Part 2: Beauty of Life - Nomadism
Being on the road is (for me) the most variable, valuable and beautiful way of being as the constant variation of new places makes us exited and happy. These nomads or wanderers (I like to see myself as one) are revealing two of the main occupations of man: Dwelling and Moving. Both occupations are problematic and they need to be reconsidered and renewed.
1) Dwelling: The reckless stacking of people in the smallest possible spaces is detrimental to the freedom of man, and hence also for the search for happiness and beauty.
2) Moving: The car (!) Not only are our roads not able to deal with the increasing amount of vehicles, these objects are stationary for 95% of the time, thus constantly in need of a huge amount of parking space.
Casablanca, Nid D'Abeille upon completion, 1952
Picture from the book: Rethinking a Lot, Eran Ben Joseph
What after the utilitarian society?
Only when you are truly a free man, the journey for beauty can be undertaken.
We all started as nomads and turned into sedentary people because we have to work for our primary needs. This brings us to the third main occupation of man: (3) Labor.
In the future –as I see it- total automation of work will undermine the utilitarian society. Machines will be taking over and labor will disappear turning our life into a society of free consumption. A society where the primary needs (sex, sleeping, eating and drinking) will be easily fulfilled. The playful society of Constant Nieuwenhuys where men would be creative wanderers without a purpose won’t be satisfying. Along with labor the necessary structure we all need will disappear and boredom will rule the world.
A pre-designed space in which man searches for personal happiness and beauty is far too restrictive, we should be free to design our own structure for the beauty we are seeking. Nomadism is the solution, as a wanderer never sticks around to long… If we want to provide humanity with the opportunity to be real nomads, dwellings cannot be designed. The whole world as a Free Space to build whatever a person want is the only solution. We build, then travel, we build again and travel again and again and again..
The future of nomadism lays in the combination of vehicles and dwelling. The car and the house, the tools of the wanderer will be creatively merged, redefined and celebrated.
Magic Trip, Documentary film directed by Alison Ellwood and Alex Gibney. 2012
As we will be constantly moving on to new places to construct new ideals, this will automatically be a rebellion against the existing governments and religious power structures. As the rules and laws of the utilitarian society –which are all base on sedentary life- will have no grip on the nomadic population. This Revolution will not be characterized by the destruction of the controlling society, but by doing the same as the contemporary power structures. The NNS will establish and construct strategic new starting points for a new society where ‘nomadism of Architecture’ will constitute the basis of life: The Anarchist Playground.
Paris, Rue Guy Lussac, 10 May1968
Poster by Atelier Populaire printed during the May 1968 events in France
The Anarchist Playground in Casablanca
Casablanca was the chosen site for the NNS to start the revolution. Aesthetic Beauty and Nomadism where combined here as this is a place in need of serious change. The power structure –government and religion- are intertwined and oppressively present in the daily life of its inhabitants.
According to William Hogarth the road is one of the most beautiful creations of man. Mainly because the road proves that we as human beings are able to create order within the chaos of nature. For the nomads of today the roads are also the places of happiness and beauty. “La beauté est dans la rue”.
During the revolution of the New Nomadic Society (NNS) a network of nerve heads will arise along all major roads and intersections of Casablanca. They will serve as gigantic car parks where people will exchange the object that represents contemporary nomadism –the car– for a new and free nomadic life in The Anarchist Playground.
Casablanca, Morocco. The main roads and intersention mapped
Casablanca is the proud owner of a beautiful serpentine line, the main cloverleaf intersection of the city. This cloverleaf is surrounded be wastelands and open spaces where these nerve heads/car parks can be created. It is in this everyday amorphous, banal and repetitive collection of functional and utilitarian areas that an opportunity for change exists. This is where the NNS will build the pivotal points for The Anarchist Playground.
Beauty (in the model) is represented by the grey serpentine lines, which are used as a direction not as a form/shape. For a limited amount if time I imagined myself to live in this Anarchist Playground as part of the New Nomadic Society, which came to life on top of the intersection in Casablanca. I was FREE to design any beauty I wanted, moving along/building around the serpentine line whenever I felt like doing so…
Casablanca, Main/central cloverleaf intersection.
The Anarchist Playground
“IF OUR LIFE IS ESSENTIALLY DEDICATED TO THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL THEME TO WHICH BEAUTY REFERS”