With the influx of people and capital in cities come decrees that will lay new roads and rail. Infrastructure, institutions, homes and public spaces proliferate as the population demands their use. As the city limits expand—pushed from within by the combined energies of development, and pulled from without by the gathering momentum of adjacent conurbations—its components separate, giving structure to the city's zones; life naturally generates efficient forms.
PROGRAM presents Dominions, a commissioned exhibition by Julian Charrière and Andreas Greiner that breaches the gulf between national and microbial scales. Systematically collecting microbes throughout Germany and Switzerland, the artists will breed them in sealed glass vitrines in the gallery. The various molds collected will grow into colonies of different shapes, sizes and color; the interconnected network of filaments bursts into competing globes, hills, meadows and slime. This exhibition projects a new topography, one that came into being organically and free of social, political or economical parameters.
More than just a question of territory, the word dominion implies a degree of legislated control. Traveling throughout Germany and Switzerland the artists utilized their home countries' infrastructure as a guiding logic for the collection process. Country roads, the autobahn, the rail network—systems of movement that impose a level of control on the landscape—were hijacked to bring the world of microbes permeating the same territory into the controlled realm of display vitrines. At its core, Dominions is a display of the will to control and the variegated manner in which this force displays itself in our lived experience.
"Urbanism doesn't exist. It is only an ideology in Marx's sense of the word."
Rem Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL. 1995
Text by Carson Chan 20211