Author : Robert Gilson

University : Southern California Institute of Architecture

Status : BArch, 2011

Advisor : Devyn Weiser

Title : Quarantena

Anti-Air: Air or the invisible atmosphere that surrounds us can be activated as a kind of “anti-air.” Twenty four slaughterhouse workers have reported symptoms of extreme numbness and paralysis. Researchers find that brain mist, a microscopic industrial byproduct, can impair human motor functions when inhaled. The atmosphere was first understood to be a weapon at the 1915 battle of Ypres. German troops deployed chlorine gas to poison the environment of their Canadian opponents. Instead of harming human flesh, the environment, which sustains life was targeted. For German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk the rise of environmental warfare marks a radical departure for the modern mind. “Ventilation is the profound secret of existence.”

Owens Valley: Owens Valley is an artificially enforced wilderness within a 14,000 ft. envelope. Surrounded by the western Sierra Mountain range and the eastern Inyo Mountain range, the valley is the deepest in the United States. To protect the Owens River’s diverted resources on their journey to Los Angeles, National Parks and Wildlife reserves insulate the physical and bureaucratic infrastructure that has literally sucked the valley dry.

Quarantine: Human ambition has surpassed the carrying capacity of the Earth. Quarantena facilitates the divorce of man from nature by exploiting the technological gap that divides the human from the natural. Q is a system for the isolation of environmental deviance. Q is a detainment network housing 1500+ detainees that cohabitate in 300 pods. Q floats within the uncertain atmosphere and above a mechanized earth.


The Center for Land Use Interpretation. Points of Interest in the Owens River Valley. Culver City, California. 2004

Sloterdijk, Peter. Interview with Erik Morse. Frieze Magazine. Issue 127 Nov-Dec 2009.