As Close As We Get, inclusive modularity


The buildings we inhabit have stolen space from countless other living beings. With urban arrogance and an abundance of artificial and invasive materials, we have literally invaded many ecosystems that were once ideal and autonomous. With rising sea levels, there is a real possibility that these buildings will be submerged in the near future. So one might ask: how would it be possible to make them welcoming and suitable for life underwater as well? The installation As Close As We Get by the well-known artist group SuperFlex reflects on this transition and on the importance of experimenting with architectural solutions that can be used by different species. The installation, currently on display in Copenhagen harbour, consists of groups of structures resembling modern abstract totems, made of interlocking modular blocks, half of which are submerged in water. Each module is made of different materials, some of which are natural, while others are specifically designed as ideal habitats for marine creatures. Among other things, the project is part of broader research to verify the actual resilience and acceptability of the material used for underwater constructions. The installation is materially tangible and the modular block structure of the sculptures is partly reminiscent of the aesthetics of concrete, the material with which we primarily identify urban areas. The symbolic play here is perhaps in the completely overturned functionality: the artificial construction no longer as a material invasion, but as a possible meeting point, as close as “we get”. Chiara Ciociola