Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quintessential Cool (Arch/Hooray for Hollywood)

The High Tower - built circa 1920 and inspired by the Italian Campanile towers in Bologna. It has elevators for the local residents, rather than bells.:

Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy ballyhooey Hollywood
Where any office boy or young mechanic
can be a panic
With just a good looking pan
And any shopgirl can be a top girl
If she pleases a tired businessman

Hooray for Hollywood
You may be homely in your neighbourhood
Be an actor, see Mr. Factor
He'll make your kisser look good
So try your luck, you may be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


And now, a message from Jacques Derrida: (a name I can luckily spell without googling, although this quote I could not, I should admit, recite without googling) 
"But we should not forget that if the psychoanalytic explanation of hauntedness, of hallucination, if the psychoanalytic theory of specters, in sum, leaves a part, a share of nonverisimilitude unexplained or ratherverisimilar, carrying truth, this is because, and Freud recognizes it himself a bit further on, there is a truth of delusion, a truth of insanity or hauntedness."

As much as I hate to bring in the Viennese quack to this discussion, point raised is a good one. In order to discuss space as encompassed by human beings and spirits, spectres or specters, you must interact with these ideas of delusion; what you perceive as verisimilitude. There is a truth of insanity or hauntedness. I think nowhere do architectural ideas and products of spatial reconstruction trumpet any of this better than the New Acropolis Museum. Of course the picture above is the perfect one to understand the haunted nature of the place, the little distinction between body and specter. Here's another of the exterior which gives shape to the historical precedents for the overwhelming hauntedness this place has brought upon itself.

I feel out of things to say on this issue, certainly I'm not going to take up psychoanalytic theory, so I will only caption the above picture with the following from Kafka: 
“Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little despair over his fate... but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins."
May we all, one day, live above the ruins.

Monday, May 3, 2010

it's now may

it's no longer april, so this is unsustainable.

Photo ©Wilson Architects, Anton Grassl/Esto, Reblogged from Crerar Library News

the bridge (a rehearkening back to heidegger, through vn)

"Yes, Sebastian quite liked to loll in a punt on the Cam. But what he liked above all was to cycle in the dusk along a certain path skirting meadows. There, he would sit on a fence looking at the wispy salmon-pink clouds turning to a dull copper in the pale evening sky and think about things. What things? That cockney girl with her soft hair still in plaits whom he once followed across the common, and accosted and kissed, and never saw again? The form of a particular cloud? Some misty sunset beyond a black Russian fir-wood (oh, how much I would give for such a memory coming to him!)? The inner meaning of grassblade and star? the unknown language of silence? the terrific weight of a dew-drop? the heartbreaking beauty of a pebble among millions and millions of pebbles, all making sense, but what sense? The old, old question of Who are you? to one’s own self grown strangely evasive in the gloaming, and to God’s world around to which one has never been really introduced. Or, perhaps, we shall be nearer the truth in supposing that while Sebastian sat on that fence, his mind was a turmoil of words and fancies, uncomplete fancies and insufficient words, but already he knew that this and only this was the reality of his life, and that his destiny lay beyond that ghostly battlefield which he would cross in due time." -V.--- in The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, New Directions edition, pages 49-50

i got the tingle. the tingle is most certainly in the base of my spine but less a full-fledged tingle than a dull thud, an invitation to straightening out and eliminating with the oval of my palm the dry oversensed shock. 

the tingle did not start at the beginning, because i did not recollect this: