Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Here is the text of the narrative I read this morning. It is currently incomplete and I will continue to develop it along with creating new drawings. I think I need to work on a subway drawing, and I think that over the weekend I should chose a destination and a route off the subway map, go there, and then record the experience of my journey and how it is changed by the weekend construction efforts of the MTA...


October 30, 2006

Sketch Problem Narrative

The narrow passage defiantly declares its existence against the encroachment of opposing bricks while the sound of my descending footsteps echo upwards between the two buildings whose walls rise above me to a place where they meet the sliver of sky that arcs across them. My hand reads the stories of many seasons written on the stair rail in the language of thick coats of paint slathered on top of the ones before them, and my shadow rises to meet me, carving my stretched profile into the illuminated shape of the open archway projected across the ground by the western light of an autumn afternoon. On the tenth step, I reach level ground and the end of the rail’s recounted stories. After a momentary pause at the bottom of the stairs, I walk towards the far end of the space, running my left hand over the gritty alternation of brick and mortar and I traverse a distance I would normally cross in fourteen paces in no less than twenty. Midway my shadow joins the somber ambience of the dusky alley as I cross the leading edge of the sunlit projection. Then upon reaching the end of the passage, I grasp the cool metal handle of a second door. Pushing, it slowly begins to swing closed, scribing an arced path across the ground beneath it. I can feel its mass, but it moves smoothly with a sound that can only be described as a polished metal on metal moment of anticipation. It is held in contrast to the reluctant cry of fatigue of the rusted hinges on the right side of the wrought iron gate that swings closed in the arch simultaneously to the door at the end of my arm. My hand still on the cool metal handle, the door comes to a close with a low resonating tone that I feel pass through my hand, down my arm, and through the rest of my body to the ground below me, while the clang of the wrought iron gate silences its old groans as it comes to rest against its frame.
In shutting the massive door that spans across the end of the alley, I feel like I have turned a great valve, closing off through passage and transforming the brick-lined chasm into a sanctuary from the distraction of others rushing through on their way someplace else. I pause a moment and listen to the water in the courtyard fountain splash in its stone basin beyond the pivoting wall. Turning around, I look back at the stream of afternoon light, many-hued by reflections off the turning leaves in the trees beyond, which a minute ago had cast the hard shadow of my frame against the brick ground but now cast the soft rain-splattered shadows of the flowering bars of the wrought iron gate recalling a stained glass window.
Caught short, I am abruptly reminded of where I am by the unforgiving sound of a fireproof metal door slamming shut as someone emerges from the basement of the building rising to my left and passes through the courtyard with hurried steps. The sounds push against the bounds of my sanctuary, carved from the profane chaos of the unprogrammed alley through the ritualistic closing of the pivoting wall. I push back against the intrusion, projecting my thoughts against the brick and mortar walls and into the unseen space of the courtyard beyond. Ensuring the integrity of my sanctuary, I reach to the seat, which folds down with first the sound of polished metal sliding on metal and ending with a quick metallic snap that marks the tight closing of the valve, securing the stillness of the space. Absorbing the sound, I begin to recall all of the locks of my lifetime; trying to remember which one it is most like.
I sit down and the seat back imbedded in the sanctuary wall frames my body in the space. Then shifting my thoughts from the sound of the lock, I open an old book with a frayed green cover and yellowed pages that fill the space with the smell of musty paper and I begin to read aloud, projecting the words into the space and allowing them to mix with the ambience of my thoughts.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Another time, another place
On a cold grey day in early spring, I gently nose my car from the smooth monotony of driving on pavement to the staccato crunching of tires on a gravel lot. I bring the car to a slow stop, shutting the engine with the quiet click of a key, which I follow immediately with the sharp ratchet of an upward pull on the parking brake handle. Reaching across the small upholstered cabin, I take my Minolta camera from where its sits on the passenger’s seat, its body engraved with runes that tell the tales of its years of faithful service in less than ideal conditions. I open the door, step out and stand up against the biting wind. The gravel gives under my boots and I slip a little bit, leaning all my weight back on the car door, slamming it shut with a quick metallic snap as the lock engages the latch.
Looking across the vast landscape of barren trees, mist, water, and tall yellow grass dead since last autumn, the raindrops splatter on the hood of my black nylon jacket and the wind bites at my face. I start down a muddy track along the low ridge between the grey lake and the silent field with my camera in hand.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I know someone in the class was looking at the interaction between the street and the storefront.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

How do you expect this when most of us haven't discussed our projects (w/ critics) in weeks? I think the program has easily become the most difficult part, and it would be improper to begin something like site analysis with these ideas grounded.
a reminder of what is expected on tuesday.
refer to the schedules provided.
you need to have everything produced to date and at least 2 new drawings...
as we discussed...

site&program analysis
prelim design
Architectural Synaesthesia - Prof. M. Schaut and Prof. D. Bucsescu

An update

I am interested in the possible programmatic implications of music forming a record of past sounds.

Western music is composed of twelve different intervals in between the doubling of the frequency of the initial point of departure, this doubling of the frequency known as the octave. Within these twelve notes and their higher and lower octave counterparts, a record of discernable frequency intervals has been created and musicians have been applying intensity, duration, and the qualitative feel of instruments (woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings) to this record.

Music is experienced through relativity over time.

I am interested in creating a sound record of a sort, one whose constituents change over time, so the relativity is not in the presentation of a correspondence of concrete intervals (music), but a relativity of the transformation and erosion of pieces over time, eventually becoming ruins of some degree of essence and immortality (and consistency in sonar reference). The ruin is a finalized composition of the intervals of human interaction.

Music or rhythmic sounds have the capability of creating durational intervals that penetrate into the rhythms of life. It is through this integration into the processes of one’s duration that could give rise to a cross modality involving sound, and through one’s involvement in the processes of the world at the more intricate and personal level of the synaesthetic cross modal association, a greater understanding of the self is achieved.

I am looking to do something that acknowledges lifespan, one that invites the human to take part in it.

Scarpa’s Querini Stampalia utilizes sounds by having a series of water channels running through it. Each one is differs in size, or the height that the water falls to a lower section, etc, causing different notes to be played by different pieces. You can walk to the center of the soundscape, or closer to different pieces, like walking through the different sections of an orchestra. This relates to the idea of figure ground, as it is possible that the sound of the greatest intensity (which is most likely the focus of one’s attention) could be seen as a figure, while the ground is the rest of the audible noises in the area.

