corpus delicti


The war-porn induced by media has made the post-trauma a prosthetic equivalent of an entertaining memory flare. The 'Syrian War', since 2011, like a truncated carcass has become a pure spectatorial node by default. War becomes the destroyer and the city as the destroyed nature. In this destruction, war sloughs-off the crust, the architecture in which life had petrified itself and infested the urban space like a rot, regressing structures to becoming, flow, energy, immanence, capitalism, continuity, flame, desire, death. In the words of Nick Land “In the vision of things that puerile hazard makes brusquely appear: cadavers, nudities, explosions, spilt blood, abysses, bursts of sun and thunder.”[1] War, a machine that voids architecture back into space — the leftover becomes a sponge that encrusts life back into death, the rubble the mask that encrusts the 'corpus delicti' — the body upon which a crime has been committed, the last act of bearing witness. According to Jacques Derrida, "[...]A trace which is never present, fully present, by definition; it inscribes in itself the reference to the spectre of something else"[2]. The architecture thus a smudged trace of an automaton, which, manifests in the figure of a man, or of man in the figure of it. If all cities serve are like a gigantic prosthesis designed to amplify, by objectifying it outside to increase the power of the living, the living man that it protects, that it serves -- but like a dead machine, or even a machine that is death, an apparatus which is only the mask of the living. Here the mask, the rubble, asphyxiates the living. The wreckage is later carved in Arabic calligraphy, as a sort of an autobiography of the asphyxiation.

[1] Land, N. 2002. The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism. Taylor & Francis.
[2] Derrida, J, G C Spivak, and J Butler. 2016. Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press.