The “Office for Bureaucritic Imagination – State of Exception” is a participatory speculative performance inspired by Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben’s philosophy on the potential of active participation in the process of law generation, thus questioning today’s ideas of democracy and participation in city life. The concept, “State of Exception” is influenced by Agamben’s notion of a space where the normal laws and regulations in society are suspended. This idea is borrowed for the performance, in which the status quo of laws is questioned and new laws are imagined.
In a representative democracy, participation in politics is often understood as being reserved to politicians. Although politics affects the lives of every individual, the divide between public interests and private interests is becoming increasingly apparent. Participatory democracy bridges the divide between public and private interests in juxtaposition to bureaucratized and elitist form of politics. Hannah Arendt’s concept of participatory democracy encourages action, plurality and freedom – where human multiplicity and different standpoints can pave way for interesting debates and better political inclusivity. In order for political participation to take form, spaces for political action are required.
The “Office for Bureaucritic Imagination” is a performance, speculative design and a stage where the coming together of a diversity of people to deliberate on public affairs allows for different voices to be heard and considered, especially those from the unrepresented segments of the population. The office provides a meeting point for politicians, civil servants, citizens and local associations to speculate on alternative futures through laws.
Project by Virginia Lui & Virginia Tassinari