The Bureau of Longitudes launched its first volume of essays, poetry, and artist projects today. The Bureau is an exploratory office of Dissolve, functioning as a site for archiving accounts of place, organized by each topic’s degrees of latitude and longitude. This project might be imagined as a cyclical catalog of the globe, or perhaps an encyclopedia in the round. Over the past year, the Bureau has delved into research on the absurdities and contradictions of globally-organized space. We are now pleased to share our first volume of entries.
In the first volume of the Bureau of Longitudes, the authors of these projects and essays address an array of topics: the afterlife of monuments, how architectural space informs national policy, data centers and democracy, alternative futures that bridge space and time, the linguistic codes of intersections and crossings, and the arbitrary process of assigning a center. Each entry takes a different form, from poetry to video essay, script, or photo essay. Two entries, Democracia Líquida and El lugar del sol recto, are presented in both Spanish and English.
Thoughtfully considering moments of misalignment and contested geographies, the reports in Volume I are geolocated to six different locations. These locations include the terrazzo and brass celebrity stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as the architectural trappings of both leisure and power addressed in a photo essay on Mar-a-Lago. The golden dome of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem sets the stage for a discussion of queer Muslim artists reimagining radical futures, while Google's only Latin American data center in Quilicura, Chile, provides a more somber backdrop for a television script about Cloud-based computing. The misplaced touristic spectacle of the mitad del mundo near Quito, Ecuador contrasts with the empty pedestal of a Lenin statue in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Bureau of Longitudes includes essays and projects by Maio Alvear, Jyoti Arvey, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Juan Pablo Pacheco, Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai, and Amanda Walters. Its terrain has been imagined by editors Kathryn Barulich, Susana Eslava, Carolina Magis Weinberg, and Christopher Squier.