Of the numerous concepts that have emerged from Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life (1980), few have had more productive afterlives than his formulation of the tactic: “a way of operating,” of “making do” practiced by the urban masses he describes as “invisible.”
Officially, the Lebanese Civil War ended when the Taif Agreement was ratified (November 1989), the Lebanese parliament voted to adopt an Amnesty Law (March 1991), and militias were dissolved (May 1991).
Urban power is intensely textured. Every move on the part of planners and politicians to rearrange cities and towns in significant measure is necessarily mediated by a landscape of crevices, enclaves, crowds, vacancies, and edges that constantly disrupt the imagined timing of implementation and often force the recalibration of these moves in ways that dilute their effects and efficacy.
There are times when I’m making new works and have a few of them going at the same time and I think to myself, “I want this one to be tight and to offer nothing to a public but the ways of roofing.”
In The Practice of Everyday Life (1980), Michel de Certeau offers, as a quintessential example of the tactical, the practice of “la perruque,” the worker’s poaching of time from within the factory, under the reign of the machine, to engage in an activity for the worker’s own enjoyment.