Quondam as some strange un-scientific fiction architectur(al novel?)

2000.01.08 13:48
a virtual museum of [disinformation] architecture?
John Young wrote:
Imaginary architecture, Escher, Piranesi, Heaven, Hell, visionary, virtual, has always mesmerized, inspired, perhaps terrified, for being beyond what is accompishable.
To be sure most architecture begins as imaginary and then it's all down hill from there as other brutally realistic forces have their way. Until ruins once again induce fantastic possibilities.
I especially admire Steve's fictional conference........
Steve Lauf continues:
Before going INSIDE DENSITY and while INSIDE DENSITY, the back of my mind was occupied with "what could a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture could [or would] never be?"
www.quondam.com presently comprises over 80 megabytes of data in the form of texts and images. As 'director' of Quondam, I'm hesitantly contemplating the (online) deletion of all the data in one keystroke. Seems drastic, but dia(meta)bolically desirable(!) -- kind of like pushing that big red button somewhere in Washington D.C., or where ever red buttons are.
Tabula Rasa is too easy, however. I prefer palimpsest, instead--erasure and then overwriting/overrighting. Of course, replacement would be necessary and necessary in quick order (...don't want those rising web stats to suddenly evaporate).
So what can a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture can not be?
I'm at the point where the dissemination of disinformation appears the most appealing. I'm imagining a museum of architecture that curates and displays an 'un-real' history of architecture, you know, among OTHER things, all those buildings Le Corbusier designed since 27 August 1965, and likewise the dies sanquinis urbanism of lights-camera-Africa in 2056 AD which is covertly inspired by the OTTO-man architecture of pre-Christ South America, and don't forget the equinoctial architecture along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Yes, www.quondam.com may well soon be a 'new and improved' virtual museum of [unscientific fiction] architecture, written and delineated in palimpsest (so the faded 'truth' is nonetheless incompletely 'not there').
I'm becoming more and more convinced that a virtual museum of architecture misses its full virtuality unless it 'calendrically incarnates' other zeitgeists + [or minus] architectures.

Wright and historical method
I will now get very 'Freudian' here, and say that just maybe the Guggenheims, like Freud, had this strange love/hate thing vis-ΰ-vis Rome/the Vatican. After all it was Freud, a Jew, who reenacted the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit by instituting the ego, id, and super-ego. So, one could then imagine the Guggenheims saying, "Mr. Wright, we want you to build for us a Jewish Vatican museum!" And lo and behold, Wright, creative genius that he was, designed the foremost Jewish Vatican Museum in existence, with no one ever being the wiser--quite an accomplishment, (or did it all just happen subconsciously?). [I better stop before I start writing a reenactment novel here.]

...create something completely off the wall. My own obscure attitude will guide me, and there is no need to submit to any norms.
I can make it all up and even be intentionally false and untrue in the information Quondam supplies. The whole museum as an enormous fiction.

Re: Archives Restored
...a very real and indeed interactive architectural novel where characters come in and out of the "narrative" both expectedly and unexpectedly, and the "story" meanders like one of those great rivers that sometimes overflows and floods and sometimes runs dry while raindrops are eagerly awaited.
...probably the most unique and the most uniquely designed architectural text that has so far come into existence. I don't know if anyone will readily agree with this opinion, but I firmly believe it to be true because by virtue of its technological modernity alone, i.e., multiple and uncensored/unedited authorships, multiple retrieval options, pure progressiveness, etc., no text or book can come close to what the novel architecturale already is. Whether recognized as such or not, the novel architecturale nonetheless rightly deserves a prominent place within the very newest of architectural histories.

being [an] architectur[al] Duchamp . . . living in a large 3D painting, in a hyper painting, being in a hyperzone, within an environment of many unknown factors . . . "the working title museum" . . . how people will buy their art and architecture in the future . . . Rita Novel Tea [room] - a book of cult fiction . . .

