THE VENICE DÉRIVE; On Exactitude in Science
The Venice Atlas is an attempt to reconstruct some of the different maps that not only described but also gave form to Venice’s actual spatial condition. This condition is understood as a paradigmatic example of the diffused state of contemporary cities. […] Today, contemporary Venice appears to be simply a huge tourist machine, in which its history and density are treated as global entertainment and an antidote to the sprawling, sterile agglomerations of contemporary urban developments. In this context, Venice is far from an isolated example in finding itself becoming a victim of the ‘hyper-real’, as characterized by Umberto Eco. The city appears to be a simulacrum of its own self, destined to satisfy not only the curiosity of its visitors, but especially the onslaught of their most basic expectations: a romantic gondola tour, an original piece of hand-blown Murano glass, the perfect stage for a two-week, all-inclusive honeymoon package. Yet, while we observe that such examples of the hyper-real are erasing reality throughout the globe, Venice is unique in that it threatens to be obliterated by both the nature of contemporary tourism and the sheer volume of visitors, which at first sight seem to make any other activity in the city impossible. […] Considering the city and its lagoon as a unitary and polycentric urban space, we propose here the only approach we think is sustainable, resulting from the spatial relationship between the city and its territory. The city of Venice is the lagoon. […] The lagoon, in fact, has always had a double dimension: as an inhabited area and as a communication edge between the mainland and the sea.
Participants: Paul Geurts, Pui Chi Lam, Felix Lauffer, Teck Lee Leow, Eszter Sarkadi Nagy.
Mentors: Sandro Bisa, Alexander Vollebregt, Marc Schoonderbeek, Olga Vazquez-Ruano, Freerk Hoekstra.