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can i have "wreckless critic"?
You mean reckless?
see my Colominia qoute and then quondam.com, if anyone is doubting stephen lauf's claims...
i used to spend time on MUDDS before the days of netscape as a mischevious teenager pissing people of with absurd statements with handles like "you suck" and "i'll kick your ass", i do believe that is a form of "idiocracy" perhaps?
I'd say a de-territorialized critic is even more dangerous.
all my life i've been spelling it wreckless, doh!
is a de-territorialized critic an outsider with a perspective, like a jim morrison living on the roofs of L.A.?
MUDS, with one D, stood for = Multi-User Dungeon, Domain or Dimension
Not so much outside, rather, more beyond inside. Very much in the territory, but not within the normal restraints of the territory.
If you're in the fourth dimension, does that mean you can have your cake and eat it too?
beyond inside, i've always had trouble with that one...i'm guessing Deleuze and Derrida might be examples (but i understand neither that well), but if there are others please give their names. others that exhibit de-territorialization (behavior) beyond the inside (interiority).
i didn't think wigley meant 'idiots' or 'idiocy' as a pejorative. i also thought the 'more volume than volume' comment was VERY complimentary: basically an observation that more stirring/agitation happened in that one conversation - and that it possibly reached a broader range of people in a greater variety of places and circumstances - than the book/artifact they've compiled has been able to generate thus far.
and, while stepen's correct that a lot of the content of blogs is NOT about the drift and diversion driven by idiots - a lot of them are just people talking to themselves and others who accidentally click in - i do think that those passages where the unexpected/unintended conversations happen are when i get most engaged and therefore learn the most.
read gogol's "the nose" it seems to be an appropriate analogy. signed-the lurker
This thread has gone retro ... feels like 1988 all over again.
metamechanic, I'm wasn't trying to evoke Derrida or Deleuze with "beyond inside", rather trying to relate my own behavior (as sometime critic) within the realm of architecture. Allow me to reference my own experience to explain where at least my de-territorialized behavior comes from.
Looking back, it started with learning and working with CAD in 1983, not within academia, but within a professional office (the first to introduce CAD in Philadelphia). I had a typical architecture background, but no computer background, then a week and a half crash course in Huntsville, AL, then big INTERGRAPH system arrives, and then told to make it all happen. Now I was very much in the territory of architecture, but, because of whole newness of CAD within architecture, a window to beyond the inside had opened up. Within two years I found myself employed by the Dean's Office of the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. I have no Graduate degree, but they were paying me to be there. I ran a CAD consulting business for the GSFA (where the computer labs are now on the third floor of Meyerson Hall) to help offset the cost of their INTERGRAPH system. Again, very much right in the territory, but also a lot beyond it. Within three years of that I had my own CAD system and my own CAD consulting business--great while it lasted. Then the recession of 1990. Then an insular creative period where I used the CAD system in my basement to explore "un-built" architecture by constructing 3D CAD models of architectural designs that were never executed, and accumulated a sizable collection of models. That's when I really went beyond inside, exploring all this architecture that didn't even exist. And then in 1996 the Internet and the virtual...
Smokety, maybe blame it on reenactionary architecturism.
In 1999, I was asked to participate in an Alumni exhibit at Temple University's Department of Architecture. I submitted three panels "wallpapered" with printouts of pages of www.quondam.com
The more things change, the more they stay the same?
so what's left for us youngins stephen?
there aren't any new technogolies developing for architecture as i see it...at least not as radical as the computer or the industrial revolution, and the internet even with blogging as you point is quite old already.
i got it though on the interiority point...thanks.
got to tell you a story stephen to make a round about point...
not to give it away, so this will be vague - i knew this guy who was really damn smart, you know one of those guys who slept through high school and aces the SAT and gets a full ride at a nice college for something like math or physics. i was having dinner with him and his buddy who was at equally intelligent. either way we were sitting there talking about people in our respective professions and how idiots always get away with getting credit for stuff we'd done or thought up years ago. the friend was so damn good, he went into a computer consulting company that had been working on problem for 3 years with 10 guys and solved the problem all by himself in 11 months. after that the work just kind of bored him and the employers noticed, and he admitted it and wondered where his money was for doing what they couldn't...the guy became a buddhist monk. i told them perhaps they could look at the game of ego and power the way they looked at solving problems, because afterall history isn't always written by the most intelligent.
metamechanic, maybe just follow your own advise, look at the game of ego and power the way you look at solving problems, if that's what you're after.
