Critical Spatial Practice

An Independent and Flexible and Precarious and Overworked Rehearsal, (January – December 2019)
  • Ignacio Rivas | London, United Kingdom

  • The Rehearsal, 1 The Rehearsal, 6 The Rehearsal, 2 The Rehearsal, 3 The Rehearsal, 4 The Rehearsal, 5
  • An Independent and Flexible and Precarious and Overworked Rehearsal, (January – December 2019)
  • Ignacio Rivas | London, United Kingdom
  • I understand my practice as a process of collaboration and exchange that questions ideas of control and authorship. In this project I reflect on the impositions of neoliberal ideologies and how they have impacted, spatially and symbolically, over collective modes of organization in multiple territories.

    Since the imposition of the neoliberal project in the 70’s, the capitalist and political class has attacked the power of the working class and installed austerity as a public policy (Harvey, 2007). Since then, an emphasis on ideas of independence and flexibility has blurred the boundaries between our work environment and our own lives. Nowadays, work has reached a totalizing condition that has eliminated all the dividing lines between work and non-work, and work and leisure (Sigler, 2017). In response to these unstable and fluctuating conditions, the project questions the contemporary idealization of independent and flexible work that encourages competition, personal entrepreneurship and self-definition over the collective ideals of society. 

    As a starting point, the project takes my history, and personal tensions between my practice and domestic life, moving from my place of origin in Santiago, Chile to my situation in London, UK. From this unstable position, the project invites a group of independent creative workers (that were initially part of an ethnographic research process) to work together in a situated performative event, that through collaboration, seeks to question ideas of control and authorship. 

    The performative event explored the idea of a rehearsal in order to narrate and renegotiate a communal process for creating new forms of collective actions. These actions sought the exposal of the ‘everyday’ and the ‘personal’ in the public sphere, to question our ‘actual’ relations between work and life. Through the intersection of these stories, the project aimed to explore how to create a collective site-specific project developed with the resources available in this particular context and time. Moving from a local context, the project aimed to reflect critically on the global context of increasing precarity, hoping to identify possible alternatives and sites of resistance.


    Ignacio Rivas is an architect born in Santiago, Chile and currently living in Berlin, Germany. In 2019 he finished an MA in Situated Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, where he developed a series of performative collective actions that question the contemporary idealization of independent and flexible work. Through his practice he mainly reflects on the impositions of neoliberal ideologies and how they have impacted territories, spatially and symbolically. Drawing on critical and performative approaches, his practice uses alternative methodologies for the production of critical, cultural, political and territorial reflections and speculations. 

    In 2012 he co-founded the architecture collective TOMA that develops experimental spatial projects of action and research. Together with the collective and other organizations he has developed performative installations, constructions, newspapers, tv shows, exhibitions, articles, websites, events, meals, encounters and other mechanisms for material and symbolic dispute. TOMAS’s work has been exhibited in PS1 YAP in New York, 2014; the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial; the Occupied Exhibition in Melbourne, 2016; and the Chilean Architecture Biennial in Valparaiso, 2017. In collaboration with other practitioners, Rivas has created projects for the Die Ecke Gallery in Santiago, 2015; the Site: Lab Grand Rapids in Michigan, 2015; The Royal Academy in London, 2019; the Chilean Conexion Festival in Berlin, 2020; and Casa Encendida in Madrid 2021. He has taught architecture and research courses at the Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño at Universidad Finis Terrae and the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Construcción at Universidad de las Americas in Santiago, and has been invited as a guest at other faculties in Santiago, Valparaiso and Talca. In 2019 he co-founded La Escuela Nunca y los Otros Futuros, a latinoamerican, para-institutional, anti-bureaucratic, deeply personal, non-hierarchical, free and open school as a space for the generation of collective experiences for thinking together critically. 

    Ignacio Rivas CV 

    La Escuela Nunca y los Otros Futuros 

    TOMAS’s work 


    I understand critical spatial practice as an expanding and multidimensional mode of collective action that tries to reflect and rethink in relation to the past, present and futures of particular contexts, communities and territories. 

    Work, precarity, performance, territory, community, speculation


    [Book] Reinaldo Laddaga, ‘Estética de la emergencia’ (Buenos Aires: Adriana Hidalgo editora, 2010) 

    [Film] Peter Watkins, ‘La Commune (Paris, 1871)’ (Paris, 2000) Link: 

    [Art Work] Pablo Langlois, ‘Representación: geometría y teatro’ (Santiago, 2006-2016) 


    An Independent and Flexible and Precarious and Overworked Rehearsal — 

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