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The different worlds begin to clash in the cosmic opaque megastructure.
The different worlds begin to clash in the cosmic opaque megastructure.

What the internet promises is #contact.
What the internet promises is #contact.

The modern person is a happy slave with a slavish happiness. Their individuality has been reduced to a consumer attitude and their freedom to an exchangeable commodity.
The modern person is a happy slave with a slavish happiness. Their individuality has been reduced to a consumer attitude and their freedom to an exchangeable commodity.

Funfairs are not about technology. They are about people.
Funfairs are not about technology. They are about people.

‘Instead of seeing the various species of contemporary computational technologies as so many different genres of machines, spinning out on their own, we should instead see them as forming the body of an accidental megastructure.’ Benjamin Bratton, The Black Stack, e-flux Journal #53 (maart/March 2014), p. 280.
‘Instead of seeing the various species of contemporary computational technologies as so many different genres of machines, spinning out on their own, we should instead see them as forming the body of an accidental megastructure.’ Benjamin Bratton, The Black Stack, e-flux Journal #53 (maart/March 2014), p. 280.

The authorized representative agrees to a standard data audit.
The authorized representative agrees to a standard data audit.

Rather than adapting the city to its inhabitants, he considered adapting the inhabitants to the city.
Rather than adapting the city to its inhabitants, he considered adapting the inhabitants to the city.




PROJECTINDEX
 
META
Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst
ARCHITECTURE

META is an architectural installation that lays bare the consequences of unchecked digitization using real-life narratives. It is an installation artwork whose reach extends from the scale of the individual home to that of the region. It shows the consequences of life in a world where nothing seems to escape the march of progress. META began as the dream of a new modern-day Utopia but morphed into a pessimistic scenario more realistic than Utopia.
The strategy it follows is that of the activist-designer, unearthing bizarre true stories from the digital world of today’s global citizen and translating them into architectural and urbanist narratives. These days a nomadic tribe not only treks from one source of water to the next but has modified its age-old routes to pass through areas with mobile phone signal reception. A Chinese re-education camp run by charlatans targets young people suspected of being video game addicts. Data leaks in platforms where people once felt safe expose what is both beautiful and bestial in humanity in the form of raw, infinite data. These narratives have been translated and made part of a fragmented model of an accidental megastructure.

META is a curated collection of video clips, texts and models that endlessly delays each moment of synthesis and harmony. It is kept ambiguous by supplementing film images with an anonymous voice-over. META questions the way today’s architects and urbanists deal with the unavoidable processes of digitization and mediatization. How do designers think about theory and practice in a society where identity is seized upon as negotiable data, where the relationship between individual and mass further unravels into an irreducible mush of interests and positions and where excitement about the new and nostalgia for the old coexist? META takes you on a personal expedition in which the author gets lost and never returns.
Armed with all our human enthusiasm, we enjoy the public celebration of everything that matters to us. We want free entry and a friction-free digital experience. Yet we are afraid of what the big tech companies, authorities and invisible players are doing with our most intimate data. This society-wide embracing and, at the same time, questioning of technologies can be compared with the double moment dogging modern developments: is progress really the progress it pretends to be, the way the car is both a blessing and a curse? Digital media and unlimited data envelop our living environment like a global blanket and its deep-rooted social consequences can be felt. META, therefore, is a reconnaissance of our living environment under pressure from a process of digitization, mediatization and globalization.