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hyper/architecturism

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2001.01.15
ideas
Quondam as a hypermuseum -- turning Quondam into a place that takes the notion of (architectural) museum a step beyond. The possibility to use Quondam in the generation of something other, i.e., not just a virtual museum that reenacts the museum typology, rather a museum that generates its own unique (original) collection, and indeed its own existence.
This idea then quickly turned into the exhibit idea: "What to do with museums." ...taking advantage of Quondam's own museum model collection. The possibility of not only using the various museums as "actual" sites for exhibits.
...collecting, displaying, exhibiting, curating, but also creating "museumpieces" that are altogether new.


2001.01.15
Quondam as hypermuseum
01. continuation of "Lauf Haus der Kunst".
02. lots of new museum (model and plan) play.
03. museum annex development.
04. the working title museum.
05. something to do with the Ryerss Museum.
06. the local acropolis.
08. a solarized "photography" exhibit.
10. IQ as the plan of a hypermuseum(?).
...Quondam as hypermuseum to be the manifestation of designing and practicing (architecture) in cyberspace ideas... Quondam to display an exploitation of data in the digital realm to create entities that (can) only exist in the digital realm.


2001.01.27 11:07
(a poem) today
It is very
clear that the reality of architecture
today is that architecture
today is very diverse,
even hyper-diverse. There are
as many styles of
architecture today
as there are styles of
music today
as there are styles of
art today
as there are styles of
writing today.
The
design choices available
to an
architect, musician, artist and writer are virtually infinite
today. This hyper-abundance
of
choice substantiates the reality
of
relativity today.
The hyper-diversity of relative reality is architecture today.

2001.01.28
"Style" Redux
Tad said Paul said:
Being different is not the purpose of 'good architecture' nor a measure of 'good architects.
Steve wonders:
Does this mean that being the same is the purpose of 'good architecture' and the measure of 'good architects'? Or that being different is the purpose of 'bad architecture' and the measure of 'bad architects'?
I take the notion of 'being different' as antithetical to 'good architecture' as likewise being considered a sign that diversity in architecture is also antithetical to 'good architecture'? This make me ask then what and where is the coherence that constitutes 'good architecture' as it is executed on this planet today? To be specific, I am asking for 'concrete' examples that beyond any doubt clearly manifest the coherence of today's 'good architecture'. Actually, I'd rather address all of today's architecture, but I'm limiting my question to 'good architecture' to remain coherent with those that name coherence as 'good architecture'. Again, I'm looking for 'tangible' example of coherence, and will not accept answers that speak of a seeking of coherence because all that will tell me is that coherence is actually 'not there'.
I can point to one very good example of coherence in today's architecture, and, somewhat ironically, it is a coherence that began as a theory rejected by architectural education. I am speaking of BC's Architecture of Electricity thesis where electricity and electromagnetism are recognized as a manifestly pervasive architecture literally networked through all of today's architecture be it either 'good' or 'bad'. What I find fascinating about the architecture of electricity is that in so many infinite ways it is precisely electricity that engenders so much artistic diversity, especially today. And anyone who thinks the architecture of electricity is a subculture is making a mistake because thinking of the architecture of electricity as a hyper (ie, beyond) culture is already of a more correct understanding (but not necessarily of the best or conclusive understanding). Moreover, for those that might think the architecture of electricity does not constitute an architecture, let me remind you that if you are reading this on your computer screen right now, you are indeed experiencing one of the many diverse aspects of the architecture of electricity.


2001.01.30
Hyper Architecturism
...working title... It developed from regarding Hyper Quondam and Hyper Modernism. Virilio has already written about hypermodernism. Then “hyperism”, and then ultimately “architecturism”.
Hyper Architecturism... ...document... ...display of all the ideas and manifestations of CAD play, especially the mesh surfaces and extruded rotations. ...including model manipulation and collage/collision.
...document all the steps and procedures, as well as the points of inspiration along the way. ...demonstrate the virtual infinity of digital data (and hence the hyper infinity (diversity) of architecturism).
...solarized architecture... ...they too exhibit a “hyper architecturism”.
images from my 1980s collage art. ...a sense of beyond-ness that they exhibit, plus they are oddly architectural, or at least spatial (maybe even hyper spatial).
Texts for Hyper Architecturism will come primarily from letters to design-l and architecthetics. Hopefully, a new (hyper) textual sense will emerge from utilizing the text freely, such as collaging texts and auto-translating the texts--again, being hyper architectural with the texts.
The concept of “hyper architecturism” also well applies to Piranesi’s Campo Marzio as well as to Piranesi’s other architectural/archaeological publications. ...play with all the imagery. ...also generate a Ichnographia Quondam.
...begin with the (skin) questions: “so what then is architecture...?”

