Reenactionary Architecturism

1   b   c

reenactionary architecturism
reenactionary   1 : being or exhibiting the qualities of a reenactment   2 : the philosophical or theoretical notion that reenactment underlies much of humanity's cultural and ritualistic traditions as well as humanity's artistic expressions   3 : one of the foremost characterists of late 20th century tourism
architecturism   1 : act, practice, or process of architecture   b : manner of action or behavior specific to architecture   2 : abnormal state or condition resulting from an excess of architecture   3 a : doctrine, theory, or cult of architecture   b : adherence to a system or a class of architectural principles   4 : characteristic or peculiar feature or trait of architecture

2004.04.14 17:18
Re: enactionary architecturism
Reenactionary appears to be a word I invented sometime in second half of 1999.
The first time I wrote the word architecturism was 30 January 2001 within personal notes, and the first time I wrote architecturism 'publicly was 28 October 2001 here at design-l. [Actually, the first time I wrote 'architecturism' publically was at Quondam 2001.07.31 with the feature 'Reenactionary architecturism' at wqc/reenactionary.]

2005.08.29 10:54
Hi, Gorgeous. Haven't I Seen You Somewhere?
As words, reenactionary and architecturism are intentionally tinted with satire.
tint 4. A barely detectable amount or degree; a trace.

reenactment architecture
In conjunction with my "inside the density..." paper for Belgium, I am now going to compile a cycle (book) with schizophrenia + architectures entitled "reenactment architecture", which reflects my further thinking vis--vis cities reenacting themselves as the next urban (architectural) paradigm. I have very quickly been able to call out prime examples of reenactment architecture, and this collection allows me to play out a whole working hypothesis. Of course, the first example is the Ichnographia but it hardly ends there--the list seems boundless:
Altes Museum     Strasbourg of Savoye     Fairmount of the Athens Acropolis     Parkway Interpolation     Museum Annex concept     Logan Circle     Hadrian's Villa     Steve's Acropolis     Quondam itself     Yugoslavia/Kosovo     Berlin - modern walled city     Welcome Park     Franklin Court     Mother's House - Absecon     Hurva - 3 models     Kahn's reenactment of the Ichnographia     Wu Hall     Las Vegas     Disney World     Neuschwanstein     Herrenchimsee     Stirling's Muses     Media/Berlin Science Center     French Village     French-Alley in Center City     New Urbanism-Seaside     suburban sprawl - same, same, same     Collage City     Savannah's Squares     Cedar Grove - covered bridge     India - Africa
The notion of reenactment is also playing itself out via Yugoslavia and Kosovo as well in that what is going on there now has already happened many times before.

reenactment architectures
...the whole notion of reenactment itself, and how it differs from simulacra (I think) and plain mimeses (also I think). The key factor is the "acting" out again of a prior event or situation, which is different from just copying.
The more I think about this project, the more issues that come to mind. Besides the list of buildings already written, other examples include: my birth reenactment; Southern Bavaria: Ludwig II and the Passion plays; my sacrifice reenactment, the old Sears firehouse, the Great Stupa/tomb of Augustus.

exporting merrie olde england
What you are basically questioning and evaluating are the (aesthetic) notions regarding reenactment as a purposefully designed phenomenon within the built environment. As my abstract indicates, I see this particular 'brand' of construction as something on the rise, but it is important to remember that reenactment is a 'theme' that exists throughout history. For example, Hardian's Villa of the second century AD and Las Vegas of the 1990s. And aren't the Great Pyramids 'perfect' reenactments of mountains?

Encyclopedia Ichnographica
When I read your list of the five types of design, I immediately wondered if the notion of reenactment architectures may engender a sixth category. I know that reenactment is very much related to Mimetics and even Anthropomorphics, but I also see an important distinction between the latter two and the notion of reenactment, in that reenactments are not exactly copies, nor are they reconstructions, rather they are repeated rituals that have a core essence/event that is continual but also slightly changed over time and according to present circumstances. For example, Hadrian's Villa is perhaps the first (virtual) museum of architecture and the first reenactment 'theme park', the reign of Ludwig II of Bavaria was nothing less than a reenactment of previous European absolute monarchies, Disney's Cinderella castle/Magic Kingdom (modeled after Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle) is then a reenactment of a reenactment (deluxe redux redux), Princess Diana's funeral reenacted Ancient Rome's Triumphal Way in every single detail including the massive (global) crowds that watched, and Las Vegas is undoubtedly today's world capital of reenactment architectures, even to the point of synthesizing a new reenactment urbanism. Moreover, now that I think of it, Rowe and Koetter's Collage City in part very much purports reenactment architectures/urbanisms although I believe the word reenactment is never used. Even if reenactment architectures are only a subset of Mimetics, I believe that reenactment architectures will nonetheless become a predominant design methodology throughout the coming millennium. It is then towards the notion of understanding and formulating a theory of reenactment architectures that I plan to further use what Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius teaches me.

