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how do you locate the writers and contributers to volume magazine? or do the people pitch at you as same old cousin way?
the article by neil denari made an interesting critque on current practice that architects tend to made decorative form through being hypersensitve to parametric influence rather than a monster box of resistant.
reading some of the posts here and reading inaba's forward to 'agitation' issue of volume, i see an attempt to call for agitators to ummm, institutionalize themselves? that is a last thing an agitator would do probably.
so, this might turn into get your agitator lapel bad boy? bunch of 18$ bad boys? ha. i see.
last mounth i asked a teaching job from a woodbury uni. director who asked me what i would teach and i directly said i would agitate a little and he turned around and left me without saying anything in the middle of the party and start to talk to a minor prof. about taking students to istanbul where i grew up. i am really broke as well.
orhan, is it the agitators institutionalizing themselves or known, recognized architecture institutions attempting to 'mix it up' within the general culture?
if the latter, it seems like more of a coopting/colonizing of an idea of a more broad/general culture - an attempt to make the institutions seem more grounded and relevant.
attempting to mix it up with general culture is not happening in effective ways.
i am compelled to comment here regarding to educational aspect because it has not been a week yet i was in that
architecture education summit 2007 in sci arc.
what i saw there was a close knit 'cushy' job guarding arch education cadre of people with little room for foreigners in their turf. geoff and mark wigley called these other discipline or less than typical agitators 'extra architecturals' in geoff,s now famous interview.
architecture loves the agitators from a distance. not in my backyard is a good word here.
institutionalizing nay sayers, bad boys and, let's say, agitators, seem to be a new marketing technic for attracting students for schools who are quickly running out of new ideas and methods and departing points.
i have not read volume magazine but looking at their contents of agitation issue, i have noticed a few names who were not agitators before but put forward now, as names associated with bad boyism.
what did neil denari agitated in his time at sci arc? what is he agitating now?
as far as the format goes, i see similar concept of marketing che tee shirts for hi fashion market.
i am little cryriptic here, i know i am. i do not have to be so elequent when i am giving sidewalk interviews. do i?
and yes steven, it is the latter.
the contributors, editors, and minds behind volume are holding court over a well-financed, clever, and articulate journal, as they should. i admire their intellect and dedication. strangely, the efforts to simultaneously subvert and reinvent are undermined by a certain coolness...a frigid deconstruction of architecture and culture that supports an even frostier view of the typically unusual. i'm hoping that with additional media, and without the precious cryo-packaging, the magazine will resemble something in which the dialoge can extend beyond the usual suspects who were unusually interred.
there seems to be great effort in the claims of de-territorialisation and displacement - that consists of people from both sides of the Atlantic. It is even a perceived automation that that will create a hybrid magazine. I must however question that claim when the individuals that make up this camp (from either side of the pond), by their works and customs bear stronger similarities than differences.
My question, to those that be, is what is the likelihood and or level input expected from what Stuart Hall refers to as the "other" voices, those from the Diaspora and/or Third World. Or are we to expect you to speak for and interpret.
I think what people are remarking on is the difficulty of trying to speak from the outside.
An institution can't simply deterritorialise and slip outside itself: the territoralising forces are too strong. Speaking from outside oneself is always going to be an odd game of mirrors and sleights of hand. One one side there is the risk of unproblematically assimilating the external voices into the institutional discourse, and on the other side there is the risk of caricaturing the other as entirely unthinkable by an institution. I think that trying to give Volume multiple centres is a valuable strategy for attempting to disrupt this institutional edge. Of course it can't simply erase it or pretend this disruption can occur unproblematically, but that doesn't mean it isn't work pursuing at all.
the market will appropriate your revolution.
and it will be televised.
Of course. Revolutions always get appropriated. But I don't think Volume is trying to be revolutionary, just critical.
this is all simply a post modern critique. post modern in the lit/crit sense and not in the way it is interpreted by architects. and anyway these guys have a knowable future. its called tenure.
But does that mean they shouldn't bother trying to think outside the borders of their respective institutions?
how can you not think outside your respective institution? that is if you are a thinker of course. which not everybody is...
I'm not so sure it's that easy to think outside our institutions, idealisation of thinkers aside.
