Iconography, or the problem of representation

the cellardoor whore

actually there was more relevance in your less simpler talk.

true that adorno and hokheimer set out to rescue the odject from the voracious appetite of subjectivity in its ideal singularity (contra heideggar). the world, and art and the subject, was, for them, rendered by the enlightenment into a latticework of signs; epistemology, 'truth' and knowing it, became valueless. this forms the basis for their attack against ideology and reification. their sentiment is trully that of rosseau unshackling (but vis a vis labour). the critical, having roots in kantian critique, was that which precludes through argumentation as much as it defines its field and scope of knowledge. so, yes, the knowledge of technique/tool-making-made ...savoir/ inherent within that scope. however, and here lies the paradox, if not the contradiction, in adorno and hokheimer's convictions...whilst attempting to save the status of an object from an all to consuming subjectivity, the subjectivity they assumed (as in the interpretation of the Odysseus myth) was all too self-devouring. again, rosseau-ian romanticism. the true core of the critical is a discontent, a resistance...not merely a proliferation of know-how. this is where AZP (who would probably side with you though you side unwittingly against him by thinking you side with what you might imagine him to be siding with) defines (correctly) and the critical...this is his core of discomfort and i find his mine. critical theory, at heart, is against the nuances of pragmatic positivism that your language caption.

anyways, i think ur another jargonist idiot savant. cheers.

Feb 25, 06 3:56 pm  · 
job job

god look at this horrorprose... look, you can throw husserl and jameson in there, all of the 19th c aesthetic theorists (pitch all manner of names - jargonist idiot savant - such brio), and it won't make me like you more. Apologies for the late response - I've finished a long meeting without end, and i'm going for dinner - without your late-80's arch-as-logos derivements.

here is an image for you

with compliments, cheers

Feb 27, 06 3:36 pm  · 
job job

who is hockheimer - actually, don't answer that. tell me he's the father of radical pooflinging in dresden - it's fine

Feb 27, 06 3:39 pm  · 
the cellardoor whore

horkheimer ..and really very 1944

and that specifically was in response to this : "The critical, secondo mei, is the distance between subject/object, but de-contextualized from hegelian end-of-history and Spirit."
(though, i didnt tackle hegel was, for adorno, hegel undoing hegel ... auswitzch as the Idea)

no where did i mention architecture. in fact, i digressed because its a passive aggressive of saying something else.

oh like me, like me , love you long time

Feb 27, 06 4:03 pm  · 
the cellardoor whore


a bit tipsy :o) and horny

Feb 27, 06 4:08 pm  · 

I think that if architecture is would be nice if it's less obvious and more subtle..

theres no great mental challenge in making a bldg for a footwear company look like a shoe or a hotel in the middle east look like a dhow boat.
That would be childish and regressive to the millenia of the evolution of architecture.

Plan for buddhist structures reflecting the perfect union and proportions of the buddhas mind body and speech.

Feb 28, 06 4:50 am  · 

typical hindu temple plan...

( hidden symbolism of the womb and the birth canal ..detailed to the level of three layers of walls enclosing the sanctum sanctorum..which is symbolic of the three membranes which cover the human foetus )

The full experience is a metaphor for a rebirth of the devotee who enters the temple...being "born-again" in the realm of the spiritual !

Thats called representation dude ! it rocks !

Feb 28, 06 4:59 am  · 

The building's banquet hall will be covered by a wildly curvy, undulating metal-and-glass trellis reaching up to 75 feet, while the main entrance will be made up of stacked building blocks separated by glass enclosed spaces. The contrast suggests the dual functions of the brain, simultaneously ordered and chaotic, structured and imaginative.

I can imagine you know who's the tect by the wildlyness of the curvy. (see archrec)

Feb 28, 06 7:37 am  · 
job job

hi Javier, you're up early - in which part of the world are you now?

the hindu temple - would you suggest it's more ritual than representation? there was an event called the 'running of the lupercii (sp)' that traced the original romulus-remus wall and re-enact the founding of rome. perhaps quondam will know more...

the Cellardoor Whore - must admit, you're a diamond dog

Feb 28, 06 8:19 am  · 

since im a sucker for all things historical and traditional and a person who thinks that most genuine knowledge has been lost down the ages..
..and also since this was related to my college thesis project.

another link on the secret symbolism of architecture followed by the ancient vedic aryans in India.

