Station Eco Self:
Turning inward to study the building itself as a site buried within the bounds of my ecological self:
The Mount Royal Station Building is a part of myself, this relation is very real, beginning with the fact that my bodily material is made from elements that the system of utilities has brought together; elements assembled from the fourfold (1). The HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, janitorial, and other systems, air, water, natural gas, birds, rain, the entirety of a vast system, converges into and passes through my body. For four years I have collaborated and coexisted with this architecture in that my education has flowed through the building like its many other flowing parts. As a historical site and a functioning system of utilities, the Mount Royal Station building is most critically in this reflection, an ecological site that has served in forming my [ecological] self. The ecological self is introduced by Arne Naess, he writes about the widening and deepening of the self through the realization of its ecological extents (2). The idea of the ecological self allows me to think about architecture as a significant part of what it means to be me, here, and now.
I map and explore the systems of utilities in the Mount Royal Station Building that maintain the environment and ecology of my self. Through this process, the architecture moves into focus and my body, described by the images of the video, disappears as a discrete object, to blend with the architecture as their permeability and interconnectivity is explored (3). My consciousness and my sensory experience are projected into this space to dwell; the building in its permeability interior complexity becomes my body, my body in turn becomes architecture. In this video, the voice fluctuates between being that of the building and being that of a dweller. In the condition that the Building is speaking for itself, describing itself and its constituents as an entity, I am looking towards Timothy Morton’s ideas from “Architecture Without Nature”(4) that an entity is not merely “reducible to the web of life”. That by thinking of relationships as “ontologically secondary to things”, the architecture can emerge as a thing, an entity, a self, as complex and mysterious of a Hyperobject, as my own self (5).
Station Eco Self is an autobiographical dissection of architecture. The narrator, a computer generated voice, is Consubstantialy two voices: switching between and always both my voice and "the voice of the building". My voice describes the functioning of body and the voice of the building describes its body. together, an ecological self, our body.
Architecture as it functions is a mesh, atranslucent, permeable, filter, the conduit of an ecosystem to an interior. An HVAC system, the plumbing, the gas lines, are the architecture in that they are the transmitters and receivers of this mesh between the bodily self and the ecological self of ideas and materials all from outside.
1 Heidegger, Martin . “Building Dwelling Thinking” in Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter, New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1971
This text describes deconstructs the elements involved in dwelling, explaining the condition of dwelling as the foundation of all experience, of all building, and arrives at an etymologically derived conclusion that building is dwelling. I am interested in the oneness of the components in the fourfold that Heidegger explains
2 Næss, Arne. "Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World." Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess. (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2008).
3 Leder Drew. “The Ecstatic Body.” The Absent Body, (University of Chicago Press, 1990), p.11-35
This text is forming most of my language involving the disappearance of the body, the inability to see the seeing. Leder discusses modes of perceiving from the body that lead to a disappearance of the body as the observed emerges through the body’s perception. I am using Leder’s hypothesis in an argument that the body’s disappearance affords the self to embody the observed- as an articulation of a path to an inherently ecological self.
4 Morton, Timothy. “Architecture Without Nature.” Tarp: Architecture Manual 10 (2012), 1–6.
5 Morton, Timothy, and Greg Lindquist. "TIMOTHY MORTON with Greg Lindquist."The Brooklyn Rail. N.p., 5 Nov.\\ 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
Link: Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects
In this interview, Timothy Morton explains the premise of what is a Hyperobject, and how he came to “discover” the term and to write the book. Architecture is a Hyperobject*
ref: Morton, Timothy. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
Timothy Morton: Architecture Without Nature