Official site / www.new-territories.com
Blog on / an architecture “des Humeurs” / www.new-territories.com/blog/architecturedeshumeurs
Official site / www.new-territories.com
Blog on / an architecture “des Humeurs” / www.new-territories.com/blog/architecturedeshumeurs
Movie 14 mn / BKK / 2013Open Vimeo in Internet Explorer for a smooth viewing… With sound head set … (Vimeo compression doesn’t work on Chrome and Mozilla Firefox)
co-production: Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Graham Foundation Chicago, CNC Dicream
a film by: [eIf/bʌt/c], Camille Lacadee Francois Roche
journalist and Ophelia : Camille Lacadee
Creature (dancer): Sarut Komalittipong
Interzone fisherman: Khun Pan
set design: [eIf/bʌt/c] studio, with Katrin Hochschuh and with FabLab studio – Thammasat University Bangkok, Samustpon Tanapant, Arisa Plapiriyakit, Nonsthorn Srisuphanraj, Trin Chanchaiprasong, Pongsakorn Sarunsatta, Supinda Bannapob, Nonglak Boonsang, Nuttapol Techopitch, Tanakorn Somsuk, Piyanut Songkhroh (http://www.new-territories.com/blog/interzone/00/)
glass blowers: Union Victors Co, Ltd Bangkok, Chavalee Chaithiraphan and San
sound: Myrtille Fakhreddine
guitar: Nader Mekdachi
make-up: Suwannee Surachescomson, Taweesit Mannark
cinematography: Francois Roche
edition: Camille Lacadee
ephemeral direction assistant: Sompot Chidgasornpongse
production assistant: Hadin Charbel
with special thanks to: Makkasan community of Bangkok, Sompong, Toon, Pai, Tree and Mr Thank You
Evolutionary structure test for a Beacon (north NYC) building with Pierre Huyghe (test visible at Pompidou Center)
Alloy memory shape experiment / transformation with low voltage
© New-Territories [eIf/bʌt/c] François Roche, Camille Lacadee
Beau-strosity / Movie 3mn>>> https://vimeo.com/78893958
(Beau)strosity is set in the slum of a BKK
megacity in which all assumptions of complex
political cultural structures coexist in continual
violent struggle. What the journalist discovers
is an insidious infiltration of an incestuous
phenomenon, a structure that is an embodiment
of the relationship between mother and son that
amplifies the intensity of their co-dependency.
As familiar boundaries decay we can no longer take
comfort in normative filial relations. What the
film discovers is not an anomaly but a measure
of an emerging circumstance within the city, a
petri dish seething with anamorphic potential.
The revelation of an undiscovered paradigm.
Producer(s): New-Territories (Francois Roche, Camille Lacadée) + RMIT
Director : Anastasiya Vitusevych
Writer(s) : Dan Schulz, Eleanor Tullock
Lead Cast : Ad +Chanja
Supporting Cast :Crystal Song Choo Jing, Dan Schulz, Vivian Kon Ching Sian
Cinematography : Lila Athanasiadou
Set Director(s): Ada Umgofia, Crystal Song Choo Jing, Dan Schulz, Eleanor Tullock, Loo Yew Hann, Sam Verschoren, Vivian Kon Ching Sian
Sound Director : Loo Yew Hann
Casting Director : Tree
Security : Crystal Song Choo Jing
Blood effect : Eleanor Tullock
She is bound by a daytime routine and her perpetual commitment to a machine, releasing herself from all constraints and achieving self-sufficiency. In desexualizing her innate nature she reaches a degree of serenity and ‘ataraxy’. She lives in an idyllic biotope without context or reference, extracting fluid sap from the eucalyptus tree that sustains her nourishment in an anthroposophic exchange, and mixes her physiological substances (such as urine) with the earth that surrounds her to secrete ceramic for the structure that shelters and interlaces her. The structure itself is a metaphor of an endlessness creation, an architectural process that emerges within an infinite loop. The myriad of spiraling mazes and glazed clay components that wrap her body and her mind are developed by and with a machine tamed and domesticated by Ariadne to extend her desires and construct her needs in a reflexive, affective and contingent agenda. La “Demoiselle”, the nickname she gave to her “productive” pet seems to engage an intertwined, co-dependent relationship that emerges from sympathy to empathy.
Ariadne is a woman divided by the pathology of multiple personality disorder, haunted by the echoes of her mythic past and her involuntary landing within the Schengen trap.
When she lands, the barrier of Schengen was already since a long time considered as a fortress. Nobody remember exactly when this fence became for European citizen their own jail… inversing the preliminary reason of its constitution, to protect them against the world… but appearing contradictorily as an historical illusion.
In this a political and ideological island, Ariadne appeared with two identities, the one who escapes from inside, embracing with her friendly “Demoiselle” a topological inversion, as an infinite fortressless animism, to protest emotionally against the contradiction, the absurdity of the situation, and the other trapped in a postindustrial location, crossing zombified human hostage of alienated Fordism tasks rhythmed by mute, dumb machinism.
Chania-Naxos becomes the location of Ariadne’s own schizophrenia simultaneously releasing and congealing herself from her state of limbo.
The Location of the event is an existing “fortress” in Chania, an abandoned Venetian walled zone of 15 meters high in the middle of the city, inaccessible… Ariadne takes refuge inside this no man’s land, ignored by the people living around… there, she could re-invent, as an utopia the routine of her freedom…but just in the middle of the European Union “Protectorate”.
Δημιουργική ομάδα Terra Insola αρχιτεκτόνων, κατασκευαστών, συγγραφέων, μηχανικών ρομποτικής,σκηνοθετών:
Kαθηγητές / Crew: Camille Lacadee, Danielle Willems, Lydia Kallipoliti, Francois Roche, Ezio Blasetti, Stephan Henrich, Andreas Theodoris, Johnny Boquet-Boone, Cecil Barnes, Danielle Griffo, Hasti Valipour Goudarzi, Gary Edwards, Martin Lodman, Maximiliam Lauter, Melodie Yashar, Shalini Amin, Pierre Bourdareau, George Avramides, George Louras, Jonathan Requillo, Αλεξάνδρα Σαράντη, Raquel Sanchis Ulacia, Luis Felipe Paris, Robinson Strong, Kim Se Hyun, Λεωνίδας Λεονίδου, και Lorenzo Villagi. Τοπικοί συνεργάτες υπήρξαν οι Γιάννης Αποστολόπουλος, Άγγελος Θεοδωρίδης, Ματθαίος Λιοδάκης, Γιάννης Παπατάκης, Δημήτρης Μαριδάκης, Νίκος Γεωργιαδάκης, Αθανασία Ζώτου, Μαρία Φουράκη, Δημήτρης Ξενάκης, Αχιλλέας Παπακώστας, Θοδωρής Παπαδουλάκης, Αλέξης Κουβαριτάκης, Γιώργος Καλλιγέρης, Αλέξανδρος Βαζάκας, Ζέτα Χρυσαφάκη, Αλέξανδρος Μηχαηλίδης, Αναστασία Τζιγκουνάκη, Νατάσα Αποστολάκη, Πετρουλάκης Αντώνης, Παντελής Πετσετάκης, Παναγιώτης Σημαντηράκης, Δημήτρης Μιχελογιάννης, Κυριάκος Παπαδάκης, Ρούλα Οικονομάκη και η ηθοποιός Κική Ριζου.
Συνδιοργανωτές: Columbia University [GSAPP, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation], ΣΑΔΑΣ ΠΕΑ- Τμήμα Χανίων, ‘Eνωση Ξενοδόχων Νομού Χανίων, Οικονομικό Επιμελητήριο Ελλάδος-Τμήμα Δυτικής Κρήτης, Περιφέρεια Κρήτης- Περιφεριακή Ενότητα Χανίων, Πνευματικό Κέντρο Χανίων, 28η Εφορεία Βυζαντινών Αρχαιοτήτων, Περιφερειακό Ταμείο Ανάπτυξης Κρήτης
Χορηγοί: ANEK Lines, INKA, ΕΤΑΝΑΠ, ΒΙΟΧΥΜ ΑΕ, Αμπελώνες ΚΑΡΑΒΙΤΑΚΗ
Indoor (Air de Paris)
New-Terriories / [eIf/bʌt/c] / Francois Roche-Camille Lacadée
With Carsten Holler
It’s about the choreography of several dancers, several mind-machines, disarticulated and in disequilibrium, petrified in four different positions, spraying some cloudy substances, top down very dense foggy matter, disseminating a random cocktail of physiological alterated states (euphoria, melancholia, hysteria, phobia, phyllia, joy, delusion, delirium, anxiety, amnesia…) to disrupt the perception, for a drift in a synesthesia multiple and heterogeneous sensations.
The physio-zones are an initial preparation, a shamanism ceremony to reach a point of emotional delivery. It’s engaging an emphasis of the acephalous body, released from its rational jail and limits, by rationalities, as a strategy to reach a line of subjectivities escaping, crossing real and unreal, logic and illogic, through the viscera, the arterials, and the headless desirable machinery of the human body.
“It’s a safe experiment, if you feel some perturbation, let yourself drifting in this sensation but the experiment is done at their own risk of the spectator who cannot complain against author, gallery and laboratory of Chemistry on any in-desirable post effects…”
Although (in) hapnea (short movie)
[eIf/bʌt/c] Camille Lacadee, Francois Roche
All (n)certainties research / http://www.new-territories.com/laboratoriesteaching.htm
Robotic Scenario / Crits / Michigan / Taubman University + GSAPP – Columbia University
Event POSTPONED to 8th DEC…Colateral effect of Frankenstorm
Event / evening / for the Releasing of LOG#25
“Beauty Bar” 6:30-8PM / 231 E 14th St / 8 dec 2012
New York / ID Card for over 21 / Speeches Bubbles, Drinks & Manicures
François Roche_ Guest Editor
Lydia Kallipoliti, Roland Snooks, Ezio Blasetti, Camille Lacadée,
Leopold Lambert, Michael Young_writers,
Ed Keller, Pedro Gadanho and some other unexpected guests… (Karl Chu, Winka Dubbeldam…)
Text for e-flux / http://www.e-flux.com /
To get a sense of this ambivalence, this permanent disequilibrium where contingencies are the main factor of emergences, let us navigate in this history of “gre(Y)en”.
