In the last three years Diploma 5 has been using the notion of Third Natures to examine the spatial qualities associated with new and emerging forms of social collectivity, and in the process has offered a prompt to investigate everything from the fall of public man to the commodification of space. Accordingly, the unit has been assembling a body of cultural, ecological and technological material as part of a search for the spatial qualities that correspond to and are capable of activating the public beyond both transitory or stationary forms of togetherness.
Using subcultures and social groups as a model and immediate context, the projects presented here include Ruohong Wu’s assemblage of unconventional forms of artistic practice in Beijing, linking dissent to the elucidation of an anonymous, uncensored public realm. Similarly, Hessa Al-bader’s work focuses on psychological spaces linked to fear, danger and the interdependent relationships between humans and feral animals in the Nile Delta, while Josiah Barnes investigates gay cruising spaces in Baton Rouge and the ‘safe spaces’ of queer communities as part of a broader exploration of contrasting repressive and homophobic attitudes in the Middle East.
Projects also challenge the conventions of our discipline, with Manuele Gaioni challenging high-culture claims in the reinterpretation of a gentlemen’s club in Kensal Green, or other projects that explored the material traces of alternative behaviour and the displacement of political signs in an embassy in Korea. Elsewhere, Mazin Orfali looks at the role of technology in shaping the instruments, tools and navigation systems of new American nomads, enabling them to confront extreme phenomena and seemingly infinite horizons.
These Third Natures allow us to define space without having a nostalgic or existential approach, amalgamating popular culture materials (without being necessarily pop) while publicly discussing the construction of the ordinary without being emphatically political.
Eloy Fernández Porta
Pier Vittorio Aureli
Peter Karl Becher
Carlos Villanueva Brandt
Monia De Marchi
Maria S Giudici
Matthew Barnett Howland