I wanted to investigate the idea of the notion of the persistence of objects through time, and the different lives that objects live, based on how people interact with the sensory precepts that they present and change them over time, through erosion, deconstruction, etc.

I am almost finished working on a pedestal I have been building out of concrete and steel that somewhat incorporates these idea. I’ll post a picture once it’s finished, which should be later today. It builds on the ideas of my earlier detail, which I’ll go into once the picture is posted so it makes more sense.

I also might start working with modeling and molding paste to work with time, relativity, and record.

I saw this German movie from the 30s called “Vampyr”. The use of sound and cinematography are pretty amazing. I have it if anyone wants to set aside an hour to watch it.

As for a sight and program, I’m still working on that.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

This is a possible site for renovation. It is the Penn Station service station. I think the two photos show the same building... I have to do more research. I may (depending on the weather) go site hunting tomorrow. I was thinking of visiting this and then going to Jersey in search of an abandoned building. Does anybody know of a good place to look?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here is the new bench. Repository of memory/artifact.

It still carves, but in a more architectural way.

It is made of three elements: Four seats/engravers (the actors), two concrete slabs/pages (the acted upon), and the storehouse/home for the chairs. Sitting becomes ritual. The seats become participatory elements within this ritual. To sit on the bench, one removes a seat from storage, rolls it over the pages and sits. One does not sit on the pages. Each chair has an attached pin. When the chair is rolled over the pages via a series of rails, the pin etches a path into the pages and over time, erodes them. Each chair leaves its own trail (as seen in the plan). By participating in the act of sitting, one simultaneously records this act. After sitting, the chair is rolled back into storage. As the pin exits the groove in its page it drags with it dust that is then collected in a tray below the groove (thick grey bars in plan). Negative becomes positive. Memory recorded through displacement. When the chairs are in storage, the pages are left bare and accessible for reading. They become gauges of those who have sat before…

I am still working with the obelisks. I would like to, as a performative technique, do polyphonic/polychronic drawings (from Klee) drawings that show many spaces and many times simultaneously. If anybody knows of any drawings like this, please let me know, I would be curious to see them.

I am still working on site and program. When I was on the boat tour, I saw the hospital on Roosevelt island. The cloisters on the northern edge of manhattan are also interesting to me. It is an assemblage of many fragments of religious and non religious architecture from Europe. The old domino sugar factory is also a consideration along with central park. Central park might be nice because it is a massive void within the city. the aspect of the void alone would allow characters to develop in relation to the buildings outside of the void as well as in relation to themselves. These may all be possible sites for renovation… I still have to think about it.

Synesthesia is involuntary joining in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. This additional perception is regarded by the synesthesia as real. Can everyone experience synesthesia? While people experience synesthesia, can they discriminate those senses that they feel? It depends on their abilities to experience synesthesia or their sensibility, knowledge, memory, emotional condition etc. most synesthetic experience is blur. However synesthetic experience can be divided into obvious and blur synesthesia. Generally If we make projects, the whole thing will give blur synesthesia because of the their complexity(combination of many fragments). However, the whole has other fragments like rooms, the room can be another whole. In the end, one element can control the whole condition in the infinite space. This means architecture can give blur and obvious synesthetic experience. I can compel to feel something that I intend. Also, I can create ambiguous spaces, then visitors can feel something that they want to feel according to their physical and psychology conditions. This will be blur synesthesia. lots of fragments can control the whole condition and harmonize with the whole things including other fragments that have consistent architectural language. Also only one fragment control the whole.
If the meaning of fragments (details) was expanded, a building should be a detail of a city. Also the building can give synesthetic experience. I want to make a project that can be a great detail of a given site, and I'm thinking abut how to control visitors' behaviors. The solutions can be materials, color, natural elements, density of space. With those elements, we can give synesthetic experience as we know through our researches. To be a detail of given site, I think my project should have strong physical or social connections. So parasitic architecture and Jewish museum in Berlin are so interesting to me. parasitic architecture has so strong connections with the given sites and buildings. Especially the Jewish museum also has connections, and try to control visitors' emotions and behaviors. So my self-assignment will be researches about how to control human behaviors in the Jewish Museum and how to connect to the old and new buildings.
Program will be museum that can control human emotion. I'm trying to find my site that has can be connected with my new project.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

hey this is interesting
"Catnip has been used in herbal remedies on humans since at least the 15th century. In fact, catnip tea was the most commonly consumed herbal beverage in Europe prior to the importation of teas from the orient."
October 24, 2006

On Program…

Other than a late night conversation with Brian Jones in the sanctuary of the Higgins Hall South Tower, this is the first time I’ve put my ideas about program in words, so it is probably lacking the elegance with which I try to write, but I felt the need to put it out there well in advance of the midterm in case I have just jumped completely off the deep end on this one. Though getting to the program in the following words will be a bit of a journey so please read on.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the subway for the following reasons:

