All the beyonds…

Definitely, the buzz of the “beyond” seems to have established itself firmly in the firmament of the architecture and design worlds…

After the science fiction magazines of the past, after my own Beyond Consumption in 2003, after the Beyond Media festival in Florence, after Volume’s “To Beyond or Not to Be,” after the Venice Biennale’s Architecture Beyond Building, and, of course, after the all-encompassing Beyond the Beyond, now it is the time for Beyond Architecture, a clever book on something I had already imagined as a full-length exhibition: the fictional depictions of unexisting, speculative architectures, namely through techniques of photomontage.

Beyond Architecture

An extensive listing of artists working along these lines had already appeared in none other than the commentaries to a post by Geoff Manaugh on Filip du Jardin, but now a full book honours this recent and pervesasive trend reaching the outskirts of built architecture.

As I wrote in an introduction to the work of Kobas Laksa, this is now a very palpable tendency. The logic of photomontage is back, although no longer with the playful, self-deceiving, and expressionistic overtones of the past. Recurring to digital technology, visual collage is today inclined to extreme and precise, if slightly surreal, depictions of yet inexistent realities. Such imagery thus acquires an unexpected narrative quality. Whereas classical photo collage once served the clash of different signs and meanings, the Photoshop technique is today dedicated to conjure its own fiction, albeit with an almost absurd degree of realism. After architects and advertisers have used the by now banal image software to project a wishful authenticity onto their constructions and products, now it is the artists who are making use of it to create a disturbing, alternate version of reality. As Philip K. Dick once described, it is a “law of economy” that nothing should go to waste: even the unreal is welcome…

8 responses to “All the beyonds…

  1. Luís S. B.

    Só para acrescentar outro beyond fundamental, o da revista Volume, que como diz o mote «To beyond or not to be».

  2. Pois, ainda ontem olhei para esse título… 🙂

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