by Maria Joana Vilela



from "Mapa-Museu" by Nuno Lacerda


Searching on a map is trying to find a specific location. Being at a point of the map is loosing the location: we loose the geographic plot, the order of the things around, and life stays secluded from the rest of the world; of course it runs, but in another time.

Occupying a place is to loose the sense of the whole, since it involves the sense of being there in body, of being located somewhere, just precisely there, which means that we need to attend to the space we travel - to its full and empty parts, to its specific dimensions, in the end, to what defines it, and, of course, to our body in connection with it. This case implies a suspension from a certain time - an usual time - and it is why we feel like moving above a new rhythm. And this is tightly related with the attention.

Attention is what changes the perception of the lived time. If we move the attention to our own body, in other words, if we force the attention on the relation between the body and the space, we focus the live presence and the interior time – i.e., they become clearest – but, at the same time, we blur the view of the surrounding space and also dilute the timeʼs way of passage; so, the sensation of the experience and its representation become sluggish. And it is always like that. Because only this ʻkind of timeʼ, arrested and regulated by the attention, allows the true knowledge of the place. This way the body can feel the place it experiences and at the same time it recognises itself as a living body in a right spot. Mutual empowerment: beyond everything which composes and organises the place, the man is able to recognise the skin that touches the elements. Mind and body feel and understand the skin which touches the place and the ears which hear it and the legs which roam it.

In a place, and by the act of recognising, we find shadows from a certain self , from an actual existence present right there. Someone is crossing the time to solve an enigma: the enigma of the existence. The built place, and thus the architecture in particular, protects the experience and enables the meeting of man with himself and with the world in its microscopical specificities. This is the universe of the experience. The universe of the human knowledge.


In this way, architecture motivates it - the knowledge - by the intensification of the experience and by the clash of the man with himself. The (built) place ʻprotectsʼ him from the extra-spatial relations which deflect his attention. The place harbours the experience from the inside, by a turning movement to the interior, in a close and privileged relationship with the body. And then, the body contaminates and fills the place with its vital signs. All the placeʼs sounds belong to the body, and the placeʼs atmosphere is its property. Isolated, cloistered experience. Suspended, and floating.

Each inhabited place stands like a bubble moving slowly between other experiences of the lived space, happening right now. There are many spheres, light, whizzing around, defying gravity. They close their-selves on themselves while they constitute the same infinite space, organised by a timeline which crosses them along. The landscape is organised by the slow placesʼ movements, oriented by certain crossed tangential lines that regulate the chaotic complex.

Thus, we envisage a new scheme. Another (kind) of map; universal, from the entire Universe. A map full with the all possible surveys, animated by microcosmic bubbles containing experiences of knowable places. Searching on a map is to look from the outside and to the outside. Being on the map is to look from the inside and to the inside.



To see “Mapa-Museu” by Nuno Lacerda, click here