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2008.04.04 12:36
Currently reading Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media, and got up to p. 84 yesterday morning while waiting for the repair of an automatic car window. There is an unfortunate manuscript error on page 68:
lines 1-4
Benjamin cites a sentence of Theodor Reik... Remembrance is essentially conservative; memory is destructive."
lines 14-15
In these terms, Reik's distinction between conservative memory and destructive remembrance...
As they stand (at least in the 1994 hardback edition), these lines contradict each other, and thus completely confuse the issue. Now checking the source, lines 1-4 correctly recall Reik's distinction.
Staying on page 68, I (personally) use/translate Erfahrung as 'a knowledge of', and Erlebnis as 'an actual experience of', in the sense that Erfahrung is more or less a reenactment of Erlebnis.

2008.04.05 10:32
Page 68 of Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media is loaded, and the dyslexical error therein provides a spark capable of igniting an explosion. More truth may in fact lie with the notion that the attributes of memory and remembrance are indeed interchangably fluid rather than strictly opposed. Le Corbusier's 'doctoring' of photography (as discussed in the chapter after page 68) even seems to be a perfect example of the interchangable fluidity of memory and remembrance.
--Balloon and Prick: Modern Reading as Virtual Architecture, (forthcoming).
currently on my 'book table':
Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media
The Limits of Interpretation
The Changing Light at Sandover
The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste
The Fifties
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy
Promises, Promises: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Literature
Difference & Repetition
Man and Time
The Anaesthetics of Architecture
The Diaries of Paul Klee
Edmund Husserl's Origin of Geometry: An Introduction
"The Boudoir in The Expanded Field"
The Production of Space
Art in America,
April 2008
Artforum, April 2008
51N4E space producers
Shrinking Cities
Festival Architecture
Future City: Experiment and Utopia in Architecture
Yves Brunier, Landscape Architect

...perhaps a sign of being neither student nor architect; sondern etwas anderes.

2008.07.16 17:25
bored with modern & contemporary, yet?
"In the past Eisenman has often been criticized for his reliance on concepts from outside of architecture. With this analytical work he declares explicitly that it is buildings themselves that are the source of ideas in architecture, and not applied philosphical concepts from outside the discipline"
--Stan Allen, "Eisenman's Canon: A Counter-Memory of the Modern" in Ten Canonical Buildings 1950-2000.
Leave to Allen and Eisenman to now 'declare' what has otherwise always been one of architecture's most self-evident features.
Eyes which do not see, indeed.
The first chapter of Wittkower's Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism is entitled "The Centrally Planned Church and the Renaissance". Good stuff about the theoretical origins of the centrally planned church and its practice; not much about any "true debate" nor popes.
beginning of the last paragraph:
The new interpretation of religious architecture was soon to be challenged. Carlo Borromeo in his Instructionum Fabricae ecclesiasticae et Superlectilis ecclesiasticae Libri duo of about 1572, applied the decrees of the Council of Trent to church building; for him the circular form was pagan and he recommended a return to the 'formam crucis' of the Latin cross.

2008.07.31 16:32
It rocked Eisenman on his chair...
"The servile crowd of the palace, who had so long adored the fortune of Stilicho, affected to insult his fall, and the most distant connection with the master.general of the West, which had so lately been a title to wealth and honours, was studiously denied and rigorously punished. His family, united by a triple alliance with the family of Theodosius, might envy the condition of the meanest peasant. The flight of his son Eucherius was intercepted, and the death of that innocent youth soon followed the divorce of Thermantia, who filled the place of her sister Maria, and who, like Maria, had remained a virgin in the Imperial bed. The friends of Stilicho, who had escaped the massacre of Pavia, were persecuted by the implacable revenge of Olympius, and the most exquisite cruelty was employed to extort the confession of a treasonable and sacrilegious conspiracy. They died in silence: their firmness justified the choice, and perhaps absolved the innocence, of their patron, and the despotic power which could take his life without a trial, and stigmatise his memory without a proof, has no jurisdiction over the impartial suffrage of posterity. The services of Stilicho are great and manifest; his crimes, as they are vaguely stated in thelanguage of flattery and hatred, are obscure, at least, and improbable. About four months after his death an edict was published in the name of Honorius to restore the free communication of the two empires which had been so long interrupted by the public enemy. m The minister whose fame and fortune depended on the prosperity of the state was accused of betraying Italy to the Barbarians, whom he repeatedly vanquished at Pollentia, at Verona, and before the walls of Florence. His pretended design of placing the diadem on the head of his son Eucherius could not have been conducted without preparations or accomplices, and the ambitious father would not surely have left the future emperor, till the twentieth year of his age, in the humble station of tribune of the notaries. Even the religion of Stilicho was arraigned by the malice of his rival. The seasonable and almost miraculous deliverance was devoutly celebrated by the applause of the clergy, who asserted that the restoration of idols and the persecution of the church would have been the first measure of the reign of Eucherius. The son of Stilicho, however, was educated in the bosom of Christianity, which his father had uniformly professed and zealously supported. Serena had borrowed her magnificent necklace from the statue of Vesta and the Pagans execrated the memory of the sacrilegious minister, by whose order the Sybilline books, the oracles of Rome, had been committed to the flames. The pride and power of Stilicho constituted his real guilt. An honourable reluctance to shed the blood of his countrymen appears to have contributed to the success of his unworthy rival ; and it is the last humiliation of the character of Honorius that posterity has not condescended to reproach him with his base ingratitude to the guardian of his youth and the support of his empire."
It wasn't enough that Maria remained a virgin consort to a 14 year-old Emperor, she then had to witness the only English Pope take her sarcophagus for himself. She's now writing The Plays of Nicholas Breakspear.

2008.10.21 08:58
Did Ruskin really say something like 'there would be no memory without architecture'?

dissier damnatio memoriae
"The damnatio memoriae raises facinating questions about the relationship between elite political control and collective cultural tradition, the opposition of writing history and unwritten memory, the nature of remembering and forgetting."
[Could this be considered one of the new forms of damnatio memoriae, or is it an example of purging history of what didn't happen? Is there a name for the act of purging history of what didn't happen?]
"From damnatio memoriae to the Cathedral of Tyre, it feels like a spotted, blurred vision becomes continually clearer. I've even found what I think will be my next late antiquity interest (once there is some Helena closure), and that is to start learning about what (really) happened when the Christian East (paradigm) shifted to Islam."
"Now knowledgable of the practice of damnatio memoriae, I wonder if Piranesi purposefully 'erased' portions of the Ichnographia as a reenactment of the damnatio memoriae practice, and, like some extant examples of dm inscriptions, if he then purposefully followed up with a palimpsest (of another plan) over the erasure."
"In "Remembering to Forget" one learns that damnatio memoriae actually did more to make people remember than it did to make them forget. Officially and literally, the memory was erased, however, the act of erasure itself, like the scar that it is, only reinforces the real reality that once was."

2009.06.12 08:36
please comment or destroy, thank you
"In German, a mnemonic can be fashioned from the literal meaning of the Latin word complicare. which means "to fold together (zusammenfalten)": the complicated, then, can be rendered graspable via unfolding (Entfaltung), because it thereby becomes simple (einfach) in a sense of naïve or ingenuous (einfältig). But the Latin word complexus means "mutual embrace," or, so to speak, the labyrinthine [emphasis added], the convoluted: here, simplicity already contains within itself the seed of all the complexity that comes to appearance through its own development. In cases of doubt, then, the complicated can be profitably reduced and simplified--but the complex, in contrast, cannot be simplified with impunity. To say that something is complicated means that the finite number of its determinations cannot be grasped directly. To say that something is complex means, by contrast, that the number of its determinations is simply infinite."
Clemens Bellut, "Ach, Luise, lass ... das ist ein zu weites Feld," or: The Gordian Knot of Complexity" in Complexity: Design Strategy and World View (2008).
Eternal Wrest ... really only the beginning?
"All the world's a next stage."

