Architecture of Collapse
Architecture of Collapse is a photo essay documenting the foreclosure crisis of 2008. The economic collapse was the product of the greatest attempt to turn architecture into capital to date, which removed entirely the physical value of a building. During this time, the crisis was widely portrayed through images of boarded up houses and homes in disrepair. These photographs show the entrances to the ten largest finance and media corporations in New York at the time of the collapse, reminding us of the role of architecture in the crisis and how these corporations understood it. By photographing the buildings of the financial institutions at fault, we can connect these ephemeral neoliberal networks with the permanent structures that housed them.
The project was published in the Business issue of the New City Reader, an iterant newspaper produced on-site at the New Museum during The Last Newspaper show in 2010. Accompanying the images were the data for each institution showing losses incurred. These images also capture a moment in time, noting that Merrill Lynch was absorbed by Bank of America in 2008, Lehman Brothers claimed bankruptcy, and AIG was later converted into luxury apartments. This is a project of the Network Architecture Lab.