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EUNIL CHO 2009


PRESENCE/ABSENCE OF BODY On Architectural Supplementation of Our Body’s Natural Capability

1. EXTENSION I 2. EXTENSION II 3. INTENSION 4. EXPANSION


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WHAT IS IT TO TALK OF PROSTHESIS HERE IN ARCHITECTURAL DISCOURSE?


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“WELCOME, CINESIAS, YOU LIME-WOOD MAN! WHY HAVE YOU COME HERE, A-TWISTING YOUR GAME LEG IN CIRCLES?” FROM ARISTOPHANES’ “THE BIRDS”


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“With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory, or is removing the limits to their functioning. Motor power places gigantic forces at his disposal, which, like his muscle, he can employ in any direction; thanks to ships and aircraft neither water nor air can hinder his movements; by means of spectacles he corrects defects in the lens of his own eye; by means of the telescope he sees into the fat distance; and by means of the microscope he overcomes the limits of visibility set by the structure of his retina. In the photographic camera he has created an instrument which retains the fleeting visual impressions, just as a gramophone disc retains the equally fleeting auditory ones; both are at bottom materializations of the power he possesses of recollection, his memory. With the help of the telephone he can hear at distances which would be respected as unattainable even in a fairytale. Writing was in its origin the voice of an absent person; and the dwelling house was a substitute for the mother’s womb, the first lodging, for which in all likelihood man still longs, and in which he was safe and felt at ease.

Man has, as it were, become a prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times� Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, 1930


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Gottfried “Götz” von Berlichingen (c. 1480 – 23 July 1562), sometimes recorded Berlingen and also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German Imperial Knight (Reichsritter), and mercenary. He was born around 1480 at Berlichingen in Württemberg to a noble family. He owned the castle Hornberg located near the Neckar River in what is now Baden-Württemberg. His name became famous as a euphemism for a common expression attributed to him by writer and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) who wrote a play based on his life. In 1504, Berlichingen and his company fought for Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria. During the siege of the city of Landshut, he lost his right arm when enemy cannon fire forced his sword against him. He had a mechanical prosthetic iron replacement made, which is today on display at the Jagsthausen Castle. In spite of this injury, Berlichingen continued his military activities. In the subsequent years he was involved in numerous feuds, both of his own and in support of friends and employers.


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“No more fun with the girls fo dely. The sargeant was of a diff lieve it, my boy,” he said. “The brand new custom- built cock seen the lot here. And artificia as the real thing, even better f like... bloody hurdling, or hig I mean better, partially, than the word “partially.” Grosz 88


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or him,” said the medical orfferent opinion. “Don’t beey’ll bloody well give him a k made of bloody wood. We’ve al legs are as good, partially, for some things, if you ask me, gh-jumping, partially anyway. the real thing.” He was fond of


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I am writing to you from the deep contentment of a boundless inactivity, interspersed with the unpleasant sensations of a small scale war waged with a refractory piece of equipment. Reflecting on the fine but yet not entirely acceptable sentences in which you discuss the relationship of man to his body, I ask myself what you would say to the analogous relationship to a substitute such as this which tries to be and yet cannot be the self. This is a problem which arises even in the case of spectacles, false teeth and wigs, but not so insistently as in the case of a prosthesis. From Ambroise Pare, A Supplement of the Defects in Man’s Body, 1579. Letter of 11 August 1924, in Ernest Pfeiffer, ed. Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salome Letters


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It was discovered that the damage cuased by the war machines to the mechanics of the surviving bodies could be compensated for by other machines -- prosthesis. In 1914, the German army had few or no exemptions, for it had decided to make physical handicaps functional by using each man according to his specific disability: the deaf will serve in heavy artillery, hunchbacks in the automobile corps, etc.

*Quote from Paul Virilio, Unable BOdies


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The “Spitzy statue,� from Artificial Limbs and Work-aids for War-Cripples and Accident Victims (Berlin: Julius Springer, 1919).


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MUMMY! DADDY!

PLEASE BUY ME A LEG?


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We are not accustomed to expend much thought on the fact that every night human beings lay aside the garments they pull over their skin, and even also other objects which they use to supplement their bodily organs (so far as they have succeeded in making good their deficiencies by substitutes) - for instance, their spectacles, false hair or teeth, and so on. In addition to this, when they go to sleep they perform a perfectly analogous dismantling of their minds -- they lay aside most of their mental acquisitions; thus both physically and mentally approaching remarkably close to the situation in which they began life.

