Page 1


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see page 6


Los Angeles FORU M







'""'Ylew MaIO •• tll on d'Sl,nCl'0ns be tween arl and archlleelure, Enc Kah n wmes 10 Roben Slern on lhe deslluCI,on of arChItecture from wlthm, and Seo\! Cohen algues for uncoverong a dIfferent


between OI lch.lecture

and Its sublecll h'ough lormalresea rch . Pat Morton provIdes add, I,onal ,"Slghl on to our many Urban RevisIons

ART AND ARCHITECTURE : A DISCUSSION This conversation took place agai nst the background of a recent redefin ing of the funding process for public art projects in the local municipality of Culver City. A great deal of press time and publ ic energy has gone into arguing exactly what the parameters of both the selection process and the allocation of funds should be. Specifically, the question was asked, are there conditions under which the funds set aside for a public art project should be returned to the developer and invested in the architecture? More simply, can the arch itecture itself be considered art? Three members of the Forum-Margaret Crawford, Chair of the Department of History/Theory at SCI-Arc and Christopher Tandon and myself, both more recently graduated from architecture school and entered into design professions---came together to

discuss what we found to be a striking subtext to the entire debate. That is, a rampant confusion and disagreement about w hat it is that architects practice and how you might begin to define architecture itself.

ed. CT: I think the reason that so many in this debate are quick to say that architectu re is not art arises from the fact that in the 20th century architects themselves, in defining the profession, have downplayed their role as artists. Do you think that's true? MC: It didn 't happen in this century . It happened with the professionalization of architecture and the codification of architectural qualifications. continued on page 4

GETTING THE "MASTER" OUT OF THE MASTER PLAN: REVIEW OF " URBAN RE VISIO NS : CURRENT PROJECTS FOR THE PUBLIC REALM " AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES PAT MORTON The • Urban Revisions· 8J!hibil at the los Angeles MaCA presents a broad overview 01 urban design during the last decade, primarily in North America. Without l itting the disparate schemes into a particular theme or posit ion, the show provides an extrem ely useful survey of the slate of urban design in the late 1980s and 19905. Many of the projects in this exhibit respond to or reth ink the type of urban deSign thaI produced MoCA and the Bunker Hill development around the museum : the Master Plan, the standa rd M odernis t form of urban design. MoCA stands in a setting that IS an abject lesson in what can go wrong with good urbaniSlic Intentions . The projects in th e "Urban Revisions · show aspire 10 critique and evade the mistakes made in the " renewal " of downtown Los Angeles, and yet they are oft en permeated by the same elitist. distanced attitude toward urban life that generated the waste lands of America's center cities, The " Master Plan" is designed by a "master," always a male in the canonical conception of the phrase, who single-handedly envisions a brave new urban world, conceived in largely formal terms that can be Uniformly applied to all sectors of the ci ty, The masculinist construction of urban design as t he produc tion of a solitary genius IS embedded in thiS phrase, There are many problems With th is conception of planning , f irst, the Master Plan presupposes that a city can be designed like a bUlldlllg; that is, thaI urban forms are equiva lent to architectural form, on a larger scale. Secondly, the Master Plan presumes that a smgle person or group of people can produce forms that anticipa te or allow for the ci ty 's future and meet the needs of its inhabitants. And, last. the M ast er Plan IS predica ted on the Idea tha t the city must be controlled In th iS overarchlflg manner, that overall urban planning IS necessary both to solve the City'S problems and to prOYlde for ItS future SlOce the early 1960s, Jane Jacobs, LeWIS M umford, and other CritiCS have attacked the Master Plan on the grounds that an entity as large and complex as a city canno l be the product of one

"master's" efforlS MoCA and ItS enYlrons demonstrate the phySical and SOCial conseQuences of Modernist Master Planning 10 graphiC detail Bunker HIli and the rest of Downtown Los Angeles were planned in the 1960s by a Master Plan bureaucracy, not a yiSlonary Master, that dictated the tra nsformation of a resldenual neighborhood of Victorian houses InlO a culture and corporate office comple)(, Instead of the mix of uses, bUildings, and people that eXist just a few blocks to the south and east on Broadway and 7th Street. Bunker Hili IS a sterile, empty megalith, separated from the rest of Downtown and accessed by freeways that carry office and cul ture workers to and from distant middle-class enclayes. Deve lopment In Los Angeles was also a tool for racial segregation and for colOniZing and displacing eth nic communities, as Judith Baca points out, and the " renewal" of Chavez Ravine and Bunker Hill reinforce her point. As a result of these critiCisms and of past experience with Master Plan s, current urban designers have tried to find alternat ive ways of planning ci ties _ Two groups With prolects In the Urban ReVISions show-Moule/PolYloldes and A DOBE LA (Architects and DeSigners Opening the Border Edge of Los Angeles}-are emblemauc of the two extremes of American urban design today, There are those who retain their fa ith 10 the archltecf s ability 10 produce an oyerall design strategy for the ci ty (i. e . the Master Plan) and Ihose who concen trate on sm all-scale architectural or artistic Intervention inlO the e)(is ting urban fab ric . The Urban Reyisions exhibit reenaCIS the standoff between these groups in the content of the exhibited prOj ects and 10 the exhibition design itself : the architects, the ostens ible "subject" of the sl'low, f ill the stands and most 01 the wa lls of the museum The graffiti and "street an " commiSSioned by ADOBE LA occupy the m argins and Interstices of the exhibit as a commentary on, but not as an integral part of, contemporary urban design. The graffiti, the return of the repressed, is a cry for recognition, on the street and In the museum, This cry IS an e)(plicit challenge to the premises of the allegedly "ne w " urbanism presented by the architects and planners in this exhibit, A comparison of these two attitudes towards urban deSign reYeals much about the ir differences, Moule and Polyzoldes' Downtown Strategic Plan contains a series of "catalytiC projec ts " Inserted Into e)(lstlng districts In order to "revive " them, ra the r than a grand plan that makes sweeping changes In the whole Downtown diStrict, ThiS seems, at lirst examinalion, to be the antitheSIS of the Master Plan mentality. Moule and Polyzoldes have recogniled the segregation 01 Downtown into racial zones and have also perceived the physical causes of th is separa tion, The beautifully rend ered perspectives 0 1 the calalytic projects give, however, trl\le sense of the areas surrounding their proposals and the rlc~,ness 01 the ir urban life , The Plan leaves many cntlcal quesllons unanswered: what impact Will these prOlects have on the eXlsllng structures, ways of life, and people inhabiting the areas? Who Will benefit from these projects? Who will build them? Grand Cen tra l Square Phase II, for e_ample, colonizes a

thflyrng latlno commerCial district IntO a 8r evltalized" shopprng mall and resldenllal area for yuppies, under the gUise of economiC opportunities Th iS IS slill Master pjan thrn~rng : top down economiC deyelopment and prOjects that do not tap Into the eXisting cul ture and Yltality of Downtown stre ets and neighborhoods, ADOBE LA document and represent the largely marginali zed Latino population of los Angeles, the workers who as Janitors, mallroom workers and secretaries make corporate Los Angeles fun. As "Cul tura l Explainers, " they aim 10 creale dialogue between the ethniC groups most affected by the April 1992 flOtS : Latinos, African Americans, and Korean American s Theil interventions rnto the exhibit attempt 10 address the vexing Issue of InterraCial conflict Ihat rends neighborhoods in los Angeles apan and m akes enemies of people who are equally disadvantaged, The question has to be asked, however, what concret e change Will com e out 0 1 the dialogue once It has been Initia ted , Their proposal to create temporary community monuments could be either a healing act or an expresSion of the politics of Identity that excludes others in faVOf of racial or ethnic coheSion, If each group makes their own monuments, will they rein force the separation between comm unities by representing exclusionary attitudes? One wonders II thiS prOject IS, In facl. more po ten t as cri tique than as a model for l uture urban deSign, This exhibit contains other projec ts that attempt to evacuate the place of the "master" in favor of a receptive, multidimensional design approach, one that enhances local characteristiCS or produces an environment open to the creation of unplanned additions to the urban realm . The Conceptual Master Plan for Grand Center, 51. LOUIS by StudiO Works (Roben Mangunan and Mary-Ann Ray) envisages the ci ty as theater, It enhances eXisting elements and areas In the city through superimposed layers tha t do not remove surviving remnants of the dlstricfs urban Identity, Through minimal means, StudiO Works seeks to alter the urban envrronment at the leyet of the pedestrran and at the larger scale of oyerall perception. "Imperfect Utopia: A Park for the New World," the site plan for the North Carolina Museum of Art, Rale igh by Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, Barbara Kruger, and Ouenell Rothschild, combines architecture, art, and landscape Into a mutable, open-ended enYlronment ThiS makes what they call an " aerosol of Imaginary conyersatrons and rncluSlonary tacllcs " that is opposed to the "unlvocality of a 'Master Plan' " Many of the prOjects in thiS exhibition do not answer the challenge rep resented by ADOBE LA's intervention: they do not address the eXisting con text of their projects, the people who liye there, the history of the site, the existing phySical markers of histOry, difference, and local culture Michael Sorkrn, for example, asserts that hiS plan for the city of "Weed," an Imaginary urban conglomerate that he enVISIons for the Yuma ProYlng Ground In Arllona, IS a utOPian community based on the prrnClples of propinquity (closeness!, chOices of ways 10 live, access, and dlstrnC ! lveness Yet the architectur al vocaOu lary, a cross between Jet sons futur ist and pseudo-industrial, is uniform throughout the plan and there are no perspectives, sections, or diagrams to demonstrate these prinCiples at a taclile or perceptual leyel. Agresti Gandelsonas' ViSion Plan for Des Mornes reduces the plan of the city to a set of blankly SimplistiC diagrams and cartoon colored forms The ADOBE LA collective POintS out the available places of Interven!lon, what IS left In the City after the Master Plans have finished and where strategic change can enhance urban life, They challenge the architect/planner to be more than the helpless pawn of deyelopers and government agenCies and to take responSibility for seeing that the people and envrronments that do not fll into Master Plans are recognrzed for their Innate worth and given an equal place In the Cili es of the future ,

Pal Morlon IS an arch itect and leaches archllectura l history at the An HiStory Dept , of UC RIVerSide, She has receIved h er doctor81e from Prmceton UniverSlly ThiS arllc le W ill also be appearmg m an upcommg Issue of Casabella see page 5



:..&. Lot .. IioaC1I fO 1M ......... ol ~ ~ !hot In .. linn.., of AaKrit1a~..





LIFE MAGAZINE 1271 Avenue of the Ame ricas New Yor~, New York. 10020


Fr: Râ&#x20AC;˘ .


Edi tor Central Oftlce of Architecture LI FE The 1994 Amencan Dream House: A House lor All America-June 1994 issue

Just because (aSfe IS al ways concerned w i th form, and never with con tenr. it f inally induces in the mind <I dangerous tendency to neg/eer rea/ily altogether, and to


PL AN - ..


AboV6: C6ntfal OffiC6 of Archil6crure, Ready Made (rec rifie) vers ion no. 2- 1994, photomontage and ink, 15cmJ(23cm

sacrifice truth and morali ty to the alluring dress in which they appear. All SUbs/8ntial difference

between thin gs is lost, and

appearance a/O(l8 determ in es their worth .

-Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthet ic Education of Man 1900

The dream is the /disguised} fulfillment of a (suppressed,

repressed! counter-wish. -Sigmund Freu d, The Interpretation of Dreams 1954

The stsrk snd frighren ing realities of our world Will not be softened by dress ing rhem up w i th the Wn ew look, wand it Will be equally futile to try to humanize our mechanized civiliza tion by adding sent im ental fripperies to our homes. But If the human factor is becoming more and more dominant In our work, architecture Will reveal rhe emotion al quahries of th e des igner in fhe very bones of the b uildings, not in rhe rrimmings only; it w ill be the result of bOfh good service and good leade rship. -Walter Gropius


The American Imagination demands the realthmg, and, to atrain i f, must fabrica te the absolu te fake .. .for historical m forma tlOn fO be absorbed, it has to assume the aspect of reincarna tion .. The ~completely real ~ becomes identi fied With the "comp le tely fake . - Absolu te unreali ty is offered as real presence ... -Umberto Eco. Travels In Hyper-rea lity


Don ' r believe the hype ... -PubliC Enemy




the Year Zero'

When Anstotle began an mqulry mlO a profound subJect, with the mtent to produce a crf\lque, he commenced hiS treatise With an apologia, and requested that the reader annbute the author's Inqulnes not to presumption or affogance, as If he were mterfermg With thmgs of which he had little or no knowledge, but rather to the reader's moral sense and desire to discover and establish lIue doc trines, as far as lay within the potential of human mtellect.

I write you not as an embattled defender' of modern architecture?, nor as a bitter academic who is more intent on providing justifications for himself by attacking an alternate se t of cultul al and architectulal values1 . My purpose is more severe. This letter has grown ou t of a personal conviction that much of the international debate about the tenability of cultural modernity starts from presuppositions that must be fundamentally recontextualized in orde r to move through the pervasive contemporary condition of evaSive, ongOing nihilism and cultural decadence. Although It IS outside the scope of this letter to strategize an operating navigatIOnal course through modernity Itself, I would like to put forth a provISional ground vis-a-vIS a series of Interconnections of phenomena/crltlcat theones from whICh we can locate a set of reference points. Once established, I can use these POintS to address the Implications against modernity as stated Ithrough radical re Visionism] in your article. My cn tlQue responds to and only to the speci fics embodied Within the article. I profess no mSlde know ledge [nor do I care to have anY1 regarding the Faustian agreement between the featured architect and Life magazine. The overall intention of this letter is to situa te RObert Stern' as the preeminent representative rev l Slonlst~ within the torren t of contemporary architectural culture through a discussion encompassing both 'reflective' cn tical theory and biblical allegory . For terminological purposes I Will use the term 'degraded tate modernity' as used by 'recontextualists' of modernity who search for continuity w it h the modern through a redemptive crf\ique, and the term posUMlodelism Will designate the CflSIS-baSed Cfll!que used by 'reVISionists' of modernity. I do thiS out of deference to the reader who understarlds the term posUMJodern as defining a broad spectrum of cultural spheres larld therefOfe must accept a labyrinthine disperSion of interpretations fraught With antinomies1. t prefer to use Lyotard's, rather narrow definition of th e post[M[odern Simply as Wd,strust of metanarratlves." J employ degraded late modernity to emphaSize nontotalIZIng contmulty w!lh,n the modern prolect . The author IS acutely aware of the problems associated With attempting to periodlze h,stollcal thought In simplistic dualistiC and oppoSitional terms, which automatically categoflze man/Woman, supeflor/infenor In favor of a nuanced and potentially more tragic and diachroniC accounUsl of hlstorhes1. In the face of the h,stonQgraphical violence perpetrated by the conservative


rhetoric of the reVisionist, everyday life contingent, the recontextualist critiQue 'uncouples' abstraction and ideology from the apparatus of institut ionalized modes of authority as a [re1enlightened redemp tive critique which incorporates true multicultura l conduits for [01ther voices. The reader wilt see that. I am especially hesitant as an architect. to accept self-teferen tial posUM]odern as a pervasive force which describe s every part of cul ture as swerving off in the same direCtion at approximately the same l ime. More often than not, we wan t the best from Incompatible versions of the world historyhs1 and, as a result. we get nothing . Finally, I am aware that many of the points/questions I present could be Independent essays, and so I ask for patience from the reader as to the number of sources and Ideas that have been brought to the fore . If one assumes that architectural theory has substance only to the degree that it reflects or embodies the historical development of it's subJect/ project. a reading of ItS current status may be useful to sketch . However proviSionally, th iS can clarify which cri tical theory may be employed as a proactive form of cultural reSistance. But such activity requ ires critella, and those can only be furnished by speculative theory. Con temporary critical theory', after the end of theory, is an open-ended and dialectical mode of enquiry. Its goal IS to prOVISionally cons trUCt critefla which allows for emanCipation and enlightenment in the agents who hold them [Raymond Geuss). The abstractness of theory formation IS often matched only by the blind concret eness of Individual architectural Interpretations. And, for th iS reason, It is usefu l to critiQue, through the use of clltical theory, speCific works to expose the curr ent CflSIS In the production of architecture. I begin by asking, In 1994, how could a proposal such as Stern's come forth? Herein lies the present undertaking. Your suggesl/on that Robert A.M . Stern'S 1994 LIFE MagaZine Dream House In any way serves as a tenable contemporary model of 'domesticIty' IS highly problematiC. Flfst of all, the sweeping opening Statements on the cover ILlFE: June 1994 Issue) rely on a rhetorIC of hypnotIC and libidinal persuasion which IS anything bu t Innocent. He [Stern] IS not 'great", nor IS the house 'claSSIC" or 'remarkable' It would not SUit my 'family'. nor can one or should one be able to bUild a house 'anywhere' With adaptations -by almost any archit ect" [p. 831 Con temporary cntlcal discourse warns against such categoflcal procJamatlons, yet to enter into this cfl tique I find it necessary to refute continued on page 8

d iscu ss ion

continued from p aga J

CT: I was thinking more of late modernism. Prior to that, at least through e)l.pressionism. architec· ture was still considered art, and-ll only by architeclsconsi dered one of the hig hesl forms of arl. MC: It doesn·t really have to do w ith modernism, it has to do w ith professionalization. w hich came before modernism . CT: But in continuing to define the profession, one of the claims of modernism was that architecture IS about function and economy. Archi tects then e)l.cluded the idea. or d ldn't talk about the fact Ihat part of what we do is make works of art. That buildings are art. We look at buildings as art . MC: But thiS IS the wrong definition of art. You have to look at these things oblectlvely. In the way that they're actually cons tr ucted and practiced in society and the economy. And I will tell you that architects are licensed by the state, they undergo a very particular kind of education and they are hired by clients to perform certain duties that are spelled out In a contract. Tha t IS how they perform whatever It IS that they do. Art ists on the other hand. operate In a free market situation; they are unlicensed. Anyone can wake up In the morning and say - I am an artISt ", and the market and history Wi ll prove or disprove that sta temen\. The artist ra rely-and here's where publIC art gets a little less clearly deflned-but the artist does not work on commission. An artist would be unlikely to even get a public art commiSSion unless they had a prevIous body of work that was simply produced and then sold on the open market . This is a completely diffe rent type of actiVity. and a completely different way of per forming work than the arChi tect. And that's an objecllve deflMion of these aCtiVities

MC: The confUSIOn here IS between Visual art and architecture. And the question here IS that. IS there some miracle that occurs at a cert ain level of quality In architecture where. like tr ansubstantlalion. architecture miraculously becomes art? CD: You mean, becomes other than just a service to the developer. helping him subdivide his property in a profitable way. so that he can be ta)l.ed the one percent. and the city can the n buy some art? M C: No .. .. no. it's actually that a miracle occurs, and one praclice is miraculously transformed Into another practice. I think that's a lillie, we ll. miraculous is the only word one could use for it. I would say that this is trying to redefine something on the baSIS of quality rather tha n on the basis of the nature of the practice. And I th ink that's misconceived . This doesn·t have anything to do with the actual subject al hand (the curren t controversy in Culver City). wh ich one could think about in a differe nt way, that might allow architec ts to act ually participate in these programs. CD: Somebody made the point that the underlying m otivation of percent for art programs was to improve the quality of civic life . and a well-thought-out building w ith intelligence and artistic "transubstantiation- improves the quality of Civic fife in a way that a developer-designed building doesn't . And so the diff erence between one and Ihe other has a civic value .. MC : But. you see. that's nOt the Issue again. The fundamental point of percent for art programs is acknowledging public respons ibility. That is what iI's about. Irs that developers and arChitects, civi c leaders, zoners. planners. everyone, users. must acknowledge that there is public responsibility In building. It's not about imploving the landscape or anything like that; fundamentally iI's about acknowledging public responsibility. So. how then is public responsibility constructed? Is it constructed aesthetically. IS It constructed in te rms of amenit ies, is it constructed In many other w ays? This is my objection to the whole debate-the right questions aren't reatly being asked. CD: II you are trying to define arChitecture by its role in the marketplace. my Question is. then. what are the complica tions that arise from the fact that arChite ct s, I thinK, now believe that the artistic merit. or the artistic value of the arChi te cture they produce is conceptual. and not commodillable. And also. that art. that the boundaries of what It IS to produce art. have been expanded in th iS cen tury .. MC This is still a SUbjective poin t 01 view. and In this discussion. It'S Simply the architect's selfdefinition. W e can·t accept that . That is not an objective definition that can operate in making an argument to the world at large .

CD: problem?

But. don' t public artists have the same

MC: Same th ing for artists. Both of these profess ions do, I agree. They claim certain things. but both of these are inappropriate bases for even discuss· ing th is issue. II you wa nt to re-concep l ualize the nature of public responsibility in building. you need 10 start w it~ that, and as fa r as I can te ll, no one has actually done it The arguments are all based on their ow n inte rnal selfdefinition of t heir activi ty. and I don't th ink th at's useful. CD: But I think th is is an Important point in understanding some of the con tention. The fact is that art has evolved into something that IS not as commodIly-based as it used to be. and architectu re has evolved Into something that is not as commodity or decoratively based as It used to be . The problem becomes one of taking the e)l.cess value of what each of these profes· Slons prOduce-that part outSide ItS market value that educa te s. that is artistic. that frankly transcends everyday life-and defining it In a way that is useful to a bureaucracy and can have a budget. In thiS case a percent of construct ion COSt. aSSigned to It by that bureaucracy.

CT; What would you say the basis for the ammOSlty IS. then? In the course of the development of M C: both of these activi\ies. and probably based on the ~ ind of self definition that both of these activities aspire to. they are coming Into conflict. because the world of non· commodified operations IS minuscule Ironically. to me what they're both dOing IS seeking a kind of publiC commodification. In which they're getting paid not by the cli ent. but by t he state or the public. They're actually seeking some kind of leglumatlng public commodlflcauon. Since they don't want 10 accept market commodification. they are both asplflng to a kind of transcendence from the marketplace ObVIOUSly they·re gOing to come Into conflict, because they ale unWilling to accept that we live in a capi talist society. That's why they're seeking what I would call miraCUlOUS solutions based on. again. thiS transubstan tiation . And so, I mean, Ifs actually kind of ironiC. They're seeking miracles really. both of them, to escape what they see as the confinements of commodificat ion. CD:

Right, they don·t wanl to accept it .

MC: They don't want to accept it. you see. And 1would argue th is is the wrong th ing to do. CT:

And what's the right th ing to do?

MC; I th ink you have to acknowledge the fact that you live in a cap ital ist society. and Ihal bOlh of these activities are fu ndamentally marketplace activities. They are different marketplaces clearly. and so looking to the state as a solution doesn·t actually offer transubstantiation or transcendence or miraculous freedom . It actually offers a comp letely different set of conditions that in their own way are as confining as the conditions of the marketplace--because they actually involve a responsibility to the public. which still has not been adeQuately defined. But that's what it's all about. I would say both artists and architects have proven pretty reluctant to accept th is. CD:

Sure. It very confining.

