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2000.01.10 00:26
as dense as architecture can get?
Rick asks a number of questions re: Speer's plan, plus he raises the issue of proper comparative scale. First, I'll leave the issue of proper scale aside until I find a photocopy of Speer's entire plan (and if anyone has access to Leon Krier's book on Speer, that's where I got the copy of the plan) -- it's there that the comparative scale of Speer's north-south axis can be seen in context relative to Unter den Linden.
Unter den Linden crosses the Speer axis directly in front of the Big Dome's forecourt, that is, just south of the dome's forecourt. The bend in the Spree River then curves around the back of the large dome. Now that I think of it, Spree did not eliminate the Reichstag, but in fact incorporated the (still existing today) Reichstag as the east side of the big dome's forecourt (I'm pretty sure this is what that plan from Krier's book indicates, and you can see a slice of the front of the Reichstag's footprint creating the (upper side of the) forecourt in the image Rick sent). And comparing both Speer's axis and the Unter den Linden plan within the plan comparisons Rick sent, it looks like they ARE the same scale--in the Unter den Linden plan you can see the southern half of the Reichstag's footprint, which is just northwest of Parisier Platz/Brandenberg Gate.
As to wondering about the 'easy' play with scale's relative to Piranesi's Campo Marzio, in part, Rick, you guess correctly. I say in part because when Piranesi delineates the Campus Martius proper, he more often than not uses the correct scale for the buildings that once existed there. Piranesi grossly exaggerates building scale in the Campo Marzio's outer regions, however. Nonetheless, Piranesi is deliberately 'playing' a learning game here, in that the outer regions is where Piranesi's plans and programs lack practially all veracity, hence, the hyperbole of Piranesi's architectural imagination is coded by a hyperbole of architectural scale. In simple terms, the over-sized plans of the Campo Marzio indicate buildings that Piranesi completely 'made-up', where as a high percentage of the smaller building plans indicate buildings that actually once existed and are drawn in their proper scale. (Mind you, the drawn plans of the once existing buildings, even though at a correct scale, are still most often individual plans of Piranesi's invention.)
in case it isn't already obvious, I have something of a fetish for reading the plans of places that don't exist. kind of an inversion of deja-vu all over again. or is it a reenactment of deja-vu all over again?

Piranesi in Color
Display Piranesi in color within Encyclopedia Ichnographica.

2000.02.20 12:09
You wrote, "In the end, I never got past Tafuri; regardless of how he tries to recapture the value in the implicit recognition of the futility in the archtectural project, this might be a personal salve for me as I try, but if I am establishing and sustaining agency, they abandonment of the archtectural project is my only recourse."
Since I have never been taught Tafuri, and only read some of his texts (but not entire books), what is it that you "never got past"? Is it a kind of disenchantment?
I ask because I have found that Tafuri is more or less completely flawed in his interpretations of Piranesi's Campo Marzio (in The Sphere and The Labyrinth). Moreover, I've just recently become award of Tafuri's stance regarding historical criticism versus operative criticism, and it seems to me that with regard to Piranesi's Campo Marzio, Tafuri is just as guilty of utilizing operative criticism as opposed to historical criticism (which I understand Tafuri recognizes as a "better" mode of criticism/theorizing).
I am not necessarily someone that is anti-Tafuri, in fact, it was Tafuri's texts regarding the Campo Marzio that were for a long time the only texts I could readily find on the Campo Marzio as it might relate to architecture, but as I further researched Piranesi's Campo Marzio plan, and other texts (e.g., Fasolo's 1956 text, which too is full of literal mistakes, and which seems to have also informed Tafuri), I began to see where Tafuri makes many mistaken interpretations as well. Moreover, if Tafuri is wrong about the Campo Marzio, of which his interpretations form the foundation for his Sphere and Labyrinth text/argument, is it possible that a great deal of the argument may be flawed?
Basically, I'm asking if you might be interested in (privately) discussing Tafuri via email, especially with regard to the Campo Marzio.

reŽnactionary urbanism
The best way for me to address the recent "Eisenman as Piranesi" mistakes is to make it the final part of "Inside the Density..." where I will address reŽnactionary urbanism as demonstrated by the Ichnographia Campus Martius. I believe this will also be the best place to address the Tafuri (et al) mistakes as well.
There are now more aspects to address [re: reenactment], those from Variations on a Theme Park and from the von Moos essay in the new VSBA book (Tablaux).

Ichnographia Campus Martius first state

Tafuri quoting
[from: Tafuri quoting] Piranesi's Campo Marzio [to: The End] -- This begins with the first Tafuri quoting in "Geometry." What late 20th century Campo Marzio interpretation suggests is not what Piranesi intended. This is the history of Tafuri quoting [Piranesi/Campo Marzio] as I/Quondam have collected it to date.

overall, one very Piranesian daze
overall, one very Piranesian daze
an OTHERWISE EYES true story
by Stephen Lauf
The one day implicit in one daze refers to 4 April 2000.
Went to UofP Fine Arts Library and successfully documented the two states of the Campo Marzio. I traced the circus redos and digitally snapped the plans, as well as the Italian dedication text.
I returned the book to the main librarian who remembered me from last Spring. I asked him if he'd already seen the PMA Rome exhibit, he had not. He then volunteered that some museum staff associated with the show came to take "last minute" pictures. I asked if pics were taken from the Campo Marzio and he answered (I believe a truthful) maybe. It then seemed imperitive that I see the Rome show as soon as possible because I had to find out if the Ichnographia was part of the exhibit (or catalogue)--I found it is not part of the exhibit.
Reserve borrowed ANY25--Tafuri. I only photocopied the Eisenman text because it was the only article addressing the Campo Marzio explicitedly. Wigley's article is entitled "Post-operative criticism" and I may copy that later.
Went to the Penn book store and purchased Ghosts of Berlin and Hypersurface II.
On my way home I decided to stop home for lunch, call Matt Singer, and visit the exhibit (quickly). All this was accomplished. (For a few minutes I thought I lost the Campo Marzio digital images diskette.)
The Piranesi portion of the Rome exhibition was much smaller than I expected. Nonetheless, I was very enthralled with the cooper plate, and I gott to look at what it might look like if Piranesi were looking at me. The Piranesi bust has a blue vein on the upper left cheek just below and besides the left corner of the left eye. A little bit of life remaining?
Back home I checked my email (nothing much there), and then skimmed the Berlin and Hypersurface books. Found the exact location of the Grossbelastungskorper, and found myself skeptical of Pirrella's commercial cravings--D+G applied after the fact. Forgot to mention that I more or less had to buy Hypersurface II because of its (Frank) Stella inclusion. This is probably what killed my Gluckman correspondence.
Then I worked in Arris and finished cleaning up the hlines (of the new Laguna).
Then I responded to design-l--"rammed into an envelope"--great "architectural body talk" post (and it has already been thoughtfully acknowledged.).

Piranesian daze - otherwise eyes
Begin OTHERWISE EYES with "overall, one very Piranesian daze." All the pieces now fit and I can begin (with a true story).
My Campo Marzio research is now case closed--I'm the one documenting the two states, and now I also know the meaning of the 'change of plan.'--the changed areas mark the two most critical points vis-a-vis Pagan-Christian inversion. I also see the possibility that the "Penn" version came first.
Documentation of the two states leads directly to the mistakes issue, beginning in reverse order with the latest Eisenman text, and going back to Fasolo. The mistakes span the first 44 years of my life




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