textile bags, digital drawings, found video
Begun as a masters thesis, Bagging is an ongoing research project in two modes: a reconstructive history of architecture's various attempts to design for (and control) deviant subjects and a speculative approach to designing with the performative body. If architecture helps habituate subjects intimately on the register of flesh, comportment, mobility—acting as a kind of immersive orientation device—Bagging gathers bodies, materials, and affect to differently perform the scripts that conventionally orient the array of subjects that we usually flatten into the shorthand figure of the 'user,' 'citizen,' or ‘consumer.' Through the production of a family of bags as role-play props, the project engages the play of live use and the softness of textile assembly to question the fixity of position, dimensioning, and scale that traditionally govern architectural production.
||The projective gesture of architecture, its forward reach as an offering, anticipates a recipient. Through a systematized catcall, it interpellates a subject as the beneficiary of its offering. As Mabel Wilson has reminded us, the professionalization of this effort has helped produce the humanist subject to “consolidate a European worldview,” and thereby define its margins.
||Bagging provides a wrinkle in the lines of this orthographic regime, of architecture’s iterative inscription of this liberal subject. It is an attempt at a partial unravelling of architecture’s straightening devices that orient the body toward designed ends (and align it with systems of power) and that “make certain things, and not others, available,” as Sarah Ahmed puts it.
It does so not to seek abolition of the line but to open design to new (deviant) subjects, like cows, crowds, and sodomites.
||As a set of role-playing moves at body-ish scale, bagging gathers a multiplicity of contents within soft parameters, working with textile to deny the conventional fixity of position, dimensioning, scale. Bagging invites a deviation from the orthographic view, turning our attention to that “field of unreachable objects” constituted by following lines of inscription, turning sideways to nuzzle the warm side of the cow, to dwell within a mess of bodies, to seek pleasure beyond the straight.