M C: Because. you mean that the public is basically not really very interested in what they do. CD: public.'

And also there is no SUCh th ing as 'the

MC: Well. righ t. there are ·publics· ... thafs true. There is no public and then. Instead of this ideal. wonderful kind of world of the public supporting you. what you actually get is what we see happening here in Culver City: entrenched political inte res ts, political favors owed. etc: I would say unrepresentallve members of the 'public: and interest groups lighting for themselves. And so is th is the public? Is th is better tha n marketplace? I th ink many people working in public art would probably say no. So. again, I think that the mistake is that both archllectS and artists want to escape the condi tions that their particular activities are constructed under. and achieve some kind of transcendental freedom . I would say that that's Impossible. and that the whole aspiration of doing th iS IS misconceived hom the get-go. CT: So. arChitects are seeking recognition of. the value of architecture. as opposed to bUilding. from the state. Because they aspire to crea te art. wh ich


rarely happens when one is prOViding a service to and meeting the economic interests of a developer. But in turning to th e state you then have to deal With some kind of public policy, often in the form of zoning res tflctions. design rev iew and all those other th ings architects also com plain about. MC :

All those te rrible things.

CT: But those th ings are the public's defense against. not speCifically arChitecture. but against development and the marketplace. wh ich architects are perceived as being part of. ConseQuently. Ifs unlikely that architects Wi ll l ind freedom by turning to the public or. really. the state. MC: Right. and I hate to say It. but there is no transcendence. There IS only one or the other. CD: So. what do you think? Do you think there·s a place for an architect to think about what they do as being more than just what they have been hired to do? MC· Yeah. It could be, bUll would say that In order 10 do that architects actually have to accept the conditions under which they work. and Within thOSe conditions try to develop modes of working that accomplish other things. Th iS is very dl'fetent from asplung towards a kind of miraculous condlllon which doesn't actually e)l.ISI. And to me there are actually a lot of realty e)l.cil ing poSSibilities in dOing that. I would be Interested In seeing architects focus on the natu re of the constrain ts they encounter instead of dreaming thelf way out of them. They could focus on the way In which these constraints are constructed, and poSSibly com e up with ways In which to restructUfe those constraints. I think you actually really need to look at how things operate In the profeSSional world 01 bUild ing. and then you cou ld come up With some famasllc Solu tions. BUI no one wants to tOUCh It because it's too alarming.

CT: In the practice of making art. there is a reluctance to define one's actiVity: in a sen se yo u can leave it 10 the ma rketp lace. But then you have Inslltutions like the NEA giving money, and trying to define or set crit eri a. This is a lot of what happens in public art as well. but that debate hasn't come up yet: who curales it. whO decides. MC: Because it's very cut and dried. actually .. who does it? These various public agencies decide. CT: But these are public agencies that are commissioning, in fact. as opposed to the NEA, wh ich is giVing fu nding to artists in a broader sense. The NEA doesn't take possession or purChase anything . Its purpose isn't acquisition, it's to support artists. Public arl programs are about improving the public rea lm in whatever city you happen to be in. It is a commission. or at least the acquisi tion. of an art piece. It is about the art. or the object. not the artists, which aClually makes It more difficult . I thin k also that public art is e)l.tremely MC: under-theorized. under-examined . Because it isn't abou t improving the w ay the wOfld looks, it really has 10 do Wi th debate In the public realm. And that's the rea son it's been so troubled: it's very d ifficult to think of vinually any pubic art that hasn·t been controvers ial. The battle record of public art is horrendous and thafs because it's an inherently confllctual field : What IS the nature of public, and what does that mean? Does that mean the common good ? In the 1930s people w ere Willing. for example, to accept the Idea of massive Infrastructure. like dams. as SOmething that represented the common good. Try to get a dam budt loday. You canno t do it. There have been VIrtually no dams bUIlt, and they are even thinking of removing dams Part of the reason for that IS there is no consensus about a common good. I would say that there is no common good. In order to discuss this you have to really discuss the nature of democracy and how it operates in a specific ki nd of state, like the United States. I th i n~ that now there is no public sphere: there are multiple public spheres and they are all fighting II out. And so the idea that yo u can achieve consensus in this w ay is ab surd. The whole battle In a w ay to me IS what public art Should be about. It shouldn't be aboul produci. it should create an arena where you can struggle abou t meaning. It IS about the very nature of public discussion and competing mtereSIS clalmmg thiS kind of temtory 01 the public.


ADOBE LA All of the Adobe LA m terventlons created by the artists m Saber es Poder explore and present different themes that are part of everyday life m the streets of the Lallno commUnities m L.A Yet many of these elements of our cultural landscape are largely unknown m a ci ty connected but also divided and isolated by freeways . ~Urban RevIsions 路 have to be closely rooted and Im ked to the many (ealltles eXls tmg m our cities today.


ADOBE L.A. (Architects, Artists and Designers Openmg the Border Edge of Los Angeles) IS an interdisciplinary group of architects and artists who document the cultural landscape, our human built environment. Usmg the cultural landscape and m close cooperallon With the community, Adobe L.A. has as its missi on the creatIon of a public art and architecture that celebrates our myths and ri tuals and acknowledges the diversflles of our cultures and our common bonds.


So how does that fit Into your idea of

the marketplace?


Again, that's the IdiotiC thing. In Culver City It'S absurd Because we are talking about the

nature of the local state. tiow does a local state. the Culver City government. operate, what IntereSIS IS 11 beholden 10. who are the participants In CUlver City politiCS, who are the economic powers In Culver City. and who are the people who actually live in Culver City? BaSically the people who live In Culver City and what they want-no one is even paYing attention to them in this discussion. It's turned into a diScussion of the nature of the slate, n01 about the nature 01 the pubhc

I think everybody's heart is in the fight place In pubhc art They really are less self-interested tha n a lot of o the r people . At the same lime they're really blind to bigger Issues. Because they want to do something positive. they find It difficult to acknowledge the contestedness of the territory. That baSically it's a struggle . That every Inch of the teflltory IS completely contested. Of course, why would anyone want to do anything like that ? Instead of doing something great. and expecting that it's going to happen. It never happens, almost never, I staned teaching a course in public art, and we continually looked at public an Si tuat ions that ended in controversy and fights. That's the history of public art.

MC Collaboration is another Issue, I think, In a sense I hat's part of the Issue here. Archi tects don I want to coll aborate here because they collabo rate so much In getting a bUilding bUilt What'S left for them to do IS already small enough, it's understandable. CT And from the other side. architects have to take responSibility for the fact that so much of the architecture that they are dOing is not being accepted by the public. perceived liS bad and somehow needs 10 be spruced up with art MC;

MC: I think that II doesn't address thiS larger Issue of democracy. fundamentally . There are two Issues here : one IS capitalism, one is democracy. and to me thiS whole thing raises Issues about the Intenelallon of one to the other ThiS IS SOrt of happening In the shppage between capitalism and democracy, and that's where public art finds ItS mche I don't think that It has I heoll zed capitalism Of democracy In any kind of Significant way. and that's the problem. It's trying to find space .. th at' s SOrt of between the two. and It hasn', CD There IS also a d ifference between a vOice of the public, whICh IS perce,ved as valuable and good. and the fa ct that the win ollhe public IS being camed out by a governmenl agency which we don', like Involved In artlsllC deCISions. MC : But that's actually another Issue of profeSSions. There IS a th ird profeSSion Involved. whrch are the bureaucrats. who everybody hates. But they are aclually conVinced thai they are the only one dOing the right thing. CT;

They have a mandate

MC: Because. In a sense, they are Ihe offiCial bearers of the public mandate. I Ihink there IS a lot of difference In that camp, because some of them are actual representatives of the public. Others are people from Ihe art world who have moved inlO public art, and are actually trying to balance the two. But nobody involved is the public, CD: I doo'tknow how you decide which public gels a voice . MC: That's the interesting question. I think. about public art. That is the question that IS tota lly unaddressed by thiS conlroversy in Culver City. The public, as always, are the last people to be brought inlo it, 01 even conSidered, Thai IS lIomc. CT: Would you trust it to pu t it to a vote of the populace of Culver Ci ty ? They could all decide, this is art, I hlS is not an.

Do you think Ihat's true?


Hey, lhat'S democracy.

CT: We ll, It'S certainly something that I came across. The ollglnS of a lot of public art programs were. In part. th iS perceived defiCiency In bUildings. or the bUilt environment

CT: then.

And we can all live with thai decision,

MC I would say that archi tects and public art people would both agree that the bUill environment stinks. They Just have really different ways to address the problem. But they never really address the Issue properly. If It sucks, why? It doesn' t go back to the source of the problem. The problem With all these debates IS that they are really superficial, J think CT Is the 1% allotment for public art lust superfiCi al. too ?

MC: Sure . Lik.e four people would vote. The problem With this is that It raises questions about the way democracy operates and. on the other hand. It raises questions aboul the way In which capitalism operates. If there we re ac tua lly a vo te for every painting, that would be kind of lun . Then you could ta lk about thiS as being democratic. But It Isn'\. because value and quality are eSlabllshed by the marketplace. When you diSCUSS these Issues 01 Ihe publiC and democracy, It necessarily brings up the Issue of taste Public taSle and profeSSional taste. either In Ihe case of


architects or arliSts. have no connection. And In a way I think Ihis is a challenge, a massive challenge for both arlists and architects. The fact is, the way that arl and architecture draw boundafles around themselves IS all about separatll"lg yourself from the public through taste-tha t'S how you get cultural capital. We all know that both architects and artists possess Virtually no economiC capital. but tons Of cultural capi tal. and thell whole Image of themselves, an d thell Image 01 the ir profession IS based on thiS Idea of possessrng cultural capi tal. Cultural capllal. villually by definition. means the hIgh versus the low. the abs tract versus representallon That's a kind of boundary. and a kind of line that's separating them from the public, because once Ihey remove that line, they actuall y become the public. And that' s pretty alarmrng becau se thell whole self definition. and the definition of these arts in capitalist society. IS dls\lnct from Ihe popular or the publiC . CD: I'm lust not sure how you do Ihat . know that when architects deSign thrngs to please the deSign review boards Ihal communities confront us with. the results aren't particularly interesting. I'm not convinced about who benefits. MC: ThiS isn't Simply a popuhst Issue 01 dOing what a self-appointed publIC demands. I don't throk that 's Ihe answer. CD: Calling yourself a design review board. and announcing yourself as the voice 01 the community is JUSt as much a sel/ode/inition as the architect's self-defining.,. MC Yes, of course. And lhe Idea of a representative public IS non,eKISten\. So. I don' t thrnk it comes down 10 th is ... The architect does need to be able to CT: say, " I do have a certain eKperllse," otherwise there 15 no profeSSIon. What do you think of the oft-stated Idea that part 01 the job of the architect IS to educate Ihe elrent to the value of rnnova tive or new deSign? MC: Whenever anyone says educauon that means force my Ideas on someone else. They always say, " oh, thIS a problem of education." That means: " I know and you don路t. ~ That ' s lotally decepllve. I don't thrnk It'S a problem 01 education . I think that fight now rn the United Sta tes. popular culture is a thousand l imes IIcher than architectural culture. There is Just no escaping 11 It has so much more creativity and Vita lity. and yet architects can ' l /eally tap Into that, at all. At the same time, II architects start rea lly Incorporallng popular culture In theIr work, they are going to lose thell cultural capital, which IS based on tOla lly monopoliZing the category 01 Ihe high. The fisk on the other end. of cours e, is becoming completely IIrelevant to anybody who!s not In your profeSSion. and becoming part of a niche market. It's really a quesllon of how to opera te IS there a transgresSIVe way of opera\lng w ithrn a capitalist cultu re ? That' s what It comes down to.

