Re: E-M~A ARCHITECTURE / OSMOTIC ARCHITECTURE
I believe what humanity doesn't see now, it will see once humanity gets beyond assimilate and metabolism (profane) and into osmosis and electromagnetism (sacred).
Note how both of the body's osmotic organ come in pairs. did osmosis create that 'balance'? Did osmosis throughout the body create all corporal symmetries?
Re: E-M~A ARCHITECTURE / OSMOTIC ARCHITECTURE
If the liver can metabolize, and the skin can metabolize, and the intestines can assimilate, and the kidney and the lungs can osmosofy, and indeed every cell can osmosofy, then why is it such a leap to imagine that the brain can metabolize, assimilate, osomofy (etc.) as well?
understanding the mind
My theory is that human imagination operates in the same fashion that the human body operates. The study of corporal operations is called physiology, and human physiologies comprise fertility, embryonic development, assimilation, metabolism, osmosis, electromagnetism to name the most predominant and those concentrated within specific corporal organs/locations. I theorize that human imagination comprises the same physiologies.
[signs of] otherwise eyes
…a large set of directories, such as: chronosomatics, reenactionary, ichnographiam, ottopia, collection, otherwise-eyes, solarize, innuendo, vapor, acropolis, piranesian-daze, scale, theory, imagination, hyper, almost, lauf-vague-s, casa-vague-s, subcontinental, synopsis, not-there, pieces, seroux, metabolic, hybrid, plans, elevations, sections, details, paradigms, exedra, helena-augusta, enfilade, hypostyle, ramp, porticus, denkmal, sagacity, skin, intention, ludens, zeitgeist, ausland, locale, lacunae, palimpsest, visitation, remove, interpolation, augury, datum.
Koolhaas' Seattle Library
American cities are extremely assimilating (absorbing) and at the same time extremely metabolic (equally creative and destructive).
Hebron (almost 1700 years ago)
Hebron is biblically famous for two sites, the place where an Angel of God first appeared and spoke with Abraham, and the place where Abraham and his family are buried. Both places where then called Marne.
At a later time (c. 324) when Helena Augusta (St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great) was building (the first) Christian churches at the sites of the Nativity (where Christ was born) and of the Ascention (where Christ rose into Heaven), Eutropia, Constantine's mother-in-law was restoring the sites at Hebron (which apparently were in complete disregard at that time). These obscure facts are recorded by Eusebius in his Life of Constantine.
The role of Eutropia as a Christian is quite remarkable because her husband, the (co-)emperor Maximian (ruler in the western Empire while Diocletian ruled the eastern empire) was perhaps the most notorius persecuter of Christians in the decades just prior to the rule of Constantine. Moreover, it is strange to consider that Helena and Eutropia may have been acting as a team. Eutopia was not only (second) mother-in-law to Constantine, but also the (second) mother-in-law of Constantine's father, Constantius, who after divorcing Helena married (Eutropia's daughter) Theodora. And finally, Eutropia's Christian mission would seem altogether most unlikely because her husband Maximian and her son, the usurptive emperor Maxentius, both died trying to resist Constantine.
I mention all this because I find it fascinating that after the leading men of the early fourth century Roman empire where busy fighting and killing each other, the leading women of the early fourth century Roman empire were busy building churches and restoring holy sites. Very metabolic.
brown (lauf 2)
You ask: "What has 'metabolic process' have to do with it?" The metabolic process within humanity, and, more or less in all (animal?) life, is a creative-destructive duality wherein the corporal destruction of matter releases energy thus providing creative impetus. I theorize that the metabolic process is (just) one of the human physiologies reflected in human imagination, and, subsequently, the metabolic process becomes reflected in human activities and events. [note: the other corporal physiologies like fertility, assimilation, osmosis, etc. also play key roles within human imagination, but the theory of chronosomatics suggests the metabolic process as being one particularly dominant in our times.]
The issue of morals and morality inevitably arise within the "metabolic process" because it engenders creation and destruction in equal measures. I feel I should read your responses that include the issue of morals more closely before I offer a more complete reply. I can state now, however, that I treat morals vis-a-vis the metabolic as a secondary second system of analysis because creation and destruction are eqeal and interdependent within metabolic activities and events. [note: I believe Hugh Pearman's latest post "war and architecture" describes perfectly a metabolic process we can all relate to. It's all about destruction, the release of energy, and then creation equal to the destruction.]
"Corporeal" Capitalism may name the metabolic process as expressed by capitalism on a global scale, moreover, a global capitalism that began in the late 1400s.
dance of shiva
Shiva is creative when he is happy and destructive when he is dancing? Am I interpreting correctly?
You first mentioned that the dance of Shiva is not a synthesis, and this makes me here reiterate that I am displaying metabolism as a creative-destructive duality. I use the notion of synthesis only in reference to Hegel, and not broadly in reference to metabolism. I'm interested in recognizing the dual nature of the metabolic process, and not necessarily looking to define the product or outcome of the process.
