transcultural symbolic space and its architectural translations
The main topic of this presentation is a consequence of the globalization: I will speak about the topology of the symbolic space that results from the interference of various cultural codes. I will comment on the possibility of translating this abstract concept of symbolic space into actual, i.e. urbanistic and architectonic spaces. Such a translation is a crucial element in city planning dedicated to new global centres; it is also required while creating spaces dedicated to institutions inscribed in their tissue. I think in particular about the transcultural museum as an institution hosting and mediating the interference of various interpreting codes and systems of cultural memory.
Firstly, I will speak of the basic problem, i.e. the emergence of a new level of symbolic complexity, beyond “cultures” as we understood them traditionally. This new complexity is due to the interference of various cultural codes in the individual consciousness of the inhabitant, in the interaction between the inhabitants, and finally, in the macro-space of the city, as well as its specific micro-spaces (such as museums). The concept of emergent symbolic complexity is referred, in the first place, to the "knots" in the globalized networks, emergent metropolises – I will use such examples as Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, the futuristic campus of Masdar, etc. I will also define idiomatically the concepts of “knots” and “voids” that I use in this context.
I will also present the topological inspiration for creation of actual spaces (architecture for institutions such as transcultural museum, the space of transcultural city in which the museum is inscribed as a particular "knot" of the symbolic/real space). By topology I mean actual mathematical concepts, such as Möbius stripe and Klein bottle. Bringing those mathematical inspirations closer to humanities, I will quote some texts (Deleuze & Guattari, Slavoj Zizek) dealing with the proprieties of “Place” (empty space, exposition room, “the desert”).
I will finish the presentation stressing the importance of the void in constructing “knotted” spaces. I will sketch the idea of the “empty centre” and the “pin-wheel” as a model of whirling dynamics associated to the central emptiness. It is an example of a possible solution to the problem of translating the transcultural symbolic space.
Ewa Lukaszyk, dr hab, professor at the Faculty “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw; coordinator of the Commission for Transdisciplinary Humanities at this faculty. Primarily a researcher in comparative literature, specialized in French and Portuguese Studies; author of several books in the latter domain, including Empire and Nostalgia. The “Late Style” in the Portuguese Culture (Warsaw, 2015). Since 2012 I have been working on a radical understanding of the term “transcultural”, considering the possibility of breaking through one of the basic limitations of the human condition: the inalienable inscription of the individual in a given culture as an overwhelming structure of meaning. I think not only about the possibility of crossing the frontier dividing one culture from another; what I have in mind is the possibility of breaking through the entire culturally determined structure of the human experience.My experiments in this domain build up an approach to the emergent topology of symbolic space, resulting from the interference between diverse cultural orders. This topology includes a “higher dimension”, situated beyond the cultured condition of man and offering space for non-cultural becoming.