Monument to the Rubble of the Future.

 

According to Walter Benjamin, we can already envision the utopia to come because it has left its traces in the now, in “ thousands of configurations of life, from permanent buildings to fleeting fashions”. It is as if the future has already taken place and left behind small fragments, which can be gathered and reconfigured into an alternative future. 

 

A journey across the periphery of the city of Malmo feels like a passage past these fragmented ‘traces of utopia’. As the E20 highway slices a path though the wheat fields, making its approach to the Oresund bridge two prominent features become visible; The spectacular assembly of towers and cranes rising up in the distance and the enormous void in the landscape left by the disused limestone quarry. The complete history of the  modern  Swedish construction industry can be read in this view, its booms and busts etched permanently in the earth in this colossal inverted monument

 

The limestone quarry is one of the largest open pit mines in Europe, and was in operation from 1866 until the recession forced it to close in 1994. During the period between 1965 - 1975 limestone collected from the quarry was used to produce the prefabricated concrete building elements that were used for the construction of the million homes project (miljonprogrammet in Swedish). It is possible that fragments of  earth from this site are preserved within over one million homes scattered throughout the country. Today the quarry is closed and the site is a nature reserve, an eerily beautiful Chernobyl like space inhabited by hares and wild deer. As the shimmering glass forms rise up in the distance, the void of the quarry exudes a heavy silence - It is itself a fragment from the future - A ballardian fiction warning us of the post human dystopia to come. A reminder that when these towers outlive their usefulness and crumble into rubble, the void will remain. 

 

“Monument to the Rubble of the future” aims to explore this relationship between the actual territory and urban development, To provide a critical response to the short sighted visions of the future we are currently constructing as opposed to the richer alternative traces of utopia already present in our urban landscape. Through architectural and artistic investigations, the project intends to explore other notions of sustainability beyond the corporate green branding offered by the new urban developments surronding the site.The project draws inspiration from the work of  land artist Robert Smithson, as well as several Italian experimental architectural collectives including Cavart, Super studio, Archizoom and Stalker Roma. 

 

The Project will consist of a workshop which will be held over a week during the summer of 2015, in which a small group of artists and architects will camp on the site of the abandoned quarry and construct alternate visions of the future in the form of artistic installations, temporary architectural structures and performances.