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|THIS WAS TOMORROW!
Transnational project initiated by Labor k3000 Zurich and CPKC Center for Post-colonial Knowledge and Culture, Berlin
The project THIS WAS TOMORROW! conceived as an interactive visual map based on a database, aims to make a decentralized form of knowledge production possible by establishing a dialogic platform of information and narrations on modern architecture from the post-war era. The project has been developed in the context of the exhibition “IN THE DESERT OF MODERNITY. Colonial Planing and After”, which took place from August 28 until November 02, 2008 at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. The exhibition presented architectural and urban projects that were developed in the 1950s and 1960s in North Africa and Western Europe against a background of anti-colonial struggles and trans-national migration. It tells the stories of the inhabitants, architects, colonial administrators and scientists who were involved in the controversy surrounding Modernity and modernization in North-Africa and Europe till today. By collecting these stories and presenting the first research results of the exhibition, the exhibition examines the contradictions of colonial modernism as well as the forms of resistance to it a process of negotiation and appropriation that continues to this day in times of globalization.
The follow up project THIS WAS TOMORROW! seeks to develop literally a web of approaches on the negotiation of modern architecture through the voicing of the inhabitants, architects and planners in order to bring in a decentralized and transnational perspective to the discourse of modern architecture. The Internet platform is therefore based on stories and perspectives of very different actors and sources, that will be involved in the network based project, to bring in new perspectives in historiography and a different understanding on how one engages with Modernity in different local settings today or in the past. This multi-actors approach will also include the migration of forms, social technologies, cultures and people (inhabitants/architects/planners) across geographical places, like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Switzerland, France, Spain, Canada, Germany, Britain a.s.o..
The THIS WAS TOMORROW! project can be seen as the practical implementation of the theoretical approach of researchers that takes into account new methods of democratic forms of knowledge production between North-Africa and Europe and a multi-actors approach between different experts, by using the technical means of the new communication technologies of the Internet. The Web project will make research accessible and decentralizes different positions in the field of research. It will therefore also have an artistic, educational value, as well as an theoretical one. Dialogue is a key element of the project and will be developed through network travels, Internet Blogs and the communication with existing forums and research partners.
The content of the Internet project will be accessible via a graphic surface with a grid structure (an infrastructure that permits integrated, joint use of autonomous resources at different geographical locations). The content items will be arranged and presented in thematic maps according to various criteria, depending on which concepts the user of the web pages requests. The stories and references thus form temporary clusters of meaning.
The material will be collected in an online-database. Each object/entry in the database contains a title, a visual icon (thumbnail) and a short standardised text or image feature. Each entry is linked on the Internet with extensive locally filed articles, content items or sites, images, movies, Blogs, etc.
There is an interactive option at the level of the maps and/or individual content items where all website users can enter references to similar phenomena, forms, stories and personal experiences, etc. Not only texts, but also links, images and short audio and visual sequences can be uploaded here. The information thus collected will initially be assigned to individual content items as “references”. However, it can be transferred to the database in the form of independent objects at any time by the editing team.
All objects are categorised under selected keywords so that they can be linked and retrieved in different ways.
The application allows users to continually collect and file new stories and contents. These can be entered and linked online using a suitable content management system. The goal is to have a decentralised editorial team that supervises and continues to develop the project over a period of 3 - 4 years.
THIS WAS TOMORROW! Wants to directly link the concepts and strategies of post-modern architects and planners with those of today’s residents, thereby creating a participative form of narration and contributing to the decentralised production of knowledge of Modernity.
The project will grow as a result of different cooperation between Labor k3000 and Center for Post-colonial Knowledge and Culture and changing local based partners, persons and institutions. Cooperation partners for the fist step were the House of World Cultures Berlin and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
As a result of this cooperation the first step of the project was to generate a grid one entitled “Von Hochhaus zu Hochhaus”. The grid one is showing over 100 video and film clips on housing-construction projects from the 1950s to the 1980s from the residents’ point of view. The action and music clips, privately made short films, and films of demonstrations and of buildings being detonated were taken by contemporary witnesses, activists and hobby filmers.