Open Letter as reparative interior: expanding, making, participating

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Cathryn Klasto
Jonathan Orlek


Framing the open letter as an expanded interior-in-the- making, this visual essay documents a participatory experiment that took place between the cities of Sheffield (UK) and Gothenburg (SE). The experiment, as one of critical spatial practice, attempted to foster a temporal atmosphere of reparation which aims to counter the global condition of paranoia produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This essay articulates the visual design of the experiment, the theoretical principles which underpin it, and the significance of critical reflection in the process. The experiment is intentionally left inconclusive, establishing an open networked approach towards publishing as a way of making public, and subsequently allowing the authors to invite readers to contribute to future iterations. As a way of rethinking the visual essay form, the essay deliberately blurs the line between image and text and their relation with the spatial structure of the page.

Article Details

How to Cite
Klasto, Cathryn, and Jonathan Orlek. 2021. “Open Letter As Reparative Interior: Expanding, Making, Participating”. Idea Journal 18 (01):223-36.
Author Biographies

Cathryn Klasto, University of Götenburg Sweden

I am* a trans-disciplinary scholar and educator with a background in history of art (BA), gender and sexuality studies (MA) and architecture (PhD). My work falls within the realm of critical spatial practice, in that it explores the intersections between art-architecture (and other disciplinary fields), theory-practice, and public(s)-private(s). Within this terrain, I am committed to co-building lines of flight which centre (xeno)feminist (ie. anti-naturalist, pro-trans, anti-racist, queer, techno-material, eco) politics.

Current subjects of enquiry include: visualising networks, mapping relations, building archives, techno-materialism, meta-ethics (particularly in relation to the non-human), spatial writing, urban ecologies, spatial poetics and citational politics.

*pronouns are she/her/they/them

Jonathan Orlek, Sheffield Hallam University, Studio Polpo

Jonathan Orlek is an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, interested in the intersections between art, architecture and ethnographic research. He is completing a collaborative PhD between East Street Arts and the University of Huddersfield, which investigates artist-led housing as a critical spatial practice. He is also a director of Studio Polpo, a socially engaged architecture collective based in Sheffield.


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