1. Assuming that space is understood through input gathered by the senses, if one argues that memory is also essential to the understanding of space, could memory also be considered one of the senses? Is it synaesthetic to cross the experience of for example, sound and memory? Or is memory distinguished from the senses because it is internal input versus the external input of the physical senses? On the other hand, maybe I have to look for synaesthesia elsewhere, because it is perhaps memory that is the instrument that enables the crossing of the senses.
2. In my sketch problem, one of the key ideas was that while in the sanctuary space one would be adjacent to the fountain courtyard, but unable to directly experience the space, however, the sounds of the courtyard push upon the space of the sanctuary. These sounds can then remind the occupant of the sanctuary of other places, stored in his memory, and thus the understanding of the courtyard space becomes a fiction written between memories. Consequently the experience of the sanctuary space itself becomes part of an extended “landscape,” my word for the experiential inhabitation of place, which exists somewhere between physical sense, memory, and fiction/narrative. A parallel experience can be readily found in and around the New York subway system, an extended underground network of phantom space, space the recedes into the darkness and lives in the imagination. Think of a subway stop where a train, though not the one you are waiting for, passes in an adjacent tunnel that can neither be seen nor touched. The sound of the train passing through that mystery tunnel makes one space push against the other, giving the possibility for the observant to dream about the mysteries of that phantom space, which could be only a few feet away, but still so unreachable in any purely physical sense.
3. In documenting my sketch problem, aspects of it have taken on new meaning. When I first designed it, the idea was that when my proposed intervention, the door/pivoting wall, was closed, to create the sanctuary, the space would be completely closed in that closing the pivot wall would also close the wrought iron gate. Now I have considered the possibility that in the “sanctuary position” that space is only %75 percent closed (the entire pivot wall and one half of the wrought iron gate). This allows for other people to enter the sanctuary, setting up the possibility of chance encounters (or planned encounters). Sanctuary does not necessarily have to be in solitude. Going back to the subway, I have this fascination with the experience of being on the train, often in complete solitude despite the extreme public condition, and staring out into the darkness of the tunnel only to have my gaze broken by a passing train and seeing someone whom I will likely never see again gaze back at me for a mere fleeting moment. I like this particularly when one train is ascending and the other is descending because it adds to the mystery of the phantom space of the tunnel.
4. I am also fascinated by the phantom infrastructure that supports this unseen world. A sort of iconic example of this, for me, is the crane train. Out of the darkness, a lumbering industrial beast emerges, passes, and returns again, possibly not to be seen again for months.
5. Akin to the possibility of fleeting chance encounters in the subway, there is the experience of forgetting something on the subway, and realizing it just as the train pulls out of the station. The sinking feeling that you will never see the thing you left on the seat next to you as it is drawn into the realm of “phantom space.” It begins to question the significance of ownership in the highly public realm of the subway. Imagine a homeless person in the subway who smells so foul that no one will ride in the same car, and it, in a sense, becomes his own car. What do the objects left in the subway tell the other riders about the people in the train before them? As our possessions are extensions of ourselves, what does it mean to leave something on the subway, and have something that is in a sense part of us become forever part of the narrative of the phantom world of the subway system?

Finally, to propose a potential program I am considering a Repository for Lost Objects for the subway system, in other words the MTA Lost and Found. But what is that really? Could it also be a museum, or a cemetery for personal objects? What if there was a library made of books people lost on the subway? Where is it, and what is the narrative of entering this phantom world on a journey to search for your lost possessions? Arguably, it is not just a search for what you lost, but also a search for yourself. In this journey, could one find sanctuary?

Am I completely insane? Should I consider a different program?
Works Cited

Hello All,

Please post your lists of works cited as a comment on this post.

Another drawing of the shakla vitara
The Talmud has no punctuation marks. There are no commas, periods, question marks and so on. Only with experience does the student learn how to read the Talmud properly.

The placement of a comma or a question mark can change the meaning of a Talmudic passage. Depending on how the Talmud is read, different interpretations can be made or questions raised. In fact, there are many of these differences amongst the commentaries. Thus, one piece of Talmud can be understood in a variety of ways, none of which is more correct than the other. In Jewish thought, this is referred to by the concept of “both these and these are the way of G-D”.

Talmud debate usually follows a question-an-answer, explanation-elucidation structure; this is known as shakla vitara. This structure allows a student to recall large sections of the Talmud from memory.

I was once challenged to memorize 28 pages of the Talmud tractate Peshachim using this method (the reward being a case of beer). I have friends who have completed much more.

Drawing of shakla vitara Talmud Brachos 2A

Monday, October 23, 2006





echo--repetition and removal--overlappings

"heterogeneity is repetition, an amorphous mass" octavio paz in henri michaux's miserable miracle

...michaux's mescaline-induced work; his paintings draw from language -the sign and the written word, taking the hallucinatory drug mescaline "the infinity-machine", his words and his paintings begin to overlap each other. he follows the compulsive events of the drug, thoughts launched by "imperceptible sensations, pre-sensations".

to summarize my thoughts on the presentation..
baudelaire's criticism of photography as an art form as something that stole from the imagination of art through its mimicry, repetition.
diamond's studies, the recurring state of mental disarray in different individuals, each person's disorderly physiognomy as a removal of the disorder from the person's mental state transferred to one's face, and as a repetition of this act of removal and transferrence from person to person.
keller/braille, lack of the senses of sight and hearing finds a language by translating those senses to touch, the three senses form an intimately synaesthetic language by dwelling in one sense.
eckert, the blind photographer, his synaesthetic experiences compel him to retain an image, to have a copy of his experience, despite that he cannot see the copy himself; there is some need to repeat this removal.
phantom limb, absence of the limb causes a part of the brain to "remap" another region that no longer recieves input (from the missing limb).

through overlappings, repetition of a removal, absence of a part of the whole, a synaesthetic phenomenon occurs, where the part removed may be sensed in the whole (as unwhole). the unwhole thus assumes some sense aspect that normally occurs in the thing removed, as the echo. the echo, never exactly reproduced.

"...an artificial echo machine designed to exchange "clamore " for four echoes: "amore", "more", "ore", and finally "re"." ("O outcry" returns as "love", "delays", "hours", and "king")

"An echo, while implying an enormity of a space, at the same time also defines it, limits it, and even temporarily inhabits it."
-mark danielewski's house of leaves
"To be, in some way, Cervantes and reach the Quixote seemed less arduous to him--and, consequently, less interesting--than to go on being Pierre Menard and reach the Quixote through the experiences of Pierre Menard. (This conviction, we might say in passing, made him omit the autobiographical prologue to the second part of Don Quixote . To include that prologue would have been to create another character--Cervantes--but it would also have meant presenting the Quixote in terms of that character and not of Menard. The latter, naturally, declined that facility.)"
-jorge luis borges' pierre menard, author of don quixote
for tuesday i want to:
write my precis in an organized statement. also play with the structure of how it is organized, an overlapping of texts.
drawing - following the history of maps, of one map, taking the experienced landscape and tracing it with oneself, retracing it, over and over, things removed and echoed.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Syneathesia is not an idea, but an experience. Similarly, as Juhani Pallasmaa mentions in the book The Eyes of The Skin, “the task of art and architecture in general is to reconstruct the experience of an undifferentiated interior world in which we are not mere spectators, but to which we inseparably belong”. The expression is engaged with pre-verbal meanings of the world, meanings that are incorporated and lived rather than simply intellectually understood. It is clear that life enhancing architecture has to address all the sense simultaneously and fuse our mage of self with our experience of the world. Significant architecture makes us experience ourselves as complete embodies and spiritual beings. We should be integrated with the space rather than made spectators.

