Archinect - Yale School of Architecture (Enrique) 2024-07-18T07:51:06-04:00 &#1057;&#1086;&#1102;&#1079; 31, 26 August Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-08-26T11:10:56-04:00 >2023-04-11T11:16:09-04:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> In 1978, Lt. Col. Sigmund J&auml;hn, a pilot and scientist for the <i>Luftstreitkr&auml;fte der NVA</i> (East German Air Force), became the first German in space. He was one of the first trainees of the Soviet Intercosmos program, and was the third Warsaw Pact cosmonaut to go into space (after Vladimir Renek from Czechoslovakia and Miroslaw Hermaszewski from Poland).<br><br> J&auml;hn, along with soviet cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, were crewmembers on Soyuz 31. Their mission included docking with the Salyut 6 station. The cosmonauts returned to Earth aboard Soyuz 29.<br><br> The Soyuz 31 mission launched on August 26, 1978 ... a date that figures prominently in the German imagination (as well as the plot of Good Bye Lenin!)<br><br> I was born on August 26, 1971 ...<br><br> Happy Birthday to me!!! Woo-hoo!!! Post-Postopolis Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-06-07T12:35:10-04:00 >2024-01-23T15:16:08-05:00 <p>It's interesting to see the call-and-response noise that the Postopolis! threads have created. I did participate in the event in two different capacities: not only as a school blogger, but also as a person that maintains and edits an ostensibly architecture-related website. I was not able to see all the presenters and panelists, but I just wanted to offer some thoughts now that we all have been able to gain some distance from the event.<br><br> First of all, the energy devoted to the event is admirable. I am not talking just about the amount of preparation needed to maintain and curate the event. The Storefront was literally abuzz with designers, writers, musicians, architects, typographers, Mexican food enthusiasts -- everything under the sun. The crowd was good too, and it got better and better as the event unfolded. <br><br> It is quite possible, however, that the event may have been <i>too much</i>. Because there were so many people involved, and so many of them from different disciplines, I ...</p> Coda Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-05-21T21:48:18-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>If this is not my last blog as a Yale student, then perhaps this is my penultimate entry. I'm trying to muster the courage to share my feelings about what will happen in the next couple of weeks. I'm not necessarily talking about graduation. I'm talking about the renovation of Paul Rudolph's wonderfully curmudgeonly and ornery Art and Architecture Building. It's been a bad year for Rudolph: many of his works are on the literal chopping block, about to be reduced to smoldering heaps of rubble and cordite. But what is about to happen to the A+A building ... it's tragic. Google "A+A Building" and "Gwathmey", and you'll see what I'm talking about. Again, this is for a future post.<br><br> But on to other pertinent matters ... My days inside the A+A building are technically numbered. They will be officially over a week from today, when I receive my diploma. I am really looking forward to it: I will get to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy some decent weather for a change. <br><br> T...</p> The Miesian Paper Trails, and Other Delights from a Tuesday Afternoon in New York Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-04-25T08:38:24-04:00 >2024-07-05T02:01:10-04:00 <img src=""><br><i>A box from the Mies van der Rohe Archive</i><br><br> Am I allowed to like Gordon Bunshaft's Lever House more than Mies van der Rohe's/Philip Johnson's Seagram Building? I hope so, because in what was one of the most ridiculously beautiful New York days I've ever encountered, the Lever House just looked gorgeous, whereas the Seagram looked ominous and imposing. Don't get me wrong, I love Mies. I love the Seagram Building. But the Lever House is where it's at.<br><br> Which brings me to why exactly I was strolling around, admiring some mid-20th century American skyscraper modernism ... yesterday, the class that I am currently curating at Yale with the rest of the second-year MED's, our "contemporary architectural discourse colloquium", made an 11th-hour detour to New York.<br><br> Our first stop was <a href="" target="_blank">MoMA</a>, where we had a private gallery tour with Head Architecture Curator <a href="" target="_blank">Barry Bergdoll</a>. He took us into an exhibition which is in the process of being finished -- an exhibition showcasing MoMA's architecture... The Semester's Denouement Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-04-18T20:10:16-04:00 >2024-04-08T03:01:09-04:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I can't quite believe I'm writing this, but earlier today, I actually turned in a draft of my thesis (see above). It's about 156 pages long, including images and references. It's actually heavier than I thought, but then again, I don't think I've ever written anything this lengthy before.