2001.02.05
Hypersize
...what it is really like in the Campo Marzio’s virtual realm. ..slip in and out of being rational and scholarly or experimental and slapdash. ...a hypermodern” effect.
...there came the realization that Le Antichitŕ Romane begins with fragments of the Forma Urbis followed by displays of Rome’s city walls. This brings to mind the notion that Piranesi first presents the pieces of the puzzle followed by the edges of the puzzle. This is interesting in terms of the Il Campo Marzio then being the completion of the puzzle (and beyond), thus providing Hypersize Sagacity with its opening premise.


2001.02.07
[No Doubt the Artist Suffered] from Architecturism


2001.02.10
reenactionary architecturism
reenactionary   1 : being or exhibiting the qualities of a reenactment   2 : the philosophical or theoretical notion that reenactment underlies much of humanity's cultural and ritualistic traditions as well as humanity's artistic expressions   3 : one of the foremost characterists of late 20th century tourism
architecturism   1 : act, practice, or process of architecture   b : manner of action or behavior specific to architecture   2 : abnormal state or condition resulting from an excess of architecture   3 a : doctrine, theory, or cult of architecture   b : adherence to a system or a class of architectural principles   4 : characteristic or peculiar feature or trait of architecture


2001.03.10 10:48
Re: George Washington's Presidential...
I recently read four chapters on the 'preservation' of 'historic' Philadelphia (temporary capital of the United States 1790-1800) in L. Mumford's Highway and the City. I actually found out about these texts from John Young vis-ŕ-vis 'talk' about reenactment and "re" words. It seems that Mumford was lecturing at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1940s and that was when the historic districts around Independence Hall (actually the Pennsylvania State House) were being newly planned and 'preserved'. I was surprised at how unprecedented American historic preservation was at that time, and then how the preservation actions taken in Philadelphia in turn set America's historic preservation precedents and standards. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1960s and going to architecture school here in the 1970s (the Bicentennial and all that, like Legionnaire's Disease) made one hyper aware of historic preservation; I didn't think then at how 'new' it all was.
Another interesting factor I found out is that half of Philadelphia's historic district is run by the Federal government and half is run by the State of Pennsylvania--I'm pretty sure Independence Hall is still owned by Pennsylvania, and the ruins of the Morris House are within the part run by Pennsylvania as well.
Like Franklin Court (a few blocks away) designed by Venturi and Rauch in the early 1970s, the Robert Morris House is just another example of Philadelphia's great collection of premiere virtual houses.
You'd think I'd seen it all here to many times already, but the truth is that with each recent visit to Philadelphia's Historic National Park (the area run by the Federal government) I become more impressed by it each time I'm there. Maybe it's because I'm getting older myself and like to see things that endure time, but I also think it's because a nice job was done in the first place. Independence Mall (the area run by Pennsylvania) was oddly dear to me as well, even though most didn't like it because it really was lifeless, thus it is now being redone. Maybe the best plan for the Mall now is for it to be redone every twenty years or so--American [metabolic] Dreaming at its best?

2001.09.10 09:34
Re: travels in hyper-reality
Theming aside, at base there is the 'practice' of reenactment carried out at both Odiaba and Las Vegas. Stephen's final point about Odiaba being all on an artificial island is literally the base, of Odiaba, that is itself a reenactment of something otherwise natural. Las Vegas too has a basis that is a man-made reenactment of something otherwise natural, namely the 'oasis' spawned by Hoover Dam. While Learning from Las Vegas indeed recognizes the 'oasis' aspect within the 1960s hotel complexes, it does not recognize the overall oasis reenactment of Las Vegas as a whole. Along with all the 'caravans' that converge upon Las Vegas seeking 'pleasure' and 'comfort' in the desert, it is more the hydro-electric well spring of Las Vegas (via Hoover Dam) that engenders the entire cities life-givingness. In this sense, the animated electric signs along the strip (and now also within Fremont Street's electronic vault) are all at base hydro-electric reenactments of fountains splashing away.
My favorite reenactment place/city lately is Atlantic City, New Jersey, a true latter-day Las Vegas on the sea-coast, essentially a reenactment of a reenactment of a reenactment all right on the edge of a continent.
All the same, I believe it is safe to say that Las Vegas is the reenactment capital of modern times. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if one of the next waves of new casino construction comes to reenact Las Vegas of the 1960s, or, if I were ever the 'planning commissioner' of Las Vegas, I'd begin efforts to construct colossal wave pools all around Las Vegas so as to reenact Atlantic City. Reenactment is hyper-reality for sure.


2001.09.20 08:48
Re: travels in hyper-reality
The use of the word artificial in your arguement is the tricky one. The reality is that themed environments are very real, and the money they produce surely goes a long way to prove that. Moreover, the notion of reenactment in architecture is not limited to themed environments/buildings. Within reenactment there is always a play of degrees of separation from that which is being reenacted, therefore where exactly is the authenticity that you see in reenactments that keeps them from being artificial? It might now not be prudent to make a case based on artificial versus authentic, because that distinction is completely blurred anymore. For example, Wildwood, New Jersey is full of themed hotels that artificially evoke other places on this planet and even sometimes other places in the solar system, yet it is now exactly this concentration of artificiality that gives Wildwood its unique identity (ie, authenticity).
Not to confuse the issue, but Wildwood is overall a concentration of what is being called the "doo-wop" style, which is basically hotels and other buildings all done in playful 50s and 60s modernism. Even back then, however, each hotel evoked a different theme via the hotel name and stylist quirks in the building details.


