Milano master-class

19. Three remarks

#lesson1 #lesson3 #honoring #legacy #interpretation

Three things come to mind, on three very different issues.

First, on this fascination for industrial zones that Baptiste talked about—a kind of “morbid urbanism” (see Baptiste XX). One thing we’ve all understood is that you can’t criticize something without at the same time honoring it. We are always honoring what we see. Yesterday, as a way of honoring the site of the World’s Fair, we walked 2 km across a concrete desert or a kind of landing strip.

Then, there’s the question of legacies, of acknowledging those who worked on these same questions before us (see Denis Moreau on Yves Clerget). To be sure, it is always important to speak about precursors, but we should also recognize that what we’re doing is probably, form an anthropological perspective, the first language that humans used, before painting and even speech. It’s interesting to observe small children: the first thing they do, even before speaking, is to hold their parents’ hands and pull them toward a place or object they want to see. So, we’re dealing in a very primal language.

Finally, in response to Gianni. The metropolis is indeed a kind of cylinder, and every time you reach your hand inside, you pull out another story and another interpretation. But I think there are more or less appropriate interpretations; and I’m thinking here, in line with what Denis was saying, of the phase where you walk alone and simply observe, before speaking about what you see or trying to build a narrative. This preliminary phase is about collecting. Only after do we enter a discussion phase with others. These stages lead to a better and fairer interpretation. Jordi, you were saying that a trail could simply be a collection of more or less random stories, but I would say that when you start selecting one story over another—so one path instead of another path—you are already in a form of interpretation.