Archive for the '02_Discussion' Category

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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Monstrosity

May 9, 2018

 

I am a spider plant, a decoration standing on a shelf of a living room. I sit there and often observe my owner laying on the couch and watching TV. I would like to tell you about what I saw and how I felt the other day.

It was a cold Sunday afternoon outside. A pleasant heat was coming from the fire place, where chopped wood was slowly vanishing into dust. At first, I didn’t especially enjoy the scary show happening on the screen: a terrifying monster, too much cruelty, too much destruction. I by far preferred the background of cracking, sparkling and smoking that emanated from the fire place.

But then she changed chain. It looked like a documentary, we were virtually flying over a stunning scenery. It was so green, so fresh, so broad, so beautiful and yet in pain. I recognized instantly that place, which I originally come from. It was the Congo basin rainforest.

I have to admit that I was equally frightened by this second chain my owner picked. Because here, I could see monsters too. I saw monsters because I saw destruction. I won’t teach you anything new when I claim that destruction is everywhere on the planet. We are heading towards a future in which only monsters can survive.

It is past the time when we used to be considered as individuals. We know now, as established in my previous writings, that life is an entanglement of units, a « co-making of living things ». Nevertheless, we also know that each ecosystem that ever existed on the planet host monsters and therefore carries destruction. This is the reason why life is a vulnerable concept.

In this documentary and in so many others, it is a common mean of communication to highlight the different monsters in the planetary destruction in order to trigger fear and guilt. While wood metaphorically died into fire next to her, my owner witnessed the consequences of monstrosity on her own web of life.

Romane Nanchen

Materiality

May 9, 2018

 

The Congo Basin rain forest is a performant and life generating machine. It is, together with the Amazon forest, our main air supplier. Unfortunately, it’s generosity is so grand that it also provides what makes contemporary human beings the most greedy: Wood, oil, diamonds, coltan and gold. Unlike the fairness of air sharing, these ressources lead to exhaustion.

Despite all the pain inflicted, the Congo Basin rain forest finds the way to show some resilience. When the damages are resonable, it reborns stronger and purified after a fire. The death of some species can even bring life to other ones.  This massive lung of ours tried as hard as possible to accomodate that feeling superiority, but is now giving up on us. The flow of air is secondary to the flow of matter. Because of our excessive need for its ressources, we kill this forest bit by bit and spread its dead matter all over the planet, in every possible shape.

Donna Haraway says: «The tentacular are also nets and networks, it critters, in and out of clouds. Tentacularity is about life lived along lines — and such a wealth of lines — not at points, not in spheres. The inhabitants of the world, creatures of all kinds, human and non-human, are wayfarers.»

We can look at our example through the theory of tentacular thinking. However, in the case of the Congo Basin rain forest, the tentacular’ nets and networks are leading dead matter. Tentacularity here is about afterlife lived along lines. These lines are drawn by human beings, who decide everyday to prioritize their need for wood, oil, diamonds, coltan and gold over the necessity of air.

Romane Nanchen

The Power of Mud

May 8, 2018

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Valur Margeirsson in mud: http://timarit.is/view_page_init.jsp?issId=391471&pageId=6757946&lang=is&q=Bl%E1a%20Valur%20Margeirsson

 

In 1976 when the power plant first started pumping up water they hole was 100 – 150 meters deep. The pumped water that after surfing its purpose for the power plant got dumped into the lava. The lava which formed about 800 years ago and is quite young, clogged up and the lagoon started to grow. Today the hole stretches almost 2000 meters into the ground. The water is actually sea water from the Atlantic sea which the ground around the peninsula, that the Blue Lagoon is situated in, is full of. Far into the ground the heat is so much that minerals, elements and compounds, from the rock. These materials then get sucked dup with the waters. The water is also rich with bacteria also found in sea water. One of those bacteria is called Cyanobacteria and is partly the reason why the water has a nice green-blue colour but it also has another bacteria that wasn’t known before and is still not well known.

When the water reaches the ground and gets pumped out of the power plant into the lava it has cooled down significantly. This means that the waters no longer can keep those materials dissolved so some of them, like Silicon, fall to the bottom of the lagoon. This white sludgy mud has become a popular cosmetics product and the Blue Lagoon sells and developed products ranging from face mask to lip balm.

It is not fully known what how the water effects psoriasis patients but it’s cosmetic properties work well for a commercial market.

It can hardly be said that the industrial waist from the power plant is a natural disaster. But since its capabilities to treat and amuse people that bath in the water, waist has been turned into valuables.

 

 

Sindri Sigurðsson

The Cyanos

May 8, 2018

Tolypothrix_(Cyanobacteria)

 

 

“We at first may see only a world in our own image, but appears next is a swarm of “talented” and vibrant materialities..”

