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sábado, 23 de agosto de 2008

Architecture as pottery, etc: brief note

One of my main themes of interest as an archaeologist (and else) are not sherds, fragments of pottery inside architectures, and their typologies, etc., but earthen architectures, architectures conceived themselves in a certain way as pottery, placed at a totally different conceptual scale.
Obviously, this shall be extended to an entire landscape: a landscape as a permanent piece of handicraft, plasticity and transformation being the key words to understand it.
This idea does not conflict with the obvious fact that "natural" and "artificial" forces continuously interact in a landscape. A landscape, a term that derives from painting in post -Medieval times, is an enormous dynamic system in permanent unfolding and transformation.
Plastic, painted earthen architectures occur all over the world, together with the use of wood or other vegetal material, and they are an important part of the existence of people in their environment. Both (communities, environment) are not actually superimposed realities: they are just concepts that in pratice dissolve. People construct their social ties acting together in an environment, in a space/time, making and remaking it, and being made by it.
There is no point in finding any universal (or even local) "functions" for this fundamental activity: "architecture", as language, for instance, is a fundamental way of expression and communication of human beings.
Universals like houses, fortresses, etc, are functional naive projections of our mind. A completely different archaeology is needed, based in a deeper undertanding of both the conscious and the unconscious aspects of the complex and infinitely diverse human beings. A philosophy that will try to incorporate the inspirations of different fields of knowledge, including psychoanalysis of course, etc. An interdisciplinary adventure that will recompose totally the responsability and methodology of the (good, interesting) archaeologist in the next decades.
Archaeology, to seduce, needs as much (and as less) as any other activity: an open mind to every source of inspirational contribution.
A new shape, a new thinking layout, a new discursive trend - a different kind of looking at things, people, materials, artifacts, whatever.


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