From the physiological, early, simple dualism of the 1990 “shadow & light” where the Neuswantein/3 Grotto was fictionally adjusted to become a mirror-image of Playtime/4, weakly connecting a cavernous, dark, humid, sensorially primitive atmosphere with its schizophrenic, antagonist twin brother, crystalline, cold, luminous, dry, technologically blind, the recognition of an impossible, stuttered dialogue, to… the 1993 “Growing up” where chlorophyll energy and entropy collapse and strangle a fragile “chicken legs” house, wrapped up in and masochistically dominated by the danger of its own predictable death if the owner does not ritualize the necessary maintenance, a permanent conflict between nature’s destructive power and his need to survive… to the petrochemical blur “Filtration” in 1997, with its 5,000 square meters of plastic strips floating in a tree at the edge of a seasonally tidy wild river carrying nitrates and residues of plastic insecticide bags that farmers had abandoned on its banks as it passed through their fields, awaiting the spring floods to perform a natural depollution service and erase the traces of their chemical addiction, while instead, and paradoxically, the river brings them back to the visible spectrum as the floods ebb, leaving the bags hanging from tree branches. By means of the “Filtration” layer this concentration of waste plastic in forest canopies reveals the aesthetic planning of the countryside arising directly from its human management… and on to the weird “aqua alta1.0” in 1998, which sucks up the disgusting, viscous, super-polluted liquid called the Venetian Lagoon, so that through capillary action this contaminated water literally infiltrates PVC membranes and a building emerges from these lagoon substances… to “aqua alta 2.0”, the bar at the 2000 Venice Biennale of Architecture where “conventioneers“ could refresh themselves by drinking the lagoon soup as it was depolluted, in real time, by a military purification machine /5 being tested in the conditions of the Biennale, producing a schizophrenic reaction, swinging between a green-washing rhetorical discourse and repulsion, a digestive paranoia about the reliability of a cleaning machine of the kind often promoted as an efficient technology (for other people)… to “shearing” in 2001, a simple stealthly private home, an organized simulacrum of its own impermanency and apparent fragility, unfolded in the countryside, its entire envelop made of the petrochemical non-biodegradable fabric authorized by the government, following an agro-industrial logic, for use in natural settings to prevent rabbits from destroying newly-planted saplings… to the 2002 “Dustyrelief”, designed for to protect the skin and biotope of the Bangkok contemporary art museum from the city’s dust and the residue of its monstrous traffic jams (carbon dioxide and monoxide), in a recognition of the failure of public transport in the “greynish” equatorial eroticism, where a special fog of specks and particles becomes the traces of hypertrophic human convulsing activity, an adaptive second nature amid a bottom-up, unpredictable, unmastered and un-planned urban aesthetics. Without delegating power to autocratic and aseptic technocratic experts instead of the chaotic emergences of the multitudes, the aleatory rhizomes, the arborescent growths that are simultaneously a factor for its transformation and its operational mode. This unhygienic, intoxicating urban chaos is a sign of its human vitality, a permanent vibration between Eros and Tanatos… invisible but breathable substances are bred and attracted by an electrostatic machine to form a “skin” on a freakish hairy structure, exacerbating a schizoid climate split between the indoors (the Euclidean geometry of the white cube and its labyrinth) and the outdoors (the topological geometry of the dust reliever), and, in a second step, using a drainage system to collect the particulates that fell during the monsoon season period and then compacting them into bricks and using them to build a tea pavilion alongside the museum, an embodiment of the failure and beauty of the city…. to the “mosquitosbottleneck” scenario, in Trinidad, 2002, a week-end residence designed to deal with the epidemic of the mosquito-borne Nile Virus, signalling this disease as an objectively-based paranoia triggering strategies for safety. The fragile net in the shape of a Klein bottle protects people’s lives both by disjoining them from and in resonance with the death of the insects. The sound of their buzzing as they die, trapped in the double membrane, becomes the proof of the efficiency of the system, preserving humans against nature, against its offensive non-inoffensive biotope, protected and surrounded by the theatre of its own barbarity… to the buffalo machismo no-tech mechanization of the 2003 “HybridMuscle” in Thailand, a local mammal-muscle power station using gears to lift a two-tonne steel counterweight in a battery house, the mechanical energy transformed first into electricity (with an outlet and other connections) and secondly into the movement of pneumatic rubber muscles, making elastomer membrane leaves quiver and creating a breeze in the suffocating, hot, sweaty climate in an endogeneous-exogeneous narrative… to the “greengorgon” in 2005, its phasmid morphologies embedded in wood feeding the confusion between artificial and domesticated nature, its outdoor surfaces forming a vertical swamp to recycle the inert grey water, a water purification plan infrastructure that rejects only the clean liquid of Lake Geneva… to “Mipi”, 2006, a PI Bar in a temple of cognitive science, MIT-Cambridge, an extension of the Media Lab, a venue for experimentation to study the immuno-therapeutic affects of reabsorbing one’s own urine, including the schizoid balance between reflexive disgust and healthy effects… to a stochastic machine that vitrifies the city in “Olzweg”, 2006, spreading the contamination from a radical architecture museum in pursuit of Frederick Kiesler’s endlessness. This smearing is done through the recycling of industrial glass, mainly French wine bottles that are swallowed up and vomited out by a 12 metre-high machine in a process of staggering, scattering and stacking. Random aggregation is part of this unpredictable transformation following the fuzzy logic of the vanishing point. The machine works to construct a museum extension and collects “voluntary prisoners” wrapped in the permanent entropy of the grafting, who test the glass maze by getting lost in multiple uncertain trajectories and rediscover the heterotopian non-panoptical sensation of their youthfulness, using, if necessary, RFIDs on PDAs to rediscover their positioning… the opposite of an architecture that petrifies, historicizes and panopticalizes… to “waterflux” in 2007, a scenario for scooping out hollows in solid wood by means of a five-axis drill, supplied by 1,000 trees (2,000 cubic metres) cut down as part of the maintenance of the forest surrounding the site of this of extraction-manufacturing-transformation facility, following an anthroposophic logic where technologies and machinery are part of the site’s territory, endemic to the situation and its mutation, at the same time reviving the local forest economy… to the “gardenofearthlydelights” in 2008, a toxic garden in a new green house in Croatia, on the site of a former mediaeval Apotiker, a Franciscan monk medicinal plant garden, with access barred but the products able to be tasted and tested through a distillation and de-concentration mechanism, available at a bar… only for those who really want to try them, producing physiological and psychological effects similar to what happens with the Japanese “Fugu” fish, with an “at your own risk” protocol… where ecosophy is considered as a global interaction porous to the human body, as a Gaia /6 exchange, a chain of interaction and dependencies… articulating life and death and knitting paranoia… to “Heshotmedown” in 2008, a tracked biomass machine penetrating into the military zone known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, collecting rotten substances, the coating of a forest in decomposition, and bringing back this material to plug all the external surfaces of a projectile-shaped building, forming a natural eco-insulation utilizing the fermentation of the grass and the heat produced by its chemical transformation. Full of land mines, the DMZ is a restricted zone where North and South Korea never stop playing Cold War. The machine collects the residue of this pathological period and recycles it for productive use in this highly dangerous no-man’s land abandoned since the end of the war (more than half a century ago), restoring its natural wildness, with the reappearance of elves, wizards, witches and harpies, and some new plant species. Legends and fairy tales are transported out of the depths of the forest, as in a “Stalker ” /7 experiment, to touch the unknown… to “I’mlostinParis” in 2008, a bacteriology lab where the “Rhizobium” agent cultivated in 200 beakers is used for its potential to increase the nitrogen content of plant substrate without the use of chemical fertilizer, through the injection of these substances into the individual nutritional hydroponic system… in order to maintain a “rear window” /8 minimum distance from the petit bourgeois conservatism of Parisian neighbours located at the opposite end of a closed courtyard… this Devil’s Tower /9 emergence is constituted by 2,000 ferns whose origin dates back to the Devonian period, which are technologically domesticated to survive in the current “regressive monarchical period in France”… to a paranoiac system, the “TbWnD” (the building which never dies) in 2011, an alert detector or marker of our past/future symptoms: a Zumtobel laboratory for the study of “dark adaptation” and solar radiation intensity detection, covered with phosphorescent components (an “Isobiot®opic” oxide pigment made from raw uranium) that serve as a UV sensor and detector to indicate and analyse the daily intensity of the UV rays that reach the area and its inhabitants (including humans and all other species). Some 5,000 glass components reveal the depletion of the ozone concentration in the stratosphere and simultaneously the origin of this phenomenon, the sun’s radiation. This lab articulates the risk presented by ozone layer depletion (due to industrial pollution and CO2) with the paranoia generated from the last century’s scientific ignorance and criminal exploitation of the characteristics of some natural elements /10… to several escaping, lines of escaping (“les échappées belles” of Deleuze ) coming first through an utopian protocol of an “architecture des “humeurs” in 2011, a self-organized city conditioned by a bottom-up system in which the multitudes /11 are able to drive the entropy of their own system of construction, their own system of “vivre ensemble”. Based on the potential offered by contemporary bio-science, the rereading of human corporalities in terms of physiology and chemical balance, to make palpable and perceptible the emotional transactions of the “animal body”, the headless body, the body’s chemistry, and produce information about individuals’ adaptation, sympathy, empathy and conflicts (antipathy) when confronted with a particular situation and environment… to adapt the “malentendus” /12 of this result to an endless process of construction involving undetermined and unpredictable machine behaviour by developing a secreting and weaving machine that can generate a vertical structure by means of extrusion and sintering (full-size 3D printing) using a hybrid raw material (a bio-plastic cement) that chemically agglomerates to physically embody the computational trajectories. This structural calligraphy works like a stereotomy machine with its successive geometrics determined by a strategy of the permanent production of anomalies…with no standardization and no repetition except for the procedures and protocols, so that, based on this, technoid slums emerge… and… last but not least, the latest experiment, “hypnosisroom” in 2006 (Paris) and 2012 (Japan)… using hypnosis to produce a stargate effect in pursuit of the somnambulist/feminist political movement during first half of the 19th century that used hypnosis (called magnetism during that period) in an attempt to develop spaces of freedom and an egalitarian, un-racist, un-sexist social contract that could only be perceived and explored by travelling through this layer… in the face of the impossibility (or difficulty) of modifying the mechanisms of the real, tangible, political state of the world, this pre-feminist movement strove, on the contrary, to create this suggestive, immersive and distanced layer of another social contract… Although diabolized and treated as charlatanism, nevertheless all of pre-modern reformist thought drew on this movement… and…
End of the first chapter…
1)“Mes chers frères, n’oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas,” Baudelaire, “Spleen of Paris”, 1858.
(introduction of LOG#25 / about capitalism, technologies, masochism, machinism and languages…)
I am an imposter. They told me so… finally… it’s out… What am I to do now with the life of agreeable fakery that binds me, in claimed feebleness, to things and to people, to suspect humanity. We could wonder about this…, and wander… together… as if it were some new territory to discover… a blank map, some terra incognita… a Moby Dick on the move with Gregory Peck clutching at the ropes of his Harpoon, dead yet still alive at the same time… Step right up, Boys, Girls, and Androgynes, you’ll get your money’s worth… Log is so cheap… let yourself be what you’re not, too, slip into a schizophrenic zone, a thick soup of contradictory desires emerging from the clay like the hydrocephalic Golem-Golum… that way you, too, can naively elude our unpredictable and irreducible conflicts, which are part and parcel of domination and slavery, destruction and the new, fusions of ugliness and beauty, obstacles and possibilities, garbage and fresh blooms, threats and various forms of protection, technicist prowess and forces of nature… Here everything comes together and interlocks. It’s all here, in the making, in a movement in the making… Step right up, Boys, Girls, and Androgynes… Let yourself get carried away, to see and tell what connects us, the people behind this Log, but also all the rest, the ones who stir up trouble and take shelter in these friendly, territorial, womblike refuges where you can circle around in the ill winds that blow through congregations and metropolises, in all those places, those little hotspots. And anyone can follow suit, as long as it goes toward making a “place” that we can mine for whatever remains habitable, desirable, or musical in the gloomy universe of planetary noise. It’s good, it’s really good. It comes in the form of a human group, a re-peopling of the social structure in the form of a dream. A dream of social climates, empty lots, existing forms of nature and people and enhanced intimacy. It alters what exists, it marks out vanishing lines, subjectivities, it throbs in the form of local stories and languages, little tales, the stuff of fables and narratives garnered by tacking together and tinkering. It isn’t totally iconoclastic, but cultivates a profound fear, an aversion to preformed, reproduced optic matter, standardized image/merchandise. It’s also nasty… Not really ready to buckle under and keep its mouth shut. Then again, it’s naive and full of good ideas, forced as it is to elbow its way through the monstrous dump of social media junk… It’s the planet within the planet, the swarm of bees buzzing in the face of a society that has become bogged down in the deterritorialization programmed by Deleuze and Guattari (Anti-Oedipus, 1972). It’s “the weed in the human cabbage patch” that Henry Miller talked about. “True, the weed produces no lilies, no battle ships, no Sermons on the Mount… Eventually, the weed gets the upper hand… Grass is the only way out… The weed exists only to fill the waste spaces left by cultivated areas. It grows between, among other things. The lily is beautiful, the cabbage is provender, the poppy is maddening – but the weed is rank growth…” It lives in this grassy environment, between the flotsam and jetsam and other detritis of this society of chaotic performance. It tinkers, recycles, reconstructs in all historical senses of the term. In other words, it proceeds without apparent method, by means of declarations, unstable desires, and objectives – so much so that it’s fun to see those bent on destruction deducing scraps of theories and rules of etiquette from it all. Go ahead, trample on this patch of lawn, it can stand up to anything, it’s a football field with lots of sides. But is it the final round of human forms preceding the final collapse and freezing over, or just some bushy piste, with “succesive lateral offshoots in immediate connection with an outside?” Then again, no one gets it, it remains an ellipsis, but so much the better… a problem of writing, there absolutely have to be “anexact” expressions to nail something exactly. Let’s say that it is about naming those aesthetic species that grow wild between social snowdrifts. The rhizomatic bad seed sown by the two philosopher friends that stocks us up again.
It proceeds by variation, expansion, and conquest, via crossing points, recycling, adaptation, capture, embrace, tweaking… It’s a connection to sexuality, obviously to the animal realm, the plant realm, the world, politics, artifice, machines and bits… like a thousandth plateau… it means discovering continuous areas of intensities pulsating all by themselves and evolving by avoiding being directed toward a culminating point or external end, a little war machine, an automatic pistol of combinations, associations… assemblage in vivo that’s a lot more incisive than innovation in vitro… It operates like so many “dream machines,” pitted against the methods, messianisms, and mercantile theories of happiness, the natural state privatized and reprimitivized, symbols, progress. When everything has once and for all suddenly descended into anything goes, the deep freeze, urban guerilla warfare, and the rest of the whole shamozzle, there remains that sixth sense, nerve endings and defensive reflexes. And don’t think it takes to the maquis, either, that it goes in for underground resistance. There is a reality principle that doesn’t seek to be right against the daily disorder but walks gaily over its ruins. It lives in broad daylight, not in the shadows, because the shadows are a refuge for jumpy activists living in the comfort of their ideals… clowns, as Zizek calls them. It doesn’t illustrate destruction or violence, but is a state of things, a palpitation between Eros and Thanatos. It isn’t there to reproduce what is, or to eliminate its existence, its precondition, its affects… “Nostalgia is a weapon,” wrote Douglas Copeland in Generation X. Why should we deny ourselves access on the pretext that this particular furrow has been ploughed by the archaeologists “della città,” regressively, in lazy imitation? The word still exists, the sentiment too, we’re going to have to wheel it out again, push it into the very heart of whatever situation, like a hesitation of time’s arrow, here and now, here and elsewhere, elsewhere but not just anywhere, avoiding the futurist past as much as the positivist future… Quite the opposite… And anyway, why would “It” be more moral, why would it have some right over the whole collection of good wishes and good consciences? There are so many people who are happy to carry morality’s flag, they’re legion, as numerous and powerless as criminals.
Reclaim Resi[lience]stance …..R2
The stuttering between Resilience (recognizing vitalism as a force of life) and Resistance (“Creating is resisting”) seems, in a schizophrenic logic, a plausible hypothesis… shifting, drifting, in the crack of territories between strategies of emergences, manipulating processes, computation, fabrication… flirting with the fetishism and the arrogance of tooling, daily updated Stakhanovismly as a psycho syndrome of our alienation… and… at the opposite… the line of their own subjectivation, their “raison d’être”…
In this context of endless perplexities, it is not innocently that a group of philosophers requestions the foundation of “our ideal insane asylum,” called democracy, through the validity of its structure and the procedures of delegation of power; questioning notions of government, of governance, of bio-democracy.
Contradictorily, the discipline of architecture in the time of now feigns ignorance of this genuine conflict, and concurrently legitimizes more and more its identity, or the illusion of an identity, at a condition of noninvasive, nonsubversive, nonpolemic, nonpolitical consequences. In this inoffensive demonstration of wallowing in a cozy postdigital a(e)ffect, addicted to a totemic production, “we” seem to be afraid of the wolf… afraid of losing the privileges acquired over a period when the reason of the few prevailed over the destiny of the many, sitting squarely within the fantasy of control: from a disciplinary urbanity, based on the model of psychiatric hospitals, and panoptic prisons as a model and instrument of urban planning, we have slipped into an informational system of control, into a whole panoply of watchwords, to take up Deleuze again. The modes of constituting the city are so well-coded and planned that they induce in advance instructions for its “proper usage,” “directions for use” in which playing around with its reordering is no longer tolerated. The systems of incarceration of the classical age have no reason now to exist, so the manufacturing of cities apes its principles of surveillance in an “open sky.” This is something we sense… but what’s more pertinent, as Antonio Negri underlines in the conversation that follows here, seems to be the return to the industrial world, of the factory, the mill, via its modes of production, profit and enslavement in relation to what lies outside it… of the city itself, which has become the very stakes of the production and trafficking of ideological and financial values. The architect has become the mainspring, the cheville ouvrière, of this process in the literal sense: he is the “worker” on the city assembly line, from Detroit to Shanghai, producing the icons of triumphant, authoritarian capitalism (the new El Dorados of Asia!) via its exchange zones without being remunerated with the surplus values engendered, the capital generated.
As a hired hand, capable and lobotomized, the “sub-proletarianized” postcapitalist architect is not only the main link in the assembly line of industrial and urban products; parallel to this, he is also the elegant mask of the duplicity of a system that hides its true nature through the artificial eroticization of this “flagshipshit.” Subservience to a manufactured product, without questioning the conditions in which that product is made – which could be read as the conscious projection of willing slavedriving – has simultaneously generated a general impoverishment and dumbing-down of the field of architecture. To trigger and regulate this intellectual pauperization, the “professionals of the profession” have invaded and cannibalized the terrain of the academies so as to bend them to their own needs: to produce the alienated workforce, super-talented when it comes to tools but servile when it comes to their jobs, required to surf modes of manufacturing that are at once operative and cynical… eviscerated of any rebellious, not to mention alternative, hypothesis that would turn their talent into a tool for transforming the system.
It’s not so much postcapitalism that is in question here as it is the conditions in which architects have tried not to play around with its malleability, its capacity to absorb strange, not to mention toxic, bodies capable of undermining its predictable mechanisms…
It’s true that the media visibility that arises from such submission operates like some psychotic reward. It produces systemic pathological effects: precisely the known symptoms of the industrial sub-proletariat: the worker of the week at McDonalds and the “Pritzker Prize” are blood brothers – a photo on the wall of their dependency, in thanks for their docility. But submission to the mechanisms of power and authority “doesn’t pay” except for those who serve as vehicles for that illusion. It is only in strategies of conflict, opposition, indignation, and occupation that the capitalist structure, an ectoplasm with an adaptable and variable geometry and contours, agrees to renegotiate its transactional modes… But for this malleability to operate, we first have to run the risk of confronting it, causing it to crack, biting it, in close combat, using tactical strategies of visibility and fallback… facades and dissimulation… offensive drives… occupation of turf, in the hollows of conflicts, in the hollows of speech utterances, their rescripting, their de-alienation – not in the cozy living-room idealism of the defeat of thought.
Architects as a whole have neglected to hunt “the beast.”  Claiming to be serious, rigorous, expert, professional, they have naturally and willingly and as a matter of course made themselves subservient to the system that is supposed to feed them, and in return, logically, they are underpaid for such subservience. This particular form of masochism, which is not so much masochism as it is acceptance of the sadism of the system, is actually, height of irony, seen as… a performative act.
Surely we’re forced to reread the political distance… the ontological schism… between these the notions of sadism and masochism22… from the one, we should be able to exercise our strength by the effective recognition of enslavement to a system, by finding new contract-based solutions to its limits, its contents and modes of dependence and strategy of infiltration, of resilience; and from the other… the sadism that profits from our ingenuity, false virtue, or proclaimed cynicism, to organize the institutions and modes of operation taking advantage of this (false) innocence… to alienate, bow, bend, according to its specific agenda, with no safeguard other than its quarterly profit and loss accounts…
In these conditions, and by default, it would be prudent to ask ourselves about the legal framework of such a submission, of the protocols of Sacher-Masoch, and even to define the mechanisms of exchange, domination, enslavement, eroticization and suffering, as a potentially contractual support element of this same transaction… and to redefine what constitutes the nature of that contract… not just in terms of the relationship between the parties, but in terms of the representation of this relationship: masochism is a theatricalization of the transactions involved in the human comedy, a way of exorcizing their hidden face, revealing, reawakening, opposing urges, Eros and Thanatos, life and death, at one and the same time… indissociably… and liberating the protagonists from the authority of the systems of control, in order to introduce obstacles, conditions and limits, instructions and contradictions, childish pranks and perverse acts… that make the nature of these transactions visible…
This is what the ecosophy of things, substances, and beings is… as well as the lucid recognition of a kind of operaism… capable of transforming the rules of its exercise, of its power… like the rules invented by “the bent man” who faces his demon: the supposed weakness of a strategy of resilience, nestled in the very hollows of modes of operation that act, bend, corrupt, script, subjectivize… in order to free the narratives from alienation…
But make no mistake, we are not dealing here with crazy new flagellants, eschatologists, oozing blood at the feet of the cult’s ministries, but with tribes which infiltrate the very mechanisms that underpin and articulate the visible, both those linked to language, from speech utterances to all kinds of writing – poetic, political, psychological, prosaic, mathematical, computational, as well as multiple crisscrossing, entangled narrations, but also those linked to machinist tools, to the manufacture of things and substances, as well as those navigating this side of that, casting lines of subjectivation, of force, cracks, great escapes, made up of incongruous assemblages, tactical bouts of paranoia and schizophrenia, about to venture into possible new orderings, operative and affective critical apparatuses… in a stuttering swarm.
François Roche, Bangkok June 2012
(Acknowledgements to Julie Rose, Translator and Olivier Zahm)
 In Herman Melville’s novel, the animal’s whiteness should be viewed as one of the last unknown lands to still resist the mapping of the world and its reduction. A last vestige of a time when nature did not allow itself to be tamed or ruled… before its sudden, violent, blinding awakening (Hurricane Katrina, El Nino, cyclones Jeanne, Tomas, and Nargis, Hurricane Xynthia, Typhoon Ewiniar, earthquakes in Indonesia, Japan, the coastal tsunami of Fukijima… a chain of devastating uncertainties that we couldn’t predict, despite our seismographic sciences). Faced with the autistic, blind, deaf and dumb violence of our mechanisms of technological, industrial, mercantile, and human domination, nature reacts… in a stuttering version of the original chaos… in a mutiny against human organization… Gaia seems to take its revenge. Nature is not an ideological “greenwashing” in some cozy living-room politics, neither is it a millenarist eschatological Eden park, which we’ve been very lucky to escape from, liberating ourselves from the hedonist harvester so we can negotiate with the dark, hostile forces that were hiding in the depths of the forest…
 From the French bricolage, from bricole, the Roman catapault, a seige weapon, made in situ by extracting and transforming the materials at hand in whatever situation.
 Cited in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 18.
 Ibid., 19.
 Aldo Rossi, L’architettura della città [The Architecture of the City] (1966; repr., Macerata: Quodlibet Abitare, 2011).
 “Cause I’m a criminal/ You’re goddamn right/ I’m a criminal/ Yeah, I’m a criminal.” Eminem, “Criminal,” The Marshall Mathers LP, compact disc, © 2000 Aftermath/Interscope.
 Reclaim Resi[lience]stance
- Resilience as the recognition of the post human, infiltrated by and porous to technologies and information, as both a transitory object and subject.
- Resilience in a strategy of absorption (human adaptation after a shock, a trauma, an impact)
 The World Economic Forum (WEF), a nonprofit foundation based in Geneva, describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. The Forum organizes its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world…as it should be.
 The World Social Forum (WSF) is an annual meeting of civil society organizations, first held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which offers a self-conscious effort to develop an alternative future through the championing of counter-hegemonic globalization. Some consider the WSF to be a physical manifestation of global civil society, as it brings together NGO, advocacy campaigns as well as formal and informal social movements seeking international solidarity. The WSF prefers to define itself as “an opened space – plural, diverse, nongovernmental, and nonpartisan – that stimulates the decentralized debate, reflection, building exchange, and alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete actions toward a more democratic and fair world….a permanent space and process to build alternatives…against what it seems to be.
 In pursuit of the notion of Félix Guattari’s “The Three Ecologies.”
 In psychology resilience refers to the idea of an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” and function better than expected. Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, not as a trait of an individual.
 A scientist, a mathematician, creates a function…it is mainly an act of resistance… against the wishes of casual opinion… against the whole domain of stupid questioning…Creation is resistance…it is production of exaggerations…and their existence is the proof of their resistance… against the stupidity and vulgarity… See “Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze, R, Resistance,” television interview with Claire Parnet.
 When John Ruskin writes of the arrogance of the Renaissance, he claims both the over-instrumentalization on the part of geometry to frame limited types of knowledge and, simultaneously, the arrogance of the people owning this tool to discredit all others and to establish their authority, putting an end to the social organization of knowledge and construction developed during the Middle Ages.
 “Non-Standard,” the 2004 exhibition at the Pompidou Center, is behind this shift or, rather, regression in the status of the architect, who once more becomes a simple designer… As Hal Foster writes, “After the heyday of the Art Nouveau designer, one hero of modernism was the artist-as-engineer or the author-as-producer, but this figure was toppled in turn with the industrial order that supported it, and in our consumerist world the designer again rules. Yet this new designer is very different from the old. . . . One thing seems clear: just when you thought the consumerist loop could get no tighter in its narcissistic logic, it did: design abets a near-perfect circuit of production and consumption, without much ‘running-room’ for anything else.” Hal Foster, Design and Crime (and other Diatribes) (London: Verso, 2003), 17–18.
 The scale of production acts like capitalist compensation for the architect’s loss of influence, as does the money received in exchange for recognition of his powerlessness, on condition that it be both cynically performative and three times the size it was. Vouloir-faire, wanting to do, is substituted for savoir-faire, know-how (kunstwollen vs kunstkönnen).
 See Michel Foucault, History of Madness, trans. Jean Khalfa (London: Routledge, 2006).
 According to Deleuze, “disciplinary societies are regulated by watchwords (as much from the point of view of integration as from that of resistance).” Gilles Deleuze, “Postscript on the Societies of Control,” October 59 (Winter 1992): 5.
 And neither the abusive “greenwashing,” nor “social networking entertainment,” nor, worse still, “postdigital-parametric” blindness are likely to redefine a position, a transmission point, from which we could “exercise our power,” our praxis (in the sense of human activities capable of transforming social and political relationships).
[20It is no innocent matter that the very people who generated the factory city, “a product of industry and marketing” to use the political phraseology of the barricades of the 1970s, are now transforming that factory city into a tool of capitalist propaganda, sharing in its construction like a randy, gangsterized rotary club. It is no innocent matter, either, that the critical systems in charge of questioning their validity simply offer them a helping hand, fascinated by the power that these great strategists grant them in return for their dependence.
 At the tip of the iceberg are Rem’s epigones and rejects whose names, among others, would be pointless to list.
 A subtlety developed by Gilles Deleuze in “Coldness and Cruelty” (1967), in Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs, trans. Jean McNeil (New York: Zone Books, 1989).
 “Call it madness, if you want. . . But the new world knows only resistance. . . When I bend in order to avoid accepting the rules of their authority, I am destroying the foundations, I am insulting their legitimacy. . . . There is rage in the face of my madness, a ferocious rage as if they found themselves faced with an act of revolt. . . Cretins, don’t you understand that it’s exactly that?” Antonio Negri, “The Bent Man” (2005), in Trilogy of Resistance, trans. Timothy S. Murphy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).
 Gilles Deleuze, “What is a dispositif?”, in Michel Foucault Philosopher, trans. Timothy J. Armstrong (New York: Routledge, 1991). “What is an apparatus [...] in a game of power, strategies of relationships supporting types of knowledge and supported by themselves; both orderings of desires and of creations in Deleuze, apparatuses of knowledge and of power in Foucault, indissociably linked”. Agencements deleuziens, dispositifs foucaldiens », Monique David-Menard, College international de philosophie, revue rue Descartes, #59, 2008
Co-Curating a dark side night at the 13th Biennale of Venice / 28th of October / Somewhere on the Laguna
A recipe for the feedback of repulsive magnetism, screaming “poiesis” in the syrupy distressnessless misunderstanding. Three ingredients of the sublime: the noble, the splendid and the terrifying form a course oscillating between toxic substance and boundless form. You have to be sublime at least once a day; toxic could be the cure for it, if produced twice a day.
A gravy for schmaltzy affect, effect, infects, faces, fooding facing realities and Trolls, in the childish meal of cruelty.
The grotesque as a romantic notion, framed by desires for beautiful, tasteful monsters, exquisite corpses and synthetic nature. Grotesque romanticizing cannot be cooked it can only be tested, so we can only hope for them, and them forget about the hope and we left with them.
A birthday cake for the temptation of sugar-ice-comput-DIY vomiting a back tomorrow lost tasty paradise. Who said yes-Tea-day? Chromatic pastry radiating in atmospheric hues, triggering the Geeks desire to explore (the past? The present? The future?). Therefore the alternative to paranoid delusion, paranoid atmospheres, so we are trading on an emergency of the now, maybe atmosphere becomes Lust, not a bad trade.
Reclaim Resi[lience]stance / Releasing of LOG#25 / July 2012 / New-York / Guest Editor F. Roche
Tribe: Pia Ednie Brown, Alisa Andrasek, Ezio Blasetti, Sebastien Bourbonnais, Shabnam Hosseini, Francois Jouve, Matthias Kohler, Sanford Kwinter, Camille Lacadee, Stephanie Lavaux, Sylvia Lavin, Antonio Negri + François Roche…dialogue, Philippe Parreno, Dave Pigram and Iain Maxwell, Beatriz Preciado, Francois Roche, Miranda Romer, Roland Snooks, Patricia Williams, Slavoj Zizek
The movie title: “would have been my last complaint”
“ It would have been the last
Leaving my condition unresolved
I would have felt……… this liquid light
Running through my hands
Despite the courage and the fall
Despite the spikes…… the suffering
It would have been my blood
Amidst the stars………. the Aries
It would have been a sign
On the battlefield of my body
And i would have waited for them
Tangled up in desires and abandon
It would have taken my breath
To out throw the lamentation
And when the rain falls tomorrow
It would have trapped……….. my last complaint “
Installation low-cost: 2500 euros
For Jitti’s Demon In Venice chroregraphy performance, in the pursuit of Thomas Man’s novel…with an apparatus trying to contain the invasion of the epidemic disease, the Cholera, trying to repulse the wind of Death and its somberness to preserve the particles of life scattered behind the illusory protection wall… Wind and water are never considering the efficiency of human obstacles as impassable; their natures are untamable, driven by encroachment, overcrossing, overflowing … The flooding of both Bangkok and Venice is a real and non-contingent fact… here despite the awkwardly dismembering landscape, with its lost whiteness, its lost paradise… Black is the future, and the naïve and fragile barrier turns its own physicality against the protagonists, who are coated, wrapped, smothered and strangled by the decaying, by the fragmenting, in a multitude that human constructed and organized… to become again a swarm with its own logic, with its own impermanence and scattered distribution. The pool was a pool, not any more…it turns into a deep, bottomless sinkhole, engraving and digging the ground to find the door to hell…. while the moonlight observes the “dance macabre ” of the daemon in the Siamese twin sister of Venice, Bkk
[eIf/bʌt/c] architects (Camille Lacadée-F.R.)
Comput-DIY / 25 may – 25 june 2012
INDIA / Gokarna / A workshop which is thinking-doing a shelter which is doing a movie /
OPEN for architecture students (application below)
François Roche (Columbia GSAPP university) / R&Sie(n) / www.new-territories.com
Ezio Blasetti (UPenn, GSAPP, Pratt) / www.ezioblasetti.net
Stephan Henrich / (USC-Angewandte Guest) /
-Yale, YSOA, USA, “The Risk(s) of Hiring Me”, 2 April 2012, http://www.architecture.yale.edu/drupal/events/lectures
-BKK, Bangkok, Thailand, “unancitypated futur”, INDA, Faculty of Architecture of Chulalongkorn University, 11 February, 6PM
-Hanover, Germany, Contractworld, “fiction as practice, practice as H&N”, 17 January 2012
-Istanbul, ARCHTHEO conference, “Stories”, 24 November 2011
-Munich, academy for fine arts, “no title”, 3 Nov 2011
-Delft, Holland, TU Delft, Faculteit Bouwkunde, 20 October 2011
-Louisiana, Denmark, New Sensitivity in Contemporary Architecture, ”2050 the last lecture of R&Sie(n)”, 22 September 2011
-Tallin, Estonia, Tallinn Architecture Biennale, Kadriorg Art Museum, 9 September 2012
-Croatia, Protoecologic, ‘Eros[VS]Machinism’, 6-7 August 2011
-Greece, Columbia/Thessaloniki workshop, “Eros[VS]Machinism”, 15 july 2011
Studio Francois Roche (link) / GSAPP / Columbia / 116 street / 1PM – 5PMhttp://www.new-territories.com/laboratoriesteaching.htm Final review the 9th of december 2011 Location GSAPP / Room 114 Avery Hall (architecture department, Basement)
with : Molly Nesbit / Lydia Kallipoliti / Rirkrit Tiravanija / Pierre Huyghe / Roland Snooks / Ben Aranda / Danielle Willems / Michael Young / Leopold Lambert / & / Miranda Romer, Ezio Blasetti, Francois Roche
Call it madness, if you want . . . but the new world knows only resistance . . . when I bend in order to avoid accepting the rules and their authority, I am destroying the foundations, I am insulting their legitimacy . . . There is rage in the face of my madness, a ferocious rage as if they found themselves faced with an act of revolt . . . Cretin, don’t you understand that it’s exactly that?
– Antonio Negri, The Bent Man, in Trilogy of Resistance, 2005
Two worlds face each other today: Davos and Porto Alegre. One represents business and the operative economy, both financial and managerial; the other, the multitudes and their potential for organization from the bottom up – for a productive and operative resistance against the first.
 In pursuit of the notion of Félix Guattari’s “The Three Ecologies.” A scientist, a mathematician, creates a function…it is mainly an act of resistance… against the wishes of casual opinion… against the whole domain of stupid questioning…Creation is resistance…it is production of exaggerations…and their existence is the proof of their resistance… against the stupidity and vulgarity… “Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze, R, Resistance.”
 When John Ruskin writes of the arrogance of the Renaissance, he claims both the over-instrumentalization one the part of geometry to frame limited types of knowledge, and, simultaneously, the arrogance of the people owning this tool to discredit all others and to establish their authority, putting an end to the social organization of knowledge and construction developed during the Middle Ages (from the processes of cathedral construction with its protocols of sharing for endless experimentation and artifacts — to the here and now… where technologies may re-question the potential of unachievement by developing uncertain “agencements” which operate as apparatuses, the transparences of the transaction…at the opposite of a deterministic and predictable system of emission…)
Reclaim Resi[lience]stance (references) "a plat de resistance" The letter “R” in Gilles Deleuze’s "Abecedaries" Resistance as William Morris, Walter Benjamin, John Ruskin, or Baudelaire / the spleen and the “aura” against mass production / from Craftsmen to Computation Craft, jumping over the standardization of the Bauhaus Resistance as Structural Optimization (genetic algorithm, evolutionary algorithm) to "discover" the design of something by the strength of incremental and recursive calculation, reiteration Resistance in the social manifesto, in the pursuit of the "Etablis" /Robert_Linhart Resistance as a philosophical position, in the pursuit of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze, Negri Resistance as a strategy of obstruction (The Five Obstructions, by Lars von Trier) Resilience in the recognition of nonlinear systems in nature as a potential for emergence (termite schizoid nonhierarchical and nonlinear construction / freeform analyses of Rupert Soar) Resistance as a nonviolent system of opposition / La Boëtie (Voluntary Servitude), Thoreau (Civil Disobedience) and Ghandi's methods Resistance as suspicion of the resolution of science's failure by science . . . Resistance-resilience as feedback . . . machinist feedback, and forced feedback . . . for narrative bachelor machines and scenario… Resilience as the recognition of the posthuman, infiltrated by and porous to technologies and information, as both a transitory object and subject. Resilience as the recognition of the planet's disease and the madness and contemporary barbarousness (Primo Levi’s “shame of the world” caused by failing human solidarity Resilience in a strategy of resilience (human adaptation after a shock, a trauma, an impact)Resilience as the inoculation of a pathogen in the body to improve the body's resistance to this very pathogen
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15 November 2011 / Opening of International competition (under 30 Y) / for scenario + fabrication / Bordeaux-Artigues / France / Architects+Artists+Landscape designers /
“it has been here”
« ça s’est passé ici »
“Grass produces neither flower nor sermon on the mountain, nor airplane carrier, but in the end it’s always grass that has the last word. It fills emptiness, grows between, and amongst other things. The flower is beautiful, the cabbage useful, the poppy makes us mad, but grass is overflow.” / Henry Miller
We are at the crossroads, where, faced with the autistic, blind, deaf and mute violence of our mechanisms of technological, industrial, mercantile and human domination, nature reacts…with violence and without warning, in a faltering of the original chaos…in mutiny against the organization of men… Gaïa seems to take revenge (Katrina, El Niño, Cyclone Jeanne, Tomas et Nargis, the Xynthia storm, Ewiniar typhoon, Indonesian and Japanese earthquakes, collateral Tsunamis all the way to Fukujima…chain of devastating incertitude, unpredictable in spite of our seismographic sciences). The elements rage and the gods, so quick to pardon our folly, seem powerless to appease the rebellion, armed with infernal force…
Nature is not an ideological “green washing” for backyard politics, nor is it Eden park, millenarian, eschatologist, from which we have very fortunately escaped, freeing ourselves from the gatherer-hedonist to negotiate with the hostile dark forces that have lain hidden in the depths of the forest…
But these forces have come out of their hiding places, their biotopes, they are invading the spaces that Man had thought he could take without giving anything in exchange, without transaction…the war has been declared…nature’s revenge is not a bedtime story for children…our bellicose enemy operates openly…in the light of day…ultimate arrogance…
Here we are…here…on this terrain, … in the middle of the conflict, not in real time, this has already taken place, « çà c’est passé ici », in these forests, on the edges of these urban spaces…the divisions have confronted each other, clashed, been wounded…damaged…there’s one battlefield left, traces of this violence, flashes of this violence…we only have this zone left, where even the access protocol has been forgotten with time, clouded by the desire to erase the shock of titans, to delegate it to the ranks of myths…easier to tame…for a human…
This zone, we’re going to reopen it together, the space of an instant…necessarily limited…and even this not without trepidation…we need to establish a protocol, a ritual to protect ourselves from it…but protect ourselves against what, that remains unclear…the toxicity or monstrosity of which we are today the pacified children…the fear of seeing the face of this other reality by which we have become penetrable, to which we are bound…but here in combat uniform, with the highly-charged negative energy the military objective of which was to renegotiate, through force, a common space, a common matrix, a precarious balance made of openings and amenities…with those who thought they could dominate their natures …
The protagonists no longer exist as two distinct entities…« ça c’est passé ici » is a war zone which happened, wherein the structuring of the conflict remains a mystery…this doesn’t let itself be diagnosed as easily as all that…the implements of our contemporary archeology are not operating…« ça c’est passé ici »…
This session is the occasion to rethink our relation, not in terms of moralist ecology, nor in terms of preservation, but rather in terms of transaction and of body and zone of exchanges…
Each acquiescence must identify a relationship to the situation, in order for it to be compatible to the development of ideas and principles of the transition to the real…Due to the intrinsic nature of this competition, based on a space of conflicts, of transaction, of process and relations, the site must be perceived and exploited as a “swapping” zone. The project must not hold back from crossing barriers because they are too morally predictable, from negotiating repulsions, anomalies, impulses of life and death, entanglement between Eros and Thanatos …the failure of a system is not a criteria of its devaluation and disqualification…but rather a system of knowledge…
« ça s’est passé ici » is conjugated in the future past, or rather, in a retroactive anticipation of a previous future … signs and systems … enigmatic.
Uranium as both “legitim pananoïa & UV pathologies’ marker”
-Public protest against the “razing – sterilizing” of Paris Vincennes ZOO
SIGN IT…on BLOG: http://www.new-territories.com/ZOO
“This blog is a protest against the voluntary manipulation and intellectual corruption being used to eraze or sterilize the first French Theme Land Park, where nature is both artificialized and renaturalized by concrete engineering, from Eiffel and Hennebique, and Rocaille Pictureques as the first witness of a “Doctor Moreau Island”, a “Stalker wishes Chamber”… Blog includes memories, current views, maps, history, and the concrete innovation and evolution from XIXth Craft Man Know How, from a Walter Benjamin and John Ruskin uniqueness and rarity claims to… NOW… through Digital & Computation Craft, introducing bio-concrete without frame work as a potential of singularities, of multitudes of singularities… re-discovering the non standart prototyping productions “
The Zoo apears as an historical lift, a trans-door from XIXth to XXIth, jumping over the period of “repetition without anomaly”
SIGN IT…on BLOG: http://www.new-territories.com/ZOO
R&Sie(n) / F. Roche
“Heshootmedown” / Korea / 2009 / R&Sie(n) / François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux…. with Stephan Henrich (robotic)
Competition with Store Front / New-York
Guest Curator / Eva Franch
Concept – Juror / François Roche
Submission / End of June
This competition calls for a radical reimagination of the current relationship between humans and the built environment through the establishment of new architectural protocols of coexistence in the search of a new Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”.
In the past architecture has always operated as a mediator between humans and the built environment, within an anthropocentric ideological framework with a deterministic approach. This competition seeks to escape this direct relationship and asks for submissions able to produce new socio-ecological scenarios able to reimagine our current ideas and preconceptions, in relation to notions of equilibrium and sustainability within Western Culture.
Going beyond notions of moral ecology or fake sustainability, this competition asks for entries able to envision new architectural scenarios and moments of invention by looking into spaces of residual otherness to reconstitute canonical forms of thinking.
These new socioecological architectural visions will provide a new understanding and a new set of possible relations of humans with the planet.
Each entry must submit a scenario for a new Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming” in the form of text, protocols, codes or images that clearly identify three objects of research and projection: subjects, scenario and tools.
I. Subject[s]-Inhabitant[s]: Co-species/Co-substances
In order to avoid direct anthropocentrism [that in essence is impossible to bypass], the competition asks to have as the subjects of inhabitation of these new scenarios a minimum of two different species [including human] and two different by-products [i.e. excrements] in relation to these species.
II. Site-Scenario: Relations-Processes
Each submission will have to identify/create a site condition suitable for the development of the projected Partial-Total Ecology: “YUmen[eco]tec-pharming”. Due to nature of the competition, based on relations and processes, the site is to be understood as a space of conflict, transaction and relations. The site will be identified through its own sharing protocols, evolutionary dynamics and transitory transactions. The project might be developed within spaces that go beyond current acceptable notions of correctness including disgusting, monstrous or repulsive. With a similar approach, notions of life or death, success or failure might be equally treated as value creators.
III. Tools: Chemical-Technical-Visceral
From the machinistic, passing by the chemical to the visceral, some of the processes that the entrant might consider in elaboration of this new Partial-Total Ecology are: screwed, chewed, shat, sweated, swallowed, vomited, pined, secreted, woven, knitted, extruded, staggered, scattered, coagulated, aggregated, welded, pinched, braided, spidernetted, bonsaied, crystallised, calcified, excreted, expanded, branched, pulped, smeared, coagulated, excavated, assembled and disassembled, bended, blended, and their machine picked, spiked, pinched, caressed, embraced, sliced, cut, laminated and loved [list in formation]
More information on: http://www.think-space.org/competitions/ecological-borders
-22nd September / Gsapp / Francois Roche-R&Sie(n) / Ecosophical Apparatuses & Skyzoid Machines / 6:30PM / Wood Auditorium / Avery Hall
The Isobiot®ope installation unfolds a scenario about a mineral element which is able to indicate the degree of UV crossing the stratosphere through its after glowing appearance (pigment of Isobiotrope exited by the UV ray) and by this way revealing the degree of Ozone degradation at the origin of some human pathologies.
The natural stone is on the middle of the stripe in the installation. It is a radioactive natural element at the level of 0.88 microSievert / hours. A Geiger counter is set to control it. The natural radioactivity of the “citta di Venezia” is 0.16 microSV (in the installation the Alpha rays don’t across more than 15 centimeters and are filtered by human skin barrier).
This installation articulate the dangerousness of the nature, the science coming from the exploration of the nature (from Marie Curie to Little BOY) and in parallel, simultaneously, it is talking of HOW this Isobiot®opic element becomes NOW a marker of the uncertainties of our future, coming from the post-effect of human scientific development (ozone weakness which increases the UV intensity on the earth surface).
It is not a Catastrophic report, or a “green washing” report, but more a recognition of a transition, a translation between past and future, between psychology and physiology, where the natures & sciences has to be reconsidered, renegotiated through Safe and Unsafe aspect.
The 50 prototyping green components are done with 10 kg of Isobiot®opic substance. They are reacting to sun light UV ray, restituted in the Arsenal by artificial LED flash. It creates in this low intensity situation a photoluminescence effect of 3 mn (the process is done by photovoltaic cells within the glass component, collecting the light flash power which is exciting the Isobiot®opic substance through black light LED). Normally the average duration of after glowing (mix of phosphorescence and luminescence) is about 10-20 hours (from the intensity of sun – 50 000 lx).
These Isobiot®opic components are populating a research and laboratory building for Zumtobel-light Company. Arsenal installation is both a prototype and a “cabinet de curiosité” for an Architecture which becomes a Marker of mind and environmental mutations and paranoia.
Biennale Venise /2010
On Saturday 17 July an international exhibition, Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of Multi-Agent Systems, will open at Architecture SH in HKU’s Shanghai Study Centre near the Bund, Shanghai, China.
Swarm intelligence is a revolutionary new theory for explaining how the world operates. It has already transformed a number of disciplines from biology to economics. But how can it contribute to the discipline of architecture? And what can architects learn from those working in swarm intelligence in other disciplines? This important exhibition brings together some of the world’s leading architects, engineers and artists to address this question for the first time, including: Zaha Hadid Architects, London; Kokkugia, New York and London; Biothing, London; R&Sie(n), Paris; Cecil Balmond, London; Casey Reas, Los Angeles; London and Foster + Partners, London; and schools: Architectural Association; UPenn; Columbia GSAPP; TU Delft; CITA and USC. It showcases some of the freshest and most inspirational digital design work to have emerged in recent months.
As the curators Neil Leach and Roland Snooks put it, ‘We are witnessing, it would seem, a radical new development within digital design. This exhibition is an attempt to chart this emerging phenomenon. It brings together some remarkably inspirational designs from some of the world’s leading emerging architects and top schools of architecture to illustrate the potential of this new digital technique for architecture.’
To coincide with the exhibition, a major international book is being published, Neil Leach, Roland Snooks (eds.), Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of Multi-Agent Systems.
A symposium will also be held in the VIP lounge of the Austrian pavilion at Shanghai 2010 Expo starting at 6pm on Wednesday 14 July. Roland Snooks and Neil Leach will discuss their exhibition and book with a panel of experts including digital theorist, Anne Balsamo and architects, Ma Qingyun, Stefano de Martino and Paul Tang.
TweetDialogue / Natanel Elfassy – François Roche / 2010 Published in LOG /Spring-Summer 2010 / Thanks To Cynthia Davidson
The only thing the reader will see marching past him are inadequate means: fragments, allusions, strivings, investigations. Do not try to find a well polished sentence or a perfectly coherent image in it, what is printed on the pages is an embarrassed word, a stuttering.– Andreï Biély
Natanel Elfassy: In a restless moment near the end of their lives, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari revealed their sensitivity to the uncertainty within their work, which was constantly being reformulated, by asking what it means to create. While the act of creation is not a representation of something that already exists, it is also not an irruption of the uncontrolled or undefined; it is not born of pure chaos, nor does it refer to it. Chaos is the ultimate enemy of thought.
Resorting to the idea of creation as chaotic and morbid, in which words lose their basis in a colorless, mute night and where we don’t see any form and don’t hear any sound, is one of the dangers that lurks in creation. This danger is based on the misleading understanding of creation as an expression either of transgression, breaking order, or madness. What cannot be thought is the nonrelational – those potentials or movements that fail to be actualized. Creation is danger; however it is not the danger of madness, but rather the danger of exposing an abundant sanity.
Deleuze and Guattari place creation in the field in which it is destroyed and trembles. Stuttering, where it cracks and fractures, enables us to see the door to the rabbit hole that leads not to what is beyond, not to the transcendental, but inward, to the immanent. It is the act of creation, the necessary act of architecture – in its singularity – that can retain the access to this door.
Stuttering architecture stems from the lack of an outlet and constitutes a single outlet – a language of architecture that cannot be traced back to its origin, but can express creation’s intensities through its tremor, giving birth to an affective and intensive “foreign” language within language. [Architectural language is a mirror containing within it the moment of transition into concrete existence; the moment when an invisible wall bursts and formed language enters the desert of discourse, always suffering from the death, commonness, and familiarity of this new materiality. Each time, with each new utterance, architecture is again required to generate a new, real state of creation, to avoid being trapped in the net of empty words.]
François Roche: Stuttering is conflictual, it appears as a disruption of continuity between emotion and language – where they simultaneously corrupt each other, creating a synaesthetic rapprochement where the degree or level of confusion reveals the impossible negotiation between something that tries to articulate knowledge in the public sphere and the protest of the body against being reduced to its simple appearance.
It could appear as a field of battle, where the forces present produce noise and chaos, beauty and barbarism, Eros and Thanatos, impulses of life and death. But more to the point, it is the contradictory aesthetic generated from this field of battle that matters.
The catatonia of the stutter is similar – it is an articulation or de-articulation of a psychism and the production of a new physiology accessing public territories and repressed depths of consciousness derived from zones of paranoia and permanent disequilibrium. Antonin Artaud tried to reach this fragile state of schizophrenia, blending language, shouting, screaming, and muscle convulsions, to create in performative works a feeling of repulsion on the part of the spectator/reader and in this way requestioning the boundaries of social conventions and normality.
That is the main point. To stutter is a-social not because of the non-understandability aspect, but because it perverts the appearance of socialization – a shameless pornography.
NE: Let’s stay for a moment at the immanent field of the battle, at the fragile and conflictual state that you are carrying and operate within. We come before dimensions that deviate from language, but attempt to define how language should be considered as capable of internalizing this energy; pulling language by the tongue, and not allowing its dialectical closure. Voids open before us, wickets through which we meet expression in its raw state.
The stuttering architect is the one who acknowledges his disability and accepts his fate, his senses, and bodily intuition. This architect is like the stuttering man who knows the pain of not being able to speak eloquently, of suffering from the sense of stammering incomprehensibly, trying not to confront certain syllables – fricatives and sibilants – since he knows too well the frustration this attempt will bring upon him.
Abandoning any grammatical semblance, the phrase falls apart. It is the event of language/architecture, in which language/architecture is not used to describe or denote, but rather to unname (undenominate) and disrupt.
The body ceases to be an appendage, becoming instead that which makes it possible for us to have an immediate, pre-reflective familiarity with reality. This points us back to the source of creation, uncovering its finiteness in aphasia, all the while showing the greatness of what is human – that which contains the consciousness of infinity. The act of architecture extends, deforms, and breaks the boundaries of language. It emphasizes and empowers the dryness and meagerness of architectural language.
Creation is destruction; we must destroy language in its present form and create it in a different form, denying certain structures as we form a structure out of what other structures are not made of. This new structure is certainly a reality; it can be seen and touched. It is certainly not nothing. Both the signifier and the signified are always present simultaneously; what is seen is a truth in presence. Therefore, for the architect, saying is doing.
We need a measured intervention – a radical and eternal reassessment that seeks to give up the prophecy (temptations to transcendence), while failing to stop stuttering time and time again. Reverence for this “failure” is instructive in this regard – the failure is the architect’s vocation, not in reference to the architect’s subject matter; rather, a failure intrinsic to the very process of the architectural production. To fail does not mean to represent successfully existential failures or existential meaninglessness; it means to refuse to represent. Thus, we preserve cracks through which we can feel the muted, endless infinity behind architectural things – an infinity more devious and secret, which rejects attempts at divisibility and striations, refuses the mere instrumentality of architecture.
This frees the architect and thinker from the endless pursuit of pointing to the catastrophe, realizing that it won’t just disappear (if we only indicate it, if we only warn and inform, if we only pursue more information). There is a need, an urgent and asymmetrical necessity, to act.
FR: It’s difficult for me to trace or track the monstrosity you talked about. The musicians in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, in the Hell section of the triptych, produce the most ambiguous sensation, specifically because in our recent and contemporary history of barbarism, the musician was also used as the last perverse concert before the Zyklon B shower.
Not only was the bestiality increased, but I suspect that it was also the highest point of horror and pleasure (for the barbarian) – the combined malefaction and jouissance of human perversity. We reached so high a level of monstrosity in the 20th century – from Verdun to the slaughters of Pol Pot to the recent atrocities in Rwanda – that it is now difficult to hierarchically re-qualify this notion of human bestiality and the industrial dimensions of terror.
But the musician playing and dancing in Hell cannot be compared to anything else. This unnamable amoral cultural artifact elicits repulsion and vomiting that cannot be framed or clearly unfolded; vomiting in this case to be read as the ultimate expression of language.
Some extreme (in)human cultural productions, such as Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom by Sade-Pasolini, or Eden, Eden, Eden by Guyotat – have found ways to transmit and vectorize this ambivalent perception, weaving a sophisticated barbarism with empathy for the suffering victim. The most uncomfortable aspect is that they are not developed from voyeurism (at a distance), but are intrinsically embedded in our own bestial, individual schizophrenia. These works force us to look at the devil, not in front of us, but contained in our own nervous sweat.
NE: Following your multiple trajectories, shadows of the catastrophe escape from our body, screams and sparks, like an animal we had been sheltering. I hear the other voices, the gnashing of the teeth of an animal in the agony of death. The voice is in me.
We meet the spirits that haunt us, that haunt creation. Stuttering dismantles the face and we rediscover the head, the teeth, and the flesh; it emerges from beneath discourse as brute fact and takes us to the threshold. Following Francis Bacon’s portraits, Deleuze refers to this threshold as the zone of indiscernibility: flesh and bone, man and animal.
How can architecture think the moving gap as a movement of being itself? How can we cross the threshold that lies beyond the limit (beyond language, beyond the wall), which is neither virtualization nor actualization, but rather the indiscernible middle? How can architecture move from report to experience?
FR: The animal is waking up after a long hibernation. The development of the collective and individual moralism of the 20th century (hygienism, positivism, modernism, progressivism, ecologism) could be perceived as the Siamese-twin brother of the industrial potential for erasure and destruction of humans, biotopes, and entire territories. This permanent disequilibrium (destruction and preservation versus barbarism and humanism) cannot be reduced to a simple theoretical or rhetorical game; it has been and still is, here and now, the preliminary condition of any emerging discourse and practice. As a genesis, or a genetic illness, we were born out of these conditions and we have the choice, the irreducible and individual choice, to think the field of the battle, to take sides. On one side of the battlefield are those who are driven by the illusion of elegant moralism, where we might wrap ourselves with the mantle of the right consciousness and the denunciation of a system that at the same time feeds and clothes us. On the other side are those who profit from the barbarism, through individual cynicism, justified by the alleged cynicism of system, and asserted as “an individual valuation of lost values.” This apparent choice only seems to be reduced to one between the positions of the buffoon or the bastard – between the one who claims to always be on the right path, but who never tries to modify the conditions of production, and the one making, out of personal resignation, a voluntary cynical act of propaganda (and power).
But for exercer sa puissance, we have to go away, far away from these two evident and reductive symptoms, by moving simultaneously between the two sides of the battlefield, stuttering with the enemy as a permanent deforming mirror of ourselves. I cannot deny the strange “eroticism” of this schizoid strategy of shifting, but I have to recognize at the same time its intrinsic danger.
NE: The schizophrenic creative process of stuttering architecture that I seek to stress fundamentally resembles this indispensable failure or danger that you mention. But, like any defect, it has an advantage, a depth, which the shortcoming (and the shortcoming alone) may possess, losing something in order to add something else, decreasing in order to yearn. The eloquent word, the eloquent structure (the highest desire of the Modern Movement) is lost in order to teach people to give birth to a new ear – to feel the stutter, the pain preceding the birth of a new word.
Stuttering architecture is never disconnected from reality, but rather planted in the very heart of reality. This is architecture that does not seek to eliminate the separation by creating an identity and by abolishing the paradoxes, but rather stresses the differences and confirms them, and therefore spreads a rhizomatic complexity, which we must cross continuously, without halting. As Deleuze said, there are many ways to “grow from the middle,” or – as we say – to stutter architecture. Each of these ways coincides with a task, an experiment, a way of feeling space.
In Dustyrelief, an art museum project in Bangkok, you are reflecting this schizophrenia, constantly hanging between a breakthrough toward a new model and a breakdown into an old, used, and familiar model.
FR: The Dustyrelief museum is the perfect example of this ambiguity, as a building that is collecting the dirtiness of Bangkok’s biotope, which is due to several local conditions, including a lack of public transportation, monstrous traffic jams, and low-quality diesel fuel. The city and its surfaces and atmospheres are deeply polluted by carbon monoxide particles, which wrap the tropical environment in a gray, dusty coating. The aesthetic protocol that is the genesis for the building transforms this preliminary chemical condition. Through this scenario of collecting “urban failure” as a substance, as a materiality, it is possible to constitute the building and reveal the situation “here and now.” We maintained an equal distance from the two opposing attitudes that constitute this condition: first, to deny it; and, second, to dramatize it. Dustyrelief is not an “eco-smart-bio-green,” moralistic alibi for architecture, but a building-as-machine that is able to aggregate, fix, and recycle the filth, while simultaneously extracting from this process the aesthetic protocol of its appearance.
Its operation arises from a multitude of contradictions – between hygiene and dirt, topological and Euclidian geometry, panoptic and heterotopian space – and a permanent schizoid vibration between the illusion of controlling an environment and the failure – the malentendu (mishearing), of its application.
This discontinuity between what it seems to be, what it should be, and what is revealed by the crossing is an experience that could be defined as an “instructive” strategy, similar to the operating instructions you get with a new device, where the visible object cannot be reduced to its own physicality, its own appearance; where the panoptic view cannot embrace or “explain,” in the sense of explanare (making flat the relief), the protocols and apparatuses invoked by using the device.
This disruption of logic is a stuttering tool for developing narrative relationships, lines of subjectivization and apparatuses of de-identification. As Stéphane Mallarmé writes, “To name (or identify) an object is to suppress three-quarters of the enjoyment . . . which derives from the pleasure of step-by-step discovery; to suggest, that is the dream. . . . There must always be an enigma . . . the goal – there is no other – is to evoke objects (without naming them).”
The reality of the building may not be achieved by its physical construction, as when a subject is frozen into an object. In this case the construction will never accomplish its objective. The machine aspect is generating a permanent “after death experiment (ADE).”
I have to admit that this path was borrowed from a few other architects, specifically the strategy of the disruption of architectural logic. One is Adolf Loos and his raumplan, with the disjunction between the external boxy illusion and the space within. The second is Ken Adams, the Berlin architect and set designer for some of the first James Bond films, with his strange interlocking worlds, combining exotic naturalism with glossy modernist mise en scéne. Both architects, in contradiction to the mainstream of modernity, which asserts a logic of continuum (as parodied in Jacques Tati’s Play Time), developed a singular strategy of duplicity, of phenomenological disruption, of incoherencies as metaphor, in the etymological sense of “traveling vehicle.” Could we say that they reached the catatonia of Artaud, articulating the conflict between physiology and psychology.
The adventures of Alice in Wonderland proceeded from the same stuttering. The apparent illogic of the multiplication and diffraction of parallel universes, where Alice “tumbled down,” are articulated both by mathematic paradox and the paranoia of a little girl as two nonlinear inputs, two levels of the same trap.
But back to the Bangkok situation. The apparatus that collects the dirt and reveals the degree of pollution (secreted and stored day after day, year after year), realizes its own extension from this atmospheric substance generated by the city, while becoming, simultaneously (through embedding in the belly of this freak the hygiene of an art museum) a refugee zone for international contemporary art. We could complain how museums are becoming deterritorialized mausolea for art tourism (Bilbao, etc.), but in the case of Bangkok, these conventional white cubes are directly coated with the existing situation. This double identity forces the museum to negotiate and articulate a strategy of stuttering, tripping over its own intrinsic contradictions.
The collection of carbon monoxide particles is generated by several electrostatic machines (100,000 volts without any Ampere and intensity) connected to a mesh 37 meters high. It produces a negatively charged environment that is able to attract the positive voltage of the dust. A drainage system collects the detritus after the monsoon season washes it away.
As architects, we are always confronted with strange vibrations, composed by disaster and dream, by propaganda and illusion, by hypocrisies and realities. We deeply consider architecture to be a tool that could reveal and manipulate this stuttering – to eroticize our paranoia.
FR: The future is a Faustian contract drawn up by Sacher-Masoch.
 Andreï Biély, Carnets d’un toque (Geneva: L’Age d’Homme, 1991); cited in Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical, trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco (London: Verso, 1998), 113.
The carp and the rabbit
(french version on http://www.new-territories.com)
Opening of satelite of Pompidou Center, Metz, 11 may 2010.
Guiheux-Migayrou and Guignol-Rambert walk arm in arm, flaunting their self-satisfaction. That’s not the least of the day’s paradoxes, but it’s especially intriguing: these two fake figureheads, each seemingly so unlike the other, exposing themselves in the sun lights. After all, the former lives shut away in his refinery, fearing to face a world he can only see through the filters of the past, the battles that brought him the Pompidou scepter, and the latter… well, we’re still wondering what exactly he’s good for, aside from his promised and proclaimed servility… isn’t open cowardice a performative act in today’s society?
But the most surprising thing is to see the former, who once (long ago) was a pioneer, so fully assuming his present role of conservator, acting like the museum equivalent of a nightclub bouncer or a cop.
In a position to write history, he exploits it, helping make it congeal and turn to stone, with the illusion and fantasy of classification… something between a Creationist entomologist and the malicious comeback of an ambushing Alphonse Bertillon…
He who freezes the future of things condemns them to never come to be, even if that’s done with sophistication and diligence, and decorated with an encyclopedic knowledge, and all the more so if the futile and fabricated demonstration of power is unfolded with the virtuosity of a wannabe philosopher, bitter that he has never been able to extricate himself from the royal armchair that has slowly and malignantly smothered him. That’s not harmless.
Anyway, here we are in this garrison city, with the carp and the rabbit strolling arm in arm, proud of their young friendship, with undisguised pleasure… or perhaps avowed obscenity.
How did these two come to form such a perfect union? What a coup – joining together one figure who gained legitimacy through the emergence of the Orléans FRAC (regional art center), standing on – and sucking the blood of – a generation of auteurs, in order to get them to commit voluntary euthanasia in his suicide opus Non-Standard, and another, a minor water-bearer in professional circles (from editor of the monthly D’Architectures to head of the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine), a man about whom there’s not much to say, except to mention his marvelous affability, like the devoted vizier in the Iznogoud comics, a question of character and calling. These two might seem an unlikely match unless you happen to know them personally. In fact, they were made for each other’s… cupidity.
What is the quiddity of their coitus non-interruptus? Of their wedding night? You tell me. It was the kiss of death at the eponymous institution: the grand ceremony as Claude Parent was lowered into his coffin by the same man who helped liquidate him 20 years before, Jean Nouvel.
A clever move to take the whole pot. The two accomplices not only coolly planned out the whole thing, they claimed the prize as the dowry due them for their embrace.
It’s open all week, so come one come all. The lip-smacking prospect of a (funhouse mirror) show bringing together the little water carrier and the pseudo-philosopher using radical architecture to rehabilitate the Boomers, on the backs of those they spit on and those they silence to keep their powers of postmodern creativity as the admen that they are.
It’s what’s known as the strategy of the carp and the rabbit: power, glory, treason and mediocrity in the palace of the republic.
No need to say another word about the Metz show, no sir. The architecture room is as mortiferous as they are. A cadaver (not so exquisite) and a series of tombstones, as gray as they are… as desperately gray as death… and scale models refurbished for the occasion. Like the portrait gallery in a castle whose owner suffers from Alzheimer’s. Double-dealing hypocrites and double agents.
Architecture has nothing to do with what they make it. But their union is sacred and consummated. In France today, architecture is in their “dirty hands.”
On this May afternoon in the year 2010, Guilheux-Migayrou and Guignol-Rambert skipped the light fantastic at the Shigeru Ban.
Over the canopy hovered the specters of Frei Otto and Cecil Balmond, opening their cape like Mephisto in the Murnau movie, and what that cape covered and hid was labyrinthine, heterotopic and above all designed by Hans Poelzig….But more on that another time.
Glossary- “To marry the carp and the rabbit” is a French expression meaning a union of two people (often politicians) who don’t belong together. - Frederic Migayrou is the actual director of the architecture department at the Pompidou Center. - Alain Guilheux was the previous director of the architecture department at the Pompidou Center. - Francis Rambert is the actual director of the Chaillot architecture center - Guignol was a puppet conceived by Laurent Mourguet in 1808. - Alphonse Bertillon was a 19th-century criminologist and physiognomist. The latter word is used in French for a nightclub bouncer. - Non-Standard Architecture was an exhibition curated by Frédéric Migayrou at the Pompidou Center in 2005. - Dirty Hands, a 1948 play by Jean-Paul Sartre. - Iznogoud was a 1960s series of comic books by René Goscinny and Jean Tabary. - Jean Nouvel is a so-called “international” architect beloved by Boomers. - Claude Parent is a radical architect. - Pseudo : du grec pseudês ψευδἡς: false. - Frei Otto and Cecil Balmond, structural architect and engineer. - Faust, by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1926. - Hans Peolzig, architect, 1869/1936.
 For someone (FM) who dreamed of being – and could have become – a Michel Ragon or Reyner Banham……and some others more actual….. the fall isn’t so much painful as monetizable… in these parts.  Perhaps Claude parent dreamed of it, both of the hilt of his sword [as a member of the Académie Française] and of being resuscitated by Iago, haunted by the ghost of Orson Wells. JN has the stature of a traitor, and that’s not the smallest compliment. We recognize his talent.
Biennale 2010 / topic / “People meet in architecture” / Venice Biennale / 2010 / International pavillon / Arsenal / © R&Sie(n)
Components of after glowing as UV radiation sensor
Meeting someone means facing the unknown, the strange, or even confronting your own repulsion at negotiating unfamiliar surroundings. It’s neither comfortable nor pleasing. It means crossing a heterotopic space where the passage itself is the only way to define yourself in relation to what’s already there.
This involves consideration of risk and a determination of whether or not to go through with it.
Meeting doesn’t mean plunging into a masked carnival, or huddling in a dark room, as if in a ceremony meant exclusively for a sum of individualities. It means daring to risk the unknown together.
“I remember the inaccessible zone and the room where wishes are granted in the Tarkovsky’s movie Stalker; a place you enter after crossing a territory where the gods clashed with humanity – we still don’t know who won that battle. The truce is unstable. Nothing can be discerned but sweat and silence, like climbers roped together, seeking to transgress the forbidden. The fence simultaneously protects those who are still there, about whom we know nothing, and those who dare venture in without knowing how to make use of what they may find there. At the end of the journey, amid the humid dilapidation, looms this Room of Wishes, where architecture is precisely the meeting point…”
R&Sie(n)’s apparatus is something similar, touching something which could simultaneously intrigue, attract and repulse you. The meeting point is not pretending to be safety.
But it’s also a fragment of the design of “thebuildingwhichneverdies” commissioned by the Zumtobel Group for its Thorn subsidiary.
This building is a nocturnal observatory pivoting on itself. This research laboratory is intended to analyze human beings’ physiological and ocular adaptation to the dark, in order to be able to reduce urban light pollution. This lab is aimed at the moon when it’s above the horizon, to take advantage of the one-lux minimum moonlight and even amplify it.
But at night this lab restores the light intensity of daytime by discharging UV sensor units located on all the exterior surfaces. Thus, their phosphorescent components (Isobiot®opic oxide pigment), populated on all its outdoor surfaces, report on solar activity, its degree of dangerousness according to its variations of intensity and specific nature (UV – A,B,C).
The components afterglow as a detector, an architectural Marker of the mutation of our environment and occur as a signal of UV human pathologies.
The level of UV which has crossed the Ozone layer is only revealed with a gap of time, after people are plugged into the shadows of the day, in the death of the sunset, by the after glowing ghost, inter canem et lupum…
Project visible at: http://www.new-territories.com/laboratoryoflight.htm
(French version on http://www.new-territories.com)
Protocols & Process / Dialogue between R&Sie(n) and Caroline Naphegyi (check the blog on the research “architecture des Humeurs“)
In the case of “Architecture des Humeurs”, released two month ago at the Laboratoire, Paris, and opened until the 16th of May, could you describe how your studio is managing research and exhibition simultaneously ?
There are two parts. Research unfolds in what we call the Process room, a pretty basic space. You have to take your time so that the interactions between physiology, robotics and computation fully emerge in their logic and interdependence. The other part, the exhibition, is a suite of visual indices. Since these clues are neither didactic nor chronological nor pedagogical, visitors construct their own logic and subjectivities. Furthermore, this part has an immersion area, a physiological testing station, where visitors, called prospective purchasers by analogy to a sales office, are themselves experimental subject and object. This cognitive and immersive mechanism thus articulates a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to lose oneself in that quest.
What’s this about?
It’s an unprecedented experiment in which architecture harnesses several different fields of exploration – neurobiology, mechanization and math protocols – working together as an ensemble of structural, transactional and relational operating modes.
This is not a sequel to the I’ve heard about show held by the MAM (Paris municipal modern art museum) in 2005, although that show did explore the relationship between physiology, computation and indeterminism in the sense of its preconditions, its genesis. That earlier piece sought to understand and write (in the sense of writing code) biological geometries that mimic natural ones. The predominant figure was that of coral and its growth. This second piece, at Le Laboratoire, goes beyond that representation, since we’ve already worked on what conditions the emergence of such a geometry, namely principles of exchange, dynamic principles based on a system’s immanent forces.
But that’s not all. We wanted to get a better handle on something already sketched out at the MAM show: the capture of body chemistry as an element able to disturb and alter linear logics, the logics of authorities, replacing a top-down approach with a bottom-up one.
In fact, for you, the axiom on which your “architecture of humors” research is based is the contingency of the humors of the inhabitant on the habitat itself ?
Humors in the sense that Hippocrates used the word, a concept brought up to date by today’s possibilities for detecting body chemistry.
Until now the acquisition of information used in residence protocols has been based exclusively on visible, reductive data. In our research we want to add the corporalities and their own substances. They can provide information about the relationship between bodies and space, and especially about the social relationships of bodies, the relationships between them, of the self to the other, both inside a single housing unit and in terms of the osmosis of vicinity.
