Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture(of knowing)to match

In an era of overwhelming complexity and global unrest, we are currently experiencing a sense of disorientation and a mistrust of grand narratives. Within the spatial realm, better conditions are frequently sought in positions that embrace a nostalgic retreat towards the tangible, the local, and the particular. However, in the face of persistent impasses—from environmental disasters to the politics of austerity and exclusion—our current cognitive and sensory scope seems insufficient; what is needed is a reorientation that turns away from “what is” towards “what could be” in order to speculate about new constructions that may function as a collective horizon.

Our inquiry searches for forms of knowledge that surpass human subjectivity as their primary foundation and open up a larger space for the (as yet) unknown: “the xeno.” It emphasizes practices that seek strategies for ideological and structural change and are at ease within complex power structures, co-opting their rules and orders and proposing new models of organization. By researching how architects, artists, thinkers, and activists operating in the spatial field might endorse a process of “alienation” to confront global issues, Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture to match explores unconventional narratives for subversive and political architectures (of knowing) in an attempt to re-radicalize spatial practice.

The curatorial and research platform Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture to match appropriates for its title a quote borrowed from philosopher Armen Avanessian’s conceptual intervention in form of a preface to architect and writer Markus Miessen’s recent publication Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice (Sternberg Press, 2016). Our inquiry picks up on Avanessian’s concept of “xeno-architecture”—a neologism he first proposed in various conversations with architects Christian Kerez and Rem Koolhaas—to launch a series of collaborations and experimentations that keep in mind his idea that “xeno-architecture is not a description of the given but a speculative concept that will only show itself in and from the future.”

Conversations

Initiated by Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen

January 26 – March 15, 2017

In a series of conversations, architect Markus Miessen and philosopher Armen Avanessian discuss the potentialities of xeno-architecture, and reflect upon what such a notion encompasses in terms of collaboration, work processes, and spatial experimentation—a reflection that started with Avanessian’s conceptual intervention in form of a preface in Miessen’s recent publication Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice (Sternberg Press, 2016).

Conversation partners: Armen Avanessian, Benjamin H. Bratton, Kathleen Ditzig, Daniel Falb, Anke Hennig, Victoria Ivanova, Markus Miessen, Luciana Parisi, and Patricia Reed.

The conversation series will subsequently be compiled and published by Sternberg Press in autumn/winter 2017 and designed by research and design studio Metahaven.

Encounter

Lecture at Kaaitheater, April 18

April 18, 2017, at Het Kaaitheater, Brussels (BE)

Xeno-architecture is a not a description of the given but a speculative concept that will only show itself in and from the future. The curatorial and research platform Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture to match invites philosopher Armen Avanessian and architect Markus Miessen to discuss the possibilities of “xeno-architecture” and reflect upon how spatial practice, by embracing alienation, may open up a larger space for the (as yet) unknown. By turning away from “what is” toward “what could be,” is it possible to built an architecture (of knowing) that can deal with today’s overwhelming complexity and global unrest?

This evening is a speculative sense event investigating how space can be understood differently. How does smell influence space, what is its sound? In an experimental attempt to abductively produce something “other,” we witness the development of new knowledge in the making. Embracing a process of poetic encounters, philosopher Armen Avanessian and architect Markus Miessen host scent artist Beau Rhee (New York), noise artist Mattin (Bilbao/Berlin) and media artists Tim Tsang & Parches (Los Angeles) to live-explore the potentiality of a xeno-architecture.

Tickets can be purchased on the website of the Kaaitheater.

Injection

Seminar in collaboration with de Dépendance and Failed Architecture

Fall 2017 in Rotterdam (NL)

During two days, a series of lectures, presentations and debates will take place, during which the theory that has been developed in Brussels will be brought into relation with concrete spatial cases and local issues in Rotterdam.

Experiment

Audio-visual performance in collaboration with Christopher Roth

In process

Artist and film director Christopher Roth has been invited to experimentally engage with two of his latest films, Hyperstition (with Armen Avanessian, 2016) and Legislating Architecture (with Arno Brandlhuber, ongoing production, 2016). Sequences from both films and fragments from Skype conversations will confront each other in a live duel, with the audiovisual material manipulated by Christopher Roth, while theoreticians and practitioners from various disciplines are invited as commentators. Framed by both films, a new narrative about xeno-architecture is constructed, where audiovisual material and speech intertwine. Together they do not simply describe things (what is) but rather play with abstract ideas and speculative imagination (what could be), opening up a field for interpretation. Ultimately, the performative and experimental approach aims at reflecting on ways of staging discourse and encounters, while questioning the work process of montage and editing.

