Dr Wolfgang Fiel

Born 1973 in Alberschwende/Austria, he studied Architecture at the Vienna University of Technology (MSc) and obtained his Master in Architectural Design at the Bartlett, University College London under the direction of Peter Cook. He is co-founder of tat ort, a Vienna based practice for collaborative work and research on spatial appropriation, collective knowledge and interactivity. Co-founded in 2004 he is Artistic Director of the iCP, Institute for Cultural Policy located in Hamburg. Identified as open platform for prolific exchange between architecture, art, science and industry the iCP organizes exhibitions, lectures and is editing a book series on experimental tendencies in contemporary architecture. 2006 it was invited to participate in the VEMA Web Event as part of the New Italian Pavillions presentation at 10th International Venice Biennale for Architecture. His individual and collective work has been exhibited and published widely. He currently is design tutor at the Institute of Art and Design and has lectured previously at the Institute of Design and Building Construction, both at Vienna University of Technology.

PhD Title: Dissipative Urbanism: From Democracy towards a Constitution of Time.

Given the rapid growth or sheer scale of urban agglomerations all over the world and the repercussions of globalized economies, politics and communication networks for the ‘lived experience’ of daily urban live, the field of urbanism is in dire need of a ‘unitary theory’ that would take account of the most basic issues beyond the boundaries of any discipline in particular, namely the human condition. From there we can start to delve into the diverse realities of individuals, their gathering in groups, their dialogue amongst each other and with their environment in its totality, and the complex interrelations within a highly dynamic network of associations in order to arrive at the question, whether the emergence of a fully emancipated many – as opposed to the One of the state – requires more than the flawed promise of representational democracy to act for the ‘common good,’ or ‘general will’ (Rousseau, 2009 [1762]) of all.

This task, however, is ambitious, for we have to bridge the gap between the needs, aspirations, emotions, anxieties and dreams of individuals on the one hand, and the temporal emergence of collective co‐operation on the other. Furthermore, ‘official’ knowledge, incorporated by endless columns of statistical data, gathered and administered meticulously thanks to the firm grip of institutionalised observation,is of little help, for we realise on a daily basis that the representations thereof are a poor match for the complexity of networked realities ‘on the ground’. At this point we realise that our task is not to provide alternative representations based on presumed universal identity, but to retain the full‐blown heterogeneity of the multitude in order to allow the general intellect to thrive on the activity of the speaker. To speak is to act, and to act is the predominant trait of political praxis. It is through our acts and deeds that we disclose ourselves in public in the presence of others. And it is through acting that we start anew and leave our mark in a situation the moment we intervene in the circulation of empty signifiers upon which we assign a name, the name of an event. It is through our interventional participation that we allow for novelty to emerge in time, as a process without representation and sustained by fidelity. Dissipative urbanism is a statement about difference marked as intervention. This intervention requires the presence of others and the intention to act. It is the emergence of a ‘constitution of time’.