RB: That’s what you meant about the ways that these structures are internalized.

MB: Yeah. Yeah, and I think they are deeply internalized in terms of just the way in which people produce the self.

RB: That’s what Lefebvre refers to when he speaks of spaces of representation, right, or Harvey, when he talks about relational space or subjectivity.

MB: Exactly, Doreen Massey talks about it in those terms as well. She talks about the lack of meaningful participatory space or spatial relationships. So that, at least, is the way I understand the operation of power here. Where you and I come from it’s a lot more externalized. It has a lot more physicality.

RB: Material…

MB: Yes, yes it’s material. Whereas here it’s a lot more dematerialized, and perhaps because of that it is more obdurate – more difficult to dislodge. It’s even tough to name, because you know, you have to name your enemy before you can defeat him.

RB: You have to at least be able to locate the enemy.

MB: You have to be able to map it.

RB: (laughing) Of course!!

MB: The geographer asks, “How can you map this? How do you map these relationships of power?” If you can’t do that, then you have to develop a different heuristic of understanding. So how can I get to understand this thing better? That, I think, is one of the ways in which people are normalized. I think of London, for instance, and all of those CCTVs. […] But isn’t that to some extent what Facebook is, and MySpace? You want to be seen because unless you are seen you don’t quite…

RB: You don’t exist.

MB: You don’t really exist, or you’re not having fun. “See how much fun I’m having”. But what people have now realized, for instance… some students have now left college and they want to remove themselves from Facebook find out that while you may go and disconnect your site…

RB: Your data may be still there?

MB: They didn’t tell people that the data exists and that they are using it and selling it. And so there’s a big lawsuit now in New York from an Indian software developer who found out that his data actually still exists as if he had never asked them to discontinue.

RB: It’s a commodity, of course; the data is sold and circulated.

MB: Of course, his reason now for wanting to get rid of it is he said I’m going to go into the job market. It turns out that personnel, they go to people’s facebooks now.

RB: Really?

MB: So, be careful what you put out there. People realize that, yeah, you know, it’s not just about what I display about myself. It’s also about creating new commodity markets.

RB: And that’s, I think… I think that’s where I enter into understanding it: that everything and every aspect of our lives, including our subjectivities, is now subject to the calculus of exchange, right? It’s all economic now, so maybe that’s also one of the small ways that one can start to dislodge or make oneself in a small ways ungovernable, in your words before. It’s to make oneself a little bit…

MB: is to make oneself invisible

RB: … or to make aspects of, even small aspects of ones life uncommodifiable, or untradable, or unsellable, or unbuyable; which is hard to do because so much of us has already been parsed out.

MB: Yeah. Little Xs and Os. This is true. I’ll tell you a funny story. Well, it’s not funny, but I think in some ways…

RB: Not “ha, ha” funny?

MB: No, no… I used to go out with this woman, and for about two years her family would constantly nag me to the point where it eventually became a problem among us; that I, first of all, did not have Facebook, okay. So, “Why don’t you have Facebook?” and the mother once said in one of her moments of irrationality, “You’re boring, what’s wrong with you? Everybody has Facebook,” you know, “What are you hiding?”

RB: Oh, you’re either boring or you’re hiding something, or both. Could you be a criminal?

MB: And then the other thing is cell phone. “Why don’t you have a cell phone?” I said, “For what? You know, I don’t need a cell phone.” Of course I eventually got a cell phone. That’s long after I broke up with her, and then the mother had something to say about that.

RB: So, why do you think they were so troubled?

MB: They felt that they couldn’t know who I was because… but I said, “You know me…

RB: Here I am. (laughing)

MB: …I’m with you every day. I’ve spent holidays with you. I had this intense emotional relationship with you; psychological relationship with you. What more is it you want?” And the other thing is I noticed wherever they went they took photos obsessively; they saw the world through the lens of a camera. That’s… you’re looking at the world through a camera. Just for once. “No, no, no. I’ve got to capture this.”

