The Floor is not the Ground
Ecologies of Interruptions in Transportation Infrastructure
Although transportation infrastructures occupy an important part of public space, they have apparently been lead astray by recent developments in logistics services. Despite the categorical difference between transportation and logistics, narratives of quality, security and standards accompanied by specific spatial patterns, have infiltrated our everyday mobility infrastructures. Space structure is defined by logistics-influenced ‘functional diagrams’ and is reduced to mere transitory settings. This essay is an effort to challenge the contemporary ‘fulfilment’-influenced, network-based perception of human transportation spaces, towards, instead, a relational, and effectively political, understanding of them. This is not to return to previous debates on the re-emergence of place and identity, but rather to seek possible strategies of interruption of that detrimental, endlessly intensified circulation imposed on public space. The essay is structured upon two competing ideas, conceptually represented by the notions of floor and ground. The floor is the most important element of logistics architecture, preparing a smooth surface for commodities circulation. By contrast, the ground embraces anomalies representing finitude, an important notion for the project of interruptions. The essay proposes a recalibration and balancing of both these forces, establishing an ecology that also encourages seemingly ‘unproductive’ relations, detours and other spaces of distractions, ideas that logistical architecture cannot even grasp.
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