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    Marlin Sep 17 '05 2

    Token: Noun, an instance of a linguistic expression, an outward sign or expression.”
    - http://www.merriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=token&x=0&y=0 2005

    “It is obvious that [Peter Eisenman's 1970s architectural] practice must be something other than the usual article. One might say that he first sought to reconstruct, at the time of minimal art, an architecture of elemental components according to an intrinsic Syntax, before discovering that a Wittgenstienian search was to be forever frustrated by the Semantic powers of actual buildings.”
    - Kurt Forester, from the article, Eisenman Unfolding; AV Monographs: Peter Eisenman. 1995

    Chomsky thinks human speech is an altogether specific gift discontinuous from any animal function. I think their view is a misinterpretation which largely rests on a misunderstanding of the way evolution has worked in man. It misses, in my opinion, the fact that human evolution has been dominated so completely by human culture itself. Human culture has been the most selective influence in making men what they are. So I think that human speech is indeed a continuation of animal communication, andthe interesting thing therefore is to see where it differs.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “It would be a mistake to suppose that ancient Babylonian or Greek water clocks, or the sundials to which they are closely related, had the primary utilitarian purpose of telling the time. Doubtless they were on occasion made to serve this practical end, but on the whole their design and intention seems to have been the aesthetic or religious satisfaction derived from making a device to simulate the heavens.
    - Derek De Sola-Price, from a lecture titled, Automata and the origins of mechanism and mechanistic philosophy; Technology and Culture, Vol. V, No. 1, 1964

    “The central thing to keep in mind about animal communication is that it is communication: an animal makes a noise or emits some other signal which influences other animals, not itself.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    Syntax: 1. Noun, a connected or orderly system, a harmonious arrangement of parts or elements.2. Noun, the way in which linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses.)”
    - http://www.merriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=syntax&x=0&y=0 2005

    Axiom: 1. Noun, an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth.”
    - http://www.merriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=axiom&x=0&y=0 2005

    “We are always looking for a language which mimics or mirrors the structure of reality. And the problem is, “how does [reality] do that. My claim is that it does it in exactly the same way in which human language evolved from animal language, by analyzing the sentences into constituents which represent separable entities in the outside world: Things or Actions.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “We use the 20 or so different notational systems we currently have to great advantage in dealing with the real world, and they are a prerequisite to culture as we know it. They include the obvious and famous notational systems of writing, logic, and mathematics, as well as the symbol systems used by diverse disciplines such as music, chemistry, and various kinds of engineering. But notational systems, properly defined, must also include sign language and spoken languages; money; and even time, which “tokenizes” action, change by means of clocks.” - Jeffrey C. Long,
    - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/confindx.html 1997

    Tokens are the small geometric clay objects (cylinders, cones, spheres, etc.) found all over the Near East from about 8000 B.C. until the development of writing. These tokens are first identified at around the same time as the local peoples changed from a life based on hunting and gathering to one based on agriculture. The tokens were part and parcel of the Neolithic phenomenon; that is, the so-called agricultural revolution.”
    - Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing, pg. 41 1992

    Notation: 1. Noun, Etymological explanation of a word 1570 2. Noun, A designation of and including an etymological explanation 1584 3. Noun, Representation of quantities or values by symbol or sign 1706”
    - Chambers' dictionary of Epistemology, 2005

    House ii: Shift
    “The contemplation of these houses requires an exercise involving the discovery of norms that [Peter Eisenman has] complied with very strictly”
    -Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 158. 2005

    Notation: 1 Noun, the act, process, method, or an instance of representing by a system or set of marks, signs, figures, or characters.”
    - http://www.merriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=notation&x=0&y=0 2005

    “Animals cannot convey information at all. They can really only convey instruction. Information, like the cry of “wolf,” allows you to interpret it. If you cannot separate emotional charge from the information, then you cannot interpret it. This is why I constantly make a distinction between information and instruction, thing or action, and say that all animal and machine languages are essentially instructions.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “A notational system may be defined as any system of signs that has both a semantics and a syntax. [symbols with meaning and a corresponding grammar structure.] A notational system is not the same as an informal symbol system (which has semantics but no syntax) or a formal symbol system (which has syntax but no semantics). The power of notation derives not from the signs they use, for example "A" or "6", but from abstractions such as entity, group, instruction, value, relation, form, or quantity.” - Jeffrey C. Long
    -http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/conf1.html 1997

    “The major step in the development of language is the emergence of foresight in human beings. There were primitive types of man that not only used stone tools, but stored them in advance. Foresight is obviously of great evolutionary advantage. So although the use of a tool is a cultural phenomenon, that cultural phenomenon imposes itself an causes natural selection in its own favor.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    House iii: Rotation
    “Solidified formal mechanisms...”
    -Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 159. 2005