The Vedic altar was reconstructed each year near the time of vernal equinox as a symbolic reconstruction of Prajapati, the year (Kramrisch 1981; Staal 1983). Built of five layers, representing the five seasons, five elements and five directions, the altar was surrounded by a wall of 360 bricks acknowledging that the year is bounded by 360 days. The fired bricks symbolized the elements of fire, earth, and water. The sun horse provided the element of air by breathing upon the bricks of the altar to bring them to life[i]

[i]When laying out the design for a temple, the orientation of the site had to be established at a time when the sun was in the northern part of the sky, i.e., when it was above the cosmic ocean, and on a day when there were no sunspots disfiguring its visible surface. A pillar, the gnomon, was erected and used to cast measured shadows. At one level of meaning the gnomon represented the God Indra who "pillared apart" and therefore differentiated heaven and earth; the pillar supported the heaven and steadied the earth (Kramrisch 1991). The yupa, the sacrificial post, the lingam, the central pole of a tent used for dance, and the tree of life are other examples of sacred or ritual pillars (Vatsyayan 1983). The stalk of the lotus bearing Brahma, the four-faced creator of the universe, is another cosmogonic pillar from which creation emanates.

[i]In the Indian gnomon we encounter the remarkable union of a technical and a ritual device(Ajitagama: Dagens 1984). It is placed in a square area, which had to be "as smooth as a mirror", checked with a water level. Around the gnomon is traced a circle with a radius equal to the height of the gnomon. In the simplest of approaches two points are marked on the circle where the shadow of the gnomon touches it at midmorning and midafternoon. These two points are joined by a straight line which is close to true east-west

Feb 28, 06 9:20 am  · 
Alejandro Zaero-Polo proposes that an architect can use an image out of our image-culture and use it in his design.

Im sorry (Maybe I'm just a cynic.)but If Ive understood this correctly..the profession would then become no different from someone inserting images from clip-art onto a microsoft word file.

or maybe I'm just bitter.

Feb 28, 06 11:29 am  · 

Yokohama Cruise Terminal: the image of the Hokusai Wave represents the weaving organisation of the terminal-building, and easily communicates the project to the public.

what a scam !.. The Hokusai wave painting if viewed originally expresses the hidden balance in nature ..the yin and yang principle..and overall the triumph of the will of man under stronger forces of nature or destiny.( without upsetting the balance of nature )

The original got nothing to do with weaving or knitting of any organisational functions to be represented for any terminal or station or whatever.

Yes I am bitter now.I think I'll just go listen to my Dark side of the moon CD

--I only beg that gentlemen of sufficiently long life take care to note the truth of my words." --Katsushika Hokusai

Feb 28, 06 11:54 am  · 
Michiel van Raaij

Nevermore - you state that you personally like the abstract symbolism of ancient Indian architecture. And Javier Arbona backs you with a contemporary example - Gehry. I've already shown the use of iconography in his Guggenheim-museum (i.e. fish) earlier in the discussion. In his Las Vegas example Gehry clearly sells his project with this - is it symbolism?

The question that arises is whether or symbolism and iconography are somewhere connected, or not. Is it just a matter of abstraction, as you suggest? It seems to me that 'symbolic' architecture is almost imperceivable, without prior knowledge. In this discussion by repetition people suggest that 'difficult' architecture is better than 'easy' architecture. But is it? And more important: are the projects that I've shown here less intelligent that the 'normal' buildings... or are they perhaps more intelligent?

I think the opposite the way you do: I think architecture gets more intelligent in time. I also think that symbolic architecture is less intelligent that iconography. With iconography the material of the building itself is affected - construction, organization, materialization. Where symbolic architecture seems far more superficial. There are variations in shape, plans, etc. but the construction, organization, materials pretty much remain the same... it's lack of expression makes it necessary to know the stories to get the idea.