STEREOTOMIC PERMUTATIONS Architectural form IS always paradoxical. It remains

estranged and autonomous because It escapes the cultural categories by which It is aSSimilated and si tuated. The programs that necessitate and the materials that give body to form are also protagonists In the struggle agamSllts self.Qetermmacy and autonomy. With rega rd to the demand tor II to be categorized, form is instigative and reactive; autonomy thrives on con testation . Accord ingly. the formally autonomous project of architecture conllnually reasserts and transgresses Its authOri latlye paradigms of argumentation and recon/Igurallon What are some of the remaining legible paradigma ti c ope~a\lons to be transgressed} One could begin With the distortion of symmetry, serially, linearity, progresSion, scale, elasticity, intersection, folding-operations that can attempt, but never lully succeed, to separate and rationalize themse lves. It could be argued, however, that the exponents of paradox in architecture are not configura tive but rather inScriptive. One such ins tigator can be found among the conflicts and synonymies of perspectival and stereotomic techniques of projection _This IS where the prOlect StereotomlC Permu tations beglns _ Perspective and orthography are instrumental to a discipline tha t produces artilacts that are not self-identical with their medium. Is it possible for the disparity between drawings and bUildings to correl ate w ith the discrepancy between paradigms and the ir distortions? In StereotomlC Permutations, opposing systems of projection are peculiarly co mbined In order to become techn iques of formal transgression . The Distance POint me thod of perspective projecllon introduces a distortion of symmetrical and senal operations and configurations; stereotomy IS deployed to refute the categorical distinctions betw een perspective and orthography. The Dista nce Point method construct s a volat ile symmetry by requiring that the perspective be reversed In relation to its obleCt across a measuring line. The result is a se t of Similar configurations (an OrthographiC object and a perspectival object) that differ proportionally and dlmensionally_ Conventionally, the measuring line defines and holds apart the opposing methods of representation: The convergence and illusionism of perspective vs. the parallelism and actual dimenSions of orthographics. In thiS project, the impliCit symmetrical order IS repeatedly brought to bear on its objects and perspectives by forcin g them to intersect, jOin and fold back on themselves to form a series. When the lineaments of a perspective are brought Into COinCidence With those of stereotomlC prOlectlon, fiXity of POint of view and the infinity of orthography become mired in a logical contradiction. On the one hand, POints of convergence (the eye and distance POint) conste llate a perspective and an object. On the other hand, these same points, extended as fold hnes, are shared by the surfaces of three dimenSional objects formed by bo th the original oblect and Its perspective; since they are stereotomic, these combinatory objects contradict perspective by pOSitioning the viewer at an Immeasurable distance from the entire object. The result is an apparent anamorphOSIS With the points from where one could gain an undistorted view in positions that can never be occupied_ From th ree dimensions to two and back to three again-reversals exaggerate the combined methods and In so dOing (::Iimlnate the boundary between descripllon and perception. The matri)( that once separated things by distinctly defining them has become the process by which things are rendered indivisible. Corollary to t his reversal is the fa ct that the Dis tance POint method functions by allOWing its obleCtS and perspectives to be reversed in their roles relative to one another. Hence, any possibility of linear temporal progression is confounded in advance.



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As rea lized in three dimenSions in this prOJect. planes of coincidence provide other non-directionallinks between permutations. All of the surfaces 01 the building, their true shapes, intersections, joining details, lines of convergence, coplanar and other affiliations, col!apse the categories of inside and outside, back and front,


beginning and end, plane, volume and mass. Differing scenarios compete to define the procedures by wh ich any particular iteration was determined. Each arbitrarily introduced iteration is converted into a necessity by the projective matrices; once instantiated, each constituent is systematically


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hnked by configurative, dimensional. and proportional data to aggregallons prevIous as well as fOfthcomlng. As If modeled on Le,bnlz' s monadology. the aXIs 01 each verifiable distortion redefines the whole with respect to Its parts. Furthermore. the axes are diffused or partially hidden by the uninterrupted surfaces and consequential

Intersecllons of thelf three-dlmenSlonahty _ Inextncably hnked and always potentially determinative, the axes register different portions of objects and perspectives With reference to different orienta lions, degrees of concealmenl and Inlerference belween Ihem; Ihe axes become Ihe inlervals of a yariegaled series.


Preston Scott Cohen




an arch,lect


Boston and

at Harvard UmV8fsi ty Graduate Schoof of

k a h n continued from page 3 these points head on. 路lt ought notta be necessary to belabor these points . Everyone concerned with architecture should recognize this mode of the appropriation, domination and production of space as the preeminent hegemony, which aggressively seeks the dissolution of architecture. I hope tocontextualize these apparently subjective statements within an historical framework and follow with a constructed argument. This way, the central issues taken up here will, I hope, be brought into focus and, to a great extent, be clarified. The text of the LIFE article blindly reduces contemporary architectural discourse[s]/ histor[ies] to nothing more thana parade of styles 9 , a real freak show. It is an apparition of the finished form of future catastrophe' 掳, the end game of the western logos [mis][dis][re][de]figured which presences itself as the imminent prelude to the end of the world. This supposed dream house is not a tenable model for a contemporary mode of living and it is certainly not a redemptive critique on the questionable status of the existing paradigm of the individual American dwelling. Without embarking upon a genealogical reconstruction of Greco/Judaic-Christian civilization, I will focus on the pervasive revisionist myth that contemporary ( has been cut off from traditional" values and the practice of the everyday life-world as a result of the undeliverable promise of modernity. The two sides of this supposed debate focus on those who feel that cultural modernity can deliver and rejoice in its becoming [pro-abstraction, pro-continuityl. while those who argue the other side seem to fear the results of the Enlightenment and lal)1ent the loss of roots. Skeptical incredulity suits the recontextualist whereas simple piety an"d organized mysticism is all that was necessary for the disingenuous anti-modernity of the revisionist who advocates another homecoming for the anesthetized herds. To appropriate Malcolm Bradbury's notion of cultural seismology, the attempt to record the shifts and displacements of cultural sensibilities is manifested through three orders of magnitude. The first is that of the tremors of fashion, the second is that of larger displacements forming extended periods of style which extend over centuries, and finally, the third category, those which record cataclysmic upheavals and new beginnings which create actual reference points in the tremendous sweep of time. We could possibly say that cultural modernity, as seen through the project of the Enlightenment, arose through an upheaval of this third and cataclysmic order. Mr. Stern's retreat can be seen as part 01an unfortunately popular and willful immolation of architecture through a mass media based 'first order' project. This indiscriminate trigger tendency is highly characteristic of the revisionist post[M]odern, disposed to apocalyptic '2 ; crisis-centered views of histor[iesl. To be sure, cultural modernity generates its own aporias. It would be simplistic to argue from a purely pro-modernity standpoint, tout court, as the mixed blessing of modernity delivers both the horrors and blessings of progress. The protracted rate of

change' institutionalized by mythic 'pitched roof' constructs/models of dwelling seem to voice a universally human conservative mistrust of changes and the concomitant evolution towards abstraction, voicing a suspicion that progress is anything but progress and a reluctance to accept transformations of the established order of things. To deny Modernity's pulse is an overt act of historical desecration as well as a form of hermeneutic violence as it promotes forgetfulness/ amnesia [revisionist tendency] effectively denying the work of modernity's progenitors whose beheaded bodies are strewn throughout the sweep of history. Moreover, it is only through the construction of a precise statement in which an authentically contemporary W6ff6view can be intuited, a W6ff6view congenial to the thought(s). science, technology, peculiar to our day reconciled with the ongoing project of architecture itself. Architecture's ontogenetic project lies in its etymology, that is to say, its arche'3 , the disclosure of the underlying structure of things. This demiurgic inclination reveals architecture's anamnestic transhistorical implications through its persistence. As such, Architecture is an epistemological speculation; like philosophy, it is a first order way of knowing .that aspires to wisdom . Architecture takes its cues not from dogmatically institutionalized theories, nor from an over arching Weltanschauung which is validated solely through 'hiding' and faith, but rather from a diachronic reflective modality of the knowing subject. Yet, as I will point out later, the realm of architecture includes 'an ethically witnessed account' of the social, political, spiritual, economic order(s) of culture[s] and therefore encompasses not only matters of mind and intellect-but also actions and conduct. Architecture combines these two: belief, attitude, or W6ff6view, which we may call ethos, and also behavior, way of life, or right action, which we may call, loosely, an ethical dimension which obligates and couples architecture's project to the entire sweep of histor[ies] project[s] of realization. This, nothing else, is what compels us to architecturalize .. If the word 'architecture' itself has been immolated through the hegemony of the revisionist project then soon all else will decay and be forgotten. In response to this situation there have been extensive writings which boldly proclaim the "the end of," the "the death of," and "the crisis of" the regime.of western modernity. This current has colonized much of the terrain of global intellectual activity and has been termed 'The New Conservatism' by JQrgen Habermas [the Frankfurt school] in his essay Modernity: An Unfinished Project. Much of his critical theory stands in direct opposition to the chain of French philosophyfrorn Bataille through Foucalt to Derrida . I mention this genealogy, in this context, to point out an altogether different tendency within Habermas' promising critical recontextualization of the meta-narrative of cultural modernity which stands in direct contrast to the French line [obtained from Nietzsche] which deconstructs that same narrative. It seems an almost pervasive sentiment that the norms and truths which were once believed to

Right: The International Revisionist Quarterly. Still from Degenerate Modern Architecture: 1920-1994 : Jewish-Bolshevik Hoax? [original title, Entartete Architektur: J(jdisch-bo/schewik Falschmeldung; Black-and-white silent film, 16 mm, 24 min. [sequenced frames of H.Meyer 's and H. Wittwers . [ABC] Petersschule of 1926 and Central Office of Architecture's Siedlung proposal [1991] as presented at ClAM 11.


be absolute and universal are being questioned . In the light of post[M)odern thought and investigation much of what was once taken for granted is declared to be in need of demonstration and proof [i.e. Enlightenment ideas regarding progress, truth, rationalism, and reason]. Furthermore, the criteria of proof has become the subject of dispute. We are witnessing not only a general mistrust of the validity of ideas and Ideologies but also the motives of those who assert them. However, it becomes equally.unacceptable when all forms of the good are labelled utopian. Categorical and systematic descriptions characterize them as totalitarian, as well when virtually any defense of rationalism is turned into a brief for the automatic suppression of otherness and heterogeneity [this point has been advanced by Lezek Kolakowski in his book Modernity on Endless Trian. Increased secularization of the sphere of life, sharpened social antagonisms, contemporary global culture addicted to mass spectacle, and the accentuation of the spirit of personal competition have permeated regions of the contemporary life-world in such an insidious way as to bring us to the edge of an abyss. Although the present critique of the cultural sphere of the modern started well over 100 years ago, our present situation accelerating towards the turning of a century, let alone the turning of a millennium, puts into effect an acceleration of our attempted caesurian 14 exile from modernity byoverturning seminal modernist tendencies and the historiographic father figures who promoted them. This change in numbers has a strong chiliastic effect; as a representative part of the apocalyptic of the New Testament a'nd as the telos of Western Christianity [and the reactionary 'crisis oriented polemic' of the new American Christian Right] .. This restless fear of change and nervousness over the arrival date of the messiah [promising, yet not yet delivered) manifests itself in mass collective hysteria which has been encoded and submerged inside the carefully manipulated and managed atmosphere within .Stern's anxious idolatry. Awaiting the delayed return of Moses [the meta-narrative of modernity exiled or somehow eclipsed] from his odyssey on Mount Sinai, the bewildered herd lost their belief in the project of collective realization and enlightenment through the entangled dialogic project of monotheistic Judaic abstraction [The LORDas incorporeal entity] and redemption [the allegory of Utopia as infinite becoming], began to create, throughthe hand of Aaron, their own objects of diversion [pagan polytheism, idolatry, appearing through the bourgeois decadent 'false gods' of revisionist cults: When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, the . people gathered against Aaron and said to him, "Come make us a god who shall who shall go before us, for that man Moses, who brought us from the land of Egypt-we do not know what has happened to him. " Aaron said to them, "rake off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your

