First Images of the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei
"In the future, all the past (and even the present?) will be a fiction."
[I'm just not myself till I] Rita Novel.
The Language of Architecture
For the most part, spoken languages still relate to quite specific geographic locations. Up until roughly 100 years ago, specific geographic locations, too, had their distinct architectures. Colonialism began to usurp 'native' architectures with European architectures. In the mid-20th century the 'International Style' became an architectural Esperanto.
Is architecture today composed mostly of many, many personal languages?
Are most of architecture's languages now lost?
What present architectures still relate to specific geographic locations?
What architectures are bilingual?
What architectures are multilingual?
What architectures exist also in translation?
What architectures now exist only in translation ?
What architectures are lost in translation?
Who speaks slang architecture? And is slang architecture ever appropriate?
Does anyone ever order language-salad architecture? Maybe that tastes best on Pentecost.
"I love my architect[ure]s because they often manage to say something I haven't heard before."
Does (historical) fiction sometimes easliy fall into the category of subversive reenactment?
What are architects immediately critical of when entering a building?
I just finished writing a novel where 20% of the world's population employs an architect--after cell phones, i-pads, etc., architects have become the must-have life accessory--most consult their architects on a daily basis. Then, of course, the competition among architects is fierce, thus the book is like The Gong Show meets Fantasy Island.
Could the above be an outline for an architectural fiction or something? Yikes, a series of 365 architectural fictions, each entitled Calendrical Coincidence.
1976-89 A personal excursus of reenactionary architecturism:
...some Borges, some Capote, some Quondam
"A labyrinth of symbols," he corrected. "An invisible labyrinth of time."
"...I questioned myself about the ways in which a book can be infinite. I could think of nothing other than a cyclic volume, a circular one. A book whose last page was identical with the first, a book which had the possibility of continuing indefinitely."
I have taken on the mysterious duty of reconstructing literally his spontaneous work. My solitary game is governed by two polar laws. The first permits me to essay variations of a formal or psychological type; the second obliges me to scarifice these variations to the "original" text and reason out this annihilation in an irrefutable manner...
Some years earlier, Lillian Ross had published Picture, her account of the making of a movie, The Red Badge of Courage; with its fast cuts, its flash forward and back it was itself like a movie, and as I read it I wondered what would happen if the author let go of her hard linear straight-reporting discipline and handled her material as if it were fictional--would the book gain or lose?
...I wonder what would happen if the architect let go of his straight-curating discipline and handled the material as if it were fictional--would the museum gain or lose?
I understand you are staying at the new hotel. La Bataille. How do you find it?
Very pleasant. In a bit of turmoil because they are in the process of opening a casino. The man in charge of the casino is called Shelley Keats. I thought it was a joke at first, but that really happens to be his name.
Marcel Proust works at Le Foulard, that fine little seafood restaurant in Scheolcher, the fishing village.
Semiquincentennial: an almost novel architectonics
Miers Fisher Jr. and Helen Gregoroffsky reunited
Art vs. architecture
Looks like my next project is to design a Comfort Zone Inn. Here's the program:
The Comfort Zone Inn is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. A person's personality can be described by his or her comfort zones within a Comfort Zone Inn. A Comfort Zone Inn is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that Comfort Zone Inn without stepping outside of it. To step outside their Comfort Zone Inn, a person must experiment with new and different behaviours, and then experience the new and different responses that occur within their environment
Why do you think you're creative?
I'm just starting to read a collection of critical essays on James Joyce, and so far it's interesting to see how Joyce's unique creativity seems to induce a creativity from the essayists that they might not normally have. I've sometimes noticed a similar effect when reading critical essays on Duchamp. Philippe Duboy's Lequeu: An Architectural Enigma is perhaps the apotheosis of this kind of critical effect creativity.
Is it then a fair hypothesis that one's critical deliberation of a unique creativity might well engender an as yet uncommon creativity from oneself?
Started compiling plans [from Quondam's collection] that relate to Stirling's architecture; I can see something akin to a novel coming together in terms of how all the designs/projects interrelate.
Are you into modernism or do you also like historical architectural styles?
Obviously, I'm into (creating) 'dys' architecture styles: dyskenesic architecture, dyslexic architecture, dyslalic architecture. Hopefully, I'll continue to design even more dys-architecture styles.
...the 'novel' whose work is just beginning now
What would happen if you mix two master architects with opposing styles?... ...as 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.
"Nolli made no attempt to rectify inconsistencies of the Bufalini map when he prepared the reduced copy."
Piranesi's resultant redrawn plans suggest a methodology whereby the fragmentary plans of Bufalini were used as kernels of ancient fact that, in turn, galvanized newly interpreted redrawings of what once was.
In rereading 2666, while reading "The Part About the Critics" I thought, "Here we have a novel about the search for an author." The love was in the search as well, and the handicap was mostly avoided until the end (of that part). Then the next part begins with making fictitious love to a poet headed for insanity.
comparative scale :: stylistic contrasts :: programmatic comparisons :: exploring architectural potentials/exercising architectural virtuality :: recombinant architectures :: an other architectural history
Perhaps all this is making its way into the 'novel' whose work is just beginning now.
