The Office of Recuperative Strategies (OoRS) is a research-oriented collective dedicated to exploring new tactics to promote the reuse, perversification, reanimation, and reparation of precarious, outmoded, and correctable cultural phenomena. Opened in 2010 by Christian Hawkey and Rachel Levitsky, it grew out of a collaboratively designed and taught class at Pratt Institute titled Cultural Sustainability and Recuperative Poetics.
OoRS seeks to develop language, architecture, and poetic strategies (associational thought, close-observation, dissonance, ambiguity, urban wandering, generative slippage) that intervene in and repurpose the brutality of technocapitalism’s obsession with speed, efficiency, able-bodiedness, originality, and novelty.
In using the word recuperative OoRS wishes to release it from its usual connotations in avant-garde discourse, where marginalized and outside experimentation is co-opted by dominant mainstream culture via a foreclosed process of capitalism. Recuperating recuperation, OoRS reclaims the term to foreground agency on the part of cultural producers, displacing outdated outside/inside, margin/center binaries in order to establish an ethics of making that is memory-based, research-oriented, and devoted to affirming and pushing up against the complexity of the world.
OoRS also supports a concept of cultural sustainability that is neither teleological nor rooted in Enlightenment ideas of preservation and/or reproductive futurism. Instead, we want to advance a memory-based politics and poetic practice that reactivates the past in ways that both denaturalize the present and open up new new modes of hybridity, activism, and dwelling.
Archive investigation and disruption. Field-research, field-notes, recording. Organized misuse and capture of technological accident. Conceptual pedagogy. Counter-memory. Close listening and distant reading. Repetition as difference, divergence, disidentification—and radical identification. OoRS does not exist in institutional time, but Queer time. It is a glamorous underground cult that is here to abduct you.
Jack Henrie Fisher
Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power. … [There is] a multiplicity of points of resistance: these play the role of adversary, target, support, or handle in power relations. These points of resistance are present everywhere in the power network. Hence there is no single locus of great Refusal, no soul of revolt, source of all rebellions, or pure law of the revolutionary. Instead there is a plurality of resistances, each of them a special case. —Foucault