Forms of Power: Overcoming
Empire and Architectures
of Carbon Existence
This article examines the relation between architecture and empire through the notions of hydropower and carbon existence in order to animate a reframing of the meaning of architectural form. Colonialism has been one of the foundations of the start of the Anthropocene and architecture has had a crucial role in formalizing, materializing and obscuring the tropes that produced and reproduced imperialism and its twin project, the modern state, along with the rise of the carbon economy.
These cases reveal architectural form as an embodiment of power structures that reproduce colonial domination and imperial relations and are tightly bound to the idea of hydropower. Their reading can facilitate a possible overcoming of empire and a necessary transformation in the meaning of form. The political dimension of the notion of assemblage is examined as a platform for multiple ontologies that have the capacity to complicate the project of critique in architectures for the Anthropocene.
Leonardo Serrano Fuchs