for a Partisan Design movement [under development]
(as a part of the >self_passage<
" I was
cautioned to surrender, this I could not do. [
The frontiers are my prison."
Leonard Cohen: the Partisan
is a tactical methodology of participatory design in resistance applied
low-level process and production, a subversive way of looking at design
defying the top-down model in traditional design thinking. Close to counter
culture movements partisan design operates with activist network praxis
in a spirit of practical idealism. In an attempt to establish a practice
of fresh eyes and dirty hands the methodology is exploring the possibilities
of a parallel discourse to the dominant operating system of society allowing more room for direct action and DIY utopianism.
Where Clausewitz saw war as an extension of peacetime political struggles, yet with other means, his ideas are often rephrased as "where politics end, war begins". The interventionist guerrilla practice of Partisan Design engages with political questions disbanded by politicians as "irrelevant" or "impossible". Partisan Design is politics with other means, as an extension of politics: "where politic end, design begins".
A partisan is a facilitator, motivator and instigator of resistance. A
craftsman of social tools, giving the instruments with which to rescue
the people from the "only" or "inevitable" future. As a guide through the night the partisan navigates a multitude of ways towards shared and attainable micro-utopias.
A partisan is a practitioner of resistance, not necessarily in a sense
of a warrior but being of critical view on the surrounding conditions
- asking "am I living in the best of worlds, and if not - what can
I do about it and improve the conditions of the Everyman?" - Instead of relying on a delegated change agent the partisan becomes the agent for change, creating small experiments from which to find a best localized practice.
The partisan is a participator, acting on street-level, identifying with
the suppressed or marginalized groups in society. From a low level the partisan is practicing
resistance through direct action and infiltration from within the occupied
territory in a war s/he fights bereft of all trace of violence.
A movement of partisan resistance can never on it's own defeat it's enemy.
But that is never the purpose of the resistance. The resistance is a small
wound in the occupying force's body, a sting of hope, a sign of non-surrender.
This non-surrender is a psychological warfare, showing everybody that the struggle still goes on - there is still hope for
a better world, even for the poorest, unseen, unheard or uncounted.
A partisan must work with fresh eyes, consciously act brave in re-examining
the "common sense", shake the certainty we all take for granted,
deliberately reveal the landscape under a different angle and
question the ubiquitous "operating system" of modernity.
The "operating system" of modernity is a strict scientific, economic and
mechanical system of technocratic solutions, and in the end saturation
of our everyday expectations, based on a ground of rationality and efficiency,
hygiene and predictability, ads and commodities, production and consumption, activity and passivity. Only a small elite is allowed to examine or rewrite the code of the system as it is not open and the interfaces are strictly controlled. These interfaces are the front along which the partisans engage in battle. "The interfaces are my prison."
The partisan works with "do-it-yourself", activist and hacking methodology, on street
level, producing his own equipment and tools according to his needs. These
methods he creates in an easily understandable way and shares with his
fellow citizens to be developed through collaborative endeavors - all for the good of society's hope of recovery.