Interventions over urban surfaces: dissensus, consensus and ambivalences in London
Abstract Urban interventions are communicational practices inscribed on the surfaces of cities, which disrupt normality and interfere in their landscape and everyday life. Many interventions can be read as political actions and generate diverse meanings, with positive and negative impacts and reverberations. This article adopts Rancière’s concepts of dissensus / consensus and politics / police in order to detect claims and undertake the analysis of two urban interventions in London in 2015 and 2016. I observed that hegemonic discourses can appropriate urban interventions, as well as contemporary creative and activist manifestations can become consensus, as part of the increasing phenomena of gentrification and commodification of urban space. These processes are permeated by the neoliberal rationale and bring with them the contradictions, the complexity and the ambivalences in contemporary cities.