RB: Yeah, I’ve got to take this image.

MB: I’ve got to capture this. I’ve got to capture this. I think therein lies a lot of the self-discipline, because the state or the market doesn’t have to do it anymore.

RB: No, we do it to ourselves.

MB: We do it to ourselves, for them. Of course, we don’t mean, we don’t mean, that’s not the intention…

RB: No, no

MB: but that’s the effect.

RB: Well, it brings me back to what happens sometimes in college recruiting situations. Of course young high school students and their families are very concerned about the cost of college, but they’re also very concerned about what you can do with this degree. So, already their next four or five years is something that is about a balance sheet in dollar terms. You know, if I pay for this, will I be able to recuperate? It’s an operation on one’s self as a future commodity. My investment can either go up or down. If it goes down it’s catastrophic because there’s nothing there as a safety net.

A: There’s an investment bubble in myself.

Q: Uh-hmm. So, I think it makes it very difficult. The pressure is very, very real. And that’s a way in which we do this to ourselves…I think about the real estate market; we don’t buy homes, we buy the next person’s house. And when my husband and I bought a home, and it was the first time that anyone in my family had owned property, we didn’t really have property rights in Romania, and it was tremendously freaky for me because it really wasn’t about owning something. The bank owned us completely; it was somehow about being the middle men in the transaction of the next person’s house, moving an asset around… And that’s a very strange…seeing one’s life 24/7 like this; how you’re sleeping, and you’re doing all these intimate things in this place, but what you’re really doing is an economic thing, you know. You’re doing business. You’re your own enterprise.

MB: Yeah.

RB: This is the Sculpture area, if you want to see a slightly different kind of space. They’re watching something; we’ll go around to the other facilities. It’s weird because the way that sculpture was defined here in the ‘60s was as woodworking and metalworking. So there are these two wings: one is a big woodshop, one is a big metal shop, and in the middle there’s this big open space that used to be a walkway or breezeway but became enclosed. It’s now storage for equipment and material and student works, it is also the only classroom we have. It’s the only meeting place… that’s why people show slides, watch videos or have discussions in the breezeway between the metal and the woodshop.

MB: So nobody’s tried to mix these two materials?

RB: Well, we mix them all the time, of course, it’s quite an intermedia program actually. But what’s interesting to me is how in terms of really trying to restructure the curriculum fundamentally and radically — let’s say, what if sculpture was about other forms of spatial reorganization, what if it had nothing to do with any of these tools in here? But the spatial infrastructure tends to dominate, to overdetermine what we can do. And the cost of replacing it, or dumping it, of changing it, is so prohibitive that essentially what we are now doing is trying to work, tactically, around or against what the space dictates. But tactics don’t always allow for radical or systemic change, at times I feel we’re just…. I always try to open up different ways of working in this space, but the space is very, very imposing, you know.

MB: Inflexible.

RB: Yeah, it’s very inflexible. So, it’s an interesting…

MB: A battle, ongoing, everyday battle. Battle of space.

RB: It definitely is. So, we can go through ceramics and you can see a bit about…But then again sculpture ends up being… actually lets go through the back first… sculpture and ceramics, which are the most predetermined by their spatial infrastructure, are also kind of the most, I think, infectious perhaps; in terms of spreading around and doing really unregulated things outside of that. So wherever there is space that hasn’t been structured yet we kind of do wacky things with it. So all of this here, really, I have no idea how the university tolerates any of this. This is years of slow, gradual, ad-hoc building and patching together and making do… and then every so often something is tolerated or we’re asked to move something or tear it down, but things get built again.

MB: This is definitely, from the university’s point of view, this is extra-territorial.

RB: Yeah.

MB: This is not right. You know.

RB: We’re definitely camping out, and it’s interesting to me, because we can’t do it in there. We can’t do it inside the structure of the facility, only outside of it. It’s also a place of tremendous scavenging. Students, faculty and staff are constantly scavenging…

MB: Recycling stuff.