daughters, and bring them to me. " And all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron, This he took from them and cast in a mold, and made it into a molten calf. And they exclaimed, this is your god .. " '~ This attempted break from modernity's covenant with the 'ideological commandments' is a strange and overtly a-rational allemptto ease the traumatized Christian meta-narrative of the fin-de-siecle apocalypse. On the other hand, Jews live life through an eternal canonization of the lifeworld, the Torah itself being the preeminent authoritative canon. It would be, of course, naively simple to reduce the present discussion to a battle between Icon maker and the iconoclast . In the current postlMlodern condition, it has been observed, architecture has certainly lost its first principle, its navigational reference points, In short Its utop ian and human project. Ironically, this Dream House is an accurate expression of that impoverished postlMlodern ethos'S. Where once the modern" exerted an ethical and aesthetic author(ity) the posdMJodern crise de conscience invites and allows for an uncritical heterogeneity, a type of willful Dionysian intoxication wh ich is highly suspicious of concepts, structures, and w isdom. Progressive ApollOnian modernity'路, from this point of view, appears as both a spiritual and scientific adventure, one in search of enlightenment through reason and overcoming" through both the virtuous projectl'O and the social projece' , whereas the often Dionysian regressive postlM]odern can be seen as the subsequent weak [Valtimo] retreat from that same adventure. Modernity is associated w ith the tendency toward 'disclosing' or 'revealing', while the posdMlodernist work tends towardS 'concealing' . The conventions and devices used in constructing a postlMlodernist work shows itself lor the contrivance it is, and in doing so it operates at a meta-discourse which states that everything else is a contrivance too and that there simply is no escape from this cultural impoverishment . Moreover, post(M]odern narratives tend to consume the past. Acting insidiously, they propagate forgetting so that something else can take place . This ability to reduce or shrink (Burger) e)(perience and abolish difference is the fulfillment of the anesthetization process necessary for nostalgic projects such as Stern's. It exhibits no resistance; in fact, this work represents an acceleration of socially prefabricated schemes of symbolic [be]longing. Rudderless and adrift in its own sea of compl acency Stern'S LIFE Dream House accepts without critical reflection its own versimilitudinal nature. This is the nightmare of the revisionist elsewhere; sustained crisis in historical continuity coupled with the suspension or the eclipse of the historical absolute, has resulted in the production of netherworld of simulations! replicas . As Stern would have us believe, stylistic promiscuity is somehow an authentic attribute of American Democracy, The critically aware citizen has been transformed into an addicted anxious consumer. Architectur al malaise IS a form of forgell/ng caused by a psychopathology of self-induced amnesia, l ull of solipsistic Dionysian narcissism wh ich instantiates the symptoms of memory loss brought on by revisionist post]Mlodernism, Fully decadent" and raving on ecstasy, its celebration in its attempted 'release' from the hypeHationalized lifeworld of late capitalism is unsustainable. It is the American Dream stripped bare; its vacuous condition tacitly acknowledging its own addiction to consumption, thus e)(posing its schizophrenic/fetishistic concern for the surficial appearance of this lifeless alien landscape. Removed from the realm of architecture and aligned w ithin the cycle of produc tion and consumption of 'goods' the role of the architect becomes one of willrng organizer and promoter of that very cycle. Many theorists, including Ed Soja, have pided up on David Harvey's concise definition of this phenomenon :

"Capitalist development must negotiate a knife edge between preserving the values of past commitmems made at a particular poim in time, or devaluing them to open up fres h

room for accumulation. Capitalism perpetually strives, therefore, to create a social and physical landscape in its own rmage and requisite to its own needs at a particular point in time, only just as certainly to undermine, disrupt and even destroy that landscape at a later poim in time. The inner contradictions of capitalism are expressed in the restless formation and ra-formation of geographical landscapes. This is the tune to which the historical geography of capitalism must dance w ithout cease./J 'Contrived depthlessness' as a motif is how Jameson has described the postmodern architectural condition. This phenomenon of compulsive consumption, the fear of boredom, and the cult of joy, combined with the pop hedonism and its notion of architecture as both play and display are among the factors that have caused a serious confusion between self-realization and selfgratification [the orgasmic effect of degraded late modernity noted by R. Barthes and F. Jameson!. Here tOO, however, we must be careful about asserting that this is a new phenomenon, after all, the critique began with the historical caesura as theorized by Walter Benjamin in his essay The Work of Art in (he Age of Mechanrcal Reproduction, which reveals the lack of status of the original in contemporary global culture. Similarly, and as Rosalind Krauss points out " authenticity empties out as a notion [of an originall as one approaches those mediums which are inherently multiple"-To ask for an original" 1994 LIFE 1994 Dream House would make no sense. Implicit in Robert A .M . Stern's 1994 life Magazine Dream House is the idea of an 'original' i.e. a hand crafted and individualized, or at least customized creation for each potential consumer. In fact, the cover to this specific issue incorporates the possessive 'Your Dream House' implying singularity and individuation. The task of your feature article in th is case would be to portray The form--giver [Sternl as the maker of an 'original LIFE 1994 American Dream House' mold wh ich dispenses multiple 'originals'. Of course, th is is impossible if thought through in rational terms. Instead, this formal proposal is logically multiple and nonauratic [W. Benjamin) [structurally, conceptually, economically) it is a machine wh ich makes an imag8-feplica without an original, As Barthes says: Mrealism consists not in copying the real but in copying a Idepicted ~ copy. Through secondary mimesis [realisml copies what is already a copy.":r!o Why cling to the protracted tyranny of the cult of originality which has absolutely no place among the world of replicas in our present day world . Further implications, within an e)(tended discourse on the copy, would suggest deployment of a language of abstraction [sign] and functionalism [indexl over the picturesque image of salvation [icon!. Stern's proposal. surprisingly, is highly Apollon ian in character, He is the God [according to one interpretation by Nietzschel who wraps humanity in " the veil of Maya ~ protecting humankind from the harsh realities of an altogether frightening and pitiful e)(istence. Realizing this, we see the proposal as the opposite of a tenable solution for the myth and ritual of everyday life (as it is portrayed) and furthermore e~cludes 'otherness' by it s radical and amplified Apollonianism, Returning to Gropius's initial Quote regarding "The stark and frigh tening realities of our world... " is actually a call for a Dionysian annihilation of the veil wh ich opens the way for a direct and unmediated participation in the everyday life-sphere through the functionalist ergonomics of the Existenzminimum and by inference Le Corbusier's recontexrualization of dwelling clearly stated as a "machine 'a habiter". This supposed dream house is not a tenable model for a contemporary mode of living and it is certainly not a critique on the e)(isting paradigm of the individual American dwelling. Its anguished sense of loss and alienation from architecture-in-itself as well as the sphere of everyday life is self evident. By acknowledging its own decadence, it dramatizes its own deep sense of crisis and utter lack of conviction. Creating suburbia through the proliferation of the 'dream house types' offered in LIFE magazine would produce a landscape so utterly crazy that even Mr. Stern would be appalled by its effects.

Quite logically then, it would seem explicit from my argument that Mr. Stern's dream house is an overt act of desecration against arChitecture. It is a spurious version of architecture meant to pacify the marching morons who suffer from dwindling faith and a faltering life-impulse. Therefore it "de-si tuates ' architecture displacing it from its historical continuum rendering it atopic. The simulation denies the honesty and integrity of life, of actual existence. It portrays a steady-state world of permanence and order, Yet it is certainly not an order associated with architecture . Arch itecture, redefined and portrayed in these terms, essentially wants nothing else to occur in its wor ld let alone anything defined as spatial or architectural logic. It presents a tableau, a wax museum, a diorama. One thing Stern does not want to tell us about is change, how things come to be what they are and how they might ruin over time. The collapse of time-horizons and the preoccupation with instantaneity have in part arisen through the contemporary emphasis in cultural produc路 tion on events, spectacles, and images. And most Importantly, it is a versimilitudinal world creating a deep sense of estrangement, something like the final scene in 2001: a Space Odyssey, where we find ourselves inside the white room filled with surface replicas cre ated by alien beings [portrayed as an elaborate simUlation of everyday life gained from scanned television programs]:

He (Bowmanl SlOpped beside the coffee table. On it sat a convemional Bell System visionphone, complele with the local directory. He bem down and prcked up the volume with his clumsy, gloved hands. It bore, in the familiar type he had seen thousands of times, the name: Washington D.C. Then he looked more closely; and for the first time, he had objective proof thaI, although all this might be real, he was not on earth. He could read only the word {WashingtonI; the rest of the priming was a blur, as if if had been copied from a newspaper photograph. He opened the book at random and rifled through the pages. They were all blank sheets of crisp white material which was certainly not paper, though it looked very much like it. He lifled the telephone receiver and pressed it against the plastic of his helmet. If there had been a dialing sound he could have heard it through the conducting material. But as he had expected, there was only silence. So-it was all a fake, though a fantastically careful one. And if was clearly not intended to deceive but rather-he hoped-to reassure.~ {emphasis addedl The above scenario may sound like a humorous analogical stretch, as it is so highly fictionalized, However, I maintain it is helpful in reconnecting to the discourse of the role of the copy in the post[M]odern wh ich I see as being in stark contrast to the more analytic and reasoned temperament of the modernity of the late eighteenth and ninetee nth centuries. This tendency of representat ional carelessness and the destabilizing power of the ubiquitous image is absolutely consistent given the revisionist historical project. The article's persuasive rhetoric and overwrought use of synecdochical fragments triggers the desire response as it fetishizes the object itself propelling it into a vortex of libid inal and a-rationalistic temporal modalities. Given the present critique of Stern's project I cite 111 the invented bucolic landscape of foliage which lacks any specific information that might inform us as to its botanical status [issue cover]; [21 non-functioning symbolic shutters p.8B-89. The article states: "Modernism was the dogma when Stern started out, and his early work shared its clean lines and pared-down planes. But Stern, and others, soon began busting up this cool austerity with post[M)odernism and its playful references to classical devices such as moldings, arches, and columns," His work had a self-conscious jokiness about it-.. . ~ p . 84 . Why make a point of Stern's apostasy from the modern? This is part of the revisionist tactic of apocalyptic crisis. Certainly, we cannot e)(pect his

