29.9511° N, 90.0715° W

NON ARCHITECTURE | remote sensing | data animation | RESEARCH | 2018

A report for the Observer begins about the aftermath of a Cyclone: 

"The water is still now, almost unnaturally so as if it was resting from its great act of carnage, exhausted by its orgasmic tidal surge. Nothing seems to move. The water, so savage last week, now laps gently round the bodies. Half-embedded in the mud and very, very still, a child lies in the water, arms and legs stiffly outstretched, its body bloated by the heat, its face battered and bloody. Next to it lies the body of a calf, its eyes wide in final uncomprehending shock. A few yards away in the middle of the road lie the bodies of two dead fish, as if the sea had even turned on its own."[1]

This Non-Architecture charts an animated sequence that seeks the abolition of a phenomenal reality within a catastrophic territory, and opens it as an object of investigation through a feedback loop of computational simulation and documentary animation. It seeks to practice with a digital archive of catastrophic territory, retrieved in several suburbs in New Orleans by the USGS and NASA; using a ground-based method of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the deadliest tropical cyclone that caused cataclysmic destruction. The performed experiments can be regarded as ‘excisions’ on the body of the archive. The research practice then explores the task of architectural design in parallel to the archaeological method, set by the Persian philosopher Reza Negarestani: “To study architecture, one must first investigate necrocracy — but we should go further: one must practice the art of exhumation too.”[2] Exhume, ex- ‘out of’, humus- ‘ground’, is to unearth; especially a corpse from the ground. In this regard, the exhumation is in the form of design procedures that visualises and excavates unthinkable mathematic instances of catastrophic architectures from within the archive. At the core of these design procedure is a struggle to access the following speculation:

0: What if the cyclone is a radical co-author of a profound numerical reality, that rests beneath the annihilated territory outside the correlate of the human mind?

[1] Land, N. 2002. The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism. Taylor & Francis.
[2] Keller, E, E Thacker, and N Masciandaro. 2012. Leper Creativity: Cyclonopedia Symposium. Punctum Books.