RB: …and reusing it, and circulating it so there’s a little bit of a parallel economy that we’re trying to form, which always interested me about the place.

MB: This is definitely extra-territorial in a University spatially organized as an urban sprawl.

RB: How do you define urban sprawl?

MB: First, it’s the absence of in-building.

RB: What do you mean by “in-building”?

MB: The buildings are not close to each other. In other models you are supposed to utilize space a lot more intensively than this, I suppose. I mean, look at the huge space between those buildings. You know, you go to NYU, they are right on top of each other. Literally, on top of each other. You have a classroom right next to a cafeteria… I mean now we have separate kind of spaces; we have a separate student center which is increasingly becoming the case in more universities now, a Student Center separate from anything else in the University. Whereas in the past it used to be integrated: the learning spaces, recreational and eating spaces,..

RB: You’re referring to older campuses in the country, maybe they are modeled after, I assume, the European model.

MB: Yes. The European model, to some extent.

RB: Whereas a very new campus like this one is modeled after something quite different.

MB: Something different. It’s also a way, I think, of keeping these two things separate and of course that is becoming a very important admissions tool: Student Centers. Parents will look a lot at these things. Hence, the reasons why so many universities now are building these multi-million dollar structures.

RB: All to give a sense that the student’s life will be full of activity. Enriching.

MB: Right. It’s also, of course, safe. There’s a lot of safety/security issues.

RB: Yeah, there are a lot of cameras in the student center.

MB: This new one is going to have even more. And then they’ve also beefed up all of these blue pillars all around campus. Now you see them at night they are very luminous. Right in front of us. And they have the people in those buggies to take you from your classes to your car.

RB: The security people.

MB: So, universities are becoming increasingly these kind of security spaces. But also interdictory spaces. I’ve seen a lot of people being stopped on campus and being asked for their I.D. Several times they have asked me, “Can you park here?”

RB: Oh, I see. Yeah, yeah.

MB: I say I’m a professor. All you have to worry about is my decal. What does my decal say? It is says, “E”. That’s it. But you get the sense that we are spending a lot more time and resources securing these spaces.

RB: Yeah

MB: Because we are now going to have to launch different kinds of universities.

RB: What do you mean?

MB: The neoliberal university, a lot more so than in the past. The STEM Thrust is the beginning of it.

RB: STEM Thrust?

MB: Yes. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. That’s the new kind of model.

RB: That would be at the core of the new university?

MB: Yes, no Art. I saw this new…

RB: You guys could be part of that.

MB: Oh yeah, a we’re part of that. But I saw this new bill in the Florida legislature written by someone who used to work for Yahoo, and he specifically says that English, Art, Humanities, History are not important. All we have to teach is STEM Thrust. And I say Oh, my God. What is wrong?

RB: Well that’s where the money is. Those are the people you can productively integrate in the new economy, right? …. So, “sprawl”, you were saying, has to do with the density right? Or the intensity with which space is used?

MB: That’s right.

RB: Are there any other aspects to it?

MB: Well, the other aspect of sprawl is often also the automobile infrastructure that comes with it.

RB: Right. Space is no longer walkable.

MB: So there’s an automobility that changes the space. And then, of course, parking lots. Our former provost was proud that the University has more parking spaces than the city of Tampa.

RB: Really?

MB: That was one of her pitches. And she was a good friend of ours. So, we had a long conversation with her about how maybe that is not a good thing to say. But she was very proud of telling people that.

RB: Well, I guess I could see why. So many people complain that they actually can’t park on campus. We fight for parking spaces. If you come after 10 am forget about it. Of course, the problem is larger and more systemic than that, which is why do we not have a public transport structure in the city to come here. And then, why did we build this the way we did so that cars are so essential? But I could see where one could boast about that. One could alleviate people’s fears that they won’t be able to park.

MB Yeah

RB: These fears are of course very real.

