Exploring overlooked urban zones, state borders and extra-territorial sites throughout the world, contributors probe contemporary perspectives on power and its evasions


On the Architecture of Extraordinary Adjustment

Artists, architects and scholars come together to share examples of evasive practices and extraordinary adjustments of power

Fields of Knowledge
  • Design
  • Pedagogy
  • Politics / Economics

Organizing Institutions


Contributing Institutions

James Gallery, City University of New York


Katherine Carl, Aaron Levy, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Opens to public



25% Formal - 75% Informal

Slought and the James Gallery at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York are pleased to announce "On the architecture of extraordinary adjustment," a working day of reflective conversations about evasions and extraordinary adjustments on November 15, 2011. The event will take place in the James Gallery and will culminate in an evening public presentation and discussion from 6-8pm. Leading figures in spatial, visual, and literary practices will come together to articulate and share examples across a variety of media about extraordinary adjustments of power. In the process, the proceedings will collate a collection of evasive practices and explore the standards by which such actions and output can be assessed and enabled. We invite you to imagine yourself as a public practitioner and to come prepared not to present or merely listen, but rather to actively reflect on the question of what constitutes an extraordinary adjustment in conversation with others.

Participants include Eduardo Cadava, Eva Franch, Anne Frederick, Jakab Orsos, and Orkan Telhan (morning session) and Judith Barry, Angel Jaramillo, Kyoo Lee, Sarah Oppenheimer, Vyjayanthi Rao, Todd Rouhe, Aleksandra Wagner, and Stephen Zacks (evening session). The event will also feature video contributions by Helene Cixous, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Lebbeus Woods, and Carolee Schneemann.

The conversations take as their starting point the publication Evasions of Power: On the Architecture of Adjustment (2011), which is the culmination of a 2007 symposium and subsequent research initiative jointly organized by Katherine Carl, Aaron Levy, and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss. This initiative finds its physical form as a book that also functions as a resource for practitioners and proposes a series of extraordinary adjustments to ongoing discourses and practices regarding human rights, geopolitical conflict, and territorial sovereignty. For these contributors, an extraordinary adjustment does not just entail responsiveness to existing situations, but also the production of new practices and strategies. Exploring overlooked urban zones, state borders, enclaves, and extra-territorial sites throughout the world, these contributors probe contemporary perspectives on power and its evasions.

How does Evasions of Power, or any publication for that matter, find its public? How can a publication move in and out of, or between, institutions and across various modalities of dissemination? How do different forms of research, production, and dissemination lead to different positions and their performances? The event at the James Gallery will explore these and other questions, but will also go beyond the publication to survey and compile new ideas concerning what constitutes an extraordinary adjustment in these times. Would it be a small gesture or a spectacular intervention? A proposal or a realized project? An image, film, or drawing, or perhaps some other medium? Is it something that is still being investigated, or something that has already happened? Essentially, it is a question of strategizing and doing things differently.

Admidst the incessant privatization of culture, can we imagine other paradigms for engaging others? In asking this question, we are interested in renewing the idea of the commons and the common good, understood as a way of thinking and practicing that precedes the individual and does not belong to any individual in particular. Belonging to nobody, and not subject to division, it would no longer be claimed as mine or yours.

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Evasions of Power: On the Architecture of Adjustment (2011) features contributions by Carlos Basualdo, Lindsay Bremner, Eduardo Cadava, Katherine Carl, Teddy Cruz, Keller Easterling, Anselm Franke, Deborah Gans, Liam Gillick, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Manuel Herz, David Kazanjian, Dennis Kaspori, Sean Kelley, Sanjay Krishnan, Laura Kurgan, Thomas Y. Levin, Aaron Levy, Catherine Liu, Jill Magid, Detlef Mertins, Markus Miessen, John Palmesino, Nebojsa Seric Shoba, Taryn Simon, Samuel Weber, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Eyal Weizman.

The publication is published by Slought Foundation in Philadelphia with kuda.nao in Novi Sad. It is jointly edited by Katherine Carl (Curator and Deputy Director, Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center), Aaron Levy (Chief Curator and Executive Director, Slought Foundation), and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss (Assistant Professor, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Architecture Department).

Major support for this publication provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in Chicago, Illinois.

Additional support provided by the Society of Friends of Slought Foundation, Normal Architecture Office (NAO), the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Department of Architecture, the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art History and Department of English, the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.

Related publications

Editors Srdjan Weiss, Katherine Carl and Aaron Levy survey perspectives on power and evasion, with essays by Samuel Weber and others on human rights, geopolitical conflict, and sovereignty.

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