The City as Performative Object

An Essay in Footsteps

June 27, 2017 artist contribution

This contribution to Technology / Affect / Space (T / A / S) consists of a walking essay by Esther Polak. The world in which this essay takes place is Google Earth: an alienating landscape of almost seamlessly stitched-together satellite images. The stage of the walk, a utopian appartment building in the Amsterdam’s Bijlmer neighbourhood, seems warped and flattened and competes for attention with the black weirdness of its own shadows. During a repetitive walk around the building Polak uses Judith Butler’s ideas on the performativity of gender and applies them to the city space, exploring different possibilities of what she calls ‘move-categories’ and ‘move-drag’.

The City as Performative Object is walked and spoken by Esther Polak. It was executed through conversation in and around the Hakford building in the Bijlmer.

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