EXTRATERRITORIALITY NEXUS

Natural Phenomenon in Urban Context


We no longer map territories, but territories map us. Our inscription upon the Earthʼs surface is being mapped upon the territory and therefore changes due to humanʼs impact are exceeding the capacity to sustain us. Extraterritoriality, in many ways, is used as a political tool to subscribe order over the unrecognized. The context of extraterritoriality is not given: it has to be created. Implanting the notion of exception and encouraging the creation of a broader, interdisciplinary context in the creation of a true ecological spectacle. A constitutive mobility. An elusive implication.


Events all over the world recognized as huge environmental catastrophes impacting the worldʼs fragile ecosystem were the start for my explorations. The radioactive fallout in Fukushima, Japan as the most recent catastrophe marks the only true long-term marker of human presence on Earth. Weaponized Geology: minerals made all together unearthly, post-terrestrial, through anthropological intervention. The obliterative power of nuclear weapons turns them into a ubiquitous anti-landscape. Something that no geography, built or natural, can resist. We tend to measure threats against our cities in terms of armed gangs or moments of staged terrorist assaults, hovering over all of this is still the apocalyptic thought of something that could simply annihilate cities altogether. If we are going to study cities than we should also study that which is radically anticity.


The nexus for investigation on Extraterritoriality is the City of Los Angeles. Due to its magnificent and rich yet dangerous and unpredictably wild atmosphere is the departure for explorations in a socio-ecological context. Los Angeles is the disaster capital of the world and Hollywood as its center of media and speculation of the American value system it is also raising awareness about the aftermath. The notion of unstable processes and mutated landscapes are conditions that will be part of our future. The order of the existing is being confronted by the order of the new and speculates on new emergent landscapes of emergency.


The Cooper Union | School of Architecture

M.ArchII | Thesis Summer 2011

Thesis Advisor: Prof. Diana Agrest

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