Photo: Composition XXI, 2015

Photo: Composition XXI, 2015

 
Manifesto
 

Unterweiss is a venture that focusses on the publication of non-fiction, reasoned and evidentiary essays in printed and digital formats. For Unterweiss the form of the essay provides an ideal space where ideas can be presented, be contentious, are tested, adapted and continually developed. A space where ideas are understood to be a process rather than an outcome and where they can be shared not only in the written, discursive form, but as interviews, audio, still and moving images. It is through these essays that Unterweiss will endeavour to reach out to its intended audience, the intelligent, non-specialist reader, and addresses its three interlocking, core concerns.

The emergence of the anthropocene acts for Unterweiss as a marker for a necessary shift in relations, not only between ourselves and the environment, but within the social-cultural realm as well. In both instances we have a stark choice. Between creating an un-livable planet, or a sustainable future. Between a continuation of the disaster of neo-liberal, consumer-capitalist society, or a rearranging of our relations to share wealth equitably. The moment of the anthropocene, which we now inhabit, presents both an environmental and socio-cultural challenge which cannot be ignored.

Unterweiss is strongly interested in the intersubjective. From the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas and semiotics of Umberto Eco, to the criticism of functionalism by Abraham Moles and of architecture by Kengo Kuma, there is a fundamental rethinking and realignment of the old relations of subject and object. Rather than persist with this structural subject-object dualism we would be better served to think intersubjectively – regardless of whether the object is considered to be another individual (Habermas and Eco) or part of the built and manufactured environment (Moles and Kuma). Thinking intersubjectively, where the previously passive object is instead identified as an active subject, leads to a better understanding of multivalent, generated and shared understandings, and wherein reality (as construed) impresses a level of restitution upon our knowledge. We need a different approach to mutual understanding in order to face our current challenges, and for Unterweiss the intersubjective identifies a way forward.

In providing a publishing platform on the anthropocene and intersubjective, Unterweiss is actively interested in seeking out as contributors intellectuals and academics operating in these or related spaces. However, Unterweiss is particularly interested in new and emerging voices. The issues that permeate the anthropocene and intersubjective are a substantial challenge, one that needs new thinking, innovative approaches, and divergent perspectives. To that end Unterweiss also looks to practitioners, professionals, scholars and non-specialists, when and where they believe they have a genuine contribution to make. Unterweiss is interested in ideas that relate to the issues of our time and how to think differently about them. It has no particular concern for where these ideas are generated. Ideas should be judged on their merit alone.

Through the anthropocene and intersubjective, and its interest in new and emerging voices, Unterweiss seeks to make its critical mark and contribute to our shared future and the social-cultural realm.

Unterweiss
Melbourne / Milano, 2017