An Archeology of the Present
November 03, 2008–January 11, 2009
Moshen Mostafavi, Dean Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, author
Lluis Ortega, curator
Utopias afford consolation: although they have no real locality there is nevertheless a fantastic, untroubled region in which they are able to unfold; they open up cities with vast avenues, superbly planted gardens, countries where life is easy, even though the road to them is chimerical. —Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
A school of the size and characteristics of the GSD is de facto also the location of many projects, research endeavors, events, utopias. How then to present any consistencies—logics—amid this array of activity and production?
This exhibition and publication is an attempt to do just that—to seek the formation of a number of prevalent tendencies, and coherences, among the many that currently operate within the school. Therefore it represents a specific set of choices, a point of view. It takes a stance. But in configuring its inclusiveness it has also had to leave out things, to edit. All for the sake of constructing the clarity of an archeology, one that according to Foucault’s schema manifests a history of its conditions of possibility.
The content groupings are the site of relations between a diverse range of projects. Even though each of these projects has occurred in different spatial and temporal situations, each grouping produces a new set of experiences out of the propinquity of the chosen subjects and areas of investigation. Seeking such underlying affinities is an important part of the articulation of the school’s domains of research. A relational condition develops out of the reading between the various types of projects, events, and writings. The amalgam of all these issues is a partial section of ideas and interests—an archeology of the present state of the school.
This exhibition and publication is not a mere recording of the achievements of our students and faculty, of our lectures, publications, and exhibitions, but an unraveling of an order. It is the site of new, intrinsic experiences and discoveries.
Platform 08 Book