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Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi
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THE BRAND NEW YORK JOURNAL Sunday, June 3, 2026 “The anti-capitalist Bacterium. The New Cellular Metropolis. .... All the world is mourning the death of New York. The economic crisis which began in 2008 has eroded first its social life and then its physical structure. All the beams, concrete walls and glass windows have magically disappeared... and many other cities in all the world seem to be following the same destiny. As the Void Metabolists already stated at the Venice Biennale in 2010, the urban structure of New York was the symbol of the rise of Capitalism in the 20th Century. With the end of Capitalism its most representative symbol is also dissolved, destroyed by its failure. Thus an international group of anti-capitalists have engaged some Soviet scientists who are now reproducing the New York grid with its skyscrapers in a miniaturized model, on a culture plate. They are trying to farm bacteria inside the most powerful capitalist structure, in order to find a vaccine, an anti-capitalist bacterium. The experiment reminds us of old science fiction movies, such as “Fantastic Voyage” (1966) where a miniaturized crew is injected inside a human body. Sixty years later, microbiology and urbanism have become the same discipline, transforming some of Asimov's most incredible fantasies into design processes which are necessary for human survival. Soviet scientists have reduced NY to a single culture plate or to several plates which together form Manhattan Island, in order for more experiments to be made in different parts of the city. The former solution seems however the most intriguing. In fact scientists have reinterpreted a project for New York proposed by Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s: it is a geodetic dome which should have covered all Midtown Manhattan with a diameter of 3.2 kilometers and instead now covers the miniaturized capitalist city with a cell membrane, with a diameter of 3.2 centimeters. Under the Fullerian Cellular dome, several bacteria, viruses and membranes are interacting with capitalist structure of the city. Scientists are daily observing the interior of the dome, looking for the anti-capitalist bacterium which survives best in the urban structure of the culture plate. Scientists are optimistic and say that this anti-capitalist bacterium will save all the world: it will be reproduced in all laboratories around the world and then injected as vaccine in all the 2 billion living humans left. “Nobody is going to die anymore because of the capitalist disease,” they say. Only one perplexity has arisen according to some architects: this new anti-capitalist culture plate has been called “the new cellular metropolis” by scientists and this is the same name given to the city model proposed in the 1960s by the 'mall maker' Victor Gruen (Hardwick, 2004), the inventor of the regional commercial centre, which is the Dome of Consumerism and Capitalism itself. If the same references are used for opposite ideologies, then are we to expect better changes and positive results from this new anti-capitalist experiment?...”
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