california, and an old friend. here the streets at night have the timbre of headlight-lit yellow and white street markings, the pointed red glow of car brakelights staring back at you, the shadowy silhouettes of leaves passing by underneath a dark sky. the muted vibrations of the street. this is all new to me always, every time I re-encounter this: this alterity, this quietness, this solitude. the 1920s was the decade when fully-closed bodies in cars rapidly became the absolute norm. these enclosures on top of chassis become more thick, expansive, and thus segregatory. the car generates such isolation.
(tangential parenthesis: I recently saw someone's architecture portfolio about illegal islands outside of territorial waters and thus in international waters. the immediate question I couldn't help but ask was: the illegal is a transgression and thus inevitably defined in relationship to the legal; how do you have something illegal that operates within a zone that altogether postpones a hundred and ninety three questions of legality/illegality?)
the question that I'm always asking myself is of the role of the aesthetic, I think. I can justify the concept: I have this metaphor of: you, wandering through a record store flipping CDs and LPs over and over, trying to find that song that's just on the tip of your tongue and the edge of the brain. you snap your fingers. how does that song go? and so you perambulate through the space of the store, weaving slowly among aisles, motivated by a mirage.
but the aesthetic, I think, is a tool, bolano's grinningly overt braggadocio in the savage detectives maybe, a one-two-punch of hey I am going to hit you BAM there I have hit you, see?. how amazing is it that this technique is both overt about its efficacy ('yes, I can see this drawing for the aesthetic thing that it is') yet ruthlessly capable in its execution, despite that? ('yes, I can see this drawing for the aesthetic thing that it is, but even though I know what it's doing I like it for its prettiness anyways')
and I mean, of course, it's a fallacy to claim that the aesthetic is somehow this supplemental factor that intrudes on the primacy of the original essence, the data of the diagram, the composition of the plan and section, the atmosphere of the perspective. at the very least, aesthetics is something that cleaves open a space of debate, I think, clears out a space in which the viewer becomes receptive to the internal logic of the diagram, is touched by a sense of communication. this is a meta-communication almost, where the aesthetic qualities of the image grasp your attention to the thing and indicate an importance of content. perhaps that's as valid as any other form of communication that transmits data, information -- it's just that in this case the data in question is the presence of data, the focusing of the viewer's interest, signified signification.
the question is, though: with how much nonchalance/sincerity/honesty does one have about the relevance of the meta-communication (of signified content) to the communication (of content)? or is the narrative of presentation and pin-up and communication itself another narrative to be crafted --- that is to say, not only the narrative of the project, but the narrative of the description of the narrative of the project should also be molded and formed? (most probably.)
so many songs stuck in my head. my god.