It seems to be a critical enterprise in the Kantian sense of 'criticism' - the examining of limits. I haven't seen the issue, so my comment is obviously fairly limited.
I'd like to respond to this: The price doesn't mean that it can't address issues politically, but it certainly limits its influence. How long do you want Volume to be around for? There is a grand history of gorgeous, expensive magazines being critically acclaimed but not financially viable, and folding quickly. The beauty and buzz of Brodovitch could only keep Portfolio around for three issues. Wallpaper is practically the undead by comparison, having made it for a whole six years!
Would Volume rather continue to be produced for decades, reaching a broad audience and influencing taste and education, or be one of these beautiful short-lived experiments?
in a post modern age meta narratives are supplanted by paralogy. read your lyotard man.
I don't believe the term 'post-modern' actually describes anything useful, myself. In my summary understanding paralogy amounts to polite, critical discussion.
so, the magazine is going to feature creativity under difficult cultural and economic circumstances... and then sell that feature in glossy pages at $20 per issue? isn't this glamorizing the poor? and i love glossy diagrams as much as any architect, but isn't there something basically strange about this? not that an article on economic duress should be published in cheap paper, but... i actually don't have an argument here. sorry, carry on. wait.
i have questions, for whoever cares to address them...
who does the magazine represent? what are the magazine's voices? is it columbia/amo/nai? how is that not the academic establishment?
how do you choose your writers? you speak of curatorial efforts over critical. but whose efforts are you curating? is it only columbia students/amo employees/nai students?
how do you avoid sinking into ornamental, uber hip coffee table adornment?
i guess i wouldn't be asking these questions if i could actually buy the magazine, but you see, i can't. maybe when you start selling it in third world countries instead of just featuring us, that'll change. i'm intrigued by those south american images, though, because i'm trying to find the logic and the year that that color combo would have worked, politically, but i can't so far.
i have not read the recent mags so my understanding is hindered by that big gap, but the approach as it is described in the vignettes above appears to be "agitation" for its own sake, without direction or intention other than to provoke a little bit of thought. It feels more novel (and mildly condescending and clique-ish) than creative in that sense and i wonder, why bother?
is agitation of the "15 minutes of fame" variety worth pursuing? The idea is simply to stir a bit and see if anything useful pops up? Magazine as performance art?
"...Look at me I'm doing something unexpected! No wait, look again, now I'm doing something else you didn't expect! Please, Please, look at me!"
I suppose I am wondering how all of this is relevant?
i would never pay 20 bucks for a magazine. i might shoplift it though as i see this as an agitated reaction to the double sawbuck pricetag.
I don't buy Volume because it's too cheap. If I'm not paying at least $100.00 for a magazine, then it's just not worth it.
I usually lurk on this website under a more well-known pseudonym ... but, reading Mark's, Ole's, and Jeffrey's dialogue reminds me of a term Jonathan Crary deployed in a class here at Yale only a couple of weeks ago: the attention economy. The term's curious genealogy aside (I believe it was coined by the political scientist Herbert Simon), what was remarkable about Crary's speech is that he reiterated the idea that the attention economy not only operates as a type of panacea, an anodyne that relieves the vicissitudes of boredom, but that such operation is the sina qua non of contemporariness. The attention economy, in all its guises and manifestations, was labor intensive and therefore burdensome. In other words, keeping people interested is hard work indeed.
Which brings me to Volume. I am thinking specifically of the introduction to this discussion, specifically where Mark references the Clip/Stamp/Fold exhibition at The Storefront for Art and Architecture. Although I understand the impulse to locate Volume as part of a trajectory that includes such magazines, I was wondering how it negotiates the issue of urgency. Long-gone publications like Ghost Dance Times, Arquitecturas Bis and others were responsive. It was the urgency of then-current predicaments that inspired the myriad responses that Clip/Stamp/fold beautifully evoked. Although Volume hints at the notion of crisis, or begs the question, What Crisis?, I wonder if its publication suffers from the burdens of an attention economy? Is the attention economy something that drives publications such as Volume today? Is Volume a symptomatic response? How would one characterize the smart "responses" that publications such as Volume, Monocle, and n+1 seem to deploy?
attention must be paid biff.
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