    “The next step is what I like to call, “the prolongation of reference,” the ability to use language so that it applies not only to what is going on now but what went on or to what will go on. Prolongation of refernce is connected to the high selective advantage that foresight conferred.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “The earliest tokens were simple shapes and were comparatively unadorned; they stood for basic agricultural commodities such as grain and sheep. A specific shape of token always represented a specific quantity of a particular item. For example, the cone stood for a small measure of grain, the sphere represented a large measure of grain, the ovoid stood for a jar of oil. Two jars of oil would be represented by two ovoids, three jars by three ovoids, and so on. Thus, the tokens presented an abstraction of the things being counted, but also a system of great specificity and precision. However, the abstract notion of 'fiveness' had not yet been separated from what was being counted.”
    - Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing, pg. 161. 1992

    House v: Uncertain
    “House five is less elaborated and thus, more uncertain.”
    -Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 181. 2005

    “There has been a great deal of effort to develop better ways to represent business and governmental work processes. Characteristically, after the limitations and shortcomings of any given approach become clear, a new approach catches on, and the old approach becomes standard but known as not the answer. This has been the case with high-level languages, structured code, computer-aided software engineering tools, re-usable code, and now re-usable design patterns. While these have been partially successful in addressing the basic issues, there are still problems.”
    -Jeffrey G. LONG, The Need for a New Notation System Representing Complex and Ever-Changing Processes http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/jeff2.html

    “The third feature that is unique to human speech is internalization. Animals address their species at large, but they do not so far as we can tell, address themselves. This internalization of language is a human phenomenon of profound importance. Human beings talk to themselves. In order for the man who is making a tool to ask himself whether he is successful or not he must internalize, he must carry on an internal dialog with himself. He also sometimes has models, ones he hasn't discarded, and that model is not only a record, but a blueprint. A very important aspect of every technological tool is that it is not only a record of how it was made, but a blueprint of how others are to be made.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “A notational system will be defined as a language if at the syntactic level it is a regular set of expressions and if at the semantic level, it can receive an interpretation that associates the expressions of the language to some model.”
    -Jean-Guy MEUNIER, http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/jean.html

    “With the development of cities came a more complex economy and more complex social structures. This cultural evolution is reflected in tokens, which begin to appear in a much greater diversity of shapes and are given more complicated designs of incisions and holes. The tablets [of urbanizing Sumerians] bore pictorial symbols for the names of people, places and things for governing and commerce. The Sumerian script gradually evolved from the pictorial to the abstract.”
    -http://www.english.uga.edu/~hypertxt/040699sci-early-writing.html

    “We know no animal language in which you can rearrange the noises and get a new meaning. Linguists usually call this next step in the evolution of language the Productivity or Generativity of Language. This grammatical structure is called stratification. “Jim loves Lucy,” and “Lucy loves Jim,” mean two different things, even though they contain the same constituent parts. Human beings analyze the outside world in a different way. They analyze it into things, objects - Jim, Lucy - and actions - to love. How? It begins in language itself. We learned to take the sentence apart. Now our consciousness depends wholly on our seeing the outside world in such categories.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    House i: Overlap
    “A Kitchen and toilet are anomalies that become part of the surge of forms... The abstraction Eisenman aspires to in his work is threatened by specific, ordinary uses.”
    Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 159. 2005

    Value: 1. Noun, relative worth, utility, or importance. 2. Noun, the relative duration of a musical note.

    “Different than animals, we have slowly been able to generalize the conception of danger and particularize the conception of the predator. And in that way, by what I call Reconstitution, we have built a world of outside objects, a world which does not exist for animals. The problems of consciousness arise from putting reconstitution beside internalization, from our also being able to see ourselves as if we were objects, “things”, in the outside world. We think of ourselves as objects and we therefore apply language to ourselves. This is in the very nature of language. It is impossible to have a symbolic system without it.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, The Evolution and Power of Symbolic Language; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “New studies of Sumerian proto-cuneiform postulate that the structures of this earliest writing, for example, did not match the syntax of a language. Proto-cuneiform seemed severely restricted, compared with spoken language, because it dealt mainly in lists and categories, not in sentences and narrative.”
    - Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing, pg. 161. 1992

