Altocumulus-data-structure over Manhattan

Scientists Discover The Rarest, Largest Floating City In Existence over Manhattan
Meteorology News
October 19th, 2035

Scientists have found the rarest but evident kind of cloud ever —so large and so new, it’s almost impossible to describe. The cloud structure is floating over Manhattan, but in fact is an extension of the city itself.

Altocumulus-data-structure over Manhattan is a floating extension of the city. A dynamic superstructure which instead of hiding our detritus and failures, take them as part of its endless floating existence. In fact such extension has been formed with the unnoticed interaction between human activities and the atmosphere.

Adapting and creating new megastructures on the super-surface levels of Earth is a real fact nowadays. While going to the atmosphere and above seemed like science fiction decades ago, the massive floating system that already exists over Manhattan has been named Altocumulus-data-structure by its discoverers, but people refer colloquially to it as “our cloud”. On the grey surface of New York City, the air pollution due to chemicals and particulate matter, objects and digital data is transmitted above; thus causing the non stop growth of the cloud. Surprisingly, a big amount of this air pollution is caused by data generated from the devices predominant in the city.

To preserve human life, and searching levels of better air quality, scientists are considering to inhabit the superstructure given that is formed by several layers of floating material that have trapped different air types according to the data of emission. Layers with air inside have generated floating chambers, which can be inhabited by new citizens. It is also intended that such people will be used as tools to save the urban memories of the city. This megastructure extends its supersurface along a pattern created by the melt of floating particles and data, creating new and derivatives concepts of space, time and information.

In this extended city, the act of living is paired with the act of consumerism, as an anthropomorphous mirror of life on the surface below. Even it seems that nostalgia for the future has been rewarded with the formation of this floating structure, soon it will be evident the constant contradiction with the banality of reality. This melt of man, machine and motion has now a physical image in the collective unconscious which, from the end of the XX century is searching for ways to overcome nature in a sustainable way.

Time will come when all the inhabitants of the city below, will move upwards until the data-floating-structure will be filled with new and yet undiscovered pollutants; and citizens start the same loop again.

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This proposal is part of the exhibition Past Futures, Present, Futures at Storefront for Art and Architecture, presenting 101 unrealized proposals for New York City, dating from its formation to today with 101 reenactments by invited artists, architects, writers and policy-makers to create alternative visions for the present and future of the city.

We were invited to re-enact Hans Hollein’s Superstructure above Manhattan, designed in 1963; the same years when Hans Hollein claimed “Everything is architecture” proposing to dissolve disciplinary borders into a view of architecture as a primary, ritual, behavioural and existential condition.


Superstructure above Manhattan, 1963.

Other invited artists includes some old friends of this blog, such as Andreas Angelidakis, Geoff Manaugh [see his proposal, in collaboration, John Becker, on BDGBLOG], Arqueología del Futuro/PKMN, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, and Mimi Zeiger among many others.

The complete information about exhibition designed by Leong Leong and opening dates at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

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