Choros: Metropoliz Future Forest


“The marital veil, on this account, was really a map that entwined in its fibers the axes and ordinances of the world. It was not really a covering but a gauze, gossamer, or filigree framework that disclosed the inhabitable landscape, one that had been there but was unknown, meaning the act of veiling resulted in an unveiling […] The nuptial veil made by Zeus [for Chthonia] was an artifact that allowed the earth to become articulate because it – I mean the weave – united subsoil and sky."

“This [Achilles's] shield/map was also a dance floor, a choros: on the shield/map the famed god wove a dancing floor like that at Knossos Daedalus fashioned for Ariadne. Homer did not describe the level, lines, or material of this radiant surface – instead, the choreography it traced out, for across its sectional arc he wove together the steps of young dancers […] Making a dancing deck such as this meant making a human textile, a society, a city.”

- David Leatherbarrow, "Leveling the Land," 1999.


This project at Metropoliz, a post-industrial heterotopia at the edges of Rome, is a collaboration with Daniel Phillips & Kim Karlsrud of Commonstudio, and Olivia Valentine. It was made possible by a grant from the American Academy in Rome, and support from the Museo dell'Altro e dell'Altrove di Metropoliz (MAAM). Many thanks to Mac Casey, María Robles, Dave McKenzie, Paula Matthusen, Roger Camero, Stefania Tutino, and Adam Kuby, as well as Lukasz Kowalczyk, Leslie Johnson and students from the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology for volunteering their time so generously.

The perforation of the concrete slab was completed in June, 2015. The seeding is taking place in September, 2015. The project is expected develop over a long span of time, through a sequence of ecological successions.