Virtual space

May 9, 2018


The same river twice: Nature, Media, and Philosophy in the Anthropocene – E. Turpin

On March 22nd 2018, Etienne Turpin gave a lecture called «The same river twice: Nature, Media, and Philosophy in the Antropocene.» The title refers to Heraclitus’s saying «no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man» but the landscape Etienne Turpin portrays has an extra dimension: a virtual space. During his talk, he highlighted the power of digital communication and gave a certain physicality to the various possible supports. He offered an exploration of an extended repertoire of architecture sites.

It is with a lot of humor and irony that Etienne Turpin exemplified his sayings through Beyonce’s work.  In the empire of communication there is a giant and quick flow of information, where the exactitude, becomes secondary to the emotion. Beyonce’s clip «Formation» provoke the police and pays tribute to the black minorities. Her performance is a communication infrastructure, built on two architectural virtual sites: the super ball and the video clip. She takes advantage on visibility and notoriety to trigger emotions, because they are the engin that will get the communication machine going.

Unlike a physical architectural site, the virtual one doesn’t have borders. Communication spreads on an undefined web for an undefined duration and undefined consequences. It spreads everywhere, touches any kind of people regardless of their geographical position and when used wisely, can raise awareness and solidarity.

Etienne Turpin’s work focuses on the design of knowledge infrastructure, both on physical and virtual space. The accessibility to digital platforms enables solicitation processes, where people get involved, share through social media, create bond which lead towards solidarity and community reducing risks together. By signaling every incident or drama caused by the environment, we are offering to the antropocene a recording process.


Romane Nanchen


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