Karenina.it Express - Architecture of Information
"Museum of the essential and beyond that", Architecture of Information or Creative Interface?
Regina Célia Pinto
1. The Essential
"We believe that within the creation of a new style there lurks the sublime possibility of making life bearable."
In the modern city, the value of the individual is constantly falling. The city that was once essentially a safe haven has become a place of despair, loneliness, the struggle for survival. The city as a cultural hub has become a privilege of few.
The metropolis is found throughout the world, an economically passive and politically ungovernable organism, dangerous to the physical and mental health of its inhabitants. The great disparity between the standard of living of the economic classes has come to exclude the underprivileged from the enjoyment of the cultural asset the city represents.
Sociologists such as Michel Maffesoli  have studied the phenomenon of tribalism in contemporary societies as a possible response to the experience of loss and loneliness that people undergo in large cities, where mass culture and individualism predominate. "From more than one point of view, social existence is alienated, subjected to the injunctions of a multifarious Power. However, it is also true that there is an affirmative Potency that, in spite of everything, (always) plays the game over, beginning with solidarity and reciprocity." 
The emergence of virtual communities is reaffirming that potency. In them, as the great French thinker Marcel Mauss  has stated, everyone seems to be interested in an alternatively shared and solitary project; in accumulated and redistributed knowledge; in the mutual respect and reciprocal generosity taught by good breeding. Therefore, it is easy to understand the success of a project like the "Museum of the Essential and Beyond That," which is not connected to an institution and does not rely on any kind of financial support or sponsorship. It is being undertaken on a home computer in the city of Rio de Janeiro but has a dynamic digital model, a constant state of becoming, and for that reason receives contributions from different latitudes and longitudes of this geography without borders created by information technologies. A world that seems to be turning to virtual communities as a way of building a better future.
Cyberspace can eliminate distances between its occupants, although it is merely canceling out a symbolic distance through digital communication. What does cyberspace look like? What does a museum with all its galleries and libraries look like out in cyberspace? A "cyber-museum" is a spatial-temporal shape built up through movement: transportation and communication. During the process of creating a virtual museum, we cannot overlook the paths people follow through information and that this must be a place where information is shared intensively by all its visitors and participants.
2. What exactly is a "Museum of the Essential and Beyond That"?
This project consists of the creation of virtual architectures: a museum with its libraries and galleries that have no brick-and-mortar counterparts. It is common for real museums and libraries to have websites, but the process underway in our "museum" is rather uncommon. A museum that does not exist in the real world, and whose architecture and collections are formed by a string of digits: 01010101. Is it just an electronic clearinghouse for bits and bytes?
The museum started out as a "work in progress": so is it information architecture? But it is also an imaginary two-story pixel-building with a basement… The building's architectural design can be changed at any time, whether by constructing another story or changing part of its shape - a Niemeyer design , constellation, space station, Piranesi engraving : creative interface?… This museum was conceived as an open structure in which information is spread out in a number of spaces; a machine that can travel infinitely in all directions.
For example, the Library of Marvels is located on the first (ground) floor of the building and contains some of the artist's e-books, a list that will gradually lengthen. It currently contains The White and the Black, Reflections on Fog; Book of Sand, The Alienist, net . art / web . art and other stories (this book contains a different virtual architecture: the animated series Green House, which not only presents an image of cyberspace but an image of itself, and aims at being a cyber-region for artists who work with net or web.art). The objective of this project within the Museum project is to take a closer look at the cultural impact and possibilities created by computers as machines that can produce books and libraries and the boundary between traditional books and electronic books.
books in the Library of Marvels are based on masterworks from the universal
literature and ancient games, and are also multimedia/hypertexts by this
author. The desire to broaden this space led me to invite other authors to
participate. The first resident writer was Joel Weishaus (Center for
Excellence in Writing, Portland State University Portland, Oregon) who
contributed Traces of the Catacombes, which takes its name from the
"hollow (hallowed) ground" of Early Christianity, excavated in what
was then the suburbs of Rome. But there are other catacombs, such as those
beneath Paris, and other issues to be uncovered; so that the title plays on
the name of French artist Mireille W. Descombes.
As regards digital poetry, we could not fail to mention the Spam Room, where we find Spams Trashes by the Uruguayan poet Clemente Padín. Is this poetry? Is this art? Visit the room and send a friend something of this climate of creation, reflection, humor, irony and the desire for a better world…
The following is a list of the Museum's active galleries and the artists found in each:
The fact is that this project, justifying the beyond that in its name, is fast becoming a cultural center where a mouse click offers both a museum and a place for creation and communication where the visual arts are joined by music, filmmaking (animation), poetry, books and audiovisual research. "This characteristic is related to the aim of modern-day art, which is to embody in its works certain new forms of beauty that could only emerge through the reconvergence of all techniques"  and technologies... Since its inception, at the Museum of the Essential and Beyond That, this reconvergence has been present in its watchwords: communication, information, multidisciplinarity, multiculturalism and mobility. Science and technology embracing art to protect it and give it the necessary conditions for life and growth.
 In MAFFESOLLI, Michel (1995). A contemplação
do mundo. Porto Alegre: Artes e Ofícios.
Gaston. A poética
do espaço. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Eldorado Tijuca Ltda, s.d.
LEMOS, André. Ciber-cidades. http://www.facom.ufba.br/ciberpesquisa/lemos/cibercidade.html
, Holger . Virtual Cities?! - Telematics and Spatial Development
Regina Célia Pinto
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Regina Célia Pinto is a researcher, visual artist and teacher. She earned a teaching certificate in Drawing and Art at the Escola de Belas Artes of the Universidade Federal in Rio de Janeiro, 1974 - 1977. She has a Master's degree in Art History, specializing in the Anthropology of Art / EBA, UFRJ, 1994. Her Master's thesis is titled: "Four views in search of a reader, important women, art and identity," 1994, EBA, UFRJ.
She has written a variety of academic works, including published scientific essays (("Celeida de Barro", In Arte & Ensaios, Revista do Mestrado em História da Arte, EBA, UFRJ, vol. II, no. 2, 1995 and "Imagens do Rio: diário mínimo sobre duas rodas", In Cadernos de Pós-Graduação 3, EBA / UFRJ, 1996). As a visual artist, she has participated in several exhibitions and curated several.