Feb 28, 06 12:07 pm  · 


I think You've missed the entire point that I was trying to make.

cutting out the verbiage ,In effect What I meant was that if you compare ancient vis a vis modern.

ancient arch expressed some principle in its form,function, iconography which was beyond itself.

something "BEYOND" the stones which it was built by.

modern arch ( more or less ) expresses itself.
its becoming "vainer" by the day.

secondly on the question of intelligence in building..

you wrote-->It seems to me that 'symbolic' architecture is almost imperceivable, without prior knowledge

How many architects today can effectively convey their "profound" concepts effectively to the layman.

yes most architecture of the past was greek and latin to the normal person.( pun unintended )..but those architects then WANTED it to be that way.
It was elitist...The subtle metaphysics of the Pyramids of Giza or the temple complex to Lord Vishnu at Angkor Vat was not meant to be understood by the riff-raff was only for the initiated.

Modern architects want their profound theories to be understood by all.They want it..Its an ego trip..but they rarely succeed.

to give an example
I mean ..lets get real here..If im a passenger running late to catch a flight or a train at some terminal whose form is esoteric..I personally wont give a damn abt the hidden symbolism of the form of the building.

the moot point being...ICONOGRAPHY TO EXPRESS WHAT ?

ITSELF ? ? ? ?

well some school of thoughts would think thats ok..but I cannot accept that. and I shall never.

of course ..Im no great architect to comment .. but the relevant example that Xavier gave us abt frank gehry 's bldg for alzheimer disease having the dual functions of the brain, simultaneously ordered and chaotic, structured and imaginative too ..I repeat

is TOO simplistic as a concept.

A true master architect in my view would be if he designs the spaces , the form, the iconography of the same brain research institute in a way which would ..if possible his spaces and his form could somehow contribue to the treatment of a brain disease ?..

sounds spectacular..but it was done in the past......

I'll give you an example of an "intelligent " building ..

In the past ,Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva especially were designed in such a way along the natural earths magnetic axis...such that when a person walked in the temple..his red blood corpuscles in his blood ( the iron chemical in his body ) was aligned with the earths magnetic axis..and his circulation was stabilised and joined with the natural magnetic axis of the earth.(The main idol in the centre --the sanctum sanctorum was a piece of actual meteorite..with high magnetic properties.)....Such that a person who was mentally disturbed was automatically calmed down and his blood pressure regulated ..maybe even it was for a few moments

im sorry this may have been slightly tangential to the topic..but was just to give u an example of what i meant by "expressing" higher principles.

Lastly...I think using XYZ to represent ABC ...saying that "Hey ! I want to use XYZ to represent ABC ,because i think XYZ contains the element of ABC
(when it actually doesnt i showed u in the case of Hokusai wave inspired terminal )

is utter nonsense.

well Its fine michiel..In the end ..there's no problem if we think opposite or in the same stream.
you say arch is getting more intelligent , I respect your personal views... ..but I think with respect to iconography architecture (in general) is becoming stupid..more hollow.

Mar 1, 06 9:02 am  · 
The Working Title Museum

(Bilbao "Affect")
East Bank of the Schuylkill River, Quondam

conceptual sketch 001
conceptual sketch 002
conceptual sketch 003
conceptual sketch 004

Mar 1, 06 10:38 am  · 
Michiel van Raaij

Haha, well if the state of architecture would be measured with the sketches of quondom, I would agree that architecture has reached rock-bottom... Perhaps a condom would be useful for the cockyness of quondom...

Mar 1, 06 11:05 am  · 

Michiel, be realistic. Architecture has not reached rock bottom, nor is it likely to do so too anytime soon. What is unfortunate, however, is how architects have for the most part been trained to deny a whole bunch of reality.

"This comparison is not about precedents, rather predictabilities."

Mar 1, 06 11:45 am  · 
job job




how i learned to stop worrying, and love wacky image-as-justifications

Mar 1, 06 11:50 am  · 
job job



Mar 1, 06 11:52 am  · 

monkey building

Mar 1, 06 12:02 pm  · 

One thing to clarify about what I posted on 02/28... It's not clear from the article if that was Gehry's selling point or something that the reporter came up with. Anyone who is seriously researching that should try to contact the reporter.

