History is crystalized. It’s hardened in monuments, rituals, and values.
Is there a way to liberate cities from the burden of the past (and consequently those of the present and future) through endowing it with a soft quality? And if so, what are the consequences on the cultural institutions that heavily rely on it?
The following images try to visualize a scenario that tries to respond to: “what if we can manipulate existing institutions into softer beings?”
Why soften them? Because they represent everything that is established, everything that has influence and legitimacy; all the while, being incredibly hard in terms of the way they function and fit into our Pantopian condition.
The idea is that by softening these institutions that revolve around the past, we can speculate on how to transform them, so they drive the creation (and fit into) of our world of simultaneity.
Case of St. Paul’s Cathedral:
How can we strip religious institutions down to their ‘soft’ properties? (question still very unanswered)
Dismantling St Paul’s and carefully exhibiting each piece allows its essence to move from ‘formation’ to ‘information’. Religion isn’t necessarily about the crucifix floor plan anymore. It becomes about singular introspective moments on an open collective platform.
That platform being on site in the first image (exposing/dissecting);
in a warehouse on the outskirts of the city with the rest of institutions (displacing);
or floating on the thames (stable to sailable).
Some questions about the process of softening :
If physically the soft is something that loses memory of its form (malleable/expandable/shrinkable). What could that property mean conceptually?
What could be other strategies of softening? (how does the softening agent function?)