program for a chronosomatic architectures museum?

1   b   c   d


1997.12.24
BIA plan of action
There is the presence of the metabolic imagination at work in the comparison/contrast between the Villa Savoye and the Palais des Congrès. In fact, if you introduce the notion of the architectural promenade and Purism, you can speak of the transcendence from assimilation in the extreme through metabolism, to second birth (re-read Le C's last text for "new man" references), into the realm of the sacred-osmotic (the lung analogy made with respect to the Carpenter Center [in the?] "Aqueous Humor" article).
...many examples of inside/outside (osmotic) architecture [in] Quondam's collection. ...collect these buildings and more: Johnson's Glass House, Mies' Glass Tower, Pantheon, Altes Museum porch, Mikveh Israel Synagogue...
...examples of inside/outside (osmotic) architecture... ...Mikveh Israel Synagogue. ...ideas regarding the absolute rule of architecture. There is also a special notion of light (electro-magnetism).


1998.01.04
notation of existing Campo Marzio texts - Tafuri 1
The majority of Tafuri's descriptions (definitions?) of the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio point towards the metabolic process. I did not expect to see this overriding theme, however, since it is here, I will make it the larger issue of my criticism (of this particular text). This emphasis now aims my comments more towards the BIA and Piranesi's imagination than towards an analysis of the Campo Marzio itself. (It all works hand-in-hand, nonetheless).


1998.11.15 21:03
[architecture opted otherwise]
extremity architecture (the Pyramids, Stonehenge, anything pre 550 BC)
architecture of fertility [and pregnancy] (the Romans and the Subcontinentals more or less lead the world here)
assimilating architecture (from absorption to purge)
metabolic architecture (which centers on anabolism and catabolism, the creative and destructive operations of metabolism)
osmotic architecture (exchange and equilibrium - outside/inside)
electro-magnetic architecture (i.e., architecture of light)
and ultimately, architecture of all high frequencies (and even I don't know what that is exactly, but it's out there mostly in the far, far future)


1998.11.15 21:03 -
AiCC: Surgical Double Theater     4706   b


1998.12.05 11:30
assimilating architecture?
Since c.1500, humanity (however, mostly Western/European culture) has operated predominantly under the influence of an assimilating imagination--a process whereby everything about this planet, and even beyond, has been and still is run through the workings of absorption -- absorption of land, data, capital, whole societies, etc. (Science in general is a very assimilating process, and genocide is just one example of absorption in the extreme--purge.)
According to chronosomatics, a theory based on the interrelationship of time and the human body, there are roughly 200 years left where assimilation will play a major role with regard to the human imagination, and, more importantly, the next 200 years of assimilation will also be the largest and grossest "chunks" of assimilation yet, perhaps culminating with the total and complete knowledge of every bit of rhyme, reason, cause and effect of the human genome. Chronosomatics also shows us that metabolism (equal doses of creation and destruction) has been steadily becoming the new and eventually predominate operation of the human imagination. Therefore there is a strong pluralism within the operation of the human imagination today as well.
Are there thus some things within the last 500 years architectural history that relate to the notion of an assimilating architecture? Is there something about the present state of architectural affairs that points to an assimilating and/or metabolic architecture? For example, is the high eclecticism of the late 19th century one form of assimilating architecture? Is Le Corbusier's Purism akin to assimilating architecture in the extreme? Is the current widespread/global land development precisely a continuation of the assimilating process begun by the likes of Christopher Columbus? Will humanity, 200 years hence, have come extremely close to assimilating (for better or for worse) every square inch of this planet?
Personally, I think the answer is yes, but that's not the worst of it. After assimilation ceases to be a major element within the operation of the human imagination, humanity will spend 500 years working under the influence of an almost purely metabolic imagination. Imagine living on Earth when pretty much everything thought and done is create and destroy, create and destroy, create and destroy. . . . .

1998.12.29
imaginations
The imagination of frequency surpasses all other modes of the imagination.
The electromagnetic imagination is the most illuminating and clear.
The osmotic imagination endeavors to find all things equal.
The metabolic imagination simultaneously creates while it destroys.
The assimilating imagination is extremely absorbent of data.
The fertile imagination is the most reproductive.


1999.01.04
ideas
The BIA/TPH gauge with the post & lintel to arch, pointed arch development.


