by Matteo Pasquinelli
Coming of age in the heyday of punk, it was clear were living at the end of something — of modernism, of the American dream, of the industrial economy, of a certain kind of urbanism. The evidence was all around us in the ruins of the cities… Urban ruins were the emblematic places for this era, the places that gave punk part of its aesthetic, and like most aesthetics this one contained an ethic, a worldview with a mandate on how to act, how to live... A city is built to resemble a conscious mind, a network that can calculate, administrate, manufacture.
Ruins become the unconscious of a city, its memory, unknown, darkness, lost lands, and in this truly bring it to life. With ruins a city springs free of its plans into something as intricate as life, something that can be explored but perhaps not mapped. This is the same transmutation spoken of in fairy tales when statues and toys and animals become human, though they come to
life and with ruin a city comes to death, but a generative death like the corpse that feeds flower. An urban ruin is a place that has fallen outside the economic life of the city, and it is in some way an ideal home for the art that also falls outside the ordinary production and consumption of the city.
— Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
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