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proposal to Integrate or manifest any cl ear Ideas regarding architecture's prolect. the semantic and syntactic relationship of structure, circulation, and programmatic Instability, and the spatial recording device as trac ed throug h history's multiple conste llations. We recon textualists are reminded of the Infamous Encyclopedle draWings of Dldero\. himself a conc re t product of French Modernity, which as philological investigations exhaustively claSSify and cata log th e wor ld ]CUIIOSlty, youth] In Stern's verSion of th e Odyssey, however, he has 'supplied us' w ith a thin verSion 01 our world or rather, the 'likeness ' lelkon taken In Its most literal etymological senseI. that of an apprOXimated and disinterested postlM]odern wor ld Jamnesla, death], But certainly thiS IS a hoax of some sort, or perhaps an eaSily dismlssible vISion to be discharged through laughter, Your article amounts to an elaborate masquerade: It is comparable to the ubiquitous infomerc ial [image bombardmentJ. another Insidious American phenomenon where snake oil salesmen ]lIFE MAGAZINE] along w ith a highly touted expert (Stern] peddle free-liowing quantities of excitation to the oniomaniac masses: from car wax ]Title: Amazing DiscoveriesJ. spray-on-hair products [Inventor: Ron PopielJ. the Psychic Friends Network IHost: Dionne WarwickJ. memory courses (Host Danny BonaducciJ. and finally, the most recent and shocking Incarnation which I vi ewed recently-the non-lethal personal protection device cal led 'The Pulse wave Myotron' by the Arianne Foundat ion, The infomercial The LIFE 1994 American Dream House: A House for All America must surely be in post-production already. The commodity 's value ILIFE The 1994 American Dream House: A House for Ait America] is not based on t he unmediated relation between a need and the object's inherent qualities, rather the complex mechanism of desire is triggered through stimulating the compl ex network underlying the subjective, symbolic libidinal relationship to the consum ing subject 1' , which determines the relation of the subject to the object, The invisible producer as author has all but been erased through the process of the seductive message delivered through medium ]McLuhan] as projected through Benjamin's and Debord's notion of mass consumption and 'spectacle', In the post[MJodern, as David Harvey has pointed out "Refusing and actively 'deconstructing' all authoritative or supposedly immutable standards of aesthetic judgemen t. postmodernism can judge the spectacle only in terms of how spectacular It is_"2ft There is yet another meaning here, 'a third meaning', which can be deciphered loperating at an entirely different level I within the coded ruse of deception and reassurance signified within this work . Deconstructed further, the 'choices' offered along the bottom of pages 84 and 85 ]listed from left to righ t asDutch Colonial, Craltsman, ClaSSical, Tudor, and SpaniSh Colonial] are in fact not really choices at all: moreover, they are part of a larger ..:ullUral apparatus of emplled markers which once stood lor authentic architectural types. now, with only the surficial appearance of individual expression, they instead carry out their contract With a panicked conservative and xenophobiC politica l landscape manifested by isolationist ethnocentliC stereotyping. To illustrate the significance of th is charge, clearly, from an JOJther POint of view these chOices can be intuited as recurr ing versions of the same nightmare. Offered up in their present state(s) they can be defined as a kind of symbolic crematoria where arch,tecture-In-Itself IS both te rminated and cremated by the 'all cleansing pllmordial fire of reVISionISt postlM)odernlsm' which sends architecture up through the ch imney Without a trace. These are powerful images of both deception and reassurance, referrmg back to Arthur C. Clarke's fina l comment on the allen forgery . These symbolic crematoria appear (m asked] as the myth of the picturesque Ameflcan Village of yesteryear. The tota lity of the Volksgelst lpeopie-splll t ] as embodied through Goethe, Schiller and coopted by National SOCialism w hich was a direct react ion and suppression to the advancmg new aesthetiC and politica l modernity represented m the French Revolution of 1789. Its main anxiety was caused by the advanCing internationalism oj modernity. Now, through the power of LIFE magazme, It has been delivered to Ame llca . In a brilliant critique of reVISionist

post]M]odernlst te ndenCies m architecture Habermas has stated Then they /Neoconservartves) ally themselves wah the cult of the vernacular and the worship of the banal. ThiS Ideology of rhe uncomplicated renounces the ra/lonal poten /lal and th e inh erent aesthe tiC logiC of cultural modermty. Praising anonymous construction and an arch,tecture Without architects indicates the price that thiS Vitalism become critical of the system IS ready lO pay, even If a has in m ind another Volksgelst than the one whose gloriflca/lon In its rtme supplemented the monumenralism of the Fiihrer's architecture most admlrably_?iI

Before reject ing this idea as simply outrageous, I rem ind the reader that the production of these amnesia machines is a bizarre recurrence In the cycle of model production and model destruction. The deliverance of this form of amnesia is brought on by the revision istlO will of the denier, who is intolerant of the obvious complexity of modernity and, in this specific case, delivers to ]her]himself 'the blow to the head' which makes possible the symbolic longing for stability and pagan iconography. As in a Greek tragedy, the reader enjoys the privileged position of knowing the fate oj the characters involved, and in this tragedy we again are privileged to 'predict the f uture' as Stern's willful and total erasure of the event of western modernity itself lowers its mask to reveal the very face of the tyranny it attempts to combat. This display calls into question both implicit ly and explicitly the uselessness of architects in general. Their portrayal as magicians that make small rooms look big and purveyors of neat tricks, as providers of an embarras du choix, is not only absurd, it is fundamenta lly incorrect. The specifics of the house and accompanying text clearly display the above points_ For example citing from page 84 and 85: A look for any neighborhood" presents a concep tion of architecture as a parade of fashion, a encyclopedic circus of ossified mutant styles lacking any rhyme or reason as referenced to any contemporary state(s) of reality_ Every cliche in the book of pseudo-architecture is deployed here: for example the "camouflaged garage" masked to look like some other aspect of the house (p 87). Page 88 is devoted to "Plen ty 01 panes" where the advertisement copy reads" Stern calls windows the eyes of a house and feels that toO few of them make a facade seem anonymous.... the wood muntins separating panes are only glued on but appear to be real." And fmally, the entire diSCUSSion brought forth by Mr. Robert Coursey, on page 92, really exposes the sad condilion of the entire proposal. When the "overly detailed" house is stripped bare by her bachelors ]developers). even, one can see that it was in fact an ordinary tract house tarted up in a shingle negligee without its doric morality. Clearly, Mr . Stern 's fear of the abstract surface exemplif ies hiS uner lack of splillUal strength_ HIS work misconceives plurality and stylistic promiscuity as freedom when in fact it is simply packaging . Furthermore, on page 92, under the heading "The Finishing Touches: Getting Smart", a narrative scenario is portrayed: H

Looking from the kitchen InlO the great room, a lliS set for a party. But something's missingyou You're stuck In trafflc_ No tro worry; a smart new '90s technology w ill save rhe evenlng_ You p ick up rhe car phone and p unch away. A computer system prems talled In the house walls turns on ,the /ights, warms the canapes, heats your hair curlers and opens the garage. Later the system Will keep music pla ymg, modulate tem peratures and start the coffee. Much later, if rhe doorbell rings as you're failing asleep, turn on the TV: the system w ill show you who 's there_"

Compare the prevIous naively optimistiC scenaflo of the techno-pastora l model with the follow ing trag ic descflptlon:


Baudrillard in troduces diary sections on the district of Santa Barbara. Suddenly Baudrillard begms to talk of the gardens and the houses In th iS area: 'the fake seremly IS complete' he remarks, in a section that could well have com e from the ob,ecr system of 1968_ the proliferation of technical gadgetry inSide the house, beneath It, around,t, like dflps in an in tensive care ward. the TV stereo, and Video which prOVide COmmUniCaliOn With the beyond. the car (or cars) that connect one up to that great shoppers' funeral parlour, the supermarket. and lastly, the wife and children, as glOWing symptoms of success. _everything here tes/lfies to death having found its Ideal home ... lhe microwave, the wasre disposal, the orgasmic elas/icily of the carpets: this soft, resort-style civilization irresistibly evokes the end of the world.']

This constructed polarity between these two modalities of historical alignment tend to presuppose an irreconcilable divergence. However, the disquieting and frenetic cultural crises of the post[M)odern appear to have had their wholesome influences on our efforts to recontextualize the modern. Among these influences might be mentioned the tendency toward a more thoroughgoing self scrutiny and a commitment toward a comprehensive awareness of the interconnection between ideas and conditions that previously had not been suspected. These inquiries ultimate ly questi on kind!sl of societylies! have we inherited. We must then ask, what kind of societyliesi do we want to live in. How do we participate constructing our own future and not throwing our hands in the air to an unnamed fate forced upon us. Hal Foster has advanced this problem in his essay The Myth of Plurality, the massive breakdown in shared values and the concomitant splintering (1f 'multiple truths' The Judaic notion of pluralism is linked to a concept of obligation /0 the self and the collec/ive: this gives pluralism an eth ical summons to which it must respond . Plurality alone, as Nietzsche understood, leads to nihilism; if there is no G.o. everything is permitted. Wi thout higher ethical orderJs)' we only tolerate difference because we are equally indifferent to everything and everyone. For architecture, a problem clearly stated, becomes not a call for a new architecture, hut instead a rejuvenated connec tion within the ongoing project of cu ltural modernity. Without this realizat ion our Situation as architects is a bit like the scenario of the act of rearrang ing the deck chairs as the TitaniC sinks . We need to develop vital strategies of res istance if we are to rise out of and move beyond this situation of such overwhelming gravity . The recent malaise of the middle class is played against the atomistic and apolitical anger of the lower class_ This push and pull plays itsel f out in our politically vo latile metropolis in such a way as to surface as wild eruption, such as the recent civil unrest in Los Ange les. Problems are left unstated, kept unresolvable and are of such an incredible magnitude that answeflng or solvmg them are not even ente rtamed . It is with this attitude. recon tex tualized with in multiple contemporary post[M]odern discoursers ). that architecture must proceed with a re]new )ed confidence In social advances, healthy mOlal growth, belief In an open universalism and abstraction, and finally, ideals. As for the status of dwelling, we might recall Rimbaud's "II faut erre absolumenr modeme" which has an appeal to this author's particularly modern tempera ment as I have recently lelt like a displaced [in both time and space] Jewish disciple of the Enlightenment. It wou ld be outSide the intention and the curren t scope of thiS letter to propose how COA might make specifiC acts of archltec ture_ Now It may seem strange to cr itique phen omena wh ich run at such diffe ren t speeds: archnecture, which aspires to Universality and timelessness ]modernity) and pos t]M)odernity which aspires to the accelerated collapse of the meta-narratlve_ No cu lture, no civilizalion, espeCially one as pluralistiC and elusive as ours. is capable of conceptually identifying Itse lf. ThiS naming of the subjec t speCimen [cultures! invites localized dissection and unconceals only glimpses of ItS constituent overa ll charactellstics thuS refusing rational

categorization. as we ll as being notOriously charged with assertive Ideologies of empowerment This naming IS a way of termlnaung loverturnmg the reign ing modeV narrative thus eKposmg liS own 'wliito overpower' triggering the coroner's report which stands as wl\nessJ eKecutloner to the delivery of the autopsy. However seduced we become by ideas of historical ruptures. cyclical vs. linear time. eternal recurrence of epistemological breaks and the avant-garde. arChitecture must resist the temptation of their panicked schemes for radical SChizophrenia. Archltecture-m-Itself resides wlthrn another remarkably 'unrealistic' and protracted time sequence; remaining highly skeptical of Bradbury's seismological data and instead steadfastly unfolds slowly across the centufles, We might Instantiate the open caU for correcting narratives of amplified cosmopolitanism which distance themselves from the folksvillage of yesteryear [boundary] and Instead embrace the contemporary conseQuence of globalism [expansive] and the potential lor more liberatory politic w ith in the luture de--colonized lifeworld of [re[enlightened modernity. And finally. polemical sorties of this kind are also 8 lorm of negative recognition and. by a perverse effect. they can contribute to the success 01 that which they indignantly rerect. Fortunately. popular success does not olten translate IntO mtellectual and emotional credibility.

