Lecture: «Spatial Fictions of Quarantine»
Tonight we are discussing quarantine as a peculiar kind of human-exclusion zone. We will refer to such questions as including the diagnostic technologies, algorithmic modeling, and automated infrastructures that will determine its future.
The spaces under quarantine are used to separate one thing from another for the purpose of preventing infection. Travelers exposed to pandemic diseases are often placed in quarantine; spam emails can be quarantined; even rock samples returned from the moon have been held in quarantine since their arrival back on Earth. The need for quarantine has shaped international boundaries, led to the invention of new documents segregating the healthy from the sick. Indeed, the first thing a migrant or asylum seeker might be forced to do upon entering a new country is to undergo a period of quarantine, a time of interminable waiting and spatial closure.
At the same time quarantine is also an architectural challenge, shaping entire buildings and cities. Initially quarantine implies mistrust and suspicion — but with a possibility of release, because all quarantines eventually end.
Geoff Manaugh — writer and the author of A Burglar’s Guide to the City, on the relationship between crime and architecture, which was a New York Times-bestseller for two months, and, in 2016, was optioned for television by CBS Studios. In 2004 Manaugh launched a widely acclaimed BLDGBLOG (“building blog”). Because of BLDGBLOG, Wired named Manaugh one of “the 18 people who will tell you everything you need to know about design”. Manaugh regularly covers issues related to cities, design, crime, infrastructure, and technology for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, New Scientist, The Daily Beast, and many other publications. His short story “Ernest,” published by VICE in October 2017, is currently being adapted for film. Manaugh is former co-director of Studio-X NYC, an off-campus event space and urban futures think tank run by the architecture department at Columbia University. He has also been Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo (2013-2014), a Contributing Editor at Wired UK (2009-2013), and Senior Editor of Dwell (2007-2009).
Nicola Twilley — a contributing writer at the New Yorker, co-host of the podcast Gastropod, co-director of Studio-X New York. She is also the author of the blog Edible Geography, co-founder of the Foodprint Project, designer, and curator with exhibitions installed at Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Her works were published in The Atlantic, Volume, Domus, Landscape Architecture, The Architects’ Newspaper, Dwell, Business Insider, and Wired UK.
Manaugh and Twilley are currently working on a book about the history and future of quarantine.
#usa #culture #design
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