Whether the Occupy movement, which has taken over parks in cities across the country, fizzles or grows, whether it has resonance and can translate its message into concrete change, are political questions. But looked at solely as an aesthetic and cultural phenomenon, it has deep roots in ideas with established pedigrees in the world of art and architecture. Its anti-consumerist ethos, its impatience with the media and its love of theatrical intervention in city life make it a direct heir of the Situationists, a radical European avant-garde collective begun in the late 1950s with ideas that remain influential today.It goes on in that vein for quite awhile:
Charlie Hailey, author of the 2009 survey “Camps: A Guide to 21st Century Space,” an extensive taxonomy and analysis of temporary forms of urbanism, sees parallels between the Occupy movement and the tradition of long-standing protest camps in Europe, especially Britain, where a pacifist group created the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which stood outside an air base for 19 years until it disbanded in 2000. He’s struck by McPherson Square’s significance as a protest site. “It is about legibility,” he says of the site’s proximity to the White House and the lobbyist corridor of K Street NW. “The adjacency is really striking.”Meanwhile, in the real world, Obamaville Atlanta is seeing an outbreak of a disease that most probably consider dead:
The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis. The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.Charlie Hailey was unavailable to comment on the adjacency of the disease.