The Charnel-House

Riffing on some lines from the inimitable Owen Hatherley:

Erase the traces.  Destroy, in order to create.  Build a new world on the ruins of the old.  This, it is often thought, is the Modernist imperative, but what of it if the new society never emerged? We have been cheated out of the future, yet the future’s ruins lie about us, hidden or ostentatiously rotting.  So what would it mean, then, to look for the future’s remnants? To uncover clues about those who wanted, as Walter Benjamin put it, to “live without traces”? Can we, should we, try and excavate utopia?

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