Mutual Assured Architectures, 18th St Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA, USA, 2009

Marcos Lutyens  and Frogheri / Meneses Architects  

Mutual Assured Architectures 


Shangri L.A. at 18th Street Arts Center  2009-02-04

Marcos Lutyens  Frogheri & Meneses Architects 

As architecture is progressively “skinned” with media screens on the walls of mega-malls, so the hard surfaces of buildings dissolve into figments of the mind reflecting desire, aspiration, envy and a host of other emotional states.  

Following developments in brain-computer interfaces (BCI’s), which originally began in the 1970’s and developed into the first working implants in the 1990’s that restored damaged hearing, movement and sight, one can envision an urban fabric that is as prone to upload people’s ideas and feelings, as it is to play-back media onto the public.  

Subsequent research has lead to developments such as  “Mindball,” a game where two players compete for the movement of a ball, through an EEG interface.  The company Ambient recently demoed a product called “The Audeo” that essentially decodes thought, through tracking unpronounced speech within the brain.

Mutual Assured Architectures posits a world in which visualisations of our urban surroundings are automatically fed from the brains of citizens into media superstrates that lie on the surfaces of, and above the buildings that make up our city.  The media “skin” of our built world becomes populated with the architectural paranoia and fantasies of passers-by, as their visions are amalgamated into collective generative architectures that decay slowly with the passing of time.

The sound in the installation was generated by TENORE NUGORESU, Sardinian Throat Singers, known as “cantu a tenore” responding to the unfolding visuals in real time.  

The group consisted of:

Pascale Frogheri

Jubanne Zidda

Pascale Fadda

Paolo Mannale 

Most regrettably Jubanne left this world barely three weeks after this recording.  May his soul rest in peace, and may this project be testimony to his creativity and sensibility.


Sound design was added by Mandy Hoffman.