vvAlternative Route is the working title of an artist led project entangled with issues related to how access to public and private spaces is facilitated or restricted through the use of precautionary or disciplinary architecture. Examples include walls, barriers, palisade fencing, checkpoints and turnstiles.
The project through tactical interventions, devices and adaptations proposes alternative means to question, modify and sometimes neutralise the function of these structures. Albeit with certain risks. The primary intention of the project is to reveal and make explicit the boundaries and physical limits in the everyday experience of our environment.
In Michel De Certeau’s text The Practice of Everyday Life (1984). Certeau posits an interpretation of strategy and tactics. Strategy Certeau proposed as relating to static immovable places or positions. Such as structures or sites controlled and mediated by a governing force. An example could be an urban planner’s map or a series of tasks and forms designed by a government agency to obfuscate access to a particular service. A strategy often identifies the locus of power.
Tactics in this framing are opposed to strategy. Tactics are employed in everyday situations by users to make do and get around the structures they encounter daily.
“In short. a tactic is an art of the weak” p.37 De Certeau
A strategy this project positions could be the act of placing a fence around a particular site. This structure. It may be a fence or a wall, embodies the ideology of the proprietor in its design and degree of accessibility. A tactical response might involve cutting a hole in the fence or constructing some means of getting over it.
The project comprises a number of strands that explore concepts of tactics and risk in relation to the built environment.