Logistical Nightmares is a yearlong programme of events, workshops, pedagogical experiments, and field investigations. It is an initiative by the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. The programme explores the increasing ubiquity and prominence of logistics as a model for organising social life and politics at a global scale. Lorenzo Pezzani, a head of the MA studio in Forensic Architecture, will host the programme. He will present some of the tutors, such as Charmaine Chua, and moderate a panel with the Research Architecture MA students from Goldsmiths.
‘Indurable’ Monstrosities: Megaships, Megaports, and Transpacific Infrastructures of Violence
In the past decade, container ships have more than doubled in size as shipping carriers seek to capture economies of scale in transportation, fuel, and crew costs. In turn, the upsurge of megaships has placed intensified demands on global shipping networks, requiring ports to make perpetual and capital-intensive adaptations to their infrastructure, placing heavy demands on logistics labour, intensifying environmental damage, and generating a global shipping crisis of massive proportions. And yet, as ports struggle to catch up, ships keep getting bigger. By interrogating the interface between these two massive infrastructural projects through a case study of the ports of Singapore and Los Angeles, Charmaine Chua examines the irrational rationalities of obsessions with monstrosity in the logistics industry. In situating the growth of megaships and ports within the broader context of the rise of logistics, she argues that the material systems of global supply should be understood not as durable infrastructure — public works that stimulate local economic development — but as ‘indurable’ monstrosities that imprint the colonial violence of global circulation onto the lived spaces of vulnerable populations.
11:20 – 12:00
Panel talk, Presentation
Unless The Water Is Safer Than The Land
Over the course of four weeks, twenty MA students conducted in-depth research into Australia’s immigration policies and practices at sea, producing spatial and visual analysis that reveals a striking pattern of human rights violations taking place against asylum seekers. The students specifically looked into a series of cases of maritime interception, on-sea detention, and pushback operations that took place under the ongoing, military-led border security initiative Operation Sovereign Borders. In investigating and reconstructing these events, students developed creative forensic methodologies in an attempt to overcome the Australian government’s policy of ‘on-sea’ secrecy. The materials produced offer a strong indictment of the policies and practices put in place to deter people from arriving in Australia by boat and reveal how the latter sit in continuity with the longer histories of settler-colonial violence. Students of the Research Architecture MA studies from Goldsmiths will share their research in this panel, moderated by Lorenzo Pezzani.
With Research Architecture MA students (Goldsmiths, University of London), 2017–18: Esra Abdelrahman, Riccardo Badano, Nelson Beer, Guillaume De Vore, Anne-Sofie Hansen, Halima Haruna, Patrick Harvey, Faiza Khan, Naiza Khan, Robert Krawczyk, Enrico Murtula, Imani Robinson, Hanna Rullmann, Erin Schneider, Ariadna Serrahima, Elena Solis, Ido Tsarfati, Clive Vella, Sarah Vowden, and Liza Walling.