Transaction and exchange are inherent to human life. We exchange goods, fluids, favours, substances, cultural parameters, stock options, words, styles, organs and data among an infinite of material and immaterial things. Today, the exchange is the mandate that regulates all aspects of life in late capitalist societies and cities like Sydney. There are very few spaces, public or private that remain exempt from complying with a transactional and competitive agenda. Philosophers like Byung Chul Han, Rossi Braidotti or Franco Berardi are claiming for the ‘de-transactionalisation’ (or decolonisation) of minds, spaces and bodies by increasing the presence of aspects like poetic interpretations, fantasy and duration, as well as collectivising notions like joy and desire.
Nowadays markets are spatially dynamic, flexible, temporary, and operate through 24/7 logics. They magnetise urban flows and perform very central roles in the construction of contemporary cities. However, markets aren’t borderless or inclusive spaces. They are highly exclusive and militarised precincts where private security, safety cameras and restrictive codes of conduct protect capital exchange from unproductive performances, undesirable aesthetics and any other form of negativity. They are, as Giorgio Agamben would say, areas of exception.
This studio invites students to align with new rationalities that reinvent the relations between the abstract notion of markets and their spatial manifestations. The objective is to create negative markets, new urban spaces where transactional agendas conflict and co-inhabit with celebrations of unproductivity, duration, economic decrease, poetic interaction and otherness. Typology, aesthetics, materiality and the notion of the boundary will occupy the core of student’s research and re-design agenda across the semester.