museum of architecture, virtual

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Quondam: a "playground"
...Quondam should henceforth be something that a real museum is not or cannot be. There is a long footnote re: muse in Homo Ludens that is very inspiring as to what a virtual museum could be.

1999.09.15 12:37
architecture in cyberspace?
First, I said, "I'd hate to see the virtual merely become a reflection of the real." This means I'd hate to see architects/designers/theorists neglect an investigation of the inherent qualities of the virtual/cyber realm, where they can find virtual/cyber's own "natural" order. For example, one huge difference between architecture in the real world and architecture in cyberspace is that in cyberspace actual buildings are redundant, indeed a real auction house that does what eBay does couldn't even be built. Another difference between real architecture and cyber architecture is that one goes to real architecture whereas cyber architecture comes to you. It may simply be that "real" architects have to begin also thinking about what it means to design architectures that go to people.
On a personal level, I like that is a museum of architecture that is not a building, and, moreover, a museum of architecture that goes all over our planet.
Perhaps the purest architectures of cyberspace are precisely those architectures that can't be built [except in cyberspace].

Quondam on/off
...yesterday...the notion of an on Quondam and an off Quondam. The on Quondam is the regular Quondam and the off Quondam is where the museum will be experimental and offer an alternative history (of architecture).

2000.01.03 03:38
Re: sculpture versus architecture
Pinar Dinc writes:
What about the notion of life? In order to call a composition as a work of architecture there must be a life in it. A life around it does not make it architecture, I think. The composition must embrace a life style, must be an accompaniment of a life style but not be the focus of it. The objects which are for perception only, cannot be called architecture. They are called sculpture.
Steve Lauf replies:
What Pinar writes comes across as very true as a reasonably way to approach "what is architecture?" as opposed "what is sculpture?" And for the most part I agree with the notion that architecture accommodates life. So I then ask if this 'definition' must be broadened to include all built forms that once accompanied life and a life style, but over time have come to no longer do so. I am thinking of ancient ruins, be they Stonehenge, the Pyramids, the Parthenon, the cave temples of India, etc. These are commonly referred to as examples of architecture, yet today they are clearly "objects which are for perception only." Have these architectures become architecture/sculpture hybrids? Furthermore, no one now lives in Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, nor, it might be argued, does the life style around which the Villa Savoye was designed to accompany now exist. Is the Villa Savoye a master work of modern architecture that is now an "object which is for perception only?" Or is it merely that the 'life style" the Villa Savoye now accompanies is one where great buildings (if they're lucky) become cultural shrines, where the buildings now accommodate our 'perceptual worship'?

2000.01.08 13:48
a virtual museum of [disinformation] architecture?
John Young wrote:
Imaginary architecture, Escher, Piranesi, Heaven, Hell, visionary, virtual, has always mesmerized, inspired, perhaps terrified, for being beyond what is accompishable.
To be sure most architecture begins as imaginary and then it's all down hill from there as other brutally realistic forces have their way. Until ruins once again induce fantastic possibilities.
I especially admire Steve's fictional conference........
Steve Lauf continues:
Before going INSIDE DENSITY and while INSIDE DENSITY, the back of my mind was occupied with "what could a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture could [or would] never be?" presently comprises over 80 megabytes of data in the form of texts and images. As 'director' of Quondam, I'm hesitantly contemplating the (online) deletion of all the data in one keystroke. Seems drastic, but dia(meta)bolically desirable(!) -- kind of like pushing that big red button somewhere in Washington D.C., or where ever red buttons are.
Tabula Rasa is too easy, however. I prefer palimpsest, instead--erasure and then overwriting/overrighting. Of course, replacement would be necessary and necessary in quick order (...don't want those rising web stats to suddenly evaporate).
So what can a virtual museum of architecture be that a real museum of architecture can not be?
I'm at the point where the dissemination of disinformation appears the most appealing. I'm imagining a museum of architecture that curates and displays an 'un-real' history of architecture, you know, among OTHER things, all those buildings Le Corbusier designed since 27 August 1965, and likewise the dies sanquinis urbanism of lights-camera-Africa in 2056 AD which is covertly inspired by the OTTO-man architecture of pre-Christ South America, and don't forget the equinoctial architecture along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Yes, may well soon be a 'new and improved' virtual museum of [unscientific fiction] architecture, written and delineated in palimpsest (so the faded 'truth' is nonetheless incompletely 'not there').
I'm becoming more and more convinced that a virtual museum of architecture misses its full virtuality unless it 'calendrically incarnates' other zeitgeists + [or minus] architectures.

2000.01.18 11:48
recalling virt. mus.
...the truth about directing ones own virtual museum of architecture is that one can do whatever one wants to do. In reality there is absolutely nothing that makes Quondam have to have a teleology, and it is just that reality of absolutely no imperatives, no rules, no obligations, and no need of approval that I hope Quondam begins to reflect.

