Wednesday, September 12, 2007

modern menhirs

There's some tasy meat in this reading. Some of it answered my previous questions (on nomads, anti-art/architecture, aesthetic practice).

The difference between roaming/wandering and nomadism (p48) helps give purpose to mapping. Our maps make nomad-ing in the city possible. Without our maps, we would be wandering, but perhaps not quite lost. The possibility of getting lost with maps in hand must exist. That deambulation might allow one to slip into an altered consciousness, which then means receptivity to the field and what it offers outside of our preconceived, premapped pre-dilections. In a city where we are comfortable with nomadism, it is not the straight roads and thoroughfares by which we orient ourselves; it is the events or menhirs that--like a lighthouse--guide without being a target, and provide just enough orientation or visibility.

What would the modern menhir be? Is Ian Ritchie on the right track? Just enough monument?

What is architecture in this psychogeographic environment? "The simplest means of articulating time and space, of modulating reality, of engendering dreams. It is a matter not only of plastic articulation and modulation expressing an ephemeral beauty, but of a modulation producing influences in accordance with the eternal spectrum of human desires and the progress in realizing them." (p97, Chtcheglov) What's on the eternal spectrum of human desires? (Coffee, wine, not-work, play...? and if you're not a Situationist?)

Today in Greig Crysler's theory class, the question was raised of how the Situationists funded their merry "aversion for work" (106) and "wander[ing] from cafe to cafe" (109). Good question (though Berreby says they made due with very little money [109]...must have been before the price-adjusted Parisian $6 cappuccino [not that I would know]). The equivalent today might be paying $300 to go to Burning Man, or maybe $3000[0] to go to grad school. Nomading should be free, but there's a history of sophistication and headiness about this process of losing oneself and discovering something else. Take for example Rosalind Krauss' diagrams of sculpture in the expanded field (131). We publish concerted efforts at making a modern-day cave painting (a diagram attempting to resolve sculpture, architecture, landscape and what is non/not those things). Instead of pictograms on cave walls, it's dotted lines between words on paper. It's polished austentitic stainless steel erected in a day instead of 300-ton menhirs erected by 3,000 people. Put on your rose-colored glasses; we're heading for Passaic. Ah...look where I've wandered....alienation of the academic class! (Don't read into this. I kid. Really. Because I can. It's serious play. (I was going to insert a child psychology reference, but but this is more up an architect's alley: )

"We all agree then, that a grand adventure is at hand." (Careri 83)

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