1999.01.16
Life and Death (Eros & Thanatos) in the Ichnographia
...(re)found Freud's quotations from Civilization and Its Discontents which names eros and thanatos (the life and death instincts) as the basic operations of life. This whole notion relates directly to the metabolic imagination and the Life and Death axes of the Campo Marzio. Oddly enough, it came as a revelation for me to see these cross axes as a manifestation of the metabolic process. Nonetheless, this connection is exactly what ties the two axes story together--this connection provides the ultimate outline and full meaning of Piranesi's design which is now unquestionably metabolic.
...a connection to the history of Berlin (and here Speer's plan is incredibly poignant!).


1999.02.16 16:46
Re: ir|rational architecture
...which demonstrates that the mind and its imaginations operate precisely like the physiological operations within the body's organs. In concise terms, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the workings of the mind reflect the physiological workings of body, and thus humanity merely has to literally look (in)to itself to figure out how it thinks, imagines, creates, etc. "Reason" itself is applied imagination.
As to creativity, "reason" is just another human creation, specifically, an extremely fertile (as in the physiological operation of fertility) creation. "Reason" itself is a design, as well as a design process; it is not the (central) design nor the (central) design process.


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).

1999.03.10 08:48
Re: epic architectural past
I think the "human story," like the movement of the present, is essentially linear. The first humans were extreme, and the best examples of extreme architecture are the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Circa 550BC, humanity began to operate with a highly fertile imagination, and this "age of highest fertility" lasted till circa 770AD, at which time humanity's imagination became [additionally] pregnant. At the first trimester of pregnancy, circa 1500, humanity began to assimilate itself and its place in the universe. By 1700, the metabolic imagination began to work in conjunction with the assimilating imagination.
We are today still primarily a humanity operating in both an assimilating and metabolic fashion, and thus our architecture too is primarily both assimilating ("international") and metabolic (creative/destructive).
Of course, the "human story" continues, and to discern how it will continue, you just have to analyze the sequential slices of the human body starting at the lowest tips of the rib cage and moving upwards.


1999.04.25
Virtual participation
What other conceptual translations are possible or already at work?
Humanity begins the third millennium with two overriding operative modes of imagination: there is the intense assimilating imagination best exemplified by the minds of scientific researches, and there is the metabolic imagination which employs the minds of many different people including capitalists, political leaders, artists, and even some architects. By the end of the third millennium, the two predominant operative modes of human imagination will be the electromagnetic imagination and the osmotic imagination. The point being that the impact of digital media on architecture, although formidable, is nonetheless relatively insignificant when viewed against the wider ranging notions of assimilating architectures, metabolic architectures, electromagnetic architectures, and osmotic architectures. The understanding of these architectures resides far above even the question of materiality versus immateriality.


