KILI NO NAKA
Pratt Institute 2009
Studio Catherine Ingraham
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Atlantic Yards is a site composed and produced by capitalist logics. All is flux; money, goods, people, cars, trains, noises etc. This project is an attempt of resistance to those logics. Although refusing them as vectors of production is not sufficient to create a resistance. In order to do so the project has to include in itself several apparatus allowing it to be elusive to its capitalist environment. The strength and durability of capitalism comes from its ability to transform every resistive entity into a merchandisable product. In order for this project to avoid this metabolism, it needs to constitute a territory, an heterotopia rather than an object. Heterotopias are characterized by their entrance/exit processes, their ability to juxtapose several worlds on each other, their material and immaterial filtered exchanges with the normal world and most importantly, their disruption of established rules by the creation of new rules of behaviors provoked by their physicality. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker is thus an eloquent example of an uncertain zone which needs to be experienced following a set of comportments surely considered as irrational in our system of thoughts. Reaching the zones implies to violate legality and therefore requires a strong will from those who want to experience it.
The heterotopia is a physical space hosting imaginaries. So is the hotel which represents a foreign territory composed by recognizable and ordinary elements. This ambiguity created by this confrontation of known/unknown allows fantasy to exist within it. The extraction of daily habits triggers imagination and the presence of familiar objects secures enough to give up oneself to his fantasies.
Desire is the basis of creation and creation owns in its core a resistance to systematization. As long as the territory remains a heterotopia, as long as creativity is allowed, as long as the fantasy is nourished, a resistance is possible.
Being part of it is open to everybody, although such an engagement should not be accomplished lightly and the entrance apparatus are created to express, to test one’s will to experience the territory. Either by crossing the continuing and dangerous flux of cars, by finding an entrance behind an ordinary door, by climbing up the roof of a department store or to go down by a subway trapdoor in order to go up to the hotel’s corridors
Those corridors constitutes a Borgessian infinite maze embodied by a mono-material representation of the hotel corridor paradigm, a space extracted from the outside reality, distributing people to each bedroom hosting as many different scenarii.
Another apparatus of resistance is created by establishing an illegibility of the whole territory which depends on an uncertain factor. In fact, during the rain, the water is being collected by a funnel canopy constituting the vertical limit of the territory. Then, water is stored into ground reservoirs which constitutes an urban wetland re-introducing a notion of wildness within the city which constantly tries to suppress it in order to acquire a full and centralized control of the urban territory. Those pools are drawing heat from the subway level and transform part of their water into steam which blurs the perception of distances, forms and behavior of the project. More steam is being produced by the diffusion of water on the bedrooms’ surface transformed by the calorific emission of bodies inside the pods. A variation in activity thus provokes a variation of the amount of steam produced allowing therefore an irrational translation of inside behaviors from the outside, sexual activity producing six times more calories than sleeping for example. A part of this steam is then collected by some epiphyte receptors “growing” on the structural forest and thus re-introduced into the illegibility mechanism’s loop.
The hotel’s higher level, only accessible by another frozen paradigm, the elevator one, allows a wandering within the canopy and hosts bath and restaurant facilities in a dialogue between this ambiguous quasi-natural artifact and the noise of the normative world at the same time close and far away.
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