Re: E-M~A ARCHITECTURE / OSMOTIC ARCHITECTURE
my method is to understand our bodies in order understand how our imaginations work, subsequently, once the working of our imaginations is understood, then we can begin to decipher how our imaginations generate architectures.
I believe what humanity doesn't see now, it will see once humanity gets beyond assimilate and metabolism (profane) and into osmosis and electromagnetism (sacred).
Note how both of the body's osmotic organ come in pairs. Did osmosis create that 'balance'? Did osmosis throughout the body create all corporal symmetries?
Re: E-M~A ARCHITECTURE / OSMOTIC ARCHITECTURE
My theory is that human imagination operates in the same fashion that the human body operates. The study of corporal operations is called physiologies, and human physiologies comprise fertility, embryonic development, assimilation, metabolism, osmosis, electromagnetism to name the most predominant and those concentrated within specific corporal organs/locations. I theorize that human imagination comprises the same physiologies.
Re: E-M~A ARCHITECTURE / OSMOTIC ARCHITECTURE
Again, where is the logic that our brain operates differently then the rest of the body? for example, if the liver can metabolize, and the skin can metabolize, and the intestines can assimilate, and the kidney and the lungs can osmosify, and indeed every cell can osmosify, then why is it such a leap to imagine that the brain can metabolize, assimilate, osomsify (etc.) as well?
Otherwise Eyes - continued work
...add “extreme” to the list of directories. The first topic there will be megaliths and an investigation of the imaginations that megalith builders may have had, ie, an extreme imagination. Modern man, as Heidegger notes, has “forgotten” how the extreme imagination operates. There is likewise the notions of extreme in today’s popular culture: Gehry; extreme sports; the space station.
Koolhaas' Seattle Library
American cities are extremely assimilating (absorbing) and at the same time extremely metabolic (equally creative and destructive).
Hebron (almost 1700 years ago)
Hebron is biblically famous for two sites, the place where an Angel of God first appeared and spoke with Abraham, and the place where Abraham and his family are buried. Both places where then called Marne.
At a later time (c. 324) when Helena Augusta (St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great) was building (the first) Christian churches at the sites of the Nativity (where Christ was born) and of the Ascention (where Christ rose into Heaven), Eutropia, Constantine's mother-in-law was restoring the sites at Hebron (which apparently were in complete disregard at that time). These obscure facts are recorded by Eusebius in his Life of Constantine.
The role of Eutropia as a Christian is quite remarkable because her husband, the (co-)emperor Maximian (ruler in the western Empire while Diocletian ruled the eastern empire) was perhaps the most notorius persecuter of Christians in the decades just prior to the rule of Constantine. Moreover, it is strange to consider that Helena and Eutropia may have been acting as a team. Eutopia was not only (second) mother-in-law to Constantine, but also the (second) mother-in-law of Constantine's father, Constantius, who after divorcing Helena married (Eutropia's daughter) Theodora. And finally, Eutropia's Christian mission would seem altogether most unlikely because her husband Maximian and her son, the usurptive emperor Maxentius, both died trying to resist Constantine.
I mention all this because I find it fascinating that after the leading men of the early fourth century Roman empire where busy fighting and killing each other, the leading women of the early fourth century Roman empire were busy building churches and restoring holy sites. Very metabolic.
Re: geometry notes
Could it be that human perception of space may be non-Euclidean, but that human imagination has evolved (so far) in a very Euclidean manner?
evolution in architecture
Do not the effects of war perhaps have an even greater effect upon the extinction of architectural styles? For example, has not the US government's wars of 100 years ago upon the Native Americans rendered "native" American
architecture extinct? Additionally, did not European colonialism come very close to bringing many "native" architectures of the world to near extinction? One might even make a case that Western Europe and Japan would not be as architecturally modern as they now are were it not for the overall urban destruction of WWII.
There is also the reality that the ballooning world population has an enormous effect on how humanity reconfigures the planet. And today, doesn't the "creative destruction" of capitalism, ie, the underlying process of planned obsolescence permeating ALL consumer good, including architecture, make for "styles" that are literally "here today and gone tomorrow?" [Is "corporeal" capitalism then THE "fittest" "style" because not only does it make money for humanity, but it also makes sure humanity spends the money it makes?]
