Goreme in Capadocia (Turkey) / photo by Louise Frenico
“Mehrdad Iravanian, the Iranian architect once suggested, ‘In order to study architecture, one must first investigate necrocracy.’ But we should go further: one must practice the art of exhumation too.“
As I already wrote in another article about this book, Cyclonopedia written by Iranian Philosopher Reza Negarestani is a fictitious reinterpretation of Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus based on the following proposition: “The Middle East is alive.“
Among other things, Negarestani develop in a much more elaborated way, the notion -introduced by A Thousand Plateaus- of holey space (see previous article) as an alternative of the two Manichean striated and smooth space. Here are some excerpts from Cyclonopedia:
In her very interesting last article on dpr-barcelona entitled On the Border, Ethel Baraona Pohl introduces among others a project that finds its essence in the investigation of the border and more precisely in a resistance against the way the notion of border is being geopolitically considered.
This project is entitled Border Blood Bank and has been designed by Victor Hadjikyriacou within the Unit 5 (tutored by Julia Backhaus & Pedro Font Alba) at the Bartlett School of Architecture.
Border Blood Bank takes scene on the American-Mexican border between two little villages respectively on each side of the “line” which used to have a bridge linking them for communities’ exchanges and that was taken down by the American authorities in 2008.
Victor takes advantage of a loophole in the legislation which remains very loose about the oxymoronal thickness of the line in the air. Thus, he designed two cantilever buildings on each side of the border that flirt with each others and that host a Blood bank useful for the two communities
The New Non Standard is the thesis project of Jonathan Enns at Princeton University‘s Graduate School of Architecture (tutor: Axel Killian) in 2010. This project introduces a workshop building whose structure is composed by trees that have been manipulated by a CNC machine. Rather than idealizing the trees, Jonathan defines the essence of his project on the consideration of various typologies of trees and multiple arborescences to compose the posts’ extremities The rest of the tree is being used as the main components of the posts, rolled into thin layers that uniquely work in compression (see the video at the end of this post.)
This project has been published in the most recent issue of Architectural Design Magazine [AD]
I very recently bought Farshid Moussavi‘s (FOA) very interesting book The Function of Form (edited with Daniel Lopez, Garrick Ambrose, Ben Fortunato, Ryan Ludwig and Ahmadreza Schricker for Actar & Harvard publishers 2009) that establishes an inventory of structures by analyzing historical and contemporaneous case studies categorized as following:
- Grids and Frames
- Folded Plates
- Tensile Membranes
- Pneumatic Membranes
The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges is a short story published for the first time in 1949 in a collection of short stories of the same name. The word “aleph” refers to the first letter of the proto-canaanite alphabet (around 1000 BC) which eventually gave birth to Semitic alphabets (Phoenician, Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic). Without saying too much about it, the cabalistic use of this letter by Borges here, has spatial implications and triggers a beautiful vertigo that brings you to tears (as far as I am concerned, at least !).
Here is the text of the short story as translated by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni:
photograph by activestills.org
2.1 HEBRON, 2007 The matching stones inlaid in the windows are the visual seal of the confiscation of the house from the Palestinian family who lived in it.
The Power of Inclusive Exclusion (Zone books) is a book that I will probably write about several times in the coming days. It was published last year and was edited by Adi Ophir, Michal Givoni & Sari Hanafi. This book is actually a collection of essays (including one by Eyal Weizman) linking spatial and territorial issues with legal investigations within the frame of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.
The chapter that I want to reproduce here is the second photographic dossier of the book edited by Ariella Azoulay.
The biblical episode of the battle of Jericho has always fascinated me. The story from the book of Joshua (6:1-27) introduces the first battle the Israelites had to win in order to conquest the land promised by God after the Egyptian slavery period and the forty years spent in the desert. God gave Joshua instructions in order to take the city of Jericho: the Israelites had to march around the city’s walls once every day during six days. Then on the seventh day, they had to do the same but in addition to blow in their horns which would make the walls collapse and the city easily defeated.
It always pleases me to imagine a poetico-scientific explanation to this episode by thinking that the horns actually reached the resonance frequency of the walls; this same phenomena that explains why military manuals prevent troops to march on bridges not to risk to make them collapse. I find very compelling the potentiality of destroying whole buildings with only human means (or in that case, music instruments). This could in fact be considered as a metaphor of revolutions which make institutions collapsing…