If I was really after ego and power, I wouldn't have spent the last 10 years concentrating my efforts on the rather dubious subject of virtual architecture. I'm really just doing what I'm meant to be doing. And I say that because what I do at this point seems to just happen naturally. No one's asking me to do what I do, and there's certainly no payment for it. And when I can't do anything anymore, that will just be the end of that.
Right now, I gotta go transplant some rose bushes and give the tomato and newly sprouted squash plants some food before the late afternoon rain.
I suppose it is obvious but this thread itself quickly shaped up as a good example of what we were talking about. The tennis match between those who want to dismiss something without really having listened -- quickly and happily reversing everything where necessary so that their world view remains intact -- and those with a more nuanced view reminding us what was actually said and starting to work through the implications, ends up in a new territory that leaves neither group’s view intact. For what its worth, I think the gift of blogs is to activate new territories in precisely this way.
The postopolis interview being discussed earlier began with an unambiguous claim by me that the thread on volume was sharp and sustained – super insightful and not marked by the usual thread meltdown through idiocy. But far from dismissing idiocy I went on to suggest at length that the idiotic entries that begin the death of each thread are also the sign of the blog medium’s openness and the unique brilliance it is able to capture. As I said, it is precisely by taking the risk of the idiot entry, by getting close to and even embracing stupidity, that the blog can think where other media cannot, since the line between idiocy and brilliance is never clear and is anyway always evolving – and that volume is always going to be limited by the typical lack of openness of an edited magazine – despite its relentless mission to break the normal disciplinary and institutional limits. Which is why a thread on volume can be more like volume than volume. While agreeing that much academic discourse is boringly idiotic in another sense, I am interested in the way that the strength of architectural design studios also comes from being anti-academic in taking the risk of stupidity in embracing unworkable designs on the path to strong ones and could therefore connect with blogs in super productive ways, giving rise to the speculative discussion we had of a number of other possible future roles for blogs in architectural discourse – including the possibility of even becoming an institutional norm.
In the middle of this and many other points, we talked about whether “idiot” is the right word. I agreed that it is not right in the sense that a blog is not simply a set of individual intellects contributing to a forum but is in the best sense a new form of collective intelligence. It is a way of thinking rather than a set of accumulated thoughts. But when reading the kind of post that we are talking about, it still feels like exactly the right word. Speaking of which, I love the idea that simply listening and learning is now the forbidden activity of “lurking.” Completely agree on the necessary heterogeneity of good conversation as “an open ended negotiation that admits all voices” etc. Says it beautifully which is why I like to read and learn. But the very same entry then immediately goes on to complain that identifying idiocy as such is already to resist (with “contempt”) blogs which makes a nonsense of the whole discussion since it begins with an embrace of idiocy precisely. I am impressed that describing the inevitability and positive role of idiocy in blogs produces such a defensive reaction. You can love blogs and still recognize the foolish when you see it. Seems like a useful skill to keep and a large proportion of blogs are anyway devoted to continually self-monitoring and reflecting on the level of discussion. Sure, an off the wall entry can be a useful “digression” but it can also be grade-one idiocy. In the end, who are we kidding about the crucial characteristic of many posts? Sometimes stupidity is exactly what it seems to be. The price of the brilliant unpredictable line of discussion is the predictable lack of brilliance that surfaces and clings to the end and even ensures the end. After all, media are always more intelligent than the people who use them, even when the best minds are at work. Each medium is a new form of intelligence precisely, which is why blogs have so much to teach us, and why their future is excitingly unclear.
