“Conceptually substituting a destructive structure of a system into a supporting structure with growing potential.”
The end of cheap fossil fuels brings food production back to the cities. Open areas and open spaces get transposed into food production areas, existing structures serve for new purposes. From the inside of the urban space emerges a new spirit, a new function – the Vertical Farm.
Complex structures in nature take care for the decimation of population – with one exception (at least with a long intermission) – the homo sapiens.
The believe in the infinity of ressources, first of all petroleum, and the unalterable believe in the eternal growth of economy are the basis for structures in the tertiary sector, completely dependent on labor division and cheap and abbundand energy. This developement follows the line until it reaches a critical point – the collapse; mathematically logic and deducible in system theories.
Human beings produce food. There is absolutely no alternative to reimplement local social and economic interdependencies.
“Dio Nero – Aesthetics of Disease” and the Vertical Farm for food production within urban agglomerations constitute New York as a symbolic city for the tertiary sector, and as an architectonic icon for this structure the Citigroup Headquarter in the middle of Manhattan will offer its structure for this experimental approach. Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis is a fungus which infects ants in tropical regions if they overcome a critical level of overpopulation to guarantee a certain amount of stock, e.g. of ants.
Spores find their way through the exo-skeleton. Within the body firstly the fungus creates a “hyphe”, a kind of tentacle which directly grows into the brain of the ant and influences the pheromone-production.
From that moment on the ant is “externally” controlled, leaves its population and moves to spaces next to the tropical ground where a constant temperature and a high humidity offers the best growing conditions for the fungus. The ant’s last act is to bite into the main vain on the backside of a leaf before it dies.
This is the moment when the fungus starts to grow, it uses the skeleton, the “structure” of the ant as its habitat, the inside of this structure experiences a metamorphosis from protein to cellulose.
The observer better for a moment disables his emphatic relation with the ant in order to really having the capacity to be fascinated for this essential change of aspect, change of spirit (dt. Wesen /
it. animo). For a time two living beings are sharing the same structure.
The last act of the Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis is to grow through the ant’s head into the surrounding to create a fruiting body which enables spreading the spores – for the next ants.
By comparison to the past our civilization is urban, mobile, disconnected from the land and from one another. It is profoundly alienated from its origins and alienating in its operation.
“This is why (this) conception is so compelling, in IMDP’s words, “Conceptually substituting a destructive structure of a system into a supporting structure with growing potential.” To transform a structure such as Citicorp Center from its origins as an administrative warehouse for an immaterial and destructive industry to a localized, energetically self-sufficient production and distribution center for food in a society where energy is precious, not plentiful, is inspirational.”
Chris Sanders, sandersresearch.com
“Architecture has always reflected the needs and social structure of the times, and it will again reflect what unfolds during the Second Half of the Oil Age. IMDP’s contribution might be a possibility to compensate the negative effects of the present oil production decline.”
Colin J. Campbell, founder of ASPO
Exhibition Space: Spazio Norbert Salenbauch, Venezia
Maria Huber, Lucas Kulnig, Daniel Podmirseg
Assistant: Federica Bordone
Hyper-interns: Federico Rovetta, Philipp Zrim
Sponsored by: CasaClima/Klimahaus-Agentur Bolzano, Bau- und Boden Immobilien Linz, Herman Heiztechnik Bressanone, Imperial Art Hotel Merano, Plotservice Kleinhans Vienna, Volksbank Ost Vienna
Special thanks to: Chris Sanders, Colin J. Campbell, Christian + Eva Sturm, Ivan Tochev