2000.10.16 19:10
baroque (cyber?) theater
At the end of the play, the two braggarts reappeared on the stage together to reaffirm the "reality" of the illusion. Having asked each other how they fared, the impresario of the fictitious performance answered nonchalantly that he had not really shown anything but the audience getting up to leave "with their carriages and horses accompanied by a great number of lights and torches." Then, drawing the curtain, he displayed the scene he had just said he had shown to his audience, thus rendering complete the incredible reversal of reality and illusion to the confused amazement of the real spectators, who were now finding themselves ready to leave and caught in the enchanting act of feigning the feigned spectators."

2000.10.27 12:43
Baroque ending (for sure)
Although most of the current discussion at architecthetics deals more or less with theorizing of how 'style' (might) come to be, generally how things/styles emerge, I nonetheless offer the following as an example of how (a) style ends, in this particular case the Baroque style.
The following is a passage I first read over 23 years ago. It comes from Thomas K. Kitao, Circle and Oval in the Square of Saint Peter's: Bernini's Art of Planning (New York: New York University Press, 1974), pp.22-23. I was reminded of this passage after some reflection upon the recent bit of cyber theater that occurred here at design-l [i.e., the email list I first sent this post to on 16 October 2000--design-l and architecthetics are the double theaters I play in] a month and a half ago.
"In the well know production of the Due Teatri, first given in 1637, Bernini developed a simulated amphitheater of a very elaborate kind. This is, of course, the best known of Bernini's theatrical works, but a recapitulation is in order.
According to Massimiliano Montecuculi, who witnessed the performance, the stage was prepared with "a flock of people partly real and partly feigned" so arranged that, when the curtain had fallen for the opening of the play, the audience saw on the stage another large audience who had come to see the comedy. Two braggarts, played by Bernini himself and his brother Luigi, then appeared on the stage, one facing the real audience and the other the fictitious; and recognizing each other in no time, they went on to claim, each in turn, that what the other saw as real was actually illusory, each firmly convinced that there was no more than one theater with its audience in that half he was facing. The confusions of realities in mirror image thus heightened, the two firmly decided "that they would pull the curtain across the scene and arrange a performance each for his own audience alone." Then the play was performed to the real audience, that is, the main act to which that preceded was only a pleasant prelude. But through the play another performance was supposed to be taking place simultaneously on the second stage introduced by Luigi; the play was, in fact, interrupted at times by the laughter from those on the other side, as if something very pleasant had been seen or heard.
At the end of the play, the two braggarts reappeared on the stage together to reaffirm the "reality" of the illusion. Having asked each other how they fared, the impresario of the fictitious performance answered nonchalantly that he had not really shown anything but the audience getting up to leave "with their carriages and horses accompanied by a great number of lights and torches." Then, drawing the curtain, he displayed the scene he had just said he had shown to his audience, thus rendering complete the incredible reversal of reality and illusion to the confused amazement of the real spectators, who were now finding themselves ready to leave and caught in the enchanting act of feigning the feigned spectators."
Here's my analysis:
Of course, the Baroque style continued beyond Bernini--I believe even the double porticos of St. Peter's Square were done after the above performance. All the same, Bernini's theatrical performance manifests the Baroque's consummate ending. Within his double theater Bernini capsulized the beginning of Western culture's new bifurcation of the real and the illusory, introduced mirroring as a henceforth dominant Baroque (stylistic) theme, and, at base (or should I say at the ultimate end), inverted reality into a reenactment of its own illusory mirror (--is this perhaps also the genesis of historiography?).
Essentially, beyond the Baroque (and still often in our own modern times) architecture at its best is very sophisticated theater, keeping in mind that theater is one of the earliest forms of (man made) reenactment.

