26 April 2008

4.1 Crumpled Sheet Structures:


Crumpling a sheet means a ruleless deformation of a flat sheet through uncoordinated forces.  The act of "crumpling" is the result of the disordered impact of non-cordinated forces on an object.  Crumpled sheets are produced by a deliberately disordered action applied to a sheet.  In my experiments, I have applied crumpling to wire meshes and thin metal grids.

I do not find such crumpled sheet structures to be less solid than those folded in regular patterns.  Crumpled sheets can be easily represented, as they actually were, in a Fourier analysis, as the sum or as the interference pattern of different regularly undulated 2-d surfaces of sinusoidal character.  Their deformation under pressure is difficult to predetermine.  As a consequence of this, crumpled surfaces are uncomfortable to calculate and are thus neglected by engineers. 


The problem of implementing crumpled patterns in architecture arises less out of the technical problems involved and more out of the emotional reasons they raise.  In spite of our familiarity with such shapes, in many cases, we find them aesthetically repulsive since they hurt our instinct for order.  "Homo Faber" tries to impose his/her own geometric mind onto artefacts he/she creates.  But is this attitude the only possible attitude?"

Friedman, Y. (2006). Pro Domo.  Barcelona: Actar

"In particular, the extension to an ever greater number of wage-earners of the lack of any distinction between time and work and time outside work, between personal friendships and professional relationships, between work and the person of those who perform it - so many features which, since the nineteenth century, had constituted typical characteristics of the artistic condition, particularly markers of the artist's 'authenticity'- and the introduction of this 'modus operandi' into the capitalist universe, can only have contributed to disrupting reference points for ways of evaluating people, actions or things."

Chiapello, E & Boltanski, L (2005). The New Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Verso


23 April 2008

Lil' Babylon

image found by Kerry Byrne(artist) via the internet.

The way some people do it (says a friend of mine from Argentina) is to submit project ideas, unsolicited, to spaces. This came up when I was saying that after June, the summer looks pretty open.
I told him it is bad taste.

10 April 2008

'Land reserved for future expansion viewed from the Tarzan's Treehouse in Adventureland'

"Here, Courbet shows himself as a wanderer who has returned home, recalling his declaration in 1850: 'I have just embarked on the great wandering and independent life of the bohemian.'"
-Wall text to The Homecoming (1854) on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

8 April 2008

"(...) Everybody must have projects all of the time. The maximum must be extracted from leisure. This is planned, used for undertakings, crammed with visits to every conceivable site or spectacle, or just with the fastest possible locomotion. The shadow of all this falls on intellectual work. It is done with a bad conscience, as if it had been poached from some urgent, even if only imaginary occupation. To justify itself in its own eyes it puts on a show of hectic activity performed under great pressure and shortage of time, which excludes all reflection and therefore itself. It often seems as if intellectuals reserved for their actual production only those hours left over from obligations, excursions and appointments and unavoidable amusements. There is something repulsive, yet to a certain degree rational, about the prestige gained by those who can present themselves as such important people that they have to be on the spot everywhere. They stylize their lives with ham-acted discontent as a single acte-de-presence. The pleasure with which they turn down an invitation with reference to another previously accepted, signals a triumph between competitors. As here, so generally, the forms of the production process are repeated in private life, or in those areas of work exempted from these forms themselves. The whole of life must look like a job, and by this resemblance conceal what is not devoted to pecuniary gain. But the fear thus expressed only reflects a much deeper one. The unconscious innervations which, beyond thought process, attune individual existence to historical rhythms, sense the growing collectivization of the world. Yet since integral society does not so much take up individuals positively within itself as crush them to an amorphous and malleable mass each individual dreads the process of absorption, which is felt as inevitable. (...)"

-Theodor Adorno, Vandals in 'Minima Moralia', (written 1945, first published 1951), p. 138.

2 April 2008

I hope that having worked with me for the last while it is clear that I am seldom an opportunist; neither is it the case here.

"As soon as the reverie becomes concentrated, the genie of the Volcano appears. He dances on 'blue and red embers... using as his mount a snowflake carried along by the hurricane.' He carries the Dreamer away beyond the quadrangular monument whose founding is traditionally attributed to Empedocles. 'Come, my king. Put on your crown of white flame and blue sulphur from which there comes forth a dazzling rain of diamonds and sapphires.' And the Dreamer, ready for the sacrifice, replies: 'Here I am! Envelop me in rivers of burning lava, clasp me in your arms of fire as a lover clasps his bride. I have donned the red mantle. I have adorned myself in your colors. Put on, too, your burning gown of purple. Cover your sides with its dazzling folds. Etna, come, Etna! Break down your gates of asphalt, spew forth your pitch and sulphur. Vomit forth the stone, the metal and the fire!' In the heart of the fire death is no longer death. 'Death could not exist in that ethereal region to which you are carrying me... My fragile body may be consumed by the fire, my soul must be united with those tenuous elements of which you are composed.' 'Very well!' said the Spirit, casting over the Dreamer part of his red mantle, 'Say farewell to the life of men and follow me into the life of phantoms.'
-Gaston Bachelard quoting George Sand, Psychoanalysis of Fire, p. 18.