In the physiology station located at the entrance to the exhibition, a machine captures visitors’ chemical data. So visitors are put into a very particular psychological state. As she asks you to slide your hand onto a screen, Melisa whispers into you ear, “Your body becomes the vector of your emotions. These vapors help you capture the changing course of these emotions…”
The signal collection station makes it possible to perceive individual variations and how these changes in emotional state affect the resulting geometries and influence the morphological protocol at the “living together” level.
This physiological test works like an emotion detector. It unleashes your corporal chemical reactions, principally molecules like dopamine, adrenalin, serotonin and hydrocortisone that feed us information about your animal reactions/degree of pleasure or repulsion, curiosity or disinterest. This physiological test helps us map the visitor’s future dwelling area. It only takes seven minutes. The protocol is simple. During the test, a sort of vapor (of nanoparticles) is emitted, so that we can detect the evolution of these emotions without noxious intrusion.
A voice whispers into the visitor’s ear, “Let it enter into you, breath it in. You are in absolutely no danger from this vapor… Your family has become a conflict zone and you can no longer calm things down. It’s an illusion to believe that architecture can help you with that. But you can negotiate the distances by negotiating the details… The area where you live can react to your desires. It has the power… to allow you to experience this conflict without denying its existence or making up fantasies about it. Your living area can be transformed into a morphology of the moment. You’re free to go along with others or retreat into yourself.”
For us this is an occasion to interrogate the confused region that lies between the notion of enjoyment and that of need, by detecting physiological signals based on neurobiological secretions and thus realize a “chemistry of humors”, treating future buyers as inputs generating the diversity of inhabitable morphologies and the relationships between them. Consequently the formulation of desires in language is inflected by another realty, another complexity, that of the acephalous body, the animal body, so that it can tell us about its adaptation, its sympathy and empathy, in the face of specific situations and environments.
Why do you introduce contradictory signals – what you call “misunderstandings” – into the heart of your architectural protocol (the inhabitable morphologies)? How does this physiology of desires, this living and unpredictable material, radically shift the architect’s whole approach?
We decided to take the preliminary step of revisiting the contradictions within the very expression of these desires, both those that traverse public space because of their ability to express a choice, a desire conveyed by language, on the surface of things, and those preexisting and perhaps more disturbing but equally valid desires that reflect the body as a desiring machine (as Deleuze put it), with its own chemistry, imperceptibly anterior to the consciousness those substances generate.
The “architecture of humors” is a way of breaking and entering into language’s mechanism of dissimulation in order to physically construct its contradictions. It means staging a break-in to the logic of things when language has to negotiate with the depths of the body, down to the bottom folds, like with Antonin Artaud and his compulsive catatonia.
The concept of free will may be simultaneously the most beautiful and the most corruptible of all. The cultural media pierce us to the core; their influence penetrates us everywhere, generating a conformism that can be considered obscene. We are both its vector and instrument. What we like to do is just the opposite, to seek out the dark side, our animal side, in order to subvert the other side using reactive and emotional data. We’re glad that our choices are not guided exclusively by architectural conventions, both the conventions of the client and those of the architects themselves.
There’s more to architecture than serving the prince and his totems, as people around here like to do. To speak to some of today’s issues, the debate about high-rises is pathetic. Of course density has to be rethought, but I don’t think it’s relevant for southern Paris to be filled with reproductions of models of verticality conceived for 1950s business districts. The proposals submitted by the architects selected by the city are puerile in that regard, and the plans for Greater Paris no less so. Architecture has become like a schoolyard full of kids who constantly flatter politicians about what is really that world’s weakest point, its modes and fantasies of representation… and then they end up crying about it when the politicians don’t commission them to design their Xanadu, like Jean Nouvel in his Le Monde article. The politicians have largely sucked the lifeblood out of the past. Let’s hope that the future can be different. But that’s not what we’re supposed to be talking about…
You introduce the possibility of contradictory relational modes into the residential units themselves. How has set theory made you able to handle these “misunderstandings” and the contradictory ways in which individuals relate to their family and those around them?
The interviews at the physiological station make it possible to collect some seldom-seen materials. They make visible how the body reacts to a situation of exchange, and indicate the degree of pathology that would afflict the visitor – I mean the “future buyer” – if she or he were placed in a productive reality. I would have loved to be able to set up a sales office where people could make a purchase and concretize their bio-architecture in a collective aggregation.
The data obtained from the physiological interview tell us about:
Familial socialization (distance and relationship between residential areas within a single unit), neighborhood socialization (distance and relationship between residential units), modes of relations to externalities (biotope, light, air, environment, and also seeing, being seen and hiding, modes of relating to access (receiving and/or escaping, even self-exclusion) and the nature of the interstices (from closely spaced to panoptic).
We use formulations taken from set theory to define these relationships. This branch of math was founded by the German mathematician Georg Cantor in the late 19th century. Its aim is to define the concepts of sets and belonging. This theory can be used to describe the structure of each situation as a kind of set defining the relationships between the parts and the whole, while taking into consideration that the latter can’t be reduced to the sum of its parts or even to the ensemble of relationships between the parts. It allows you to define all the properties of a situation as relational modes, both the relationships between the elements (residential areas) and those between these elements and the ensemble or ensembles they fit into.
The operators of belonging, union, inclusion, intersection and disjunction describe morphologies characterized by their dimensions and position and above all by the negotiations of distance they carry out with the other parts. This produces relational protocols, protocols of attraction, repulsion, contiguity, dependence, sharing, indifference, exclusion, etc. Before the morphology of a habitat is reduced to a functional typology, first it’s structured as an area of exchange.
Mathematical formulas aid the development of these combinations and thus become the matrix for the relational structure on which an inhabitable space is based.
In contrast to the standardized-model formatting of habitats, this tool offers the potential of negotiation with the ambiguities of one’s own humors and desires. It makes it possible to mix contradictory compulsions (appearances) and even some “malentendus”, which could be translated by both misunderstandings and mishearing:
“I’d like that but at the same time / maybe / not / and the opposite.”
These “malentendus”are directly influenced by the pathologies generated by collective living: Claustro_(phobia-philia) / Agora_(phobia-philia)/ Xeno_(phobia-philia) / Acro_(phobia-philia) / Nocto_(phobia-philia) / Socio_ (phobia-philia) / Neo_(phobia-philia), etc.
In other words, you approach architecture as a dynamic principle, incorporating incompletion, incertitude and indetermination. These parameters are the basis of your parametric construction system, aren’t they?
Nature is basically made up of indetermination protocols. Algorithms can simulate the growth of a tree in terms of reproducing its geometry, but the fit between geometry-photosynthesis-equilibrium-growth is and always will be a hidden protocol that can’t be reduced to its simple mathematical and geometrical dimensions.
Using the “architecture of humors” we have staged a constructive and narrative machine that is receptive to two contradictory inputs, the order of desire codified by language and the order of its anterior and even hidden chemical secretion. We wanted this schizoid rereading of an architect’s brief “in constant becoming” to be able to generate protocols of incertitude and incompletion.
An urban structure based on these computational and robotic procedures, these vectors of variability and indetermination, makes visible the potential of these heterogeneous aggregations.
One of the subjects of this research was to consider the bearing structure of these residential units, and thus the final the final shape of the building, as a product and not the starting point. The fact that the bearing structure is not designed beforehand makes it necessary to constantly recalculate the segments and force trajectories that carry these inhabitable cells. How did math solve one of architecture’s problematics: how to respond to indeterminate situations, a construction based on affective variability, with a constantly changing form (you use the metaphor of trees, which grow incrementally)? How did your partnership with the mathematician François Jouve start?
One of the objectives of our research was to imagine structure as a postproduction element, emerging a posteriori to the inhabitable morphologies, which are themselves thought as unique entities, “singularities,” emancipated from the conceptual logic where the structure is the starting point, the matrix for human organization, so that the spatial contract takes the place of the social contract. Since it’s conceived a posteriori, the structure is reactive, adaptive to multiplicity, “the multitude” to use Antonio Negri’s term.
François Jouve developed a mathematical process for “empirically” seeking optimization by creating forms out of constraints and not vice-versa. That’s different than “direct calculus” methods which, for instance, calculate a building’s beams after establishing its design. Instead, it calculates form based on trajectories, the vectorization and intensity of forces, without that form being predetermined. Produced by a simultaneously recursive and incremental optimization protocol, this form, which appears only through the calculations themselves, has to satisfy precise inputs (material constraints, the client’s brief, initial and environmental conditions, etc.). In this particular case, the unknown is the form, the hidden part revealed only by the experiment itself.
Through the use of these computational, mathematical and mechanization procedures, the urban structure engenders successive, improbable and uncertain aggregations that constantly rearticulate the relationship between the individual and the collective.
You emphasize the passage from an industrial era ? (seeking uniformity and standardization) to the reintroduction of the concept of singularity in architecture by means of robotics and computations. More recently, what has science –especially math – and technological development – robotics and a biochemical understanding of raw materials – brought to the table in architecture? What new speculative issues has it raised, particularly in France?
Nothing is happening in France. The field of architecture is totally sclerotic and held on a leash by a dozen people. It’s shameful. Along with our “professional” practice as R&Sie(n), we have a research organization called “new-territories, and for the last five years I’ve been teaching labs at Columbia University. Not only are these core questions in today’s debates; they’re also a core source of speculations and learning.
The point is to get back to the idea that architecture should be a site for knowledge and debates, a site for experimentation, and not just for grandiose celebrations of necrosis organized by the Palais de Chaillot and its “Cité du patrimoine”.
Regarding your question, it only takes a few years for technology to drain and absorb speculations that once seemed unreal. For instance, in Switzerland and Japan we’ve designed two buildings entirely conceived by numerical control using optimization algorithms, one made of solid wood and the other of polyurethane foam. In five years what once was plausible has become possible. In this case, it’s important to conceive protocols and designs not to stand out in some glamour interior decoration magazine but to magnetize a point in the near future, so that it draws our present towards itself.
Regarding the “architecture of humors,” Bherokh Khoshnevis and Stephen Henrich have done research in robotics and mechanization that make it possible to foresee the first prototypes in two or three years.
Since its opening in 2007 Le Laboratoire has sought to give visibility to research projects jointly undertaken by scientists and artists. In the “Processes” space that is at the heart of this show you unfold the various phases of your research, going so far as to make the computational script available as open source software. First of all, the software is available for anyone who wants to further mutate it. Second, the building’s final form is the result of a structural calculation and not vice-versa; it’s out of the architect’s control. What do you expect from this stance, this renunciation of authorship and even copyleft?
A script is above all a form of writing, a language. There’s no point to it unless it’s shared so that other people can take it up and improve it. But it’s a tricky position. We all remember the madness of the computer programmer in Tron whose all-powerfulness makes him think he’s the master of the universe and that he knows everything about everything. Luckily, the mathematicians we’ve worked with are protected against this kind of positivist mysticism.
The melancholy of a fragment weeping its own substances. As a protocol of life span he will slowly shrink on itself to become a flake, a “souvenir” of what he pretended to be.
Without “raison d’être”, its non existence affected his physicality, reduced to tears dirtying the floor / Opening Maxxi Museum – Roma end of May 2010
Materiality / unknown / Dimension / 7x1x3 meters
Tweet6 studios of Research in the pursuit of “I’ve heard about” experimentation will be presented at the next Biennale of Venice / Austrian Pavilion, curated by Eric Owen Moss
The pursuit of (n)certainties biotopes
Several teaching course titled “Uncertainties” has been developed through 5 universities, in Master Class and Cross studio (U-Penn + Columbia in 2006 / Columbia in 2007 / Angewandte + Columbia in 2008 / USC + Columbia in 2009).
These two opus articulate neurobiology, robotic, self-organisation and mathematics in term of the aggregation of “Multitudes” (notion developed by Antonio Negri)
The (n)certainties research is driven by François Roche and Stephanie Lavaux of R&Sie(n) and Stephan Henrich, architect and robotic designer. The other partners on the two cessions are François Jouve, mathematician, Benoit Durandin, architect, Julien Blevarque, programmer, Natanel Elfassy, Winston Hampel, architect, Marc Fornes (some rvb scripts in second opus).
The (n)certainties pursuit in Universities laboratories was the occasion to invite again Stephan Henrich at the origin of the research and some local involvement as David Benjamin in one course, Marc Fornes (script rvb training) in five courses, Manfred Herman and Mat Staudt in one course.
These laboratories articulated logic and illogic between machinism, vitalism and animism processes, in the sense of Leibnitz, through narrative-telling, computation and “gestalt” through scenarios which screwed, chewed, shitted, sweated, swallowed, vomited, pined and also secreted, weaved, knitted, extruded, staggered, scattered, coagulated, aggregated, welded, pinched, braided, spiderneted, bonsaïng, crystallised, calcified, excreted, expanded, branched, pulped, smeared, coagulated, excavated, assembled and disassembled, bended, blended, and their machine picked, spiked, pinched, caressed, embraced, sliced, cut, laminated and loved…
The master class laboratories are visible on: 6 LABORATORIES / (n)certainties
A. Neimark / F. Roche / Los Angeles / december 2009
AN: Do you have a portrait to fit with this interview ?
FR: NO. You asked if I had an portrait to go with the interview ! For fifteen years now, we censured our own portrait to represent R&Sie(n), we use an Avatar. This digital hermaphrodite is not only a kind of fantasy, a coquetry, it s a strategy of de-personalizing.
AN: Is the avatar a kind of simulacrum?
FR: The avatar de-personifies the architect. It allows us to talk from somewhere else, not directly from “me.” The identity of this character has allowed us to be as we want. I can lead my daily life without being a representation of what I am expected to be. It’s a way for us at R&Sie(n) to detach ourselves from the fragile egotism of the architect.
AN: Do you see the avatar as a construction of a character, as in fiction?
