Fog of the Nomadic
-…an abstract for an upcoming polemical text and architectural project…
A thick fog washes over the land, encapsulates the body, washes the lung, and filters the passage. I am not interested in the mask so much as the interstitial space inhabited by the air between the mask and the mouth. The wetness of the air as it moves across the skin. The minute, micro-scalar changes across the surface of the epidermis as the subtleties of the air wash across the hair follicles. The neural signals that are sensed as they race through the neural fibers and into the cortex, cascading and intermingling as a flood of senses from the extremities coalesce.
The cordoning off of space historically through human culture, from the militarized borders created barring the transmission of diseases and plagues to the hidden acts of the socially taboo–heterotopias.
From the tendencies of human psychological aspects to project reductionist vantages, law of similarities and Gestalt psychology to the writings on heterotopias by Michel Foucault, space has historically been cordoned off and broken down into easily graspable chunks.
This delineation of space is curious as is the nature of how we occupy space and secularize programmatic typologies.
Who inhabits this space of which has no boundary? No palpable nomenclature? No master plan?
The nomad wanders this space. Wandering against the grid. To the nomad the grid is non-existent. Time here is nonlinear. Space unhindered.
In this projected future, nanotechnology (specifically relating to that of autonomous nanorobotics) has the ability to self-replicate and assemble into complex molecular configurations, where the nano-structure can assemble and re-assemble from a solid to a gas (and anywhere within the spectrum between the two). Culture and biology has become completely interwoven with technology, bringing about an acceptance and overwhelming implementation of nanotechnology where intelligent nanorobotics have integrated into nearly every facet of matter on Earth. Rather than a pessimistic projection of an out-of-control grey-goo eating its way through our carbon-filled environment and destroying life as we know it, nanorobotics have instead become a symbiotic and necessary part of the existence of the Human (post-human)–in fact life to-date could not flourish without the existence of the nanobots since they have become symbiotically required by their human counterparts to continue the lifestyle lead by most societies on Earth.
Nano-robotics create an ephemeral layer (utility fog) between the human and the environment, an interwoven space negotiating between the body and the atmosphere; for example, filtering harmful particulates out of the air before entering through the mouth and nose and into the lungs, scrubbing the lungs of self-inflicted damages, creating a visual overlay in front of the eyes, enhancing the optical field in front of the retina, transforming human waste into usable energy, connecting the human to the vast global network of information, creating an optimized geometry around the ear to enhance the capture of sound waves, increase (or decrease) smells as they enter into the nose, hardening around the soles of the feet for protection as one walks, or congealing from an ephemeral fog around the body to a hardened protective shell which encapsulates the human body as one sleeps, protecting the body in a chamber-like cocoon from the detrimental environmental effects or predators.
By harvesting carbon molecules from the atmosphere nanobots have the ability to self-replicate. By following instructions in the form of light waves/electrons sent along carbon nanotubes, the desire of the inhabitants have the ability to reconfigure and reassemble the molecular structure of the nanobots. Through analysing neural signals and mapping their patterns, the nanorobots have the ability to sense the desires of the people inhabiting the fog, changing materiality, spatial relationships, and function. The fog can either be a habitable space or a useful gadget. Acting much in the same way cloud technology works today a database of technological “blueprints” exists within the cloud, as brains imagine uses for assembly the robots assemble to the desired configurations.
Architecture and buildings are rendered useless in their traditional sense, as the previous functions of buildings was to protect, shelter, and control internal environments, all of these functions, aside from their spatial capacities, are replaced by the nano-fog–regulating internal temperatures, protecting the body, enhancing sound, etc.. Architecture becomes instead a way to interact and experience the environment through its spatial capacities–creating an extensive layer between the cognitive mind and the biosphere. People now sleep under the stars, in the woods, on a canyon wall, without the need for a machine which is dedicated and bound to a static geodetic address on the Earth. The transient culture of the past has been revived–people are no longer bounded by their material possessions and geodetic location of house, as their protection and possessions are always present, surrounding their body–a utility fog. Architecture becomes purely spatial/formal/geometric/infrastructural and the capacities for creative environments results not in the manipulation of static architectural form, but of the manipulation of the ecological and biological environment through which the human moves–the biosphere becomes the architectural black-box, where it [itself] is manipulated, altered, engineered, and designed.
What is architecture when a technological innovation displaces our need for a sense of security or a thermodynamic barrier? When both the fire and the tent have been replaced? An architecture becomes purely sensational/experiential, reacting to our nervous systems facilitating the connections between our physiological systems and biological ecology in which we inhabit. Architecture becomes infrastructural on the scale of the macro and the micro, playing mediating between the neural and the ecological.
This text presents the psychological and historical lineage of the subdividing, cordoning, and containment of space; both in its urban and domestic forms. The work will attempt to discuss where we have been and where it is our trajectories and understandings of space may be headed and what it influences these changes in our understanding of “space”. As society moves forward into the digitization of the technological and the boundaries and perceptions of public and private further blur, how is space re-configured in lieu of technological progressions? How does is both society and habitable space reconfigured?