If reenactment as a design prescription is still only a "weak hypothesis," your consideration of the notion so far certainly contributes supplemental vitality and strength. I assume (and hope) you've read my paper for Belgium and my Tafuri critique before writing your reply, because my response here works along those lines.
The evocation of Serlio's 'street scenes' is indeed apt--the notion of stage set is very much part of reenactment, i.e., the place upon which and within which to 'act' again (and again). For the record, Serlio drew three scenes, the third, Scena Rustica or Scena Satirica, is all natural /naturalistic (proto primitive hut? or proto romanticism?).
While reenactment certainly necessitates a contextual understanding, reenactment as a design paradigm is nonetheless not necessarily site specific. For example, theme parks everywhere are for the most part far removed for the 'actual' themes they reenact. On the other hand, the reenactments within Venturi (Rauch) and Scott Brown's Franklin Court (Philadelphia), Western Plaza (Wash. D.C.) and Welcome Park (Philadelphia) relate directly to their respective sites/environments. Reenactment then can (and indeed does) have it both ways in terms of context.
As to the "problem" of "exciting ideas" never getting developed due to being brightly spotlighted and then quickly moved on form, perhaps this 'trendy' behavior too is a form of reenactment, that is, a repetitious renewal, the continual process of putting on a new hat, but always putting on a hat nevertheless.
The best philosophy I've read so far that purports reenactment is within Collingwood's The Idea of History. Collingwood is much influenced by Croce, and Croce is much influenced by Vico. [I have yet to do extensive reading regarding of the philosophy of history, but I have done enough to see that there is a significant strand of it that addresses reenactment as a methodology. I suspect Vico's New Science to be the most important primary source--I have the book, but have only read a small part of it so far.] When I first began to redraw Piranesi's Campo Marzio using CAD, I was doing so to get as close to Piranesi as possible; essentially, I was reenacting his act of drawing as best I could. For me, this exercise, this reenactment, has provided enormous insight, albeit it took several years of continual work for this vision to develop. I am certainly not Piranesi, nor do I contend to possess his superior creative talent and imagination, but I deliberately attempted to do some of the same things he has done, and in so doing I honestly believe I removed several degrees of separation. Perhaps reenactments then are always a play with degrees of separation, sometimes seeing how close one can get to the 'original' and/or sometimes seeing how far one can stretch the 'truth', to name the extreme cases. [play - theater - reenactment]
My historiography of Piranesi's Campo Marzio (and here I include my paper for Belgium with the work so far in the Encyclopedia Ichnographica) aims to present the Ichnographia as a prime exemplar of architectural and urban design as reenactment--Piranesi's plan is not only a large architecturally drawn plan, but also a plan in the sense that it lays out a course of action, or, should I say, a course of reenaction. Taking the lessons of the Ichnographia('s virtuality) and utilizing [reenacting!] them in today's world is the 'real' challenge.

reenactionary architectures
...a book entitled Reenactionary Architectures. ...a collection of essays, the first and foremost being "Inside the Density of G.B. Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii." The rest of the essays, however, are no less important, and they include "Stirling's Muses" (all three parts); promenade architecturale, (all three parts), about schizophrenia + architectures (an essay about why and how the exhibit came together); reenactment and tourism; the Hindu temple and embryonic development; innuendo (is there something I can say regarding reenactment and innuendo?); non-reenactment a.k.a. "otherness" (a short essay of how the virtual realm of the internet should not be a reenactment of the real world, but something new and other); dies sanguinis and "the Arbors of Arbor Street."
I now also see the opportunity to include an essay on "chronosomatics and the imagination as reenactment," and the text will reflect many of my ideas regaring BIA/Zeitgeist. Additionally, there will be an essay entitled "reenactment and the virtual," which will explore the non-reenactment a.k.a. otherness mentioned above, along with how reenactments perhaps always embody virtualness in that reenactments are never the real thing.