2001.09.21 16:09
Re: travels in hyper-reality
Theming comes in many, many varieties, of which the sanitized version is only a subset of general theming. Theming, like theater, however, is a subset of reenactment.
In the United States of America we celebrate Thanksgiving Day the last Thursday of November. Virtually every family in the USA has a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on that day. This dinner is a reenactment of a supposed dinner the Pilgrims and the Indians shared at one of the first harvests of the new settlers in America. Is the modern day Thanksgiving Dinner in the USA an authentic reenactment? It's probably more an artificial reenactment, yet, nonetheless, it is now also as authentically 'American' as any dinner can get.
At this point, I'm seriously wondering whether the specialness of reenactment is that it combines both the authentic and the artificial. For example, authentic Chinatowns (like the one in Philadelphia) are full of artificial, albeit unsanitized, theming. Yet for the generations of Chinese citizens living there, it is their reenactment of 'home'.

2001.09.24 10:56
Re: travels in hyper-reality
Maybe I'm completely off base here, but my experience of most academic studies of the environment is that they are as sanitized as the most purposefully themed environments. I often get the feeling that academic studies very much strive to control what the reader perceives, and often leave little room for alternative preceptions. It's kind of ironic that the more controlled a themed environment is, the more it lacks authenticity, while the more controlled an analysis of themed environments is, the more controlled the perception of themed environments remains.
I wonder if one could analyze themed environmental studies to find which are more artificial and which are more authentic.


2001.09.28 10:41
Re: travels in hyper-reality
I find it highly ironic that the movie Suburbia is first and foremost a piece of entertainment, moreover, a piece of entertainment that reenacts what is considered "gritty reality [i.e., authenticity] of youth alienation from the dreary suburban gravity of small town living in the mid-nineties." It seems that "learning from" Suburbia is itself "a symptom of our social preoccupation with the entertaining experience."
If anything, architects and designers and social engineers should begin to understand the pervasive workings of reenactment in order to start generating a 'better' learning/entertainment environment. The largest themed environments today are for the most part fantasy reenactments, and for the most part the general public is completely aware of the fantasy. That the fantasy is many times also so real, only adds to the appeal. Again, the issue is the blurring of distinction between what is real and what is artificial, and therein lies the further fulfilling of fantasy, a longed for fulfillment which may indeed engender the very core of the desire for entertainment.
Reenactment has been a integral part of architecture and design for at least 4500 years. The Great Pyramid is a massive reenacted mountain that fits perfectly on Earth via its alignment with the cardinal points, and with its quondam capping of electrum (an alloy of platinum, gold, and (I think) silver) this mountain further reenacted both a volcano and the sun rising and setting over the mountain. When new, the Great Pyramid at Giza very much manifested an artificial and themed environment, and for sure was one of the most entertaining sights/sites that has ever appeared on this planet.


2001.10.23
Re: chance aesthetics experience
How does one gauge 'hyper-size'?
Beginning with the premise that scale is always an issue of relativity, ie, the direct comparison of one 'measure' to another 'measure', it is interesting that you relate the canopy both to its immediate surroundings (the buildings the canopy is connected to) and to yourself as well. In both cases you see the scale of the canopy as comfortable, even though a common canopy is usually in direct relation to a door or window (as opposed to a whole building), and furthermore an architectural element that can often be touched by an individual (as opposed to being untouchably high up in the sky). The gauges of scale you utilized were the adjacent buildings and your own corporal being, and these gauges are pretty much the best gauges of the environment we have.
In terms of then gauging "hyper-size" (ie, in terms of hyper meaning beyond, excessive, etc.), the comparison is (or at least seems to be) between what is usual next to an inflated example of the same something usual. In the case of the Calatrava canopy, it appears that you do not see it as over-inflated, and here I trust your judgement. If anything, you may have thus provided a good gauge of something hyper-sized that is not overhyped, while at the same time indicating that there may indeed be a thin line between "wondrous" and "overwhelming".
Personally, I have a feeling that sheer materiality itself serves as the best gauge of what is overhyped-sized. For example, the (Gothic) Cathedral of Bauvais was to be the largest Cathedral in the world, and indeed still contains the highest stone arch in the world. Its tower (at 500 feet) too was once the tallest building in the world, in fact it was the first building anywhere to exceed the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza (at 480 feet). Unfortunately, the tower collapsed (circa 1575?) about 75 years after its erection. Maybe its too simple, but reality nonetheless "points" to the fact that the Great Pyramid is the hyper-size gauge when it comes to pure masonry construction.
In light of the horrific events of 11 September 2001, it appears that the two World Trade Center Towers were also of an overhyped-size.

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