2009.08.02 14:34
inspiring Maya Linked Hybrid edge
"So an afterlife does not exist for us per se, but instead an afterlife occurs for that which exists between us. When an alien civilization eventually bumps into Earth, they will immediately be able to understand what humans were about, because what will remain is the network of relationships: who loved whom, who competed, who cheated, who laughed together over road trips and holiday dinners. Each person's ties to bosses, brothers, and lovers are etched into the electronic communiqués. The death switches simulate the society so completely that the entire social network is reconstructable. The planet's memories survive in zeros and ones."
from "Death Switch" in Sum
Don't underestimate the oblivion of a deleted archive, however.
PD writes:
What about the notion of life? In order to call a composition as a work of architecture there must be a life in it. A life around it does not make it architecture, I think. The composition must embrace a life style, must be an accompaniment of a life style but not be the focus of it. The objects which are for perception only, cannot be called architecture. They are called sculpture.
SL replies:
What PD writes comes across as very true as a reasonably way to approach "what is architecture?" as opposed "what is sculpture?" And for the most part I agree with the notion that architecture accommodates life. So I then ask if this 'definition' must be broadened to include all built forms that once accompanied life and a life style, but over time have come to no longer do so. I am thinking of ancient ruins, be they Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the Parthenon, the cave temples of India, etc. These are commonly referred to as examples of architecture, yet today they are clearly "objects which are for perception only." Have these architectures become architecture/sculpture hybrids? Furthermore, no one now lives in Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, nor, it might be argued, does the life style around which the Villa Savoye was designed to accompany now exist. Is the Villa Savoye a master work of modern architecture that is now an "object which is for perception only?" Or is it merely that the 'life style" the Villa Savoye now accompanies is one where great buildings (if they're lucky) become cultural shrines, where the buildings now accommodate our 'perceptual worship'?
How much of life is really spent in perceptual worship?
"Meanwhile, the question posed in 1918 by the Hermitage's first commissar and futurist Nikolai Punin, "Is a Museum a Shrine or a Factory?" is yet to be answered."
from Content

2009.10.17 11:08
Duchamp to direct THE LUCKY BUMS
"The same "sense of loss" that supports history and mourning also supports the damnatio memoriae, which is both an enforced and denied nostalgia. There must be a sense that something has fallen out of representation, that it was at one time but it is no longer--a sense that something has been lost. If not, then memory truly fails and with it the force of the damnatio memoriae. The force of the rehabilitation has much more to do with the reenactment of the death and condemnation of Flavian than with an account of the events of 394. The survivors have always remembered Flavian, but it is only after the rehabilitation that they can "satisfy the debt of duty owed the dead"--that is, acknowledge the irremediable fact of his loss, through the act of mourning. The writing of history, too, is motivated more by guilt and a desire to mourn than by a desire merely to evoke. The survivor is the one who remains to see that the proper rites are performed for the dead and for that part of the self which has perished, and in the end compulsively to rehearse that loss once again by writing the history" [re-accurately].
--CWH [SL]
The virgin wolfs, the Hirpini and the snails (spirialling), at the end of the axis of war.
So there was a connotation after all.
The Eutropia question.
"You do know the Sabine word for wolf, don't you?"
The Jennewein question.
"Is the axis of war the sacred axis or the profane axis?"
The Adam obsevation.
"Look, she dropped another hair pin."
The Duchamp question.
"Are reenactments virtual or real?"

2011.11.21 08:40
how convinced are you?
Now I see how the virtual has been my escape.
Is theory an escape?
Is teaching an escape?
Is drawing an escape?
Is writing an escape?
1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail.
2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
3. to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
4. to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory.
5. Botany. (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
6. (of a rocket, molecule, etc.) to achieve escape velocity.
7. to slip away from or elude (pursuers, captors, etc.): He escaped the police.
8. to succeed in avoiding (any threatened or possible danger or evil): She escaped capture.
9. to elude (one's memory, notice, search, etc.).
10. to fail to be noticed or recollected by (a person): Her reply escapes me.
11. (of a sound or utterance) to slip from or be expressed by (a person, one's lips, etc.) inadvertently.



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