1966 The Art of Memory
1998 "The Hospitality of Presence: Problems of Otherness in Husserl's Phenomenology"
2001.12.04 "a mimetic "condensation" of another place and time"

The whole interpretation of the Ichnographia via The Art of Memory as exercised by the ancients. The Ichnographia as placement of memory and memory as progenitor of reenactment.

2001.12.04 11:36
Piranesi Prison dates, etc.
I don't like having to do this (because it implies that some editor is not really doing their job), but it must be pointed out that Joseph Rykwert made (at least) one factual mistake within The Seduction of Place (2000). On page 150, Rykwert states:
"The attempt to provide a mimetic "condensation" of another place and time is not new. Centuries ago pilgrimages to remote and sacred places were replicated for those who could not afford to leave home. The fourteen [S]tations of the [C]ross, which you may find in any Roman Catholic church, are a miniaturized and atrophied version of the pilgrimage around holy places in Jerusalem."
The above is complete disinformation. The Stations of the Cross do not represent a "pilgrimage around holy places in Jerusalem." The Stations of the Cross are a ritual reenactment of what Christ experienced on the day of His crucifixion.
Interestingly, the example that Rykwert should have put forth is that of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the church in Rome built within the Sessorian Palace, the imperial home of Helena Augusta, which today houses Christianity's most valuable relics (of the "Stations of the Cross"). Additionally, Santa Croce (which means Holy Cross) is built upon ground brought back by Helena from Golgotha, site of Christ's crucifixion. Santa Croce is indeed one of Rome's primal pilgrimage churches.

2002.12.25 15:17
Re: These Muschampian NYTimes
"The first thing that has to be accomplished by this design is to properly and in a beautiful and compelling way capture the significance of what happened at this place," thus says Rudolph Giuliani in his criticism of the latest architectural proposals for the site of the quondam World Trade Center. It seems simply evident that Giuliani desires a design that befits the historical significance of what happen at New York (specifically) 11 September 2001. Does this plainly mean that the latest proposals do not "capture the significance?" If so, then what do the latest proposals "capture?"
Are the latest proposals trying too hard to make their own "history?"
Perhaps anyone dealing with the future of the World Trade Center site show read Frances A. Yates' The Art of Memory.
Just over a year ago I read (at least) the first chapter of The Art of Memory, "Three Latin Sources for the Classical Art of Memory," which clearly describes the principles of the mnemonic. For example:
"It is not difficult to get hold of the general principles of the mnemonic. The first step was to imprint on the memory a series of loci or places. The commonest, though not the only, type of mnemonic place system used was the architectural type. The clearest description of the process is that given by Quintilian. In order to form a series of places in memory, he says, a building is to be remembered, as spacious and varied a one as possible... The images by which the speech is to be remembered are then placed in imagination on the places which have been memorized in the building. This done, as soon as the memory of the facts requires to be revived, all these places are visited in turn and the various deposits demanded of their custodians. We have to think of the ancient orator as moving in imagination through his memory building whilst he is making his speech, drawing from the memorized places the images he has placed on them."
When I first read the above and its accompanying text, it quickly dawned on me that Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius is indeed a mnemonic structure, one that imaginatively contains a broad, yet finely detailed, history/memory of Imperial Rome. I'll even go so far as to believe that Piranesi had in fact intentionally utilized the principles of mnemonic in delineating the great plan--this thinking, moreover, is only reinforced by mnemonic itself being a Roman rhetoric 'invention' in the first place.
Is it worth remembering that at their very end the lobbies of both World Trade Center Towers functioned as spontaneous fire stations with real firemen doing their job amidst terror? It's not something I'm going to forget.
What is memory if not humanity's first approximation of reenactment?

