Making a house for God is an invention of men. Does the Spirit for whom the
Milky Way is just an insignificant embroidery on its sleeves really need a
little box with a roof, no matter how beautifully decorated? The "place" for
worship, and the kind of rituals performed inside it are men's attempts to give
shape to their feelings, to make them visible to other human beings, to
participate in group adoration.
The churches of our
happy revolution find inspiration in the visible sources of eternity's
movements: the dynamic, ever-expanding starry sky, the never-ending waves of
the sea. This revolution's sacred architecture rises from mobile platforms:
surfing and windsurfing, sky-boarding, sailing on water and in the air on swift
boards and deltaplanes.
A church soars literally
in the sky, not just pointing to it--a confluence of true "sky pilots" actually
guiding deltaplanes, fearless priests, graduates of a seminary where they've
learned humility by challenging the stormy sky-seas in solitude, or practiced
ocean meditation among dolphins, sea horses and turtles. My clergy take
philosophy courses on the edges of deep precipices and waterfalls, argue
theology among tall pines and cedars, or riding white water on holy rafts.
While darting through clouds, they teach people to express their feelings
towards the unknown God joyfully.
embracing the sail-wing portraits of their patron saints. Confessions are held
in sailplanes for two, tandem wings rented for the occasion. Jews and Muslims
join together, fighting the air currents instead of each other, creating
aerobatic crescent contrails and Stars of David.
A lighthouse church
On the beach sits a huge tent, sewn from old sailors' pants and shirts. Its
silhouette resembles a woman, and the halo around this madonna's head, produced
by votive candles, serves as a beacon for mariners on the sea.
A church greenhouse
Park churches are made by gardener-artists, whose hedge clippers sculpture
branches into statues, arches, green pavements decorated with flower mosaics,
offering hospitality to animals, insects and birds that join in the praise,
buzzing, chirping, growling along with human singers.
A fire church
We've put screw tops, like so many nuclear cooling towers, on top of volcanoes,
transforming their energy to create visions of saints and sacred scenes that
burst in the sky as fireworks.
An ephemeral hotel
Three storeys by the river, built of metal tubes painted blue to merge with the
color of the water, form a frame. Over them, fishing nets are draped to dry,
creating semi-transparent walls for the guests' rooms. By lifting the net
walls, visitors can enjoy the 360-degree view of the landscape, seeing
everything and seen by everyone.
walls are down, the nets tremble in the wind making a fan, a gigantic but
subtle air conditioner. In the dark, the shadows of the guests moving around
inside dance on the walls, projecting capricious designs. The smell of seaweed
fills the air. In the deepest night, the nets catch deep-water dreams.
And at season's
end, the magic hotel is disassembled, leaving only unspoiled beach until the
| The floating Museum
In summer, when the sea is calm and light is diffused (a few hours before
sunset), old wooden boats are covered with gangplank tables on which are
mounted stands with art work. Visitors, ferried to this museum on sailboats
crewed by aged sailors, jump from one table to another one. If they fall in the
sea, no worry, they just enjoy a little swim in the warm water before
continuing their tour of the exhibition. At sunset, they're ferried back to the
river bank, while the museum sails away in different directions.
Scaffold Youth Hostels
Among the monuments of tourist cities, facades are festooned with scaffolds,
criss-crossed with planks for restoration workers to stand on. The double width
of the wooden decks do double duty as hostel floors and ceilings. Inside the
hollow metal scafolding runs drinking water and drains. At night, folding beds
are set up for tourists, who are happy to fall asleep and wake up so near the
antique monuments they've come so far to see. Restorations are subsidized by
the profits from renting the hostels.
A wandering charbroil eatery
A carnival fire eater moonlights as a cook, barbequing meat and fish with his
burning breath. Instead of lighter fluid, he spits out clouds of finely ground
bread crumbs which he lights with a match, creating instant toast for
breading--a spectacular way of cooking: His tongues of fire lick the meat until
it is well done, proving some tongues can be used both for tasting and creating
| Amusement park offices
My revolutionary businessmen meet at the Amusement Park, where everyone finds
an office to his taste. Young managers on the make get into a quickly
whirling monster-machine which makes them feel the sensations of
astronauts preparing for interplanetary flights. While they bob and rotate to
the right and left, they take risky financial decisions, with dizzying sums.
transfer of offices has helped recharge the stagnant economy. The Stock
Exchange has moved too. Now big financial groups play with securities while
riding the roller coaster. The rise and fall of the stocks is directly
connected to the position of the gondola with "people who count" in it.
