The border of contact, encounter and exchange space | Luis Gil

Letras a La Border - Nómada Laboratorio Urbano
Lyrics to La Border – Nomad Urban Laboratory | Source: nmdlab.com

The intrinsic nature of the border is that of being an area of danger, an insecure space in which the development of the essential tasks of life requires a state of continuous alertness. It is the space for the exchange of energy, where it is released or integrated into new areas, which implies a constant rebalancing of the forces acting on it. Areas that are necessary to release or absorb energy to move from a higher level or state to a lower one (and vice versa).1

That space of exchange, the edge drags a heavy cultural baggage that constantly leads us to identify it in a negative way, because it is the area where different cultural and social structures settle their differences and political or economic discrepancies becoming many times, the own physical space of the border, in origin of being of said differences.

Far from this perception, or paradoxically close, is the attitude, in this positive case, of the border space as a place of approach between worlds, habitat for the encounter and fraternization, where words that refer to the limit from a positive perspective are also used , as a meeting place, exchange, approach, access, etc. Definitions through which one can perceive that, in the end, the limit is capable of subverting that meaning of danger and uncertainty in another one intended to enrich human activity due to contagion from abroad. Because the edge and the wall are not always declared closed and waterproof2 but are likely to be crossed, broken and fragmented peacefully in an approach to the beyond, on the other side, which despite its immediate proximity is already another world.

Understood in this way the border space allows at the same time the communication and enrichment of ideas and inner worlds by the contact of the foreign and unknown in an enriching osmosis process.

Within this duality and war of opposite meanings is where the limit develops and means its most authentic and real nature as a generator at the same time of death and life.

For thousands of years before the arrival of new communication technologies, economic and cultural exchange between peoples was only possible through the geographical edge, where ships could arrive or where caravans could cross or border. Only later the cultural contagion reached strata of greater depth, to the geographical interior of the body where it could be assimilated as a new element. This miscegenation produced by the contagion of the other side of the borders, has been the main responsible for phenomena of cultural enrichment of incalculable value.

This movement of contagion towards the interior, either peaceful or by aggression, has been continually accompanied by the counter-idea of not only territorial reconquest, but also of recovery or reimposition of a supposedly own culture, sometimes not as real as imagined or idealized. Phenomena that have been functioning throughout history in the manner of the systole-diastole mechanism adding to the recovery of the strictly physical, the territory of which we spoke earlier, the political circumstance that introduces the discriminating nationalist germ of the man or woman that comes in the other side. The individual who does not belong to the original clan or social-tribal group and who for a prolonged stay becomes an inhabitant no longer circumstantial but who is integrated into the new territory over several generations becomes a cultural entrapment of that reconquest.3

At present, the limit as an exchange space has changed while the cultural or economic contagion no longer needs to physically border or break the border to enter other contiguous realities. This new pattern has its origins not only in the new technological advances but in the use made of these advances under behavioral patterns rooted in the vision that the Anglo-Saxon and North American culture brings about the world that bases its vital argument on the absence of border concept, although paradoxically it is not so much an absence as a continuous transgression of it.4 An unfinished and unrealizable economic and cultural idea within its own perimeter, which continues to expand and cross external borders at an economic level, in which Colonization is not spatial, but market.

Thus, geography has ceased to occupy a fundamental role in defining and defining the border, of what is inside and what is outside. The notion of geographical edge loses meaning, it is diluted just like the wall, the protection of the fort lost its own since the military engineering designed the projectile that was able to attack and destroy the interior of the city without approaching it.

Thus, geography has ceased to occupy a fundamental role in defining and defining the border, of what is inside and what is outside. The notion of geographical edge loses meaning, it is diluted just like the wall, the protection of the fort lost its own since military engineering designed the projectile that was able to attack and destroy the interior of the city without approaching it. At that time the defense strategy specified through the walled enclosure instrument must vary and be transformed. The nature of the changes in the technical and cultural fields that we are experiencing forces us in the same way to rethink the sense of the limit. A limit that tends to make its physical part virtual, but that far from softening control reaffirms it through commercial submission.

Luis Gil Pita, architect
Santiago de Compostela, November 2019

Notes:

As explained by physics the quantum theory of Planck.

Like the one that surrounds the city of Oran in quarantine in the work of Albert Camus “La Peste”.

This phenomenon has not only occurred in history spontaneously but it is often an artificial and perverse phenomenon introduced to create continuous and irresolvable ethnic conflicts. Some are still current as the result of the permanence of Jewish settlers in Palestine.

Verdú Vicente. El planeta americano. Edt Anagrama  Barcelona 2000

Article chapter Allegory of the border and the limit, originally published in the Obradoiro magazine nº34, winter 2009.

Luis Gil Pita

Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña en 1997, desde ese año colabora en el estudio de Manuel Gallego Jorreto hasta 1999. Becado de investigación en Holanda en 2000-1, con un estudio sobre lo fronterizo y liminar en arquitectura, por la Diputación de A Coruña, fue posteriormente Profesor invitado en el área de proyectos de la Facultad de Arquitectura de Guimaráes, Universidade do Minho, del 2001 hasta el 2007. Desde el inicio de su carrera ha publicado asíduamente artículos y ha participado como editor en diferentes publicaciones alrededor de la arquitectura.

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