2003.01.19 17:26
abstract for Studium Urbis's my abstract. I hope the formatting of the text comes through via email. If not, you can check quondam to see the format I intend. Thanks again for allowing me this opportunity to participate. I hope the abstract and the paper it portends meets your qualifications and expectations.
Mnemonically Delineating Veracity
"Authenticity is one thing, veracity another."
Marguerite Yourcenar, "Faces of History in the Historia Augusta" in The Dark Brain of Piranesi and other Essays.
An apparent lack of veracity has always been at issue within modern interpretations G. B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martiis (1757-62) despite Piranesi's extraordinary 'scientific' knowledge of ancient Rome and it's remains as evident throughout the four volumes of Le Antichità Romane (1756), as well as throughout Piranesi's other archaeological publications, including the Il Campo Marzio dell'Antica Roma. Contemporary architectural theorists from historian Manfredo Tafuri to architect Peter Eisenman view the Ichnographia as a city devoid of its own history, thus a plan prognosticating autonomous urbanism, yet that is exactly what the Ichnographia Campus Martius is not.
Beginning with comparisons between select portions of the Piranesi's Ichnographia and Giambattista Nolli's Pianta Grande di Roma, it becomes clear that the Ichnographia is an elaborate mnemonic devise. Like the imaginary building plans that Roman orators created in their minds as an aid toward the memorization of their speeches, the Ichnographia is literally an imaginary plan manifest as an aid toward the memorization of virtually all of ancient Rome's history. Thus the Ichnographia is not a fantastical reconstruction, rather, like the art of memory itself, the Ichnographia is a reenactment.
'Mnemonically Delineating Veracity' concludes with a brief reenactment of how an independent artist from Philadelphia came to discover a heretofore unnoticed initial(?) printing of the Ichnographia Campus Martius.
Stephen Lauf

2003.06.24 14:20
Re: Götterdämmerung?
Remember, mnemonics is a technique of improving the efficiency of the memory, and not memory in and of itself. Memory is mental reenactment, thus mnemonics is a technique of improving the efficiency of mental reenactment. Mnemonics is very much an 'architecture' of reenactment.
Cloning too is reenactment, albeit extreme/pure reenactment--how exactly does one describe the degree of separation manifest via cloning? --not a zero degree, but not exactly one degree either--is it then virtual and real sameness all in two (or more)?
Is cloning also radical repetition? It certainly is a radical form of reproduction.

2003.08.15 11:03
death of the original Ezeri Mester
...a vast architecture of mnemonics, a House of Zeitgeist, you might say.

2003.09.01 14:09
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture
Regarding paradigm, the dictionary definition is that of being a model, which is not exactly the same as a "meme". For example, the shift in antique Roman culture from Paganism to Christianity is a paradigm shift that occurred largely because of the legalizing of Christianity and the outlawing of Paganism. One could say that Christianity spread within the antique world via "meme", which in modern terms would be called evangelism, but the cultural shift from Paganism to Christian is very much based on legal paradigms.
I forgot mention in my last post the close relation between "meme" and reenactment (and what I have occasionally referred to as reenactionary architecturism). Reenactment as a pure function precedes "meme" in that the function of (human/individual) memory itself is a mental reenactment, thus "memes", more than anything are the spreading of mental reenactments, just like viruses replicate/reenact themselves.
When it come to "style", one could ask "What (if anything) is the style reenacting?" In Meaning In Western Architecture, without specifying reenactment, Norberg-Schulz nonetheless explains how the axiality of Egyptian temples as analogous to the axiality of the Nile, etc. Likewise, the cardo and decumanus of Roman town plans represent (reenact) the axis of the Earth and the motion of the sun respectively. One could even ask what (if anything) does symmetry in design reenact? Does symmetry in design stem largely from the overwhelming symmetrical design of the human body?
If one takes the design of the human body as a paradigm, can one then say that corporAl symmetry was then reenacted corporEAlly, and thereafter symmetry in design was spread as paradigm via meme?
Is it fair to say that A. is (or appears to be) taking the theory of evolution as a paradigm and via meme applying it to the history of architecture? Or is a theory of evolution already manifest as a paradigm within the history of architecture, and A. is (the first?) detecting it? Oddly, if A. is successful in his pursuits, the answer to both questions will be yes.
All of the above regarding reenactment stem from the logical hypothesis that a reenactment can never be as original as that which it reenacts, and that reenactment come with degrees of separation between the reenactment and that which is being reenacted. Thus (I see) paradigm as closer in degrees to something original and meme as closer in degrees to reenactment.
Here's one of my favorite examples of reenactionary architecturism: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constituted originated, but the design of the city itself is very much a reenactment--there are other historical cities named Philadelphia (today's Amman, Jordan, for example), and Holme's survey/plan reenacts a Roman camp town precisely, even to the point where the cardo here today, Broad Street, is the longest straight urban street in the world. After the American Revolution, Philadelphia became the first, albeit interim, capital of the USA, and it's architecture then began to reenact the architecture of ancient Greece, which was used a paradigm of "democratic" design.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the design of Philadelphia's new Benjamin Franklin Parkway set out to reenact the Champs Elysees of Paris, and there indeed are replicas of the palaces of the Place de la Concorde at Logan Circle, the centerpiece of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as reenactment becomes even more compounding when it is recognized that its design, as unwittingly manifest today, matches exactly Piranesi's design of an axis of life within the Ichnographia Campus Martius.

