Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Instant Democracy: The Pneumatic Parliament

Not sure exactly how I feel about this yet, but, nonetheless, it is more than a perfect example of the Archigramic-Rumsfeldian-Buckminster mashup of deployable military urbanism that sort of typifies architecture in the age of "globalization" right now.

This inflatable parliamentary dome is the product of Peter Sloterdijk and Gesa Mueller von der Hagen, designers for the firm Global Instant Objects, and was originally presented as an installation for the Konferenz für Demokratie un Wertegemeinschaft. It is a brilliant commentary on the idealogical hubris that claims democracy will leave no country behind, and offers a symbolic prototype to mock the contemporary notion of 'democracy as an export product.'

[All images: courtesy of Global Instant Objects, and this piece in the IFFR]

As I cannot speak or read German, I must thank Regine (not only for bringing this to our attention) but for providing this bit of explanation: "The mobile, transparent and self inflating plastic dome can be used all over the world to house parliamentary meetings. It can be transported in a compact container and dropped into regions where a change of political system is deemed "desirable." Within 90 minutes, the structure can house 160 Members of Parliament, offering the architectural conditions necessary for democratic processes, and as such forms a futurist contribution to the worldwide distribution of Western democratic principles."

I cannot help to wonder what Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's dreamy response was, or would be, to this instant democratic command center. And, just where exactly these inflatable democracies would manage to pop up, who would be participating in them, and what business would be discussed. Since, however, democracy is not a top down process, I have the sneaky suspicion that the pneumatic parliament would find itself, (on more occasions than one), full of transnational CEO's and paramilitant leaders hunkered around a table full of maps and covert ops strategy docs, before, say, honoring the starving heads of states from fledgling democracies around the world. But, that's just pure speculation... ahem.

(Via: we-make-money-not-art, Neural, and IFFR.)


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