“During these days of confinement, I have spent some time reorganising my bookshelves. One of the books that I found was Cosmonauts of the Future, which is about the Situationist Movement in Scandinavia. Apart from the topic—interesting enough on its own to entice me to re-read it—what resonates in my mind are echoes of the title. With a quick search of the word ‘cosmonaut’, one suddenly arrives at cosmism, a philosophical and cultural movement in Russia during the late 19th and early 20th century, the ideas of which seem to be quite prescient and somehow dreadfully descriptive of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Not a reflection about working and living at home, this is instead a reflection about a state of mind that makes me feel like a cosmonaut. I inhabit my home as a new kind of outer space, where there are no boundaries. I find myself exploring it anew without preconceptions, yet accept the impossibility of having to hand proper answers to the infinite questions that living in confinement raises.”
A text by Ethel Baraona Pohl, commissioned by Maria Shéhérazade Giudici for the AA Files 77 for the ‘Home’ section of the issue – a special File that gathers a series of reflections on the changed meaning of being home during lockdown. AA Files 77 is structured as a series of thematic Files covering topics that range from ecological conservation to the architecture of logistics; this launch event highlights a File that was created as a response to the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak. While it is too early to assess yet what kind of impact the pandemic has had on the way architecture is produced and experienced, the Home File opens up a moment of discussion on the small scale changes that affect the everyday lives of all those who live and work from home, as well as casting a critical light on what it means to write, read, and publish in the present condition.