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“The look is directed . . . in such deliberate manner as to suggest the reading of these houses as frames for a view.”

— Beatriz Colomina, “Split Wall”

“But with all the interrogation of the word feminine, one sometimes forgets that in France in the late 1960s, it was the word écriture (writing) that was the common denominator for a wide range of explosive practices and publications.

Norton Anthology of Literary Criticism, “Introduction to Hélène Cixous”

“My architecture is not conceived in plans, but in spaces (cubes). I do not design floor plans, facades, sections. I design spaces. For me, there is no ground floor, first floor etc…. For me, there are only contiguous, continual spaces, rooms, anterooms, terraces etc. Stories merge and spaces relate to each other. Every space requires a different height: the dining room is surely higher than the pantry, thus the ceilings are set at different levels. To join these spaces in such a way that the rise and fall are not only unobservable but also practical, in this I see what is for others the great secret, although it is for me a great matter of course. Coming back to your question, it is just this spatial interaction and spatial austerity that thus far I have best been able to realize in Dr Müller’s house.”

–Adolf Loos, Shorthand record of a conversation in Plzeň (Pilsen), 1930

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mller_0

Villa Müller
Adolf Loos, architect
Prague, Czech – 1930

CLICK!

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Villa Savoye
Corbusier, architect
Poissy, France – 1928 – 1931

CLICK!

I suppose if there were more people this awesome we would not appreciate them as much.

BC PI

Med Mod Princeton

february-12-2013

I guess Coachella organizers think she’s not ‘relatable’. Should young persons be offended?

A new feature in The New Yorker contains a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the inner workings of Coachella, detailing the past, present, and future of the festival, promoter Goldenvoice, and Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett. Tollett maintains a hands-on role in the Coachella lineup; The New Yorker reports that he personally curated and booked all 150 artists playing this year’s festival. (He also found out that former Coachella headliner Beyoncé was pregnant the same way we all did: Her Instagram post.) But one artist that Tollett reportedly did not want to book? Kate Bush.

Readings for April 12th

Posted: April 10, 2017 in Readings

These are for next Monday. It may look like a lot of reading, and the first reading is admittedly a bit daunting. But I’ll do my best to explain everything clearly in class. Let me reassure you that the second piece is little more than a series of photographs. In any case, you’ll have almost an entire week to survey this material. Good luck!

Beatriz Colomina
Princeton University
Architecture and Planning
Director of Graduate Studies

Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism (1991)
(part 1 and part 2)

Domesticity at War (1991)

Enclosed by Images: The Eameses’
Multi-Media Architecture
(2001)

Photographers and reporters gather near Frenchman Flat
to observe the Priscilla nuclear test, June 24, 1957

Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev
American National Exhibition, Moscow, 1959

Image  —  Posted: April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

This is what I’ve saying to each of my classes all semester. Please plan to attend this excellent event.

Image  —  Posted: April 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

The Optical Unconscious

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


By close-ups of the things around us, by focusing on hidden details of familiar objects, by exploring common place milieus under the ingenious guidance of the camera, the film, on the one hand, extends our comprehension of the necessities which rule our lives; on the other hand, it manages to assure us of an immense and unexpected field of action. Our taverns and our metropolitan streets, our offices and furnished rooms, our railroad stations and our factories appeared to have us locked up hopelessly. Then came the film and burst this prison-world asunder by the dynamite of the tenth of a second, so that now, in the midst of its far-flung ruins and debris, we calmly and adventurously go traveling. With the close-up, space expands; with slow motion, movement is extended. The enlargement of a snapshot does not simply render more precise what in any case was visible, though unclear: it reveals entirely new structural formations of the subject. So, too, slow motion not only presents familiar qualities of movement but reveals in them entirely unknown ones “which, far from looking like retarded rapid movements, give the effect of singularly gliding, floating, supernatural motions.” Evidently a different nature opens itself to the camera than opens to the naked eye – if only because an unconsciously penetrated space is substituted for a space consciously explored by man. Even if one has a general knowledge of the way people walk, one knows nothing of a person’s posture during the fractional second of a stride. The act of reaching for a lighter or a spoon is familiar routine, yet we hardly know what really goes on between hand and metal, not to mention how this fluctuates with our moods. Here the camera intervenes with the resources of its lowerings and liftings, its interruptions and isolations, it extensions and accelerations, its enlargements and reductions. The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.

–Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)

The Optical Unconscious is a pointed protest against the official story of modernism and against the critical tradition that attempted to define modern art according to certain sacred commandments and self-fulfilling truths.
… Krauss gives us the story that Alfred Barr, Meyer Shapiro, and Clement Greenberg repressed, the story of a small, disparate group of artists who defied modernism’s most cherished self-descriptions, giving rise to an unruly, disruptive force that persistently haunted the field of modernism from the 1920s to the 1950s and continues to disrupt it today.

Umberto Boccioni
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913)

Image  —  Posted: April 8, 2017 in Uncategorized













The transformation of the superstructure [human consciousness and culture], which takes place far more slowly than that of the base [the human body and the technological infrastructure], has taken more than half a century to manifest in all areas of culture the change in the conditions of production. Only today can it be indicated what form this has taken. Certain prognostic requirements should be met by these statements. However, theses about the art of the proletariat after its assumption of power or about the art of a classless society would have less bearing on these demands than theses about the developmental tendencies of art under present conditions of production. Their dialectic [myth-busting potential] is no less noticeable in the superstructure than in the economy. It would therefore be wrong to underestimate the value of such theses as a weapon. They brush aside a number of outmoded concepts, such as Creativity and Genius, Eternal Value and Mystery – concepts whose uncontrolled (and at present almost uncontrollable) application would lead to a processing of data in the Fascist sense. The concepts which are introduced into the theory of art in what follows differ from the more familiar terms in that they are completely useless for the purposes of Fascism. They are, on the other hand, useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art.

–Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)

http://www.paglen.com/

Image  —  Posted: April 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

What might Artaud have thought of Jimi Hendrix?

After our discussion Michael Fried’s glib dismissal of Pop Art, students may be interested in seeing another take on Andy Warhol, that of Princeton University art historian Hal Foster, author of The First Pop Age.

Hal Foster
“Death In America”
October, No. 71 (Winter 1996)


Andy Warhol
Saturday Disaster (1964)

Green Car Crash (1963)

Warhol said “Art is what you can get away with,” and the late, great artist’s paintings are still getting away with a fortune. Among the most recent works auctioned by Christie’s is his painting Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), from Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, which went for $71.7 million dollars on Wednesday, May 16. The painting is based on a photograph that appeared in Newsweek magazine from June 3rd, 1963. The photograph depicted the end of a car chase, when a 24-year-old commercial fisherman in Seattle flipped his car, hit a telephone pole, and was ejected from the car forcefully enough to be impaled on, but not immediately killed by, a climbing spike. The mangled car burns in an otherwise mundane residential setting.













humor


If Americans, to whose spirit (esprit) this genre of films belongs, wish to take these films in a merely humorous sense, confining the material of humor to the easy comic margins of the meaning of the word, so much the worse for them; but that will not prevent us from considering the conclusion of Monkey Business as a hymn to anarchy and wholehearted revolt.

Image  —  Posted: April 4, 2017 in Uncategorized