Mar 1, 06 4:44 pm  · 

Subject: Re: Colors of the season
Date: 2003.08.07

The last time I purposefully read anything on color (almost
10 years ago) was John Shearman, "The Functions of
Michelangelo's Color" in The Sistine Chapel" A Glorious Restoration (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994).
An arbitrary quotation from p. 88:
"Michelangelo's restless experimentation produces much inconsistency."
--Stephen Lauf, A Quondam Banquet of Virtual Sachlichkeit: Part III, not yet paginated.

Mar 1, 06 5:23 pm  · 

-The school of athens by Raphael

Plato and aristotle walking together while debating ,the two central figures in the painting

the very transcendental and metaphysical nature of Plato's philosophic thinking on the one hand, VS the very "down to earth," practical nature of Aristotle's teachings on the other.

Plato is dressed in ethereal colours of purple and orange -signifying heavenly elements--fire and air/ether
aristotle in more earthly colours-blue and dark brown, water and earth.

I think I'll hang this painting up here in this thread.
Its quite suited for the topic.

Mar 2, 06 4:01 am  · 

To jump in - I agree somewhat with Nevermore - the communicativeness of iconic buildings that Michiel has a taste for, seems to be an expressiveness of quite simple & stupid things - easy to work into 3d images.

How would architecture get "more clever" by relying on imagery as a generative force instead of balancing "iconicness" with the palette of other architectural dimensions. Space. Use. Flows. Time. Context, cultural and spatial. and so forth.

Why should we consider this image-heavy approach instead of a more balanced one, when the image-driven process seems to lend itself especially to quite awkward metaphors or untenable pairings?

And I have to say, now that AZP's texts have been quoted at lenght repeatedly, that it seems to be necessary for him to cloak a few simple notions of architectural priorities in obscure language just so, that their inherent stupidity would not be too glaring (might be also because my education has been in a non-english-language school - can't stand gibberish..). That is, of course if we talk about architecture. marketing being another case.

Mar 2, 06 5:23 am  · 

Sylvia Lavin on AZP's article:

1. The nature of architectural discourse is going through a radical and systematic transformation right now.

2. AZP's essay - working out the tangled relation of avant guard practices and success and failure.

3. "The Gherkin" - as a nickname, for example - is a theoretical form of cliff notes for architecture, and a new form of power for architects.

4. Complexities become assimilable to the audience through this act of titling - and it’s not a talking down to the audience - it’s a new form of discourse that brings the audience into participation.

3. Cliff notes are a provocative genre in academic discourse. What kind of achievement is it to take Moby Dick and condense it to a few pages? They're a model of argumentative reading.

So really, can we see this essay as not arguing for a simplification of architectural form, but rather to create a form of discussion for architecture that structures entry points and channels of communication between architects, architecture's complexity and their audience.

And we can judge these metaphors not for their legibility as icons, but for their efficacy as tools of discussion. For example, the wave may be a shallow metaphor for describing Yokohama's form, but it was an effective tool for introducing the project's complex structuring of flows, movements and surface forms.

Mar 2, 06 7:15 am  · 


I dont want to sound argumentative, but I'd like to see the other side of the shore....

If I may humbly ask you.....

HOW does the Hokusai wave become a tool for showing "structuring of flows", movements and surface forms."

the theme of the painting as accepted by most art critics its not abt architecture ..its abt the artist's will to be.

as i wrote earlier-->it expresses the hidden balance in nature ..the yin and yang principle..and overall the triumph of the will of man under stronger forces of nature or destiny.

1)..notice the calm fisherman in the tiny boats despite the great wave rising on them.

2)Mt Fuji in the background...the wave signifying troubles may rise higher than the mountain but thats momentary compared to the eternal symbol of hope and holiness in Japan-Mt fuji..which they revere in Japanese culture.

3) also its a storm but the sun is shining (yellow background )

( Katsushika Hokusai had a difficult, tormented life and his never say die attitude --the spirit to go against the difficulties in his life -is reflected in the painted)

well ,if the basics of the painting are being looked at..the waves,the foam etc to describe complex structuring of flows etc of the project ..that could have been 'inspired" from any other work of art.

