a collective manifesto
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity” (Simone Weil)
“The astonishing reality of things Is my discovery eve-ry day. Each thing is what it is” (Fernando Pessoa)
Attention is a valuable resource. The astonishing re-ality of things — this is what attention uncovers, or rather, brings forth. Attention is neither simple per-ception, nor is it recognition. Rather it is an active at-tempt to allow the extraordinary richness of the world to surface. Ordinary attention is useful, standing in relation to the world like the opening and closing of the sensible doors in a well-maintained house. But unadulterated attention to what cannot be used, to what no one already wants, to what promises no knowledge or gain — walks through walls. Such clo-se attention always reveals the history of the presen-ce of others.
There is much competition to attract our attention. Attention has been monetized, transformed into a re-source that can be bought and sold. The four largest companies in the world (by market capitalization) are all in the business of tracking, atomizing, repacka-ging and selling your attention. These new informa-tion environments are now so prevalent that they can no longer be viewed as mere media systems, but rat-her constitute an irremovable part of our life worlds.
Architecture plays an important role both in gaining attention and making one attentive. It can facilitate the colonisation of attention, or it can offer sanctuaries of attentional autonomy. Design in general depends on the capacity of being attentive. By proposing the notion of “paying attention” we outline an emerging field of struggle between creativity and economy, per-ception and capital, authority and freedom. Students are invited to discuss these issues and develop them further.
While visiting different sites every week, students will develop during the semester written essays as part of a collective manifesto.
Our aim is to increase the facility of students for auto-nomous attention, to develop their skills in writing and reading, to equip them to remain sovereign within the emerging information economies, to make their voi-ces heard, and to develop a new teaching form for the history and theory of architecture.
Team: Philip Ursprung, Adam Jasper, Tim Klauser, Berit Seidel, Samuel Fuchs
Bas Princen, Vulcano Walk, Telega Warna, (Dieng Plateau), 2016