Our name is Cyano. We live in water and moist soil. We are photosynthetic, manufacturing our own food. We are very small, unicellular, though often we grow in colonies large enough to be see by you. We have been around for a long time. Our forefathers are the oldest known fossils, more than 3.5 billion years old. So it may surprise you then to know that we are still around; one of the largest and most important of our kind on earth.

We have been tremendously important in shaping the course of evolution and ecological change throughout earth’s history. The oxygen atmosphere that you depend on was generated by us between 4000 – 570 millions years ago. Before that time, the atmosphere had a very different chemistry, unsuitable for life as you know it today.

We also contributed to the origin of plants. The chloroplast with which plants make food for themselves is actually us, living within the plant’s cells. A long time ago we began to take up residence within certain eukaryote cells, making food for the eukaryote host in return for a home.

We enjoy the sun, then our numbers grow and we shine bright green on a sunny day, but don’t be fooled by out beauty. We can be dangerous, toxic. When we bloom we can produce cyanotoxins, toxins that can poison and even kill animals and humans. You might have had shellfish poisoning?

We have been around for a long time. We have maid our mark. But we are most likely not done yet. We will be around for a long time to come, longer than you.

 

 

 

Sindri Sigurðsson

Brunkebergsåsen – Tellurian to Tellurian

May 8, 2018

Scenografi

Act One

On stage, foremost, an endless and expanding darkness engulfing absolutely everything. Centre stage, a star named The Sun extremely attention seeking in its imposing luminance. In front of The Sun, a planet named Tellus. A lively character, wet and overgrown covered with a thin layer of gas. On Tellus, bedrock, an esker and water shifting in temperament.

Darkness:
(Makes a very unpleasant low pitched hissing sound.)

The Sun:
(Hums too loud Let the sunshine in while pondering which of the Hair or Army of Lovers version is the best one, concluding that they both are the best ones.)

Tellus:
My skin, my beautiful skin of bedrock! Water, you vile, schizophrenic substance! Hard and cold have you ravaged my body. I will heat things up for you and turn you to a shapeless fluid.

Ice melting away turning to water. Covers in its watery depths its offspring an esker, a ridge of crushed bedrock.

Act Two

The bedrock has risen up after the hard and cold has been lifted from it. Therefore leaving the esker revealed. Some Tellurians enter stage with an ego even bigger The Sun. The Tellurians dwells on, in and trough the esker and names it Brunkebergsåsen.

Darkness:
(Continues making the very unpleasant low pitched hissing sound.)

The Sun:
(Plays Hide and Seek. Fail to hide due to its as mentioned imposing character.)

The water:
My child, my poor child! My esker, my poor little esker! The limits is reached, I will turn to ice and avenge the crime of Brunkebergstunneln, Kungsgatan, Citysaneringen and Norra länken! I will turn it all to crumble under my weight! You just wait!

The Tellurians starts to situate themselves as audience outside stage being at the same time on stage in the Stockholm City Theatre, located in the excavated esker. Equipped with the intellectual ability of having multiple truths and realities they while watching the play somehow are unaware and aware of also being on stage.1 2 Something that doesn’t hinder them from zooming start whispering to each other.

Tellurian 1:
You know, this reminds me of a seminar recently about the Anthropocene and storytelling… Eh, Anthropocene is like a way of defining a period of time when mankind is affecting the earth’s climate. For like, raising awareness for climate change and such. But its problematic term also. Anyway…3

Tellurian 2:
I thought you were in Architecture school?

Tellurian 1:
Yeah, you know, everything is connected.4

Tellurian 2:
True.

Tellurian 1:
So, in this text discussed at the seminar, this Jane Bennet-someone, talks about seeing the possible political agency of other things than humans. Like worms or like in this play the sun and the water.5

Tellurian 2:
I wonder what that weird hissing sound is then.

Tellurian 1:
Me too. Its really unpleasant. Anyway, she refers to this democratic theory which make an analogy between political and ecological systems. Any action easily becomes an political one of being a thing of the society.6

Tellurian 2:
John Dewey?

Tellurian 1:
Yes! Nice.

Tellurian 2:
Read about him in a political science course.

End of excerpt of a play that may be finished in the future.

Adrian

1. Colebrook, Claire; Introduction; Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction, vol. 1; Colebrook, Claire(ed); Ann Arbor; Open Humanities Press, University of Michigan Library; 2014; 9-11.

2. Turpin, Etienne; Introduction; Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, and Philosophy, Turpin, Etienne(ed); Ann Arbor; Open Humanities Press, Michigan Publishing; 2013; 3-6.

3. Heise, Ursula K; Introduction: Planet, Species, Justice – and the stories we tell about them; The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities; Ursula K. Heise et al.(ed)Oxon and New York: Routledge; 2017; 4-5.

4. Barber, Daniel; Architectural History in the Anthropocene; Journal of Architecture, 21 (8); 1165–70.

5. Bennett, Jane; Political Ecologies; Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things; Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010. 94-95.

