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In-Between Otherness

Invited Distinguished Professor:

Barry Wark. Biophile.

 

Gabriel Esquivel,  Studio Professor

Texas A&M University

 

Team: Andrew Atwood, Alan Acevedo, Elijah Huggings, Phobe Latham, Charlotte Shawver, Quinn McCormack.

Our aim is to engage allure and otherness to surpass what humans can perceive beyond the anthropocentric worldview and awaken an irreducible unreality of ecocentrism to consciousness, with aspects like global warming and environmental trauma as hyperobjects outlined by Timothy Morton. To do this, our proposal posits itself within drivers such as ambiguity for qualities oscillating and resisting the natural and artifactual. The hyperobject of time and it's over-lapping temporalities, is also brought into question and becomes another driver through scale, fragmentation, moments of synecdoche, and the Roman City. In all, serving to further spark the allure to understand a state of ancientness and permissiveness.

Throughout the development of the project, we gathered references citing ancientness and ambiguity within the confines of geometry, articulation, posture, and materiality. Following this, we curated images to attain qualities of synecdoche and mereology to understand the condition of parts. Furthering the notion of parts and their autonomy, we took a special interest in the concept of seams as fissures and cracks and how seams can be depicted both naturally and artificially. This way we can speculate the conditions of how parts and surfaces change in time through natural forces like erosion, tectonics, weather and anthropocentric means such as pollution, emissions, and waste. Through different scales and shifts in texture, articulation occurs which creates a presence of recognition of parts, while the massing of the artifact focuses on the development of the ungraspable figure, differentiated parts, openness, fractured continuation, and imperfect symmetry. These raise questions about origin, whether being created by natural forces or by human intervention.

Calling on the speculation of time, we start to identify the seams as becoming these other conditions. And mediation upon their expressions through their multi-scalar and manifested qualities create spatial sequences; such that our seams are spatial, transitionary, coexisting, and non-human seams. Along this the notion of exhaustion arises when it comes to the posture of the artifact through its twist and fragmentation, serving an ungraspable figure. Upon our references of ancientness, ruin, qualities of parts and their perception, we announce the bondage of our artifact to some deeper hidden and unknown entity which is the spark of allure and otherness. Furthering this, we think about the role of these parts through ambiguity, lack of prescription, and a heterogeneity of spaces that allow for detail. Alongside this, attributes of incompleteness, imperfection, and the unfinished serve to celebrate this ambiguity we speak of. Our parts are then being affected by numerous temporalities in which we encounter conditioning from the anthropocentric and ecocentric ontologies. So, respectively, we encounter the inclusion of the anthropocentric touch through effects like staining from pollution and graffiti, and within the ecocentric; the effects of weathering, deposition, and erosion that contribute to a layering effect. Leading us to think about the natural state of our materials, speculating their origin and the idea of “anti-determinance-ism” which as a tool for ambiguity, forces the viewer to speculate and determine their qualities.

Within the experiential aspect of the project, we seek a withdrawal from the conditions of the known and explicit, for a more slightly evil aspect to attain spaces that arrive at the hard reality of futural ancientness and ruin. This then leads the humble artifact to oscillate to the natural—calling attention to the artifact’s impermanence by speculating nature's presence and the manifestation of non-human propagation through the notion and operation of seams, as well as the urban cliff hypothesis. This hypothesis states the “comparing similarities between cities and the habitat templates of cliff faces.”, and this manifests through the sloping geometry and moments of mereological-hypertextured articulation. And by creating this ambiguous otherness that resists and oscillates between qualities of time, space, geometry, material and structure, we implicate the notion of a total uncertain tension. This is where the critical aspect of defining parts on parts, limits, and gaps activate which influence the posture, ground, and enclosure. Doing so suspends our artifact in a rift where the tension of time overlaps and ambiguously creates the sensation of an otherness such that our spaces merge to inconclusive perception. Through this, we further implicate spatial and temporal conditions, described through strangeness, and rather than an alienating strangeness, it seeks to be experienced through non-human propagation and human interaction.

 

And so, in raising the consciousness of time, we raise the idea of the urban cliff hypothesis within the site context which begins to express the posture, articulation, and texture of the artifact and its surfaces as constructed and deconstructed, and as assembled and disassembled. Over time, a change in the totality of the artifact occurs though tectonic shifts, which leads to the exhaustion and twisting of the posture, which infers a notion of synecdoche and an ambiguity of time. This provokes the inferral of time through proximity, enclosure, and parts. Rather than exclusively serving anthropocentric spaces, the seams suspend the territory between them on a multitude of scales, serving the non-human, human, and their coexistence. The seams negotiate notions of enclosure by creating gaps between parts, and the seams create a permissibility for nonhuman agents like light, water, and flora, and the circulation of nonhumans and humans alike. Furthermore, the mediation of seams, surfaces, and synecdoche aim to blur the limits of ambiguity and time, contributing to a sophisticated artifact that pushes the vivid, hard, slightly evil, and uncanny.

 

Our project as an entity of its own reality is about confronting the anthropocentric, modernist ontologies, and shifting these ontologies by encountering ancientness and permissiveness of humans and non-humans. This allows the project to position itself in solidarity to understand an ecocentric reality. Through these attitudes and expressions, we dissipate the agency of human control over to nature and dissolve the division between human and non-human beings into a state where the two entities are not mutually exclusive, but are in coexistence. Thus, altering the reality that we conceive of the Anthropocene and creating a new turn for architectural reality.

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