<br><br> This marks the beginning of the end for me here at Yale. After my thesis defense on April 30th (and some minor revisions -- hopefully), I just have one paper and a final review. My girlfriend asked me the other night how I felt about finishing the thesis. At first, I was like, "Man, can't wait to get this stuff done." But as I write this, this the first time in, like, 700 days or so that I have not actually thought about my thesis. <br><br> I am tired. My brain feels strangely, comfortably empty. Yet I think I am beginning to get a little sad. Now that this hurdle has been cleared, it seems like everything is going to end so quickly. I met so many great people here in New Haven ... I'm actua... Spring Break is the Panacea For All Types of Productivity Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-03-22T10:11:44-04:00 >2024-07-14T12:31:10-04:00 <p>I had all these grand designs for Spring Break. They were certainly ambitious: in addition to finishing the final chapter on my thesis, I was planning on doing all this reading, etc. But I spent almost the whole time with my family, which made everything worthwhile. My life has been so insulated of late, and therefore writing anything interesting for this schoolblog has become increasingly difficult. Well, let me recalibrate that statement: I could write about many things, but finding something of substance has been hard mainly because I have spent the balance of the past two weeks in airplanes, behind the wheels of automobiles, as well as hunched over my laptop.<br><br> However, these past two weeks have been some of the most significant ones I can remember. I began Spring Break in Ann Arbor, Michigan -- certainly one of the loveliest towns I've ever visited. I also spent time shuttling back between Michigan's Art and Architecture Building and Tappan Hall (where the University's His...</p> @Town Hall, Times Square, 3/1/2007, 8:30pm Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-03-02T14:29:36-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:07-04:00 <p>Last night, I went to the Knitting Factory's 20th Anniversary Celebration at Town Hall. It goes without saying, but it was an amazing lineup. Here are some images:<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Lou Reed<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Laurie Anderson<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> John Zorn<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br> Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky) and Lee Ranaldo<br><br> Also, last night was the first time I had been to Times Square since 1990. I was surprised by the lack of darkness in that space -- a intersection wholly, dramatically lit by illuminated, Shibuya-esque commercial signage:<br><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"></p> Narratives Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-02-26T18:56:57-05:00 >2023-02-23T04:39:00-05:00 <p>The midterm onslaught is upon us ... indeed, time is running short. Midterms are next week, and then Spring Break. This year, I will not have much of a break, as I am finishing my thesis. Today, in fact, I turned in a chapter. It's been a tortuous affair, sure. I've spent the past two weeks writing about wood construction techniques in Germany and Japan -- not easy stuff to do, especially since I've been looking a poor reproductions of drawings, measured sections of minute architectural details, and worse of all, poorly-labeled drawings. The results, however, are rewarding. When I first started the M.E.D. program at Yale, I thought I would be chasing some theory tails, writing about technology, urbanism, media, et cetera. It is thus somewhat interesting that my topic is wholly historical, and centered on architecture practice in the United States, Germany, and Japan on the eve of World War II. I am painting my topic with the widest brush possible ... I want to spare you the...</p> Dispatches From The Utopian Real Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-02-05T19:35:25-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Can it get any colder here? Where's the snow? Honestly, it's very strange being here in the Northeast, especially when it is freakishly cold and when the lack of precipitation makes the dead, dormant grass look like tundra. I kinda wish I was back in Texas. Kinda.<br><br> The semester is chugging along, and much has happened since the last couple of installments. I should begin by telling you about my schedule this semester. Most of my schedule is occupied by independent study credits (thank you, thesis). But I do get to take one class, and this semester, I am taking Dietrich Neumann's <i>Film Architecture</i> course. I absolutely adore the class, not only because of the subject matter (which is somewhat related to my thesis), but because the class occupies that odd middle ground between survey and seminar. I have been taking too many seminars of late, and I am excited to hear some good old-fashioned lectures. The class has everything you expect, and more. We've viewed some excellent... 255th Dream Song of John Berryman Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-02-04T10:48:35-05:00 >2011-11-28T21:01:02-05:00 <i>My twin, the nameless one, wild in the woods</i> -- John Berryman<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Greg Lynn, et al., Korean Presbyterian Church, Sunnyside, Queens, New York (1988)<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Antonin Raymond, Gumma Music Center, Takasaki, Gumma Prefecture, Japan (1955) Paul D. Miller vs. Paul Rudolph Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-01-24T21:38:32-05:00 >2019-08-26T21:16:05-04:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> 1/23/2007 -- Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid), lecturing at the <i>Critical Imaginaries</i> MED colloquium. Early 21st-century boho hipness mashing up with some late 20th-century brushammered concrete.