[iDC] Cities, Speculation, and the Non-addressable

A. G-C guibertc at criticalsecret.com
Wed Sep 27 14:44:11 EDT 2006

Analogy in architecture that is not "organic architecture" even the words
would simulate or predict it, you can get an example here:
(a debate in the frame of the same exhibition in 2004)

But here you have a clear description of what it can be really hope from the
part of contemporary architecture, and you will see how it reigns several

>From this point I have to say that till the digital mode of conception of
architecture had not over passed the technical conception of architecture,
except in architecture fiction that was prospective architecture not real
(material) architecture the mobility or the plasticity of the city were only
from the part of the political decisions and more from the part of the
citizens mode of inhabitation and circulation.

That was the very moment of the critical architecture after what no one can
be but only the radical total architecture as mechanical autonomy against
the political autonomy.

Because it is impossible to speak on architecture independently of the
power. Power of the total machine as the power of the total State or lobby.
All the history as well of western architecture and much more as urbanism of
the territory is that one of power. Except the vernacular architecture.

Mobility in architecture except the mobile homes cannot be otherwise that a
tech power allied with the economical and financial power succeeding the
political power.

I have sent an email in form of narration till several critical practices by
the inhabitants for a hand, by the architects from their view of the social
city (can be a semiotic city at Venturi's vision) for another hand, as the
very critical theory of architecture equally the history of the critical
society more reflected by any films in the seventies/eighties which show the
last tech utopias (Vegas as a model of "talking city" to the future, more
Zoetrope studio as a critical condition of the production for the autonomous
critical view). 

There does not appear at my eyes other solution but the power and whatever
this historical time would be over passed.

Tech In architecture can be meta tech, supra tech or such more : it is

But the organic architecture (hybrid, or whatever you want as concept) being
exclusively that one integrating the alternative energy, light, and so on...
All other is control and power and real as fake plasticity.

What of our precariousness but to pay us in freedom money for accepting it?
What of our economic and biologic instability but to pay us in freedom

It is the symbolic change. No substitute our freedom to drive our pathetic
life by tech avant gardist questions more all indefensible as it is about
the indestructible impact of the standards in influence on our bodies in bio
evolution. The economic cursed part of mutative humans is nothing but
freedom front of the material standards, as well the former property that
today is not more representative of the progressive social conquest of
autonomy for the liberalism but of the standard.

What Virilio does and remains to make it is the tech criticism (as architect
of the modernity observing till the weapons like representative high tech ‹
you know perfectly how the researches in defence have conditioned all our
social universe of technology till nowadays) that he was himself and being
the only architect who I have ever known, even by reading, having effected a
real criticism of the advanced tech (till the speed of the bolides applied
in the new economy of the capital of the production: tense streams /stock
zero), which have not found its issue as production of architecture. That is
the only authenticity of radical criticism of tech imputed to the life from

On 27/09/06 19:04, "Brian Holmes" <brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr> probably wrote:

