Landscapes of Extraction
A visual genealogy on the cultural exchange between Switzerland & Serbia
“Territory is a historical question: produced, mutable and fluid. It is geographical […] It is a word, a concept and a practice, where the relation between these can only be grasped genealogically. It is a political question, but in a broad sense: economic, strategic, legal and technical.”
Stuart Elden, Land, Terrain, Territory, 2010
Employing critical cartography, the installation will illustrate the co-dependency of capital, culture, and intellectual production, between the Republic of Serbia and Switzerland. A multi scalar physical map will redefine the terrain between the two as a continuous landscape, more precisely, a territory defined via the extraction and exchange of material & immaterial resources.
A series of maps, which will challenge the Cartesian certainty of traditional mapping, will illustrate the fluid exchange between the “two” countries as well as develop new techniques to investigate our material contours in a way that will enable us to re-conceive and question the very nature of how we ‘see’ and design our built environment.
The ambition of Landscapes of Extraction is to illustrate the need to eliminate the ‘arbitrary’ geopolitical lines that keep a region from operating as it should/does. By identifying shared resources, infrastructure, and cultural similarities, via new methods of representation, the work will visually demonstrate the gradients that exist between nations and how territories perform, thus allowing us to move past our Cartesian understanding of space and begin to discuss alternative political and economic systems that embrace inclusion and diversity.
DOMAIN Office / Mitesh Dixit
Prof. Mitesh Dixit
DOMAIN is an architecture and urbanism studio based in Belgrade, Serbia and Syracuse, New York, led by Mitesh Dixit. DOMAIN deliberately works without a manifesto or agenda, but insists on a method that explores the very nature of a question. We aim to discover ‘new’ questions, as opposed to recycling existing solutions. Our method of investigation transcends scale. We describe this method as ‘unpacking’ – exposing the multiple layers, the hard & soft, the physical & critical in order to identify new hierarchies or hidden actors. This process demands an intense investigation into the local, an abject surrender to the existing, and the rejection of any singular ‘vision’.
The firm works internationally on projects ranging from graphic design, residential, public buildings, and masterplans. DOMAIN operates within the contemporary art realm and has collaborated with artists such as Wim Wenders, Armin Linke, Vincent de Rijk, Ari Versluis (Exactitudes) and Antonio Lopez Garcia, as well as curators including Chris Dercon and Julio Vaquero. Its work has been presented at the Venice Architectural Biennale (2014), Franc Centre Museum in Orleans, France (2014), and MIPIM Conference in Canes, France (2014), The National University of Singapore (2012), the Inaugural Chicago Architectural Biennale (2015), and STRAND’s 5th International Conference ‘ON Architecture’ in Belgrade, Serbia (2017). DOMAIN has been in numerous publications including Domus, Metropolis and Wallpaper.
In 2018 Galak Galaksijanis Sijanis Publishers in Nîs, Serbia published two books on DOMAIN’s recent works: ‘Selected Works’ and ‘Passport’.
Mitesh Dixit is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, and holds and Affiliate position with Department of Geography, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs. Dixit’s work has focused on the intersection of design with government policy, society, and culture. His research has explored the processes of region- and border-making in the Balkans and along the US-Mexico border, tracing the effects of ideology in the transformations of the built environment. Previously, Dixit was on the faculty of TU Delft in the Netherlands as a visiting professor of architecture and urbanism. There, he also served as editor for the Chair of Complex Projects and helped to develop curriculum. Throughout 2016, Dixit lectured internationally, conducted workshops, and seminars on behalf of the US Department of State.
After completing undergraduate and graduate work in politics and philosophy, Dixit completed the master of architecture from the Washington University in St. Louis and then began his career at the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Prior to DOMAIN, Dixit worked with Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture as a project leader. While at OMA, Dixit led multiple international projects, such as the MahaNaKhon Tower in Bangkok, Holland Green in London, East Block 30 in Cairo, and the Kuala Lumpur Financial District in Malaysia.