Cartha 2019: The Possible Progress
31 July, 2021
The first part of The Possible Progress lays the theoretical foundation upon which a series of answers by key guests will be set. The editors begin with this complex question:
The Positivist Stage, as stated by Comte, marked the entry into an era when, due to gradual but constant scientific developments, increasingly accurate predictions of the future could be done. But this entry has also prompted a new condition, in which the consequences of the steps being taken towards a certain destination contained the potential to lead mankind into a more precarious situation than previously. This perception was enhanced as well by a critical approach to history during the beginning of the XX century. Walter Benjamin pictures progress as a wrecking storm 1. Comte defines progress as the “goal”. But can one understand progress without knowing which, what, for whom the effects and goals are and pertain?
Part two, The Answers Series,
is dialogue-inherent, wherein both questions and answers are proposed, conversations are prompted and new ideas about progress are verbalized. Progress itself implies a vectorial movement between two points: one of departure and one of arrival. The departing point is where a situation is perceived as problematic and from which questions emerge. The arrival point proposes answers to the questions: it promotes a vision, a desire, but it does not necessarily speak of how to get there.
A selected group of architects, photographers, social scientists and historians were invited by Cartha to engage with the notion of progress in the domain in which they specialize. A part of this group responded directly to the question: “is progress possible in architecture?” ; and the other, to provide two images that conveyed both a ‘problem’ and a ‘solution’.