A preliminary test of this performance was conducted during a residency at Het Bos, Antwerp (BE) in September 2016. Further rehearsals are yet to be confirmed.

Essays

A collection of Xeno-encounters

During the course of the project commissioned or self-initiated articles and essays are being produced, a selection of which is published on this website.

News

Posted on April 12th, 2017

Follow us on facebook ! #xenoarchitecture

You will find visual and discursive content of our ongoing projects on our facebook page. We also invite you to take a look at our facebook event announcing the sense event on April 18 at Kaaitheater!

Posted on March 29th, 2017

Forth conversation initiated by Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen

We had the honor to welcome media and design theorist Benjamin H. Bratton along with Armen Avanessian, Kathleen Ditzig and Victoria Ivanova to contribute to the forth and last conversation in this series initiated by Avanessian and Miessen. The encounter took place on Saturday March 25. All conversations will be compiled in a publication designed by research and design studio Metahaven (Sternberg Press, autumn/winter 2017).

Posted on March 10th, 2017

Third conversation initiated by Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen

Today took place the third conversation welcoming curator and researcher Kathleen Ditzig and Victoria Ivanova to the conversation next to Daniel Falb and Luciana Parisi following up from Conversation 2.

Posted on February 17th, 2017

Interview: “Xeno-Architecture: Radical Spatial Practice and the Politics of Alienation”

We had the pleasure to be interviewed by editor, writer and curator Alison Hugill for the architectural platform Archinect, you can read the interview here.

Posted on February 17th, 2017

Second conversation initiated by Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen

The second conversation took place on Feb. 15; Anke Hennig and Patricia Reed, who both participated in the first conversation, engaged in a discussion with writer and philosopher Daniel Falb and algorithmic information theorist Luciana Parisi.

Posted on January 25th, 2017

Launch of the first conversation initiated by Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen

We are delighted to announce that Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen will be joined by literary theorist and philosopher Anke Hennig and writer and artist Patricia Reed in a conversation taking place on January, 26 in Berlin. This is the first in a series of encounters that will trigger the public performance at Kaaitheater on April 18.

Posted on January 17th, 2017

Research and development residency at Workspacebrussels

We are currently taking part in the residency program of Workspacebrussels (BE), benefitting from their co-working space to develop the platform’s up-coming productions. The residency lasts from January 9–20, 2017.

Posted on November 30th, 2016

Spatial Series #3; Space and Policy: A Horizontal or Vertical Dialogue?

Wouter De Raeve will take part in the public debate Spatial Series #3; Space and Policy: A Horizontal or Vertical Dialogue?, organized by Timelab in Ghent (BE) on December 19, 2016. For more information, see 33yearsofspace

Posted on November 28th, 2016

Essay: “Niet onder de grond, maar in de grond”

Based on an interview with Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Lietje Bauwens and Wouter De Raeve wrote an essay questioning the contemporary state of the notion “underground.” Published in Belgian art journal rekto:verso, Nr. 74 Dec. 2016-Jan. 2017

About

Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture to match is a Brussels-based curatorial and research platform that seeks to examine the possibilities for re-radicalizing spatial practice. Research-as-practice is paramount within the process; the dynamic relationship between theory and experimentation constitutes both the form and matter of this project. This has resulted in a series of cultural productions and collaborations, including a process of encounters between Armen Avanessian and Markus Miessen and a performance devised by them, an audiovisual experiment with Christopher Roth, and an injection seminar in Rotterdam.

 

Contact

info@perhapsitishightimeforaxenoarchitecturetomatch.org

 

For press inquiries please contact:
press@perhapsitishightimeforaxenoarchitecturetomatch.org


A project by

Lietje Bauwens
Wouter De Raeve
Alice Haddad

Advisory board

Lars Kwakkenbos, Heike Langsdorf, Michiel Vandevelde, Sarah & Charles

Partners

Het Kaaitheater
Het Bos
Workspacebrussels

With the support of

Creative Industries Fund NL

 

The Arts and Heritage Agency of the Flemish Community

 

The Ministry of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region responsible for Mobility and Public Works

 

Graphic design and website

Modem Studio

Proofreading and copyediting

Simon Cowper

Acknowledgments:

This project would not have been possible without Armen Avanessian, Guy Gypens, Markus Miessen, Christopher Roth, Esther Severi and Michiel Vandevelde.

Legal disclaimer:

Perhaps it is high time for a xeno-architecture to match accepts no liability for the correctness or completeness of any information contained in this website. The contents are subject to change.

All material on this site is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution–NonCommercial–ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license