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Language of the Territory, our project at FIT Library / Nuestro proyecto en la FIT Library

Updated: Jul 14


Photographs of the silence in the Selknam and Yagan Territory,

Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego

Fotografías del silencio en el territorio Selknam y Yagán,

Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego

Manuel Araneda Castex

Modern Languages & Cultures

Fashion Institute of Technology

State University of New York.


by Madeline Millan

Manuel Araneda Castex has been invited to design a mural for the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures. The mural is a collage with photographs taken by Araneda-Castex in the territory of Selk Nam and Yagan, in the extreme south of Chile. Inspired by our colleague Chen Zhang who curated with professor Bing Hu a Library exhibition with art produced by students, we feel motivated to emulate this project and continue collaborations of this kind between our department and the Library, among others.

At present, Manuel Araneda-Castex is in dialogue with the chairperson of the FIT Graduate Exhibition & Experience Design, Christina Lyons and with Brenda Cowan, as well as professors and staff with experience in cultural events at FIT (Pilar Blanco and Susan Breton). The discussion explores the collaboration with faculty and students in the different stages of this exhibition. It is of the most interest to reveal the layers of knowledge under the concept of “territory”, and sustainability of cultures that have disappeared or have been historically silenced. The interpretation of language and silence can be understood as a possibility to interpret our modern urban society in dialogue with native civilizations that no longer exist, such as the above mentioned in Chile.

The main objective is the encounter between distant cultures and the production of content.

The Language of the Territory: Photographs of Silence

Proposal by Manuel Araneda-Castex

Sustainability: Preservation of culture

¨The map is not the territory¨, the sentencie belong to Alfred Korzybski. A map is not the territory it represents in the same way that a word is not the object it represents. The knowledge we have is limited by the structure of our nervous system and the structure of language. We do not experience the world directly, but through abstractions that shape the mental maps with which we understand reality.

When we design, we build language, design is by definition work with matter, the attempt to give birth or reveal the virtue of the material, is an art that is reinvented every time. It is image, invention, also the creation of a precise form. The design is technical, precise planning, it is essence, purification, neatness.

To design with sustainability in the procedural is to change the way in which the craft is thought and its results, to invent new forms of production, to reinvent processes, new materialities, “sustainable practices in our professional practices and lives” (SUS 001 FIT course) , to develop “sustainable business structures” (SUS 002 FIT curse) and this will only be possible if we work with the new generations of students, in terms of awareness, language and the level of conception of new projects.

So the design, the construction of design, and the creation of language have a main role in the attempt for preservation

Research for example, objects, textiles, and fabrics of ancestral peoples still holds many secrets. Let us preserve the valuable, tangible and intangible account of our history, our origins, and build new designs, objets, fabrics, without forgetting, as in the Homero’s “Odisea”, that forgetfulness is the worst enemy, that is why Ulysses’ story is written over and over time, it is a future with memory. It is about creating the memory of the future.

Of course design is a cuestion of actuality but not without memory.

Overall objective: The exhibit centered on the FIT student experience

The exhibition objetive is the encounter of studients and FIT community, - dialoge, reflexión,

interaction and envolvement- appeals to the cognitive dimension by bringing the FIT students to the challenge of analyzing, research, creating, around the value of sustainability. Also a dimension of the procedural knowledge of the museographic design and production of exhibitions.

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