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Cult of the Coral Reef, Skogen Gothenburg

The Cult of the Coral Reef


On-going project presented at Skogen, opening 3 November 2016

The Cult of the Coral Reef SCRIPT (PDF)

Already a long time ago, when we were children. We heard the stories. Stories about land. The land owns us, we do not own the land. We are part of the land. We live together many of us, all next to each other. We, the people, have created language and with that, we have built this world. Even land is inside language, it is held prisoner inside. But it tries to escape. So we made our world in such a way to help land escape. We started with small rituals. We did them over and over again. For many years, so many we stopped counting. And after much time had passed. These rituals started to materialize. The act of doing became solid. It became geometry and patterns. Crystal like. After many, many years. Generation after generation, we started to produce our own living structures. From our mouths came the building blocks we used to create this. Language becoming material. From air to the structures you see around you. All that is air will forge into solids."

Foam is transformation. Foam is throw away. Foam is intelligence. Foam is nature. Foam is culture. Foam is language. Foam has a different kind of precision. Out of all our openings foam erupts. Foam crystallizes into whatever. Foam is potential. Foam is open form. We share our foam with each other. Foam comes out of all our cavities. Foam is coming. Foam is ecstacy. Foam is everything.

Corals are ancient creatures. Each individual coral, or polyp, is mainly a stomach connected through a tentacle with a mouth. At night this tentacle reaches out to stun and devour plankton and other microscopic organisms. Thousands of identical corals live side by side and together from a colony. Each coral secretes an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate that over large stretches of time continuously build and expand structures that create the coral reef, one of the most complex ecosystems and the living environment for thousands of living species.

The Cult of the Coral Reef is a model and staging of a future. In a time when we are getting sucked deeper and deeper into the urban-industrial complex, architecture is no longer about meeting needs but production of desire, it is no longer we who use architecture – it is architecture that consumes us. What worlds are heading towards us and how can we imagine them? Using bubblegum, straws, foam, deep meditation, desert, glitter, smoke, reflection, and balm this is a projection into a future that discusses how architecture and the production of space could be understood through the complexities of the coral reef. An investigation that tries to put into question the artificial separation between human and architecture and instead engages with becoming animal architecture.

The Cult of the Coral Reef is a long term architecture project, a show, a conversation and an ongoing construction that speculates on the future of the city. What roles will we play as citizens, as collaborators? The work will be developed and take place at Skogen, providing possibilities for visitors to participate in talks, practical work and in open lectures. Come and stay for minutes, hours, days and years.