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Notes on pre:fab

A wildly discursive and overly theoretical argument in five or more parts for a new way to gather in the post individual, later than late capitalist, cultural production service industry...

You may well have already asked yourself, “what’s with all the pizza references John?”. Well, If the MSM are to be believed, you can’t have architecture without neoclassicism. Here at pre:fab we have found our own scenographic relationship to this antiquated, but nonetheless indispensable disciplinary appendage through the messy ‘joie de vivre’ of an italian pizzeria. Where once modern architecture emerged from the gathering of young aristocrats around the columns and pilasters of ancient Rome, we gather around the conviviality and collective joy of a gingham tablecloth and shared meal.

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Episode 1: Architecture has become a service industry to the supply chain. The hyper-local emerges as the only practical alternative. Consequently, alternative practice is atomized into isolated operations, often just one or two people, working on seemingly unique issues. Isolation and unscalable outcomes lead to burnout. With limited resources and little potential for greater influence, the debt borrowed from our future selves becomes so large that the fleeting achievements of the present can no longer meet our interest payments. Welcome to the logic of the Creative Production Service Economy.

Episode 2: Where once the domain of our expressive potential, our personhood, was a loosely defined function of where we were raised, who raised us, and what we looked like, today we have infinite selves. New forms of promiscuity and precariousness demand new forms of connection, collaboration and meaning making; new mixtures of technology and culture that are beyond the reach of existing institutions designed for another era. How do we gather now?  

Episode 3: For thousands of years style functioned as a ‘proof of work’. The clothes we wore and things we had provided a trustless verification mechanism that proved we were who we said we were without the need to really say anything at all. Trustless networks depend on the identity of authenticity and verification. Technological and political developments since 1750 created a world of extreme material abundance and cultural diversity that broke this equivalence. Separated from verification, authenticity is moralised as an aesthetic proposition and becomes a style. Decoupled from context and supply chain, authenticity as style is commodified and becomes meaningless—a reference with no referent. Any distinction between the market and life disappears.

Episode 4: Coming soon...

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