<br><br> This was a great session ... Paul lectured on his book <i><a href="" target="_blank">Rhythm Science</a></i>, as well as giving some thoughtful views on (to use his terminology), "Pattern Recognition" versus "Material Memory." He also gave out some CDs as well as shared some of his latest projects, including collaborations with Greg Lynn, <a href="" target="_blank">Dave Lombardo</a> (<a href="" target="_blank">Slayer</a>), <a href="" target="_blank">Iannis Xenakis</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Yoko Ono</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Thurston Moore</a>.<br><br> Not only that, but he was one of the nicest persons I've ever encountered: insanely talented, productive, and generous of intellect. The Only Way Forward Is Forward Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-01-21T23:13:45-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The past two weeks sped along at a dizzying pace. Not only am I writing my thesis, but the rest of the second-year MED students and me are busy in the realm of programming. As I've mentioned earlier, we are still putting the touches on our symposium. Called <b>The Market of Effects</b>, the symposium will be held on March 29-30 here at Yale, following a keynote lecture by Professor Mark Gottdiener from SUNY Buffalo. According to the school website, "This symposium, organized by students in the School's Master of Environmental Design program, will explore the creation of narrative, visual, sensual and technological effects in recent architecture and urban design. The participants will articulate the historical, economic, and technological aspects behind these effects, and speculate on their ideological motivations." Six presenters, from graduate programs across the country, will be presenting. This event is unusual, and we anticipate a good turnout. We've been working on this since ...</p> New Haven, Connecticut - 20 January 2007, 7:40 a.m. Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-01-20T10:20:47-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><img src=""><br><br> New Haven Coliseum, Kevin Roche/John Dinkerloo &amp; Assoc. (1968-2007)<br> The Last Semester Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2007-01-09T01:25:25-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>After a lengthy Christmas break, I am happy (and apprehensive) about my final semester at Yale. Although putting the final touches on my thesis will keep me occupied this semester, there is a lot more on my plate than usual. For starters, I have two articles to work on, as well as some last-minute research visits to Washington D.C. and (if the stars align) Utah. Along with the rest of the second-year MED students, we are not only putting the final touches on a symposium to be held in late March, but we are also "curating" a class within the School of Architecture. As part of our program, we are entrusted with organizing a class called "Contemporary Architecture Discourse Colloquium." We select a topic, invite speakers, organize readings ... all the trappings of a class. This year, our class is called <i>Critical Imaginaries</i> -- it is a seminar concerning the ways in which different media offer alternative and viable avenues of criticism. We look at discursive pathways that confro...</p> Who Are You, What Do You Do, What Do You See? Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-12-24T12:14:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src=""><br><br> It seems that these are the questions I get asked the most, especially this time of year. My relatives ask me if I'm gonna become an architect, and I tell them, "Actually, I am a historian." And there's an answer that draws a multitude of facial expressions.<br><br> But the thing is, now that I am away from my desk at school, away from my books, my files, my research, I have some time to reflect on the decision I've made to spend the next 6 or so years working towards a PhD. Not to get into application-personal-statement mode, but I will give you one of the answers I'm <i>not</i> supposed to give: <i>I absolutely love studying, reading, about architecture. I love finding out those mysteries that add to the general puzzle, those not-so-famous moments that are more significant that I even thought</i>. Really, we're not supposed to say that -- we're trained to say "Well, my area of expertise, while I studied under professor X, is the ramifications of historical event/aesthetic movement y on architec... Another Semester Finished Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-12-19T11:12:09-05:00 >2024-07-05T02:01:10-04:00 <p>One of my busiest weeks ever came to a thrilling conclusion yesterday. Besides turning in two papers, and completing one PhD application (MIT), I also had my Fall Semester Final Review. The M.E.D. review is a different bird altogether: there are no pinups; we present our research topics to the M.E.D. committee members as well as guest jurors. Our jury was fantastic: Peggy Deamer, Sandy Isenstadt, Sean Keller, Karsten Harries, Kurt W. Forster, Keller Easterling, Alan Plattus, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, and Ed Mitchell. Our two guest jurors were Hadas Steiner (SUNY Buffalo) and Spyros Papapetros (Princeton) -- both were fantastic and made the day-long review a wonderful thing indeed. Both the first- and second-year cohorts made an impressive showing.