Tonight's Return of Nature event was called "The Nature of Information" and featured Liz Diller and Antoine Picon. This was at once the most lucid and the most light-hearted evening in the series. (There were also some unintentionally funny moments: at one point, Scott Cohen said "I'm fired. I mean, I'm tired of...")
Picon talked about inversions between nature and fiction, and Diller presented the Blur Building, Soft Sell, the 'Joyful Trees' at the Liverpool Biennial (just Google it if you don't know this one), Pure Mix, and the High Line. She entertained more than theorized, but boy, did she entertain, ending with images of flashers "performing" for people on the High Line from their hotel windows in The Standard. About the High Line project in general, she observed that "our biggest architectural act there was to not fuck it up."
One question from the audience, addressed to Antoine Picon, was about the line between fictionalizing nature and lying. In response, Picon said: "I'm not pragmatic-- I mean, I'm not a practitioner. I don't draw lines. To make something absolutely true, you often have to lie. Although it's not interesting if you just lie because you're sloppy." And he gave the example of Sullivan, who used columns that were not load-bearing in order to ensure an undisrupted rhythm and harmony. At this point, Liz Diller interjected: "I feel like this is a very Harvard discussion and I'm a strange guest in it. This is a very modernist discussion to have."
Thanks for reading!
Lectures and exhibitions, life in the trays, happenings around Cambridge...and once in a while, some studio and course work. Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in most cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts. If you have concerns about how you are quoted, please contact me via Archinect's email.