Post Disaster Rooftops is a curatorial platform set on the rooftops of the city of Taranto, a city that allows us to produce content that has universal value on urgent issues of the contemporary urban system. Through the lens of this city we can experience firsthand all the side effects caused by neo-liberal policies that accentuate the disparities between territories by privileging the large economic centers.
The title of the project is inspired by a provocation of the philosopher Timothy Morton who declared “the disaster has already occurred”, meaning that the human species should act as if it already lived in a postcondition, in order to develop the awareness of its own agency on the planet.
Disasters are temporary factors, transitional events that, although dramatic, reveal the possibility of imagining alternative and ideal scenarios. From an etymological point of view, the
disaster is the misalignment from the stars, or from the favorable course: a change of direction combined with an absence of control.
Is it possible to reinterpret the disaster as a starting point toward a fortunate course?
Staying on rooftops is a way to be autonomous from the sometimes suffocating rhetoric of urban regeneration, particularly those that espouse an idea of organized or, worse, premeditated involvement.
These are unconventional spaces, free from the main hegemonic forms of organizing the flows of life and capital, and allow a multi-directional look at the conflicts affecting the city.
We seek to provoke paradigm shifts – or at least hesitations of collective intelligence – with respect to the understanding of the technological, political and economic infrastructures within which we live, in order to critically question them.
Cities like Taranto, where the relationship between body and space is much stronger (and more urgent) than elsewhere, represent a lens to observe mechanisms of a purely human nature (mining, heavy production…) that, although of global interest, have drastic consequences on the places and bodies that inhabit them (whether human or non-human).
We intend this project as part of a collective healing process.
Ours is just one possible antibody to an outsized hyper-organism. Within this climate, the issue is not to be antagonistic toward dominant systems. Rather, it is about trying to create gravitational decentralizations by occupying marginal areas of the network, or by expanding its mesh beyond established centers of cultural production.
Each Post Disaster Rooftop is conceived as a sort of concept album, an EP (extended play) with different tracks by different authors. We decided to categorize the episodes as numbered EPs because we literally record everything so that we have an online archive of the project.
The EPs are based on a format that alternates open talks (involving people from different fields and disciplines) and performative actions of different nature, with a preference for those involving the languages of sound, body and word.
EP01 was released in September 2018 and was titled “Taranto 2049 – Is this fading city on the Ionian sea cooler than Blade Runner?”, taking its cue from an article published by the New York Times in which it portrayed Taranto as an ideal set for a dystopian society, the living testimony of the country’s failure to manage the disparities between north and south.
Ep02 was made in 2019 and was titled “New Abnormal.” It was inspired by the environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht, who argues that the human species is facing a mass disagychronicity: our perception of the landscape is profoundly altered by planetary-scale capitalist processes, and we are left with no choice but to try to adapt. In addition to the EP program – which are all set in Taranto – we also produce single events that we call Bonus Tracks.
These are punctual productions that do not follow
strictly the structure of the episodes and give us the opportunity to interact with spaces in the city that we are interested in. They are also opportunities to fuel collaborations with other realities of the territory, as in the case of the last Bonus Track, a relational performance of Cesare Pietroiusti co-produced with studioconcreto of Lecce.
The project is conceived as a long-term process that develops in two phases. A first phase – in progress – that foresees the production of 5 EPs, as well as a series of Bonus Tracks. A second phase that will involve a collective work of processing and editing of artistic contributions, projects and research collected, with the aim of producing editorial content of various kinds.
“If you see another future – fine! Form a small group, and shape your own future. Either that, or start a volleyball team”(Experimental Jetset)
Post Disaster, Rooftop Landing, nell’ambito di Performance di Parola tra Gesto e Architettura, settembre 2020. photo credit Alice Caracciolo, courtesy studioconcreto.
POST DISASTER is a curatorial and critical platform that brings together designers, thinkers, and artists to investigate the condition of the Mediterranean urban scenario. The research seeks to shed light on the mechanisms of inequality triggered by the flow of production on a global scale starting from Taranto, a city symbolic of the internal contradictions of the Western socio-economic system. The project aims at generating an interdisciplinary dialogue, pursuing a richness and complexity of views that the limits of single disciplines could not allow