Bureau of Foreign Correspondence

"House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence" is an ongoing informational project about the global movement of direct action autonomous public spaces, mostly known as squatted social centers. The project takes the form of a mobile archive exhibition which was first shown at ABC No Rio in Spring 2009, and an on-going zine also called "House Magic". The website archives the progress of this initiative.



BULLETINS:
There are six annuals of the "House Magic" journal so far.
The first number, a catalogue of the House Magic exhibition project, was published in Spring of 2009. Here is the compressed PDF.
The second number, also largely a catalogue of the show, was finished in May 2010 -- here it is: "House Magic" #2
House Magic #3 was done in July 2011. It is here.
House Magic #4 was finished Spring 2012. You can find it here.
House Magic #5 was finished for Spring 2013. It can be found here.
House Magic #6 was finished for Spring 2014. It is a special number on the historical "Real Estate Show" in NYC in 1979. It can be found here.

For updates on the House Magic project as it progresses, see the blog "Occupations and Properties."
There is also a new website for House Magic -- house-magic.net, with content uploaded by Alan Smart and Jack Henrie Fisher. 
 

* * * 

And....

The anthology book of texts on culture in autonomous spaces has been printed. It is called "Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces." The table of contents and a PDF are linked from the title. It has been published by Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. My own book, "Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below," is being published by Minor Compositions. I am touring with both books beginning in Brighton, UK June 22nd, 2015, and continuing in the USA until end October, 2015, centered in Milwaukee. Pending the development of a full-dress tour website, information on the tour will be posted here. "Occupation Culture" book tour 2015.

Minor Compositions will post my book online, as a free download. The table of contents of "Making Room" has been posted on the blog "Occupations and Properties." It contains more than 50 essays, mostly short, by as many authors from around Europe. My own book took a year to write, but we assembled this anthology in 4 months. 

SqEK -- the Squatting Europe Kollective -- is having its annual conference in Barcelona May 21-24, 2015. The call for participation is posted at Stephen Luis Vilaseca's website now. "House Magic" is coordinating an exhibition for that event, and invited guests Sublevarte collective from Mexico, D.F., and Beehive Collective.


What follows is mostly links to activities of Alan W. Moore discussing the "House Magic" project, and conferences of the SqEK group.

SqEK had a great meeting in Rome in May of 2014. Usually our meeting minutes are posted on the SqEK website, but right now I can't find them... the website was redesigned some time ago, and maybe they are gone. I'll find out. At least there is an "OccuProp" blog post about every SqEK meeting since London, '09.

I attended the 40th anniversary Ruigoord symposium on free cultural spaces in Amsterdam, July 19-27, 2013. Much of the conference proceedings are now on YouTube: search “Ruigoord symposium.” Here's a short video, presenting the event. Aja Waalwijk's pamphlet on free cultural spaces is attached below.

