Finished reading Manfredo Tafuri: Choosing History this morning, and Leach is quite a good analyst and writer. I'd like to relate two passages, one from the beginning and one from the end. On page seven: "Beginning his studies in October 1953, Tafuri faced the disconcerting reality that the University [of Rome] remained stocked with professors appointed under the Fascist regime. Over the duration of his diploma studies, he came to openly oppose several of these. His "hit-list" included Enrico Del Debbio, Ballio Morpurgo, Vincenzo Fasolo and, most explicitly, Saverio Muratori. He complained of their lack of interest in teaching, their distance from the classroom and their reliance on assistants to deliver the curriculum. He begrudged their prejudice against modern architecture: "The operative principal was that contemporary architecture must not enter the curriculum. It was considered a heresy." It thus is now easy to speculate that Tafuri specifically set out to "modernize" Fasolo's analysis of Piranesi's Campo Marzio. If such is the case, then Tafuri also just continued Fasolo's mistakes. On pages 269-270: "In "The loneliness of the Project", Groys argues that the work practices of artists, philosophers, writers, scientists, and so on assume a fundamentally existentialist stance in the relation to their project to the external conditions of day to day life. He conceives of the project as intellectual work that is isolated and independent; its manifestations represent the project, but remain distinct from it. The very notion of the project, as Groys portrays it, invokes a fine balance between a common scale of time shared by all and a temporal field inhabited by an artist. In each instance that an artist proposes a project--to an ethical panel, funding committee, gallery, etc.--he or she advances a scheme for the future. To begin the project is to commence the realization of that programme. Anchored not to the vicissitudes of the present world, their vision is imbued with critique, hope of the anticipation of consequence. It is thus fundamentally utopian, an expression of the need to surpass the present: 'each project in fast represents a draft for a particular view of the future, and each case can be fascinating and instructive.' Despite the completeness with which the artist might conceive of this future, from the outside one may simple engage with its "evidence"." Choosing to "build" a virtual museum of architecture is definitely a project.
Op-Ed: From (EX)CITE to (IN)CITE, reflecting on Rem's Biennale
...you say, "I've looked for something in his [Koolhaas's] buildings that would speak to me...," and you mention "how most people engage with [architecture]. I'm curious how exactly you have looked at Koolhaas' buildings, i.e., did you visit them in person or look at images of the buildings/designs? And, how exactly do most people engage with architecture?
My engagement with 'architecture' is mostly virtual (and that's really not so rare if you really think about it), and when I face to face engage with 'architecture' it's more or less as a tourist (and that's also not so rare if you really think about it). Of course, there are lots of buildings in my immediate environment, and even some significant architecture here and there, but none of it really makes me feel that if everything was beautiful then everything would be better. I will say, however, that around here you're more apt to find beauty wherever the build-up is less dense, and absolute beauty is found where there is no build-up at all.
Art + Architecture: Schumacher vs. Post-Net
Presently, I design Quondam more along the lines of #1.
Although I'd rather be designing along the lines of number #2.
If I actually started to work at designing the way I'd like too, then perhaps I'll arrive at #3.