working title museum

the nimiety of architecture   an abundance of redundance in architectural education, theory and practice

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1998.08.12 14:37
Re: Mir & the value of a city
Is it possible that Brasilia is a perfect candidate for a city that should gradually (or perhaps even quickly) become a virtual place? Would Brasilia as a govenmental center possibly function nearly just as well as a location in cyberspace?
From where I'm sitting (in a row home basement in Philadelphia's (USA) neighberhood of Olney), I doubt that I'll ever actually see the real Brasilia, so a well-done virtual Brasilia would probably leave me satisfied. Anyway, I don't think the value of life and the value of a city fall in the same category.

1998.12.17 15:45
Re: city making and city breaking
Marcus asks: Is every aspect of creation necessarily balanced by destruction?
There is a more "pure" aspects of creation other than the creative half of the metabolic process, namely, fertility.
It is important to note that the term metabolic is used whenever there a distinct creative/destructive pattern at hand.

1999.02.23 12:44
Re: irrational architecture
...with regard to contemporary architecture's relationship with the rational and the irrational. The vital, albeit still largely missing, ingredient of this analysis/phenomenon, however, is the creative-destructive nature of the metabolic (imagination). To reinforce my "theories" here, I offer the following quotation, along with some further analysis/explanation.
Manfredo Tafuri, Architecture and Utopia - Design and Capitalist Development (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1976), pp. 15-16.
"Rationalism would seem thus to reveal its own irrationality. In the attempt to absorb all its own contradictions, architectural "reasoning" applies the technique of shock to its very foundations. Individual architectural fragments push one against the other, each indifferent to jolts, while as an accumulation they demonstrate the uselessness of the inventive effort expended on their formal definition.
The archeological mask of Piranesi's Campo Marzio fools no one: this is an experimental design and the city, therefore, remains an unknown. Nor is the act of designing capable of defining new constants of order. This colossal piece of bricolage conveys nothing but a self-evident truth: irrational and rational are no longer to be mutually exclusive. Piranesi did not possess the means for translating the dynamic interrelationships of this contradiction into form. He had, therefore, to limit himself to enunciating emphatically that the great new problem was that of the equilibrium of opposites, which in the city find its appointed place: failure to resolve this problem would mean the destruction of the very concept of architecture."
Tafuri must here be taken to task because he comes extremely close to the truth about Piranesi and his large plan of the Campo Marzio, but he then falls fatally short of seeing the truth. Tafuri is absolutely wrong when he states, "Piranesi did not possess the means for translating the dynamic interrelationships of this contradiction into form." In truth, Piranesi worked very hard to "translate" the opposite yet necessarily linked notions of life and death (rational and irrational) within his great plan, and I have substantially documented Piranesi's (metabolic operations) in "Eros et Thanatos Ichnographia Campi Martii". Stated briefly, Eros names the life instinct and Thanatos names the death instinct, and Piranesi carefully delineates (between 1758-1762) both these "instincts" within the ancient city of Rome.
It is becoming more and more clear to me that any discussion of the rational and the irrational (in design and capitalism) tends to lead toward confusions unless they acceptingly incorporate the over riding creative-destructive nature of the metabolic (imagination).

1999.05.16 09:08
Re: Piranesi   3123c
I too am guilty of long silence, re: promenade architecturale. I continually mean to finish the "letter to India", but never get around to it. I did look to see where I left off and the next portion will point out that right at the center/mid-point of Villa Savoye, where the ramp reaches the first floor, is where the ramp moves from inside to outside. This transition is significant in that it is an integral part of the whole promenade. Without the halfway :: limbo :: inside/outside the promenade [formula] would be incomplete.
I am jumping way a head, but, since you recently mentioned Terragni, the Danteum too follows the same promenade architecturale formula, and it is through the Danteum that the promenade architecturale can be said to represent a transcendence from profane to sacred. Comparing the Danteum with the Villa Savoye -- the forest is the grid of pilotis; the inferno is the ground floor complete with sink (profane/plumbing); purgatory is the halfway :: limbo :: inside/outside; paradiso is the solarium.

1999.06.08 13:37
Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
In the context of Eisenman's Aronoff Center then, the term Piranesi-effect more likely references Piranesi's Carceri (Prisons) perspectives as opposed to the large plan of the Campo Marzio. It is still worth noting, however, that Tafuri's (mis)interpretation of the Campo Marzio informed Kwinter's (written) observations of the Eisenman building.
(I believe) Piranesi's work to be too vast and varied for there to be just one 'Piranesi-effect', therefore, for any such definition(s) to be of use, it must clarify the finer points as well as the gross points.

the pleasure of (being lost in translation) architecture
Although I know Marcos Novak's name and his relationship with theories of cyberspace(?), I am only marginally knowledgeable of his written work--I believe I read an essay of his in Perrella's Hypersurface Architecture, and I have visited his (dated) website. I do not know his contribution to The Art of the Accident, and therefore my experiment was not in emulation of Novak's (experiment?).
I do know what I was seeking, however.
I like the notion of quick and easy art.
I like to (literally) go to all the edges in my art.
I enjoy the process of making art.
I like my art best when it is unedited.
(I don't like to frame my art.)
I like computers to do work for me.
A lot of my art uses computers and automation in unprescribed ways.
I like the notion of quick and easy (computer doing the work) art.
I believe computers give all of us a new and additional dexterity.
The translation experiment was done quickly and easily.
The translation experiment investigated some limits (edges, margins) of the translation program.
Translating back and forth between languages used automation in an unprescribed way.
The tools you use effect the way you think, and the way you think effects the way you use tools.
Les outils vous utilisez l'effet la voie que vous pensez, et la voie vous pensez des effets la voie vous utilisez des outils.
The tools you use the effect the way which you think, and the way you think of the effects the way you use tools.
Die Hilfsmittel verwenden Sie den Effekt die Weise, die Sie denken, und die Weise, die Sie an die Effekte die Weise denken, Sie Hilfsmittel benutzen.
The aids use you the effect the way, which you think, and which you use way, which you think of the effects the way, aids.
I sussidi li usano l' effetto il modo, che pensate e che usate il modo, che pensate agli effetti il modo, sussidi.
The subsidies use them the effect the way, than thoughts and that used the way, than thoughts to the effects the way, subsidies.
Os subs-dios usam-nos o efeito a maneira, do que os pensamentos e aquele usaram a maneira, do que pensamentos aos efeitos a maneira, subs-dios.
The subsidies use them the effect the way, the one that the thoughts and that one had used the way, the one that thoughts to the effect the way, subsidies.
Los subsidios los utilizan el efecto la manera, la que los pensamientos y que uno hab-an utilizado la manera, la que los pensamientos al efecto la manera, subsidios.
The subsidies use the effect the way, the one that the thoughts and that one had used the way, the one that the thoughts to the effect the way, subsidies.

architecture in cyberspace?
Can anything other than light travel at the speed of light? Would those electric waves of radiation and those magnetic waves of radiation that compose light be light at any other speed? Doesn't being at the speed of light pretty much make everything else incidental?
How does the speed of brain synapses compare to the speed of light?
As to electromagnetic (radiation) architecture, i.e., architecture of light, the two best examples currently on this planet are the Pantheon in Rome and Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum.
Chronosomatics suggests that the foremost electromagnetic architecture coincides with osmotic architecture--the heart being the body's center of electromagnetism and the lungs, which surround the heart, are the body's largest concentration of osmosis. The heart enters the plane of the present c. 3090. the kidneys are the body's second largest concentration of osmosis, but in the kidneys, osmosis mixes with metabolism.

1999.12.29 16:27
breakfasts with Winka
A number of the INSIDE DENSITY participants, including myself, stayed at Brussels' Sun Hotel. As I result, I had the by chance pleasure of twice sharing breakfast with Winka Dubbeldam. Winka was co-chair (with Jan Verheyden) of the "Mapping, Designing, Negotiating Boundaries" session of INSIDE DENSITY's second day, and we met the morning before her session.
Before I presented my paper at INSIDE DENSITY, I was simply introduced as Stephen Lauf, founder of Quondam, an architect from Philadelphia, and hence when Winka and I met the next morning she straight away asked (with a quizzical look on her face) if I was from the University of Pennsylvania. I told her I was not from U of P, but that I was the cad system manager at Penn's Graduate School of Fine Arts (GSFA) in the mid-eighties. I then told her I saw her at Digital Translation, thus I also knew that she taught at Penn, and I asked if she lives in Philadelphia. Winka teaches at Columbia in the Fall, teaches at Penn in the Spring, and she lives and works in New York. We spoke about the ongoing distinctiveness of Philadelphia architectur(al academia), and Winka generally characterized it as conservative but valuable nonetheless, for example, Philadelphia's uniqueness may go back as far as its once having been the capital of the United States. I asked if there was a discernible difference between the students at Columbia and those at Penn, to which she replied that the students at Columbia are more investigative but not as hard working, where as the students at Penn work harder but are not as investigative--she said the differences thus kind of evened themselves out.
At the next morning's breakfast, Winka only had time for coffee while she waited for a taxi. I simply asked her what she's reading these days. She mentioned a work by a Japanese novelist, along with Saskia Sassen's latest book. I told her I was reading Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, because of its possible bearing on reenactment. I also managed to quickly tell her about my St. Helena work, and how just meeting two Elenis added much to my thesis [legend], to which she replied, "So, you are having lots of fun!"



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