Is it be OK for me to state that the manifestations of Shiva reenact the metabolic process?
Metamorphosis & Metabolism
I use the terms assimilation and metabolism (metabolic process) as defined in Webster's Third Dictionary. I did not use these terms to suggest that architecture is "organic", rather to suggest that human imagination is "organic".
The Metabolic Aesthetic
Due to unexpected reënactionary circumstances, I have been prompted, (you could even say inspired), to write The Metabolic Aesthetic. This is, and will continue to be, a serious endeavor. There have long been doubts, and sometimes even misunderstandings, as to the metabolic's role or inclusion within design or aesthetic discussions, yet numerous examples of the metabolic within design and aesthetics themselves have been amassing at the same time. The Metabolic Aesthetic will, with text and imagery, deliver the examples thereby demonstrating first the nature of the metabolic as it exists in human artifacts of either physical and/or textual events.
With The Metabolic Aesthetic, I plan to present a rather novel analysis of the Christian inversion of Pagan traditions, which included the architecture (and life) of St. Helena.
the first Agonalia, etc.
Today is the first Agonalia, and it brings to mind, actually highlights my recent thinking regarding the Christian transformation/inversion of Pagan feasts. I first wrote about the Agonalia on 21 May 1999, and noted then (found out actually) that the Greek Orthodox Church then celebrates the dual feasts of Constantine and Helena. The correlation of a feast in honor of Janus, a god with two faces, with the dual figures of Constantine and Helena seems poignant, and indeed intentional. On 9 January, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Julian and Basillicana (sp?), a legendary chaste husband and wife from the early fourth century (?) from Egypt. They were martyrs as well. While the connection to Janus is not explicit, it is nonetheless worth noting the commemoration of dual saints, plus a somewhat odd possible connection between the chaste husband and wife and the mother-son relationship of Helena and Constantine. This raises the question whether the legend of Julian and Basillicana is somehow based on or derived from the story of Constantine and Helena. Further, there is the odd name of Basillicana, which immediately makes me think of basilicas, for which, incidentally, Helena is well known for having built many.
I now see the Christian inversion of Pagan feasts as very indicative of a "metabolic aesthetic", that is, a design activity that is equally creative and destructive (specifically creative of the Christian "mythos" while destructive of the Pagan “mythos" -- "mythos" can be exchanged with "ritual". Furthermore, the Pagan-Christian inversion follows a pattern of reenactment in that the nature of Pagan feasts is replaced by Christian feasts that have a (strikingly) similar nature. For example, the two feasts of Janus celebrate dual sainthoods in the Christian calendar, and specifically dual saints of extremely close male and female relations.
…St. Babylus, who comes as another example of the Pagan/Christian metabolic aesthetic…
more subject off the top
I just can't imagine. Seems to me, the pile of rubble can't be contained. And how far will it be to the nearest dump? It's seems so impossible to me. So very expensive. More expensive than it cost to design and build. What do you think? Do architects ever think about these things?
My advice, consider city buildings loaded guns, and be extremely careful of the gun owners who get all the backing they need for outlaw behavior from complicit city governments no matter what building, health and environmental laws falsely promise.
You might have a reason for S P R A W L.
Many buildings are now beiling built utilizing the technology of post-tensioned concrete slabs. At some point, they are going to outlive their useful life span and they'll have to come down. How do you safely demolish a building which has such enormous internal stresses built into monolithic structure? If you just pop the tendons loose, the building will either explode and/or the cables will shoot off to do massive damage off site.
...the one I often wonder about implied that there were TNT charges wired into the roof that could be detonated to some beneficial effect...
in case of earthquakes, one designs buildings to resonate in synchronisation with the tremors, and i suppose explosives would come in handy in case of very violent jerks. it is all about controlled explosions which cause damage along predicted lines.
Why do I get the feeling that there is something metabolic about all this? Especially in the last case as presented by Anand, where something destructive is utilized creatively.
In commenting on Nunn's "Designing the Solipsistic City", Rick says/asks, "There is not much wrong in what Prof. Nunn says above, but is it not fairly obvious? Doesn't everyone know that preachers, cops and planners are control freaks? I'm surprised he doesn't cite Thomas Crapper for his ambitions to control defecation by bringing it indoors.
But then, is that not a rather built-in attitude we carry around -- this problem of control -- since at least the Renaissance?"
Another way of viewing the issue of planning/design via control is to see it as a metabolic activity, meaning, rather than just control being employed, what is really going on is that something is being destroyed in the guise of something being created.
