Nature and the City:
the vision and the cracks

Intro

Volumes Archive holds a wide range of publications engaging with the natural environment. These touch upon topics such as botany, soils, landscapes, territories, and borders, from the point of view of geography, history, economics, political ecology, and aesthetics.  Amongst these publications, a significant stance focuses on the relation between the city and nature. Such attention reflects the increasingly difficult conversation taking place between the modern aspiration and development of human societies, and non-human actors, from animals and plants, to rocks, earth and sea. This urban nature is depicted in its interwoven ramifications. On the one hand, plants can be cultivated on the terrace of highrises, animal farms bred in the middle of suburbia, while on the other wild untamed herbs spring unwanted under the street asphalt, trees emerge precariously from petrol stations and disused industrial compounds. Additionally, the city itself is nature, transformed in cast-iron, concrete, and tar, where bodies cruise seeking fraternity or confrontation, at least an encounter to break the unstoppable golden finger of complete urbanisation. The following selection from the Volumes Archive narrows down on two complementary prospects: one a vision of grandeur, of planned modeling, fresh from the architect’s studio, in which the city commands the territory, designates the extraction and channels the resources to rise monumental into the sky, a vision which rapidly unravels into tainted scenarios, uncertain futures, grinded by the laws of an unmovable time. Two, and these are often found in more alternative types of publications such as zines and small editions, an exploration of the in-betweens of the city, blind spots and alter-sites, where difference can be cultivated and promoted, with underlying political suggestions as to the manner through which to envision the world.

About

TETI group (textures and experiences of trans-industriality) is an interdisciplinary study group which explores the changing imaginaries of our global/glocal societies at the turn of the 20th-21st centuries. The group favors enquiries into trans-disciplinary commonalities, and investigates the potency of ideas as they migrate from one body of practice into another. Finding such common grounds is not meant to lead towards more homogenized landscapes, but on the contrary as a springboard through which to re-invest in differentiation. TETI’s activities include exhibitions, talks, workshops, cooking, walks, publications.

TETI group Webpage