A Night at the Space Electronic, or the Radical Architectures of 1971’s ‘Vita, Morte e Miracoli dell’Architettura’
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This paper examines a largely underexplored event in the history of architettura radicale, the S-Space Mondial festival, 'Vita, Morte e Miracoli dell'Architettura' (Life, Death and Miracles of Architecture), co-ordinated by Superstudio and 9999 and held over three days at the Space Electronic Discotheque in 1971. The event brought together Italian radical collectives and figures like 9999, Superstudio, Zziggurat, UFO, Ugo la Pietra, Gianni Pettena and Giuseppe Chiari, while also attracting international participants including Ant Farm, Street Farmer, Portola Institute and Raindance Video Collective. Recent interest in such Florentine groups as Superstudio and Archizoom has lead to a detailed discussion of the respective positions held by these collectives in relation to both architettura radicale and the wider discourse on architecture and autonomy in Italy during the period. While there is much to be written on the location of 'Vita, Morte e Miracoli' within this wider context, such a discussion lies beyond the scope of this paper, which focuses firstly on a description of the event in order to underline the diversity of approaches within what we have come to understand as 'radical' architecture, and the ways in which the media-based and disciplinary specificity of architecture was challenged in order to raise its critical voice. Further, by briefly introducing some key moments of tension within the works that formed part of 'Vita, Morte e Miracoli', as it was performed and as it was published, the paper seeks to comment briefly on how these 'radical' architectures might appear pertinent, interesting, or simply fashionable today.
29th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: Fabrication: Myth, Nature, Heritage
Copyright 2012 SAHANZ. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Architectural History and Theory