the process of architecture is a kind of performance.
how does one live one's life? do you design? are you a planner? an improviser? do you walk by the seat of your pants? do you engage? do you put all your chips in action, and you believe in identity generated in a sense of performance, making-it-as-you-make-it? paul klee, taking a line for a walk? or do you prepare beforehand, like a runner kneeling to touch synthetic track with forefinger and thumb? like an archer, who 1) draws back, 2) aims, 3) lets loose? the pencil knows not where it wishes to go, or rather, it realizes where it wants to go in the process.
newness. lots of newness. if there's any kind of sea change that is occurring, it's to perhaps realize some other aspects of my own self, and to counter them, to amplify some other aspect, to engage in a kind of constant improvisation, which is to undermine the operations of my own operation, which is by default a kind of analytic understanding. What is this? and How is this operating? these operations being, really, a desire for power over the future, probability allowing a wanting-to-know-what-will-happen, and knowledge allowing a understanding-probabilities-due-to-knowing-how-things-work, and thus in this way a knowledge of a model is a kind of guarantee for the future, the charting out future territories.
(is this the case? I think to myself. surely these binaries can't be true; interestingness and efficiency aren't diametrical opposites within architecture; the same can't be for this kind of analytic/performative dichotomy either, but it's tempting, or at the very least seemingly accurate.)
there is, on one hand, the fun of being performative, of enacting change in action, of being unsure, and slowly understanding to be comfortable with unsureness, which is in of itself a New kind of thing, yet of course can't be confused with the possible negatives of being unsure, which is to say being okay with unsure might be a good thing that may have bad consequences while being sure might be a bad thing that has good consequences. and how do you weigh one over the other? sometimes you can't splatter paint on a horizontal canvas and call it an allover composition. or can you?
it occurred to me the other day that art history is one of the most fascinating, problematic disciplines, as a discipline, because the societal/economic processes that involve art practice are so far from art historical practice; on one hand, the world of studios, materials, messy pants, production; and on the other hand, white gallery walls, abstracted textual analysis, the aesthetic autonomy, if not of the painting itself, then of the discourse, of the gleeful freedom of visual formal analysis, of a relentlessly clean and planned approach to aesthetic understanding. at a methodological level these two things collide. what about art-historical essays written as loosely as artworks may be created? but rigor is not the issue: what about art-historical essays as process-driven as artworks are?
are you uncertain? why? why not? why is certainty something that is important to you? why is knowledge that is something that is important to you? do you plan before you create, or do you figure it out as you proceed? how does your practice and process change when it intersects with other regimes (or rather, regimens) of process -- physical construction, immaterial design, payment schedules, the 24-hour light/day cycle, weekly cycles? physical construction necessitates a long planning stage, a waterfall model of relationships between planning and execution. software design promotes aglie or spiral models of development that are iterative, recursive, allow for constant modification. etc. etc.
in the end the question is again: are you uncertain? why is certainty something that is important to you? why is it important that one does not make mistakes? why is it regrettable that time flows in one direction?
in fact, you could think of someone, fully having recognized time's own character (unidirectional, immutable, unchangeable), embarking on large-scale catastrophes in order to fully take advantage of time and to create and formulate possibilities of regret, nostalgia, memory, longing, a kind of full medium-specificity. Q: what does time do best? A: Making you miss that-which-has-already-passed-by.
the creation of accidents. buildings that aren't built correctly. books that fall apart at their bindings. maps that give the wrong directions. streets that cave in. planes that are always late. cars that break down next to vast cornfields. hereafter one misses, longs for, desires, remembers, and thus finds, embraces, wants, experiences, in the inverse of all these relationships; the effect generating the initial impact.
I keep thinking to myself: things will always have been more clear-cut in the past, and will become more and more blurry, fuzzed, indiscernible and uncertain in the future. which isn't to say that we shouldn't try for clear-cutness; it's just that perhaps one needs to learn how to navigate these things, to juggle more and more, to hold these things like transparent orbs suspended in the air, split seconds of tranquility and calm, muscle memory grasping one orb as it falls, then snapping it back up into mid-air, calm, to know how to navigate these more and more complex landscapes. because 'discernability' is perhaps what happens after you've already carved out a landscape of probabilities after already having created a model: the possibility that I will be hurt, or that I will not be, or that this will work, or this will not, or that I will enjoy what I have created, or that I will not,
or that the space that I will create this summer will be solid, that it will shine in my mind's eye like a tight, compact object, like the last bite of a dish that you carefully curate on your fork, or like the sharp taut whine of a ball bouncing against the ground, or the tenth minute that you're biking down the west side highway in such a carefree way that you feel your mid-20s youth enshrined in the firing of muscles down your calves and in the wind against your face, or the denouement of a film in which you simultaneously realize that this is it but you also mourn the death of this nearly-living being, or rare moments when you realize that what you want is not what you think you've wanted, and you turn your body and align your being into the right direction, and decide to sprint a little. or way more than a little.