1999.05.02 11:16
the architectural timepiece - chronosomatics
Brian writes:
reading the intro to Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, Kate Nesbitt editor, Princeton Architectural Press, c.1996...and came across one theme of the book that sounds like it is related to Lauf-S(teve) Timepiece of Humanity.. [Brian then adds some quotations from the Nesbitt introduction.]
Lauf-S(teve) replies:
With regard to The Timepiece of Humanity (aka the theory of chronosomatics) and the essays on "The Body" in Nesbitt's Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, I first have to point out that although written by an architect and indeed seminally inspired by some of the words in Chapter Eight of Geoffrey Scott's The Architecture of Humanism - A Study in the History of Taste, chronosomatics is nevertheless fundamentally different in both character and intent from the way the "body" is used within recent architectural theory, and even within feminist theory.
The theory of chronosomatics views/interprets the human body (male and female) as a calendar incarnate, and thereby positions the design of the body as an ultimate self-evident "symbol" or "blueprint" of humanity's full duration. Certainly, no other architecturally inspired theory, past or present, reaches this level of "incorporation", and, moreover, if chronosomatics bears any resemblance to some other theory or concept relating to the human body it is to Hinduism's Hatha Yoga.
Because of chronosomatics' originality and uniqueness, and because The Timepiece of Humanity is still a work in progress, I, as author, feel obligated to protect the theory of chronosomatics from (premature) miscategorization, and thus relating The Timepiece of Humanity directly to (the history/theory of) architecture first requires an understanding of the chronosomatic(ally derived) theory of human imagination.
Although it surfaced within the early days of my research towards developing The Timepiece of Humanity, the notion of various modes of human imagination being directly related to our body's various physiological operations was a completely unexpected by-product. Nonetheless, the concept/theory that our mind imaginatively operates in precisely the same fashion/manner that our body operates functionally, i.e., with fertility, assimilatingly, metabolically, electro-magnetically, osmotically, and finally as pure frequency, is very likely chronosomatics' foremost contribution to human thinking because with it comes a potential resolution of the proverbial body-mind dichotomy.
Since late 1995/early 1996, I have been compiling notes and material for a "book" entitled The Body, the Imagination, and Architecture (BIA). Of course, my writing such a book comes with a real dilemma because I have yet to finish writing The Timepiece of Humanity, upon which the BIA book is based. (The more I utilize html and web publishing however, the more I realize that the "fluidity" and "connectivity" of hypertext may well (creatively) eliminate my writing dilemma, and, furthermore, hypertext may actually enhance the outcome of my message.)
Part of my BIA material comprises a thorough bibliography of recent architectural texts relative to the body. This process of both reading and compiling data was necessary not only to firmly ground chronosomatics, but also to validate and ensure chronosomatics' position of originality and uniqueness. In what adds up to a succession of one uncanny occurrence after another, ideas regarding the body within contemporary architectural texts and the ideas within chronosomatics come very close, so close that there is even sometimes virtual sameness, yet chronosomatics, because it harbors the base notion of the human body being a timepiece-symbol-blueprint of all history, is in each comparative instance alone able to make decisive intermediate conclusions and further projections regarding the (design of the) body and its potential meaning.
I am very familiar with Vidler's text entitled "Architecture Dismembered", and I will gladly discuss what Vidler says, albeit relative to chronosomatics. As to the Agrest text, I'm sure I read it, and the fact that I made no special note of it at the time tells me that it did not relate to my chronosomatic research. Besides, humanity's true corporal center is not the navel, but rather the halfway point of our respective heights where our two legs transcend into a single torso and where male and female transcend into sexual unity.

1999.05.20
reenactment notes
3. The whole notion of cloning and recombinant gene-splicing vis-à-vis reenactment architecture--the new paradigm for the next millennium? I was also thinking that reenactment architectures are primarily metabolic, yet, like the Renaissance, reenactment is sometimes closely associated with assimilation. Moreover, the pyramids, in that they represent mountains, are reenactment architecture, but here it is extreme architecture as well. So reenactment architecture premeates all the various modes of the imagination, however, the operational type of reenactment architecture now/today is metabolic.


1999.05.26 08:45
Re: interview 2.2a
Each book I have read on the human imagination so far is very unsatisfactory, especially because they all seem to be written without much imagination. What The Timepiece of Humanity suggests is that the human imagination (mind) works the same way the body does, i.e., the mind operates using the same principles as human physiology. No one else has yet to propose this thesis/theory, so that makes it unique and worth considering. There is no need to be extreme about it just yet.


1999.12.09 11:06
quick response, good trip     4710
I know of the Metabolists, but not their writing/ideas per say. More recently I've read what Isozaki says in retrospect regarding the Metabolist movement, and there he actually raises the issue of destruction not having been part of the original Metabolist credo, although, as he now sees it, destruction should have been a part of it. What I most like about metabolism as a process is that there has to be both creation and destruction in order for the process to work (otherwise none of us could even literally live). Moreover, I see humanity today demonstrating a high (and rising) degree of metabolic imagination.


