Is it possible to be more “Deep Europe” than this?

Monday 15th May, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

etreff: Critical Broadcasting Lab, MIT presents The Pilgrimage / Pionirsko hodočašće at the European Cultural Center
Datum: Sun, 14 May 2023 19:01:17 +0000
Von: e-flux Architecture

Critical Broadcasting Lab

The Pilgrimage / Pionirsko hodočašće
May 18–November 26, 2023

Palazzo Mora
Strada Nova, 3659
30121 Venice

Critical Broadcasting Lab, MIT announces its participation in /Time Space Existence/ at the European Cultural Center in conjunction with the 2023 Biennale Architecttura in Venice. CBL is presenting a multi-channel video and sound installation /The Pilgrimage / Pionirsko hodočašće /on the second floor of Palazzo Mora. Please join us for the two days of openings at Palazzo Mora, on Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19 from 6–9pm on both days.

In Yugoslavia’s historical laboratory of the future, socialism, self-management, tolerance, and inclusion intersected in various ways with architectural imagination. Today, the artifacts that constitute Yugoslavia’s socialist architectural heritage, and especially those that were instrumental in the ideological wiring of several post-war generations for anti-fascism and inclusive living, have been swallowed by the entropic appetite of aging collective memory, exacerbated by various forms of local and global political investment in forgetting their meaning. But, for those who choose to claim citizenship to the idea of Yugoslavia, now thirty years after its destruction (and do so precisely in opposition to crude transitional capitalism and its related nationalisms), memorials like the Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar (vandalized in the summer of 2022) serve as navigational devices, both backward into history and forward into the future. Private memories of pilgrimages to the memorial sites they mark are as anachronistic in contemporary society as these objects themselves. And yet, if this anachronism is a way to anchor anti-fascist and transnational collectivity, they must be protected. Or, at the very least, remembered.

/The Pilgrimage/ synthesizes “memories” from Yugoslavian elementary and high-school visits to these memorial monuments. It offers them in a shifting and spatial multi-channel video presentation accompanied by a non-linear documentary soundscape. Our A.I. “Stane” (StyleGAN3) has been trained on archival and individual photo documentation of the monuments to output a series of video interpolations based on them. The six monuments currently included are but a sampling, chosen for their likelihood to have been visited by Yugoslavia’s youth up until 1991, and thus most prone to resonate with the messages of anti-fascism and national brotherhood. In offering its synthesized memories of the lessons for the future that the original memorials were meant to carry, /The Pilgrimage /also presents anti-fascism and unity as political and activist positions available (and necessary) today, for the sake of the future.

/The Pilgrimage/ is both historical and impossible.

Critical Broadcasting Lab team: Ana Miljački, Professor of Architecture, and Director of Critical Broadcasting Lab, MIT / Ous Abou Ras, MArch Candidate, MIT / Julian Geltman, MArch, MIT / Recording and Design, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade / Calvin Zhong, MArch Candidate, MIT.

Sound design and production: Pavle Dinulović, Assistant Professor, Department of Sound.

Collaborators on the project: Melika Konjičanin, Researcher, Faculty of Architecture, Sarajevo / Ana Martina Bakić, Assistant Professor, Head of Department of Drawing and Visual Design, Faculty of Architecture, Zagreb / Jelica Jovanović, Grupa Arhitekata, Belgrade / Andrew Lawler, Belgrade / Sandro Đukić, CCN Images, Zagreb / Other Tomorrows, Boston.

Supported by: MIT Center for Art Science and Technology (CAST) Mellon Faculty Grant.

Critical Broadcasting Lab (CBL) is a space and a platform for the production of discursive interventions in architecture culture. It was established in 2018 at MIT by Ana Miljački. Its key medium is the architectural exhibition expanded to include experiments with the entire contemporary ecology of broadcasting media. Its aim is to critique the contemporary, expose its deep histories and mount forms of strategic preparation for the possibility of imagining better and more just futures for and through architecture. CBL’s work /Sharing Trainers /was included in the São Paulo Architecture Biennale in the fall of 2019, the Lab’s /Play Room/ exhibition took place in the Keller Gallery at MIT in February of 2020, its /Supertall Tetris/ launched online in December 2021, and its /See Us See Saw/ collaboration with Pneuhaus, supported by Fay Chandler grant at MIT, was presented in April 2022. Since January 2022 Critical Broadcasting Lab has been collaborating with the Architectural League of New York on an ongoing oral history project titled: /I Would Prefer Not To/.

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