<br><br> I am exhausted, but will report more once I can relax a little. I leave for Christmas Holidays tomorrow: flying to Chicago to visit my brother, and then on to San Antonio to hang out with my Parents and my sister.<br><br> Oh yeah, I also have ...</p> Entering the Bibliothèque et Archives National, Montréal, QC: 10:32 am Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-11-21T11:16:51-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I cannot remember being inside a library as thrilling as the one I am currently in. The Grande Bilbioth&eacute;que du Qu&eacute;bec, by Patkau / Croft Pelletier / Menk&eacute;s Shooner Dagenais Architectes Associ&eacute;s, is an extraordinary space. <br><br><img src=""><br><br> From the Berri-UQAM subway stop, you enter a series of revolving doors, go up narrow escalator, and enter the main hall of the library. On the right, metal bars grace a curtain wall frosted with alternating bands of diaphanous glass (the image above is taken from the opposite end of the hall). In between its vertical supports are some x-shaped braces -- a move not unlike the giant "x" motif along the side of James Stirling's Community Center at Newton Aycliffe, his 1950 thesis project from the University of Liverpool School of Architecture ...<br><br> And slightly to the right of the curtain wall, are a series of giant ferroconcrete pillars that seem to stretch endlessly into the ceiling. And as your eyes travel down the pillar, and trace imaginary lines of site... ZOOM!!!!!!!!! Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-11-10T15:19:57-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> I love the <a href="" target="_blank">Yale Center for British Art</a> ... today, for example, I got a really close-up peek at Archigram 4, known for its comic book-inspired cover and title, "Amazing Archigram." Upon entering the YCBA's rare book room, my colleague and I were required to register and to wash our hands -- so it felt like we were going into a clean room or like we were doctors going into a biohazardous laboratory. We were also given a series of page paperweights and a foam stand designed to minimize human contact with archival material. The room was kept preternaturally dry, and the only other guy in the space was taking photographs of some sketches with a camera mount that looked not unlike a guillotine. <br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> One of the librarians came into the room with a cart containing a bunch of 50s and 60s-era British art catalogues (including materials from the ICA as well as the <a href="" target="_blank">original catalogue to the <i>This Is Tomorrow</i> exhibition, complete with pictures of Peter and Alison Smithson, as well as a poem by ...</a> Tagged!!! Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-11-07T20:24:21-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>My whole existence, reduced to wearing tags on my shirt:<br><br><img src="" alt="image" name="image"><br><br> Special thanks to colleague Joy K. for letting me stay in her apartment in lovely Princeton, New Jersey. ...</p> Echoes of a Distant, But Well-Known Echo Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-10-24T09:11:08-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So, I should preface this post by stating that these are my own opinions, and they have nothing to do with consensus or what anyone else was thinking at last night's lecture at Yale School of Architecture. Last night, it was Tom Wiscombe's turn at the lecture podium at Hastings Hall. We all know him, we know his <a href="" target="_blank">firm</a>, so then we are all familar with his concept of <i>emergence</i>. I'll fast forward a little bit to the end of the lecture, when the redoubtable, whip-smart Emmanuel Petit asked Wiscombe if what he was really deploying was a <i>style</i>, as opposed to some type of design methodology rooted in systemic biology.<br><br> Some thoughts about that latter concept ... Wiscombe started his lecture by showing clips of natural phenomena that typified the concept of emergence. While employing buzzwords like <i>co-evolution</i> and the like, as images of marauding packs of wolves and hyenas, schools of fish, and ant colonies danced on the screen thanks to his deployment of some inspiring Power Point fire...</p> I Gave Birth to a Thesis Chapter Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-10-23T07:55:31-04:00 >2022-10-28T01:01:27-04:00 <p>Indeed, only a couple of minutes ago. 40 pages. 10pt. Arial. 1.5 line paragraph spacing. 119 footnotes. I originally lost an earlier version of it (due to file corruption), and it took almost a week to recover its contents from my brain. <br><br> Someone get me some coffee.<br><br> Now everybody ....