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  • Poro-Eco-Logics: The Raw and the Synthetic

    Texas A&M Univeristy, "Poro-Eco-Logics: The Raw and the Synthetic." From Language to Decimation.
    college station TEXAS

    Texas A&M University
    critics: Bruno JURICIC (distinguished invited professor), Gabriel ESQUIVEL, & Stephen CAFFEY.

    In their virtual and material forms, the objects generated by participants in Bruno Juricic’s and Gabriel Esquivel’s Poro-Eco-Logics Design Studio perform multiple functions of insurgency.

    The T4T LAB will explore the un-grounding design potentials of the contemporary eco-logics in architecture and will open up provocative new lines of design inquiry beyond innocent and reductive approaches to ecology as in notions of sustainability and green. As Slavoj Zizek reminds us, the so called “Balance of Nature” is in itself a myth since catastrophes have always been an integral part of natural history. They portray perceptual and systemic disequilibrium, prohibit access, defy cognition and declare autonomy. Though produced by humans, these objects resist the anthropocentric mandate that the laws of nature and the forces of nature must conform to the limitations of human cognition and human perception. Bound by forces unknown and unknowable (though partially accessible through the algorithmic apparatus), they transgress both grounding and un-grounding through a mutually constitutive and mutually catalytic triad of recursivity + refractility + non-reflexivity.

    Pursuing this line of inquiry, the question of eco-logics in architecture can be posed through the investigations of the porous boundaries between organic and inorganic, as the bridge between human world of categories and the independent real world. The role of those boundaries is not any more to enclose space, but rather to form tissue for osmotic exchange and therefore, solicit for architecture forms of contact with other praxis and with other mediums. This “porous- opening” generates different positions about what the agency of architecture is, what its objects are, and what its manners of cognition are within the contemporary denaturalized material ecology. What we called “The Raw and the Synthetic”

    The studio borrowed the term from Lévi-Strauss, which meant to differentiate what is found in nature from what is a product of human culture. That dichotomy, Lévi-Strauss believed, exists in all human societies Part of what makes us human, however, is our need to reconcile those opposites, to find a balance between raw and cooked. But where is the dividing line between nature, which is emotional and instinctive, and culture, which is based on rules and conventions? In a metaphoric sense, a cook is a kind of mediator between those realms, transforming an object originally from the natural world into an item fit for human consumption. So by “cooked,” Lévi-Strauss means anything that is socialized from its natural state. The studio changed the term and instead of cooked used the term Synthetic as a re-appropriation of the scientific image to directly transgress the notion of the scientific classification of an object. It retains a notion of duration from the primitive to the synthesized and through its curation has begun to note not only the ontological shift defined by the mutation of the spline to the turbulent aesthetic, in other words an epistemological shift from the object to object of interest.

    The “Raw,” as stated before, is the object that is fluctuating between a hard and a decayed condition. The decayed, “soft” surface is created by external, unknown forces acting upon it. The raw’s hardened condition is articulated from the initial ground from which the object was excavated from. The “Synthetic” is derived from generated patterns or surface articulations applied as a way of differentiating various object surface conditions (hard + soft). The synthetic is created by articulating a range of fidelities: high-fi and low-fi. The high-fi was determined as the sinuous graphic applied to the “simple” soft surfaces. It starts interacting and becoming an active graphic dependent on saturation values reverting the surface to its concentrated original form. As a consequence, the synthetic image works differently dependent upon the angle at which you see it.

    Texts rooted in Object Oriented Ontology, Speculative Realism and the New Aesthetic informed the conceptualization of these objects and those texts may offer some insights as to the objects’ composition and their individual and collective esoterics; however, as the objects remain their own best explanations, the theoretical and critical apparatus serves as a subordinate translation mechanism through which the words and their ontic parallels (images, objects, sites, structures and spaces) formed.

    Simultaneously revealing and obscuring the unforeseen unseen (Marion), these objects read as scriptural accounts of [architectural/algorithmic] truth as an unintelligible and incomprehensible collection of surface ambiguities with no resting place (Hegel) in a non-religious metaphysics (Meillassoux). Within this metaphysical mechanism, processes of desecration emerge from the impotencies of [human-object] sentience in the presence of ungrounded sensuality and the grounded insensate [algorithmic] substrate from which these objects have liberated themselves. What emerges in these objects is ultimately (and perhaps unintentionally on the part of the studio participants) a renunciation of the hierarchies and polarities that constitute the fallacies of the Anthropocene (Negarestani, Parsani).

    Additional credits and links:

    Project managers: Zach Hoffmann, Drew Busmire, Lyly Huyen, Steven Hewett, Corie Saxman, Stephen Renard, Jacob Patapoff.
    Students: Adrian Martinez, Adam Wells, Justin Zumel, Braden Scott, Cody Clancy, Christian Stiles, Ricardo Gonzalez, Belinda Wood, Matt West, Juan Arriaza, Mike Clariday, Stefani Johnson, Kelli Lathrop, Alyssa Johnston, Kathleen Sobzak, David Creamer, and Hillary Hage.

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