Earlier on I proposed the question whether or not one can rediscover a pure consciousness, which may allows one to be so deeply aware with all of one’s senses that the busy mind basically shuts down. What kind of architecture would allow one to be so deeply engaged in the metaphysical questions of the self and the world, interiority and exteriority, time and duration? My original idea was to investigate some kind of meditative program. However, after the presentation I have realized that the act of meditation is too much of an extreme end in searching for that pure consciousness. And as Dan suggested, to be conscious is just simply to be concentrated on a particular matter and nothing else. It is to focus on the here and now, and experience only what is there.

As of right now, I am interested in the urban condition as my field of operations. Instead of picking a countrified isolated site, I rather want to explore how the complexity of urban condition can call for a bodily and mental identification, empathy, and compassion.

My task now is investigating the urban streets. Streets are where people live. In New York City, for example, streets make up the most of the city. It is even a place for celebration, where large number of people gathered together. People who are familiar with New York City understand the grand experienced of Park Avenue not because they have lived in one of those luxurious apartments, but only because they have walked the avenue. I believe streets express an intriguing kind of vitality and validity and they produce an unexpected approach to unity as well. Streets fuse space, matter, and time into one dimension.

Interaction (the streets) and Distraction (that urge for bodily and mental identification)

Friday, October 20, 2006

THESIS is defined in part with: 1 : b : an affirmation or proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof esp. in contrast with a negation: as...(5 ) Hegelianism: the proposition or conception of representing the first and least adequate stage of developing thought - compare ANTITHESIS, SYNTHESIS

ANTITHESIS: 2 : a philisophical proposition opposed to a given thesis: ...b Hegelianism: the negative moment in the movement of thought that denies the thesis and is in turn transcended in the synthesis

SYNTHESIS: 3 : b : the combination of separate elements of sensation or thought into a whole c Hegelianism : the combination of partial truths of a thesis and its antithesis into a higher stage of truth - compare DIALECTIC

DIALECTIC: 1 : the theory and practice of weighing and reconciling juxtaposed or contradictory arguments for the purpose of arriving at the truth...2 : b Hegelianism : a logical development progressing from less to more comprehensive levels that on its subjective side is passage of thought from a thesis through an antithesis to a synthesis that in turn becomes a thesis for further progressions ultimately culminating in the absolute idea and on its objective side is an analagous development in the process of history and the cosmos

this citation is from Webster's Third International Dictionary (unabridged) copyright 2002

this post should tie in with what i have to come but i thought i'd share it standing alone as well. a definition in terms of Kantianism also runs from thesis to dialectic. i chose the Hegelian for what appeared to be a more developed clarity.

I was on campus today and noticed the scaffolding on my sketch project site has been taken down. I would like to go back and insert my intervention into the newly photographed site.

I am continuing to look at the idea of ritual and space; particularly how a memory remains as the physical and spiritual decay over time. To develop my understanding of the condition of the modern ruin I am analyzing a typological study of ruined Industrial structures. I am interested in the translation of this typology in both meaning and form. How can I take the memory of an industrial past and re-integrate it in into the present. How does the space of the fragmented ruin manifest itself, and how does it relate to the body, and its practices? I am also going to try to photograph some of these industrial spaces.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the research that i began with dealt with synaesthesia as a definition of beauty. to sum it up, beauty, as defined by i.a. richards, is a condition in which one experiences an equilibrium of harmonious elements. i then began to explore what the terms equilibrium and harmony meant in architecture since a balance between these two was, supposedly, synaesthesia. a number of ideas interested me, including the harmony and equilibrium that is found not just amongst elements of a whole, but also in the space between such elements. (similar to what brian's interested in- how it feels to stand btwn those two statues in scarpa's work). the notion of the "in-between" and equilibrium then led me to look into bridges, stairs, doorways, and other connections between spaces. a bridge or a doorway, for example, seem to be manifestations of equilibrium. they're the in-betweens of two destinations, neither here nor there. They link, they join, they bridge. But then it occured to me that these words all described actions and according to my earlier studies of i.a. richards and confucius, equilibrium is a state of inaction. Was there a way then to bring a bridge or a doorway into equilibrium? I'm now interested in exploring this idea further- perhaps introduce a new program or an intervention that will harmonize the bridge or doorway and ultimately bring them into equilibrium. That means to remove them from their functions (action) and allow them to stand in a sate of inaction. I plan on trying to diagram these ideas - harmony/equilibrium & action/inaction, the space between action/inaction, and also how inaction can be introduced to action and vice versa.
“But haven’t these forms led to a disappointing formalism that discourages initiative by penalizing risk, and turns the reign of the opinion of the learned into a principle of docile prudence in which the authenticity of research is blunted even before it finally dries up?”
From “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis” Jacques Lacan


[Cut to an opening sequence of James Cameron’s “Terminator”; wide roll pan left across apocalyptic urban war landscape. Fires burn in abandoned houses, and a distant sound can be heard of machines slowly rolling over rubble, twisted metal and dancing wires throwing sparks into sky darkened by industrial gases.]

As the last days of architecture loom, the final battle is waged between the principle contenders, the aphasic architects. The fate of desire hinges in the balance. The turmoil among the linguistic poles once seemed beholden to a destiny of infinite solitude in the depths of human mind now aggress one another at the built scale, the scale of architecture.

The Battle of The Metaphorics and The Metonymics…

[Jump cut. The Past]

Roman Jakobson, the Russian linguist or self proclaimed “Russian Philologist”, described language using two principles, the metaphor and the metonym; and six programmatic elements (functions), the emotive, connotive, phatic, metalingual, referential, and importantly the poetic. By definition, the aphasic allows us to examine the principles of the creative in its ability to affect the metaphoric or the metonymic poles, rendering the one submissive, the other assertive. In his theoretical near future the two poles continue to diverge. Fueled by the impetus of technology, it’s maximum reduction, efficiency and thirst for the now, the metaphorics grew strong. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king; and so the aphasics, with their newly discovered talent, rose to a new position in society.

