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Discovery of the two states of the Ichnographia today at Penn's Fine Arts Library.

1999.05.16 09:08
Re: Piranesi
Not exactly sure what it is that I'm supposed to look at. I saw an image of one of Piranesi's prisons, but that is the only connection to Piranesi I found.
I too am guilty of long silence, re: promenade architecturale. I continually mean to finish the "letter to India", but never get around to it. I did look to see where I left off and the next portion will point out that right at the center/mid-point of Villa Savoye, where the ramp reaches the first floor, is where the ramp moves from inside to outside. This transition is significant in that it is an integral part of the whole promenade. Without the halfway :: limbo :: inside/outside the promenade [formula] would be incomplete.
I am jumping way a head, but, since you recently mentioned Terragni, the Danteum too follows the same promenade architecturale formula, and it is through the Danteum that the promenade architecturale can be said to represent a transcendence from profane to sacred. Comparing the Danteum with the Villa Savoye--the forest is the grid of pilotis; the inferno is the ground floor complete with sink (profane/plumbing); purgatory is the halfway :: limbo :: inside/outside; paradiso is the solarium.

1999.05.16 17:32
Re: Piranesi
I did not know that Le Corbusier curated an exhibit on Terragni. I am only aware that the Villa Savoye dates 1929 and the Danteum dates 1938. In terms of the promenade bifurcating, take note of the ramp at Le Corbusier's Palais des Congrès, it too bifurcates, but the important issue (for me at least) is the transition from inside to outside, and, of course, the continual rising which is found in (so far) the Villa Savoye, the Danteum, and the Palais des Congrès.

1999.05.16 17:37
Re: Piranesi
As to Piranesi's prison morphing into the root of your building, the similarity I do find is that both your display and Piranesi's etching "torture" perception. I mean this as both a positive and a negative criticism.

1999.05.16 18:41
Re: Piranesi
Elaborate? Sure.
I see Piranesi's prisons not so much as real places, real prisons, but as images specially designed to torture our (perspectival) perception, hence the prison/torture-chamber imagery. In trying to figure out the space(s) the Carceri depict, the viewer executes his or her own (perceptive) torture. The Piranesi prisons are a purposeful visual conundrum that inflict a pain to our visual sense.
In my first waiting for your shockwave file to download, and then trying to figure out the point you were making was a small torture for me. I doubt that was your intention, but the connection is poignant nonetheless, and perhaps someday you might put together a (shockwave) display that is actually designed to "torture".

mistake   e3016c

1999.05.17 12:14
Re: Piranesi
As far as his interpretation of Piranesi's Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio, Tafuri is just plain wrong. No one should agree with what Tafuri says about the Campo Marzio unless they like to be misguided and mistaken. I feel very strongly about this because I have proof positive that what Tafuri says about the Campo Marzio has already led various (and even prominent) architects astray. I believe it is wrong to perpetuate incorrectness. My "disagreement" with Tafuri stems only from my desire and quest to see things correctly.
What's even worse in the Tafuri/Campo Marzio case is that practically the whole rest of Sphere and the Labyrinth is based on what he says in the beginning. Since what he says in the beginning is wrong, it seems logical that what follows is likely to be wrong as well.
I know for certain that at this point no one else alive today (or perhaps even ever) has studied Piranesi's Campo Marzio as much as I have, with the exception of Piranesi himself.
[Note: The above was written three days after making the discovery of the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio existing in two separate printed states.]

Thanks for taking the time to read my observations. your suggestion of writing a full-bodied critical review is encouraging, however, my intention at this point is to focus more on Piranesi's work rather than Tafuri's. my anger stems from being passionate about the Campo Marzio, and I dislike seeing the plan given such short shrift by a prominant architectural historian/theorist that should have known better. additionally, after one reads what Stan Allen, Jennifer Bloomer and Peter Eisenman have said/written about the Campo Marzio it is obvious that they followed Tafuri's lead, therefore the mistakes become compounded, and in the end architecture theory suffers as well as Piranesi's meaning. I just don't want Tafuri's mistakes regarding the Campo Marzio to continue growing. the other reason for my anger is how Tafuri (mis)uses the Campo Marzio to support his own theoretical agenda. i wouldn't care at all what Tafuri says/writes were it not for the fact that he (perhaps more than any other architectural theorist) is extremely influential still within the whole architectural debate. i'm angry because no one else sees where he is just plain wrong. i don't like to see "architecture" so misguided. since the "myth" Tafuri created about the Campo Marzio is so big, anger seems to be the only emotion that can attempt to match the existing scale.
Considering that my "spot" observations are within schizophrenia + architectures, anger isn't altogether inappropriate, either.

