Subjectivities of the Transition

by bojanboric

3_2_2_oberliht_contour_map_parcul zaikin a3
Boulevard D Cantemir-Image

I would like to refer to Foucault since I believe that there is perhaps an interesting difference in approach between Michel Foucault and Felix Guattari in regards to the notion of subjectivity. Furthermore, the concept of “governmentality” (governing mentalities) is at the core of the theoretical framework in my own research. Foucault, developed a historical analyses and critic of power that shapes the subject as an object of scientific inquiry and discipline. A state, institutional, physical and administrative apparatus (dispositif ) a system of relations that not only involved in shaping of the subject but also aiming at studying the subject as the source of knowledge in order to be able to act upon. The subject is shaped indirectly through shaping of milieu (environment). Environment is seen as an object controlled by the apparatuses of security (in town planning) as well as it itself becomes essential in the process of for formation of the subject (seen here in broader terms as population). This is especially important in understanding the role of architecture and urban planning as instruments in this process.

Felix Guattari takes a stand point in reference to ecology, probably the most important question of the present time and reacts to the uncontrollable and homogenous forces of global capitalism that threaten to destroy not only society but also our planet and threaten our existence as species. Therefore, the essential question is that of human relation to ecology and the subjectivity or the creation of the new subject is inseparable from ecology. He proposes that the new ethico-aesthetic and ethico-political paradigms need to be produced in order to create a more heterogenous identity machine which could be directed towards the future by acting upon human unconscious. Instead of technocratic approach to ecology, the more comprehensive activity placing focus on “authentic political, social and cultural revolution” (not like Mao Tse Tung type of revolution) needs to occur in order to shape the objectives for the processes of technological advancement. New collective and singular subjectivities need to be created and radical transformation of society needs to be proposed. Through the lens of my current research in the context of the “transition” from the post Soviet central state to the system of market economy and how does this institutional change impact society and built environment in particular case of Chisinau Moldovan Capital. From the global perspective, I discuss the state of ambiguous global condition of being in between in time and space, not belonging clearly in any political system, while at the same time at least partially shifting within the spheres of influence and territoriality from the East (Russia) and the West (EU), maintaining both the residues of Soviet state bureaucracy and neoliberal policies. The Transition is a fiction, a grand narrative that frames the condition of ambivalence at all levels of society and produces a setting for fluid transformations of forming institutions and new subjectivities based on the ritual of trial and error. Through the case of the Ghost Boulevard (Boulevard D Cantemir, a Soviet planned boulevard in Chisinau, Moldova from 1947 which was never built but has recently been resurrected perhaps ironically by the new elites as an instrument of real estate development. In its latent state as it is in today, not yet realized and with an uncertain outcome, it may be said that in ambiguous condition this space not only interacts with the transforming legal, institutional and bureaucratic apparatus but also serves as the interface for negotiation, re-evaluation of urban practice which is today in service of ambiguous institutional authority between the state and the economic interests. In this space, distinctions between the real and phantasy are blurred and interchangeable. The state and the bureaucratic apparatus are part of an imaginary, a phantasm of the social unconscious. Within this contested extra legal space, the zone is formed based on dissensus, the space of conflict can be a testing ground for “micropolitical” and “microsocial” practices acting upon the new unconscious.