On 27 June 2010, ten men and women were arrested in the United States, accused of maintaining suburban American lives for years as part of a Russian espionage ring. As anachronistic as the Cold War now seems, so too is the seemingly fictitious technology the spies are said to have used: short-wave radio, invisible ink, briefcase hand-offs, clandestine meetings. And true to the spy stories of decades past, the saga includes one so-called Bond girl and ends with a minutes-long swap of secret agents between the two governments staged in Vienna. Did that really happen?
The Cold War is largely responsible for generating the cultural climate that enabled the development, growth, and eventual sprawl of the suburbs. Once created, these suburbs supply an almost ideal setting for an anonymous, innocuous cover for reconnaissance. The goal of the infiltrating spy is not to be noticed, to be normal. Where better to live a normal life than in a normal suburb?
Participants in July’s Spontaneous Architecture competition are invited to consider the historical and present relationship between suburbia and espionage in times of culturally pervasive war. In today’s War on Terror, what if anything has changed? Today we have terms like Sleeper Cells, but our popular media have painted pictures of these cells sleeping in American bedroom communities, and many still fear that urban density only creates targets. How do where and how we live affect how we fight and imagine our enemies?
Submissions are single images, formatted in 8.5 inches by 11 inches (landscape), 300 dpi tiffs. Images must be anonymous, containing no identification of their creators. Submissions may (but are not required to) include up to 100 words of text. All submissions are due by 11:59PM on 27 July 2010.
Register by: 07-27-2010 / Submit by: 07-27-2010