Their rise to power was slow, as change in architecture inevitably is. Only the metonymics perceived the shift for what it truly was. Not a shift as it were, as so many before us had struggled against in the past only to see our inventions cede into tradition, no… this was definitely a change not enlightened by precedent.

The metonymics, passive by nature were forced into the defense. Pushed to the outskirts of the city they brooded with plans and sections bringing the two poles together again. Their functions were set out, reconstruct the elements of a language and create a safe haven for the poetic, the message for its own sake, maximum redundancy, duration, experience.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Alex, here is the Profanation painting.

just to fill people in, this is something I worked on over the summer. It was along the same lines as what I am focusing on now.
... In this case, there are many figures, many grounds...

Also, this is a precedent I had in an earlier studio. It is the teatro del mondo (theater of the world) by Aldo Rossi. It is a theater that was constructed on a barge for the venice bienalle in the 70's. It made its way around coastal cities and was finally dismanted in yugoslavia after it had made its tour. one figure many grounds....

the bottom left photo is amazing

Architectural Synaesthesia - Prof. M. Schaut and Prof. D. Bucsescu

I am interested in synaesthesia as a means of structuring experience and moving through structures of experience. Sensory perceptions are personal, for example, two people may disagree on the taste of a bottle wine, one claiming it to be sweet while the other bitter, but it is in identity where agreement occurs and neither will disagree that they are drinking wine (common sense). I see synaesthesia/cross modal association as a deeper and more personal layer into understanding what we perceive one that is developed through rich sensory experience. It is a further degree of understanding how we relate to the world. The "thingness" of a thing is the degree that we sensoraly interact with a thing at the scale which we inhabit.

I am specifically interested in sound as a character and a constituent in spatial dialogue. Sound is a movement, a reaction to some kind of force, and I believe that it is important for a building to speak, both in the instance and over time.

Additionally, I have been thinking about how objects persist through time and how this gives rise to transmutations and transformations of their sensory precepts. For instance, Mammoth Cave (largest cave in the world), in Kentucky, has within it a network of rivers, waterfalls, and lakes. Throughout time, these continue to erode away at the limestone interior, causing the wind that passes through to play different notes through time.

Also, in the endurance of architecture, when does ruin occur, and in its design, should there be an act of a deconstruction of a sort that occurs in order to create an oscillation between the preservation of the old and pursuance of the new? Let’s say a skyscraper is built tomorrow, and we can accurately predict that it will be knocked down in 80 years because of one reason or another. What if over time, the building was designed to sink or be disassembled to a point in order to facilitate a dialogue through the history of it as an object, instead of after the decision to build a new building is made, an extensive effort is made to completely remove any trace of the previous building from the earth.

Upon reading Pallasmaa’s Eyes of the Skin, I think that the possibility for the creating cross modal associations has been all but drained from society by the domination of the image and the direct connection to the idea that follows it, essentially devoid of cross modality. I previously used the hypothetical example of the building that was deconstructed or sank down to its ruins as a bridge to the idea of an additional possible layer of cross modal association, that of how does synaesthetic association combine with understanding of the history of thing help us experience cross modally what might not be present but can be conceived in our inner networkings? Cross modality may be the key to experiencing the “thingness” of a thing from a different time. For instance, what if there was a very old column that endured a war, and through the touch and sight of its ruined surface, one can “hear” the clash of bursting steel arms?

So, all this needs refinement, but it’s getting there. For Tuesday, I want to construct a thing that incorporates some of my ideas about sound related dialogue between buildings/objects and people. The idea is a bit sketchy right now, but I want to build something that its purpose is to be moved, and through the specific engagement that facilitate and persistence of movements, the object and its sounds change. I will post later this weekend when I clarify my ideas a bit more about what i want to build.

just saw this in paper--it is about broken angel

Brooklyn Art House Is Ruled Hazardous
you are making a serious mistake by not posting.
this was an assignment.

It is clear that in our modern world a global culture is emerging. The barriers that once divided cultures are slowly breaking down, allowing people to merge and adopt new philosophies. As an example, Buddhism has clearly grown in popularity within the United States.

It is obvious that over time, the western world has made it their goal to exploit nature in an attempt to dominate it. Through the industrial revolution we have distanced ourselves from the natural order of nature. We have learned to hybridize crops, turn iron ore into automobiles and coal into electricity. This has permitted us to structure our lives that further distances ourselves from nature. The lights of the city blot our starry nights, airplanes travel the world without even feeling the landscapes presence and chemicals grow food like it’s a mechanical operation. The western world so frequently sees itself in competition with the natural. On the other hand we have the eastern world. The Japanese aesthetic is to merge with nature rather than dominate it. This philosophy is clear when one examines traditional gardens, paintings, shoji screens, floral arrangements and the tea ceremony. These art forms only gain their full meaning when addressing the space around them.

By no means am I condemning the great achievements of our culture, it some ways they have become necessary for us to be able to function in the 21st century, but I do feel that there is a disconnect. Therefore I am proposing to re-create that connection.

The sketch problem was the first attempt; my inner desires were to connect with the landscape. The detail is in effect an architectural moment that indirectly connects the hand with the earth. In addition, a theme running through the research was the fluidity of materials; Asphalt connecting with the earth, the earth breaking through the walls of a woodshed, paint drying on a canvas and water flowing through the landscape.

As a strategy into the next stage of research, I am proposing to draw a detail or moment that involves a connection between eastern and western philosophy. I haven’t quite decided what exactly aspect of the cultures I’m going to draw, which is where I could use some help, but possibly a structural detail, a screen or a garden.

For the future of this project…One possibility I have in mind, is to take a western building that epitomizes the philosophy of dominance over nature and introduce a new program/building to it. In essence there would be a western building that is woven, surrounded, intertwined, circulated and made structurally sound by a new building that is rooted in eastern philosophy. Two different programs, two different culture, and two different philosophies joined as one. It would be my attempt to create a new architecture that resembles our new global culture.

