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The following presentation of text and images is merely a glance into what this publication intends to be. This presentation is to set the tone. The three conversations with First Sam Jacobs, First Office, and Fake Industries in this presentation have been arranged, but have yet to happen. This intends to happen in the next month [January, 2014]. The images and text used in the coversation ‘section’ have been released to Limbo Magazine by the respective authors to use for this research/publication. The Excerpt section of this presentation was made with a ‘call for papers’ in mind. This call for papers contributes to the idea of open-source learning copyright, and domain. One paper intends to be re-published. This paper is titled “When an Image Becomes a Work: Prolegomena to Cattelan’s Iconology” by Domenico Quaranta. This paper focuses on the conceptiual artist Maurizio Cattelan who copies internet culture and repurposes thus in a gallery setting IE. the guggenheim. I beleive it is important to include this essay as many of the architects included in the conversation of Copies are heavily inspired by conceptual art. -Michael Abel


opies are about re-crafting the public domain. Marx argued that history repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce. Limbo Magazine believes that Marx would have a different outlook on this if he had the Internet. If Marx had the Internet, he would see trends, movements repeat endlessly. It would be first as tragedy, then as farce, then as farce, then as farce, then as meme , then as – what did that mean again? Copies embrace history and cannot live without it. Copies stab history in its back from time to time in attempt to ‘critique’ ‘it’. Copies appear indifferent, yet in reality are extremely concerned. While precedent-based architecture is certainly a thing, copies are interested in copying as an end, rather than a beginning. Copies are an outcast to today’s date-driven architecture. Copies are about adhering to post-internet culture and using it to our advantage. Copies are Duchamp’s ideal children. Copies would like to think of itself to fall under the movement ‘Radical Post Modernism’ put forth by Charles Jencks and FAT. Copies would like to see the fore mentioned radical post modernism and post internet collide, meet, and argue. If Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown put an exaggerated antenna to represent TV culture on the Guild House, then Copies would require an oversized WIFI modem in the same place. Copies are a cultural practice in the age of the internet. Copies are scared of making architecture overly autonomous by copying other architecture. Copies are very aware of the historical canon. Perhaps Copies can copy something else. Copies sometimes attempts to strip underlying historical meaning ‘embedded’ in architecture. Copies would like to take multiple ‘things’ that had distinct meanings, and make them synchronised. Copies are, or would like to be forms of activism. Copies are/is copying other copies right now. The pages that follow present a list of cases and excerpts Copies would like to know more about. This is an attempt to break down the subject into ‘subs’ or ‘parts’. They do, even if they do not seem like it, contribute and assemble under the same idea of copies.

DÉTOURNEMENT Limbo Magazine is interested in Guy Debord’s détournement of pre-existing aesthetic elements [The integration of present or past artistic productions into a superior construction of a milieu. ]. Détournement copies a historical reference Wonly to twist it against itself – it criticizes, and attempts to find where the historical projects used, stand today.

DOUGLAS HUEBLER The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.


Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture With out Architecture, (Massachusetts and London: MIT Press, 2005), 13.

In Architecture without Architecture, Simon Sadler states that the triumph of mainstream modernism had been to interpret and institutionalize the work of the modernist pioneers, redeploying the preSecond World War heroic phase. By the 1950s, modernism was foregrounding and institutionalizing the work of the modernist. The Southbank Centre in London (19601964) is an example of a brutalist building that uses a nineteenth century [heroic] building technique and takes off as a modernist fantasy. Sir John Summerson, when talking about the South Bank Centre, admits it was a nostalgic echo from the thirties rather than a confession of faith in a present time or circumstance.

DOMAIN There is a minute and shrinking public domain. Digital technology will speed up this decline. As Jessica Litman defined the term, the public domain, includes not only those works never copyrighted, or those works no longer protected by copyright. The public domain also includes access to secured to copyrighted works by the express limits on the scope of copyright. Lawrence, Lessig. "Re-Crafting a Public Domain." Perspecta 44 , 2012, 177-189.

ATEMPORALITY Atemporality is an (a)historical concept aimed at contextualising the state of the networked world in the early 21st century, associated most prominently with speculative fiction novelists and technocultural critics William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Sterling's conclusion that network culture produces a form of historical consciousness marked by atemporality" to be an epochdefining observation Plan for a 9 square grid by Andrew Kovacs.

- Kazys Varnelis

BENJAMIN BenjaminWalters claim that when art is reproduced, the ‘aura’ of the original piece is less, deteriorating its cult value. Can we take these claims seriously?

IMITATION, TRANSFORMATION, PARALLELISM Anthony Alofsin, American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader, ed. Keith L Eggener (London and New York: Routledge, 2004), 282.

Anthony Alofsin, a recent critic, writing in 1999, identifies three different approaches to describe influence: imitation, transformation, and parallelism. Imitation implies some attempt to copy, usually relying on the external appearance of objects; Transformation suggests an effort to move beyond making copies to altering either appearance or the meanings under lying forms; And, Parallelism occurs when objects that appear similar have independent origins. These three transformations of influence suggest that to copy a project, you have to fully understand the project; otherwise the copy becomes a fake.


Field of Walls, Dogma, 2012

Archizoom, Parallele Districts in Berlin, 1969

[...]I couldn’t invent anything, so I always copied projects. Architecture was one of the few arts left where there was not yet a problem with copyrights. It is an interesting problem, because architecture is not produced by one person, but by a number of people, who rely on references outside of the office. If there is no common knowledge you can’t produce architecture, and so to copy a project is actually a fundamental way to make evident that mode of production, rather than to indulge in this idea that we are constantly inventing something new. In a way it is a form of economy in terms of design, but for us it is almost a methodological principle. -Pier Vittori Aureli, interview with Project Magazine, 2012.

