DEMILIT /// A Weaponized Urbanity: Morning Drift in Militarized Downtown Oakland

A WEAPONIZED URBANITY: MORNING DRIFT IN MILITARIZED DOWNTOWN OAKLAND

Conversation recorded with Demilit (Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers, and Javier Arbona) in Oakland, on May 2, 2014

This podcast, recorded with the three founders of Demilit (Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers, and Javier Arbona) is a precedent for Archipelago since it constitutes both a walk to examine the hyper controlled policed space of downtown Oakland and a receptacle for the echoes of Occupy Oakland that comes as interludes to our discussion. We observe objects and spaces that are produced by securitarian logic that often attempt to dissimulate their function by an aesthetic of the ordinary. Starting from Oakland City Hall where Occupy used to have its encampment, we spend the first part of the conversation around the administrative/corporate center of the city before drifting away from it to reach the urban barrier that both the highway and the police headquarters and the jail constitutes in a clear cut of the city. Be sure to listen to Nick’s long recording of Occupy Oakland at the end of the podcast (starts at 1:00:00).

Demilit (@demilit) scours landscapes for quotidian connections between spaces, objects, individuals, and authority. Founded in 2010, initially to participate in the Just Metropolis Conference at UC Berkeley, Demilit is Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers, and Javier Arbona. In addition, the trio works with various collaborators on specific projects, performances, and improvisations. Demilit is a playful collaboration focused on walking, exploring, listening, and experimenting. At its inception, Demilit was especially interested in the politics of archiving and knowledge dissemination, an area that continues to inform its work. New projects in development focus on surveillance and place.

Bryan Finoki (@subtopes) is a writer and artist tracing the feedback loop between spatial militarization, contested geography, carceral forms, “experimental neuroentomology”, sonic power and imaginaries. His blog–Subtopia–remains an archival excavation into “military urbanism” and has been featured and drawn upon for numerous international events and projects. He’s been an adjunct professor at Woodbury University’s School of Arch. in San Diego, and is currently exploring the psychoacoustics of memory, doppelgänger and landscape.

Nick Sowers (@soundscrapers) is a Sound Architect. He launched his Oakland-based practice Soundscrapers in 2008, where he is currently building out an office for a tech company DIY.org in San Francisco in addition to several residential projects involving sound in the domestic environment. In 2009, Nick traveled the world on a fellowship to study abandoned military bases, bunkers, and other fortifications. 

Javier Arbona (AlJavieera) researches military landscapes and the production of heritage, memory, and space. In the summer of 2014, he will begin a position as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies at the University of California, Davis, working under the mentorship of Prof. Caren Kaplan. He is currently working on a book manuscript based on his dissertation. His study looks at the landscapes for memorializing the 1944 Port Chicago explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area and the subsequent African American work strike to resist segregation in the military. 

WEBSITES:

http://demilit.tumblr.com/
http://subtopia.blogspot.com/
http://soundscrapers.blogspot.com/
http://javier.est.pr/

REFERENCE ARTICLES:

- Demilit, “Footprinting Secrecy,” in Volume 36: Ways to Be Critical (2013)
- Demilit, “[In]visible Sites,” on Archive.org

REPORT FROM OUR WALK IN DOWNTOWN OAKLAND:

- Reference Maps of Downtown Oakland (all numbers on the map refers to the following photographs):

Demilit Archipelago Oakland MAP

- Photographs (all by either Léopold Lambert or Nick Sowers):

01/IMG_0393 02/IMG_138803/IMG_0398 04/IMG_0400 05/IMG_1392 06/IMG_139307/IMG_0401 08/IMG_1394 09/IMG_1397 10/IMG_1398 11/IMG_140012/IMG_0404 13/IMG_0410 14/IMG_140215/IMG_0411 16/IMG_0412 17/IMG_140818/IMG_0417 19/IMG_1415 20/IMG_141621/IMG_0424 22/IMG_0428 23/IMG_0429 24/IMG_0430


ARCHIPELAGO /// The Podcast Platform of The Funambulist
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. - 2014