The gaps of architectural life: the affective politics of Gordon Matta‐Clark's Conical Intersect

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This paper contributes to a burgeoning concern with the ‘critical geographies of architecture’. The central argument is that recent architecture-geography encounters – inspired by non-representational approaches to material mutability and affective inhabitation – are failing to connect with socio-political framings of the architectural. In this light, the paper aligns Gordon Matta-Clark’s architectural artwork Conical Intersect (1975) with the Deleuzo-Guattarian axiom of micropolitics and macropolitics to re-insert the architectural subject as a microtexture of political forms imbued with (1) asymmetrical assemblages of material volatility, (2) restricted capacities of ‘dwelling or being with’ architecture and (3) bounded notions of living affectively. I suggest Conical Intersect foregrounds architectural space as a meeting of dreamworlds and institutional effects. In its piercing of that space of interaction, the artwork produces an architectural form freed from the conventions of legal and physical constraints to suggest the potency of alternative modes of living with and living in architecture that should be of primary interest to critical geographies of architecture and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number2
Early online date11 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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