-FAILURE, THE CANONinsert here: typical ‘death of modernism’ photo

Peter Blake, Form Follows Fiasco, (Boston and Toronto: Little Brown & Company Ltd, 1977), 11

Consider the way Peter Blake writes about Modern architectural dogma in the Introduction of Form Follows Fiasco: For, all around us, the environment we have built over the past century or so with supreme confidence is literally collapsing: the walls of our buildings are crumbling – literally; the well-intentioned zones mapped by our city planners are creating the worst ghettos in recorded history – literally; the best planned schools by the world’s most idealistic architects are producing a generation of zombies – literally; the finest public housing projects to be found anywhere in the world, and designed according to the noblest precepts, are turning into enclaves of murder, rape, mugging, and dope addiction, with only way out of charge of dynamite to reduce those noble precepts to rubble – literally. Something or somebody, obviously, isn’t quite up to snuff. Somewhere up in the most exalted regions of our architectural establishment. If this is the case [Is it?], what are the consequences of copying, appropriating, and simulating architecture that of negligence?

INVENTION He, who claims originality, has no memory -Diana Vreeland Editor in Chief, Vogue Magazine US, 1963-1971

One doesn’t invent a new architecture every Monday morning -Mies Van der Rohe

“The last four hundred years of architectural excess produced enough undiscovered public architectural knowledge to nurture, at least, our practice; the last twenty, a hangover of creative-shapes-on-steroids we are trying to recover from. F**k originality. Rather, copies allow us to explore all the potential left unexplored by other’s rush. Knowledge can be public, yet undiscovered, if independently created fragments are logically related but never retrieved, brought together, or re-conceptualized. And that is what we do. Don’t ask us for new stuff, we copy.” - Urtzi Grau - Cristina Goberna Pesudo

The world is full of architecture, more or less interesting; we do not wish to add any more. Douglas Huebler’s motto, partially vandalized, seems an appropriate response to the current condition in architecture today. Faced with an unprecedented amount of available projects, the problem is not needing to write more of it but rather negotiate the negotiate what already exists. The Clients wanted a double house, so they can move from one half to the other according to their state of mind. We provide with two well-known domestic environments — the open frame of the Case Study houses for hedonistic pleasures toped with the interiorized existentialism of Le Corbusier’s Maison Jaoul — literally. The resulting exquisite corpse ensures the schizophrenic differentiation of modes of habitation as much as it negotiates the impossible encounter of the types.

On The Importance of Copying by Sam Jacobs Historically, copying was the means by which architecture disseminated language and culture into common use. Palladio's Four Books of Architecture (1570, Venice), for example, were explicit manuals published to be copied by other architects (while at the same time synthesising an architectural language by copying antique architecture). Yet the copy has also became characterised as the enemy of progress, an inauthentic, pastiched and faked dead end of invention. The architectural copy can be schizophrenically characterised as the discipline’s perfect and evil twin, at once fundamental to architecture’s mode and its nemesis. Yet there are other, perhaps more productive, ways of understanding the copy. Copying requires us to look closely at the subject we wish to replicate. The copy is a distillation of thisinformation into material form, producing a physical object that embodies a specific form of understanding. The manufacture of a copy is a project in and of itself, separate from its source. Its drive for fidelity often requires entirely new armatures and technologies to be invented. Equally, the desires that motivate the production of a copy rewrite the meaning of the object that is produced. Narratives of, say, love, pride, fear or joy become encoded into the substance of the replica. The copy can be both exactly the same as its original and radically different at one and the same time. Copying is dangerously fertile. Controls of intellectual property may attempt to protect against reproduction but in doing so they alter the life and influence of their subjects. But law does not prevent copying, in the form of influence, combining unrelated genomes into previously unimaginable entities. The architectural copy forces us to examine the world as it comes to us and to invent ways of manufacturing new versions of the world.

The Villa Rotunda Redux is an installation by FAT that fabricates a large facsimile of the Villa Rotunda[ which was first shown at the 13th annual architecture biennale in Venice. The installation comprises two parts. First a CNC’d mould of a quarter of the Villa from which a cast is then taken. In keeping with the notion of the copy, the digital model of the Villa is taken from a shareware example on Google Warehouse. This is routed into polystyrene blocks and assembled to form the mould. The cast is taken by spraying into the mould with polyurethane foam, applied on site. The cast and mould are arranged as an installation, displaying the process of fabrication at large scale. The qualities of positive and negative, of interior and exterior and the abstractions and fidelities of the original Villa are set one against the other.

:A series of tables made for the PINTREST offices, copying the composition of Kazimir Malevich paintings.

To begin, let’s describe it: we are looking at a painting of a square registered against a square canvas. It is, at first, a seemingly stable figure ground, a relationship that could be described through on/off, 1/0, black/white. Only, this painting is not black and white; it is white and white; and therefore it isn't stable. One could as a result also say that there are two squares added together, one on top of the other, producing a layered effect of two figures; or that there is a square subtracted from another square, forming a donut, a figure with a hole in it; or that the figure is not even present, only its shadow, dropped from an object beyond the grasp of the canvas displaying the ground alone. The tonal difference of white produces a flickering between the figure and the ground. Whether or not we agree that the composition is a figure/ground, a figure/figure, or a ground/ ground is not important to us. What is important and is stable in all interpretations, is the notion that this painting is about that difference, through form and tone, producing a distance or a depth between the two.

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