ATLAS of constraints. reDUCE, reUSE, reCYCLE
The Mnemosyne Atlas (1927-29), Aby Warburg’s unfinished project, is a picture atlas composed of black cloth covered panels presenting around a thousand pictures: mostly photographs, but also drawings, newspaper cuttings, reproductions from books, and various materials from daily life.
The Atlas reimagines the Reinassance period by rejecting the traditional chronological order and proposing a series of constraints that anticipates an alternative reading of history. The panels investigate visual clusters based on connections that Warburg makes through a careful imposition of constraints; principles he wanted to illustrate.
For us, the Atlas is the format where the juxtaposition of images creates meaning – to paraphrase Foucault- an “archeology of visual knowledge’. The curatorial practice of assembling mood boards is for us a story-telling tool that serves a twofold function: understand and express the set of constraints that have become crucial in articulating our agenda. To make an atlas, is to reconfigure our work, to redistribute it, to dismantle it where we thought it was continuous, to reunite it where we thought there were boundaries. Ultimately, to reframe it.
For us, the essence of an architectural design task lies in the formulation of the constraints; and the designer distills the essence by taking on a principle that marks out the boundaries of the task and the formal design choices in advance.
BIO OF THE FIRM
KnitKnot Architecture is an international collective of Architects, Urban Planners, Artists and Researchers based in London, New York and Los Angeles.
We believe that the architectural practice is based on a system of collaboration in which efforts are blended anonymously into one result, discouraging individuality while achieving a corporate product. However, we also enphasize a collaborative working methodoly that does not neutralize the individual.
As a result, our work does not belong to a unitary ideological agenda, but is in every case the result of a group discussion. Different academic and professional backgrounds are therefore a requirement. We embrace diversity over homogeneity, difference over repetition, discussion over consensus.
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