above > secrets of a digital garden / photos > gloria araya
nothing is conventional in this garden. 50 slices of earth containing ‘digital’ flowers has been brought to chicago to narrate the absurd dis-connectivity of palestine and the attempt to reclaim it through the 50 villages project.
in a collaborative project with riwaq: centre for architectural conservation, yara sharif and nasser golzari have curated the exhibition entitled secrets of a digital garden: 50 flowers, 50 villages.
secrets of a digital garden is a future imaginary scenario set up in rural palestine in the form of a digital garden with 50 interactive flowers representing 50 palestinian villages. the work draws on their collaborative work with riwaq on revitalizing 50 palestinian historic fabrics and their on-going research by design as founders of ng architects and palestine regeneration team (part).
in this installation for the 3rd annual chicago architecture biennial, underneath the surface, a process of production is in place. capsules containing physical and digital dna is trapped in each flower to capture and share the story of the 50 villages. in real life when you qr code capture each of these flowers it connects you to the digital palestinian museum archives one of the most virtual platform of the palestinian museum components.
the museum works on building a digital archive that is open to the public and continuously updating, with the aim of documenting collections of photographs, films, sound recordings and other important materials that are threatened with loss, damage or confiscation, through digital preservation, to be available to researchers, artists and the general public on the museum’s virtual platform. , and on virtual platforms of other partner institutions in europe with the aim of reaching the widest possible audience. the archive will include all the digital collections that the museum has been able to collect and digitize in previous initiatives, including the family album project, which focused on exploring the photographic treasures that palestinians keep in their homes and documenting them for future generations,
[ curatorial statement ] titled …and other such stories, the 2019 chicago architecture biennial is rooted in close readings of the spatial realities of its host city. sitting at the crossroads of the great plains and the great lakes, chicago has been shaped by planetary forces: colonial expansion, mass migration, extraction economies, and rapid industrialization. thus, chicago’s urbanism is inextricable from the flows of people, goods, and capital—and the concurrent exploitation of bodies, labor, and nature—that have contributed to its making. today, despite the promise of economic development, chicago, like many other established and emergent global metropolises, faces challenging urban conditions that require the reimagining of forms of exchange between human activity, technology, and the natural world. by extension, owing to its physical geography, chicago is a singular context in which to address climate and ecological concerns shared by many postindustrial societies.
the third edition of the biennial will open 19 september 2019 thru 5 january 2020, and will convene the world’s leading practitioners, theorists, and commentators in the field of architecture and urbanism to further explore, debate, and demonstrate the significance of architectural concepts in contemporary society. the 2019 chicago architecture biennial is led by artistic director yesomi umolu with curators sepake angiama and paulo tavares.
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