Through an investigation relating to the concepts of power, space, and ideology, the project aspires to determine central aspects of what a critical theory of architecture and the visual arts could mean today. This comprises a genealogy of the philosophical condition for critical theory today, which must transcend the parameters defined by the classical Frankfurt School, in order to understand contemporary artistic practices. Central problem facing such a theory relate to the status of affectivity and resistance, in a society that has been defined as a “society of control” (Deleuze), or a society based in “noopolitics” (Maurizio Lazzarato). This first part looks particularly at the concept of ideology, in two historical moments: the emergence of the concept in the shift between the 18th and 19th century, and the way its basis in a philosophy of subjectivity has been questioned since the 1960s.
These current debates largely draw on theoretical and ideological displacements that took place in the late 60s, and eventually ushered in the concept “postmodernism.” In the second part of the project, the emergence of this term will be analyzed in the context of architectural discourse, but also with respect to the image and media industries that increasingly have come to dominate the general view of architecture, and in relation to the conception of the market that formed the implicit basis for many of these ideas.
The questioning of the classical form of critical theory has also in recent years informed a significant amount of alternative architectural practices, which attempt to define a different site for architectural production. On the basis of several case studies, the project will examine the scope and possibilities of such practices, which are often local, but also attempt to define a new idea of globality.
In attempting to redraw the boundaries of architecture, these practices often come close to similar practices in contemporary art, and the fourth part of the project will look at exhibition making, both in relation to the past and to its present possibilities, as a point of intersection between art and architecture.