Man with seven legs. From Orthopadische Behandlung Kriegsuerwunderter, 1915

Sigmund Freud, “Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams�


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Just as the amputation stump is not just a severed piece of arm or leg, but rather a new organ with its own biological laws, the cripple is not merely the distorted image of a healthy person; rather through the interaction of the remaining powers a new, differently constituted yet self-contained unity of body and soul arises -- a special biological person, whose own laws and capabilities must be studied before attempting to interfere with them. Konrad Biesalski, Grundriss der Kruppelfursorge (Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1926) 97.


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A fascination with the prosthetic seems to correspond to a desire based on lack. Discussions of the prosthetic hinge on its ambiguous combination of extension and disembodiment, or else on the “doubled desire” for technological embodiments to truly “become me” --to have the transformation that technology allows, but to secretly reject what technologies are by denying the transformation. “I want it in such a way as to be unaware of its presence.” -- (See Don Ihde, Technology and the Lifeworld: From Garden to Earth, Bloomington, 1990. p. 75) The phenomenological question of the prosthetic is how close it comes to “being me.” Ihde focusses attention on the contradiction of wanting to to be enhanced and magnified by technologies, and at the same time wanting to be myself, wishing this movement could be without the mediation of technology . He believes that this illusory desire belongs equally to pro- and anti-technological interpretations, to utopian and dystopian dreams.

Is the first prosthesis we contend with our own body? Or is it language, the use of tools, cultural memory, or any of the activities that differentiate humans from other species?

“Prosthetics: The castration complex raised to the level of an art form.” -- J. G Ballard. “Nothing is more disembodied than Cyberspace. It is like having your everything amputated.” --John Perry Barlow “Prosthetic technology alternated between producing substitutes for the body parts that military weapons had destroyed and producing these very weapons.” -- Mark Wigley “Problems of prosthetic limbs are not limited to passive support for the missing extension or mechanical extension of the stump, The artificial limb removes some of the paralysis caused by amputation but leaves the ataxis. In fact, learning to use a prosthetic limb involves mastery of the phantom limb as well” -- Norbert Wiener If the prosthetic is incorporated into the subject’s identity, he becomes a cyborg. If it is kept outside, it cannot be used with “natural” dexterity. -- Hayles

Scientific instruments, such as the microscope, telescope, air pump or cyclotron, have a prosthetic function to remedy the “infirmities” of the senses “with Instruments, and, as it were, adding of artificial organs to the natural.” (Quotes from Hook Micrographia, in Shapin and Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump, p.36)


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*Rube Goldberg 1930-1936


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2. EXTENSION (II)


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LONG AGO, BEFORE ANYONE BUILT THEIR FIRST DWELLING THERE LIVED A VERY INTELLIGENT HUMAN. ONE DAY, THE HUMAN WAS WALKING IN THE WOODS AND FOUND A MARVELOUS STICK. THE STICK WAS LONG – ABOUT AS LONG AS THE HUMAN WAS TALL. IT WAS STRAIGHT, STRONG, AND POINTED AT ONE END. THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR STICK THAT MADE THE HUMAN WANT TO PICK IT UP AND KEEP IT. RATHER UICKLY THE HUMAN FOUND THAT THE STICK COULD BE USED AS A STAFF TO FACILITATE WALKING. IT WAS ALSO USEFUL IN DIGGING FOR DELICIOUS ROOTS AND HELPFUL IN KNOCKING DOWN BERRIES FROM HIGHBRANCHES. ONCE THE HUMAN WHEN ATTACKED BY A VICIOUS ANIMAL, FOUND THAT THE STICK COULD BE USED FOR DEFENCE. THE HUMAN REALIZED THE STICK MADE A WONDERFUL AND CONTROLLABLE EXTENSION OF THE HAND. THE STICK WAS A TOOL, AND A MOST PRIZED POSSESSION.


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We all need means of supplementing our natural capabilities, since nature is indifferent, inhuman (extra-human), and inclement;

we are born naked and with insufficient armor . . .

The barrel of Diogenes, already a notable improvement on our natural protective organs (our skin and scalp), gave us the primordial cell of the house; filing cabinets and copy-letters make good the inadequacies of our memory; wardrobes and sideboards are the containers in which we put away the auxiliary limbs that guarantee us against cold or heat, hunger or thirst. . . . Our concern is with the mechanical system that surrounds us, which is no more than an extension of our limbs; its element, in fact, artificial limbs. Le Corbusier, The Decorative Art of Today, trans. James. I. Dunnett 1987


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“The iris diaphragm of the camera and that of the eye.” From Walter Gropius, Scope of Total Architecture, 1943.