2000.11.07 10:20
Re: two for the road
I like what you say about not recalling "another film that, structurally, collages space and time in that particular way." Two for the Road does indeed collage space and time, but I was never sure how unique its particular method of cinematically doing so might be. In any case, it's worth noting that the collage here very effectively relates a narrative, specifically a 'modern' life narrative. Is the film's "collage of space and time" a (romantic) reflection (i.e., mirror) of modern life itself?
Could it be that the age old narrative journey motif's (Homeric epic) modern replacement is the narrative 'vehicle' motif?

vehicles of symbolism?
Since beginning this "vehicle" film thread, it has dawned on me that when "vehicles [in films] are both very literal and very symbolic, and, moreover, it is the seamless transition from literalness to symbolism that the vehicles deliver," that this phenomenon is much akin to the notion of the medium simultaneously being the message.

the stillness of Ulysses' gaze
"First God created the journey, then there is doubt, and then comes nostalgia."

a real puzzle
...generate a real puzzle of a large plan, essentially providing pieces of an Ichnographia. ...each piece of the puzzle will be an image map containing links to other pages which can be text, clues, or just archived pages. These "background" pages could be very serendipitous and even abstruse and even labyrinthine in that they could offer links to ever deeper (obscure) pages.

2003.05.28 11:20
Re: story telling
Piranesi very much utilized/executed a 'narrative' approach to design via the Ichnographia Campus Martius, which predates Cooper Union/Hejduk by about two centuries. Moreover, Piranesi's approach may well have been inspired/influenced by the mnemonic design methodology of Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, which comes from 1900 years ago. Story telling/weaving/fabricating (like the above) is a very basic form of reenactionary architecturism.
Is reenactionary architecturism essentially an architecture that does not forget?

2003.09.04 18:08
in the thick of reenactment season
I purposefully walked from the front door of the Philadelphia Museum of Art down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the far side of Logan Circle and then back to the Art Museum. I did this to get a real sense of scale of the virtual axis of life within Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius.
In reality I was walking across the forecourt of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then down the steps that Rocky made famous running up, then across Eakins Oval, where the largest painting in the world once was, then down a tree covered allee along the south side of the Parkway stretching for three long blocks, then around Logan Circle, and then back in the direction I came although this time along the north side of the Parkway.
In virtuality I was walking through the Nympheum Neronis high on the Vatican Hill, through the Porticus Neronis, through the Templum Martis (Temple of Mars), through the Area Martis where the Triumphal Way begins its "march" [this is around where the Rodin Museum is on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and, as luck would have it, where the route of many of today's Philadelphia parades begin], then I walked around Hadrian's tomb, and then I walked back.
2557a 2567a 2583 2759c 2828 2886a 2909b 2965a 3044a 3078b

2004.04.04 19:24
Re: 1 more 1 is 2 yet .33
Two places for bilocation is a given. I'd sooner search for two places, and, if two places were found, then I'd begin wondering about multilocations.

Key Terms
• Migrant Mother
• Mimetic vs. Social Constructionist approaches toward representation
• Semiotic Analysis
• Signifier and Signified
• Myth
• Ideology
• Five components of Marxian thought
• Shift in theories about ideology (Marx, Althusser, and Gramsci)
• Hall's three approaches toward consumption
• Ideological labor: Bricolage and textual poaching
• Three terms of spectatorship (scopophilia, voyeurism, and exhibitionism)
• Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theories
• Male and female gaze
• Foucault's institutional gaze (discourse and panopticon)
• Colonial gaze: Edward Said's "exotic other"
• Victorian era and the "Grand Style" of imagery
• City Beautiful Movement
• Lithographic "Bird's Eye" views
• Photographic Balloon views
• Multi-plate panoramas
• The cultural fiction of panoramic imagery
• Perspective (impact of scientific gaze)
• Abandoning the goals of realism and authenticity
• Changing values associated with images
• The role of spectacle in mass society
• Media Spectacle constructs a sense of identification among audience members that encounter an extraordinary event marked by change and mystery.
• Three critiques of media: media-as-narcotic, media-as-false consciousness, media-as-cultural imperialism
• Habermas and the notion of "public sphere"
• Four components of modern consumer society
• The "flβneur"
• Rereading consumer society - Marxist, Pop Art, Psychoanalytical, and Foucauldian approaches
• Bricolage
• Three reasons why we are architectural critics
• Architectural terms: tripartite, domestic, mimetic, regional/historic, art deco, streamlined, international, googie, environmental, postmodern
• Four approaches toward modernism
• Four components of modern architecture
• Five contests of postmodernism
• Simulation and simulacra
• Pastiche culture and intertextuality
• Truth and the themed environment
• Market segmentation
• Postmodern pastiche
• Theme malls: Shift from urban to suburban life
• Theme airports: places built on movement
• Theme airports: From train stations to shopping malls

