Valentina Karga

small catastrophe enchiridion



Real time and representation time

The initial intention of the research was the creation of an archive/ catalog about fire. Archives are evolvable and can possibly refresh themselves persistently. Thus, the archive´s concept can possibly be redefined.

This should have happened, in a manner of speaking, simultaneously with some representation of the same process, the one we call file-lodgment. The lodgment’s order is not the same with the chronic order that the files had emerged at the time of investigation. Besides, representation does not happen in autonomic real time, but invokes observer’s time. Thus, the distortion of the chronic relations facilitates some kind of “distortion” of the accuracy of the file lodgment procedure. In addition, this is not that important. What is important is the transmission of some, not-that-clear yet, sensation that fire and architecture are related to each other. Finally, the selection and lodgment of the “fire fragments” request to reveal some abstract relation to architecture.

Architecture resists to natural disasters. Fire is a natural disaster. The practice of architecture as resistance in fire, describes instantly a relationship between fire and architecture. Instead of fire, could be any type of degradation. Besides, time, by itself, can cause degradation. We can perceive time as the power of the degradation. Fire has been chosen because compresses degradation. Procedures are happening in real time, while architecture is planned and constructed, trying to “freeze” time. This thought is developed later in detection for fire’s real time and the representation.

The vivid energy of fire and the fact that science tries to constrain its disastrous power, are the topics that have been finally chosen to be accented. The classification of the clues is not clear. There is erosion between the limits of these two different facts.

Fire is spontaneous, alive, and unpredictable. Gaston Bachelard writes that “fire embodies all the characteristics of digestion”.

Contemporary ways to face fire take advantage of all the characteristics of fire. An extensive field of concepts and representations, techniques and refined mechanisms appears today under the concept of fire-protection science. Sensors, automations, cameras are used, while the ultimate goal is the anticipation of the parameters that define the procedure of the phenomenon, or, in other words, to control the unpredictable. It is an animated technical system that imitates the liveliness of the natural phenomenon in order to restrain it.

I detect a renewal in the way that architecture resists in degradation. If once architecture’s aim has been the creation of static shapes that restrain degradation by “freezing” time, today has started to appear as aim the creation of flexible and cybernated mutable situations that receive catastrophe, or, in other words, variation, “naturally’, following the way that mutation is created and functions.