MB: It all depends on how you read it. I read it in the not so positive light. But some people… Well it’s you know… it’s a good thing. And of course now these “pay for” parking spaces that they’re building everywhere.

RB: One of the things that’s very strange for me about Tampa… it’s a time thing, it’s a rate of expansion thing. My colleague Lou Marcus, who teaches photography and spends half of the year in Paris, and half of the year in Tampa, says that one of the hardest things for him in returning to Tampa when he drives to school down Fowler Avenue is realizing that he’s older than everything he sees. So this mushrooming… accelerated expansion… I don’t know, compressed time also –space is huge but time is very compressed. The stadium is built, it gets torn down, a new one gets built. Is that something that is specific to urban sprawl formation, is it something that comes out of the economy in general?

MB: I think that’s something that comes out of the economy. It comes out of the productive and financial circuits of capital.

RB: Like the speculative activities of real estate development for instance.

MB: Definitely. And that’s how we as geographers think of it, in these kinds of productions: the production of capital, which then leads to the production of space, which then leads to the production of scale, which then leads to production of mobility. So, if you take all those things, what you really have are these restless landscapes. The economic landscapes are particularly restless.

RB: Restless, right, it has to move. Anything that stagnates…

MB: Everything either gets compressed or gets distanciated.

RB: It’s so interesting to think about the landscape in these dynamic terms.

MB: We talk about it in terms of a necessary socio-spatial fix in order to realize capital.

RB: In other words, it can’t always be moving.

MB: Exactly. Because, then you can’t realize profit. These are momentary periods within the longer duration of a landscape. So that it can make money and then once it has exhausted that particular circuit or that particular market it then moves to something else. So that when this guy comes back he says, “It was a CVS, now it’s something else.” The rent function is done now, the land function is done, let’s move onto something else. And it’s that kind of youthfulness which is also incidentally a metaphor for the overall youthfulness of the United States. It’s an obsession with the New.

RB: Well, it is also the foundation of the capitalist state, right? It’s the opening up of new territories, new markets, for the accumulation of capital.

MB: Yeah, and so especially now with financial capital being the most dominant circuit of capital it’s not just about capital accumulation, it’s about the speed or rate of that capital accumulation. So, it’s a kind of a plan of obsolescence that has now begun to affect everything else. You know, initially it was only about these things, these gadgets like your recorder. Now it’s about landscapes and about systems. Systems also now have been built with that notion of obsolescence. Housing, obviously, now has increasingly become a commodity in a way that it never used to be in the past because of we repackaged it as a part of a collateralized debt obligation. It really changes those things which in the past which were historically thought to be fixed and frozen.

RB: Or at least aspiring to a little bit of permanence.

MB: Even that now, it’s gone. It’s all liquid. There’s a very interesting German theorist, Zygmunt Bauman, who talks about liquid modernity. About everything turning liquid. And then we don’t know what the new spacial fix looks like…

RB: Ah, right. All we know is that the dynamic will continue. The speed and the rate of it will continue, but what will be the new spacial fix? Oh, that is so interesting.

MB: The new socio-spacial fix is the function of politics, which of course we can not predetermine.

RB: Right. But isn’t that what all of the activity around futurity is about? Future scenarios and so forth, right? Major corporations like Shell Oil rely on their future scenarios divisions to try and imagine what these will be, what these futures are, and so that one may secure a more profitable position within them.

MB: It is an economy in which you literally buy positions which is very spatial in a sense, it’s temporal as well because it is…

RB: You have to be at the right position at the right time.

MB: Yeah

RB: This is what people are experiencing in small but dramatic ways, people who bought a home in Tampa last year and are looking at what’s happening to the value of their home now. I have a friend who has to sell her house now, and it’s a real problem… you know, nothing’s moving, right? So, whereas two years ago it was…

MB: She’s upside-down now. She’s really upside-down.

RB: But this is not true of the entire real estate market – the million dollar homes, the luxury estate market, that market is still moving, it’s accelerating.

MB: That market is still very strong. And it’s immune to recession.

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