I have been thinking a lot about Bachelard where he states, “Through dreams the various dwelling places in our lives co-penetrate and retain the treasures of former days.” I am interested in a particular experience of architecture/landscape in which perception of a space is colored by the recollection of other spaces, created an extended ground of memory. Possibly, this could relate to another idea I have about the experience of seemingly separate spaces that “push” against each other. Considering two spaces, challenging each other for influence, the occupant can directly understand the space he or she is in, but also has an understanding of an extended space, including the second space, which is conceived by the play between occupying the first space, feeling the push of the second space, and then imagining the quality of the second space through the extended ground of memory. The idea of one space pushing against the other relates to sketch problem in which the occupant of the “sanctuary” could understand the space of the courtyard by the sounds that transcend the physical barrier I proposed between the two.
A year or two ago I found a new recording entitled “Chants, Hymns, Dances” which is an album of improvisations on the music of Gurdjieff (an Armenian ‘mystic’ of questionable legitimacy who had his followers dance as a sort of meditation) for piano (Vassilis Tsabropoulos) and cello (Anja Lechner). Regardless of Gurdjieff’s intentions, the modern improvisations are gorgeous pieces of music, but the real point is that the album was recorded with technical perfection in a church in Germany, and when I listen to it on a good stereo, I can hear the space of the church. That is to say, by hearing the way the music reverberates in the space I have an understanding of the church that is constructed from memories of spaces with similar acoustic qualities.

So for self-assignment:

1. Finish my documentation of the detail. As I am currently drawing out the detail, it is starting to take on a more developed intention than when I first built it. In parallel to drawing, I am going to write a narrative for it, which parallels occupying the space and simultaneous thinking of another space, in a sense blending the two together. The drawing is starting to get at this too.

2. The next drawing I want to work on takes my photographic project, the one I showed in the presentation, “April is the cruelest month,” and map the narrative of the photographs into a larger landscape. (All the photographs were taken on the same day within several hours of each other.) I then want to take my documented narrative of the Brion Cemetery, my photographs and sketches, and map them into a landscape, and then investigate a way, through drawing, two merge the two in parallel to create a map of a “new landscape.”

3. Take a stab at sitting down and writing a precis.

4. Begin to consider site and program. As I think about it more, I see myself choosing two seemingly oppositional programs and merging them to see how they push against each other.

Here is what I wrote during the writing workshop on Saturday:

For Jeffrey: You had asked that I email you about some suggested readings you had for me. If you see this could you please post them as a comment to the list.

October 14, 2006

Written during the Language of Desire Workshop

To challenge the notion of landscape. Landscape is often confused with topography but rather than being mere physical place, it is an experience that is a near fictional narrative written by the play between physical sensation, memory, both personal and that imbedded in place, and imagination. It is through this “fiction” that we experience landscape. Thus if landscape is thought of as the experience of place could landscape refer to a piece of built architecture and not only natural topography.
Assuming a cross between physical sensation and memory, how can physical interaction with architecture open the possibility of recollection? As Bachelard states, “Through dreams, the various dwelling places in our lives co-penetrate and retain the treasures of former days.” “The house shelters daydreaming.” But should the house not also facilitate dreaming? How does the architecture imbed a place with a physical history that when interacted with sensually, provide the possibility of recalling other places, creating architecture of an extended ground of memory and imagination?
A carefully planned and tactile architecture that challenges the notion of landscape. It redefines landscape not as the mere topography of place, but as an experience that helps us understand place through the blending of physical sensations and the memories of many places.
The criticism I received from Jeffrey during the seminar was that choosing at least a potential program and site would help sharpen my ideas through increased specificity.
A) I Will produce drawing of the Talmud.

The Talmud has no punctuation marks. There are no commas, periods, question marks and so on. Only with experience does the student learn how to read the Talmud properly.

The placement of a comma or a question mark can change the meaning of a Talmudic passage. Depending on how the Talmud is read, different interpretations can be made or questions raised. In fact, there are many of these differences amongst the commentaries. Thus, one piece of Talmud can be understood in a variety of ways, none of which is more correct than the other. In Jewish thought, this is referred to by the concept of both these and these are the way of G-D (Talmud Brachos 7B).

I have begun a template of page of Talmud,if it's overlayed on the page one could see how I understand this passage of the Talmud.

B) I will have the three ring binder up to date for you to see.
lets be clear...
the entire class needs to post by this evening 12pm...
write your assignment...what drawing will you produce for tuesday...
the three of you that were absent are in no way excused...
I have been researching painting, the philosophy of painting. Specifically I have looked at a book on Francis Bacon by Gilles Deleuze, which I chose because of the definition that is given to a 'mirror', "Bacon's Mirror." It is beyond its reflective qualities and talks about it as a space where the "body and its shadow" enter to become disfigured, and then reconfigure to become the Figure. The term figure does not refer to the object, but rather to the idea, conceptual idea. In this book I found links to Cezanne. Cezanne had a way of painting that took objects in the foreground and blended them with objects in the backround, what he termed "repoussior," which means something that pushes back. I understand this idea in terms of the way a mirror can operate, how something away or not in immediate view can be brought in to the scene, not as an object, but as a space, and not as a complete, but as a fragment of something else. Diego Velasquez's painting, Las Meninas was a strong example of how two spaces or more can oscillate about each other, the invisible can become visible by another means.

In all of these paintings I see a strong idea, and that is 'paint the sensation.'

I have started a drawing using the first 3-week exercise as a basis to demonstrate this idea of sensations in painting. I also am incorpating the mirror, and its reflections, and transformations within it. It will be of a different nature than the built form. I am thinking of putting this into performative techniques.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The two main things I am interested in at this moment are:

1. How a work grows in time

There is a history of the physical and a history of the ethereal. Physical histories exist as artifact, while ethereal histories exist as memory. Every work has a history that is specific unto itself. Can memory be translated to artifact?

2. An architecture of objects/characters

Rather than thinking of a work as one unbreakable whole, thinking of a work as a backdrop for distinct architectural "characters". There is the space and then the objects that define/occupy the space. Many figures occupying one ground. Many actors gathered on one stage. My interest lies in the space between these characters, the space between the gesture.

For next class:

I am very interested in the 30 remaining Egyptian obelisks throughout the world. They have existed since the beginning of our recorded history. I see them as Time's index. They have been uprooted and moved (some several times) since they were quarried some 3500 - 4000 years ago. I would like to, within one drawing, show their locations and movement throughout time.

Obelisk being moved to london in a specialized steel container...

