Tamás Kaszás



The concept of the megastructure, or the megacity, originated in the early sixties, when Constant Nieuwenhuys with his New Babylon, or Yona Friedman with his Ville spatiale, proposed the elaboration of a new type of urban fabric, which at the same time could generate the spaces of a new, transformed society. Kaszás’ work, in part, reflects on the modernist and somewhat technicist character of Utopian megastructures, not in the least from a cynical viewpoint, but rather in a “realist” way.

One of the main pillars of this realism is the notion of competence, responsibility – a call for the individual to participate in their own life, to mould its spaces, and breaking away from the safety of the much less Utopian, increasingly crushing economic megastructures, to utilise everything at one’s disposal. The ideal from which the megastructure originates is a typical vision of a free society, thus becoming an important strategy on the level of quotidian reality: since in a crisis situation, or following collapse, we cannot act differently – it is worth building by economising on both time and material. In the course of forming such a strategy, the significance of folk science and creative improvisation also grows. He who is capable of building his own domicile, even under extreme conditions, will have not only his chance of survival increase, but will also become more independent of the system in his momentary existence.

In this work that is built from recycled elements, however, the Utopia of modernism has its place, primarily from an aesthetic perspective. It is as if its ideas and vocabulary were to become part of the post-apocalyptic folklore of future groups of people. The survivors of collapse would fashion such a refuge from waste or ruins, in which the fading collective memory of modernism would be reflected…

Kaszás usually creates complex projects inspired by theoretical researches later during the process using traditional and new media as well. Mixing poetic images with useful inventions in his exhibiting practice autonomous art pieces appear mostly with special constellations in the frame of large installations (visual aid constructions – as he call them). His projects generally based on social questions and spiritual science. Keywords as collectivity, collapse and survival, living in nature, self sustainability and autonomy, theory vs practice, folk science, home made homes, cargo cult, fictional anthropology, visual aid, etc. might give an idea about his most important topics.
According to his conceptual background Kaszás tries to make an economic and ecologic art practice using mostly cheap or recycled materials, techniques easily available for everyone and designing easy-to-make structures. For this reason he not only collects and follows but wish to develop the collective knowledge of folk science. Beyond the institutional art field he is also interested to work in public space or using immediate artistic methods. He often works in different collaborations, first of all with Anikó Loránt (Ex-artists’ collective) and Krisztián Kristóf (the Randomroutines).