• type: Article
  • ref: DOC.2021.94

The objective of this research project is to locate the “aesthetic of the sublime, of astonishment and of the end of times as constructed by the thesis of the Anthropocene”. Pursuing this idea, Léa Mosconi and Henri Bony, inspired by the reflections of historian Jean- Baptiste Fressoz, designate in broad strokes the collective imagination associated with diverse narratives, attending less to ecological concerns than to a conceptual fascination and vertigo before the consequences of our human impact on the biosphere. Articulated in a pedagogical project as part of the seminar Ce que fait l’anthropocène à l’architecture [What the Anthropocene does to architecture], directed by Mosconi at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels, the project first began by involving students in gathering visual documents related to this aesthetic.
This resulted in five tableaux of twenty-four images constructed around a theme deriving from the Anthropocene (“survivalism”, “voluntarily Anthropocene”, “ruin”, “science fiction”, “the compass”), all potential pieces for an atlas of this geological era.
There was then a second research period for the two authors to extract intuitions from this “exploratory material” and re-question this aesthetic of the Anthropocene, this time through the medium of drawing. Their investigation led them to the menagerie of the Jardin des plantes, a botanical garden in Paris and an institution emblematic of modern man’s domination over nature. There they conducted an architectural survey of the wall and created a model. These productions, in connection with the student tableaux, will be part of a presentation at CIVA (Brussels) during which various invited guests (architects, thinkers, students) are encouraged to react to this graphic and iconographic production.
Through this interdisciplinary research on the limits of habitability and man’s place on Earth’s depleted surface, Bony and Mosconi intend to act on architectural thinking.