dossier

metabolism metabolic

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1997.07.30
BIA outline


1997.07.30
Piranesi’s imagination
…examples from Piranesi’s work that demonstrate assimilation or metabolism or both. For example, the life and death analysis is related to the creation/destruction of metabolism. Moreover, the notion of purge relates to assimilation in the extreme. And the notion of contiguous elements as ruins/generative elements is exactly the metabolic process. …the Il Campo Marzio… …represents pure assimilation, i.e., the absorption of all the (historical) data pertaining to the Campo Marzio. …the evolution of Piranesi’s plan formations in the Ichnographia signify an ongoing assimilating/metabolic process.


1997.07.31
Quondam
The Maison Dom-ino legacy: an example of purge and metabolism…


1997.08.09
thoughts
new urban landscapes with deformed models from Quondam’s collection. …further relate to the deformation of the C.C. Phila. model. …a manifestation of the metabolic imagination.


1997.08.22
Campo Marzio
…the notin that Piranesi was perhaps giving the Campo Marzio a “face-lift,” a second chance where the “faults” have been eliminated and the dormant potential fulfilled. This is very much the metabolic process, especially when you remember Piranesi was working on ruins.


1997.12.21
notes
Michelangelo as proto-metabolist.
…the metabolization of history: K. F. Schinkel…
…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…
…the metabolic process within Stirling’s museum designs…
…regarding Giurgola as a metabolic architect[?]


1998.01.04
notation of existing Campo Marzio texts - Tafuri 1
Tafuri gives Piranesi’s Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio a number of descriptions:
a. an ambitious evocation (def.: 2 : the act or an instance of artistic imaginative re-creation or portrayal (as of a mood, time, place ,or personality) especially in such a manner as to produce a compelling empression of reality or authenticity) -- the graphic monument of that tentative opening of late baroque culture to revolutionary ideas.
(b. Roman anitquity is a recollection embued with nostalgic ideologies and revolutionary expectations.)
(c. Roman antiquity is also a myth to be contested.)
d. the Campo Marzio’s classical derivations are mere fragment.
e. the Campo Marzio’s classical derivations are deformed symbols.
f. the Campo Marzio’s classical derivations are organisms of an order in a state of decay.
g. the order in the details creates a monstrous pullulation of symbols devoid of significance.
h. “forest”
i. an epic representation of the battle of architecture waged against itself.
j. [a] paradoxical rejection of historical, archeological reality [that]makes the civic potential of the total image very doubtful.
k. a sort of gigantic useless machine.
l. it is an experimental design and the city, therefore, remains an unknown.
m. a colossal piece of bricolage.
n. conveys nothing but a self evident truth: irrational and rational are no longer to be mutually exclusive.
o. [the Campo Marzio demonstrates] the struggle between architecture and the city, between the demand for order and the will to formlessness.
The majority of Tafuri’s descriptions (definitions?) of the Campo Marzio here point towards the metabolic process. I did not expect to see this overriding theme…

1998.01.08
Stirling Muses
…Stirling’s modern transformation - metabolic? - process, and introduce the transformed Altes Museum model.


1998.03.20
Campo Marzio bibliography & my own reenactment process
Not surprisingly, I already see the proposed annotated bibliography as producing a narrative text about itself and especially about the record of my own research process -- actually a record of how the research process and my ultimate Campo Marzio narrative grew, changed, and developed along the way. What will be of overall interest is that nearly all the texts contributed major pieces of the puzzle, that while it could be looked at as a grand collage, the final picture is nonetheless a strongly cohesive unit of data that points ostenibly to the fact that Piranesi knew virtually all there is to know about the ancient Roman Campo Marzio, and, moreover, the Ichnographia is the metabolic catharsis of Piranesi’s almost unfathomable assimilation of knowledge attained throughout the decade or so immediately prior to the drawing of the Ichnographia and the ultimate publication of Il Campo Marzio. Last night I thought of how Piranesi’s first mode of operation was assimilation of the data--this lead to years of more and more intense osmosis with the material as well--and finally the abundant assimilation and osmosis sparked a whole new metabolic catharsis which manifested itself as Il Campo Marzio.
In seeing the bibliography as a whole, I also began to see how I too was/am assimilating vast amounts of knowledge and history, and, furthermore, since I think about or actually work on some aspect of the Campo Marzio practically everyday, I too am now experiencing the effects of continual osmosis. Hence, I am myself now on the verge of a metabolic catharsis.


1998.05.14
What will get Quondam noticed?
I want Quondam to start exhibiting a real edge. Since I have total control (and no one can stop me), it seems to be time to start putting together a museum like nothing that has ever been done before. I have all the skills now, and I have the data; I guess its time for me to just let loose.
I’m not sure what representing the future actually means, yet I do know that I could figure something out if I actually gave it a fair amount of thought. I guess I mean representing an architecture and an architectural attitude for the future, for the next millennium. This (off hand) seems to imply the Timepiece and BIA. Somehow I have to come up with the same kind of program where a provocative message comes through.
I feel this “message” has to have something to do with design, and I think it has to do with metabolic architecture. The thing is though that I really don’t have a full blown idea of a future design philosophy.


1998.06.18
Encyclopedia Ichnographica list(first draft)
1. redrawing
2. contiguous elements
3. Ichnographia
4. Campus Martius
5. archeology
6. Susan Dixon
7. Piranesi’s imagination
8. metabolism
9. …

1998.10.03
new exhibit idea for Quondam
…some kind of special 1999 theme, i.e., the last year of the 20th century and the last year of the second millennium. …the perfect opportunity to present “metabolic” buildings--these buildings would be manipulating the data I already have. They would be presented as the last of the century and the millennium.
I also have a possible theme of gross assimilation and seminal metabolism as the themes for the exhibit to center on.


