NEW YORK CITYVISION COMPETITION

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New York is a state of mind, they say. If that is true, this state has been reached by themajority of our planet's inhabitants. Even those living on the other hemisphere are visiting this cityat least several times a month – watching favourite TV series, keeping track of the news from WallStreet, skimming through a niche art magazine.

It is significant, that a t-shirt with the inscription “I♥ NY” can be bought both in Paris and Ulan Bator. For its residents, New York is a real place,where it is possible to be born and die and in the end it is all decidedly less funny as it appears to bein Woody Allen movies. For the rest of the world – NY is like a blurry photo, a snapshot with Statueof Liberty, Broadway and Brooklyn Bridge in the background.This is how it looks now. Now, that is, in that recent past we all still manage to remember.What we do not remember is an Indian tipi seeded in place of the Rockefeller Center. Hunting in Central Park. Tanning leather on the 5th Avenue. Meat roasted over a fire for breakfast at Tiffany's.About the past they have told us at school. About the future they tell a lot on TV. If you sometimesonly glance at infobar in the news, you excellently know that in addition to financial crisis, wars,famine and poverty await us also depletion of natural resources, global warming and rising sealevels. Have you already prepared for this? Because we have.

Relax.

Imagine a calm tract of an endless ocean. In the middle of it, bathed in the delicatesunbeams, drifts Manhattan, separated from the rest of lands. When those disappear under thesurface of increasingly surging water, Manhattan, as the biblical Ark, will shelter on its boardpeople and animals. It will become a self-sufficient island, producing food and energy. Whensurvival will be the aim - and banks, multi-national companies, shopping malls or entertainmentdistricts will no longer be needed, the only thing left from the old reality would be the costume ofurban architecture. The city will get recycled – buildings, like packages, will fill with newfunctions. A luxurious 200-square-meter apartment for a single will easily accommodate a fewfamilies with their whole belongings. Elegant glazed department store may turn out to be the perfectplace for a greenhouse vegetable cultivation. Ghosts from the past will come back, Manhattan willagain transform into a settlement, with the economy based on work of human hands. But in yourlife, something more will change. Instead of going for a morning jogging – you will graze the cattle.After tiring, lasting for hours work in the field, you will probably not have any power to drop in foryour weekly session with a therapist.

What is more – problems with self-assertion and suffocatedego will disperse miraculously, as soon as you will face the problems with weaving on a loom. If achild is born to you, forget about adding photos to facebook. You will need to butcher a pig andinvite all the neighbours. And please note – a chat with friends over a cup of goat milk may be justas absorbing as over a café latte.Obviously, that “going back to nature” does not need to look so optimistic. Perhaps we arealready cyborgs, permanently interwoven with our comfortable, high-tech life. Accustomed, that thecity is a machine to satisfy all of our needs, of course only if we are able to pay for it. Confrontationwith a sustainable city, understood as a living organism, where to get anything, first you have togive something from yourself, may surpass us. But there is a glimmer of chance that we can handlethat challenge. Thus, maybe it is worthwhile to let the future sink and go on a cruise in the past on Manhattan Ark?


Group project of: Klaudia Burzyńska, Aleksandra Bartoszuk, Emilia Cap, Daria Dybciak, Paulina Kuszneruk and Agata Lisowska.


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