The DMZ Game is a project I should have published last year, but for some practical reasons, that is only now, one year after it has been first presented that I am able to introduce it.
This Undergraduate Thesis project has been designed by Won Sok Choi for a studio at Pratt tutored by Yael Erel and Christoph Kumpusch, studio that had already produced the beautiful Circus designed by Guillermo Bernal (see last year’s article). The DMZ Game is an architecture that seems to be eminently influenced both by Constant’s New Babylon and Lebbeus Woods’ projects like the Labyrinth Wall around Bosnia and his own project for the DMZ. In fact, Won chose the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea as a site for his game. Game, here, has to be understood in a similar meaning than the one proposed by Constant and the Situationists, an erratic behavior provoking a series of events in relation with other people and psychogeographies.
But Won’s project, even in its non-materiality, already reaches its goal as he does not provide much explanations (see below) about what determines his architecture. The viewer’s imagination is therefore obliged to play and loose itself in this dialogue between a labyrinthine (probably mobile) architecture, the river, the land and the earth. In this hypothesis, the depiction of a player represented like Rodin’s thinker with a cyberpunk helmet seems to be a symbol of the invitation to imagine the rules (or the non rules) of the game.
The following text is Won’s introduction to his project:
Demilitarized Zone, Korean Peninsula
In DMZ game, the main strategy on the site (DMZ) was to employ playful competition instead of compromised harmony. There are hardly any stable moments of interaction in reality but people are conceptually more comfortable with the notion of stable culture, society, and physical environments. The modern nation states successfully convinced their people into the idea of scientifically proved pragmatic functional spaces with some collectively subjective aesthetic condiments. The notion of self-development of society with various tools (such as science and technology) and ¡°engineering¡± perfect society and culture has become nothing but a modern mirage: tragedy. Because of this restrained social coherency, we, as a modern society has fallen into diluted (and compromised) sense of cultural and physical spaces. I wish to ¡°transform the chaotic energies of economic and social change into new forms of meaning and beauty, of freedom and solidarity.