Darl Ul Harb


“Scorpions are burrowers, not architects: They do not build upon the compositions of solid and void, they devour volumes and snatch spaces; for them, the holey space is not merely a dwelling place, a place to reside (a niche for occupation). More than that, it is the Adobe of War (Dar al-Harb), the holey space of unselective hunting.”[1] 

I have witnessed a projectile twisted like a rusted nail into the urban flesh in the ongoing robotic Urbicide (violence against the city) by United States government in Northwest Pakistan, using uncrewed aerial vehicles such as drones, operated by the United States Airforce. Mostly these assaults happen in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

According to Eyal Weizman of Forensic Architecture: “A city amidst an autonomous kill chain can become the very medium of warfare - a flexible almost fluid medium, that is forever contingent and in flux.”[2] In Urbicide, the city becomes a mass devoid of an order of amorphousness, homogeneity, or regular entropy. Instead, it is differentially liquidated, fractional at each level between solidity and liquidity through the power of infiltration of heat and visible matter. The parts underscoring the immense heat of a projectile animates architectural matter to trace a geometric space in its differential rates of becoming rubble, a velocity fanged by vectors of destruction. In the process a recursive complex of geometry that is arbitrarily projectable as deviated from its active catalyst, illimitable in both scalar directions. It is the thus the meteorology of War, its anti-cyclone that fangs matter to exhume a space otherwise foreclosed to the vocabulary of design, where no final grid, topology or terrain, no absolute geometry or legislative stratum governs the fractals caused by War. 

Following the burrowing mechanism of a projectile, the city about the influx of chaos themes into mathematics, where I have computed and simulated high-resolution LiDAR datasets of urbanscapes into epistemic devices. The computation involves a re-engineering of the dataset into a high-resolution voxel-based volume. Later these volumes are dispersed and scattered through heat and viscosity, dissipation and other contiguous and non-contiguous noise simulations. Each parameter of the simulation acting on the scattering density and attenuation parameters, making the dataset dense and dispersed like a sponge. 

[1] Negarestani, R. 2008. Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials. Anomaly Series. Re.Press.

[2] Weizman, E. 2017. Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability. Zone Books. MIT Press.