> franck ancel wrote:
>> I think that the symposium/exhibition in Paris, 1997,
>> "TransACHITECTURES02"with an introduction by Virilio is more interesting
>> that this old feed back in Pompidou. And "Hybrid Space : new forms in
>> digital architecture" is not sold out (cf. Peter Zellner, Thames &
>> Hudson, 1999).
> Well, that's interesting, I'll check it out someday.
> But the Pompidou thing was exactly on the subject that seems
> to be at stake here: constructing digital architecture. And
> this "bande annonce" I mentioned has the advantage of
> showing what some of the blob architecture looks like. The
> French version of the page has a text:
> www.cnac-gp.fr/Pompidou/Manifs.nsf/0/7DA19D2CC76BE776C1256D0100510408?OpenDocu
> ment&sessionM=2.10&L=1&form=
> It says:
> "It is not a matter, here, simply of digital architecture or
> of an exhibition of "virtual" architects preoccupied mainly
> with questions of representation (virtuality, hyperspace)
> but of a modification in the industrialization of architecture.
> The generalized use of applications based on algorithmic
> systems implies transformations in the tools of conception
> and production. A "non-standard" architecture is a
> reflection on the language of this discipline as well as on
> its field of application, based on an exploration of digital
> elements. Traditional construction can now be contrasted to
> production by the prototyping of prefab architectural elements.
> The notion of "non-standard" appeared in mathematics in 1961
> with the works of Abraham Robinson. The implications are
> multiple and touch all the disciplines where algorithmic
> systems can be applied, for example artificial intelligence,
> but also morphogenetics (the development of forms). The
> question being asked here is how the digital process, as in
> the field of publishing, has changed the economy of
> architectural production, from design to construction."
> I found the whole thing kind of morbidly fascinating, due to
> the virtuosity of what was being presented, and also the
> total void of any social imaginary for the possible use and
> inhabitation of this stuff. At the time I wrote a small kind
> of review for my colleagues in the journal Multitudes, which
> I translate here from French:
> The exhibition "Non-Standard Architectures" presents some
> extremely free research into morphogenesis, rendered
> possible by computer-assisted design. It's an exhibition of
> maquettes, often carried out by the kind of
> three-dimensional modeling machines used in contemporary
> industry. Few of these plans have actually been realized.
> Sinuous, irregular curves are generated by the application
> of complex algorithms to data gleaned from various kinds of
> forms (built volumes, topological figures, musical or dance
> motifs, etc.). The most interesting of the groups presented
> here is called Nox. They show: a modular office space, or
> really, a hive, destined for use by TV creatives, with work
> spaces that take the form of randomly exploded bubbles; a
> rock-concert hall with a multi-use program, constituted of a
> series of curving ribbons that have been stretched out to
> varying degrees; a kind of huge neon light-sculpture the
> size of a water tower, vaguely resembling an extracted
> tooth, which changes color according to the fluctuating
> emotions of the city's inhabitants who are supposed to
> communicate their moods to their municipal monument via a
> website; and finally, a sort of openwork pavilion with a
> generous, rhythmic frame, like a sculpture by Moore or
> Brancusi transformed into a hollow, diaphanous volume. The
> plan of this last pavilion or folly (which exists in
> reality, as does the tooth-monument) was generated on the
> basis of an analysis of choreographic motifs, translated
> into strips of cut paper which were then elevated into
> undulating volumes. The pavilion is equiped with eight
> movement sensors that are used to recombine the fragments of
> an electro-acoustic composition, so that the visitor
> gradually understands that his/her presence in the structure
> influences the music played in the space, but without ever
> being able to determine exactly how. Both the pavilion and
> the tooth-monument constitute something like a baroque for
> the twenty-first century.
> Nox images: www.arcspace.com/architects/nox/d_tower/index.htm
> The desire behind this aesthetics of the complex curve -- an
> undeniably powerful desire, conveying very real expectations
> of contemporary individuls -- is to recover some kind of
> flexibility in the most positive sense of the word, via
> sophisticated algorithms translated into forms by computer.
> This work is at antipodes from Corbusian orthogonality and
> standardization, in flight from the bureaucratic ideal of
> equality that underlay them: it's an architecture for the
> flexible personality. As several commentators have noted,
> there is no social conscience in this panorama of the
> architectural future: the projects are above all private
> homes, museums, quasi-sculptures, corporate shrines and
> consumer spaces. But once built -- and these forms will be
> constructed, they are already being constructed in the
> Netherlands -- this non-standard architecture will
> definitely have a social function: that of the postmodern
> sublime, which allows the individual to measure him or
> herself against the terror of the unknown, and to adapt to
> situations of cognitive dissonance and disjunction, where
> one can only have partial mastery over the flow of
> information and sensations into which one is nonetheless
> immersed. Like baroque architecture in its time, this will
> be a dazzling spectacle for the greater number who will
> tremble in admiration; and it will also be a disorienting
> but stangely reassuring spectacle for the transnational
> elites, who will always be able to recognize a few familiar
> technical elements in the apparent chaos (a feedback loop,
> the translucent sheen of a particular high-tech
> polymer....). In short, here as elswhere, the bureaucratic
> norms of the industrial period have been overcome, but only
> through virtuoso, high-end performances, leaving the great
> majority without anything to hang onto, and failing to open
> up any constructive path for a thinking of the multitudes....
> BH
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