I think if merely those topical aspects were culled from the painting to describe the terminal project..It's great injustice to this masterpiece and the genius of the artist.

Mar 2, 06 7:58 am  · 

nevermore - you're looking too closely. The building and the painting don't share a deep connection.

I look at the painting, and think - well the ebb and flow of tides causes the surface of the water to buckle and produce form ... and here, you see the ebb and flow off passenger, disturbs the form of the terminal's port surface ... etc. and the painting has certain topical, cultural and political resonances that can be capitalized on. Such as water/ ferry terminal associations, FOA demonstrates a sympathy and interest in Japanese culture ... etc. In life, you have to be oportunistic- particularly if you are a 35 yrd old that is fighting for a huge commission, in a foreign land, with an unusual design. You see how the painting is a transitional tool. It doesn't dumb down architecture, it opens up a more complex discussion.

The painting may be a representation of the artist's troubled soul .. sure, but so what? It can be discussed more generally. For example, I might not have interpreted it that way if you hadn't told me.

Mar 2, 06 8:41 am  · 

why not this painting to depict the yokohama cruise terminal ?
Its by the same artist.

it contains all the elements you expressed ( I look at the painting, and think - well the ebb and flow of tides causes the surface of the water to buckle and produce form ... and here, you see the ebb and flow off passenger, disturbs the form of the terminal's port surface ... etc )

and its even more closer to the theme of a cruise terminal. ( If we are looking at it generallyand topically.)

The design of FOA may be good or whatever, no comment on that ..but with regards to the symbolism.Lol...

I think Im convinced that it was all a silly stunt by FOA to capture the project
a random pick of a japanese national icon, a common physical element ( water ) and mixing it with a lot of architectural balltalk.

Frankly Im disappointed ,I didnt expect this from them.

lastly J-turn
you wrote--The painting may be a representation of the artist's troubled soul .. sure, but so what? It can be discussed more generally

sure it can.
I dont know..I personally think one shouldnt be that insensitive.That attitude would gradually lower our own intellectual and artistic calibre

Mar 2, 06 9:31 am  · 

Well, you're right in a lot of ways. The sencond painting may have been as effective as well. And it may well be a "silly stunt" on their part, but if you see it a such you're closing the discussion without really considering the potentials that Alejandro is trying argue for.

Mar 2, 06 9:40 am  · 

just to clarify on one last point - one can discuss any painting in numerous ways - some of which may contradict an artist stated intention, and not be insensitive.

Another thing is your us of the term "symbolism" - Yokohama isn't meant to symbolize the Wave. to restate my earlier point:

we can judge these metaphors not for their legibility as icons, but for their efficacy as tools of discussion. For example, the wave may be a shallow metaphor for describing Yokohama's form (here I mean its symbolism), but it was an effective tool for introducing the project's complex structuring of flows, movements and surface forms.

Mar 2, 06 9:51 am  · 

So - I think everybody agrees that communication in architecture is a thing that should be achieved, but to what degree and in what way should communication happen? And furthermore, what is "the public"?

-I'm pretty sure that the wide public communicate with buildings most through everyday use, not by contemplating visual clues. As in PoMo, this easy-to-read visual play is directed to the architecture-public. (or maybe more to the point, they are the only ones who give a shit about it. the "real public" would probably be happy if the houses looked like houses - as they usually and tirelessly tell us architects...)

The idea that using imagery as a marketing tool is fine. No-one has any problems with that. but I have a problem, when the Hokusai wave, for an example, is being put forward as a guiding principle in a certain design. I like the building, I like the image - but I don't like hypocritical statements about values and decisions derived from an art-object that seems to have some other (in some cases contradictory- for an example compositional asymmetry) set of values working in it more prominently.

J-turn, you say you wouldn't have interpreted the painting as the image of the artists soul (not a veryvery farfetched connection - actually the first assumption usually when dealing with art) - on the other hand, I still can't make the connection between the FOA terminal and the painting, even with these half-assed explanations. I find this amusing.

And to add to Lavin's first remark (or your first quote) - architectural practice and the ways architects are selling themselves is going through a radical change - this may also alter the wider discourse.

