GEOMETRIES OF RECOGNITION: An OORS Workshop with Stephanie Gray and Rachel Levitsky

OORS was part of this bit of urban magic.

The Fallow Time Festival, sponsored by iLand, one of our affinities, is an amazing weeklong celebration of the wild world here in the five boroughs, through dance science writing planning performing camping activating, etc.

Here’s the OORS Workshop description for Geometries of Recognition*

I enter into an investigation of the ecstatic in the dual sites of rapture and rupture.” —Akilah Oliver

In this Office of Recuperative Strategies workshop, we will attempt – via myth, movies, gestural research, on-site documentation, and some sets of rules – to investigate, recuperate and create shared responses and mutual means of noticing everyday raptures and ruptures in our urban landscape. We seek these “geometries of recognition” as means to mark the passing and morphing of urban sites once either banal or triumphant but now, to our eye, torn and endangered. We seek for these passages to aid in our ability to continue to thrive in urban life, to locate new ways to reverse destructive processes–degentrification–and to construct, collectively, a different sense of ‘revitalization’ than is indicated by corporate-backed urban development.

This workshop will produce documentation of our discoveries in the form of individual and group texts and distribution in the form of paper and/or internet publication.

*We take our title from Joan Retallack’s use of the phrase geometries of attention.


We gathered in the main room of Issue Project Room on 33 Boerum Place. We discussed the wounds of urban renewal, our desire to inhabit places of decay, rip, rupture; and wondered what it would be like to have rituals to mark loss and transition in the time of rapid gentrification. We noted that what is remarkable about the room we were in is how it allowed the ruptures, holes, mars in the walls and floors and cornices to remain open. We entered these as ruptures and named them. We went to another entranceway in the same building, the entrance of 33 Livingston, what used to be the Board of Education and what is now a Two Trees Luxury Condominium. We noted the differences in the detail of the ceilings of a renovated parallel space. We exited and in pairs found moments in the four block circumference that called out to our own “Psychic Geometries” and we built rituals. We came back and wrote about our walk and rituals, and then we went outside to perform them, while Stephanie filmed it, in super 8. Here is the result. Oh wait, this photo, that’s one of the rituals too. Click it for the film.