To dismantle and battle the binarisms of gender, to identify the multiple constructions and technologies through which the heteropatriarchy operates in the guise of modernity, and to trace the potential of the trans in fighting regimes of exploitation that hegemonically govern the course of the planet: this is the purpose of the critique that is radically transforming architectural practices. Authors like Paul B. Preciado, Jack Halberstam, C. Riley Snorton, and Astrida Neimanis, to name only four of the most influential, do not demand that the civil rights of modern social institutions be extended to women and LGBTIQA+ groups. They go much further, coexisting with the problem to confront the ontologies, the power structures, and the technologies (including architecture) imposed by an apparatus of control over humans and more-thanhumans that is based on the notion of the white and heteronormative human body’s autonomy and superiority.
Among these authors, definitely the most popular and influential is the philosopher, activist, and art curator Preciado, with his exceptional capacity to speak to academe, the world of culture, and queer activists all at once. Since the publication of Countersexual Manifesto in 2000, Preciado has through books, lectures, curatorship, and media appearances managed to redefine the agenda of European progressive thought, and reinvent the figure of the woke intellectual. Preciado works like an agent of reflection and trans-scalar activism who connects his own body to the technologies, territories, and ecosystems defining the present, where his followers live like a project of dissidence in real time.
An Apartment on Uranus is a compilation of articles published from 2010 to 2018 in Libération and other European press media; a chronicle of the great political convulsion that followed the financial crisis of 2008. In it, among other things, Preciado reacts to the austerity policies implemented and how they impact on Europe’s social fabric, making it precarious; to new forms of colonization, wrought on the body of the victims of displacement in the world; and to gender violence and the emergence of movements like ‘not one less.’ Overall, An Apartment on Uranus is a testimony of corporal dissidence against the violence that modern taxonomies and binary oppositions like man/woman, heterosexual/gay, natural/ artificial, material/performed, or human/non-human seek to enable in order to pull bodies, ecosystems, and networks out of the impure and out of the interdependences and interconnections among the different.
A decade after Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics, where Preciado recounted the unfolding of a regime of ‘pharmacopornographic’ control through a detailed description of Hugh Hefner’s architectures, An Apartment on Uranus bears witness to eight years of bodily and intellectual rebellion. Preciado takes the floor to lay down the prospect of a collective existence based, in his own words, on “the diversity of life.”