so I wander around this campus, looking for somewhere to write, since I've got a million things to do, and talking about the ideology/theory behind picturesque gardens and their relation to a psyche influenced by cartography in situ
seems like the right thing to do. but what I can't help but feel are the overlays, the underlays, the palimpsest-like pre-writes. oh, this room is where I did this. and that pocket of the upper west side is when that happened. this is what happens when I return to a different school but to a same campus; a different attitude but the same university. it's funny, and painful, and altogether liberating, because I think maybe the anxieties of performance or achievement or grades have become substituted for the anxieties for preference and satisfaction and self-critique. what do I want? I keep on asking myself, and that's really all that matters.
to be honest, I can't imagine going back to a system with grades, because I think it's so utterly unhelpful, that internalized external judgment. the whole point of this thing, this three year project, is to a) cultivate an inner criterion and b) cultivate the generative, mutative, creative processes necessary to shit something out that holds up to one's own criterion. external critique is good, helpful, productive, necessary but the linear and altogether blandly descriptive use of grades, I think, would twist this all into a farce.
(besides, I am more harsh on myself when there are no grades, anyways.)
and this thing: "more harsh on myself". what a loaded statement! the thing is, these classes with these TAs who are just a year above, or studio professors who really are productively helpful mirrors -- this all, I feel like, is a foil; the real thing is that they are stand-ins for various versions of myself. it's just me against me, and this utter solitude, the bargaining between different parts of me emerges from it. I need to learn how to cooperate more with myself, to agree to disagree with myself, to be tough on myself, to be nice with myself, to be honest with myself, and to not haggle with myself. and this is all so very intriguing, and interesting, and fascinating.
above all, I need to remind myself that it is me who puts me here.
there's so much I would like to talk about this architecture thing, this meta-dialogue, the meta-meta-process, not even the process, or thinking about the process, but how we go around talking about the process in which we make things. I feel these radical impulses but simultaneously feel that 'radical' without 'plausible' generates unsuccessful architecture, or at least doesn't generate space. do I need buildings to generate space? why this unspoken element of aesthetics? are we talking about buildings as imagery, discourse, structure, or object? is this something I can buy, build, or that it functions? and who are our agents, users, denizens? for whom do these doors open? and so on and so forth. where is this radicality, sometimes I wonder, where are these radical reorganizations of interaction that could express themselves within a structure, mold human movement, alter these people? if architecture is absorbed in a state of distraction, or nearly a state of unconsciousness, then maybe what I am doing is this hypnosis! this building swings a pendulum in front of your eyes, and your eyelids drift down slowly, and the structure whispers commands into your ear that make you pause in doorways, sleep on desks, eat dinner on your bed, take the long way down the stairs.