dossier

metabolism metabolic

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1999.01.17
BIA
…become more and more metabolic in the presentations at gallery 1999, and therefore it might be possible to present the other operations in a way that actually reflects the operation.


1999.01.17
gallery 1999 - ideas - metabolic buildings
…totally metabolic-spontaneous buildings (designs)…
…collaging completed buildings, …make use of the incomplete buildings as well.
…using elevations to create the site plans.


1999.01.19
infringement complex
…the composing of new metabolic buildings by way of collaging existing models.


1999.01.20
wandering mind - gallery 1999
…very safe in having the metabolic theme because it is going to sustain all forms of creativity.


1999.01.21
what next? - gallery 1999
Metabolism, by far, is definitely the main theme, and it is here that the Timepiece, the BIA, and the life and death axes of the Campo Marzio will provide the bulk of metabolic material.


1999.02.06 18:44
Re: notes from a reading of the Timepiece of Humanity
Freud is especially metabolic in his Civilization and its Discontents.


1999.02.16 12:26
Re: Revolution
Could it the metabolic process may possibly be the next predominant paradigm for humanity?


1999.02.17 11:03
Re: irrational architecture
The method that I prefer to use to set myself (and my ideas) apart is to simply utilize my multiple/varied imaginations, at present mostly metabolic, but underlyingly pre-natal.


1999.02.23 23:44
Re: irrational architecture
B., like other 20th century "architectural scholars", comes very close to the point (of origin) 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.
From: 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).

1999.02.24 13:02
Re: irrational architecture
Overriding balance and equilibrium comes after the metabolic (in chronosomatic terms, circa 3090 CE when the lungs with their dominant operation of osmosis are the predominant organ within the plane of the present). As to 20th century architectural design, I think a fair case can be made as to the notion of construction and destruction innately working together, e.g., Pruitt Igoe, modern urbanism's tabula rasa approach, the fall and then rise again of stylistic eclecticism, designed obsolescence, etc.
Human sacrifice is metabolism at its destructive extreme, where as human existence between the stages of sperm and egg, conception and ultimately birth is metabolism at its creative extreme. This may not seem to indicate a direct relation to design/architecture, but it certainly defines both of metabolism's limits. Of course, all the other creative-destructive processes are relatively less intense.
The wonder of the metabolic process is that the combination of construction and destruction is the prime ingredient of life itself. One half does not and cannot eliminate the other. In other words, metabolism is a form of duality at its best.


1999.03.06 09:00
epic architectural past
General apathy, it seems then, is a much more favorable alternative when compared to death and war, however, in metabolic terms, perhaps the late 1970s and early 1980s were far more creative (on a local and global scale) than we today give that (slice of) time credit for.


1999.03.10
Jencks/ labelling
In his synopsis of Jenck's recent lecture, Stephen Marshall included the phrases: "life cycles of cities," "cells must die periodically so that other cells--and the organism as a whole--might live," "cities undergo phase changes."
The word that best describes these notions is metabolic -- metabolism is a duality whereby anabolism is creative metabolism and catabolism is destructive metabolism. The "design of" many cities today exhibit metabolic "operations" when both creative and destructive manifestations occur. Metabolism is perhaps the primordial duality, and, like all dualities, is difficult to resolve precisely because of its inherent opposing forces.
The metabolic "operating system" is very prevalent today, and has been growing in prevalence over the last few centuries. For example, it is easy to recognize Berlin as the foremost metabolic city of the 20th century. Before our time, Piranesi, in his Ichnographia Campus Martius, offers a poignant example of "life and death" in the city, and before Piranesi, perhaps Michelangelo's architecture (and some aspects of Mannerism in general) offers an example of metabolic design, albeit slightly a head of its time.


1999.03.10
classical/modern
Hugh Pearman in two recent posts wrote:
"Architectural operating systems (as opposed to surface styling) are predominantly Gothic or Classical."
"what I called the 'architectural operating system' as a deliberate computer analogy -- might clarify rather than confuse, for me if nobody else."
I suggest a wholly other batch of "architectural operating systems" that derive from the morphology and physiology of our own bodies, the machines that we are instead of the machines that computers are.
Some architectures are extreme. Some architectures are fertile.
Some architectures are pregnant.
Some architectures are assimilating.
Some architectures are metabolic.
Some architectures are osmotic.
Some architectures are electro-magnetic.
Some architectures are total frequency.
Figuring out what buildings/architects fit in which category(s) may well be the ultimate architectural parlor game. (hint: Classical is high fertility and Gothic is early pregnancy)
Hugh also made reference to the notion of architects having "to have his or her 'personal myth' to believe in and guide them." For what its worth, I have "discovered" my own myth, and its called The Timepiece of Humanity or the theory of chronosomatics.

