Fragile City – alternative city map of Sao Paolo, Brazil
2015, digital video 1:56 min and series of 9 silver prints on transparent paper, 30x 40 cm each, edition of 3
“This video is an imaginary about the communication flow as result of a journey into Sao Palo, Brazil, where Rachela Abbate was questioning how human consciousness could change reality in urban areas of such extension and density. Cities are agglomerations of a multitude of physical and intellectual expressions in which socio-historical developments direct all spheres of human lives. The fact that more than half of the world population lives in cities with an increase in the next future, makes a city even more powerful and significant. The introduction of digital technologies is changing life, work, economies, thinking and perceiving as digitalization facilitates access to knowledge, information, and communication.
With the floating city map, Rachela Abbate depicts the changes of perception: instead of the historical map – a clearcut organization of a city – the animated map shows the perception change by combining environmental, historical and architectonic data with critical thoughts about culture and economics as a continuous re-organization of different clusters. These changes influence significantly our time-space perception and management as well as our mind structure. Space and time are becoming permeable, porous, blurred; limits are not insurmountable anymore, but penetrable. And this new mindset of limits, space and time have a repercussion for any regulation: The whole city structure becomes… fragile. Like in a flow of consciousness new combinations of data and visions, of ideas and facts are possible. Combinations of diverse activities and realms, as well as the communication and information flow, generate new alternatives in response to social, economic and environmental emergencies.
Being fragile means to be more sensitive to where changes have to be done and combine diverse political, economic and environmental strata of a city. Fragility leads to more sensitivity and resistance. There are no lines dividing the social justice from environmental issues, from political decision-making and regulation. Maybe we all need to use a fragility map to understand where our consciousness is heading for.”