6. Ibid; 95.

Brunkebergsåsen – Material to Material

May 8, 2018

Bedrock met ice,
became stones, pebbles and sand.

Ice met warmth,
became streams and rivers.

The rivers ran dry.
The stones, pebbles and sand
became an esker.

The esker met humans,
became named, described and
made to images.

The name, descriptions and
images met an architecture student,
became blog posts.

Blog posts met fellow students and teacher;
became another thing.

Adrian

Response to an open lecture by Isabelle Doucet and Alessandro Armando

May 4, 2018

Activist Tools for situated architectures by Isabelle Doucet

Currently, there are lots of architects speaking about the interdisciplinarity in architecture. The same process we could see between novelties happening in the field of architecture: computational design, where IT, physics, chemistry or biology are combined with the architecture. On the one hand, bringing and combining different fields/subjects strengthens architecture, making it not only the subject of “art” but making it the “subject pf science”. There could be quite long discussion about the architecture – is it the subject of art or is it subject of craft?
In my opinion, when different fields are merged together (especially, when we are taking about the architecture as simply an form of art or craft) it opens up new possible discoveries, for example: on materiality, on material behaviour etc.
The projects I. Doucet was presenting was unknown and interesting, showing the beginning of “switching” thinking in the subject of architecture from traditional perception into more controvercial and multidisciplinary field.

Five problems on the politics of design practice Alessandro Armando

The idea of re-thinking design process and the sequence of actions in the process was an interesting point of view brought up during the lecture. At the same time I slightly disagree with an presented idea that due to the mediators between an architect and final design are uncontrolled. I would rather think that there are some intuitive/generic “rules” on any aesthetics/composition/design etc.

Olga Voisnis

Decolonizing architecture art recidency

May 2, 2018

Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal presented their work Refugee Heritage, as a part of the conference Decolonizing Architecture, which is organized by the Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Course and the Research Lab at Royal institute of Art, KTH, Konsthall C and Tensta konsthall.

They describe their work as research-based, asking relevant questions, always collaborations with different kind of communities and disciplines, working in an exhibition-space which allows experimentation, and finally a learning environment. DAAR’s view of decolonialism is the right to history and public space.

They have been working in Palestine refugee, and in Boden,  with the question of a refugee heritage.

Sandi Hilal explains the complexity of being an palestinian refugee, where they hold on to a temporal and individual life, since they are afraid of losing their history, and therefore lose their right to the land, instead of recognizing that they are part of a community.  So they hold on to the role of an victim, as part of protecting their history. On the same time, Hilal and Petti says, it is an active political life built during 70 years, and actually a very collective space.

DAAR ask themselves:

Is it possible to think of an architecture of refugees?

How can we bring back politics to public space?

Do refugee camps have history?

The life as a refugee is a non-normalisation and a temporality, with no history and no future.

So how to work with architecture?

They tried to inscribe the camp to world heritage, but then the questions came who has the right to nominate?

A concrete tent was built to create a collective narration, and to show the desire of permanency and also to create agency of a refugee.

The question of how do we find agency as a refugee, was explored further on in Boden.

Boden lies in the north of Sweden and has big a military structure which became housing for refugees.

Here they find that the living room is the space of interaction, and also the space for the relation guest and host. Can the right to host be part of the political struggle today, Sandi Hilal asks?

The presentation ends with a question to everyone in the room: What are we doing with our public space today in Sweden?

/Andrea Bodelsson

26 april 2018, KTH

No-place. On conlusion

April 25, 2018

No-place is a story speculating the idea about the future urban development. This story book is divided into two main parts: on present and on future.

Graphic material in the chapter “on present” represents human impact on planet earth, consisting mapping of people inhabitat, earth’s land surface outside of ice sheets managed by humans, land area used for agriculture, loss of world’s forests, extinction rates and world’s protected land area. All these maps are necessary for understanding the new epoch of human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems – anthropocene.

At the same time being a human, an architect I suggest a critical overview of architecture and architectural actions related to the anthropocene epoch. Where in other words “Capitalocene” means reconsidering the constructional sites of the planet – where not only land becomes a constructional site but at the same time human kind is occupying water and space round the planet.

And here is a slight shift from the present to the future. Using comics and irony I would like to rise such questions:

How wide one can go?

How far one can go?

How deep one can go?

How dense it all could become?

The second part of the storybook “on future” suggest to look into the human kind and a man itself from the point of view, for example, another species – an alien. How could one perceive and analyze the man:the universal standart for creating architecture and building, urban environment. What variables, what features, what activities and other data as input for creating the future outside the planet earth it would define? And also how would look the possible future, where the possible future will take place? Is the any place or there is no-place?

lebbeus_woods_bldgblog

Image by Lebbeus Woods

Olga Voisnis