Site-Writing

A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • Vid Žnidaršič | London – Ljubljana – Vitanje

  • Vid Znidarsic, 1 Vid Znidarsic, 2 Vid Znidarsic, 3
  • A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • Vid Žnidaršič | London – Ljubljana – Vitanje
  • ‘Perhaps KSEVT just was and will stay and irritate as long as it can.
    And after, it might finally become a community centre, or a sleeping facility, or a restaurant, or a theatre, or a ruin… Or everyone will forget about it.
    Or it will burn to the ground, and afterwards, the plants will grow over it transforming it into another hill where the sixth church will be built by the hands of people of Vitanje.’
    From Vid Žnidaršič, A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)


    The Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in the village of Vitanje, Slovenia, has been a polarizing project ever since its conception in 2012, raising questions about the way architectural objects impact the lives of people. 

    The project draws on two main premises that serve as starting points. Firstly, that what the “Non-aligned” movement represented for the hegemony of the Cold War, can be seen as analogical to what “Post-gravity” art represented for the Space Race. Secondly, that Post-gravity art, as an avant-garde artistic movement, manifesting itself in an architectural object, is a rare if not unprecedented phenomenon. 

    Deriving from these two prepositions, my aim has been to develop a non-aligned narrative, a different form of history through interviews – architectural history told through stories, where personal accounts clash, convolute, and collide. Personal accounts become the basis for reflections, rooted in auto-theory, drawing on different theoretical references as well as personal experience. A multitude of non-aligned auto-theories emerge, creating a non-aligned KSEVT community, that is neither solely local, architectural nor artistic – joined by the common denominator of an architectural object that serves as a connecting link. Presenting different angles, highlighting multiple points of view, and focusing on oral tradition through storytelling and narrative structure, the dissertation gives voice to accounts that have not been studied or revealed before.

    The project is structured as a series of eight conversations with different actors that have been involved or impacted by the project of KSEVT. Each conversation highlights a separate point of view that organically unfolds into a direction that could not have been predicted beforehand. The direct quotes from conversations are woven into the body text, describing what is happening as it is happening, while the footnotes serve as a space for reflection and additional information. All of this combined constructs a non-aligned history of KSEVT.


    Biography

    Vid Žnidaršič is a designer, historian, and theoretician, based in London. He holds a MArch degree in Architectural Design from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, as well as an MA degree in Architectural History from The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where he graduated with distinction in 2020.

    Vid currently works as an architectural designer in London, while engaging in work with students (as a guest critic at Royal College of Art, University of Westminster, Architectural Association, to name a few), publishing texts, contributing to discussions in the field of architecture and developing his writings. 

    He was first introduced to site-writing in 2019, during his studies at the Bartlett, as part of the Critical Spatial Practice: Site-Writing module. While collaborating with an amazing cohort of students, he started developing his approach to writing and researching that evolved further through his dissertation under Prof. Jane Rendell’s supervision and this way of writing is ongoing in his practice today.


    Practices

    Constantly questioning and developing my practice, the main focus of my research lies in the relationship between architecture and the lives of the people. Through personal engagement, conversations, and testimonies my work aims to disturb hierarchies; to challenge accepted ideologies, histories, and truths; and to question notions of what can be considered a source or an archive of architectural history.

    Operating at the intersection of architecture, anthropology, art, and politics A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, developed my interest in non-alignment as a methodology as well as an ideology– where the former has become instrumental to my practice. This has allowed me to focus on the notion of non-alignment itself beyond its political and literal meaning – to explore its creative potential – and thus to co-create a new narrative surrounding the architectural object in question.


    Keywords
    Non-aligned movement, Post-gravity art, Architecture, Auto-theory, Oral history, Yugoslavia

    References

    Dunja Zupančič, Dragan Živadinov, Miha Turšič. NOORDUNG: 1995–2045. (1995-2045). Ljubljana, Slovenia; https://www.postgravityart.eu/noordung1995-2045

    Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies, Vitanje, Slovenia.

    Herman Potočnik, Problem Vožnje Po Vesolju (Ljubljana: Slovenska matica, 1986)


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