Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below
Alan W. Moore
Occupation Culture is the story of a journey through the world of recent political squatting in Europe, told by a veteran of the 1970s and ‘80s New York punk art scene. It is also a kind of scholar adventure story. Alan W. Moore sees with the trained eye of a cultural historian, pointing out pasts, connections and futures in the creative direct action of today’s social movements.
Occupation Culture is based on five years of travel and engaged research. It explicates the aims, ideals and gritty realities of squatting. Despite its stature as a leading social movement of the late twentieth century, squatting has only recently received scholarly attention. The rich histories of creative work that this movement enabled are almost entirely unknown.
“Reporting on close to forty years of exploits Alan W. Moore’s Occupation Culture is no academic treatise but a Picaresque adventure story filled with both detailed observations and broader reflections on the political and cultural significance of art and squatting that stretches across the Atlantic from the United States to Europe.” – Gregory Sholette, author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture
“Occupy wasn’t just a movement, it is a long-standing strategy and, frankly, a form of living. Alan W. Moore has seen firsthand more squats and occupations than anyone, and he brings his sensibility to bear on this global phenomena. A must read for occupiers, whether artist, activist or renter.” – Nato Thompson, curator at Creative Time, editor of Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011
“For decades, Alan W. Moore has been an inexhaustible resource at the nexus of art and squatting, pumping out an archive through magazines, books, and art installations. Part memoir, part historical account, Occupation Culture is his newest burst of energy, surging into the squatter-artist canon to spend eternity alongside such well-respected contemporaries as Seth Tobocman, Fly Orr, and Eric Drooker – all of whom make appearances.” – Hannah Dobbz, Nine-Tenths of the Law: Property and Resistance in the United States
Bio: Alan W. Moore worked with the artists’ groups Colab and helped start the cultural center ABC No Rio in New York City. He has published on artists’ groups, cultural districts and cultural economies, and is the author of Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City (2011). He lives in Madrid.
- [EN] Examining mainstream media discourses on the squatters’ movements in Barcelona and London
- [EN] Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces