The Funambulist

Search Results: arakawa

Yoro Park 05 - Photo by Leopold Lambert

Elliptical Field – Site of Reversible Destiny Yoro by Arawaka and Madeline Gins (1995) Photograph by Léopold Lambert I had recently the great chance to (re)visit two of the three architectures designed by Arakawa and Madeline Gins in Japan, namely Yoro Park in Gifu prefecture and the Mitaka Lofts in Tokyo. Being familiar with their vision and work for several years and having been collaborating with their office for a year and half does… Read More

08- Arakawa + Gins

The eighth volume of The Funambulist Pamphlets that gathers and edits past articles (as well as additional illustrations) of the blog about the philosophical-poetic-artistic-architectural work of Arakawa, Madeline Gins and their Reversible Destiny Foundation is now officially published by Punctum Books in collaboration with the Center for Transformative Media at Parsons The New School. You can either download the book as a PDF for free or order it online for the price of $17.00 or €15.00. This price is higher… Read More

Madeline Gins

Madeline Gins with Joke Post at the recent opening of the Biotopological Scale-Juggling Escalator on December 20, 2013 (photo by Momoyo Homma) This is not an obituary. Since yesterday morning Madeline Gins is no longer fighting against death; she finally embraced its entropic forces and her body will soon disperse in the “bioscleave,” a word Arakawa and her invented to describe the unfathomable forces at work in the material word. This platform… Read More

Reversible Destiny (Mitaka) Lofts – In Memory of Helen Keller /// Photograph by Shingo Tsuji (2013) When I visited the Reversible Destiny Foundation‘s Mitaka Lofts (see previous article) in Tokyo last year, I encountered one of its resident, Shingo Tsuji, who is an also an architect (Chiasma Factory) and was kind enough to make me visit his apartment. Since then, we became friends, and I recently “curated” him a small reportage about… Read More

Ubiquitous Site – Nagi Ryoanji by Arakawa + Gins (1994) “If persons are sited, why do philosophers inquiring into what constitutes a person, or, for that matter, into the nature of mind, rarely, if ever, factor this in?” “Philosophers considering persons as sites would be obliged to develop a person architectonics. They would, I am afraid, have to turn themselves into architects of sorts.” Page 5 Some of my readers are maybe… Read More

The interior domestic terrain of the Bioscleave House by Arakawa + Gins As I recently started a whole section of the blog’s archives dedicated to the work of Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, I will be regularly writing new articles for it in order to present their radical architectural work in articulation with their lifework of poetical philosophy (or their philosophical poetry). A whole issue of the Canada based journal iNFLeXions (including… Read More

Twice during the last year, I had the great chance to stay over in Reversible Destiny‘s architectures. Along with good friends, we spent the last few days of 2011 at the Bioscleave House in Long Island, and more recently stayed over at the Mitaka Lofts in Tokyo. This is one thing to visit those architectures during the day (see my previous experience at the Bioscleave House through the interview with Madeline Gins),… Read More

The following letter has been written by French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard to Arakawa and Madeline Gins in 1997. Their answer is readable in the fantastic book Reversible Destiny: We have decided not to Die published by the Guggenheim Museum in the same year. Dear Friends, Could one perhaps call your antidestiny architecture “antibiography”? Would the distribution of time between beginning and end be neutralized? Would the possibilities reserved for childhood remain open… Read More

photo: Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro, 1993-95 After writing myself an essay about the work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins that I claimed, could be read in a celebration of Spinoza’s philosophy (Architectures of Joy), here is another essay, much more pushed towards something important: It is transcripted and extracted from a discussion between Arakawa, Madeline Gins, Johannes Knesl and Ed Keller. This discussion also involves Greg Lynn and Jesse Reiser… Read More

Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro Park by Arakawa & Madeline Gins ARCHITECTURES OF JOY. A spinozist reading of Parent/Virilio and Arakawa/Gins’ architecture By Léopold Lambert (December 2010) In the middle of the XVIIth century, Baruch Spinoza revolutionized theology by proposing a tremendous change in the definition of God. From the classic transcendental vision of a God creator, he introduced an immanent vision of God creature. Some architects might stop their reading… Read More

Mitaka Lofts 06 - Photo by Leopold Lambert

Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka in memory of Helen Keller by Arakawa and Madeline Gins / Photograph by Léopold Lambert (2014) “Amrit’s Picks” are a series curated by Amrit Trewn of transcripts of past conversations recorded by Léopold Lambert for Archipelago. This discussion with Momoyo Homma about the work of artists/poets/philosophers/architects Arakawa (1936-2010) and Madeline Gins (1941-2014) took place in the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka where the Tokyo part of the Arakawa/Gins office is situated. We begin… Read More

body and slope01

Still of Only the Bad Sleep Well by Akira Kurosawa (1960) HOMAGE TO GRAVITY: Architecture and the Body /// An exhibition proposal for the 2013 Young Curator Program at the Canadian Center for Architecture (translated from original French) My proposal is based on an axiom in the form of a definition of architecture. My intuition is that the latter is the discipline that organizes bodies in space. The various diagrams that we… Read More


This article is intended to continue a specific part of the research started with Weaponized Architecture: the consideration of a normative body when creating objects and architecture (see other articles at the end of this one). In order to do so, I would like to particularly examine the work of American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) in relation to the two malleable standardized bodies he invented and that he found fit to name… Read More


Otto Lilienthal in 1893 A good way to articulate thoughts consists in a dialogue with friends; that is what I intend to do here, by basing my reflection about the Spinozist body on the article written yesterday by anthropologist Gastón Gordillo (see our Archipelago conversation) on his blog, Space and Politics. Entitled “Passion for Terrain,” his text aims at taking part of a larger work around this fascinating concept of terrain. In this… Read More

image 2

Image: Alan Prohm The 53rd Funambulist Paper associates the editorial line of the forthcoming second volume centered around the body with an additional contribution to the series of texts about the work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins. The following essay, written by Alan Prohm, friend of the Reversible Destiny Foundation (now lead by Joke Post and Momoyo Homma) and instigator of the The BodyBuilding Project (3-Week residency at the Watermill Center, following 1-year course… Read More

Comme des Garcons - Erin Manning - Funambulist01

Comme des Garçons AW 2010/2011 Today’s Funambulist Paper complements well yesterday’s launch of the eighth volume of the Funambulist Pamphlets dedicated to the work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins since my guest, Erin Manning (see my interpretations of her books 1 and 2) examines in her extensive text their shared interpretation of design and the body with Comme des Garçons‘s founder and designer Rei Kawakubo. An anecdote is always a good way introduction, so I will say that… Read More

WEAPONIZED ARCHITECTURE: THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF INNOCENCE Publisher: Dpr-Barcelona Year: 2012 Weaponized Architecture is an examination of the inherent instrumentalization of architecture as a political weapon; research informs the development of a project which, rather than defusing these characteristics, attempts to integrate them within the scene of a political struggle. The proposed project dramatizes, through its architecture, a Palestinian disobedience to the colonial legislation imposed on its legal territory. In fact, the State… Read More

07- Cruel Designs (full cover)

The seventh volume of The Funambulist Pamphlets that gathers and edits past articles (as well as additional illustrations) of the blog about what I came to call “Cruel Designs,” is now officially published by Punctum Books in collaboration with the Center for Transformative Media at Parsons The New School. You can either download the book as a PDF for free or order it online for the price of $7.00 or €6.00. Next volume to be published will be… Read More

Yesterday I was having an epistolary exchange with my friend, Philippe Theophanidis about a few notions that are examined in his forthcoming text for the Funambulist Papers series. In his text, Philippe remarks that biopolitical systems are not only organizing and acting on the life of its subjects, it also involves what he calls “a work of death.” By this, he does not mean the same thing that what Michel Foucault designates… Read More

Extracted from the Comic-strip Gaston Lagaffe by André Franquin After having shared my experience of what a hypochondriac body might really be (see past article), I am now looking at another recurrent aspect of my own body: clumsiness! I am probably not the only one to regularly trip, make a (filled) glass fall on the table or bang my head into a low element; it seems therefore interesting to wonder what a… Read More


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,992 other followers