Reading(s) and Writing(s): Unfolding Processes of Transversal Writing
This issue of Writingplace Journal, Reading(s) and Writing(s), focuses on the complex process of writing itself, and in particular on the question of reading and responding to texts. By presenting not only resulting texts, but discreet readings of works in process integrated with the discussions that unfold, the issue reveals complex modes of writing that move between the scholarly and the fictional. It draws attention to the questions of authorial voice, the voice of the reader, and the voice of the possible protagonists of the text, even if this as an object, space or indeed, place. If the authors could be said to engage in various acts of ‘writing place’, as per this journal’s general thematic focus, what kinds of places do they bring into existence? Furthermore, which modes of writing are deemed most appropriate in order to create both evocative and critical accounts of places?
Driven by a concern to reinvigorate space-related research through the means of writing, the texts in this issue have evolved through the collaborations of a group of affiliated thinkers and practitioners, within a series of reading and writing workshops in the context of the project Transversal Writing.2 Challenging the means and formats of conventional academic writing, this project sets out to transgress the hierarchies between academic and non-academic knowledge, theory and practice, discipline and profession. Contesting the reification of architecture that maintains that the building is a discrete object – whose values are materialized through real estate, limits defined by property borders and agency reduced to profit-making – what we call ‘transversal writing’ traces the lines of connection between architectural conceptions and their effects, between decisions and materializations, forms and affordances. The project acknowledges how architecture is shaped by words, imagery and ideas long before it is transformed into bricks and mortar. Recognizing architecture as a product of the collective imaginary – an act of human creation – is to identify the potentiality in how words, images and physical entities have a capacity to proliferate, spread and generate unforeseeable effects, far beyond the intentions of the architect.
Michel Foucault, ‘What Is an Author?’, in: Donald F. Bouchard (ed.), Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault (New York: Cornell University Press, 1977), 113-138.
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