Mar 2, 06 9:54 am  · 

The Hosukai wave wasn't put forward as a guiding priniciple for the design. It was used as a tool to frame a discussion. It worked more as a diagram that as an icon. It was an element of a process, not an inspiration or point of departure.

Mar 2, 06 10:05 am  · 

ok. that is more sensible.

Mar 2, 06 10:06 am  · 

But. i really can't see the "potentialities" in using imagery in a prominent way in doing architecture. How would that add to the communicative aspects of a building? Looking like something? Is that meaningful communication?

Mar 2, 06 10:09 am  · 

Nevermore, on closer inspection, I find your analysis of the Wave painting to be suspect.

"notice the calm fisherman in the tiny boats despite the great wave rising on them." ... really - I can't really tell, but they seem to be clutching the rails of their boats, scared shitless, holding on for their lives ... could you post a detail of them?

"it expresses the hidden balance in nature" - what? where? There's a freaking tidal wave that unsettling the scene as both a narrative and composition.

"yellow sky" - hey - when the sun is shining the sky is blue - a yellow sky is something quite murky and ominous. Have you ever seen a yellow sky? It usually happens when light is passing through overcast clouds at an oblique angle. Where's this sun you speak of?

At any rate, that's an aside - just to illustrate the multiple readings that a single painting can produce.

Mar 2, 06 10:15 am  · 

Helsinki - architecture is image - we communicate our intentions through drawings and renderings - 2-d images. I don't see any problem with introducing another genre of images to a process that is highly image-driven to begin with.

Mar 2, 06 10:17 am  · 

It doesn't have to be strictly about "looking like something" - you could show an image of oa phenomenton - like a dune, or a leaf .. whatever and treat it diagrammatically by say I wan't to produce a design the ACTS like the contents of the image. So you use the image as an instrument to communicate intent - not just form.

Mar 2, 06 10:22 am  · 

J-turn you arent looking deep enough.

Yes ,The wave is the centrepiece of the painting. Its unsettling the painting

1)The curve of the large wave ..its action is balanced by the void of the empty space below it.

The fury of the impending crash of the wave is balanced by the image of Mount Fuji..which is the second thing which one's eye travels to in the painting.

The Motion,fluidity,furiousness of the wave( water element ) is balanced by the ,stable, fixed security of the mountain Fuji (Earth element )
therein Mt fuji also doubles up as a symbol of hope and providence in a turbulent setting as that.

2) The fisherman are all tiny and huddled together but are still calm in facing the wave.
They have the confidence that they will overcome this wave too.
cos look at the boat on the right of the picture coming down from the crest of the wave. (its not completely seen but its almost the same size as the main wave in the picture )

so they overcame one obstacle and are diving straight into the other.

Mind you..The artist has kept the dignity of struggle intact ,he hasnt shown the fishermen and their boats being tossed about.

3)Yea I know theres no sun, I meant that its not an overcast rainy dark sky as generally happens in a storm.

finally I still cannot see any SPECIAL or unique connection between the form, contents,intention,diagram,process, intent ,icon,between the terminal design and the painting. Atleast nothing that couldnt have been achieved by pairing it with any other similar painting.
whatever .

Mar 2, 06 11:10 am  · 

What I find most suspect is the implied notion that the FOA terminal is now only fully discussable with reference to the Hosukai wave. The real connection between the two artifacts/designs is superficial at best, and in some ways comes off as trying to "pull the wool over everyone else's eyes."

Is it really true that most architects have a hard time communicating their designs to the public? That's not a rhetorical question. I'm seriously wodering what the answer is. I can see where FOA has a hard time communicating their designs to the public, but do most other architects also have a hard time communicating their designs to the public? Have architects overall become more and more unable to communicate their designs? If this is true, then something tells me that it isn't the public that is really most to blame.

Mar 2, 06 11:46 am  · 

But you could make an alternate reading of the painting by substituting contrasted for balanced.

The fury of the impending crash of the wave is contrasted by the image of Mount Fuji..which is the second thing which one's eye travels to in the painting. Thus making the painting more dynamic and unsettling.