1999.12.17
reenactionary architectures     5000
...a book entitled Reenactionary Architectures. ...a collection of essays, the first and foremost being "Inside the Density of G.B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii." The rest of the essays, however, are no less important, and they include "Stirling's Muses" (all three parts); promenade architecturale, (all three parts), about schizophrenia + architectures (an essay about why and how the exhibit came together); reenactment and tourism; the Hindu temple and embryonic development; innuendo (is there something I can say regarding reenactment and innuendo?); non-reenactment a.k.a. "otherness" (a short essay of how the virtual realm of the internet should not be a reenactment of the real world, but something new and other); dies sanguinis and "the Arbors of Arbor Street."
I now also see the opportunity to include an essay on "chronosomatics and the imagination as reenactment," and the text will reflect many of my ideas regaring BIA/Zeitgeist. Additionally, there will be an essay entitled "reenactment and the virtual," which will explore the non-reenactment a.k.a. otherness mentioned above, along with how reenactments perhaps always embody virtualness in that reenactments are never the real thing.
...a book entitled Reenactionary Architectures. ...a collection of essays, the first and foremost being "Inside the Density of G.B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii." The rest of the essays, however, are no less important, and they include "Stirling's Muses" (all three parts); promenade architecturale, (all three parts), about schizophrenia + architectures (an essay about why and how the exhibit came together); reenactment and tourism; the Hindu temple and embryonic development; innuendo (is there something I can say regarding reenactment and innuendo?); non-reenactment a.k.a. "otherness" (a short essay of how the virtual realm of the internet should not be a reenactment of the real world, but something new and other); dies sanguinis and "the Arbors of Arbor Street."
I now also see the opportunity to include an essay on "chronosomatics and the imagination as reenactment," and the text will reflect many of my ideas regaring BIA/Zeitgeist. Additionally, there will be an essay entitled "reenactment and the virtual," which will explore the non-reenactment a.k.a. otherness mentioned above, along with how reenactments perhaps always embody virtualness in that reenactments are never the real thing.

2000
dossier reenactment     5000


2000.01.03
zeitgeist and architectures
[This] theme accomodates REMOVE, reenactment architectures, tsPOWa, 19120/19111, and even eBay pics and copyright free texts. In general terms, zeitgeist + architectures incorporates archtiectures of the past, present and future, and all the ideas regarding the body, the imagination and architetures come into play.


2000.02.03 11:43
an answer to "Now what?"
Hugh Pearman states and asks:
Such being the case, we can conclude that Decon has run out of steam as a manifesto-led movement, and we must look to its successor. Ideas, anyone?
Steve Lauf replies:
Is Decon the only thing to have run out of steam? Has the now pervasive and generally accepted way of looking at and being critical of architecture also run out of steam? For example, does moving from seeing Decon as reactionary to now (maybe) seeing the New Austerity as the latest reaction really convey a sense of meaning beyond the oscillations of fashion and trend? Has each new "critical" building become nothing more than the latest "creation" of the now global fashion show? Likewise, has the element of shock become ingrained within the (elite) architectural profession, the same way shock has become "stock-in-trade" in a good deal of high fashion? [I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the architecture that receives attention and the industry surrounding it being akin to the fashion industry, but I do think there is something wrong about not recognizing the phenomenon as such.]
Here's how I now look critically at architecture (and urban design) both currently and historically:
What architecture is extreme?
What architecture is fertile?
What architecture is pregnant?
What architecture is assimilating?
What architecture is metabolic?
What architecture is osmotic?
What architecture is electromagnetic?
What architecture manifests the highest frequencies?
What I've found so far is that some architectures fall straight into some of the categories above while some architectures are categorical hybrids. Here are some examples:
the Pyramids, Stonehenge, St. Peter's (Vatican), Bilbao(?) -- extreme, extreme architectures.
the Pantheon, Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, entry sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Kimbell Art Gallery -- examples of the best osmotic architecture there is.
Classical Greek and Roman Architecture -- pure architecture of fertility.
the Hindu Temple -- the ultimate transcendence from an architecture of fertility to an architecture of pregnancy, whereas the Gothic Cathedral is an architecture of pregnancy, albeit virginal.
all of 20th century Berlin -- the metabolic (create and destroy and create and destroy and ...)
to understand architecture of assimilation, look at the Renaissance, but also look to early 20th century Purism to understand assimilation in the extreme, i.e., purge.
today's architectures are by and large assimilating and/or metabolic (contextual and/or 'deconstructivist'?).
you're very lucky if you ever see pure examples of electromagnetic or frequency architectures today because they are almost entirely architectures of the far off future.
There are many more examples to offer, but that's all for now.
In general, I see all architectures as reenactionary (as opposed to reactionary).
Architecture reenacts human imagination, and human imagination reenacts the way the human body is and operates. The human body and the design thereof is THE enactment. The human imagination then reenacts corporal morphology and physiology, and architecture then reenacts our reenacting imaginations.

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