The Cooper Union
School of Architecture

Perversions and paradoxes of time, space and money in front of the limit in contemporary culture

Preface to Thesis

“The trip with no distance” visits a series of transit states: from the specificity of the limits to its diffusion, from machine and function to digital and fiction; from body to mind; from real life to real time; from the missing part and the absence to multiple possibilities and anxiety; from touch to being in touch and front being in touch to be connected; from site to situation; from key to password; from space to environment; from site to place; from being in a place to be located; from the far away and the insignificant; from site to domain; from domestic’s protection and safety to confinement and asphyxia; from over-protection to weakness; from necessity and attraction to desire; from excitement to boredom; from home to minimum domesticity; from coincidence to plan; from program to interference; from destiny to chance; from adventure to tourism; from leisure to activity; from promise and hope to money; from being to having and doing; from responsibility to fantasy; from ethics to economy; from expansion in space to extension on time, money and objects; from repetition to accumulation; from memory as recording to memory as place; from place to remember to place to forget; In short from space to time.

To stay still, to stop time to trick death; to prevent death from finding us. Death’s questions, such as limit in human time (and in small scale unexpected and change) built a net which internal structure is known but hardly acknowledged. We avoid making associations that show all the net, focusing on each noock. This text try to do them and to show how actions, positions and ways that operate in our every day life are in connection (direct some times, indirect and perverse others) with specific death questions: the “how”, the “when” and the “why”. I use the language of the net because its structure defines a great deal of contemporary experience: events hardly connected, with no direction and with out amap of the whole thing. And more specifically because the net is reluctant to go alone with the idea of distance.

Deleuzed use to say that Philosophy is between crime and Science Fiction. I will include espionage. The detective in front of the crime: pulling the thread, following a trace, to find the story. To create a utopian world: Science Fiction. To decoded codes, to look in common places for double languages and hidden messages: espionage. Death has no cure, no reason to have it either. Therefore conceptual not well being can not be cured, it is not a sickness, it is a fact. In the same way that to diagnose a sickness is not to cure it, and to resolve the crime–to made the facts clear, and to identify the criminal is not to find him and even when located, crime can not be removed or eliminated, it already happens, I am not searching for solutions. I am establishing facts. As the detective, that without making judgment, is slowly picking up evidence, and making associations trying to compose the profile of the murderer, it is my intention to compose the profile of our present world. Unweaving a net of occultation and deviation I try to arrive to a definition of the individual in the contemporary occidental world. The profile appears complex, perverse and paradoxical.

Jana Leo
New York, May 2004.

Assistant Professor, Adjunct Faculty