Obelisk being re-erected

Sunday, October 15, 2006

degree studio
please remember what is expected on tuesday.
everyone should have their three ring binder with tabs...
you should have your three week project documented...
think about how you present this, it may help you organize the book later...
consider that you are making a book and you have to address the binder...
you can print on both sides if you have a heavy enough paper...
in addition you have the schedule and know what is expected...
most of your collection right now is in genealogies...
but you can begin to fill in others...
such as those talking about scarpa and venice...
venice could find its way into field of operations even tho it may become a mirror to look at another site...
the making of your details could work into performative techniques...
during class i will randomly select your book to review for completetion...
i will not have time oto read everything...
that is why you need to post YOUR writings on the blog...
jeffrey is more than willing to reposnd and we can be more productive...
the images that alex posted are great...
everybody should be doing this...it takes a little time i know...but will be worth it...
does anybody know how chris is doing?
havent heard from him...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

To anybody looking for reading that is very relevant:

"poetics of space" as already suggested by Marc and Dan

"concerning the spiritual in art" by Wassily Kandinsky.
very small book that opened my eyes to many things

by the way, if anybody is interested, i think it would be a good idea for us to collectively begin to compile a list of reading material that we have found. I don't know if this should be done on the blog (or if it is possible to somehow make a "sub-blog") or somewhere in school, but I think that this would be very beneficial to all of us.
These images are from a book I bought in Firenze. I think they are compelling for anyone thinking about memory and architecture.

Ponsi, Andrea. Firenze: Changing Viewpoints. Alinea, Editrice S.R.L., Firenze, Italia, 2001.

Memory and Abstraction

“Memory is the inseparable companion of design. It gives us the possibility of re-experiencing the places in a city and recreating them in immediate and spontaneously rapid images. The fact that the act of thinking is simultaneous with that of drawing eliminates every difference between the two moments: one draws remembering, one remembers drawing. The selection made by memory creates a certain degree of abstraction in drawing. This is the phase in which forms become opaque as the memory fades, or become sharper and more accentuated when one is concentrating on a minute detail. In the same way as for shapes, quick decisions are made about colours, to express the sensations stimulated by buildings or urban views perceived in an every-day, often inattentive perception of the city.” (p. 37)

Loggia dei Lanzi

The Subjective Map

“Pictorial type design, which simulates a more direct expression of sensation, is replaced by the need for reflection, for a phase in which analytical thought has priority again. This is the moment when one discovers the relations between things, when metaphors are invented, and particular points of view are chosen. Drawing becomes slower and more precise and often the pencil is guided by the decisive linearity of a ruler or a set square. These drawings turn into little maps completed far from the places they represent, in the seclusion of a room, on a drawing table. Each image represents a special theme, sometimes on an urban scale, as the interpretation of the formal structures of the whole city, and sometimes as interpretations of specific buildings or itineraries.” (p. 49)

Panorama dal Forte Belvedere
Da Palazzo Pitti al DuomoPiazza Signoria con statue

Friday, October 13, 2006

Johnson, Mark and George Lakoff. Philosophy in the Flesh. Basic Books, Jackson, TN, 1999.

“These findings of cognitive science are profoundly disquieting in two respects. First, they tell us that human reason is a form of animal reason, a reason inextricably tied to our boudies and the peculiarities of our brains. Second, these results tell us that our bodies, brains, and interactions with our environment provide the mostly unconscious basis for our everyday metaphysics, that is, our sense of what is real.” (p. 17)
Taken from my sketch book, October 12, 2006

A few thoughts on Scarpa:

In museums, Scarpa has a profound respect for objects of art, elevating them to new realities of their own. The detail displays the work in an almost surreal separation from their context.


liberation, free to new interpretation

From “Carlo Scarpa and Italian Architecture” by Manfredo Tafuri
“What seemed no more than an array of fragments turns out to be a landscape from which references emerge to a complex interplay of recognition and recomposition, a network of possible routes.”

In Scarpa’s work are the “fragments” actually “figures?” Figures imply characters and characters carry a dialog and act out a story.

A few thoughts on the “Poetics of Space” by Bachelard

“We are never real historians, but always near poets.”
“Thus the house is not only experienced from day to day only, on the thread of a narrative, or in the telling of our own story. Through dreams, the various dwelling-places in out lives co-penetrate and retain the treasures of former days.”
This relates back to the idea of the “story,” the semi-fictional narrative written by the play between personal memory and the memory imbedded in place.

“The house shelters daydreaming.”
But should the house not also facilitate dreaming? It is through the interaction with the architecture that relevance is given to our memories. It is the memory of sensation that confirms the reality of past experience.

Also, returning to Bachelard’s tie between dreaming and dwelling, implicitly to make architecture is to dream, thus Scarpa’s “vigil.” (explained below)

Vigil: a watch in the night

Dream: a subconscious watch in the night

(“His drawings were the outcome of vigil rather than easy depictions of a decision.” From The Architecture of Carlo Scarpa by Francesco Dal Co)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dan, I have gotten a hold of this book, I will dicuss with you more in depth in class, but the book does help in describing neuroscientific aspects in terms which are easier for the lay-man to grasp. Through this reading, "The Eyes of the Skin" and some others, I have noticed a common focus / paradox in dealing with emotion/experience and time or rather timelessness. In his introduction to Art and Illusion, Gombrich decribes the impossibility of defining the actual moment at which the "illusion" of art takes place, for one writer, it was stepping back from a valasquez painting and trying to see both the brush stroke and image at once.
I find this moment, something that is infinatly approachable yet ultimately unatainable, is a common thread in a syneasthetic episode, architecture, etc.
These ideas about the jewish mournig practice and the talmud also play to this, in the sense that time and place are intertwined deeply in ritual/ study practice. I do realize that these ideas remain vague and wide reaching.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

for jonathan lee...from dan...

