Monday, October 24, 2011

janiski_territory possibilities



situated site_

The physicality of the site could be as limited as the space of a mirror itself or as extensive and infinite as all the space encompassed in its reflection(s). Mirror space is likely just as much fictional space as it is the real space that we inhabit. The mirror as a surface implicates glass, water, metal – anything casting a reflection whether precise and sharp or fuzzy and atmospheric. The mirror as a body might include identical twins as the mirror themselves onto one another, and, similarly, society and the individual as the same operation of mirroring takes place. To mirror is to reflect oneself onto another and vice versa; to see an entirely different and separate object as though one is seeing themselves. Every day mirrors are put to work in order to: see our reflection, apply makeup, check that nothing is stuck in our teeth, block the view of the outsider, parallel park, switch lanes, bounce light…

disbalanced site_

The inherent relationship is between the object/subject (typically given priority) and its reflection. Identities are crafted as individuals are measured in order to be compared. Small differences, points of negotiation, emerge. The comparison begins to isolate small differences by which we can understand each individual, however, the comparison always requires the presence of the pair - the identity of one is understood as different from the identity of the other. Without one we cannot understand the other.

potential case studies_

reflected ceiling plan

lines of symmetry

identical twins

dolly the sheep

Picasso Museum, Buren installation

discursive materials_

Freud: Narcissim of small differences

mises-en-abyme: http://mireio.tumblr.com/

Hannah Arendt: The human condition

Keller Easterling: Only the many

Foucault: various, on the topic of vision

Michael Speaks: Individuation without identity



situated site_

The site of pressure exists at every scale of time and physical space. Pressure itself can be an atmospheric quality or a quantitative measurement of a relationship. In all cases, the situation of pressure can be felt – pressure exerted or released has very real, physical consequences.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center give the following definition for atmospheric pressure: “Pressure (force per unit area) exerted by the atmosphere on any surface by virtue of its weight; it is equivalent to the weight of a vertical column of air extending above a surface of unit area to the outer limit of the atmosphere.” Further, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute state that “’Blood pressure’ is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.”

disbalanced site_

Pressure difference defines the relationships considered here; pressure might be applied, released or balanced in order to alleviate the pressure difference. Power gives rise to pressure difference in many cases and the less powerful are required to adjust accordingly.

potential case studies_

high school peer pressure

political pressures, e.g. Sarah Palin as a choice for VP

the masquerade to cope with societal pressures

physical pressure differences between inside and outside

discursive materials_

Ori Brafman: Sway - The Irresistible pull of irrational behavior

Jean Baudrillard: Structures of atmosphere

Paul Virilio: The state of emergency



situated site_

The occupied space is found at every scale – wherever an occupant, or many, exist within the boundary of an identified local. It could be real or fictional, generic or specific. In spaces of performance, the performers command and absorb space as their platform. The space of the performance is complex: performers and platform cannot be separated without losing qualities of the whole, movement about and within can animate the potential of a space not realized any other way. Latent energies are found, space becomes dynamic. An occupation of space is the best possible chance that space has of realizing its full potential.

disbalanced site_

The players are either the occupiers or the occupied, interchangeably live actors and spaces. Typically, one party is given priority over the other; the designer is said to prioritize the space while the owner the occupants. Two dancers: moving with, in support of, against, in reaction to each other. The points of support, or negotiation, are exact in order to achieve the desired linear form, and indicative of a required balance in force and weight.

potential case studies_

projects of interiority and/or participation

occupy wall street?

spaces of performance, movement, dance

discursive materials_

Jonathan Hill: Occupying architecture

Michel de Certeau: Practice of everyday life

Adrian Forty: Words and buildings

Mark Rakatansky: Motivations of Animation



situated site_

Rights are frequently established, encoded into law, taken away and transferred. While sometimes vague in their construction, the consequences of those rights are highly specific, but also highly variable. Human beings demand rights of safety that lead to protocols of punishment for anyone that risks challenging the rules and rights of safety. Incarceration is a popular form of punishment that works simply by wholly removing the offenders from the situation and storing them elsewhere. Prisons serve as the site of those removed citizens, and islands provide the ideal site of capture in order to reduce the likelihood that the offenders will be able to escape.

disbalanced site_

The players include the authorities enforcing rights of safety, the offenders and the general population. The authorities hold (and abuse) the power and responsibility to enforce, the offenders disregard their responsibility to uphold the common rights and the general population defers to the authorities whenever they consider themselves victim to offenders, wither real or fictional.

potential case studies_

Riker’s Island

Guantanamo Bay

Concentration camps

lost in translation

health care system

universal human rights

class disparity (via education?)