What is an architectural idea? : Perhaps the real question is "What idea is an architecture?" I think that's the title of the novel I'm working on.
Borrowed some books (from the Free Library) about "novel writing." Read "The opposing missions of the various characters create the plot" this morning. Then thought, "Apposing missions of the various architectures creates the plot."
Herzog at Columbia said, "Stirling lost his way" and "Rossi lost his way." I ask, "Labyrinth, wo bist du?"
Most of the "characters" in almost order of appearance and only sometimes in scale to each other:
"Every good story needs a complication. ... A story needs a point of departure, a place from which the character can discover something, transform himself, realize a truth, reject a truth, right a wrong, make a mistake, come to terms."
"...a place from which the architecture manifests a discovery, a transformation, realizes a truth via inversion, comes to correct terms via a mistake."
"For even in the most favorable hypothesis, the biographers of the Historia Augusta are separated from the Antonines, their great models, by an instance of some hundred and twenty-five years. Of course this is not the first time an ancient historian found himself so far, or even much further, from the figures he was seeking to portray. But the ancient world in the time of Plutarch, say, was still homogeneous enough for the Greek biographer to produce, at nearly a hundred and fifty years' distance, an image of Caesar carved in virtually the same substance as Caesar. At the period when the Historia Augusta was compiled, on the contrary, the world was so altered as to render the great Antonines' way of life and of thought virtually impenetrable to biographers already on the road leading to the Byzantine Empire. A little closer in time, but more exotic, more rapidly distorted by popular superstition, the rulers of the Syrian dynasty vanish even more utterly beneath a forest of legends. Thereafter, chances of error due to remoteness in time gradually diminish with the emperors who devour one another during the rest of the third century, but models and painters alike sink into that magma of confusion, violence, and mendacity characteristic of all periods of crisis. From one end of the Historia Augusta to the other, everything sounds as if a small group of today's men of letters, more or less well informed but mediocre, and often no more than ordinarily conscientious, were to tell us first the history of Napoleon or of Louis XVIII by means of authentic documents seasoned with prefabricated anecdotes, anachronistically tinged by the passions of our own day and age, and then, shifting to figures and events of more recent vintage, were to offer about Jaurès, Hitler, Pétain, or De Gaulle a mass of worthless gossip mingled with some useful informations, an avalanche of literature from Propaganda Bureaus and sensational revelations from the gossip columns."
Marguerite Yourcenar, "Faces of History in the Historia Augusta."
This passage seems useful in terms of thinking about a novel whose scenes and complications occur within the realm of labyrinthine architectural history, or is it within the realm of architecturally labyrinthine history?
Take a look at Le Corbusier's Palais des Congrès à Strasbourg (1964), and then look at OMA's Hotel at Agadir, the Library at Jussieu, the Educatorium, and then MVRDV's VPRO--a trail of design reenactments. Maas worked on the OMA projects. Right now it looks like the novel begins at the Hotel of the Palais des Congrès. All the architects are registered there for the "Turning the Labyrinth Inside-Out" conference. None of them is confident, however, that the 'Buildings Present Themselves' portion will proceed without a variety of embarassing technical glitches.
"Evelyn Waugh once suggested that the term "architectural" was preferable to "creative" for describing writers because "what makes a writer, as distinct from a clever and cultured man who can write, is an added energy and breadth of vision which enables him to conceive and complete a structure.""
Inversely then, does a work of architecture comprise, or is a work of architecture capable of comprising the characteristics of a novel? I suppose that question right there sums up the rudiments of the investigation itself.
"The contrasting movements, outwards and inward, are easier to detect because of the external structure, but in themselves they are formal rather than structural principles of order because they work upward from specific characters and events. In this loose sense, form is inductive, working from the particular to the general, while structure is deductive, starting with a generalization or a pattern and fitting details into it.
In practice, form and structure are not mutually exclusive. . . .By creating unstable and progressive oppositions, he [Waugh] establishes a pattern in which characters compliment, contradict, and qualify one another, and he creates a form in which the process of incorporating experience and reconciling then and now, there and here, is more important than any mere succession of events.
Of course novelists can impose structure only upon material that they have formulated or are in the process of formulating. Decisions about structure, form, development, style, character, plot, and point of view take place in rapid succession if not simultaneously; each choice precludes or influences a number of other choices; and no decision can be final until the whole structure is complete."
--Robert Murray Davis
Read earlier: "...locale and history have simultaneous real and fabled coordinates, anchored both in actuality and in the archetypes of innocence and experience, paradise gained and lost... ...the reader enters a fictive world with its own unique operating principles, in which past and future conjoin to form a continual present in which the extraordinary meet the commonplace to defamiliarize and release an aura of strangeness and wonder... ...traditional oppositions--realism and fantasy, fact and illusion, history and myth, reason and irrationality--coming together in a complex of significance."