    “If we treat our knowledge of the world like a construction of a language, we are then constructing a language of science which has three key features. There are, first of all, symbols which stand for concepts or inferred entities which have the character of words in these sentences. We make these symbols by the challenge of question and answer, which gives us real statements about the world we then break down. Then there is a grammar that tells us how these things are to be put together. This grammar is essentially the rules of operation specified by the axioms. Finally, there is a dictionary of translation. The Dictionary is essentially the way we apply the sentences to our common experience.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “A rock concert is about the environment of the event: the event has replaced certain conditions of time, place and thus, reality. But what are events? My son is a disc jockey. He scratches records. Scratching takes away the structure, melody, rhythm, organization and narrative of a record- reducing what we know as music to a series of beats, thumping sounds which no longer deal with a former reality. Scratching is about the event of music; it happens once and is done as performance. It cannot be repeated because he cannot do the same thing again with the same record. Each week he makes a new live performance out of conditions of media. I believe that other discourses are reacting to conditions of media in similar ways.
    “Is this reaction in music a public discourse which tends towards the obliteration of strong form, the condition of logic and clarity, in order to restore reality? Is it possible that the same reaction could happen in architecture or in urbanism, that we could have what I call a scratched urbanism or a scratched architecture? That we could have architecture or urbanism as a condition of event?”
    - Peter Eisenman, AA lecture: Architecture in a Mediated Environment. From Architectural Associations: The Idea of the City, 1996

    "Whatever the mutual influences of writing systems of different cultures may be, their great variety shows, at least, that the development of writing, once it is initiated, attains a considerable degree of independence and flexibility to adapt a coding system to specific characteristics of the language to be represented."
    Dr. Peter Damerow http://www.english.uga.edu/~hypertxt/040699sci-early-writing.html

    “Stephen Webber is the creator of a scratch notation system allowing turntablists to permanently note, recreate, and potentially share their turntable compositions. There are two types of scratch notation in use-Webber's and a second method called Turntablist Transcription Method (TTM). While Webber's system is based on traditional drum notation, simply marking the "hit" of each scratch on a traditional staff, the TTM system uses a staff that works on both the horizontal and vertical axis allowing the composer to notate not only the moment the "hit" of each scratch, but also the velocity, duration and direction (forward or reverse) of the scratch.” - DJ Amber
    - http://www.sistersf.com/cueanda/cueanda_0304.php

    House vi: Peripheral Core
    “The cube is destroyed... unnecessary.”
    -Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 180 2005

    “The grammar (syntax) has to do with explanation, the dictionary has to do with description (index), and the symbols [b] (semantics, semiotics) have to do with which the whole of our consciousness is now full, but for which the only evidence for most of us is that somebody told us in a lecture or that it says so in a textbook.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “In its first 500 years cuneiform writing was used almost solely for recording economic information. The first information that writing gives you is only the same information the tokens were dealing with. when you start putting more on the tablets, products plus the name of who has delivered and received them, that is where art would enter the picture. Then writing is out of the box, in all directions."
    - Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing, pg. 161. 1992

    House viii : Scale
    “ scaling [is best seen] in reference to Eisenman's project, Romeo and Juliet.”
    -Rafael Moneo, Theoretical Anxieties and Design Strategy, pg 183 2005

    “What's at stake then, in the invention of a notational system, is not the iconography of the semiotic element, but the operands between them that form the basis of the notational system. In other words, the grammer. In iconic systems such as traffic signs, any juxtaposition of icons often creates an implied connection or relevance. It is not that these languages don't have syntax, they often do. But their syntax is not built out of the connective or serial operations so dominant in natural or logical language grammars. They are often generated by a parallel, non-connective set of rules. For instance, in traffic sign languages there are some serial constituents but more often than not the ”˜sentences' of these language are generated by a combination of parallel operations. Computer iconic languages are also of the same type.”
    -Jean-Guy Meunier, http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/jean.html

    “Architecture can no longer be given over to an expression or demonstration of an aesthetic arrangement. Form should be bound up with issues of the environment, ground, landscape, to daily life and its routines. Architectural form must arrive out of Work Performance”
    -Hugo Haring, Fragnemte, Cited in Blundell Jones' Schaouron Houses, p. 61

    “In reference to urbanism, this raises a particular point about Haring's Organic Functionalism: fitting form directly around the function of the building, or even drawing that form out of function, assusmes that the relationship between form and function will always be stable. ”˜ Make your rooms large, Hugo. Then you can use them however you like,' Mies Van Der Rohe reportedly said once to Haring.”
    - David J. Lewis, Channeling Haring, Mediating Schauron, Cornell Journal of Architecture issue 6, 1998

    “Problems of codifying notational systems with the foreknowledge that there are bugs and cognitive kinks still to be worked out, is a problem “faced by anyone trying to comprehend, create or control complex systems of any type. I suggest that our whole current approach is flawed; we are focusing on representing the wrong features of reality as we try to do process modeling and system design. This is a classic problem of notational engineering: to solve it we need to discover new abstractions that meet at least the following two criteria: 1. find aspects of the system that are stable. 2. Be able to represent this simply but without undue simplification.”
    - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mmc/tbr/content_pages/repository/nel/felipe.html