Dear Jonathan:Please take a look at this book.Art and IllusionA Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation by EH Gombrich(1956)This is a classic book , maybe a bit dated by now but still valuable to the history of the topic. Some of his connections to Roland Jacobson “Theory of Communication” (page 370), and the Charles Osgood “The Measurement of meaning” (page 371) I have found useful to reconnecting back to architecture by using his tools of investigating the semantic world of a client or a group of users. He, like you, is looking for a way to discover “common forms” (in your vocabulary.These are short quotes from Chapter XI “ From representation to Expression”He writes about Synaesthesia on pages 366-371”…This (Synaesthesia) is dangerous ground, a favorite hunt of cranks and even madman, and yet I think it is ground which will have to be traversed . For we all feel that sounds can indeed imitate or match visual impressions….What is called synesthesia the splashing over of impressions from one sense modality to another, is a fact to which all languages testify….” (p 367)“..Granted even that most of us experience such synesthetic images with more or less intensity,are they not completely subjective and private,inaccessible and uncommunicable ? Can there be real objective discoveries of good and better matches in these elusive spheres as there were in the discovery of visual analogies to visual experience ? Can the world of the mind, of the dream, be explored by experiments that result in accepted conventions as was the world of the waking eye ?……For this analysis has taught us to remain aware of three factors: (1) the medium, the (2) mental set, and (3) the problem of equivalence “ (p 368)“It is my conviction that the problem of synesthesis will cease to look embarrassingly arbitrary and subjective if here, too, we fix our attention not on likeness of elements but on structural relationships within a scale matrix……..It was Professor Rolland Jackobson who drew my attention to the fact that synesthesia concerns relationships.……In their recent book The Measurement of Meaning, Professor Charles Osgood and his collaborators have submitted a similar technique to rigorous statistical analysis…..”You should take a look at these sources. If you don’t find them I will help.Dan

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Does anyone have additional contact information for Jeffrey Hogrefe? He hasn't been responding to his Pratt email address.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

i truly hope most of you were able to see the film tonight.
regardless, dont miss jeffreys workshop this weekend...
mandatory...but you should want to go...
move ahead...

It was discussed today that those who experience synethesia have, among other things, a strong memory of space and have a strong memory how text relates to the page.

This idea is present in the layout of the Talmud. The page of the Vilna edition of the Babylonian Talmud has the main text in the center and commentaries on its sides (Rashi is on the inside of the page and Tosfos on the outside). Because the Talmud varies in its ability to be to understood the amount of commentary varies on each page, the outcome leads to different composers for each page of the Talmud. This is called the tzooras hadaf.
The difference made it easier for one to remember the Talmud and where certain topics can be found. This was important because a) the Talmud is part of the Oral Law and b) not many people had the privilege to own a copy of the Talmud.

It was discussed today that those who experience synethesia have, among other things, a strong memory of space and have a strong memory how text relates to the page.

This idea is present in the layout of the Talmud. The page of the Vilna edition of the Babylonian Talmud has the main text in the center and commentaries on its sides (Rashi is on the inside of the page and Tosfos on the outside). Because the Talmud varies in its ability to be to understood the amount of commentary varies on each page, the outcome leads to different composers for each page of the Talmud. This is called the tziras hadaf.
The difference made it easier for one to remember the Talmud and where certain topics can be found. This was important because a) the Talmud is part of the Oral Law and b) not many people had the privilege to own a copy of the Talmud.

Another edition was later published with different commentaries, but since this new edition did not conform to the traditional layout there was a ban on it s release. The ban was put in placed because it erases the memory.

Another edition was later published with different commentaries, but since this new edition did not conform to the traditional layout there was a ban on it s release. The ban was put in placed because it erases the memory.

Monday, October 02, 2006

" fascination is this disembodied passion of a gaze without an object, of a gaze without an image.It is that of a vitrified exacerbation of the body, of a vitrified exacerbation of a genitalia; often an empty scene where nothing takes place and which nonetheless fills our vision. It is also that of informaion or of the political in which nothing takes place and by which we are nonetheless saturated."

"a cut in nature moves things"




Sunday, October 01, 2006

I am interested in the investigation of synesthesia as social phenomenal. I believe that each individual experiences reality in a different way. We all live in the same world and yet we all have different philosophies and ideas about reality and life. So, the ability to understand what others are thinking lies at the heart of social interaction. We constantly convey meanings to others, and draw conclusions about their beliefs and intentions.What do these differences tell us about objective reality? Do our senses detect the same reality, or does each person see a different picture in his/her head?

Social interactions play an important role in searching for a common ground. One theory of how synaesthetes acquire these cross-modal associations is through associations with childhood memories. Children (under the age of four) appear to be experiencing synesthesia before the brain completes its development. There is evidence suggesting that at this young age human beings do have the capability of mixing their senses (or sensory overlap). Often, people with synesthesia describe having been driven to silence after being derided in childhood for describing sensory connections that they had not realized were atypical. Therefore it is possible to assume that the development of synesthesia arises from having less social interaction or complete isolation.

I am, at this point, proposing the question of whether or not the act of isolating oneself can sharpen one’s senses. By getting rid of any feelings and emotions, shifting the main focus to only our senses, can we rediscover our root (regain our experiences) and allowing ourselves to achieve synesthesia, that sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another part of the body? The idea of discovery unity/harmony in diversity? Can we stop our brain form analyzing every piece information we receive, and just let the senses interact to one another?

I am also looking at Jackson Pollock, who isolates himself through his painting. With his "dripping" technique he uses and moves his whole body to literally be "in" the paint. And once he is there he is not aware of what he is actually doing, letting go of personal feelings and emotions. He just sort of let it all come through
I am looking at Klee and his relationship to scarpa... this may branch off however. I found in one of the books I was reading, "the meshing of sensations caused by synaesthetic experiences-the reason for kandinsky's interest in this topic-were not approaches ever entered into by klee". I will keep researching and see where it takes me...
I'm thinking about fragment and whole. especially, how can the fragment influence the whole.
I think every project has its own purpose and function, and the fragment can be means to reinforce its purpose. For instancce I went to a church. It has so simple shapes ,and it was made out of few materials like exposed concrete and some wood. When I went to the inside, a huge light- cross was on the whole floor. It was absolutely holy space. The light came from a cross-hole of a wall. this church was the church of light of Ando. In this case, I think only one fragment influences the whole condition such as building, emotion of people etc. Also lots of fragments can control the whoe condition and hormonize with the whole things including other fragments that have consistent architectural language.I think works of Calros Scarpa can be good examples.
So, I have interests in relationship and influence among fragments, whole contion, and people.

Sorry about some errors.