|Urban monologue, narrated in the film "Kuala" by Christelle Lheureux, Le Fresnoy art center, France 2001
re-edited for thisisamagazine.com, fall 2004, Milano.
When I was a kid I used to have a recurring nightmare. The only thing I remember from this nightmare is that a group of fat people where chasing me in a dark deserted landscape. I kept running and looking back to see if they were any closer, and as I looked I realized that they were not really fat but flat. They had no real 3rd dimension, even though they looked real when you saw them frontally. When you looked at them from the side, you could see that their volume was a graphic illusion, and that they were just images of fat men on a 2D surface. Each time I had the nightmare, their flatness would surprise me, and I would keep running, terrified and fascinated by this visual effect.
This type of reality exists only in computer games, but it could be interesting to consider architecture for this dimension. Sometimes I think about the possibility of a two-dimensional building that is not an image of a building, but a building made out of surfaces that have no substance, no thickness, just image. The walls appear solid and opaque, but in fact they are thinner than paper, thinner than anything that exists. The surfaces work great in frontal view or in perspective, but when you get real close they distort, and then you're on the other side, which is the same, just mirrored. Because the walls are so thin, when you see them from the side they tend to disappear, and maybe others come into view as if from nowhere. So it's a building that you can never perceive as a complete structure, but only partially and depending to your orientation the part could be different. Maybe even the building itself is animated but you cannot notice because the parts that you cannot see keep changing and as they change you keep moving and you notice others coming into view. This building is made up of 2-D parts set up in a 3-D world, like a house made up from a deck of cards, and although it doesn't collapse, it also doesn't provide real permanence or true enclosure and it keeps you moving through it. I think there could be other types of buildings based on this perception.