1999.06.07 23:49
the more real Piranesi-effect
The more real 'Piranesi-effect' of our time is the continual confusion and misinterpretation of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius by architects, architectural historians, and architectural theorists over the last forty-three years.
Beginning with major factual errors within Vicenzo Fasolo's "The CAMPOMARZIO of G.B. Piranesi," which first appeared in Quaderni dell'Instituto di Storia dell'Architettura, n.15, 1956, Piranesi's large plan of the Campo Marzio has received one misinterpretation after another.
After Fasolo, the Campo Marzio's greatest misinterpreter is Manfredo Tafuri, who wrote eloquently, albeit incorrectly, about the Campo Marzio in both Architecture and Utopia - Design and Capitalist Development, 1976 and The Sphere and the Labyrinth - Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s, 1987. Outside of the strictly historical accounts of Piranesi's Campo Marzio printing by John Wilton-Ely in The Mind and Art of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1978 and by Jonathan Scott in Piranesi, 1975, Tafuri's texts were the only written interpretations of the Campo Marzio readily available to architectural thinkers throughout most of the [20th] century's last quarter. Tafuri's well respected position as the Director of the Department of History of Architecture at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice led to an unquestioned acceptance of Tafuri's words regarding the Campo Marzio.
Taking Tafuri's false lead, a string of contemporary architects and/or architectural theorists consistently paraphrase Tafuri's texts, thus further procreating subsequent generations of ill-bred Campo Marzio interpretations. The (architectural) authors and texts are:
Stanley Allen, "Piranesi's Campo Marzio: An Experimental Design" in Assemblage (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press Journals, December, 1989), pp. 71-109.
Jennifer Bloomer, Architecture and the text: the (s)crypts of Joyce and Piranesi (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).
Peter Eisenman, "Autonomy and the Avant-Garde" in Autonomy and Ideology: positioning the avant-garde in America (New York: Monacelli Press, 1997), pp. 70-9.
Alex Kreiger, "Between The Cursader's Jerusalem and Piranesi's Rome" in Form, Modernism, and History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 1996), pp. 151-164.
Rafael Moneo, "Recent Architectural Paradigms and a Personal Alternative" in Harvard Design Magazine (Summer 1998).
Sanford Kwinter, "Can One Go Beyond Piranesi?" in Eleven Authors in Search of a Building (New York: The Monicelli Press, 1996).
Using the Kwinter quotation, "the effect of unforeseeable complexity that arises from multiple interfering structures blindly pursuing their own clockwork logic," as a case in point, one only has to compare it to the following Tafuri quotation, "The clash of the formal organisms, immersed in a sea of formal fragments, dissolves even the remotest memory of the city as a place of Form," and "the whole organism seems to be a clockwork mechanism," to see that Tafuri's misinterpretations of the Campo Marzio still guide those that do not know better.
Perhaps the Kwinter quotation really defines the 'Tafuri misinterpretation of Piranesi-effect.'

Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
As to the Campo Marzio and the metabolic, see Eros et Thanatos Ichnographia Campi Martii.

Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
Piranesi did not 'reconstruct' the Campo Marzio, rather Piranesi 'reenacted' the Campo Marzio. of the 40 odd engraved plates that make up the illustrative portion of the CM publication, no. 2 is the 'Scenographia', literally the empty stage set waiting for the reenACTment to be played upon it.
Piranesi's main theme within the reenactment is 'inversion', specifically ancient Rome's inversion from pagan capital to Christian capital. the last engraved plate of the CM holds three perspectives, one of which illustrates two theaters, double theaters each an inversion of the other--the history of ancient Rome at a glance.

1999.06.08 13:37
Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
In the context of Eisenman's Aronoff Center then, the term Piranesi-effect more likely references Piranesi's Carceri (Prisons) perspectives as opposed to the large plan of the Campo Marzio. It is still worth noting, however, that Tafuri's (mis)interpretation of the Campo Marzio informed Kwinter's (written) observations of the Eisenman building.
(I believe) Piranesi's work to be too vast and varied for there to be just one 'Piranesi-effect', therefore, for any such definition(s) to be of use, it must clarify the finer points as well as the gross points.

1999.06.08 17:43
Re: the more real Piranesi-effect
Brian asks:
Could the two interpretations of the Campo Marzio be considered each a certain schizophrenia and a certain sanity, between the two Piranesi-effects, one fragmentary, the other integrated..?
Or even, in some sense metabolic..?
Steve further asks:
Which two interpretations of the Campo Marzio are you referring to? Which one is fragmented and which one is integrated?
As to the CM and the metabolic, see Eros et Thanatos Ichnographia Campus Martius.
Why is it so difficult to see that what Tafuri says about the Campo Marzio is just plain wrong?

1999.06.09 16:16
Re: the Piranesi-effect?
It MUST be remembered that J. Gregory Wharton was the first to post a corrective objection to the definition of 'the Piranesi-effect' newly submitted to the Design-List Glossalalia project by sghosh.
Gregory presented an all important observation/enhancement to the definition, which afterwards I presented an all important observation/subtraction. Gregory, moreover, singled out the newest ingredient to the 'effect", i.e., his naming of "Tectonic Emergence" ['instead']. This emergence concept adds substantial constitution to the real Piranesi effect, as well as to any number of architectural phenomena at large today. [Perhaps Gregory will himself find several additional cases in architecture that 'embody' emergence.]
In a more foregoing post Re: the Piranesi-effect, Brian Carroll raised the definitive limits of 'the Piranesi-effect' when he applied the notion of the metabolic to this observational 'design-talk' discussion. It wasn't Tafuri and Kwinter, however, who were manifesting the metabolic here, but rather Wharton and Lauf in that each played a constructive and destructive role respectively.
Beginning with the sghosh-Kwinter post, and then following with Wharton, Lauf, and Carroll, the Glossalalia definition of 'the Piranesi-effect' has thus reached critical mass.
I look forward to further developments.

….you definitely have a point about their being a metabolic twist to what Tafuri and I learn from the Piranesi’s Ichnographia Campus Martius respectively.

1999.06.21 21:24
Re: Response: to lauf-s (i/ii)
As to my faulting Tafuri, remember that I only do this relative to Piranesi's <Campo Marzio plan, and I fully outlined Tafuri's mistakes on the Campo Marzio within a set of web pages. What Tafuri writes about the Campo Marzio are not mistakes because of my own interpretation of Campo Marzio, but they are mistakes because of what Piranesi actually delineated and labeled in his plan. Tafuri clearly misrepresents what Piranesi did, and all you have to do is look at Piranesi's plan to see where and how Tafuri is wrong there.




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