    “Given the choice between LeCorbusier's heroic exhalation and Haring's complex sublimation of the architect, one can see why the former was more quickly and readily adapted by the profession. An Organic Functionalist architectural theory, resting on the tenuous assumption that the work performance is already contained in the project, is hardly a model of clarity or logical coherence.”
    - David J. Lewis, Channeling Haring, Mediating Schauron, Cornell Journal of Architecture issue 6, 1998

    “Virtually all of Eisenman's formal inventions derive from the Rowe Slutzky treatment of Phenomenal Transparency. Phenomenal transparency has become the proper name for an important formal effect: the use of formal relations to express on opaque facades the increasingly complex sections made possible by modern construction. The transparency achieved is thus conceptual. It is seen, but not read. The Rowe Slutzky argument transfixed Eisenman, unlike Rowe's argument for typology in “The mathematics of the ideal villa.”
    - Jeffrey Kipnis, P-tr's Progress, El Croquis: Peter Eisenman, 1997

    “When we practice science, we are always decoding a part of nature which is not complete. We simply cannot get out of our [propensities towards] finiteness. Such decoding can certainly lead to good laws. But it does not follow that they give you the conceptual picture of what is in the world at all. We have to push the boundaries of what is relevant out further and further. Every time we do so, we have to revise the picture totally. Now there is nothing to help us in decoding. We have to do it in the same way that we invent any word in the human language: by an act of pure imagination.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “ By focusing on the particular and not the type or the model, Haring and Schauron's work pose dubious implications for pedagogical appropriation. Lacking any commonly held criteria or rules by which to examine the efficacy of the sublimation of the architecture into the embedded functional performance of the project, the criteria for judgment ultimately resides in the authority of the architect. A pedagogical approach derived from their work grants unprecedented authority to the architect or student to determine both the function and the appropriate form for that function without a previous understanding of the constraints of form and function.”
    - David J. Lewis, Channeling Haring, Mediating Schauron, Cornell Journal of Architecture issue 6, 1998

    “Dr. Piotr Michalowski, professor of Near East civilizations at the University of Michigan, said the Uruk proto-cuneiform writing, whatever its antecedents, was "so radically different as to be a complete break with the past, a system different from anything else." It no doubt served to store, preserve and communicate information, but also was a new instrument of power. ”
    - Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing, pg. 170. 1992

    “A young Austrian named Kurt Godel proved that if you have an axiomatic system ( a formal system, with formal symbols and formal rules of manipulation,) there are two things wrong with it. In the first place, if it is consistent, then there are statements which it cannot prove. And not only are there statements that it cannot prove, but there are true statements which it cannot prove. ”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “By establishing a clear set of elemental types, understood as an identifiable order with rules and conventions- the five points, for example- Le Corbusier set the conditions for seemingly endless play and formal development, by himself and by others. This structural sequence of rules and types created limits as absolutely essential preconditions for innovation, exploration, and experimentation. Against a tyranny of freedom that accompanies the absence of rules or requirement, Le Corbusier's types established the criteria for commonly understood critical judgement.”
    - David J. Lewis, Channeling Haring, Mediating Schauron, Cornell Journal of Architecture issue 6, 1998

    “Now we begin to see where the path from metaphor to algorithm always goes. This is the path that every scientific theory has to follow because it is a human section of the totality of experience which excludes some of the connections which are there. This is why this makes Truth by correspondence (namely, at the dictionary level,) and Truth by coherence (namely at the grammar level) match.”
    - Jacob Bronowski, from a lecture titled, Knowledge as Algorithm and as Metaphor; The origins of Knowledge and Imagination, Yale University Press 1978

    “It's not that we find truth with a big "T". We investigate, and sometimes we find things out and sometimes we don't. There's no way to know in advance. It's just that we have to proceed as though there are answers to questions. We must proceed as though in principle we can find things out, even if we can't. The alternative is unacceptable.”
    -Errol Morris, There Is Such a Thing as Truth, NPR, All Things Considered - May 2, 2005

     

     
    • 2 Comments

    • Bula
      Sep 17, 05 1:16 am

      1st time poster...long time reader.

      Great blog and quotes Marlin!

      I suppose all architecture is one cosmic collision away from becoming “scratched architecture” ;)

      Marlin
      Sep 17, 05 1:42 am

      you actually read the whole thing? Holy crap! In earnest i feel like i owe you something. Thank you.

      ~marlin

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