sous les pavés, la plage

A quote stood out for me in the notes of a talk by Tom Armitage at the 2013 Playark games festival in relationship to digital public spaces, structures of organisation and potential for exploration.

Tom writes:

One of the slogans of the Situationist International was:

sous les pavés, la plage: "underneath the paving slabs, the beach."

I tend to read that as meaning something along the lines of: underneath formal infrastructure – that dictates “how to be” – is a space to be free, to play, to be unfettered. The beach is an inherently social place; a place shaped by the people on it, rather than by what it dictates they do. The institutions we erect, for good or ill, sit atop a freer environment.