this was a message i actually spammed a selected few on facebook with, but i decided to share it with you all (including the brilliant responses i got):
i'm monica, you might remember me from events such as "easa007", "easa008", "easa strikes back", and "ack! i spend every damn summer at easa"..
so instead of asking you all to post your bra colours and what not (although i might :D ), i am hoping to conduct a little collective brainstorm experiment here:
there's a picture attached of an abandoned communist steel work somewhere in transylvania (also known as the eastern block, or -that- part of romania), and there's plenty where this one came from..
i have some things hovering in my head, like 'industrial dystopia', post-apocalyptic wasteland, rust, aging concrete and similar bs..
but i'm wondering if i'm missing something here, so whatever comes to mind, feel free to share.
there might even be a project somewhere in this, but for now i'm just looking for hints on literature, films, aaany kind of stuff you associate with this.
thanks a bunch for just reading this,
i promise to not kidnap any kittens this week :o
Demetra October 17 at 8:41pm
ok i saw the photo. t be accurate, i think dystopia is not the word to use about these things. because it means actually a non-existing bad world, the contrary of utopia. So we can say that for example economic crisis might be a dystopia created by the mass media.
I would describe such places, in addition to traffic complexes, underground, unused buildings, deserted courtyards, as "urban voids". This is not of course my copyrighted idea or creation, a lot of people have spoken about such things, but i do not recall any english language source. maybe google search and search and search.
In general urban voids are places - "topoi" in greek as from dystopia!- where the urban tissue is somehow disrupted because of a complex misusing or not-using. They become places with no or problematic life.
Usually they carry memories [we can actually say that all places carry memories for they have history] more significans as -here- industrial history. They become carriers of this history, of this memory and their presence works as a "mnemosynon" for not having the "lethe". More about this part on a pdf file i found in english called "T01 essay Lethe and Mnemosyne.pdf" google search it or else i can send you an e mail. And a gain i have some more greek stuff but they cant be read by you i guess..
The point is what NOW? how do we interfere with such places..? should we keep them as monuments, should we erase them, and well, does all history needs to be preserved and if so, in which way? because "monuments" are in part something not really useful, they do not have "life" inside them.. They have exactly as they are named a "monumental" character. DOnottouch. Also morphology, in case of preservation, how can this be done in morphology? There is what we could call the "charm" of the old things, the "charm" of the decay, [which between us i think is your case Monica!], but is it really true, or is it just a fantasy?
Phew, thats for now, spare thoughts, if i figure more out, i ll send again! Just goooooogle and wiki, sometimes it works!
Monica October 17 at 9:05pm
and also a good point made, whether these sites are to be preserved, destroyed completely, or rebuit in order to regain function/use/usefulness.
i was thinking in terms as dystopic partly because these images often appear in films and video games about a distant horrific future where the site's inhabitants need to live with and amongst those monuments (as you very accurately put it). also, considering the post-oil or apocalyptic doomsday/cyberpunk stories that have always been popular, i associated these wastelands with a possible setting for these scenarios..
but the topic that interested me most you already mentioned: the 'charm' of decay (or lack thereof)..
the project i would associate with this would be something a teacher at the uni called "material house" where you use a building to explore certain characteristics of a chosen material; in my case, i wouldn't use a single material to build with, but rather the ways materials interact and age, and how legitimate it would be to let this happen. maaaybe in a site like these, don't know yet.
the aesthetics of decay... i bet any 80s art student would roll his/her eyes, but it's a topic that keeps giving
(since everything is kinda shitty these days anyway)
cheers! and thanks again!
ps. sorry for spamming the others :">
Yvy October 17 at 9:08pm
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