Borders and Francis Alys

going backwards:

*walking, crossing borders: Alys and geographical border in artistic practice

Francis Alÿs; green line, silence of ani, the loop, when faith moves mountains

Works of Francis Alÿs acknowledges that poetics to politics and politics to poetics are always contingent. The piece, Green Line has a sub-title which is like a quote to dwell later on: “sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic”


Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 16.32.35.png

He makes what is invisible but there exists; the green line drawn in 1948-1949 already has an absurd story. Although today google maps have eradicated palestine (see the map figure below), there are people living under siege, being confined to borders with walls, fences, traffic control, bridges and highways. Israeli planning have formed many different methods to control and block people from palestine, generated the most distinguished practice of bordering.

After the Lebanon war, Benveniste  asks the question of “[w]ho owned the width of line?” (…) He refers to the story of border lines of  between Israel and Jordan in 1949. Drawn with different kind of pencils  on the laid-out map, the difference in thickness and softness between pencils produced three to four millimeters, in 1:20 000 scale map the unbelonged line widths were up to 80 meters.”

A performance revisited,from The Leak in Sao Paolo in 1995, he uses green paint instead and makes visible now borderwall that seperates the land. Here, Alys acts politically within his artistic practice;  to cite from Ranciere, “politics consist of making visible that which is not visible”

Paul Klee avers that “Drawing is like taking a line for a walk”, which asserts that such drawing to be doing while drawing, just as Alys’ drawing the green line, becomes visible as he walk-

and sometimes doing nothing leads to nothing. the loop

map 1. image from google maps eradicated palestine. follow the dashed line for westbank and the rest. (below)
Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 15.16.12.png

Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 16.32.13.png

diagrammatic maps 2-3: last accessed 9.10.2016

east coast europe, ed. markus miessen

1.mladen dolar, Kafka’s Europe: laws in the hand of the avatar of nobility; the necessity of new laws that are comprehensible (in language) to every day- ordinary. this is possible on the edge:

“where Kafka’s lesson lies: a geographical lesson of being at the edge of…., this edge is the very place of the innovation, …., a hybrid space of intimate externality, of a crack of any inside,the commonness of what can not be common….”  pg.23

– therefore border

2. markus miessen, the (im)possible border, the border is more the economic and the cultural one, than the physical

where is east east from? different maps than renaissance European once, there east is not on the right.

3. kazys varnelis, terrain vague
the transition of postmodernity to network culture

terrain vague works: gordon matta clark, bernd and hilla becher, on what Schumpeter calls “creative destruction of capital”

terrain vague areas strange but within being exposed they become familiar and seen as sites for future developments- best example of wall-border-terrain vague to site of new urbanism: berlin wall. “how quickly things are demolished and the space surrounding was filled in, evil as Baudrillard says, have not left with the demolish of the iron wall, but it was spread.”

4. can altay, europe 2050

5.hans ulrich obrist, ever le goff
Turkey’s EU candidateship
mondialite rather than mondialisation (globalisation)
in soccer Turkey and Russia are in European League. Cyprus half in EU half does not exist island.





Border Theory#1

all the migration, displacement and flow- borders are again highly discussed topic. never seen as only geographical seperations, the term border has various meanings- touching and altering multiple issues.

a new book on border,by Thomas Neil, ‘theory of border’ has a review that reasons to rise high interest; “kinopolitics” in order to reinterpret borders as forms of social motion  and a new methodology of “critical limology,” which provides fresh tools for the analysis of contemporary border politics

one more subject on the reading list.

barricading / the city

The third year of Gezi Park, which funnily coincides with Paris Commune 1871 (18 March-28 March). What Hausmann did to Paris, is still in use tactic: transforming urban to be a more controllable area. The constructions in Taksim Square are still going on. New pavement stones are been laid out. But under the pavements: the beach.


Citing from the funambulist, I share the map of Paris, with barricades in orange during the Bloody Week. (last accessed 29 May 2016;


physical borders

john fekner

Made on Berlin Wall by John Fekner, 1968

we have surrounded with borders all around. but the location is a concept can not be thought without borders. physical borders can take many forms; according to Weizman “[t]he linear border, a cartographic imaginary inherited from the military and political spatiality of the nation state has splintered into a multitude of temporary, transportable, deployable and removable border-synonyms—‘separation walls,’ ‘barriers,’ ‘blockades,’ ‘closures,’ ‘road blocks,’ ‘checkpoints,’ ‘sterile areas,’ ‘special security zones,’ ‘closed military areas’ and ‘killing zones’” (2007: 6) when he talks about  frontiers of the Occupied Territories, “that are not rigid and fixed at all; rather they are elastic, and in constant formation”(ibid.) Concrete (beton); the magic material of architecture with the developments in technologies in WWII and later, the need for fast and profitable construction, is one of the signs of power and building.

image from mainstream turkish newspaper hurriyet comes up by the search in google words of taksim square, beton


still the show of wealth, pouring concrete.

map #2: Renaming Landscape

Azaryahu, Maoz, and Arnon Golan. “(Re) naming the landscape: The formation of the Hebrew map of Israel 1949–1960.” Journal of Historical Geography 27.2 (2001): 178-195.

“The formation of the Hebrew map of Israel following the foundation of the State of Israel was an institutionalized measure of cultural engineering and a procedure of Zionist nation-building aimed at restoring the Hebrew toponomy of the land. The Hebraicization of the landscape was the geographical aspect of Hebrew revival, which predominated Zionist ideology and imagination. The Hebrew names affixed to landscape features replaced—at least for Hebrew speakers—Arabic names rendered foreign from a Zionist perspective. Accordingly, the formation of the national Hebrew map of Israel was designed to assert the Jewish identity of the state of Israel in terms of a conflation of cultural and territorial aspects of Jewish sovereignty. The main part of the article explores the setting up and mode of operation in the 1950s of the Governmental Names Commission that was in charge of the Hebraicization of the national map. Of particular interest here are the ideological premises that both legitimized and facilitated the work of the commission. The last part of the article evaluates the success of the project and elaborates on its implications in the context of the Jewish-Arab conflict over a shared and contested homeland.”

Different contexts, same procedures.


“. . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.”

Borges, “Del rigor en la ciencia” (On Exactitude of Science) and his book : After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century, William Rankin

Of Other Spaces

…There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places-places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society -which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted. Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality. Because these places are absolutely different from all the sites that they reflect and speak about…

Foucault, M . Of Other Spaces, translated by Miskowiec, J. (diacritics, vol.16, no.1 (spring 1986, pp22-27)

another blog about all these;

‘space of place’ to ‘space of flows’

“Territorial borders both shape and are shaped by what they contain, and what crosses or is prevented from crossing them. The “container” and the “contents” are mutually formative. Ultimately, the significance of borders derives from the importance of territoriality as an organizing principle of political and social life. The functions and meaning of borders have always been inherently ambiguous and contradictory; and these characteristic seem to take on a new salience with claims about emerging “border less worlds” and the “space of place” giving way to the “space of flows”.”

(Anderson & O’Dowd:1999:594)