Rewriting the Mediality of Architecture Under the Crisis Condition examines the complex sets of relationships and contexts that shape architecture’s mediality as a result of the rising instability in the constitution of the urban during ongoing turbulent environmental, societal and cultural transformations. Under the impetus of the long-lasting effects of the global crisis, such relationships between the built environment and her mediality are manifested in the condition of constant flux in the constitution of the urban. Alongside the reciprocal stimuli within this constellation, other sets of dynamisms are operational that question terms of locality, identity, fortitude and make-ability, which wane hard defined lines between physicality, mediality and states of being, laying emphasis on relationality rather than on distinctiveness. Therefore, it is imperative to ask ourselves: what is mediality? How media can be understood in architectural terms, whereby their interplay acts as a mediator, signifier, spatial interventionist, archivist and futurist. How does the crisis condition change these roles and how are interventions possible or needed?
Defining the crisis condition seems to be a quest only to be undertaken in the domains of the relative and the temporal (what now), rather than in the qualitative domain (if then), which makes it more subjectable to an order of scaling, rather than a matter of taxonomy. The global intertwining of economies, cultures and interdependencies has surfaced to the public eye as a result of recent global imminent crises, yet this is merely indicating the false juxtaposition of a history of linear progression and human prosperity, set against a narration of underdevelopment and primitivism as its alternative.
Further down the line of defining the crisis condition lies the question of intervention. The concept of mediality plays a crucial role in this ecology. Mediality can be seen as a ‘verb’ and a ‘noun’. This special Issue will examine ‘MEDIALITY as a verb’ in the area that is created between that what is the definition of the built environment and that what is defining it. ‘MEDIALITY as a noun’ is seen in redefining the elements that are contained in its definition.
Alternations in function (digitation of labour), structural demands (climate adaptation), demands of structure (flexibility), density (urbanisation) and the ‘general state of crisis’ (social imbalance, daunting future scenario’s, unexpected conflict) solicit a transition to a flexible, scalable and temporal interventions in the built environment. From the early 20th century on, media have had in increasing influence on the consequent changing environment for the body, in terms of organizing our space for living (and cities accordingly), and towards today's digital applications and how these use maps to improve the space-time mobilities in the city (risk situations in real-time mode). Hence, media can add and trace new codes and protocols and designate strategies for quick urban interventions in the event of conflict situations.
We can start to extend the dictionary of urban medialities. During the 20th century, a whole new terminology emerged to connect architecture with the concepts of time, movement, mobile gaze, spatial narrative, dynamism of perception, and subjectivity of experience. In the early 21st century, Keller Easterling’s proposal for a ‘medium design’ continues reshaping the existing inroads into understanding the design condition beyond its conceptual dependency on static objectivity, unchanging, legible objects and images. This requires the acceptance of a non-hierarchical, flat ontology, based on the equality of all parties in mapping the urban - human and nonhuman, technological, actualised and incorporeal – in other words: its mediality.
By forefronting relationality (capacity), action (agency) and affect (embodiment), rather than identity-ideology (modernism), ego-ideology (post-modernism) or techno-ideology (parametrism), the goal of this special issue is to identify the diverse sets of medialities manifested in the crises contexts as a possibility for proposing methods of intervention rather than taxonomizing crisis conditions and their effects on the built environment.
We invite architects, artists, philosophers and thinker-makers to contribute to this special issue by addressing the following questions:
Questions are (but not limited to):
- How has the discourse around the mediality of architecture changed during the crisis times from the early 20th to the early 21st century?
- What role do media have in improving diverse regimes of circulation, inhabitation and segregation in the city?
- How does crisis change the relationship between architecture and media?
- Does the mediality of architecture have new meaning and functions in times of global crises?
- Media not only transmit information but shape the political, cultural and economic footprint of the city. What interventions could be envisioned that effectuate and empower this relationship whilst broadening the field of decentralized participation?
- How have digital media become an urban force structuring new spatial and temporal contingencies in the city, altering social subjectivities, and reprogramming activities in temporal regimes?
Submit your 500-word abstract and 100-word biography on September 15st 2022 latest at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katarina Andjelkovic & Marc Boumeester