Metropolitan Meta-Modelling

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


The paper will provide a cartography of ecological exchanges and modifications of states akin to the Stengerian ‘relaying’ operations. It is just as difficult to define an operation, as it is to define a structure, other than by example. The example comes from Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (1978) read through Felix Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies (1989). The paper will be based on Guattari’s diagram of the Fourfold that is not a structuralist synoptic model, but a machinic synaptic meta-model, which surveys the singularities at play. This is no longer the ontic world of simple mereological relations, but the synaptic or mereotopological world of transformations, events and occurrences. Guattari’s four ‘unconsciousnesses’ are: existential territories; incorporeal universes of value; energetic-semiotic flows and abstract machinic phyla. The Fourfold will help us grasp the dynamic unity of the Metropolis as an open system without identity, as operation and structure at the same time. The ‘whole’ here is not of the parts but alongside them. It comes with an important caveat: architectural technicity is, from the beginning, pharmacological. The event that is existence can be understood as a continuous temporal permutation linking and transforming the four functors (remedy). Any attempt to freeze the cycle into a structure of fixed relations, or guide it along a predetermined and repetitive path, will lead to the condition of domination (poison). Thinking ecologically implies a shift away from conceiving an assemblage solely in terms of a zero-sum game. An assemblage encompasses plasticity, or a variation of the means of bringing about an end; protention, or coordinating ongoing modulation with emerging states of affairs; and retention, or coordinating ongoing modulation with prior states of affairs.
Period17 Jun 2022
Event titlePsychosocial Cartographies
Event typeConference
LocationPrague, Czech Republic
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Architecture
  • Mereotopology
  • Anthropogenesis