at some point I looked around and realized it was december 2010, the end of a year, and it's funny because time for me always seems stationary, the way that you grow up with people who are always in your same age, everyone's always on the same age bracket with you more or less, until one day you look back and realize that you're not in seventh grade anymore. like climbing a mountain and all of a sudden looking back at the ground which is oh-so-far away.
sometimes in studio I would catch myself looking around and think -- is this graduate school? is this this? are the tasks, the thought processes, the motions I am undergoing mature, or developed, or advanced enough to be called 'graduate'? or: where are these certain ideas? where are these discussions? (the sound of a hand slapping against a table) I want to talk more about ineffective architecture, dead architecture, unethical architecture, ethical architecture, architecture with a short lifespan, things like that; what is it like to make a building that does not function? does function? architecture for the image? what is it to have an architecture formed from usage? usage that solidifies into structure?
at one point I vocalized to E.: architecture that's impossible (not unfeasable, but impossible) is like an alien anthropology, claude levi-strauss for the martians, or more concretely like ursula k. leguin writing intelligently and carefully about the sex/gender structures of other species on other planets somewhere. which is to say: absolutely fascinating, interesting, and obviously separated from our current existence. and if there's a value to be gained in this alien anthropology, then it's maybe either a) because the pure value of imagining these situations is fun and b) because the analysis of something supposedly (literally) 'alien' to us actually doubles back and touches us again, that in reading historical fiction about some other non-existent society, we gain some other knowledge, or expound upon certain strains of thought. these narratives work as elongated thought-experiments, maybe, and we bring it back into contemporary life, absorbe the logics found in these novels into our own selves.
or maybe it's rather like sci-fi, technological sci-fi, which as a whole generates these strong mental image of 'what-the-future-is-like', and as such operates to modify and form the course of human movement and operation. what, did you dream of a future in which you could talk to someone and see their face when they were thousands of light years away? that you could fly on your magic carpet to see someone else? that hologram rooms would exist and you'd spend your entire life in them? sci-fi, or the image generated from overall sci-fi, is the mirage-like endgoal that technological progress moves towards, maybe, an image in the distant sky that you try to march towards as straight as the bird flies, but in the process you find yourself wandering around terrains, stumbling onto new building blocks, and once you get there we all realize that things are different. the networks that enable the face-to-face communication of video is not as interesting as the other repercussions of online networks: massive modifications on the level of social interactions, crowd-created software, instantaneous online communities, and so on.
and so then, in terms of architecture, what is this? are the monolithic structures of superstudio and the movement of the walking cities of archigram cut-outs that architects paste on their wall as an idealized image? 'somewhere, the architect works in his or her drab gray office, dreaming of a radical future'? is it the endpoint of a vector that points that-a-way, these radical optimistic fictions serving as long-term goals, the unachievable yearning for over-there generating all these other things in effort?