The towers of Bovisa
Five totems for contemporary tribalisms
Preamble: the augmented city
The electric city of the twentieth century has abandoned the physical world to move into a synthetic environment of information uxes, thus becoming a virtual projection of a reality “other” from itself: the augmented city, a city accessible only through interfaces able to extend the limited sensory capacities of its inhabitants. So, often solitary and remote, the experience of the augmented city has involved the abandonment of symbolic and signi cant forms of the physical city, of its traditional elements of interaction: the monument is an obsolete orientation tool and a forgotten object of memory, the role of meeting and exchange of the square is replaced by increasingly interconnected virtual platforms.
From these premises the need to exploit the information potential of the network arises, to convey the user to the direct experience of interacting with his peers, thus recreating those comunitary moments not mediated by the interface, fundamental to sustain the public dimension of urban space.
Five totems for contemporary tribalism
Contemplation, celebration, abandonment: the interaction with the ve artifacts conceived for Bovisa’s ve urban voids gives life to a new form of tribality through events of extraordinary aggregation; not conceived as permanent monuments, the totems interact with the community only during speci c moments, through spectacular and irreversible shows foreseeing their consuption for the benefit of users.
The totems crystallize a reflection on the power of the transformation of energy through the passages of state: it is their very dematerialization - be it in the form of thermal, solar or wind energy - to become a monument of metamorphosis, a ritual in which the energy loads are given to the community of bystanders in the form of a rediscovered tribal energy.
The totem thus becomes a new material and ephemeral monument that overcomes and then rediscovers its ancestral function of visual reference and encounter, also through the memory and expectation of that cyclical experience.