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Resist This Space

On the first night of a Columbia University conference devoted to trans life and aesthetics, co-organizer Jack Halberstam articulated a clear agenda for the ensuing discussions: “Given the way the world looks right now, world-building”—a typical mode of architectural or narrative speculation—“isn’t the task that we want to set for ourselves.” Instead, he noted that his forthcoming writing was trying to identify ideas that “[moved] along the grain of the entropic” toward “unbuilding, dismantling, undoing, and unmaking.” A later comment from theorist Marquis Bey, made in the context of a conversation about “unmaking” domestic space, was emblematic of the ruminative, exploratory threads that the event gathered over two subsequent days: “How am I occupying space in ways that elude the way that space is being read? So that if I’m home, it might not be apparent that I’m ‘at home.’”

This deconstructive attitude held in a segment about “systems frames and regimes within which the body can or cannot appear or be seen” and architecture’s typical embodiment of these powers. Bec…

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