Urban Hacktivism





The Social Revolutions of 2011: Occupy Wall Street, Indignados, Arab Spring, etc., were global events with significant changes and challenges in the political and capital system. These events, unlike other revolutions or social manifestations, were originated in the virtual space, a platform that generated not only the construction of multitudes, but also the simultaneous expansion of time and space.

One of the most significant effects of these revolutions is the transformation of processes and development of urban public spaces. They affected the urban regulation, legislation, architectural design, urban planning, and citizen participation, but also gave way to control widely the virtual space. Furthermore, the global factor carries out general and standard measures and regulations that are repeated across different cities such like London, Hong Kong or Madrid. It is palpable the search for controlling public spaces, their access, use and behavior, which presents itself as a situation that in the contemporary city it is understood in two dimensions: the physical and the virtual.

This mechanism of public space organization is identified as the “black box”, a device that makes invisible the processes and techniques that affect directly the urban development. Hacking and citizen participation merge on the same dimension as an urban tool, creating physical and virtual areas of active and temporary inhabiting, and provoking the generation of a new public space, the post-public space.


– Public space. Picture of Caixa Forum Square –


– Post-public space. Picture of Caixa Forum Square where we can see crowd apparently independently assembled –


– Post-public space. Using a mobile device to discover the modification inthe character of the public space –

The simultaneous and temporary existence of the post-public space, triggers a new dimension in the generation of the public. Erik Swyngedouw points to it as “the remaking of the ‘creative’ city within an agonistic urban space,” a reconceptualization of the contemporary architectural urban landscape. Through necessary and immediate imaginative space-time operations, the post-public space is physically and virtually inhabited.

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