2000.02.16 12:32
Re: reasons why not to worry
Rarely is any architect able to readily execute his or her designs and intentions immediately and/or of their own volition, and if such a favorable condition is at hand, then it is most likely because of independent wealth or being in a politically powerful position. The cyberspace of the Internet has made self-made, readily executed architecture possible. The closest comparison I can think of in our time and in the real world is Philip Johnson's estate in New Canaan, where each of the buildings there is of Johnson's own designs and for his own use, and where each building is a design experiment--essentially Johnson created an open air museum of Philip Johnson architecture, while at the same time 'practicing' and' researching' architecture.
Because of the www, any architect can now 'virtually' do the same thing; architects anywhere can now practice and research architecture in cyberspace. Unfortunately, it seems most architects are not even aware of this potential, and really not every architect has the physical means to engage and design within cyberspace. As in the real architecture world, it is not enough to theorize and write about architecture in cyberspace, one should also build in cyberspace to realize the full potential.

a hyper architectures museum
/www is where all web/internet related material will be housed/compiled, and this may be where "virtual" issues are addressed.
/quondam is where the "former" quondam (a virtual museum of architecture) will be "exhibited" and elaborated upon. This is also where the new Not There will be introduced.
/com is where all commercial activity will reside, e.g., advertising, etc.
/a is an alphabetical mega list.
/hyper is where I can be the most experimental, the most radical, in a word, hyper. This is where building collages occur, where revisionist hyper-texts occur, and where reenactionary texts occur, and outlandish exhibits occur as well.
/architectures is where architectural designs will reside, as well as architectural ideas and discoveries.
/museum is the Quondam archive, the infinite collection.

Quondam empty out Quondam completely, and, in its place, create something completely off the wall. My own obscure attitude will guide me, and there is no need to submit to any norms. I can make it all up and even be intentionally false and untrue in the information Quondam supplies. The whole museum as an enormous fiction.

A new (infringement) design for Strasbourg: the columns are fattened and some are eliminated altogether; the box is raised as high as the roof bottom; level 4 becomes the open air roof; the roof "enclosure" becomes the giant auditorium raised by the forest of columns. This idea came out of a further speculation of Strasbourg via Koolhaas and VPRO.

Quondam's Bibliothek
The notion of actively cataloguing and even generating books for an online library. A bibliothek directory provides the infrastructure for the existing and proposed projects. /bibliothek will house or at least catalogue all of Quondam's text projects to date.
/bibliothek will also house the digital versions of the copyright free books collected thus far. And the bibliothek offers the opportunity to experiment with the notion of creating many "lighter" books (like Hey Art... and 2=odd).

2000.07.17 11:44
3 things architecture (websites) should do
...the question is: how can quondam (as a museum of architecture) be something that a real museum of architecture cannot be?

2000.07.17 15:01
Re: 3 things architecture (websites) should do
I'm interested in provideing a place for content, especially content that can't be gotten anywhere else. The look is incidental, and changes at my discretion.

future work
...compose books that are completely cathartic, spontaneous, and indeed schizophrenic. Essentially, they will be a large set of web pages, but the pages will include text, images, dxf files, large scans, web art, virtual places, virtual tours, notes, letters, copyright free texts and images, digital collages, poetry, designs, etc., etc...

the new Quondam
...tapping into the "virtual's" greater potential, that being the ability to create something completely other in all respects. It's like the more unreal I make Quondam, the more something really other it becomes.

2000.09.08 13:12
thanks, I
I like the notion of Quondam being a virtual place in architectural history because that's exactly what it is, and, more than likely, always will be.

quondam   1: an enormous online collage   2 : some incompletely architectural museum   3 : architecture as delivery of content   4 : a practice hypermuseum   5 : the architecture [publishing] domain of Stephen Lauf   6 : a virtual place in architectural history   7 : a premier unbuilding that continually undoes itself   8 : the first virtual museum of architecture online   9 : once, at one time, formerly; at times, sometimes, once in a while; some day, one day (in the future)

Really Good Architecture
Architecture is a medium, a facilitator, and a container, and all reality is relative to the vastness of its container.

Quondam as hypermuseum
01. continuation of "Lauf Haus der Kunst".
02. lots of new museum (model and plan) play.
03. museum annex development.
04. the working title museum.
05. something to do with the Ryerss Museum.
06. the local acropolis.
08. a solarized "photography" exhibit.
10. IQ as the plan of a hypermuseum(?).
...Quondam as hypermuseum to be the manifestation of designing and practicing (architecture) in cyberspace ideas... Quondam to display an exploitation of data in the digital realm to create entities that (can) only exist in the digital realm.



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