Luis Rafael Berríos-Negrón

Breathtaking Greenhouse Parastructures: a supplement to the Arcades Project from a Caribbean Perspective [and a call to a careful practice of epistemológica]

East view of flowforms from across wetland, Anarquivo Negantrópico 2019. Photo: Luis Berríos-Negrón.  

Breathtaking Greenhouse Parastructures is a doctoral work that supplements the unfinished modern opus The Arcades Project [in German Das Passagen-Werk (Mit Bindestrich und Werk mit Capital W) ]. The supplement takes the form of a sculptural, historical, and technological deposition of 'greenhouse' that presently oscillates between a past-background and future-foreground to Walter Benjamin's 'theatrical' handling of the Parisian arcades. From my Caribbean perspective, that oscillating treatment of 'greenhouse' affords me a prop from which to activate the following question: is colonial memory the drive of Global Warming? That core question has led me to retrospectively hypothesise that the technology of 'greenhouse' is—beyond metaphor—the illusory (dis)embodiment of the toxic binaries of interior & exterior that are still shaping various influential frameworks such as the modern & Marxian ideas of superstructure, as well as the past & future of Western natural sciences (and their histories). Because of that illusory, spectral, if paranormal power, 'greenhouse' becomes at once the Western colonial enframing to both the messianic promise for conserving biological history, as well as the messianic remedy to suppress the traumata that are destining Global Warming. Also, because of that potent (dis)embodied character, the robust analysis of the manifold instrumentalisation of 'greenhouse' is set to play a primary role in deposing the geological timeline of the Anthropocene. Now, while the book-supplement is itself the dissertation (as an unpacking of the aforementioned hypothetical findings), the PhD also relies on two other research devices that are worth mentioning: an installation (titled Anarquivo Negantrópico), and an online journal (titled Intransitive Journal). Altogether, the dissertation offers a field from which to asses my broader experimentation with infrastructures, epistemic things, and social pedestals. Moreover, the dissertation revises the so-called forgotten list of 'Epistemologica' (the categorical of Western display preparations and phenomenotechnologies) so to format my study and practice into an adaptable, careful, and differentiated kind of epistemológica...a careful study and practice that we may share as object-relations that proportionately (dis)play more-than-human perspectives for (re)mediating the forms and forces of the climate crises.

Luis Berríos-Negrón (San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1971*) explores the forms and forces of environmental form. He calls these practise-based explorations "social pedestals". Some recent exhibitions include "Impasse Finesse Neverness" (Museum of Archaeology of Bahia in Brazil, 2017), "Collapsed Greenhouse" (Undisciplinary Learning, District-Berlin 2016), and "Earthscore Specularium" (Experiment Stockholm, Färgfabriken 2015). He was commissioned artist at the 3rd Biennial of Art of Bahia (2014), represented Germany for the 10th São Paulo Biennial for Architecture (2013), was core-collaborator with Paul Ryan on the "Threeing" project at Documenta13, and was exhibited in Ute Meta Bauer's "Future Archive" at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2012). He served as Assistant Professor at the Technische Universität-Braunschweig (2010-2013), Visiting Lecturer at the Fachhochschule-Münster in Germany (2012-2014), as well as Lecturer in the Master of Fine Arts, and the Bachelor of Furniture Design programmes at Konstfack (2015-2019). He founded the Anxious Prop art collective, the Paramodular environmental design group, the Transhemispheric Residency Programme, and is associate member of the M.I.T. Council for the Arts. He holds a bachelor of fine arts from Parsons New School, a master of architecture from M.I.T., and is currently a doctoral candidate at the KTD programme (2015-20).

Principal supervisor: Leif Dahlberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Assistant supervisors: Håkan Nilsson, Konstfack/Södetörn University, and Florian Dombois, Zurich University of the Arts
Admitted to KTH Royal Institute of Technology/Konstfack KTD Programme.
Project period: 2015-20

Updated: 30 May 2017
Author: Olga Karlsson