Don’t really care if this entry is placed in the idiot column or not. Just want to defend lurkers rights, even if it means momentarily breaking the lurk. With volume we try to speak differently to a different audience than usual. Each of us talk more than enough already in a range of media, so it is crucial to spend as much time as possible listening to others who are operating in a another medium with different potentials, and learning from them. Just an amateur reaction but thought postopolis was great in moving blogs out of their usual spot in order to move the discourse of the gallery outside of its usual spot.
Stephen Lauf, a quick thanks for all your positive thoughts about Postopolis!
Too bad you weren't able to attend.
So I was wondering something: for all your apparent concerns about historical reenaction, Stephen, it seems incredible that your participation in these threads (indeed, your commentary just about everywhere, including a few comments on my blog) inevitably just says the exact same thing:
1) You inform everyone that you have already done or said or written about this topic at some point in the last twenty years (congratulations!), and so all further discussion is moot.
2) You tell everyone to go visit Quondam.
Perhaps it would be faster just to automate these comments of yours? That way you could continue saying the same thing over and over - and over - again, everywhere, but you'd save yourself a little time?
Just a thought.
In any case, for some reason I'm reminded of a character from the film Magnolia. If memory serves, that character calls himself "Quiz Kid Danny."
In the film, Quiz Kid Danny is now in his late 40s/early 50s - but, as a child, he was on a gameshow. Unable to get past that moment, even now, decades later, he still holds onto it - and he refers to it, telling everyone about it - more and more - and more - to the point of emotional hysteria, desperately seeking recognition for something that wasn't very important in the first place and that almost no one else noticed at the time. But, still, Quiz Kid Danny brings up - and judges himself by - this lost moment.
If only people understood who he was, he thinks, they would all treat him so differently!
The scenes featuring him are morbidly fascinating - but a little embarrassing. One wonders why he's never done anything else worth talking about - and why he can only talk about himself.
So I was fascinated to learn that Stephen has "been there and done that" with regard to Postopolis! - indeed with regard to just about everything that's happened in the architectural world over the past few years, as his comments on other threads, and my blog, make clear. "Virtual architecture" - I know there isn't anyone else working on that!
Without giving us more - and more - links to Quondam, Stephen, or anything else that you've self-published, could you back up your somewhat extraordinary claims with a few photos, say, or event reviews, or some other general publicity? Surely all these architecturally influential things that you've done have left a mark somewhere? Thanks! I'm excited to see them. I would appreciate being able, finally, to grasp your true place and stature in the world of architectural theory.
While we're on the subject, then, your 1999 exhibition at Temple sounds great; who could have imagined that printing something out from the internet and pasting it onto a wall was all your idea? We and the Storefront for Art and Architecture owe you a huge thanks for that.
Finally, I was wondering the other day what it must be like to be in a room when someone like Paris Hilton walks in - but now I think I know: everyone there is trying to have a conversation... but, suddenly, they have to talk about Paris: where she's been, what she did last night, or last year, or a decade earlier, and how she's so much cooler than everyone else out there, and how they all should have been talking about her in the first place... how important she is.
Anyway, I just wanted to say a quick thanks to Stephen for his generally positive and encouraging attitude toward the careers of other people here. You're the man! Had I known that you were so central to the architectural profession since the 1980s, anticipating everything, perhaps we could have saved a lot of effort by not organizing Postopolis! at all.
But no doubt all of this has already been written, complete with huge quantities of leading, on Quondam.
.... well put, Geoff.
thank goodness geoff mentioned paris hilton...i really was beginning to think i'm on crazy pills...sigh
I'm going to butt in for another second, just because i think quite a few of us that met up last wednesday night had a rather interesting realization in relation to the face-to-face versus the virtual. some of us were at postopolis (i sadly didn't get to go that night) and many of us had never met before. suddenly we fastforward to meeting at dba for drinks as archinectors...but who are the archinectors? how do we introduce ourselves? as our nom de plumes or as ourselves? which is our true identity?...several of us even had/have multiple online identities. in the end it was like the survivors of a boatwreck clinging to wreckage...a series of linkages between persons was established that allowed us to consolidate the group...then the larger group that had been at postopolis arrived and there was suddenly an iconographic center of the conversation and physicality of the group as such. whether we experienced postopolis or not, it became realized and physicalized....an identifiable environment that created a common ground for our discussions...
on an aside, i saw an interesting tshirt a few days ago that simply read "what is the speed of dark?"
puddles, meet Mark. Mark, puddles.
Can we get another round of crazy pills, please?
hey Mark Wigley,
you should post more. like 1 post for 100 lurks, roughly. if you do that, i promise to buy volume.
and great post geoff!
i finally did my homework & looked up "idiot"...this is what i found over at thefreedictionaryHistory
"Idiot" was originally used in ancient Greek city-states to refer to people who were overly concerned with their own self-interest and ignored the needs of the community. Declining to take part in public life, such as (semi-)democratic government of the polis (city state), such as the Athenian democracy, was considered dishonorable. "Idiots" were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters. Over time, the term "idiot" shifted away from its original connotation of selfishness and came to refer to individuals with overall bad judgment–individuals who are "stupid".
In modern English usage, the terms "idiot" and "idiocy" describe an extreme folly or stupidity, its symptoms (foolish or stupid utterance or deed). In psychology, it is a historical term for the state or condition now called profound mental retardation.
i also did some quick research on mark wigley (nice to meet you) and am pleased to report that he's probably had better things to do than match my 1900+ comments on these loose threads
Geoff and all, I'll just stop posting.
Hmmm I'm finding it awfully strange that those that weren't participating or even present at the event called Postopolis seem to have the most to say. This is a flat criticism not meant to bring insult, but an opinion of what I am seeing taking place.
I wish that I was able to experience such a gathering, as I've said earlier. As it attempts to narrow the physical distance and gaps present from folks tapping away at their pc/macs from different parts of the world. Alas that has been my difficulty to overcome...too fricking far away.
I hope this isn't the last of its kind. Blogs focussing on architecture, are if you agree or not an interesting phenomenon. Architecture by its nature of construction is something that takes time. From the design and preparation of construction drawings, documents, specifications, etc to its implementation on site, the excavation, laying of foundation, walls to the final inhabitation by the clients or users. Of course this isn't to say that architecture is limited to what can be built by traditional means.
Much of the architecture that takes place in design studios, to experimental practices never make it from the sketch book or computer screen, some never intend to. Web blogs simply map the trajectory of architecture taking place in the world, and whilst seemingly existing as a link (to another or original source) often without criticsim, they are the new architecture of our time.
The architecture of the 21st century will have many examples by courageous individuals, to be studied and admired for years to come. But instead of just pouring over monographs and magazines - the research and sources of information shall by the internet and more specifically architecture based blogs. Long live the blog...
stephen i knew you'd answer my round about point like that. i'm still working on selling that point to guys like you. don't become the buddhist monk, that would be idiotic in the greek sense.
futurebory you were in larslarson set of photos right, you were working on the gowanua canal for AFH, or maybe i'm confused...
it's actually cool Wigley lurks, i wonder who else out there that gets published on a more regular and more recongizable level lurks, but have to go with Orhan, each 100 lurks "thou shall post!"
personal example on why "playing the game" or being in the game is more important than beating everyone intellectually there...
due to lack of sleep, alcohol, and many other things, i often get reality and dreams confused. this is a great tool for architecture so great i managed to get yelled at for months, fired, pissed a bunch of professors off, and finally realized - so what if i can already see the whole damn building in actual experience -
- if i don't present if properly no one will know
- if i don't find the write time and instant to present it, it won't matter
Stephen, postpolis did the previous to, and you can not discount that, its very important to create such moments and that's what i meant by studying ego and power.
