July 19, 2012



-Are you sure you want to mention: “…a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire…”

-Why not?

-It has been mentioned so many times!

-Are we doing it again?

Anonymous text.


reconstruction(s) wants to make visible a layer of the city that is produced in our minds while experiencing public space. For that to happen I would like to focus on how expectations are a driving force that mediate and shape our perception of the city. I want to collect thoughts of people and place them as text using locative media and/ or augmented reality. This visualization of ideas in the form of text will constitute an alternative cartography that will reconstruct the physical space using desire and memory as building materials, therefore investigating the map as a fictional coding device. The underlying concept that informs reconstruction(s) is to explore unseen connections of the collective experience of the city, and how they are associated to larger networks of desire (being people, companies or institutions) in constant flux and interaction. I aim to reconstruct a part of Amsterdam departing from questions asked to the people that have a relation with the area; questions related to the initial presumptions, the present and the future of the experience of Amsterdam Noord. I will ask them  to fictionalize their lives by asking them to create a character based in their own experience. By doing these I want exposed a collective narrative that would remain hidden or only relating to the private sphere, and that perhaps will allow us to read key elements regarding to the complex forces that interact in shaping architectural space.
For the mapping to take place I will build an updated version of a surveyor wheel. The device will be given to the participants performing a walk to collect information. This instrument was used to measure distances since the XXVII century. This updated version will add GPS, sound and video and to the device. The surveyor wheel is a development of the odometer used since Greeks times. Alexander the great used it to measure the distances in his military quest, using this instrument to create ancient accurate maps that were later used in the Silk Road and other endeavors. Other historical documents place the development of the odometer in china. In modern times GPS odometers are used in applications connected to the Internet creating real time tracking while using almost any smart phone. This process marking the migration from the physical measuring of space to the digital representation of it, is analogous to the displacement from industrial production to the immaterial production of goods and services that affected the composition of the physical space and their repercussion on our lives. Then reconstruction(s) wants to make an assemblage focusing on what people wants and how it interacts with the public realm.
Cloudy sky. Afternoon.
Then: -What do you want? I asked to someone that smiles while gazing at something behind me. I am explaining that reconstruction(s) is a project; it deals with desire and how it becomes a drive that affects architecture, space but also how we relate to it, how we tell it. As the Cheshire cat the answer eludes the question, it goes and floats over the city uncompleted, difficult to grasp. Then I go further and add: is incredible to think if one go beyond the concrete and land what could be read in the grid of any map. We look at each other and then: Why would you like to be able to see desire over the streets? Now I do the same operation: I look at my mobile checking the weather forecast and think: How would it be if all those actions and that we do with apparently no reason would be matched by what we want. What king of living chart or strange map would come out of it? We keep chatting for half an hour or so. Air from a chimney form weird shapes resembling something in the sky moving along, following the warm summer air.
Trial_B_ Jos De Rooij
Still from video. reconstruction(s)
For more information about Alejandro click here

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