Maybe the tour starts in February 2002 in Den Haag. I was part of a student group visiting the New Babylon archive in the Gemeente Museum. The guide explained, how the artist Constant quit painting in the 1950ies and started to deal with architecture, influenced by the nomadic life of gypsies.

He became part of the Situationist International and joined their fight against the modernist functionalist planing of life. The situationists were propagating the drifting through unknown urban areas as a way of revolutionizing the hegemonic capitalist life in the west. In line with what later would be called the 68-movement, their revolt was against the post-war society, trying to break up all the divisons between private and public, work and leisure time...

Constant set out to design plans for a revolutionary urban matrix. For almost 20 years he produced models, drawings, diagrams, maps, texts, etc, to illustrate the structure of New Babylon. New Babylon ends nowhere (since the earth is round). It spreads on top of existing cities, a meta level of permanent browsing nomadic life. Although the models and drawings look like building designs, they are more diagrams of the actual flux of social life in a city.

It was not by chance that some art students visited the archive in 2002: Since the mid-90ies, architects had re-discovered New Babylon as an early utopian depiction of ongoing transformations in the context of Information Technologies: New Babylon is the Network Society with all its technological and social implications avant la lettre.

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