</p> On The Non-Pejorative Use of "Spectacle" Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-10-21T14:02:31-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src=""><br><br> Anyone else notice how easily people are able to invoke both Guy Debord and the term <i><b>spectacle</b></i>? Doesn't seem wrong that people do so without batting an eyelash, as if the term "spectacle" was something positive, or something to be admired or utilized? This, from RETORT's (Iain Boal, T.J. Clark, Joseph Matthews, and Michael Watts) <i>Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War</i> (Verso 2005): <br><br><i>We take it we are not alone in shuddering at the way "spectacle" has taken its place in approved postmodern discourse over the past fifteen years -- as a vaguely millenarian accompaniment to "new media studies" or to wishful thinking about freedom in cyberspace, with never a whisper that its orignial objects were the Watts Riots and the Proletarian Cultural Revolution</i> (17)<br><br> Ever notice that the most widely-read version of Debord's <i>Society of The Spectacle</i> comes courtesy of Bruce Mau's Zone imprint? Any one else find this troubling or (at least) ironic? Why are people so williing... Operative Theory Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-10-09T22:44:23-04:00 >2023-06-15T12:31:08-04:00 <img src=""><br><br> My current bouts with procrastination have steered me towards some interesting architecture books. Right now, I am meandering through R.U.R's <a href="" target="_blank">Atlas of Novel Tectonics</a>. Note that I have already commented on Sanford Kwinter's <i>The Judo of Cold Combustion</i>, an introduction that makes the not-so-inferential leap from science to science fiction. However, I have made it through most of the book, and it is really refreshing to see an example of well-written, well-conceptualized operative theory. The book seems to shift between different levels of provocation. But the thing that is really interesting is that Reiser's exegeses can only operate within the bounds of architecture. Writes Reiser:<br><br><i>This [book] therefore is not yet another plea for eclecticism but a shift for modernism into new and unforseen territories. This is a critical stance that can only be worked out architecturally. Taking the specific problematic as a starting point, how does one produce multiplicities in formal arr...</i> Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of The Proletariat (aka Texas Noir) Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-10-08T23:24:53-04:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:07-04:00 <p>Ok, so the title to this post comes courtesy of Wisconsin's best-ever band, Killdozer. I have fond, fond memories of this band. I remember my freshman year at Northwestern, I went to University Hall for an early-morning History discussion section. And there in the doorway, a copy of the <i>Northwestern Review</i>. And inside, a record review of Killdozer's latest album, <i>12-Point Buck</i>. The review started as follows: <b>Killdozer Rocks My Ass</b>. Pure freakin' bliss.<br><br> I guess I was thinking about this album title three weeks ago, when I was down in lovely Charlottesville, Virginia for UVA's annual Art and Architectural History Symposium. This year's theme was <i>AFTERMATH: The Cultural Response to Catastrophe</i>. The papers were typically excellent: everything from Athenian responses to plagues in ancient times, to the building of the Forbidden City in China, to preservation of stained glass windows in bombed-out West Germany ... everything was on topic, meticulous, etc. That is, except mine. ...</p> Second-String Academic, or Last Train to Charlottesville!!!! Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-09-15T22:35:53-04:00 >2021-10-29T13:16:07-04:00 <p>I woke up this morning to find out that I am speaking at a conference at the University of Virginia in one week. I am terrified. I have never spoken at a conference before, and I am the only non-PhD student at this thing.<br><br> For those of you interested, the conference is entitled <i>Aftermath: The Cultural Response to Catastrophe</i> (Go <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for more info). So, I was originally an alternate, and apparently a presenter got sick. Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke to the rescue. The last time I was at UVa was in 1992, when I had admissions interview at the University of Virginia School of Law. <br><br> I feel like the high school basketball player who has been benched, and suddenly has to go in. This means that my weekend is going to be a lot busier than I thought. I'll post more about my presentation and such in the upcoming days. Wish me luck.</p> Frampton Comes Alive!!! (or: That Time of The Year Whereupon I Have Niklas Luhmann, Team 10, and Gary Numan on The Brain) Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-09-13T20:32:52-04:00 >2023-04-08T14:46:08-04:00 <p>Yeah, the title. More on that later. But, I am finally getting into gear here in my final year of the MED program at Yale School of Architecture. And the thing that has really been keeping me occupied of late is class selection. Now, since I will be spending most of the year working on my contribution to the <i>general discourse</i> (I loathe that term --- for more about my research, go <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>), this means I am taking only two classes, with the balance being devoted to independent study credits. <br><br> So, my first class is an advanced research seminar on the life and work of Jim Stirling. Taught by <a href="" target="_blank">Kurt W. Forster</a> (who gets my vote for the most dashing septugenarian ever) and <a href="" target="_blank">Claire Zimmerman</a> (who is a fantastic educator, thinker, and colleague), the class is really a type of long-due monographic project. Ostensibly, we will be peeking into the CCA's Stirling archives and help curate a potential exhibition of the the architect's work. Not only am I excited about taking a class abo...