Sorry architechnophilia, just trying to get back to real life.
I think most people got that "idiot" is as good as word as any to explain what happens naturally in threads, NOT a character judgment on the individuals.
Anyway, I think that it is a good way to think about what happens naturally in threads. I am surprised no one is discussing decay more. I agree that decay is necessary, when a thread lives on too long is just not that interesting.
And finally about lurking, let's think about it about how many people post with any regularity to archinect? 100-200 tops? how many have an account, thousands(?), and how many look (Paul is probably the only one that knows) hundreds of thousands, millions(?). I have shared these thoughts with other people and everyone tells me that is a normal curve of participation for any forum. Lurking is a major part of archinect and digital media in general, even if people do not post here I am sure they discuss elsewhere the issues brought up, or they quietly learn from the discussion. Either a valuable use of archinect.
Stephen don't get upset you just helped the thread fold unto itself.
sorry i didnt notice that I repeated myself on the top...
archintechnophilia, do i here the blog as diagram¿ i consider human input from various sides effecting a project like a thread...
at the very least i think postopolis was a great opportunity for
people to meet other people they hadn't had an excuse to meet
before...possibly not important...so what that the exhibition wasn't
the most interesting...how do you present years of blogs/archives?
maybe there should have been seventy five monitors cycling through
stories upon stories?...but wasn't it more about the lectures and
talks then about the exhibition itself anyway? about a virtual
community coming together to meet and discuss ideas?
To paraphrase E.M. Forster- No one is Archinect. Archinect is simply a Petri Dish where the many morphologies of cultural bacteria come for a swim…Divergence in threads is desired. The idea of keeping a thread “on task” results in the most earnest and, therefore, most yawn inducing kind of reading. Every thread should have the potential to be its own June 16th, 1904 and each poster to be a little bit of Leopold Bloom.
A worthy thread is a flexible conversation; the kind that occurs among friends at a party. It contains nuance and humor and yes idiocy to balance any “serious” content. This community is full of intelligent, funny and talented people many of whom have become “real” friends over time. I personally look forward to reading their contributions.
Usually the discussion architecture is the least interesting topic for me on Archinect. The exception was the grassroots surge to save The Grosse Pointe Public Library. As most of you know, several members took it upon themselves organize what first was an email writing campaign that developed into a design charette that was presented to the Grosse Pointe Library board and to the citizens of Grosse Pointe farms for their consideration. This work ultimately changed the direction of the Library Board and has also generated interest from the World Monuments Fund. Charrette contributions came from several continents, and demonstrates the potential of an online community like Archinect to move into and affect the “real” world. – Vado Retro, Forum Rat.[img=http://www.archinect.com/images/uploads/vado_mug.jpg[/img]
vado, only connect...
[i knew there were joyce fans but i didn't expect forster fans here]
now who would've thought the man with 7,000+ posts would screw up his image post?
I posted some personal last comments and thoughts on the school blog:http://www.archinect.com/schoolblog/entry.php?id=58867_0_39_0_C
Apparently its really hot at the storefront. Has anyone noticed the number of fans that they have blowing
Wow, great topic and posts, and xen0 while a lot of what you wrote I will have to ponder, I get the gist of what you wrote, and pretty much agreed with most of it.
As for lurking not being active participation I may agree with some aspect of that, but here's the rub:
The first number being the quantity of posts and the second being the number of views - clearly lurking is made active by those reading the thread and perhaps, at least in my mind, engaging my own need to play voyeur.
The question then that begs to be asked - in light of Geoff's comment's - what is the difference between Per Correl and Stephen Lauf? For me, I try to convince myself that they ARE different, but another part of me can't shake the similarities between the two.