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The adding machine frees the brain, the dictaphone replaces the hand, the gramophone and microphone mechanize the ears, photography and film reproduce the visible world with unprecedented accuracy.


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Artificial life, machines aren’t inorganic, they are nonorganic. They are artificial life.

“What would be the point of a race-car race without anyone watching or driving?” said Duke, “What would be the point,” I asked Duke in return. “of making machines whose function was to worship us?”

*-from Artificial Love, Paul Shepheard


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*Shin Egashira, Forming Enclosures: Beauty of Our Pains - fitness body diagrams


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No one can escape from the machine. Only the machine can enable you to escape from destiny. -Tristan Tzara


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*Charlles Chaplin, Stills from Modern Times, 1936 *Max Ernst, Untitled (Airplane), 1920

*Alberto Giacometti, The Captured Hand, 1932


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3. INTENSION

*Umbo (Otto Umbehr), The Racing Reporter, 1926


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“The body, an assemblage of technical devices, is similarly undergoing a metamorphosis from the organic to the artificial. It perambulates on feet transformed into the most modern means of transportation: the automobile and the airplane. The torso is made up of a series of communication technologies; the right arm is a fountain pen, the chest a typewriter, the pelvis a printing press. The head, the perceptual center of prosthetic consciousness, is composed of two grammophone speakers for ears and a porable Ermanox camera as one of the eyes. The second nature of the modern metropolis is matched by the fantastic personification of a second human nature.� In an almost literal transcription of the widespread theory of technology as organ projection, the body reinvents itself as an assemblage of separate parts, tools, and devices, each corresponding to a particular and nonfungible function. The modern man, the prosthetic god, takes the form of a humanized Swiss army knife.

*Quotes from Mia Fineman, Ecce Homo Prostheticus, 1999


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*Stelarc, Third Hand, 1982


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Tools have always been considered outside of the body. They have extended perception, enlarged the vision, and generated other models for the world. Today technology is no longer exploding out from the body, in an external fashion, but is imploding and sticking to the skin. it is imploding and entering into the interior of the body.

*Stelarc, interview in L’Autre Journal, 1992


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*Rachel Armstrong, The body as an architectural space - From lips to anus


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*Fritz Kahn, Man as industrial palace, 1927

*Fritz Kahn, Man as industrial palace, 1927 *Raoul Hausmann, Tatlin at Home. 1920


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*Fritz Lang, Metropolis, 1927


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*Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, 1831

*Paul Verhoeven, Robocop, 1987

*Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhand, 1990

*James Cameron, Terminator, 1984


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*Mobot Mark II built by Hughes Aircraft Company, embrace Coleen Adams.


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*Hannah Hoch, Pretty Girl, 1920

*George Grosz, The Engineer Heartfield, 1920

*El Lissitzky, Tatlin Working on the Monument for the Third International, 1921-1922

*Hans Bellmer, Machine-Gunneress in a State of Grace, 1902


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“Man is sick because -Anonymous


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he is badly designed.�


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4. EXPANSION


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*Archigram, Inflatable Suit-Home, 1968


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“Clothing for living in - or if it wasn’t for my Suitaloon I would have to buy a house.”

*Michael Webb, Suitaloon, 1968


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*Mark Sanders, Nexus Architecture


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*Oskar Schlemmer, The laws of cubical space, 1924


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*Oskar Schlemmer, Triadic Ballet, a specially arranged group 1926


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*Oskar Schlemmer


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Man is the passenger of woman, not only at birth but also in their sexual relations... Paraphrasing Samuel Butler, we could say that the female is the means the male has found to reproduce himself, in other words to come into the world. In this sense, woman is the species’ first means of transport, its very first vehicle. The second would be the mounting and coupling of dissimilar bodies fitted out for migration, the voyage in common. *Quotes from Paul Virilio, Metempsychose du passger, 1977


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* Phillip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw, Iron Lung, 1958


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*Wally Byam, Airstream, 1935


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* Little Prince


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index This chapter is the index; a thing that grew and grew until it took on itself all the mechanics of thought progress.


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appendix

NATURAL DISASTER OCCURENCE 2007-2009


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“Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need hummanity...� - Chalie Chaplin


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PROS-THESIS