Working towards the first work in progress show, it is the first time I am confronted to putting in practice the process of recording a physical space, with the intent of producing a spatial installation in an exhibition space, and using a virtual environment to make the transition.

This opened questions such as:

- How much of the virtual space is present in the installation? In the process, is it also a recording from that space, even though it is absent from the final experience?

- Is the virtual space really absent? It is in unity that the sound is spatialized, the user has the illusion that the sound is following their position in space when it is actually mapped for a unity audio listener.

- Cant the virtual space be an exhibition space?

- What do we gain from coming back to a physical installation?

- What are the constraints inherent to the 3D space? Those direct largely the possibilities of the installations and are being discovered on the go.

One of the aims of this experiment is to start thinking about how to use networks, the invisible that is directing and shaping our environment, as a material. To produce physical installations out of intangible features.

In this case, it is about recording sound from a square, place Saint Sulpice, mapping it in unity on a 3d model of G05, and bringing this soundscape back to the actual space of G05. All three spaces are present in each step of the process.

When recording, g05 speakers direct the way the archives are taken, the number of sounds that can be taken, and the way the square should be sequenced. Constraints appear when using unity too. Virtual speakers are able to easily simulate a surround sound system, but they will still output 2, stereo channels, which doesn’t allow to handle each speaker separately in the space as planned in the virtual one.

For all the questions it is allowing to raise, that first experiment is being very useful and aliments theory in a concrete way.

  • chahaleden

Dernière mise à jour : 2 déc. 2021

After starting to work on the artefacts, the idea for the proposal I originally had shifted, from wanting to work on the construction of urban utopias and building a machine that would generate collaborative ones, based on fiction, I am directing my research towards topics related to archives of places. The starting point is the question: what remains of architecture, or a place, once it is gone? How can we document the memory of a place, is it really by being scientifically exhaustive? Most of the ways in which we document architecture are visual forms, and mainly ones that use expert abilities to read them, such as technical plans, sections… Could we make use of technologies to both record places, and deliver these archives in a spatialized way?

Starting this new research, I found a valuable book that combines a “Combinatory essay”, and a “Combinatory exhibition”, both of which can be read in different ways, that opened research perspectives and is helping me formulate.

Architects and researchers Mariabruna Fabrizi and Fosco Lucarelli wrote and curated the exhibition Database, Network, Interface. The Architecture of Information, for the exhibition space Archizoom at the EPFL.

In this work they explore case studies throughout history, highlighting the “possible links between digital and non-digital cultural projects and their architectural counterparts.”

They show how architecture has been the place of organising information, within physical spaces, the effects of reaching the “utopian goal of an infinite available knowledge” with the advent of the internet. Yet, this information theoretically available in a dematerialised way comes in a confusing overwhelming form. How could we make the switch back to a spatial organisation of knowledge, by incorporating digital tools and archives into a physical space?

  • chahaleden

In the article included in this week’s reading “What is Enlightenment?” Emmanuel Kant defines it as the emergence from a “self incurred immaturity”. This introductory sentence implies that man would remain in a state of immaturity out of laziness, or cowardice, delegating thinking to specialists, as a commodity.

Throughout his essay, he develops an argument for specific ways of using this enlightenment, in which we could see several paradoxes.

The most striking one could be the way that the use of one's own reasoning has to be operated only in a private sphere, and never disrupt the system it is criticising.

The temporality of the way to enlightenment is described in opposition to revolutions.

“Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought.

When he opposes the slow process of enlightenment to revolutions, seen as necessarily unsuccessful because of their bursting nature, Kant denies the mechanisms of uprisings.

If their tipping point is sudden, it is the result of a longer process, and can only be achieved when the conditions to a revolution are gathered. Only then a revolution is not decided, it becomes ineluctable. He points that revolutions are always failures that lead to serving “New prejudices in place of the old, as guidelines for the unthinking multitude.”

It might sometimes be true, but alone, writings have never been able to overcome those prejudices either.

Extending on the notion of time, and freedom, we can argue that the reason for revolutions to be bursts of anger rather than written pamphlets is that the ones that are the most oppressed by the system in place do not have the necessary time to develop these thinkings. This lack of time might be the most powerful tool of oppression and alienation to a system.

Enlightened in the 21st century, who would be a “scholar” today, and what tool would they use?

As for other elements of the text that are to be put in the context of the writer, we could want to reflect on what would be the equivalent of a scholar today.

As pointed previously, Kant defines a specific space for the use of enlightenment, the one of the private sphere. He also specifies the tool for practicing it, the one of writing.

“let us say that he thinks of himself as a scholar rationally addressing his public through his writings”

How could we define a scholar today, and what would be the nature of their tools?

Even if we still consider writing, the format of this textual form has dramatically changed, along with its temporalities.

The content of this writing should be from an expert point of view, based on critical observations of their practice.

Yet, in the first paragraph of his essay, he blames this same delegation of thought to specialists:

“They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on--”

If relying on others' expert knowledge in their own field is considered as remaining in a position of nonage, how can being a thinker of your field of expertise be the way to enlightenment?

Where should we draw the line of objecting to a position if it contradicts too much with one’s conscience?

“For if he believed that such contradictions existed he would not be able to administer his office with a clear conscience. He would have to resign from it. ”

If we follow Kant’s argument on remaining within a system even when we perceive its flows, without trying to change it from the inside, without objecting, what would happen in the case of a system serving causes that go against the common good? Pushing this to the extreme, could we draw a parallel with Adolf Eichmann’s trial, where he claimed he was only “following orders”.