Quondamopolis

trafficking in architecture


12 June

2013.06.12 17:07

2009: "All the world's a next stage."     1999: My CAD work, or at least my 'expanding, stretching, compacting, morphing, collage (citying), schizo-analyzing' CAD work is a manifestation of the new dexterity engendered by the capabilities of CAD specifically and digital media in general. In simple terms, my unorthodox manipulation of CAD data reflects the many new ways of "drawing" that CAD allows. On a "theoretical" level, my manipulation(s) present new drawing/designing paradigms that for the most part did not exist before CAD/digital media.

We are living at a very significant time,



however, because the slice of the body that corresponds to the year 2000 is right at that elevation where the bottom-most tips of the rib cage become part of the 'plane of the present.' This is significant mainly because there has not been a skeletal presence along the body's periphery since the presence of the crest of the hipbones c. 1500. The 'plane of the present' is now rising above that portion of the body where expansion most readily occurs, and thus humanity (whether it knows it or not) is now in a state where human civilization's grossest era of unrestrained expansion is now steadily coming to an end as an all-encompassing (protective) structural 'network' begins to take place (in the present).

In all probability, architectural use of the Internet will gel into a number of accepted and standard operations. Creative use of the Internet architecturally, however, is unpredictable precisely because digital media has a built-in infinity factor. If enough architects begin using the Internet creatively and architecturally, then whole new species of architectures of 'unbuilt' reality will evolve.     2012: Lotus International 19 happens to be the first Lotus magazine I ever bought, so its contents are (still) fairly well ingrained within my memory. Looking over "Cities within the city" (again) last night reminded me of another subsequent Ungers essay--"Architecture of the Collective Memory"--



also published within Lotus, this time Lotus International 24 (1979). I personally remember this essay as something I really connected with, something that I really liked the idea of, but I don't think I've (re)read the essay in many years. Of course, I reread "Architecture of the Collective Memory--The infinite catalogue of urban forms" last night, and wow, it like blew me away because what Ungers relates is exactly how I've come to see Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius, that is, as a whole city of architecture of collective memory, indeed an infinite catalogue of urban forms (e.g. 3123h, 3123i, 3123j, 3123k). Interestingly, such a view of the Ichnographia Campus Martius is what Aureli (and Eisenman) do not (want [you] to) see the Ichnographia Campus Martius as.

Being restless, I continued to read more of The Possibility of Absolute Architecture. I read the Boullče chapter and started the Ungers/OMA chapter (five). Ten pages into chapter five you encounter material



on the Havellandshaft, which is how Ungers ends "Architecture of the Collective Memory," yet Aureli nowhere mentions the "collective memory" aspect of the Havellandshaft (nor does Aureli footnote reference "Architecture of the Collective Memory--The infinite catalogue of urban forms" in Lotus International 24).

I now feel inspired to write a book entitled The Reality of Convenient Memory Architecture, theory even.

"Architecture of the Collective Memory" begins with these passages:
In his book Invisible Cities Italo Calvino invented an imaginary conversation between the Venetian traveler Marco Polo and the great emperor of a distant country.



"At this point Kublai Khan interrupted him or imagined interrupting him, or Marco Polo imagined himself interrupted, with a question such as: 'You advance always with your head turned back?' or 'Is what you see always behind you?' or rather 'Does your journey take place only in the past?'"

All this so that Marco Polo could explain or imagine explaining or succeed finally in explaining to himself that what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler's past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreigness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign unpossessed places.     2002: So, with all the background of the Sessorian Palace, why did Piranesi fuse the Domus Alexandri Serveri and the Sessorium and place them in a completely other part of Rome within the Ichnographia Campus Martius? On 21 September 1998 I asked myself,



"Could Piranesi be weaving some complicated message which refers to both the reigns of Elagabalus and Alexander, where Alexander successfully undid the corruption of Elagabalus and began to turn Rome toward a more Christian and morally sound city and empire?

Meanwhile, in quondam Constantinople...

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