Title: The cloud + the fog - Code: K6F5H3
Contest: Venice / 2011
By: M. Shopova / P. MacDougall / V. Heddle

Views: 2621 Likes: 0




The cloud + the fog

The cloud + the fog responds to Venice as a petrified city forced into stasis by foreign expectation for historical authenticity. Venice is a city sensationalized and repressed. It sinks under the weight of its historical past: time is stagnant here. Only people pass.  Venice demands a relief from this ossification and a reorientation towards the dynamism it is denied. Venice longs for sublimation.

The cloud + the fog explores the potential of two immaterial forces, one technological and one organic, coupled together for and in defense of the city. The intervention harnesses the ability of the immaterial to intervene in a space without the imposition of program, and catalyzes the potential for spontaneous, hyper-local interventions. Accepting tourism as an inevitability, the cloud + the fog encourages a symbiotic relationship between flows of people, atmosphere and culture, and one that serves the renewal of Venice. The fog, triggered by the technology of cloud architecture is a medium for the expression of contemporary Venetian culture.

The city must be equipped with a method of coping with its repression. We propose the addition of 30mm silicon piping to the existing intricate network of pipes lining the walls of Venice. This system of piping is programmed to locally release fog once an area is overpopulated.  Though widespread, the physical intervention is intentionally subtle; the new pipes would contribute an infrastructural layer of detail already ubiquitous to the city. Positioned just above human height, the porous new pipes contain fog brewed in heat-exchanging pumps submerged in the canals. Tapping into the cloud of communication networks, receptors housed on the piping are sensitive to the proximity of people through their SIM cards.  The cloud + the fog are grounded in the material through their dependence on flows of people. Once a crowd clustering surpasses the programmed threshold in a particular area, the fog pumps are activated and the fog released.

The production of fog, which also happens to be a natural occurrence in Venice two months of the year, literally masks the city and protects it from the petrifying gaze of those who come to see ‘the city built on water.’ A canopy of fog obscures sight and releases Venice from the eager stares of visitors, pushing monument into the background and fog into the foreground.  The release of fog, however, is not intended to incite an antagonistic relationship between the city and those who walk its streets. Rather than produce alienation and discomfort, the fog provides an opportunity to enfold the visitor and divert their attention to the contemporary and immediate reality of the city.  This redirection is an act of sublimation that indicates a creative rechanneling of a city’s repressed identity into the platform for public expression.

Whereas cloud architecture has enabled increased possibility for the individual, the cloud + the fog fosters public interventions. Coupled with the cloud, the fog has the ability to serve the entire city with a flexible platform, and one informed by the presence of people. Free of programming, and free to be programmed, the fog becomes an enabler for a myriad of events.  With some imagination and initiative an inclined curious inhabitant could harness the fog as a layer of 3d pixels able to augment light and atmosphere.  At a given time, the deliberate flooding of a space triggers a rush of fog providing, for instance, the atmospheric backdrop for a local concert. Meanwhile, in another part of the city a film is screened on the densely coated façade of the always populated Saint Mark’s basilica.  The city is ornamented with refracted light and colour. Greenery flourishes in the most public of spaces.

The cloud + the fog seeks to transform the longing of a petrified Venice into creative and mutually beneficial relationships between people, culture and the city.

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Title: The cloud + the fog

Time: 6 giugno 2011
Category: Venice
Views: 2621 Likes: 0

Tags: Adriatic Sea , Business , Cloud , Current sea level rise , Earth Sciences , Heddle , P. MacDougall , Scripps Institution of Oceanography , Shopova , Subsidence , Venice