Here is a reworked draft of the synthesis for my project presentation – not a final one but quite advanced still. I felt like i needed to get this clear – this week will only be modelling.
While shopping and tourism are now the standard product of cities, they have provided the sufficient infrastructure to generate a common feeling of belief. Belief in consumerism, belief i beautifully rendered and photoshopped images, belief in the economy of consumption, belief of the new. A belief that our near futur is fact the reality – we are prepared, framed, forced to believe: in fact our desire to believe is merged with our perception of reality. And in many aspect this reality has to/ is rendered perfect – a sort of lubricant for belief.
It is especially true when it deals with the production of the city itself and ultimately the production of domestic places where we will – or we are already – living in – projected ourself into.
A first example of that is the following picture of Dubai – found on internet (Dubai Aerial view) – which is presented a aerial view Dubai – in fact false, almost half of the real-estate development that you spreading out on the water in not existing yet – it will surely, as Dubai authorities have actually approved the expansion plan – but this image is simply not reality.
An other could be the preciousness, hyper accurate architectural renders released every day, making architecture a product of consumption – the architectural renders is an advertisement. The more realistic it is – the easier it is to sell, because it is somehow already part of our reality. I picked up the 1st four architectural competition post i found on archdaily (will look for some better, perhaps even more real, more provocative and definitely some dealing more with housing – the house as a domestic product). These ones are all depicting a soon-to-be reality in various places (Iran, Dublin, Finland and Miami) – but there is definitely a common aesthetic in between them – which signify the capacity for ‘perfect’ rendering to extract a project from its context and just be a product.
Ultimately, the last example is part of Joseph Grima’s text on Thomas Demand : ‘By contrast, wood, and more recently, 3D printed polymers are the chosen materials of architects who want to seduce their clients into signing a big check: the sheer beauty of these materials’ precision and detail creates seductives models, distracting the viewer from any potential doubts about the design itself. ‘ – with a few example of architectural models. Even more with 3D printed because the technology itself allow for a accuracy up to the mm and therefore pushes away the boundaries of the veracity of the models.
(need a better picture here)
My project is a reaction to this – and is somehow to be read as critical more than propositional. I want it to have two levels of reading.
First, the project is about – like the pictures above – the construction of a reality. The models are set up and photograph under a specific angle, so that the model (and its background) collapse into one single image. The image has to look real – for a couple of seconds, I need the viewer to believe. And then I want him to realise he has been tricked, what he sees is, in fact, carefully curated pieces of scraps and cheap material. Unlike the perfect images whose preciousness and details are distracting the viewer from doubts – i am offering him to doubt, to understand he has been tricked and perhaps to make him disappointed.
In order to make my models i am using in a way the various elements which are both the support or the leftovers of what is outside the frame. Under the marble floor of the British museum (for instance) is a 6mm concrete screed with hot water pipe running through as a way of heating up the spaces. Under that screed is a 10mm insulation and a concrete sructure. Under that structure is a network of pipes and wires, allowing the museum to function normally and be able to host, in confortable conditions, both visitors and pieces of art. So in a way i also want to use the project to reveal, scratch, dig – deconstruct the first layer of reality and collapse in the image both the polished reality and the ‘junk’ reality.
Partly it is – in order to close the loop – to put forward that there is a less glamorous economy supporting our beliefs. The images – in that sens – act as suspension of disbelief by collapsing the reality and the other reality – material wise (perfect vs the less perfect) and economically.
What i aim to do for friday – but this has to be discussed tomorrow – is 1) to go the British Museum, take a picture of the main hall, photoshopped myself into it as if i would be ‘digging’ a hole into the floor. 2) reconstruct the model of the hole i would have made and shoot it. 1) act as the necessary frame to take jury into the sufficient amount of belief so that they wont question instantly the picture of the model. 2) the model act as the disruptive element.
Doing the model now – more to come tomorrow.
PS : While writing my text i remembered some of the things Rotor said during their conference at the AA a few months ago. I went to their website and their definitely certain things interesting for my project to look at – surely to discuss on friday and to integrate further in my project. Here is the link to the lecture, where he talks about flows of materials,… have a watch it is quite a good one. Also they feature in the week issue of DUE – have a read !