2004.06.11 10:38
life imitates art?
If memory itself is humanity's primal manifestation of reenactment, and ritual is humanity's second manifestation of reenactment, is theater like number three?
"So what's double theater?"
"That's mostly baroque."

2005.08.05 14:36
Will Your Work Be Remembered?
Since memory is really a mental reenactment, perhaps the better question is, "Will your work will be reenacted?"
Be careful though, because reenactment without giving credit to the source is plagiarism.
A bit of my work was 'remembered' by David R. Marshall in "Piranesi, Juvarra, and the Triumphal Bridge Tradition" (in The Art Bulletin, June 2003) when in footnote 155 Marshall states, "...but the Area Martis through to the Nympheum Neronis, including the Templum Martis is a hieroglyph of St. Peter's, to which it corresponds topographically." Marshall does not name the 1999 source of this information, however. Furthermore, Marshall's note is misinformation in that the Porticus Neroniani and not the Nympheum Neronis forms part of the 'hieroglyph'. (Note also how 'pagan - christian - triumphal way' follows immediately after the 'hieroglyph' within "Inside the Density of G.B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii.)
Yes, a bit of my work has been reenacted, and I'll now make sure that it is remembered that David R. Marshall did the "reenacting."

2005.10.12 07:54
Daniel Birnbaum, "The Hospitality of Presence: Problems of Otherness in Husserl's Phenomenology" in Peter Weibel, Olafur Eliasson: Surroundings Surrounded.
I read Birnbaum's essay last night and it appears that Husserl would have benefited from the realization that all memory (both his 'primary memory' and his 'secondary memory') are by default mental reenactments. That Husserl ultimately saw perception and primary memory (i.e., retention) as the same (i.e., simultaneously present and thus together constituting the nature of presence itself) then unwittingly suggests that perception is also a mental reenactment of the phenomenon being perceived.

2005.11.30 17:33
Consumerism and Monumentality
Monumentality in architecture has a much longer relationship with reenactment than it does with consumerism. According to monument is pretty much synonymous with memorial and thus memory (ie, mental reenactment) is integral to monumentality.
Is one of today's problems (in designing a monument) that there is no longer a collective memory?
I occasionally wonder if the Second Bank of the United States (1818-1820) is the first bank anywhere to reenact a Greek temple. The First Bank (1795) is more Palladian than pure temple. Typology has a long relationship with reenactment as well.
Architects can build allusions and architects can build illusions.
Generic buildings and typical plans have a long history too.
I wish scale in architecture was simply taught more.

2008.04.04 12:36
Currently reading Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media, and got up to p. 84 yesterday morning while waiting for the repair of an automatic car window. There is an unfortunate manuscript error on page 68:
lines 1-4
Benjamin cites a sentence of Theodor Reik... Remembrance is essentially conservative; memory is destructive."
lines 14-15
In these terms, Reik's distinction between conservative memory and destructive remembrance...
As they stand (at least in the 1994 hardback edition), these lines contradict each other, and thus completely confuse the issue. Now checking the source, lines 1-4 correctly recall Reik's distinction.
Staying on page 68, I (personally) use/translate Erfahrung as 'a knowledge of', and Erlebnis as 'an actual experience of', in the sense that Erfahrung is more or less a reenactment of Erlebnis.



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