</p> Release The Hounds!!!!! Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-09-05T13:32:50-04:00 >2022-09-13T10:46:08-04:00 <p>I'm obviously thinking of hunters on a thrilling gallop, urging each other to release their dogs and set off after their prey. But at the onset of this new school year, I feel like the prey. This is going to be an insanely busy year: not only am I helping develop coordinate a class here at Yale in the Spring semester, but I am also one of five responsible for organizing a symposium in the Spring as well. I am a little leery of being the <i>point</i> person on projects, but I have to get over those fears.<br><br> But the two things that are really stressing me out:<br><br> (1) I am applying to PhD programs this fall. I have applied to school so many times that I am a little weary of going through this process again. It can be expensive. As to what school I will applying to, well, I'll just say that I will applying to the usual east-coast suspects. I had my first informal PhD interviews this past May, and they were, for the most part, incredibly positive. The right people seem interested in my res...</p> Basement Tapes, Seabrook, Texas, ca. 1986 Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-05-31T18:46:29-04:00 >2024-04-02T18:16:09-04:00 <img src=""><br><br> It is amazing what one can find on the internet ... for example, today I happened to stumble across a podcast directory for New England-based Madragora Records. Go to this <a href="" target="_blank">link</a>, and go to the Madragora Records podcast (labeled WeirdPod006) and look at the podcast directory. Song #6 is "tURDSTONE", by a band called Devil Donkey, one of the many bands I played in while in high school. One you download the podcast, try to find the song. It is a poor recording, with heavy drums and thin-sounding guitars and bass. There's a guy screaming over the din.<br><br> The bass player was me. That song was recorded in August 1986 (20 years ago -- GASP!!!), in my friend Gary's living room. I was just learning how to play bass (you can tell by listening to it).<br><br> I listened to the podcast, and immediately felt nostalgic for that time -- I was a chubby sophomore at Clear Lake High School in Houston, very shy, and very into the minutemen and H&Atilde;&frac14;sker D&Atilde;&frac14;. It's been a <i>very</i> long time since I have heard... Geometries of Consumption (pt. II) Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-05-16T14:04:05-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <i>continued from a previous post</i><br><br><img src=""><br><br> The labyrinthine space in Borges' <i>Death and the Compass</i> is mirrored in Franz Kafka's last novel, <i>The Castle</i>. In that book, K., a land surveyor, manuvers through the hyperbureaucratized spaces of a mysterious town. The enigmatic Castle that looms malevolently in the background of the novel is also a kind of labyrinth. Kafka writes:<br><br><b>Keeping his eyes fixed upon the Castle, K. went ahead ... But as he came closer he was disappointed in the Castle, it was only a miserable little town, pieced together from village houses ... The church tower, tapering decisively without hesitation, straightaway toward the top, capped by a wide roof with red tiles ... was an earthy building ... but with a higher goal than the low jumble of houses and with a clearer expression than that of the dull work day.</b><br><br> The apocryphal Castle of Kafka's novel forms a literal top-down bureaucracy. This image is, however, important in that it prefigures two of French thinker Georges Bat... Geometries of Consumption (pt. I) Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke 2006-05-15T10:47:26-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The perils of the text infiltrate the spaces of the city. And somewhere between the experience and the perception of a text, Roland Barthes suggests the primacy of pleassure. For him, the text is an object to be consumed, and text-consumption is within the province of the reader or critic. The reader or critic does not rewrite a text; rather, he or she completes it by adding those final touches that help disseminate the text and help ensconce it firmly in popular (collective) memory. If we are to interpret the city then as a text, then a sampling of works by Bernard Tschumi, the Situationist par excellence Guy Debord, as well as Denis Hollier's interpretations of George Bataille's writings will serve as guides for navigating and consuming the text of the city.<br><br> And how, exactly, do we do this? In the most recent issue of <i>October</i>, Cooper Union dean Anthony Vidler describes Situationist space as wholly derived from Guy Debord's childhood ephemera. In "<i>Terr&eacute;s Inconnues</i>: Cartograp...</p>