The article views the “Shock of Order” initiative as a spectacular codification of space and social relations. Using Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, it analyzes the production of an urban environment whose inhabitants are relegated to receiving passively the new “order” imposed on their city, a literal and metaphoric cartography that seeks to reduce spaces and social practices to easily understood and controlled forms. As a counterpoint, the article presents collaborative artistic creation – as understood by Augusto Boal and Nicolas Borriaud – as a potential key for reclaiming agency and understanding the city’s complexity. Xapolhim’s artistic production, therefore, serves not only as a challenge to the newly established order, but also as a breeding ground for transgressive forms of social contact and the construction of temporary communities.
As local government attempts to permanently transform Rio de Janeiro in anticipation of the future mega-events, Xapolhim’s artistic practices privilege a temporary understanding of community, as in Hakim Bey’s “Temporary Autonomous Zones” and Joseph Roach’s “behavioral vortices.” These groupings, however impermanent, stimulate in their practitioners a complex social memory that fuses present action with past experience, thereby challenging the forceful implementation of an “ordered” future.