Excommunication ex Machina
Diploma project at the Department of Architecture, University of Patras (2018)
Architects: Alex Lala, Constantinos Moustakis
Supervisor Professor: Panos Dragonas
In a remote location in the South Aegean and in a perhaps not so distant future, the absoluteness of information becomes an end in itself and a means to eternity. Here, scientific thinking pushes the equation of the “old” world of human dominance with a “new” world where man has accepted the dominance of information.
The transition from the existing order of the “old” material substance to the “new” condition – disembodied and not determined by metaphysics – takes place through the interaction of each subject who lands on the island with the 5 infrastructures that define the whole of the proposal.
In Infrastructure 1, the subject undergoes an intense sensory experience – a sensory shock marks the beginning of the process. Having risen to the surface of the island, he spends some time between infrastructures 2 and 3, where he experiences a physical catharsis necessary for the next stage.
At the end of the preparation, the subject transitions to Infrastructure 4. Here, the physical path will give way to the intangible transfer of information – the subject will go through the process of separating the body and then uploading the mind to Substructure 5.
The whole “ritual” presents a series of distorted forms of everyday material functions: pleasure is defined as a need, introspection as a tool for encountering information, the death of the body as a planned event.
The contrast between old and new is made visible through the subject’s transition from an enlightened conception of the consciousness of the “self” to a self identical with an endless process of division within the collectivity of a server. The new world is no longer palpable through experience, no longer a set of sensory stimuli or the result of observation and experimentation.
On an arid island in the Aegean, we are liberated from what has defined us until now, idiopathic in the service of the future and hoping for a perpetual asceticism. An excommunication of life itself by the machine, a proof of human vanity and the common, ancestral and primordial fear of the end.