Managers of companies who practice "slow economy" discuss policy to the gentle
up and down motion and waltz music of the merry-go-around. Builders of palaces
of commerce decide what to do and where to build while making sand castles in
the toddlers' playground.
are transparent amber, through which one can see the treasures of past
centuries hidden in the earth. The cobblestone sidewalks are decorated with
little poems, comic phrases and popular sayings. Cities, parking lots, and
apartments, don't grow upward or sprawl outward, but return to the past, where
ancient walls and crumbling ruins are converted into uniquely new living
spaces. Protected by the solicitude of their new inhabitants from the caprices
of constantly changing weather, old constructions are restored and re-utilized.
| Fashion re-statements
| Dressing up, down and
A dress is like a bulletin board to be used for communication. It tells the
intimate facts of life of a person, publishes her necessities, expresses the
desires of the one who wears it. My fashion is to externalize the interior, and
invite others to communicate too. Minimalist fashion takes an unexpected turn.
As if to contradict decades of unrestrained consumerism, it sees each dress as
a second skin.
sauce stains, rips, tears and holes are embroidered-over with colorful threads,
or repaired with pieces of precious materials. Through this constant
renovation, every dress is eternal and every one unique-a genuine original, not
a copy off the rack! The more stained and reworked, the more valuable they
become. And they never wear out!
and intellectuals meet, they sport suits with short stories written on them,
and ties with poems. "That haiku looks great on you Mike," they say, or "Yes,
for a tall woman like Sarah, only a novel would fit." Some have sad soap
opera scripts hidden in their pockets, printed on handkerchiefs for drying the
Even lingerie is active, like a changing stage set that shifts to highlight the
actors' bodies. The fat lady doesn't need to diet; she wraps herself in layers
of ribbons and color, like a gigantic Christmas present for her lover to unwrap
on the way to her body. She hides chocolate bars, fruit slices and little
champagne bottles here and there to surprise him. When a man's pants drop,
fireworks announce what is to come, long-barreled toy canons fire, shooting
sparklers at the sky.
fashionable to wear masks or semi-transparent veils. A woman who wants to
change her looks doesn't need plastic surgery; she prints a desired face on the
veil she's wearing. To protest against racism, a nordic blond wears a veil with
the face of a black woman printed over it. Veils also serve as a bulletin
board for the thoughts or deepest beliefs of their wearers. Nuns wear the 10
commandments, Muslims verses from the Holy Koran. Political activists look at
the world through protest slogans.
clothes transform the body into a monument in motion: a photo of the deceased
is printed on shirt fronts, with phrases for the occasion. Sometimes his story
is told--how he lived, how he died.
Between the double walls of the thick glass of the Shower Aquarium, in a forest
of seaweeds dart tropical fish. People take showers surrounded by sea life,
separated from it only by the glass. From outside, the person showering seems
like a shadow, distorted mysteriously by the water behind waving seaweeds.
Shower Aquariums are decorative as well as useful. They ornament bedrooms,
hotel rooms, even nightclubs and restaurants (especially those that serve
seafood), whose owners are happy to install them for clients who arrive for an
appointment with friends a bit early, to freshen up after a hard day's work.
| Philosophical dining
Sets of Cyclical Plates are appreciated by diners with a philosophical bent.
Sealed between two layers of transparent plastic are fish skeletons, onion
peels, bread crumbs, even grease stains, so each meal begins with the image of
what will remain afterwards. When food is deposited on these plates, diners
observe their fish filets hovering above their skeletal futures, pancakes
floating above the crumbs they will become. After eating, everyone returns
again to the "eternal" images sealed within the plate.
dieters, the process is reversed: they're served a few bread crumbs on plates
with whole, untouched pancakes sealed inside. In Boston restaurants, this would
recall the traditional Irish delicacy "potatoes and point," where poor families
would hang a ham above the table, then serve their children potatoes. Each
child would eat a potato, then point at the ham.
spent craters of volcanoes are used as gigantic pots to cook food for the poor.
