Accidents & Failures

As I have just received my copies of Beyond #03 – and fantastic they look in their shiny pink – I may as well announce that the Call for Contributions is out for Beyond‘s next issue on Accidents & Failures.

© John Minihan, via Agaudi.

Under the banner of Samuel Beckett’s “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” I’m welcoming fictions and experimental pieces on the intricacies and ambiguities of failure – if not on the illusions of perfect achievement or the happiness of chance.

Accidents, mistakes, errors, blunders, slips, faults, collapses, mishaps, missteps, miscalculations and other human disasters are all part of the city’s historical progression, and they often provide immense impulses for renewal and for uprooting what tends to become an inert status quo.

How can the outlooks on cities and architecture, as well as our perspectives on daily practice, gain consciousness from the accidents and the failures of past and present? After Virilio, how can we develop a positive theory of errors and mistakes? How can we embrace failure as methodology?

While modernist ideologies, technological truths, political principles, and the conditioned actions of urban planners are shadowed by permanent claims of social failure, what cautionary tales can we today evoke so as to insinuate new views and positions on all of ours tomorrow’s cities?

I’m looking out for your witty, insightful accounts… So, do send your stories to Martien de Vletter at Sun Publishers ( email: m.devletter @ sunpublishers.nl ) until September 15th 2010.

3 responses to “Accidents & Failures

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  3. Cathy Haynes

    Alfredo, by chance your film-essay bounced up on my screen just as I was struggling to write the ending to a talk on how culturally we devalue play and over-value productivity. The film helped me think about how geniune play is a space of experiment where failure is not feared but inspires new possibilities. The question is, how to protect that state from always being reduced to the value of its results — how to exempt it from our need to identify success or failure. How can we value play as something done just for itself?

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