This metabolic 'imagination' (in Western history) appears much earlier than the Renaissance, however. A careful study of the Roman Empire during the 4th century AD reveals a very systematic 'destruction' of Paganism in the guise of 'creating' Christianity. Is it just coincidence that the feast of St. Helena on 18 August is also the date of the Rape of the Sabine Women? Or that the dual feast of St. Constantine and St. Helena (son and mother) on 21 May is also the date of the second Agonalia, one of two feasts in honor of the 'two-faced' god Janus? Or that the first feast of the Agonalia on 9 January is in the Christian calendar likewise the feast of dual martyrs, the 'perpetually chast' husband and wife Sts. Julian and Basilissa, who althought today are doubted to have actually existed nonetheless bear some resemblance to Constantine and Helena and even more so to Christ and Mary? Or that Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, one of Rome's top seven churches and the continuation of the chapel that St. Helena built in her Roman home (the Sessorian Palace) which contains ground/dirt from Calvary which Helena brought back from the Holy Land, was dedicated on 20 March which was Pagan Rome's day of blood?
[It still seems necessary to point out that as of 28 October 312 Chrisitanity was imperially sanctioned within the western half of the Roman Empire. That as of 324, when Constantine became sole ruler of the whole Empire, that then too Christianity was imperially sanctioned throughout the whole Empire. And that in 380, under the rule of the emperor Theodosius, Christianity then became the Roman Empire's official and sole religion, hence at the same time officially ending all Paganism throughout the empire.]
Interestingly, the first 'barbarian' invasion of the city of Rome circa 400 caused the subsequent resurgence of Paganism in Rome since the promised wonders of Christianity did not transpire in Rome, rather their seeming exact opposite. [Also interestingly, those first barbarian attackers were actually Christians!] This new rise of Paganism is what prompted St. Augustine to write The City of God Against the Pagans [yes, this is the same book more commonly known as simply The City of God, although its full title is much more to the point]. So, getting back to modern planning and 'control', perhaps it's all just a reenactment of what a bishop from North Africa published almost 1600 years ago.
more on (metabolic) control
The following is from Butler's Lives of the Saints January 24, St. Babylas, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr (c. A.D. 250):
The most celebrated of the ancient bishops of Antioch after St. Ignatius was St. Babylas, who succeded Zebinus about the year 240, but regrettably little is known about him. According to St. John Chrysostom he was the bishop who, Eusebius reports, refused admittance to the church on Easter day in 244 to Philip the Arabian -- alledged to be a Christian -- till he had done penance for the murder of his predecessor the Emperor Gordian. St. Babylas died a martyr during the persecution of Decius, probably in prison as Eusebius says, but Chrysostom states he was beheaded.
St. Babylas is the first martyr of whom a translation of relics is recorded. His body was buried at Antioch; but in 351 the caesar Gallus removed it to a church at Daphne a few miles away to counteract the influence there of a famous shrine of Apollo, where oracles were given and the licentiousness was notorious. The oracles were indeed silenced, and in 362 Julian the Apostate [the mid-4th century Roman Emperor that renounced Christianity and briefly revived imperial Paganism even though he was the son of one of Constantine's half brothers and was married to Constantine's youngest daughter Helena, namesake of you know who!] ordered the relics of the martyr be removed. Accordingly they were taken back to their former resting-place, the Christians accompanying them in procession, singing the psalms that speak of the powerlessness of idols and false gods. The following evening, we are told, the temple of Apollo was destroyed by lightening [how 'naturally' convenient!]. A little later there was a third translation, made by the bishop St. Meletius, to a basilica he built across the Orontes; Meletius himself was buried next to St. Babylas.
[The bracketed comments are my insertions.]
It was with the death of Julian the Apostate during the night of 26 June 363 that the (thoroughly metabolic) Constantinian dynasty ended. Constantine first came to (an imperial level of) power 25 July 306.
Perhaps the strongest undercurrent of the coming full metabolic period si the inescapable reality that humanity can annihilate itself with bombs, methods of its own destruction. The point is that having created the bomb(s) that can destroy all humanity is something extremely metabolic in and of itself, and that potential of self destruction is what may prevail throughout the metabolic “era”.
The absence of his mother's virginity after he was born bothered Freud a lot. Plus, he was likewise upset because his father clearly wasn't (a) God. Poor Sigmund, that he came into this world as a mere mortal and not as the Messiah was so undeniably self evident. But that certainly didn't stop SF from establishing a new religion of the Self, complete with a Trinity of ego, id, and super-ego. [cf. Civilization and its Discontents is full of metabolic (i.e., dualistic creative/destructive) thinking.]
I've decided to temporarily (or perhaps indefinitely) repress my thoughts on "white thinking" and on reenactment as a prevalent modus operandi within design and on the long standing existence of diversity within all architectural history. Instead I shall work hard at keeping my mind inactive thus allowing my body to metabolize, assimilate, fertilize, electro-magnetize, and osmosify without my imagination having to do so as well.
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-a-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 'perserved'. 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 Legionaire'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 primiere virtual houses.
You'd think I'd seen it all here too 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?