In old English law, eminent domain refers to the power of the state to take private property without the owner’s consent. Since the mid-19th century it has been employed as part of large-scale development projects and urban renewal - controversial practices that can be extremely destructive for local communities. The policy is often implemented when there is a perceived obstruction blocking the progress of a particular project and powers of override must force its conclusion.
In investigating this theme we call for artists to recast the concept of eminent domain in the context of creative work. Here it becomes similar to recourse - in the face of blockade, alternative and often radical tactics may be resorted to in order for an idea to move forward. At a point of critical mass existing systems begin to fail, invoking a form of negation and opening up a space of uncertainty. This uncertainty may force a radical reformulation of a work at a crucial moment of its incompletion and potential.
The concept of regeneration is helpful in investigating this theme with regard to process revision and its relation to the creative method. Literally beginning again, regeneration suggests a recursive, self-referential procedure. It also indicates different approaches to revision: on one hand there can be subtle, incremental modifications of existing structures, systematically inching toward a result. On the other there can be a Kuhnian paradigm shift - a more radical action that can demand a clean slate from which to begin from scratch.
The interplay of these strategies and the conditions that formulate them are fascinating areas of exploration. To what extent are points of resistance and conflict essential for shaping creative decisions? Are great ideas born of frustration or along paths of least resistance? What kind of space does this recourse open up?
In this context, the theme of eminent domain speaks not only to literal interpretations concerning revised landscapes, power relationships and innovation from decay, but also to a broader theoretical reading about the space opened up by an enforced change of approach. The use of these concepts, either as the subject of investigation or as a guide to process and methodology, will result in a fascinatingly diverse group of projects for the next edition of Dispatx.
For more information on how to submit: http://dispatx.com/wip/index.php?cat2
Final date for sending project proposals : 16 December 2006
Publication of collaborative project proposals : 15 January 2007
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