I gave a talk at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, entitled "Art + Squat = X"; it was a preliminary attempt to discuss artistic practice in the squatting movement. A draft for the talk is posted at the link above, and comments are welcomed. I repeated a shortened version in Paris at the SqEK meeting in March of 2013. 
Squatting Europe Collective (SqEK) was in New York, February 2012, 23rd to 27th. The program is here. More materials should be posted soon to the SQEK websites. Some of the conference video has been uploaded to YouTube. The House Magic archive of books, DVDs and ephemera, is now in Brooklyn, at the Interference Archive. It is accessible to researchers by appointment.
The Squatting Europe Collective (SqEK) held a seminar in Copenhagen December 4-6, 2011. You can see the program and the draft of meeting minutes here. A draft of my talk, "Circulating Movement Information in the Spheres of Art," is here.
"House Magic" materials were included in the Creative Time Summit "Market" project in New York in September, 2011. You can see the display in the photo here. I just received the wonderful catalogue, "Living Form" (pub'd 5/2012); House Magic is not in it, but it's still good.
House Magic was part of a solidarity show Michel Chevalier and Alan Moore organized at the Rote Flora social center in Hamburg in March, 2011. You can see information about that, including Moore's essay, "Permanent Cultural Revolution" here.
The last U.S. show of the archive was in February 2010 at Basekamp in Philadelphia.
An excellent panel in NYC considered "Squats, Social Centers and Autonomous Spaces" at the Anarchist Book Fair in April, 2010 -- Discussion was Youtubed in segments by the organizer, Sebastian Gutierrez at: "Squats, Social Centers and Autonomous Spaces - I" (in 5 segments) 
Moore presented "House Magic" at the SQEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) meeting in Berlin March 29-31, 2011. See the SQEK program here. See SQEK notes from London, July 2010 here. Berlin, March 2011 here. (All the edited notes from SQEK meetings are here, including Copenhagen December '11. [Hmm, not sure this is true anymore.]) Moore read a text about the social center movement at the CAA conference in NYC in February, 2011; "Monster Institutions: Occupied Social Centers in Europe" is here. Scapegoat out of Toronto published an "Incomplete Timeline of OSCs" in 2010 prepared by Moore; an uncorrected PDF is here.
2009 -- The "Social Center" course at Public School (Architecture) in NYC concluded with two sessions in fall of 2009. A reflection on the experience was sent to the Common Room, organizers of the project. You can read it here. A text about "HM:BFC" was published in Lumpen magazine, Chicago, "Description of the “House Magic” Project (12/09)." Read this text here
Also there is a Flickr page for this project. You can see it here.
2006 -- This project has a prehistory in a paper for the "Artists in Contested Spaces" show at Pratt Institute, NYC; the conference reader/exhibition packet is here.
It has a deep background history in the story of ABC No Rio's beginning. The book, published in 1985, is partly online at 98bowery.com.

What is "House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence"? Well, first, it was an exhibition in 2009...
The global social center movement was the focus of a process exhibition at the Lower East Side cultural center, ABC No Rio in the Spring of 2009. Images and information, videos, and discussion engaged the realities of the vital urban movement of disobedient political and cultural spaces in the global cities.

A key node on global justice organizing, squatted social centers have sprung up in cities throughout Europe.  (There is of course an inspiring movement also in Latin America, and many centers in other lands which remain to be reported.) The disobedient social centers represent a new wave of activism, closely linked to the global justice movement, and supported by grassroots activists, artists and radical intellectuals.This ongoing "House Magic" project invites public participation as we share the stories and lessons of the vivid life of these temporary autonomous zones.

Among the centers and agencies past and present considered in the spring show at ABC No Rio show were Bowl Court, Ramparts, CoolTan, ASS and 56a in London; El Patio Maravillas, Seco, Laoratorio, Caracolea nd SinAtena in Madrid; La Casa Invisible (Malaga); Krax City Mine(d) in Barcelona; ESC (Rome), ROG (Ljubljana), and many others. This larger website reflects that first investigation. For a schedule of events and discourses that took place at ABC, click that link back there....

A rotating selection of videos about squatted social centers played in the gallery, as well as the following artists’ documentaries:
Oliver Ressler -- “5 Factories - Worker Control in Venezuela,” 81 min., Span./Ger./Engl., 2004 {with Dario Azzellini},
“Disobbedienti,” 54 min., Ital./Ger./Engl., 2002 {with Dario Azzellini}; and
“What Would It Mean To Win?” 40 min. / 2008 / PAL / Engl./Ger./French (with Zanny Begg),
Marcelo Expósito, "Primero de Mayo (La Ciudad-fábrica) [First of May (The City Factory)]" (61 minutes, 2004) Span./Engl.

After the show at ABC No Rio concluded, "House Magic" moved on to the Sculpture Center, in Queens, New York until August 3rd, 2009. It was a research unit within the University of Trash project by Michael Cataldi and Nils Norman.

Here are some photos from the showing of "House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence." Again, these are all old pics.