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Replacing Home

From Primordial Hut to Digital Network in Contemporary Art

Jennifer Johung

Publication Year: 2011

From property deeds to shipping containers to wearable shelters to virtual spaces: what does it mean to draw a spatial boundary? To be at home? In a world in which notions of place are constantly changing, Jennifer Johung looks at new constructions of staying in place—in contemporary site-specific art, digital media, portable architecture, and various other imaginable shelters and sites.

Replacing Home suggests that while “place” may no longer be a sustainable category, being in place and belonging at home are nonetheless possible. By emphasizing reusability rather than fixed constructions, art and architecture together propose various systems of replacing home in which sites can be revisited, material structures can be renewed, and dwellers can come back into contact over time. Bringing together a range of objects and events, Johung considers the structural replacements of home as evident in artistic analogies of the prehistoric hut, modular homes, transformable garments, and digitally networked sites.

In charting these intersections between contemporary art and architecture, Replacing Home introduces a new framework for reconceptualizing spatial situation; at the same time, it presents a new way to experience being and belonging within our globally expanded environments.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Replacing Home

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pp. ix-xxvi

On a rooftop in Manhattan, the partial reflection of one body is caught in a curving surface of mirrored glass, just as another body passes along the other side, both held together for a moment at the end of the afternoon sun, against the urban sprawl of New York City below. ...

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One: Returning to the Hut: Dan Graham’s Two-Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube

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pp. 1-32

Atop 548 West Twenty-second Street in Manhattan, visitors to the Dia Center for the Arts could climb a short staircase and enter a raised wooden platform walled in regularly aligned glass panels and left open above. In the center of the platform, a two-way-mirrored glass cylinder projected convex, semitransparent images of visitors looking at themselves or at each other. ...

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Two: Reusable Sites: Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates and the Odd Lots Exhibition

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pp. 33-66

On October 14, 1973, the real estate section of the New York Times presented a report on the city’s auctioning of tiny property plots. Appearing over time, between and inside of larger lots drawn up by architects and city planners, these unusable gutter-spaces, small in size and odd in dimension, ...

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Three: In and Out of Place: Modular Architecture and Reintegration

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pp. 67-96

A steel pod, able to fit one or two people at most, serves as an isolation tank that can be situated anywhere or hitched to a vehicle and transported from site to site. Inside, owners have personalized the tiny spaces of Andrea Zittel’s 1996 Escape Vehicles to accommodate their specific needs within a compressed and flexible personal living space. ...

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Four: Visibly Skinned: Body Architecture and Transformable Clothing

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pp. 97-130

A woman steps into a silver-gray nylon jumpsuit, zips it up, and pulls the hood over her head. Extending from the front, back, and sides of the garment are long nylon tubes that hang like umbilical cords in either silver or bright red. There are forty-nine others like her, stepping into their suits, in a public square in Valencia, ...

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Five: Networked Dependencies: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Relational Architecture

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pp. 131-164

On a clear night between December 26, 1999, and January 7, 2000, those walking through Mexico City’s central square, formally titled La Plaza de la Constitución but commonly called el Zócalo, could look up and see a tangled net of piercing bluish-white searchlights stretching overhead as far as ten to twenty kilometers. ...

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Epilogue: Almost Home

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pp. 165-172

That we move through an ever-expanding world cannot be avoided, as we travel by choice either physically or virtually, as we are pushed by environmental catastrophe, or as we are urged under political pressure. Yet that we still care about specific spatial situations, that we need to be materially housed, and that we want to belong cannot be ignored. ...

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pp. 173-176

The groundwork for this book was laid when I moved from London back to California and found myself in the midst of many exciting voices, practices, colleagues, and faculty in the performance studies department at the University of California, Berkeley. ...


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pp. 177-190


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pp. 191-200


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pp. 201-222

About the Author

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p. 250-250

E-ISBN-13: 9780816678600
E-ISBN-10: 081667860X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816672882

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2011