1999.03.11
Jencks/ labelling
I meant what I said in exactly the way I said it, and the key points are that the word metabolic stands for a creative-destructive duality, and thus the word metabolic is a valid term to use when describing (design) situations that exhibit constructive-destructive attributes. (I did not say that all cities are outright metabolic.) Furthermore, I can well see how the notion of destruction should seem anethama relative to "design," nonetheless, destruction is a major factor of much of today's built environment. If the notion of "metabolic operation" has an affinity with the broader notions of deconstruction, so be it. That's not where I was coming from, however, because I arrived at the metabolic through an analysis of our corporal physiology, which in turn I believe relates directly to the operations of (our) human imaginations. My research involves fairly basic biological science, and if there is any "danger" in my thinking, it is in the notion that the human mind (imagination) works in exactly the same way that the human body (physiology) works. (Maybe, just maybe, the age old separation of mind and body is the greater falsehood.)
I did read Jenck's book (something like two years ago, so there may be a revised edition I haven't read), and he never uses the word metabolic, however I remember passages where he notes the interplay of creative and destructive forces at work within some of the design phenomena (and/or sciences?) he was describing.


1999.03.11
Jencks/ labelling
…my point about Berlin involves its entire history over the last 100 years, where it would be hard to argue againt a pervasive (and mostly unique) creative-destructive pattern that even includes a spliting in two! The best way to describe Berlin over the last 100 years is to call it metabolic. Just because one city manifests a metabolic pattern, doesn't mean all cities have to exhibit the same pattern, however, over the next 100 years there may indeed be many more cities that are metabolic--Beirut and Kosovo, and maybe even Kobe, to name a few, already seem to have a head start.
I feel my "argument" is sound, especially if you read all my content. And, for the record, I say that Berlin of the 20th century PRESENTS a (or is it the?) prime example of metabolic, that is, creative-destructive urbanism.


1999.03.17
the metabolic in gallery 1999
I’m beginning to wonder if the notion of creation and destruction sustain themselves throughout schizophrenia + architectures.
Does anyone understand the connection? Do architects in particualr understand how I am using architecture? Perhaps the notion of the metabolic, of schizophrenia + architectures is something both radical and threatening, and therefore most would rather ignore the subject rather than explore it.
Maybe the best way to define my role in architecture is as an explorer, someone who through architecture pushes the cultural envelope. The whole notion of creation and destruction is a very difficult duality to reconcile, and perhaps that is what is most difficult about finding some sort of logic within schizophrenia + architectures.

1999.03.25
newly theorizing a schizophrenic agenda for architecture
Perhaps one way of doing it is to plainly and blatantly express notions squarely contrary to the present status quo. …it perfectly reflects a schizophrenic (metabolic) frame of mind.


1999.03.26 06:12
war design
It appears we are beginning to continually live in metabolic times.


1999.03.30
war design (shameful architecture)
You are right to find an association between concentration camps and extreme purge, but there are still issues that need qualifying. The (extreme) concentration death camps of the Nazis were no doubt foremost examples of 'extreme purge' architecture, However, it is assimilation and not metabolism that manifests purge in the extreme (corporally and metaphorically).
To answer the question directly, concentration camps fall mostly under the category of extreme assimilation architecture. Additionally, whether they are actively existent or not, concentration camps are always real, and rarely, if ever, virtual.
Chronosomatically, our present time within the whole story of humanity is in the midst of that part (of the human body) where a combination of assimilation, purge, metabolism, and (thankfully) pregnancy (embryonic development) are the main operative systems.


1999.05.02
the architectural timepiece - chronosomatics
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 relative 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.


1999.05.21
reenactment notes
The whole notion of cloning and recombinant gene-splicing is exactly why reenactment architecture is 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 the metabolic reenactment.

1999.05.21
getting schizophrenia + architectures done completely
…I do want the exhibit to manifest schizophrenia, architectures, and the metabolic.


1999.05.26
interview 2.1a
My initial note writing on the Ichnographia began in late 1995, at the tail-end of my intensive one year of Timepiece of Humanity note writing. Early on I saw Piranesi as both an assimilating designer and as a metabolic designer. My continued research/discoveries have already well established the metabolic in Piranesi's designs. Piranesi is a foremost metabolic architect, but Michelangelo is not only an earlier metabolic architect, he may well the the best ever. Schinkel, Le Corbusier, and Stirling also produced good metabolic buildings/designs.


1999.05.27
interview 2.1ab
Metabolic architecture employs/reflects a dual creative-destructive process.
A metabolic architect is one who simultaneously creates and destroys while he or she designs.
Only some of my work is (clearly) metabolic.


1999.05.31
back to uncertainty and apathy
…oddball arris/cad drawings, renderings, building collages to accompany the ‘theorizing the metabolic’ text. In fact, the images will represent the metabolic as much as the text does. In a related manner, maison millemnnium should take on metabolic characteristics as well--begin distorting the individual buildings as well as adding new collaged elements. It might be interesting to ultimately combine a very much distorted maison millennium with Lauf Haus der Kunst.


1999.06.08
Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
As to the Campo Marzio and the metabolic, see Eros et Thanatos Ichnographia Campi Martii.


1999.06.09
ideas
…reenactment architectures, metabolic urbanism, aqueous architecture, women architects.


1999.06.14
compromise
….you definitely have a point about their being a metabolic twist to what Tafuri and I learn from the Piranesi’s Ichnographia Campus Martius respectively;

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