1998.10.16
gallery 1999
metabolic buildings: maison domino collage and savoye/weber collage (and whatever I can do thats easy, although it all should illustrate the metabolic process)… …an excellent opportunity to develop and present an entire theory regarding the metabolic.


1998.10.30
dies sanguinis
…just now “concluding” that dies sanguinis II [20 March 1980] essentially opens up the whole issue of The Brothers Metabolic - Schizophrenia and Architectures


1998.11.12
gallery 1999 - The Brothers Metabolic - Schizophrenia and Architectures
Remember, the destruction and creation of metabolism (essence of life) is the primary theme, and that gives tremendous leeway.


1998.11:15 21:03
Re: phase 1: design-l query
…new architectural concepts derived from my writing of The Timepiece of Humanity, starting with the word chronosomatics: the interrelationship of time and the human body. From there I will propose the largely unprecedented concepts of:
extremity architecture (the Pyramids, Stonehenge, anything pre 550 BC)
architecture of fertility (the Romans and the Subcontinentals more or less leads 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)


1998.12.05 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 (The Timepiece of Humanity - the calendar incarnate), 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. . . . .

1998.12.07
ideas
Berlin as metabolic city par excellence - this distinction fits on several levels: there is definitely the destroy/create operation; there is the distinct duality (east/west, constructive/destructive). There is also the reinforcement of Germany itself being the formost metabolic country of the 20th century (along with Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and now Yugoslavia and even Iraq to an extent, and perhaps even Israel. This is suddenly becoming a very extended, and overly connected idea.)


1998.12.17 14:45
Re: city making and city breaking
It has not escaped my attention that Operation Desert Fox has spurred some discussion here within the design-list that very much resembles the notion of humanity presently working metabolically, i.e., equal doses of creation and destruction. With regard to what I last said here concerning the possible notion of an assimilating architecture, my further elaboration of their presently also being an imaginative operation of a metabolic nature now seems very timely. I thus wish to interject one example of metabolic architecture/urbanism.
Berlin: foremost metabolic city of the 20th century
No doubt the city of Berlin, Germany has undergone unequaled metamorphosis throughout the course of the 20th century.
Berlin reached one of this planet's highest levels of urban density within the first quarter of this century.
In the 1930s, Berlin became capital of the National Socialists Third Reich, an unprecedented create/destroy political machine, extreme even in its assimilation, the Holocaust purge.
1945, the Battle of Berlin leaves the city all but totally destroyed.
During the Cold War, Berlin increasingly becomes a very real duality, a duality much like metabolism itself.
1989, the Berlin Wall opens, falls, and within a few years the city is again united.
Y2K, Berlin begins the 21st century as a completely new German capital.
The pattern of creation and destruction completely pervades the last 100 years of Berlin's history, but then again it is also the capital of one of the 20th century's foremost metabolic nations.
Berlin and Germany are not alone in their metabolism, however. One only has to look at Japan and its two A-bomb cities, the two Koreas, the once two Vietnams, and there is always Israel and Old Jerusalem.
No one has yet suggested the likelihood of two Iraq's and/or two Baghdads, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that place somehow became very metabolic as well.


1998.12.17 18:45
Re: city making and city breaking
M. 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.

1998.12.20 13:15
Re: city making and city breaking
In response to my statement "During the Cold War, Berlin increasingly becomes a very real duality, a duality much like metabolism itself," M. wrote:
"I'm not sure about that, as the two were almost completely isolated from each other. What little flowed through the membrane of the Berlin Wall was information, not the goods and people and social intercourse that defines real city metabolism. However, that information, finding a recipient at just the right time, was able to start an epedemic of revolution."
My point was simply that there were indeed too Berlins, and yes they were two pretty much completely distinct Berlins, which makes the dual urban phenomenon all the more confounding. It is also interesting to note that the process of "flow through the membrane" (of the Berlin Wall) actually discribes the physiological operation of osmosis instead of metabolism, (I have lots to say about osmotic architecture as well as assimilating and metabolic architecture--and, coincidentally, the sequence of entry into Schinkel's Altes Museum in Berlin is a classic example of osmotic architecture).
M. also points out that although the Berlin's political division is now gone, the social and economic divide is still present. From what I can also gather, this is very true, however, I think this situation only further confirms Berlin's position as the foremost metabolic city of the 20th century rather than diminish it.


1999.01.10 19:45
Re: (Quondam's agenda) thanks to B
…being part of what's turning out to be a true metabolic dialogue--your anabolism (constructive metabolism) and my catabolism (destructive metabolism) most times make a very good match.


1999.01.13 19:50
introduction, etc.
I now think of Rotterdam and the Netherlands as also being very metabolic places.


1999.01.16
Life and Death (Eros & Thanatos) in the Ichnographia
After searching my Timepiece notes for something on metabolism, I (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. The whole notion is great for my idea of a metabolic imagination and it didn’t take me long to make the connection to 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 undisputedly metabolic.
Of course, this story reinforces the metabolic imagination theory as well, and suddenly I have a connetion to the TPH, the BIA, and to the actual history of Berlin (and here Speer’s plan is incredibly poignant!).
I will develop this whole analysis (story) in gallery 1999, starting with a link from the Freud quotation. I will include everything--life, death, sex, Rossi, Nero/St. Peter’s, the Triumphal Way back and forth, City of God (new life), inside-outside, Tafuri wrong, cardo & decumanus, inversion, (schizophrenia

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