Rafael Ortiz Martínez de Carnero “Towards an Active Space Experience: The Architecture of Arakawa and Gins as an alternative to our Contemporary Spatial Experience”
Contemporary society lifestyles characterized by new paradigms of efficiency, acceleration, hyperactivity and hyper-production generate a passive experience of space favoring permanent comfort and stimulation resulting in an unbalanced existence and in a constant degradation of both body and mind.
It is necessary to explore models of architecture that engage a continuous and direct relationship with our own existence as an alternative, in order to reconfigure body and mind in relationship with the built environment.
Thus, the pause, the resistance, proposed by the spatial approach of Arakawa and Gins, brings an alternative that potentiates improvisation, spontaneity and freedom. An active spatial experience based on the features that constitute life itself. Spaces that favor the use of intuition together with the body and instinctive decision-making to be aware of our existence. Working towards life, against death.
These spaces of adaptive flexibility involve not only perception but also action. An active and physical reception of information in which the body and space are intrinsically connected. Spaces of rich diversity and a transitory nature in which to conduct constant research through the body and to learn to control our body as a process of adaptation to a new environment.
We examine the application of Arakawa and Gins design strategies as an operative tool that can serve both for the development of conceptual strategies in spatial design and as an alternative to our contemporary spatial experience and lifestyles based on predictability, stabilization and programming.
Dr. Rafael Ortiz Martínez de Carnero, architect, 2007, director of O+R Studio, based in Shanghai and Seville since 2013. He has worked as Architect at Vito Acconci Studio in New York and Project Manager at AS. Architecture-Studio at Shanghai. He holds a Master of Science in Architecture from Pratt Institute, Graduate School of Architecture, New York, 2009 and an International Doctorate, Cum Laude from the University of Seville – Faculty of Fine Arts, 2017. His research focuses on the study of design strategies at the intersection between nature and technology and the impact they produce on society, landscape and territory, from an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses art, architecture and urban design.
Anouk Hoogendoorn, Matisse Apsimon-Megens and Benjamin Muñoz, "RollingUnrolling: Landing Sites as Propositions for Digital Collective Spaces"
Following Arakawa & Gins (Architectural Body, 2002), we try to understand the notion of landing sites. These are sites that invite a 'dimensionalizing' of experience. Through fuit.es collective we have researched and played with the concept of the anarchive in relation to digital platforms for online collective artistic practice. In contrast to the traditional archive, which preserves an artefact in its historical state, the anarchive holds open the artefact's potential to produce variation on itself. The fuit.es Digital Anarchive is an ongoing project experimenting with landing sites as conceptual propositions for world making. As an online space for transdisciplinary composition, it makes possible the leveraging of landing sites to generate worlds both within and without the platform. Here composition is understood as the bringing of contrasting elements into relation. By approaching composition and sociality from the act of landing, the practice becomes a contemplation of the interplay between colour, shape, resonance, experience, and play. Our practice invites interactions between artist-and-visitor, co-composing with web/landing-sites, celebrating the idiosyncrasy of each shape of day and its vicissitudes.
Anouk Hoogendoorn, Matisse Apsimon-Megens and Benjamin Muñoz all met through collaborative work with the Three Ecologies Institute and fuit.es collective in Montréal, CA. While each member comes from diverse disciplines, the collaboration was born out of shared affinities in textures, concepts and colours. Slowly and with much experimentation Arakawa & Gins' concept of landing-sites revealed themselves as crucial actors in their work, making a collective compositional process possible.
Ellen Vanderstraeten, "Whisper me Singing"
During 2020 I worked for one year with 'Senselab', an international network of artists and academics working together at the crossroads of philosophy, art and activism. During my stay in Montréal the pandemic broke out. This situation brought me to live together with professor in Relational Art and Philosophy, Erin Manning and artist Mayra Morales. They introduced the work of AG to me through making unusual clothes, sewing patches of textile into huge blankets, while sharing stories on their knowledge and experiences with AG.
I was instantly captivated by the concepts of 'Landing Sites' and 'Biocleaving', took the study with me back to Belgium and started a new artistic research project 'SPA for SPIRITS'. The traveling spa experiments with the legacy of AG, together with people coming from different backgrounds and disciplines. We build environments that invite the body to move with multiplicity in mind and create performances that are propositional encounters that aim to find other ways of communicating with each other beyond verbal language.
For the conference in Japan 'SPA for SPIRITS' desires to make an audiovisual work in a shopping center in Ghent (Belgium). We will transform the shopping center during a residency of one month into a temporary playground, a living organism, for people to experience the main concepts of AG. We organise picnics for humans and the more-than-human with curious substances and taste combinations, playing with the scale between tiny and huge, feeling out distance and proximity. This in a quest to find other ways to spend time with, within a world that is significantly affected by social distancing and the demarcation of specific spaces such as cultural houses, cinemas and public spaces.
BIO: Spa for Spirits is an artistic operation led by Leonie Buysse & Ellen Vanderstraeten. The formula of the project consists of a continuous installation with various performances that work in close encounter with its visitors to open the body up to experience in a sensuous way. The on-going research aims to question how we interact with each other and our environment on a daily basis and experiments with different ways of doing. To break with an often monotonous and normative world that instructs us to behave in a specific way.