I will say I appreciate the "idiot" to a point, because on some level the discourse, no matter how off topic may just be something that can build a new thought/thread. I guess for me I liken it to conversations that start out talking about one thing, and twenty minutes later end on something, where the beginning and ending have nothing in common but what connects them.
the difference between per corell and stephen lauf is that stephen lauf has:
- made available a floor plan of a specific hedjuk house and then, on request, pointed me to the link, so i could give it to my student that has a lousy library here in south america and could not complete her assignment. try looking for floor plans on the web, they're not as available as pictures.
- led me to the link to 010 publishers, so that last weekend i read metacity/datatown for the first time, since the &*(^&* univ i work for won't provide much books. i'm also using that link to provide new readings for my students.
yes, i've turned away from some discussions [included this one] when the whole reenactment piranesi i did it first quondam thing has gone full blast. but also, i do keep quondam in my links and i've used it, and although i've been sucked into a couple of discussions over piranesi, i sort of enjoyed them.
i understand and share the frustration over stephen's obsessions, but i think comparing him to per invalidates some very useful work.
every society needs an official outsider or two.
interesting thread. nothing to say cuz all the smart stuff has been said. all the idiot stuff as well, perhaps; with jealousy, rivalry, sanity and a touch of ego-madness; basically an entire drama laid out before us. very human.
comparing lauf to per is only founded on the fact that both make claims of how important their work is. Per is a little more or perhaps a lot more neurotic than Lauf.
big difference between the two.
Lauf's work is/was important,
can't say anything Per has ever presented is worth a shit, and def. falls into my category of "why is this idiot taking credit for something surely Corb sketched on a napkin in a bar one night and then quickly threw out because he had a better idea."
to build on Lauf's arguement, his quondam is actually a predecessor to all this postpolis stuff, but an unrecoginized predecessor, so perhaps the question should be why did it go unrecognized?
I think when I consider Lauf and Per, and their similarities, I mean that they are, at times - Per more than Stephen - impenetrable, either a language barrier in Per's case, albeit we mostly agree he has not much to offer I do think that language is an issue. In Stephen's case the barrier for me is that inability to be an "idiot" or not know everything he knows, makes it difficult for me to just start a dialog without feeling like a dolt.
I clearly don't know everything and look at the opportunity to learn new things a reflection of two things; the first that I don't know everthing, second that I have a desire to learn. Perhaps though I am guilty of not trying hard enough, not following up, not asking more penetrating questions, and not being willing to hang in there with Stephen and his material.
stourley, i'm glad you brought the comparison up in order to clarify.
um....could someone from the postopolis crowd post about the archinect conversation?
quondums(sp?) been around over ten years. i love ottopia.
This is what happened during the archinect panel (from my faulty memory):
The other archinecters should help me out here…
-Bryan introduced archinect and the speakers
-John finished the intro and talked a little of archinect’s history. John then took care of going the blogs and manning the computer.
-I went up talked about my blog and the idea of a window into places of these institutions people do into usually see. I spoke about the GSD Green Design ‘Potentials?’ roundtables posts and how an event that I consider to be very important at the GSD would have gone unreported without the blog.
-AP spoke of his blog, the program at University of Florida, having met MaDianito in Barcelona with a group from UF for an experience everyone enjoyed, and mapa.
-Susan spoke of how her interest in architecture can be directly traced to archinect and the discussions that happen here.
-Enrique spoke of his blog and how it is different from the more design-centered blogs. He showed us some of his entries and discussed his interests.
-We all reiterated how archinect serves as a space for passionate and active people from all over the world (I mentioned Oana’s wonderful entries) to meet and share ideas. Mapa came up a few times by different people as an example of the potential that this site has.
-Someone asked if archinect was the type of thing that a person might do while they are younger then leave, and a few years later come back. I said that I saw archinect as having a place for everyone, the school blogs for students, discussions about professional practice by very experienced people (vado, orhan, liberty, steven, etc….), jobs for those in transition, etc...