Perhaps when it come to human activities like architecture and the subsequent creation and destruction of syles, it is not so much an evolutionary "survival of the fittest", rather simply an imaginative and concrete manifestation of the (human physiological) metabolic process.
Migth it just be true that the "whiter" humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions?
brown (lauf 2)
You ask: "What has 'metabolic process' have to do with it?" The metabolic process within humanity, and, more or less in all (animal?) life, is a creative-destructive duality wherein the corporal destruction of matter releases energy thus providing creative impetus. I theorize that the metabolic process is (just) one of the human physiologies reflected in human imagination, and, subsequently, the metabolic process becomes reflected in human activities and events. [note: the other corporal physiologies like fertility, assimilation, osmosis, etc. also play key roles within human imagination, but the theory of chronosomatics suggests the metabolic process as being one particularly dominant in our times.]
The issue of morals and morality inevitably arise within the "metabolic process" because it engenders creation and destruction in equal measures. I feel I should read your responses that include the issue of morals more closely before I offer a more complete reply. I can state now, however, that I treat morals vis-a-vis the metabolic as a secondary second system of analysis because creation and destruction are eqeal and interdependent within metabolic activities and events. [note: I believe Hugh Pearman's latest post "war and architecture" describes perfectly a metabolic process we can all relate to. It's all about destruction, the release of energy, and then creation equal to the destruction.]
"Corporeal" Capitalism may name the metabolic process as expressed by capitalism on a global scale, moreover, a global capitalism that began in the late 1400s.
To repeat a previous question: who designed the Baroque? OR How did the Baroque arise (emerge)? Any takers?
I think Michelangelo's architecture (which was more or less a product of his late life) manifested tremendous 'new' inspiration for 16th -17th century architecture. The details of the Porta Pia and the wholly integrated articulation of the Sforza Chapel offer architectures completely unprecedented until that time, which in turn inspired new architectures. Likewise, the 'undulating' wall of St. Peter's no doubt became the new paradigm, especially considering that St. Peter's then (as now?) represented the ultimate place of worship. In simple terms, it is best to learn from the best.
To this day, I am intrigued by Michelangelo's fortification designs for Florence (some executed and otherwise recorded as plan drawings). They exhibit many proto-Baroque flourishes, and it is interesting to note the military connection.
"This places Michelangelo's fortification projects among the incunabula of modern military architecture, just at the most fluid and inventive moment in its history, at a time when experience had established no proven formula of design. Unlike the situation in other arts, the lessons of antiquity and of preceding generations were of little account; this is one of those rare events in the history of architecture when technological advances altered the basic precepts of design."
James Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo (Penguin, 1970), p. 127.
I see architecture as the product of human imagination(s), and that is why I spend my time trying to figure out where human imagination comes from.
dance of shiva
Shiva is creative when he is happy and destructive when he is dancing? Am I interpreting correctly?
You first mentioned that the dance of Shiva is not a synthesis, and this makes me here reiterate that I am displaying metabolism as a creative-destructive duality. I use the notion of synthesis only in reference to Hegel, and not broadly in reference to metabolism. I'm interested in recognizing the dual nature of the metabolic process, and not necessarily looking to define the product or outcome of the process.
Is it be OK for me to state that the manifestations of Shiva reenact the metabolic process?
aesthetics and imagination
"It is common place to say that the eighteenth-century marks a turning point in the history of aesthetics. M. H. Abrams (1953) has shown how this was the period when the predominant metaphor of the mind as a mirror reflecting external reality began to give way to that of the mind as a lamp which radiates its own inner light onto the object it perceives. The artist is no longer seen as a craftsman-like imitator of nature, but as an inspired genius who brings new worlds into being, spontaneously generating original creations out of the depth of his own mind."
from the editor's introduction to Cocking's Imagination, p. vii.
