At the time of a sparse, heterogeneous , unstable and "wild" contemporary city, any attempt at formatting seems futile. The architect/urban planner must often remounce to shape what seems to be an irreversible process generated by our neo-liberal societies. No longer in control of the multiplication of effects generated by this accumulation of autarciques architectural objects, he tends to consider the project as a process or arrangement as defined by Gilles Deleuze: "what is as a layout?" It's a multiplicity that has a lot of heterogeneous terms and establishes links and relations between them [...]. What is important is never parentage, but alliances; nor it is the heredity or descent, but the contagion and epidemics [...]. ". ¹ It seems therefore that we are moving toward a relational architecture which is meaningless in its constituent parts themselves, but meaningfull in the connections that exist between them.
This has also happened in contemporary art. The work of art, contemplated faithfully, raised on its pedestal, is replaced by installations and performances, in which the object as itself is desacrated and is not as crucial as the experience it provides to its audience. What matters is immaterial, intangible, relational, it is art in a gaseous state.
The spread, "horizontal extent of a liquid or a gas", is the result of linked heterogeneous elements that organize themselves and hold each other. This is a set of interactions between particles that are at the same time free and in close liaison. This notion of gas questions the way we understand architecture and urban planning. More than a typology, the City in a Gaseous State corresponds to a reading of the city in which are interwoven the most diverse elements put in situations of mutual dependency.
You can order The City in a Gaseous State here.