FR: In a way. The character allows us to construct a schizophrenic identity that constantly changes its personality. There is an American movie from the 70s, Sybil, about a girl with sixteen different personalities that offer her the possibility of being multiplied many times over. Schizophrenia is a strategy of resistance. Resistance is a term that I am borrowing from the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. The tactic of using the multiple identity disorder allows one to speak from somewhere unpredictable using a language that is unpredictable and with an appearance that is unpredictable.
AN: So do you use this separation of the architect from his public representation as a way to create architectural narratives that escape one singular interpretation?
FR: Architecture is a tool for articulating narrative. It’s not a final static product. In Hybrid Muscle we designed a little building in Thailand’s countryside and we added an animal to animate the project. The albino buffalo labored in lieu of an engine to generate electricity that powered light bulbs and laptops. We were interested in designing the animal into the architecture. So what was in reality a staged performance seemed traditional in this countryside setting. It looked like a ritual that blurred the boundary between the modern hygienic building and the animal that made it dirty. So the animal was constantly shitting and stinking, but it was also producing electricity. We could have put a photovoltaic cell in place of the animal, but it was more interesting to create this uncomfortable relationship. And in the end, the juxtaposition of the animal and the building did not appear exotic; the ceremony seemed to be totally normal in the local situation.
AN: I’d like to segue from the narratives in your projects that you call “scenarios” or, in this case, a “ritual,” to digital scripts that also structure many of your architectural decisions. Could you talk about the scripts and whether you see them as parallel or contradictory to the narrative-based scenarios?
FR: Any algorithm has a fundamentally linguistic dimension. For instance: How could I ask to my mother to buy two baguettes, if I add a little bit more to also get some candy without to scare my mother on the real price of the baguette ? This child problem is an algorithm, but with a non-deterministic approach, with a fuzzy logic. This is not so far from the French philosopher Alain Badiou’s rewriting of the tale of Bluebeard through mathematics. Badiou uses algorithms to develop a strategy that articulates subjectivities and fuzzy logic through the theory of belonging. Bluebeard and his five wives constitute a global system that cannot be reduced to the addition of any particular relation between the monster and its five victims. The assembly of each element in this closed system is greater than the whole. The addition of indeterminacy to the choice of the next victim cannot be described by a probabilistic approach that considers the sum of its parts. In other words, ΣFx<∩Fx, if Fx is the relational function between the monster and each wife.
AN: So are you treating the digital script as a verbal act of communication?
FR: Not quite. We do not say “if, then, therefore” all the time; we mostly settle for “maybe” or for “perhaps.” But it is difficult to integrate “maybe” and “perhaps” into computational language.
AN: The “maybe” and the “perhaps” are conditionals that can destabilize a script. Can you invite unpredictability, the “maybe” or the “perhaps,” into your digital inputs?
FR: It all depends on the input that drives the machine. Is it purely an input of trajectories which are totally predictable, totally computational? Or can we integrate a strategy of conflict into the script, a strategy of disruption into the linear process? For example, in the 1920s, Maurice Maeterlinck conducted research on the morphology of the termite mound. He discovered that termites, which are blind, need to construct and deconstruct their mound in order to constantly regulate the temperature in the queen’s chamber, to keep it at equilibrium, thereby ensuring the reproduction and the survival of the termite community. So the termites constantly close the door or open it to bring in fresh air or to isolate the chamber according to the outside temperature. Depending on the position of the sun, day after day, they modify the position of the chamber using a kind of pheromonal GPS. They smell themselves; they smell their own trajectories and redefine their position or the conditions in which they are working. And because they are opening and closing the door all the time, the direction of the wind inside the mound is constantly changing. Of course, their pheromones are incredibly sensitive to the wind, and so the termites constantly struggle to redefine the zero point of their GPS, to regulate their own position. They construct something that modifies the way they position themselves. This conflict produces incredible structures constantly reorganizing the shape of the termite mound because its construction can never be stabilized by a predictive design. It’s always a work in progress.
AN: So, in a sense, you would need to collaborate with a termite to destabilize your own inputs! Your proposal is that machines can be imbued with intelligence. Could you describe what you mean by the skyzoid machine, a term that appears in the title of your lecture here at USC?
FR: Our concept of the skyzoid machine is based on Marcel Duchamp’s Bachelor Machine. It’s a machine which is not cybernetic. In other words, it’s a machine that does not define only on its efficient mode of production. The skyzoid machine pretends to do something while doing something else, thus creating a confusion about the degree of its functionality, the extent by which it belongs to science. Immediately, it questions the limits of the technology and its place in production. So the machine actually participates in creating a blurriness.
AN: Do you mean that even the machine participates in the production of culture?
FR: Yes, the machine’s role is not to simply produce something in the phantasm of efficiency. The machine is both a freak and an operating system at the same time. We try to introduce an unpredictable behavior, or a fuzzy logic, to explicate the confusion between what “they” pretend to do and what “they” are actually doing. In other words, the skyzoid machine completely changes your relationship to reality, leading to paranoia. Because all paranoia produces a parallel reality in your mind, filtering perception, you can perceive it and describe it through fiction. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland operates on an immediate level when he introduces illogic through pure logic, what in French one would call le malentendu. Malentendu – the wrongly heard or misunderstood – is a tool of linguistic exchange; it is a kind of stutter. We need misunderstanding or stuttering in order to communicate.
AN: The stutter defines a moment of misunderstanding between the physiology of the brain and the structure of language, where something misfires. The machine breaks down. It’s a kind of mental or biological sabotage. For the project Terra Incognita that you worked on with Pierre Huyghe, you created an automaton, an albino penguin, a machine with intelligence or with emotion, whose operational functions broke when they became rusty. Do you see this as a contemporary version of the 18th century Digesting Duck automaton by Jacques de Vaucanson?
FR: Yes! It’s not so far from Vaucanson! You know when he presented the Digesting Duck there was a huge debate about the mechanism inside. Everyone asked: Is it possible to mechanically model the fantastic process of digestion? But after he revealed that there was no mechanism inside, that the duck automaton held two disconnected chambers for food and shit, that no chemical reaction took place, he was right away rejected by the scientific community. Immediately, he was denounced as a charlatan. It’s quite an interesting story. Before, he was a genius! Before, he was a prophet! But at the instant of disclosure, he went from prophet to impostor. Where is the real : in the trick, in the mechanism of the trick, in the illusion to recreate life as the Golem of Rabbi Loew, or in the morale of the bourgeoisie which disqualified Vaucanson, for his misleading.
AN: But wouldn’t you say that he was both rejected and elevated? Vaucanson went from a scientist to a cultural producer. I am curious to hear about the roles that science and culture play in your penguin odyssey.
FR: When you decide to go on an odyssey, you need to prepare. The preparation of the odyssey can become even more important than the objective of the odyssey itself. So the preparation became an odyssey all its own. In the first part, we needed to come up with a story to justify our trip to the South Pole, which would not be the real story of why we were actually going there. It’s very similar to scientific practice. In science, you come up with a hypothetic or fake objective and you continue to broadcast this objective of the experiment until you discover the character of the artifact produced by the actual experiment. So we decided to do research on the “albino penguin” and to come back with the proof that an albino penguin existed. In order to guarantee that we would come back from the Antarctic with the penguin, we had to bring the penguin to the Antarctic.
AN: So you built the penguin before you went?
FR: I don’t remember…We came to the South Pole to film something that we built at home and brought with us on the boat. But I’m not sure it was the penguin….like Vaucanson’s duck, he was not a perfect machine. But on this schizoid odyssey we found evidence of how global warming was and still is transforming the topography of the South Pole. We documented evidence of new mountains appearing out from under the melting snow. We were perhaps the first humans to walk on some of these new cliffs. They had never been naked like that before; they had always been hidden under meters of snow and ice. So as ethnologists we came back to Europe with the report of this transformation. We developed a new island through a honeycomb aluminum structure in the Tate Modern and the MAM Paris. This island reacted to its environmental conditions; it appeared and disappeared responding to the evaporation of water in the space of the museum. The project modeled a dynamic process, not only to promote a fight against global warming, but also to visualize its transformative effects.
AN: Your architecture is always in dialogue with nature, primitive and wild, or hybrid and industrial. Can you elaborate on how you see the role of nature in your work?
FR: Yes. There is a big debate about what kind of nature we want to preserve – do we want to preserve the nature we create, our industrial nature, or do we want to preserve the very rare and confrontational primitive nature, the risky nature, the wild? There is a beautiful movie called Charisma by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The plot revolves around a grove of trees from the dinosaur period. The trees seem very weak and fragile and the community wants to preserve them as a testament to its history and the distant past. But at some point the trees begin to produce a toxin and they completely intoxicate the ground and begin to kill the forest all around them. Of course, the community decides to burn the trees, to burn the dinosaur, to burn Jurassic Park. The inhabitants wage war against the nature that is not domesticated, that endangers their industrial environment. But we want to ask the question, can we de-domesticate nature through architecture? In the project I’mlostinParis, we constructed a house in the middle of Paris with glass beakers in which we grew Rhizobium, a bacterium that boosts the production of nitrogen. This chemical hydroponic wall elaborates a relationship between Eros and Thanatos, between the moralism of green architecture and the fear stemming from the manipulation of bacteria as an alchemical process. Nature is wild and heterotopic, not exactly the dream of Disney with its ideal domesticated nature.
AN: Is your goal then to introduce risk and danger into our otherwise tame, domestic life?
FR: Our aim is to articulate antagonistic forces and to make visible their intrinsic nature, both on their own and in the way that they conflict with one another. We are pushed and pulled in many directions. We are both hostage to and dominated by the multiplicity and the arrogance of disorder. We can neither reduce the noise in a fake reductive strategy nor increase it by cynicism. R&Sie(n) is a tool of permanent negotiation between Faust and Mephisto; it is a tool of the illusion of power.
Opening 21st January to the end of april/ Le Laboratoire, 4 rue du Bouloi, 75001 Paris / Open from Friday to Monday 12-7 pm / 6 € /
All documents on: blog/architecturedeshumeurs/
pictures R&Sie(n) / Matthieu Kavyrchine
(English version below)
Une architecture des Humeurs
Expérience inédite, l’exposition-recherche « Une architecture des humeurs », articule plusieurs champs d’exploration au service de l’architecture ; entre neurobiologie, machinisme et protocoles mathématiques qui œuvrent comme modes opératoires relationnels, transactionnels et structurels.
R&Sie(n) rend visible à partir du 22 janvier 2010 la première étape d’une recherche qui explore de nouveaux modes d’agencement, de structuration et de transaction de l’architecture :
- D’une part, au travers de procédures computationnelles, mathématiques et machinistes afin qu’une structure urbaine soit engendrée sur des protocoles d’indéterminations, d’agrégations et d’agencements successifs, improbables et incertains, qui réarticulent le lien entre l’individu et le collectif. L’agencement des habitats et des trajectoires structurelles est ici pensé et développé comme postérieur aux morphologies, support de vie sociale (et non comme un préalable). Ces structures sont calculées sur des protocoles d’optimisation structurelle, à la fois incrémentaux et récursifs qui font apparaître, simultanément, la physicalité et la morphologie d’une architecture comme un principe résultant.
L’ « algorithme » développé par François Jouve se différencie des méthodes structurelles à «calcul direct» comme la structure porteuse d’un bâtiment, dimensionnée postérieurement à son design. A contrario, l’«algorithme» permet à la forme architecturale d’émerger des trajectoires de transmissions des forces, simultanément au calcul qui les génère. L’ «algorithme» est basé (entre autre) sur deux stratégies mathématiques, celle issue de la dérivée de formes initiées par Hadamard et celle issue d’un protocole de représentation des formes complexes sur un maillage cartésien par courbe de niveau (level set).
C’est un process mathématique d’optimisation qui permet à l’architecture de réagir et de s’adapter aux contraintes préalables, aux conditions initiales et non l’inverse.
- D’autre part, au travers de la collecte d’informations de l’ordre du corps chimique, basé sur les émissions neurobiologiques de chacun des futurs acquéreurs : jusqu’ici, la collecte des informations du protocole d’habitation s’appuyait exclusivement sur des données visibles et réductrices (superficie, nombre de pièces, mode d’accès et mitoyenneté de contact…).
A l’opposé, cette expérience est l’occasion d’interroger la zone trouble ‘’de l’émission des désirs’’, par la captation de ces signaux physiologiques basés sur les sécrétions neurobiologiques et d’implémenter la chimie des humeurs des futurs acquéreurs comme autant d’inputs générateurs de la diversité des morphologies habitables et de leur relation entre elles.
«L’architecture des humeurs» se pose comme préliminaire de relire les contradictions de l’émission même de ces désirs ; à la fois ceux, qui traversent l’espace public par la capacité à émettre un choix, véhiculé par le langage, à la surface des choses…, et ceux préalables et plus inquiétants peut-être, mais tout aussi valides, susceptibles de rendre compte du corps comme machine désirante et de sa chimie propre ; dopamine, cortisol, mélatonine, adrénaline et autres molécules sécrétées par le corps lui-même, imperceptiblement antérieur à la conscience que ces substances vont générer. La fabrication d’une architecture est ainsi infléchie d’une autre réalité, d’une autre complexité, de celle du corps acéphale, du corps animal…
«L’architecture des humeurs» c’est rentrer par effraction dans le mécanisme de dissimulation du langage afin d’en construire physiquement les malentendus. Une station de collecte de ces signaux est proposée. Elle permet de percevoir les variations chimiques, et de saisir ces changements d’état émotionnel afin qu’ils affectent les géométries émises et influencent le protocole constructif.
Animiste, vitaliste et machiniste, « L’architecture des humeurs » réarticule le besoin de se confronter à l’inconnu, et cela contradictoirement, au travers d’expertises computationnelles et mathématiques.
« L’architecture des humeurs », c’est aussi un outil susceptible de faire émerger des « Multitudes », et de leur palpitation, de leur hétérogénéité, les prémisses d’un protocole d’organisation relationnelle.
An architecture “des humeurs”