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Designing Science Fiction...
Michail Vlasopoulos (M, 35)
Athens, GR
Immortal since Aug 11, 2009
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    Michail Vlasopoulos’ project
    Designing Science Fiction...
    The course will be loosely inspired by the movie (and the book) The Man who Fell to Earth in which David Bowie plays an extraterrestrial visitor...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    The city as a construction left at the mercy of the animal. A terrified Bruce Willis, wrapped in cellophane, leaving the underground haven to collect specimens from a quarantined city. from Terry Gilliam’s movie: “Twelve Monkeys”(1995)



    Let us stop for a minute and imagine the city as a crystallization of a collective consciousness, a vision of order once residing in our minds that has slowly materialized in a concrete form. We can then think of a stratified psycho-analyzed urban environment, where voids are not only visible gaps in a saturated urban tissue, but also perceptible “uncivilized” urges that penetrate our very minds and corrupt our production of desires. Pockets of emptiness inhabiting the corpus and psyche of the city.

    Originated in the ancient world, the Circus has a history of a ritualistic performance -mostly of a nomadic nature. It served as a proto-theatre, examining and experimenting with the interaction between human and animal nature. Since it originally featured an event staged within nature, it didn’t really necessitate architecture; no stronghold, no threshold needed whatsoever. Later on, newly conceived dualities gave rise to apparent architectures, and consequently to built divisions between nature and civilization, man and animal. Walls, hedges, embankments and prisons carefully started to crystallize an interiority: that what stays in and that what is left out. The rest remained in the fringe of non-materiality. A specter hovering above and across, refusing to take a form -hidden in the woods. A place where mythic assemblages of human and animal have proliferated. And while these combinations once constituted a way to praise nature, in the middle ages they represented an incarnation of the demonic. Thus, the Circus and its intricate ontologies were ostracized outside the city walls. This factory of oddities topped by a tensed fabric has been located in the fridge of architectural typology ever since, taking the form of a mechanized caravan on wheels, traveling from town to town in search of urban voids, feeding the curiosity of an agitated public with its obscure and absurd forms. The Circus intoxicated the nineteenth century american public as a theatrical -and even an anthropological- laboratory for the exotic, the whimsical and the monstrous.

    The word circus that originally denoted a traveling company of performers, later on came to signify a frenetic pandemonium; particularly, the absence of order. This metonymy qualifies as the main thesis of this paper. (...)The Circus can be ontologically defined as an intense field of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic entities; the elephant stands on two legs and humans walk on four. This cross-mimicry blurs the distinctions between the species and handles them as a unified corporeal expressivity -a “dance of an ecosystem”. With this circus ontology at hand, the becoming-animals of the performance constitute a transgression in the normality of urban society. There are indeed spaces of the city or the mind detached from the plane of civility -the one of comfort, security and infrastructure- and infested with the forces of the chaotic and spontaneous nature. (...)The Circus is a marginal space par excellence: abandoned from any form of rationalism and not included in our institutionalized urban spectacles.

    We should therefore study the Circus as an internalization of a wilderness, both natural and psychological. A terrain not only haunting the urban environment but also acting as a vague surface for the projections of a collective subconscious. And it is in this unique vagueness that we should look for the subjectivities, the spectacles and the monsters of an imminent future, towards a redefinition of how man relates to nature.-


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