Saturday, April 26, 2008

Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious,
Freedom is consciousness of the necessity.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Utopias and Flying machines

Throughout history one can see visions, utopias and imagined futuristic landscape drawn by artists, architects and mad men, in an attempt to break away from the present. The positive spirit, Le Spirit Nouveau always seems to be communicated through three clear devices, the far distant horizon, the observer in the foreground seeing into the space of the drawing from a vantage point and the distant flying machine in the form of a gas balloon, hovering heli-car, zeppelin, etc. All these three elements placed within an atmosphere of fog, clouds and lines that manage to be hazy to allow multiple trajectories of the future but at the same time confident and precise about their intent. The distant horizons seem to reflect the very look in the eyes of Doge Leonardo Loredan, painted by Bellini, confident, meditative and composed. The observer to me is like a witness within a time bubble as he sees the emergence of a mega structure, a new world that rises in slow motion before him with promises to solve all the problems of the present. Unlike most drawings the human here is not used for scale, but this role gets taken up by the third element which is the flying machine. The flying machine, an element big enough to provide scale and also elegant enough to take up the role of being a symbol of the ultimate freedom, a metaphor for the moment in the future where the vision seems to be liberated even from the most basic force that shaped architecture through the ages, the force of gravity. Whether the future imagined is through a narrative of a disease, a natural disaster or a nuclear war, all these crises somehow provide a small window to imagine an alternative, out of a need / necessity for reconfiguring of society and life.