(ab)Normal is a graphic novel without chronology. Instead, obsolete 3ds and rejected timelines are reconfigured in spatial narratives. Iconographic images describe the allegory of a culture that revolve obsessively around Internet, Gaming and Religion. Being the collective idea of four architects, (ab)Normal is firstly an experiment on Architectural Representation; Photorealism is carefully deconstructed and rearranged in illustrations based on Normal vectors, avoiding the traditional structure that builds the contemporary visual description of a space. Hence, this project is both scientific in its method and evocative for its thematic background.
Around the American crop belt, driverless threshing machine cultivate the soil with zero tolerance. This is possible only providing them real time geometrical information: Normal vectors. Satellites floating around earth’s exosphere, scan terrestrial soil and return gradient maps, that lead tractors’ movement. It’s a very compelling image, for, these slow and constant machines, look oddly like an organized army of pachyderms. Normals are vectors describing the inclination of a nominal fragment of a surface, according to the point of view of the observer . Thus, Normals are impalpable characteristics of surfaces, controlling lights and reflection. If Natural Evolution didn’t provide mankind with such a perception, technology did. Under the transhumanist perspective, Normals become akin to a supernatural sense, the first sense for the machine, the sixth human sense by product.
A Delusional Revolution
At the beginning of the ‘90, 3d Printing had been welcomed as the system that will upset products industries. Autarchic utopias, in which the procedural design of an object will become more important of the object itself, in which a diffused society of producers will replace the fordist top-down routines, started to colonize popular fantasies with uncountable catalogues of user’s designed objects. Well, anything similar never took over. While Printing revolution might sparkle in a next future, these replicas remain useless. (ab)Normal collects and arranges them in three-dimensional collages.
Internet, Gaming, Religion
These three topics, sounding at first unrelated, structured the prehistory of the metadata society. According to Harari, Religions are intersubjective reality, conventions trusted and supported without verification by entire communities. Religious dogmas had always represented less the unravelling of a mystical truth rather than the trajectories that channel coexistence among men. Internet, and the consequent epiphenomena, could be understood more likely under this perspective; HTML and coding in general, are complex languages, oddly resonating as religious litany, understood by a very limited elite of initiated. The constant interactions with communication devices constitute a body of digital rituals reiterated without comprehension, like chanting the Christian rosary. What led us to embrace religions in the past, brought us to accept Internet as the main societal manager. Not last, if Internet is a Religion, Gaming represents its heroic beginning, the rebellion against a pre-existing status quo. “In the 80’, Arcade rooms provide a space for cyber freedom. They were often advertised as spots of youngster rebels who desire to upset the hierarchy […] Akin to a Primitive Hut for the digital reduction of the world, Arcades became the founding myth of a generation of future technocrats”