The cones are filled with water, to be heated from the heart of the earth,
creating enormous quantities of spaghetti, seasoned with wild herbs that
blossom in abundance on the crater walls. Everyone is satisfied without
Kindergartens and daycare centers have Railway Cafeterias, where toy trains
with boxcars full of food run out on tracks from the kitchen. Kids wait on
benches at stations and level crossings for food to arrive, accompanied at each
stop by a loud whistle. Children slide the boxcar doors open and take their
portions. Zealous geography teachers profit from the lunch break to reinforce
their lessons, telling children about trips they've taken to see the world.
and sand sleeping
Water beds, thick like the old feather mattresses our grandmothers
slept on, have fish inside. The oxygen in the water is recycled
and refreshed so the fish can breathe. Sleepers have the sensation
of being rocked to sleep by waves, to wake up in the middle
of the sea. Transparent sheets and pillow cases are printed with old
love letters, Harlequin romances, or love poems, so before drifting
off sleepers can shed salty-water tears. Since pink moved from the
page to the undulating waterbed sheets, there has been a boom in the
The Sand Bed is situated in a huge metal frying pan, heated
from below. On cold nights, its warmth rises little by little, filling
the room with gentle heat. It provides honeymoon couples with an infinite
variety of "seashore" games: they bury one another in the hot sand,
build sandcastles of the future homes they'll live in. If they get
hungry, they can bake clams on the sand, then fall asleep satisfied,
while the shifting mini-dunes massage their backs.
After every usage, the sand sheets are sterilized at high temperature
inside a ceramic kiln. They never grow old. The more the sand is used,
the cleaner it becomes.
Automogardens and Plantomobiles
Bushes in flower grow in floorboard flats, mounted like rafts on
top of four water-wheels. Freeways are a constantly-changing kaleidoscope
of rolling forests, whose blossoms perfume the air while their leaves
emit oxygen, and prevent global warming by absorbing carbon. Gas
station attendants are now artists who prune the branches of our
Plantomobiles, and check the level in the rainwater collecting tubes.
Driving to work is so pleasant, commuters hope for traffic
jams, to spend more time relaxing, watching birds' nests swaying
on the branches above them, butterflies fluttering and snails crawling
in and out of the water tubes, refreshing themselves. Drivers' favorite
radio programs feature spots giving tips on how to care for moving
trees and flying flowers. People who don't take proper care of their
Automogardens end up with vehicles filled with weeds, or trees with
no leaves, rather than the rusty metal junkers of the bygone era.
Ecological consciousness reigns triumphant even in the lairs of
criminals. Banks are robbed by Green Delinquents: the walls of their
bullet-proof Cadillacs are covered with fields of clover. Armed
with machine guns that fire flowers, or organic mulch pellets, they
wait in the getaway forest for their crew to emerge with precious
valuables from the bank-sacks full of clean air and bottles of fresh
water. Then they glide swiftly, silently off, with their beautiful
gun molls stretched out in the fields which are growing upon their
Door-to-door salesmen no longer peddle vacuum cleaners or Fuller
brushes, but trays of composting worms, which they raise in layers
of soil on board their vehicles. Buses have jungle liana vines growing
wildly up the walls, for passengers standing in the aisles to hang
onto in place of straps. A tame tiger emerges from the dense undergrowth
to take tickets, punching holes in them with his big teeth. Teenaged
boys cruise for girls in cars "pinstriped" by climbing roses, with
plush seats covered in soft mosses.
lights have been abolished. Instead, trained peacocks direct, fanning
their tails out for stop, in for go. They think humans have finally
come to their senses, traveling in vehicles that provide homes for
their fellow birds
Even that scourge of life in pre-revolutionary times-terrorism has been
transformed by the revolution, into Scare-orism. Freedom from injustice and
poverty is won with explosions of hope, not death. Our Scare-orists ambush
everyone with sudden gestures of enthusiasm, and flashes of truth. One has
learned fire-eating. When a plane takes off, he performs for the passengers,
creating a spectacular show that explains his cause graphically, while a
Scare-orist clown riding a unicycle up and down the aisle between seats
distributes pamphlets. They describe the wonderful destination where the plane
ought to go, one where the injustices once suffered by his people have been
initial shock, the passengers applaud, asking the pilot to divert his course.
He's happy to do so, flying nonstop to join the Laughing Revolution