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Keller Easterling in conversation with Nikolaus Hirsch and Brian Kuan Wood | 05.02.2014

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Published on May 15, 2014

Sternberg Press is pleased to announce the publication of Subtraction by Keller Easterling, the fourth book in the Critical Spatial Practice series edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen. Keller Easterling will be in conversation with architect and professor Nikolaus Hirsch and e-flux journal editor Brian Kuan Wood for the book's New York launch at e-flux. For the launch in Berlin, Easterling and Hirsch will join Juan A. Gaitán, curator of the 8th Berlin Biennale for a conversation at the Crash Pad c/o KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Unbuilding is the other half of building. Buildings, treated as currency, rapidly inflate and deflate in volatile financial markets. Cities expand and shrink; whether through the violence of planning utopias or war, they are also targets of urbicide. Repeatable spatial products quickly make new construction obsolete; the powerful bulldoze the disenfranchised; buildings can radiate negative real estate values and cause their surroundings to topple to the ground. Demolition has even become a spectacular entertainment.

Keller Easterling's volume in the Critical Spatial Practice series analyzes the urgency of building subtraction. Often treated as failure or loss, subtraction—when accepted as part of an exchange—can be growth. All over the world, sprawl and overdevelopment have attracted distended or failed markets and exhausted special landscapes. However, in failure, buildings can create their own alternative markets of durable spatial variables that can be managed and traded by citizens and cities rather than the global financial industry.

These ebbs and flows—the appearance and disappearance of building—can be designed. Architects—trained to make the building machine lurch forward—may know something about how to put it into reverse.

Keller Easterling is an architect, writer, and professor at Yale University. Her books include Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), and Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways, and Houses in America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999).

Nikolaus Hirsch is a Frankfurt-based architect and curator. Recently, he was the Director of Städelschule and Portikus and curated Cultural Agencies (Istanbul, 2008), I knOw yoU (Dublin, 2013), and Folly for the Gwangju Biennale (2013). Current projects include Real DMZ (Korea, 2014) and The Land Workshop (Thailand, 2014--15).

Juan A. Gaitán is curator of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Keller Easterling
Subtraction
Critical Spatial Practice 4
Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen
Featuring artwork by Metahaven
April 2014, English
10.5 x 15 cm, 112 pages, 9 color and 6 b/w ills., softcover with dust jacket
ISBN 978-3-95679-046-1

Previous books in the Critical Spatial Practice series:

Nikolaus Hirsch and Markus Miessen, eds., What Is Critical Spatial Practice? (artwork by Armin Linke)
Markus Miessen in Conversation with Chantal Mouffe, The Space of Agonism (artwork by Rabih Mroué)
Beatriz Colomina, Manifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies (artwork by Dan Graham)

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