April 30 2009 – June 30 2009

ParaPractice + CarloMaria Ciampoli (LaN) with Biba Bell

SUPERFRONT architecture gallery and project space is proud to present ARCHEOGRAPHY IV, a performative installation produced in conjunction with Movement Research Festival 2009: ROLL CALL. The exhibition features new works of architecture and performance conceived collaboratively by Live Architecture Network and choreographer Biba Bell.

JAMES COLEMAN (ParaPractice) + CARLO MARIA CIAMPOLI (LaN), a collective of young architects that works between Barcelona, Boulder, and Brooklyn, have designed an installation specifically for this one evening of performance. Constructed of 1,000 feet of elastic and fixed to the gallery walls through digitally fabricated tracks, the installation creates undulating planes for observation and movement. Both the audience and choreographer, Biba Bell of URISOV, will navigate this soft-scape terrain. The installation will remain on view at the gallery, following the one evening of performance, through June 30, 2009.

ARCHEOGRAPHY IV is the fourth and final installation of the ARCHEOGRAPHY PROJECT series at SUPERFRONT, which has presented the combined work of architects and choreographers since October 2008. The investigation presumes that precepts of movement may act authoritatively upon architecture and, conversely, that architecture may operate within a logic of performance.

Choreographers do precisely what we cannot, control spatial ‘events’. As much as we try to manipulate and control movements within space, contextual variables continue to deny our agenda. What would architectural improvisation look like?

Historically there are two basic architectural approaches to dance as an event; the ‘object’ and the ‘box’. The object is created based on the performers’ needs and the box arranges performers and spectators within a space. Examples of these would be a Performance Set (object) and a Stage/Auditorium (box). In each of these a live discourse between the Architect and Choreographer is absent. The Architect is subservient to the ‘event’ in both cases, and locked in a displaced dialogue.

In Archeography IV, we strived to live up to the title by synthesizing architecture and choreography, creating a unique environment that promotes new and uninhibited movement. Through the use of digital tools and parametric software we propose a LIVE synergy between Architecture and Choreography. In this scenario, Architecture does not merely enable an interaction, but instead enriches the performers by the exchange. The goal of this dialogue is to break down habitual movement patterns by providing incentives for the generation of new movements.

Dance is a complex system of movements that actively reacts to contextual shifts. If architecture is going to perform at this level, it must possess a redefined degree of flexibility. A static architectural object will not suffice. Parametric Software, with the ability to create an infinite number of ‘similar’ designs, provides unparalleled versatility. Iterations are put through rigorous analysis where ‘performance’ becomes a guiding force early in the design process. Explorations in porosity, opacity, and intersections proved ways of undermining the space’s static qualities.

The result is a dynamic interactive environment that alters the inhabitants’ perspectival associations and challenges the performer-spectator relationship.

A Digital Fabrication workshop, held 2 weeks before the opening, introduces participants to the design process and parametric tools . The workshop is a consolidated course that merges software training and architectural practice as a fundamental driver of design. LaN explores the realm of digital tectonics, emphasizing a total integration between digital modeling and fabrication at a 1:1 scale. Critical thinking and insight to fabrication techniques pushes the production of informed prototypes and realizes our designs in the digital media and physical medium simultaneously. Our digital design workshops act as a way to promote architectural experimentation and push the concept of open source contribution. LaN investigates the cyclical nature of the Design > Fabrication process, as a means to forward composite collaborations and architectural development.

Architects should forever remain bewildered by a Choreographer’s spatial expertise. Rhythm, movement, and composition all have a place within Architecture, yet long for the temporal qualities of dance. By involving Dancers, Choreographers, Architects, and students in this composite process, we were able to develop relational data that is crucial for any parametric design. Archeography IV utilized parameter based logic as a means to actively respond to the dynamic contextual influences inherent in any dance performance. Our installation is ephemeral in nature, but momentarily proposes an exchange where uninhibited creative movement and architectural continuity mark a departure from our world of monotony and habit.

NYC Movement Research Festival 2009