As we begin the 21st century, is the "predominant metaphor of the [artistic] mind" still a "lamp which radiates its own inner light onto the object it perceives?"
irony and feeling
To answer your question, I'm trying to come to grips with the notion of why European colonials didn't simply accept the architectures that were indigenous to the lands that they (the Europeans) colonized. I see this as a negative action because I think a case can be made that many of this planets indigenous architectures are now virtually extinct because of Western colonialism/imperialism. During the first half of the 20th century, while large parts of the world were still colonies of Europe, Western modern architecture or the International Style (again a term used more for convenience) continued the global domination of Western style and furthered the extinction of indigenous architectures.
As much as I like Classical Greek and Roman architecture and Modern architecture, I nonetheless see it as a tremendous loss to architecture in general that these styles are now so global at what seems to be the expense of so many other architectures. This is why I am less and less tolerant of architectural criticism/theory that goes to far as to say "this architecture here is good" but "that architecture over there is bad."
In a recent post, you mentioned that commercialism may be readily acceptable to the post W.W.II generations, but I have to wonder whether the end of colonialism and the US civil rights movement are a better benchmark for the acceptability of diversity in all its guises.
When I first thought up the quote, "The whiter humanity thinks, the more it manifests extinctions," I was thinking of architecture.
irony and feeling
And I think you assume too much that I'm being "post-modern". I was speaking about architecture [and] using other terms for convenience. Everything you said was about broader cultural issues, but you said nothing about the architectural issues I raised. You changed the subject.
I am not seeking apologies or ways to change the past. I just don't want to see present or future architecture's succumb to further "Western" theoretical dominance, especially against diversity.
You bring up assimilation, but you don't mention that the assimilation of colonialism was a forced assimilation. In architectural terms, the 'purism' of early modernism was/is a form of assimilation in the extreme, namely purge. Global assimilation is one of today's dominant cultural aspects, but extreme assimilation like that of the last century is not a lasting aspect of humanity.
Part of my thinking is also given as a kind of preparatory warning. With genetic engineering becoming more and more a common science, humanity will find itself in the next century or so having to think real hard about diversity and individuality. Some forethought in this area is certainly not going to hurt. Imagine what might happen if the genetic engineers of tomorrow were trained to design like today's architects.
Another way of viewing the issue of planning/design via control is to see it as a metabolic activity, meaning, rather than just control being employed, what is really going on is that something is being destroyed in the guise of something being created.
This metabolic 'imagination' (in Western history) appears much earlier than the Renaissance, however. A careful study of the Roman Empire during the 4th century AD reveals a very systematic 'destruction' of Paganism in the guise of 'creating' Christianity. Is it just coincidence that the feast of St. Helena on 18 August is also the date of the Rape of the Sabine Women? Or that the dual feast of St. Constantine and St. Helena (son and mother) on 21 May is also the date of the second Agonalia, one of two feasts in honor of
the 'two-faced' god Janus? Or that the first feast of the Agonalia on 9 January is in the Christian calendar likewise the feast of dual martyrs, the 'perpetually chaste' husband and wife Sts. Julian and Basilissa, who although today are doubted to have actually existed nonetheless bear some resemblance to Constantine and Helena and even more so to Christ and Mary? Or that Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, one of Rome's top seven churches and the continuation of the chapel that St. Helena built in her Roman home (the Sessorian Palace) which contains ground/dirt from Calvary which Helena brought back from the Holy Land, was dedicated on 20 March which was Pagan Rome's day of blood?
[It still seems necessary to point out that as of 28 October 312 Christianity was imperially sanctioned within the western half of the Roman Empire. That as of 324, when Constantine became sole ruler of the whole Empire, that then too Christianity was imperially sanctioned throughout the whole Empire. And that in 380, under the rule of the emperor Theodosius, Christianity then became the Roman Empire's official and sole religion, hence at the same time officially ending all Paganism throughout the empire.]
Interestingly, the first 'barbarian' invasion of the city of Rome circa 400 caused the subsequent resurgence of Paganism in Rome since the promised wonders of Christianity did not transpire in Rome, rather their seeming exact opposite. [Also interestingly, those first barbarian attackers were actually Christians!] This new rise of Paganism is what prompted St. Augustine to write The City of God Against the Pagans [yes, this is the same book more commonly known as simply The City of God, although its full title is much more to the point]. So, getting back to modern planning and 'control', perhaps it's all just a reenactment of what a bishop from North Africa published almost 1600 years ago.