discursive materials_

Keller Easterling: Enduring innocence

Georg Simmel: The Metropolis and Mental Life



situated site_

The architect’s entire life: where he grew up, went to school, who he knows, etc, is at stake. While each new project introduces new possibilities and opportunities, there is likely a consistent personal project that the architect maintains – perhaps in various iterations over time – throughout his career.

disbalanced site_

The architect is the key player – disbalance is found not between different players but within the variety of responsibilities and desires of the architect. For built projects, the client can serve as both protagonist and antagonist – either supporting or restricting the possibly of the architect to complete a project that meets all of his desires. Building codes, budgets, zoning appeals, disciplinary concerns and community boards, among many other variables, play into the ever-increasingly complex design project. Once the architect has been able to ensure compliance with various requirements and demands, is there room left to act as a double agent in order to achieve other desired outcomes within a project?

potential case studies_

schizophrenia, identity psychosis

spy stories

discursive materials_

Sylvia Lavin: Kissing Architecture

Keller Easterling: Only the many

Jorge Luis Borges: The garden of forking paths

Eric Gordon: The database city

Mark Cousins: Building an architect



situated site_

The scale of the transaction exists from the data cloud of exchanged information to the cash register in the (obsolete?) retail store to entire shopping districts and free-trade zones. Boundaries are less physical, more financial – crossing a boundary signals an economic move or status. One might say that the transaction starts at demand and ends with supply; the market economy is cited as the most efficient mechanism for streamlining the transaction. Few people in the “developed” economies are likely to spend 24 hours of their lives without completing a transaction – it might be nearly impossible to do so for any significant length of time. Groups of people in the U.S. who have attempted to not buy anything new for one complete year have been called terrorists in our capitalist society where purchasing power and GDP carry more weight that (almost?) anything else.

disbalanced site_

"Saskia Sassen, in her book "Losing Control," posits that "economic globalization has reconfigured the intersection of territoriality and sovereignty." With regard to the nation-state's authorities and responsibilities as we have known them in modern times, Sassen recalls a specific situation ("global economic security issue") in Mexico for which the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury was made point-person in lieu of the Secretary of State who would have traditionally been asked to handle the issue. Does this example signal a change in diplomacy from foreign policy to global economy at the level of nation-state governance? In addition, in "The Undercover Economist," Tim Harford's description of the economist might be read in support of the economist as diplomat. He writes: "That is what economists mean when we say a situation 'could be better.' If we can point to a change that could make at least one person better off, and nobody worse off, we say that the current situation in inefficient, or, in everyday language, that it could be better.

potential case studies_

concept of efficiency in economics

mass production and consumption

Koolhaas: Prada store; other retail architectures

Frank Gehry as brand architecture

Wall Street and other international financial centers

discursive materials_

Saskia Sassen: Losing Control

Tim Harford: The undercover economist

Studio Sputnick: snooze: Immersing architecture in mass culture,

Maurya Wickstrom: Performing Consumers: Global capital and its theatrical seductions

Koolhaas: Junk space

Klingmann: Brandscape

Bruce Sterling: Shaping things

1 comment:

  1. only six, Julie?

    While I think all six could be developed and expanded into marvelous architectural explorations, I have a strong leaning toward your first one, Mirror Space. This one offers a contemplation on symmetry, the subject of so much Modern architectural discourse, that has very thick possibilities. (By thick here I mean it can be explored on a broad architectural spectrum from the composition of physical components/spaces, experiential probes, socio-cultural interpretations, theorized critiques…)

    Two immediate written sources that come to mind are Freud’s ideas in “The Uncanny” about the horror (distance) of the familiar. This piece is intimately tied to the ways (I think) you’re trying to bring in mise-en-abyme and could provide deeper insight to some of the origins to that concept… For a more architectural exploration, look at Robin Evans’s “Mies van der Rohe’s Paradoxical Symmetries” chapter in Translations from Drawing to Building. It’s a re-examination of symmetry and reflection in MvdR’s Barcelona Pavilion. It interprets the horizontal, formal symmetry (coupled with lighting, materiality, historical context, etc.) and the resulting groundlessness as an expression of the modern imperative to both remember and forget. (I’m not doing the article justice, it’s greatest value, perhaps, is in seeing Evans structure an architectural argument.)

    There is also a portion of a talk by Jeff Kipnis in which he brings up the horror of symmetry by analyzing the architecture in the film “The Shining” (https://ksamedia.osu.edu/video/229639). If you watch the rest of this talk, it gets into the other conversations around power… check it out.

    I was also really intrigued by Territory 05/Double Agent – for reasons we discussed in class and those you mention. I don’t know if this can become a stand alone category, but I do think it could work well when coupled with one of the other territories. (Are architects always double agents in some way?)