the two Elenis
Two of the architects I met almost immediately in Brussels at the INSIDE DENSITY colloquium were both named Eleni--Eleni Gigantes and Eleni Kostika. We were members of the same "Thinking Density" session, and they presented their paper--Greece: Seasonal Densities, Built Density, Landscape Saturation--the ongoing transformation of a country through tourism--after I presented my paper. Upon hearing their talk, it wasn't difficult to see that our two papers had some strong similarities in that what happened in Greece vis--vis 'constructed' tourism comes very close to what Piranesi did within the Campo Marzio vis--vis reenactment. I quickly mentioned this similarity to the two Elenis in-between two of the subsequent papers, and then, during the session break, the three of us had a lengthy discussion regarding "what is reenactment?". I used Princess Diana's funeral as an easy example of ancient Rome's triumphal way being reenacted, and also said that modern Greece may in some circumstances be trying to reenact its ancient glory as an ingredient for tourism. Eleni Kostika still questioned the notion of reenactment, however, and offered that perhaps anything (or everything?) is indeed a reenactment of something. In the midst of all this, we found ourselves talking about Thanksgiving Day in the USA (actually it was Thanksgiving Day, but we were in Brussels), and it quickly dawned on Eleni Gigantes that Thanksgiving Day is a huge reenactment (if not the biggest reenactment within the United States).

Re: [Re:] enactment
Brian asks:
I wonder what the limits of reenactment are...where does reenactionary architecture begin and end?
Steve replies:
It seems logical that no reenactment occurs without an enactment occurring first... reenactment's most inescapable limit is that it can never be as original as that which it reenacts.

reenactionary notes
Here is the first attempt to list all the possible aspects of reenactionary [architectures] that I can think of so far:
1. human history as a reenactment of the human body.
2. the operation of the human imagination as a reenactment of corporal physiology and morphology.
3. Plato's dialogues as reenactments.
4. architecture as a reenactment of human imagination.
5. the Latin and Greek cross plans as reenactments of the original St. Peter's and the original martyrium at Golgotha.
6. a reverse reenactment of the promenade architecturale "buildings".
7. completion of the arch. prom article.
8. completion of "Stirling's Muses".
9. Maison Dom-ino reenacted.
10. "Inside the Density..."
11. Las Vegas as oasis reenacted -- Villa d'Este.
12. metabolic architectures.
13. osmotic architectures.
14. extreme architectures.
15. fertile architectures.
16. pregnant architectures.
17. assimilating architectures.
18. electromagnetic architectures.
19. all frequency architectures.
20. Ludwig II of Bavaria.
21. Disney Land/World.
22. Acropolis reenactments.
23. cloning.
24. hypermural at the Altes Museum.
25. sacred and the profane (also Eliade's Myth and Reality).
26. Rossi's Modena Cemetery/Bustum Hadriani.
27. cardo and decumanus, Roman planning (urban military).
28. Washington DC/Versailles.
29. eros et thanatos.
30. reenactment of mistakes (Fasolo, Tafuri, Eisenman).
31. reenactment relative to mimesis.
32. Revelations as corporal reenactment.
33. not sure how The City of God might fit in.
34. tomb of Augustus -- the Great Stupa.
35. redrawing the Campo Marzio as reenactment.
36. philosophy of Collingwood (plus maybe Vico and Croce).
37. dies sanguinis -- reenactment of my own birth.
38. Tacony Creek Park (environmental center).
39. theme parks (Huxtable, Sorkin, etc.).
40. Hadrian's Villa.
41. reenactment of the real within the virtual.
42. B. Franklin Parkway -- reenactments in Philadelphia (many).
43. circle/square junctures.
44. Kosovo.
45. other VSBA reenactment (Princeton, besides Philadelphia).
46. Otto -- Holy Thursday.
47. Ismet earthquakes.
48. Olney's religious trilogy.
49. Simulacra (Baud.)
50. Ottopia.
51. homo ludens.
52. MOVE as reenactment.
53. metaphor as reenactment (?).
54. dies sanguinis reenactment as performance art.
55. innuendo(?).
56. operative versus historical criticism as reenactment(?).
57. does Stella somehow fit within reenactment?
58. there was my latest idea of writing Imaginations, Zeitgeists and Architectures.




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