1. Fran k lloyd Wright Fr,nk Uo~d W" ghr On Archll.Clur., .d. Frederick INew York: Gron'l & Dunlap. t94 \) p 48,9 Wroghl SI.res -Th. SIns 0 111'1. a'chll'CI a .. p.rmao,ol SOIlS . To promol' good work II " n.c.n"y 10 ch.r.CI.r iz. b.d work IS bad HIli biked. imltatlv, deslgos Ihclillou,,,1 P..I.o"ously put lorward 10 Ih. o.m. 01 I mov,m,ot or caus,. p.rllcularly whll. oov,lly IS Ih. Chl.1 popullr ,Iand.rd . • nd.og e r Ih. c.use. 11'1• •11,cl.ncy 01 genuln. work . Ind lor Ihe 11m, being ' I l'U t: lower the lll.odard 01 "IISIIC mtegllly, d.mollhll.1I,s arhstlcally : unlll utter prOstliu llOn r,sult, . 2 Jiirgen Hlbermas, Th. N,w Cons.rv,/,sm.•d , aod trans, by Shlerry Weber N,cho ls.n ICambridge Th, MIT Press. 19891 p 7 H.b.rmas stales: - Th. mod.,n IIch,I.CIU" wh ose o"glns 10 Frink Lloyd W"ghl and Adolph Loo, w,r, bolh Orglo lC Ind rallon.hst . Ind whIch Ilowered .n Ihe most s uccesslul works 01 I G'OpIUS .od • M., S v,n d" Roh • . • L. Co,busl" lod an Ajv" AI/tO-lh.s "Chll'Clur, rem"n s th' I" St and only b.ndlng styl•. Ih. IIISI • od Only Slyle 10 h.v. ,hlPed .v.n 11'1, .verydlY hIe, SIOC. Ih. days 01 clasSlCI.m II IS !he only Irchu'Clura l movem e nt to have spruog hom Ihe Sp'''1 01 11'1. Iv.ot-garde . Ihe ooly 00. eQualln stllu!. 10 the avam-gard. p.mliog. mUSIc ~nd Illeralure 01 ou' century . 1\ conllnu.d Ih' hne of Iradlllon 01 WeSte,n r. lionli lsm and was oow.rlul .nough 10 creale model s. thai IS, 10 b.come classlc.1 ilS,lI a od 10 eSlabhsh • lrad ,Uon Ihllhom Ih. beglonlng Irlnsc.nded oillonal boundl"' s 3 AdoU Loos. - Ornlm, nl a nd Cflme. - In Programs . nd Mand.sto.s on 20th-C.ntury Archlt.CIUre. • d by Ulflch Conrad s I nd Ir a ns by Mlch,,1 8 utt or;k iThe MIT P.ess. 19101 P 20 Loos stiles. - Th •• volul lo n 01 cu llure IS s yn ooymo u, wll h Ihe remOVll 01 hom utl htallao oblecls 4 Ada LOUise Huxllble hIS remarked -S le,n. whOse s ucc eulul c ..... II bned 00 hIS rol. n a kInd 01 Ralph Laureo of archueclu ••. 10 hBVe o a rl,c l pilch for Ih ' Im ag, s Ihll un'I' appropflated memOlles Ind soc l, l aSPII IIIOO. In I m, x of SllIuS symbo ls a nd coo s u mer com loru Th. conc, pl o llhe - Slg oII U" " c h llect ,- ' deSlgn6f- nam. w llh a lra de mlr k Slyl, . nd obV IOUS salel ,od ou bltClty Id"l nl.g.s . ..... as Inv.OIed by d.v. lop. rs lor 11'1, r' al esllte m" kll 11$ " .. I, vllnc. 10 If c h,l. ct ure IS equ. l.d onl y by liS success IS. c ulturll sCim Excer pl -Inve n lmg Am,flc a n Rea hly . - by Ad, LouIS. Huxtabl, . Ihe New Yor k ReVieW, D, c,mb,r 3.1 992 . p 27 S. AI "'51 g llnce one m,g hl c alegome Rob ert Ven lu" IS Ihe he ll 10 Ihe " VlS lonlS I Ih! oo •. howe ver. I Clreful " I dlog of 11'1, lext p laces h,m de hnil.l y m Ihe categor y 01 recom'xlulh$1 01 mo derolly Th • • u thor wn bOl h s urp"se d lind de hg nt.d 1\ . . re l d lng Rob e n V.m uII·s prellce to 11'1, se cond I d lllOn 01 Compl,J<llfy And Contred ,Cllon In Arch,t.c/ure, dat.d Ap,,1 1917. In w hIch h. Sll les - PorhllPS II IS Ihfl la te 01 IU IhflO"SIS 10 v •• w 11'1 , flppl. s hom Ih." wor ks WIth ml x. d I• • hngs I ha ve some ll mes f.1t mor ,, wll h m y CflllCS 11'1'0 w'l h Ihos. w ho h.". Ig' e ed wl lh m. Th. lalle r ha ve o h .n mlsap ph ed o r Ix . g g, r'I'd Ihe ,deas a od me l hods ollh.s boo ~ 10 Ine PO lo l 01 pllody !l la hcs I dd ' dl 6 I dlfeCI 11'1. reld er to K MIchae l Hav s' ' eb ul la llo SylVia Llvm' s e ss a y. - Th, Uses a nd Ab us es 01 Th. o,y. - In w hICh h. slates · Con li lly to wh ll La VIn wOuld have uS b.h, v,. Ifchll,c lure d o., no t m. k. arch,l.clure by ll se ll. but ralher IS .o. bl.d. coerc. d, ,od ConSl'I'nfld by comple x hls tO"ClI determmants aOd IdeologlcllapPlfaluses tha i op.ra" beyond Ih' hOlllon o lin, ,ndlvldu.1 des'go,,', - F'eeoom - r.mphasls I dd.dl C" t ICII tl'l.or y IS I responSlIO Ihe ••• hzllIon 11'111 wha l used 10 b. c.lI.d Ih. cuUulI1 contl . 1 01 archl l.ctural produChOo IS w.1I as Ihe obl'CI p,oduc'd Ir, bOlh Ih.mSllv.s le ~ 1S 10 Ih e sense Ih.1 w. Cl noOI a pP,olch them sepa rately aod du e cll y. BS dls lmc ll h,ng",n' lhems.t v.s. bU I only Ihrough Ihe" P"Of d lffe re nl lallon. m le ' pr e la llon. and Ir a nsmulallon, III of willch 1$ not ,nnoc,nl bul ShOt Ih'ough Wllh Id.olog'CII mOI'~lIlon (Her. Hay.s seems 10 be ,,,,,"og Ha ns G'org, G,d,m,r's herm.n.u t,Cs 01 prejud,c e and appr,clt,onl K MIChael Hays. - R,Du n ,1 Th.ory a~ • m.dllllng PraCIlC'- P'ogressl'" Archltectu .. INov.mber, 19901. p 100 7 The comp l." t' " 'lids -We hll.d • GREAT ARCHITECT \0 deslg o Your drllm House A hOUse Ih at ', CLASSIC 00 m . outs,d.-RE MAR KABLE on the m"dea nd Af FO RDABLE II Cln b. a d l pted 10 $UII YOUR FAMILY and c an b' b Uil l ANYWHERE you Wln l - L, I. Magall oe (N.w Yorl; Ju ne 19S. I. from COv a r

8 Fra nk LloVcl Wflg ht. Flin t Llo~d Wflgflt On Arch",c lu re. p 4 Wllg hl StaleS - AOd Ih. cl U SlC? How 11'1, bt;lu ly-soph IS IIC II'd G.. ek wou ld shu dd er W'lh ImpOle nl d l'QuSI If h. could s ,. Ihe c hl ste p ropor tions 01 I'll' wor k mumm ll'f1d In you. wh ,l.wash.d Iml lillon. 01 hIS le gi lim alely O.lulilu l crflilions Th. househo lder w ho lon g s lor clas SIC OOrllCOS Or c o lonO'des shouTd be ma d. 10 w. 1I I lu niC Or I loga b y ord ,o,nc, 9 . See Le COrbuSI.r . Tcw.r(J~ a New Architec/ure,lI,ol Fred e "ck Elchells (New York : Dove. Pubhcalions. 1986. L. Corbuslar 5"161 -ArChil'CIS work In -"yles - or dISCUSS queSIlOnS 01 st'uC lur, In .nd OUI 01 selSon: Ihe" tli.nlS. 11'1, publiC. ",lIlh,nk 'n lerms of conveot lon.1 .pp,.rlnc•. • nd ren oo o n Ih. louodat ,o o 01 ,0 ms ulllclem ,duc,"on - P 17 01 rel.t,d ,mpofl.nce L C 5111es - Let uS hSI.o to Ih. cou nCIls of Amer tCa n '''g ln eers 8uI let us b.w., e 01 Am l ucan . rch ,lecis - p 42 Thl unlold lng .~o IU IIOO of the Clly c. 1I o. dw.Umg ca n b, 1$ 11'1, hlS lOry 01 • ~ohllng I mod.1 lor h.b,lal,oo . L. Corbusl" 's procl.mal lon . - Th, hous' IS a machln. 10' hVlog 10- d.m.oded. paradIgm shIft away from whll wlS cl,arly In hIS mood ao oUldated and wholly Inhumane cood't.on 01 hie lor modern humanklod, IllS a mlsrfladmg 10 und.rstand Corbu$ler' s procllm,"on as ooe 01 supportIng the,n. '1$Ihetlc. It WIS cl.arly a demaod 101 CUl lUfl 10 com, to gflps wllh Ihe log'c .od p,rl'CIIOO 01 -. probl.m '11I.d- Ind Ih. n.ces"ly 01 IIchllflCtu" aod hl 'STyl, 10 "COnCII, Ih'mselves w'lh IIchoology . Th. wh,l. vd!as th.o muSI be cflllqufld III III.ltOO 10 Ih' ICllve Idaplillon ollhe Ind ,vidUII 10 t.chnologlc.1 "li,ly Ind Ih. n.w sPlllal condll ions 11'111 ,uch • ,"hty ,mposes. Our ICDAllnl.nhon in Ih. recenl .. hlb,llOn IR. · Ameflc.n Dfuml wlS 10 r"nv,st SPIC' III 11'1. coodl llOo 01 cullural mOderoitv. SPIC' w hIch has bean occlud,d by 11'1, r.d,cal polafll Y m M. C.hnl$cu's defin ition 01 modernity . 10 order 10 escape Ih' commodlliC'lion 0111'1. 'house' as a letlShl5llC lutonomous objecl. IS , •• mph/I,d by Ih' Cn. Study House program in Los Ang.l.s 10 11'1. III. 1950's, w . choose 10 locus on Ih. morphology 01 Ihe Dlock 'nd In. hou s, Iyp, IS Inlegrl l PII" S 01 IhflI.bflc 0111'1. cIty (Los Aog. les!. CI.arly. tI"l posItiOn SlIongly fa"SIS Ihe p.r-nlve seillmag. Oillomisl ic IndiVidu.lism whICh c.n ooly coll.pse iniO I couoterpOSlhon 01 pure nihlosm . W, b,h.v. In Ih''bl, aOd Clllr 0111'1. modernlS! P'Oj.CI recontexlu,hl.d. whICh 10 Ihe behef 11'111 II IS fer Irom bankrupl in 'IS VI"OUS coniemporary m.oileslations .• nd Ihll Ihrough our own comm,m we have progressed lar Irom its .uro·ceotric o(lg'" 10 Jlln 8Iud"lIlId. Am'flC' ILoodoo,

