Post Jury Reflections:
With the systematic and violent erasure of the sovereign and transient heritage of the Kayapo, there is an urgent need to address the static and material-based field of cultural conservation.
The Specters of Karøn speculates whether the components of a Mixed Reality Environment can be used to unite and re-activate the collective ritual practices for the dispersed Kayapo of Brazil (A new but true form of modern Kayapo Practice).
Furthermore, the project suggests that this dynamic strategy of preservation can stimulate a new and contemporary Brazilian culture in the static and uninhabited city of Brasilia. (Anarcho–Privitism | Neo-Tribalism: A social theory that suggests an alternative to Post-Modernism, one that argues that as the culture and the institutions of modernism decline, societies will embrace nostalgia and look to the social and organizational principles of the distant past for guidance).
In direct contrast to the pure modernism of Brasilia, which remains static and empty, the transient and dynamic culture of the Kayapo – embodied by the rich and intense practice of ritual and choreography provides an analogy of “substance” and “culture,” which Brasilia is missing and necessitates.
In order to re-activate Brasilia, the project aims to infect and subsequently disrupt the monotony of the city by depositing notions of ritual, temporality, materiality and informality.
2018 – Brasilia as a testing ground for collective ritualistic practice for the dispersed tribes of the Amazon. (Social and Political).
2022 – Brasilia as a palimpsest of cultural activity – new practices begin to shape the existing infrastructure of the city – breaking the permanence in favor of the temporary. (Unpicking and Re-Packing Modernism).
2035 – The emergence of neo-tribalism – a new practice of preservation that simultaneously re-activates the city. (UNESCO is developing a new definition of the Historic Urban Landscape: heritage is no longer considered as a single object or a single urban ensemble, but as ‘all natural and historical layers of a site, its empty spaces, its infrastructure, and its social, cultural, and economic processes’. Brasília might be one of the most interesting tests for this new definition).
What was clear after the jury was that the project sits on three principles:
What started fifty years ago, as the prototype of a new era has now become a relic of the past. The design is highly relevant today, fascinating even, albeit for very different reasons: how do you ‘preserve’ that which is modern?
Jan Gehl, a popular urban planner, came up with two special terms – ‘Brasília Syndrome’ and ‘Helicopter Urbanism’ – to describe cities based on a plan which looks good from a bird’s eye view, but which does not work on the ground.
Brasília never managed to become a city in the full sense of the word. According to Ricky Burdett, an urban planner from the U.K., it lacks complexity.
According to UNESCO, the fuselage and the wings of Brasília’s layout must be preserved forever.
UNESCO often threatens to strip a site of its status when it or its surroundings are becoming too drastically or too visibly modern. Dresden lost its status because of a new bridge that was thought to threaten the beauty of its protected riverbank landscape. Saint Petersburg is at risk of losing it because of the construction of a Gazprom tower.
The interval between ‘now’ and that which has been ‘preserved’ is shrinking continuously. Shortly, heritage might even acquire a prospective character instead of a retrospective one.
Anarcho-primitivism is an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. According to anarcho-primitivism, the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, alienation, and overpopulation. Anarcho-primitivists advocate a return of non-“civilized” ways of life through deindustrialization, abolition of the division of labor or specialization, and abandonment of large-scale organization technologies.
Neotribalism (a.k.a. neo-tribalism and modern tribalism) is a sociological concept which postulates that human beings have evolved to live in tribal society, as opposed to mass society, and thus will naturally form social networks constituting new “tribes“.
French sociologist Michel Maffesoli was perhaps the first to use the term neotribalism in a scholarly context. Maffesoli predicted that as the culture and institutions of modernism declined, societies would embrace nostalgia and look to the organizational principles of the distant past for guidance, and that therefore the post-modern era would be the era of neotribalism.
What is the in-between | middle ground between the Garden of Eden (euphoric ground for ritual and freedom of expression) and La Petite Cathédrale (physical and continuous manifestation of ritual with a specific architectural language that abides to movement and practice – using post-modernism to redefine post-modernism) ?