2004.05.18 10:26
REPORTAGE- Rhythm & Gender
I like the list (above); like chapters, like lessons, like evolutionary stages, like different floors of a building I'd love to design, like a row of restaurants while you're perpetually hungry.
Le Corbusier is very high on my list. Go to Harvard's Loeb Library to see my analysis of his unexecuted Palais des Congrθs--they were the only ones to purchase both the slides and drawings published in 1991.
Early Mies still intrigues.
Gropius never really inspired me at all.
What I find historically interesting is a comparison and contrast of Freud's first visit to Rome (gen Italia) and Le Corbusier's first visit to the Acropolis.
I'm not sure the Romans ever built in the Doric order. Composite was indeed their order of choice.
Seutonius relates how a delegtion from India came to Rome during the reign of Augustus. This makes me really wonder why the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome and the Great Stupa in India are virtually identical in size and design.
Why do you think Piranesi first delineated all the circuses of the first printing of the Ichnographia Campus Martius in a stylized manner, and then (unnoticed for over 200 years) changed all the circuses into copies of the Circus of Maxentius in the second printing of the Ichnographia Campus Martiis? Piranesi sure knew how to paint a quaestio abstrusa!
You know how Eutropia confessed that (her son) Maxentius was a bastard soon after Maxentius died in battle against Constantine? Well, I hear Eutropia recently made another confession as to how Maxentius' real father was Diocletian!

2004.12.26 12:20
Re: cityscape collage
It started more than eight years ago when it was realized that Hadrian's Tomb and Logan Circle share the same circular footprint. Then, about two years ago, it was realized that ancient Rome's axis of life, as delineated by Piranesi, and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway share the same length and design articulation, with again Hadrian's Tomb and Logan Circle being the key register.
Now delineation of the 'bilocalopolis' begins. The Tiber and the Schuylkill flow through the cityscape. Augustine's tomb and City Hall have their similarities. Rome's Corso is now the same as Broad Street, the longest cardo in the world. X marks the spot of the first Gothic camp outside the walls of Rome and the no-man's land of the Vine Street Expressway interchanges.
I wrote something on 16 December 2004 which turns out to be a succinctly worded culmination of over 10 years of investigation, and also the touchstone for a finally foreseeable catharsis.

2005.02.02 11:09
St. Catherine dei Ricci died after long illness at the age of sixty-eight on February 2, 1590.
"Something similar to what is related by St. Augustine about St. John of Egypt happened to St. Philip Neri and St. Catherine dei Ricci. They had exchanged a number of letters, and although they never met in the body she appeared to him and talked with him in Rome--without ever having left her convent at Prato."
Remember, it's all about bilocation, bilocation, and bilocation.

didja feel that???
un-science fiction

Villa Savoye at the Dominican Motherhouse
...annexation; a totally fictitious client; who knows what else. ...a narrative inspired by the graphics.   2365

2006.05.28 12:28
Ludwig's dissertation on reenactment
Trumbauer Architecture Tours
Nudist Camp at the Philadelphia Musuem of Art
"a moldy paper on mildew"
The King pf Prussia Marble Trail
De Spectaculis II
The Marriage of Twisted and Column
Here a Versailles, There a Versailles, Everywhere a Versailles, Sigh
The Promenade Architecturale Formula
The History of Terrorism in Film
Pilgrimage, Reenactment and Tourism
A Quondam Lenni Lenape Land
Learning from Lacunae
Creating One's Own Virtual Museum of Architecture
Ichnographia Romaphilia
The Bilocating Barnes Foundaton
An Architecture of Removement
How Did This Happen Revisited




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