' '1'1

II S •• Jurgeo Hab.. mas . ' Modero lty An locompl'l' PrOj,cr Th. PO$fmod..n Rlld,r. 'd by Char les J.ncks ILooOoo ' Edliions 19921 p 167 H. S18les· -Modero culture can b. succ.nlully "ok.d blck up to a pracllc. 01 everydly hI. that IS on vila, lrad itloos bUllmpov,flsh.d by mer. tr.d,t,on.hsm only " socl.1 modemlZlllOn 100 c.n b. gUld.d InlO Olh,r. oOOCIPlllhSl d"ectlons. Ind il 11'1. hlewo'id CIO dev.lop . on ils own. IOSIllUIIOOS Ihll WIll h. oUlslde Ihe borders 0111'1. Inher ent dynamICs 0 111'1, , co"omlc and .dmioi'lrallv, SYStems.12 . See -MythIC Hlslory : Fellsh- on Susln Buck,Morss, rh, Ol,t'CtJCI of S•• mg. Watr" 8.nJllmin ,nd /h. Arc,d.s Project IMISSlChuSfllI$. London Th. MIT Press). 1991 p_ 78 . 13 arche (Gk. - 11'1, b,gl,," Ing . - - Ih e sllrtlng pomt . - - Ih. olOgln of a Ihm~ . - -f ll sl -) 1 The bn ,c . underlYIng subSIIJI(:' Of pflnclple oul 01 wh Ich Itl lh lngs com. 10 be . Its I"st un . . . phIlosophIC COOC'PI 10 IhlS I.ose II found In An,x,m,oder. who conc"ved Ih' .rcht 1$11) eleroll. wllh no b.ginnmg lod no end. Ind (b) the source 01 all thIngs Ihat Ife. have been. and woll be . 2 . Thlll,," .od o"glni llng point trom. t 99t I. OlellOnlf)' of PhdcsCPhy. 'd by Dagoberl D. Runes IN.w J.tSflY LlttI.I ,.ld. Adams & Co I. p 19 t . I b"ng 10 Ih. rUd'r ' S .lIeOIIOO Rober l Jan vln P.It ·s d.SC flpt lOO of Ih. conl. mporllY ollg ln 01 C"SUII . h. lilies - Th+$ ,nlerprellllOo b' oughl hIm (Arlhur A Coh. ollo Ihe ncond concepl, Ih. caes url H, boffOW.d " trom Ih. JflWllh ph Ilos opher Marl m Bubef 11878- 19651 Accordlog 10 Bub.r th. lour m Ill. no .. 01 J,wl1h hl110ry hid b.eo wlthoull midpO IO!. wlihoUI I rUP lu r. or . as h. also c all.d II . a C.esufl Th. mOI,~aIIOO for Ihls coolention was rOOled oIl Bub , r', pol,mlcal Inlerp..1I110n 01 Ihe ChflSllan IlIdlllOO As Cohen obse'v.d. -Bube, regard.d sa lvallon oul 01 mcarn i lion and 11'1 , ,mplY lomo as an erb ..... y "'serllon 0111'1. plumb ho. of .Ierolly InlO Ihe vortex o f 11m" wllh Ihe resu ll thll HlS lory WIS brok.n op.n 10 Ih. pre- Chilli .od 11'1. postCnl lst and t he mart lng off wllhln Judao sm 01 prophflllC l,gUfi llon l . od poster tO. s 8uber ' s IOl lStenc. Ihll.lor, Ihl\ J ud" ,m hIS no m,dpo,nts, 11'1. 1 J,wlSh 1'11510ry " c,o lll.ver. d Irom Its m oo"n gs In crll llon lowlld an u nl ' Ked . n dllm • . WIS perl 01 h IS In le ll.CIUal mom . n lum cOOl1i Chllsllana Ro b." J. n va n Po l!. Arcll'/eCflJrai Pfl nClpl.s m In. Age of H.stOilClsm (N,w Ha ve n: Ylle Unlversny Press, 1991) p. 341. 15 rh. TANAKH.· rh, HOly Scriptures. The New J PS 111 nsllllOo A ccor d l n~ 10 Ih. Tlld,llon. 1 Te>'1 IPhllldo lphli. Jerusal.m The JeWISh PubloClllOn Sor;'e IY. 19851 EX OD 320-32 5 16 For I b roe l hu 01 po' lmod , rnist t. nd. nc .. s s • • Iha b Huse n. - Pluralism 10 Post modern Persp. ctlv,. - '" Th. POl f- Mod.rn Rud,r. Ed Chltles J.ncks (Lo odoo Acad.m y Ed lhQ nl. 19921 pp 196-20 7 PO"' I by pO'"t Ihfl ma", "nd,oc,,, Inc lu d. 11)lnd'l erm,n,cy, (2 ) Fragmenll! lOO. (3 ) D' Ca nOOlliIlOO. (. ) D' Plh-I , ss-o ,ss. (5 ) Th. unpresenl. b ll. (6) ir o oy. 171 Hyb ll dllli lon. (8) Carn IVa hl& lIoo. 19) PIIIIC 'PBIiOO . (101 Con SHuC li on" m .nd !I 11 Imm .. nen c. 17 F.. d flc J a m.son, Pos /mod.rnlsm or. Th. Cull lllll' LogIC o ( LI!' Cap lI.llsm (Du,h.m Duk. Unlve rs ll y Pre ss . 19911 p 58 H, IJ.mesool stiles - We Ire Inde ble d 10 n Hlb.rmu lor h" d ram" .c raver,.1 aod rea.t 'culllt 'o o 01 wi'll! rem"ns Ih. all "ma hon of In. su p..m. vl lu . 01 Ih. mode", .n d 11'1, r,pu dll l,on 0111'1. Ih.o.y Ind Oll ctlce 01 poslmod e""sm 18 It 11 ou lSlde 11'1. scooe ollh l1l.lIef 10 d . l,n e a nd lull y Coo lI>.l u a h2e a d lScu$$'OO 0111'1. Idea 01 bOlh cultura l modernl ly aod postmode mlsm, Th. a ulhor ,eB I' le s Ihal B pl. lhora of VI'W' a nd po s it ,o ns I .. po ss' bl. w ,t h, n Ih lS ongo·n g d. ball 19 FfI .dflch N,et zsch • . rh. Will To Pow er IN. w Yor k Vonllg. 8 ooh. 196BI On NI, u sch,'s 'x lenSIV' use 0111'11$ c onc.p t I •• es p p 349 oa rag fl ph 661 wh Ich SIll" -Why IS all ICllvny, ,Vfln In 11'1.1 senl •.• Uor;lIl. d Wllh pl. nur,1 8 .c. use b.lo.. II '0 obSllclfl. a bUfd en , xlsled l Or ra th", . 11 dOIn g 1$ 10 ove rcomIng . • log mlSl ... . od IIlCrfl l$es Ih. f"long 01 power1_ Pl.ISU.. IS Ih ,n kln g_ UI I, It IS n OI onl y Ih e le e llog 01 pOwer . b ul Ihe ple l$ul' oIl crelling and In Ih . Ih lng cr e lled . lor all aCllvllY a Olers our c onSC lou soe ss 01 1 -wo rk -


20 For . n . ~pa n de d dlscusslOO 01 In. v"tu e 01 11'1. modflrn prOj.C I se. L,wls Mum lo. d r,efl",eJ and C, v,/lli/lon. (N. w Yor t . Londoo Hervest/HBJI. 19301 P 182 ·1 84 21 Ib Id . P 4 10 22 For. dela lled d iSCUSSion 01 Ihls QII.S1100. a nd mo .. g . n ... "y 01 11'1 . conC'PI 01 d.c.CI.n c • . see Mlle l C. hnlSCu, Th, F,v, PhlS.s o f Moder""y IDulham Duk. Uo ,verslty Pl8ss . 19871. pp lS3·S9 -" s Iheretore not a structure but. d"' CIIOn 0, IImd'ocy , -d'Cl dent styleot a" places such emphaSIS on delall such Ihal Ihe oormal rel'lionsh,p 01. work', Plrts to liS whole IS deslroyed, Ihe work d",nl.g .. t,ng InlO I mullllud. 01 overwrought /flgmenls-. - ( P 158) 23 D,v ld Hllvey. Conl c,o ul n'55 . n d Ih. Urban Exp,f/.ne., fB. ltimo.. J ohos Ho pk ,nl Uo,ver slly Pre ss, 1985) p. 150. 24 Th. LIFE 1994 Dream - Hou se looks ,dflnllcal 10 House ' ·DR8060 ·. •• udy m id, p l.n • - R,m lnlsc.nt of Ih. Soulh-fof sate by 8uI Hom, Plans [A IIAm,"canl sponsored by GI8RALTAR lIod RCA and 'v', lable lor purchas, by c.llong 1.800.848.2550 See IB'$1 Home Pllns Designs: Sepl/Dcl. 1994) p. 152, 25 Roland Barthes. Sll. Hans . A,chlrd MllI,r IN.w York ' H,lI and Wing . 19741. p.S5 26 . Arlhur C Clllke. 2001 ' A Spac, Odyssey

27 -Th ••ss.o" 01 the bllSllllllud. Ilowllds tho clly) COOSl$la ollh, blunting 01 d"Cllmlnalioo . ThIS does nOI m.ln Ihll 11'1. obj'clS If. not ",rcfllv.d. as In the cas. with Ih. hell,w'l. bUI flth ... Ihll the mfllomg and dill,ring v.lues 01 th,ngs, and Th".by Ih' Ihlngs Ih emsel ves. are 'Kpefl.oc.d as iosubsllntlal. Th.y IPP." to Ih. blase p .. ,on ,n ,0 .v.nly lilt aod grey Ion •. no on. Obl'CI deserv.s pr"'lence Over .o y Olher . This mood IS 11'1, 1"lhiul subjective f. tlect,oo 01 , completely inlematil.d mon.y .conomy ...• llthiogs 110lil1 with .qu.1 sp.cil ic grav'ly io Ih. COOSllntl y mov"'g of money . All thmgs h. 00 Ihe sam. revlllnd dIller Iro m on. , oo lher oo ly In the SlZ' 0111'1. a... wh Ich they cover - - G Slmme l. -D" Grosnl.dl und das GIISlesl,ben- . DrUd,n 1903 (Eng . Tran", -Th, M.uopalis Aod Menlll LII.-,.o rh. Soc.ology of Geefg S,mm.l. Iflnsl,l"d Ind .d",d by Kurt H. WoIIIIF, . . P'IIS. N.w York 19501. pp 409,424 . 28 DaVId Harvey. rh. Cond",on of PO$ l moderni/y. (Oxlord. Bl,ckw,lI PubhSher'. 1990) p.56 29 , Jiirgen Habermas, Ttl . N.w Conservll/,sm,.d .od l ..os . bV Shlerf)' W.ber N,chol"n [C,mbfldge : The MIT Prus. 19891 p 20 . 30 I would poml out thll In dlScoufS.s the lerm r'VISlOOl5m lod or revislool.1 hIS b.en (j.nefilly used In lUIS flferflnQ 10 Holoclust d.nll l .nd "V'IIOnlst hlsto.y I use 11'1, lerm here ~oowlngly 10 ",nlorc. Ih. "vemy of Ih.s vlol,nc, 10 archll'Clur, 31 L,I. M,galio. INew York Juoe 19941. p 92 32. Jea" 8Iud"lIlId. Am'flc,. Ifl ns . Ch"s Turoer pp . 30-31

Eric Kahn is an architect and partner In the Los Angeles based architectural firm Central Office of Architecture. as well as a Professor at The Sourhern California Inslitute of Architecture.

,\Ier ry MitiMlure.!

lIappy lIoIiday.! Greal Gij"! Vrtra Repruenlltlves: locke AAociJoI. 8687 MWOIM Iwemo POCs..teM-4 3 10 358 1588

Newsletter, October 1994  

Art and Architecture: A Discussion, Getting the "Master out of the Master Plan" by Pat Morton, Panic in the Year Zero by Eric Kahn, Stereoto...

Newsletter, October 1994  

Art and Architecture: A Discussion, Getting the "Master out of the Master Plan" by Pat Morton, Panic in the Year Zero by Eric Kahn, Stereoto...