Lexicon

Surface of the Earth | Eyal Weizman

With the urbanization of conflict, architecture has become the pathology of this era. Geospatial data, maps and models of cities and territories, the “enhanced vision” of remote sensing, 3D scans, air and ground sampling and high-resolution satellite imagery redraw the surface of the earth in variable resolutions from the bottom of the sea-bed to the remnants of bombed-out buildings. The surface of the earth has a thickness but it could not be considered a volume. The earth’s is a surface thickened by relations.

The surface of the earth—now increasingly called upon to perform as evidence/witness in political negotiations, international tribunals and fact-finding missions —is not an isolated, distinct, stand-alone object, and nor did it ever “replace” the subject; rather, it is a thick fabric of complex relations, associations and chains of actions between people, environments, and artifices. It always overflows any map that tries to frame it, because there are always more connections to be made.