The Motion,fluidity,furiousness of the wave( water element ) is contrasted by the ,stable, fixed security of the mountain Fuji (Earth element )

The repetition of the dark masses with light peaks in both the mountain and the wave creates an equation between the two. Isn't Mt. Fuji a volcano? How stable is that? The wave thus become fast and mencing and the volcano is slow and menacing.

The relative calm in the face of the fishermen in such a reading would imply resignation to that fact that sooner or later, nature's gonna getcha.

But again - off topic. Can you see A connection between the wave and terminal? We're not looking for exclusivity here, rather efficacy.

Mar 2, 06 11:51 am  · 

"If this is true, then something tells me that it isn't the public that is really most to blame."

>> true. talking to the public isn't exactly a skill we learn in school.

Mar 2, 06 11:59 am  · 

yes j turn maybe you can see it also in the ways which you mentioned.
Either way the contrast and cancelling out of the symbols is there.
the yin and yang principle..complimentary opposites.
'which is what I said the zen principle of balance in nature.

J-turn, Im hardly stating that there is NO connection between the wave and the terminal.

But is there any Special connection between the two...why is the hokusai wave painting only and not any other wave painting ( japanese or by the same artist ) showing waves or water or motion

which i asked before and I assume as quondam and helsinki also are questioning about.

why did they consider that painting only, as element of a process?..thats my question.

Are they scamming the public or is there anything that FOA saw and I am missing.

Mar 2, 06 12:03 pm  · 

What's the scam here?

Mar 2, 06 12:12 pm  · 
job job

i don't know the Lavin article, but clearly ZaeraPolo's position on using imagery is another way of disseminating information - as j-turn quotes.

i bought the FOA book on the ferry terminal:

the cover is an organizational diagram that mapped function/use that generated form. As they wrote inside, any change to one local part of the diagram created a global change to the entire building (which puzzled the japanese - "why can't you change JUST the locker storage area?").

the hokusai wave was nowhere in sight, and its appearance now is just another layer with which to discuss it. The clear diagram that indicated a performativity is overlaid (i'm not saying replaced) with a woodprint that supposedly allows further points of entry among architect, building, audience. Nevermore and skunst made good points of why that particular image - why not a rollercoaster (and foa mentioned its rollercoaster construction in a lecture), or, correctly, another print from the same artist? If it's a question of efficacy, the strength of the tsunami-scale wave depends on our willingness to trade a fluid dynamic appearance for the phenomenon itself. It WANTS to be discussed on that level.

the reason he chose the hokusai wave, is most likely because it's an image that is widely recognized, and considered 'cool' (by us - who knows what the japanese make of it - jump gives it a low opinion). I don't think the audience really figures in the equation

Mar 2, 06 12:31 pm  · 

The notion that "any change to one local part of the diagram created a global change to the entire building" is for the most part virtual and for the most part not a reality. Interesting how it here goes back to "the relativity and fragility of the play-world."

Mar 2, 06 12:52 pm  · 
Michiel van Raaij

J-turn - where did Silvia Lavin stated her reaction on the text of Alejandro Zaero-Polo?

Mar 2, 06 12:54 pm  · 

ha - I have to agree with quondam (twice in one day) - now there's this funny bridal photo studio in the building - I wonder how that fit into the diagram?

The sylvia points were from a lecture at the GSD.

Mar 2, 06 1:00 pm  · 
Michiel van Raaij

Some philosopers are speculating on a paradigm-shift from language, linguistics towards the visual, pictorial. The shift from linguistic to visual is a shift from lineairity to multiplicity. It's still a very lineair argument... but I'm intrigued... The turn towards iconography might be an effect of that paradigm-shift. Obviously there are more strategies than iconography that are useful to explore in this 'visual' world.

Mar 2, 06 1:03 pm  · 

Wait a minute, that bridal photo studio should be in this building!

j-turn, if you're ever in Philadelphia allow me to take you to Shofuso. It's best when all the azaleas are in bloom.

Mar 2, 06 2:35 pm  · 

The particular Hokusai Great Wave painting was a part of a series of 36 views of "Mount Fuji". So BS, it has nothing to do with the wave in the first place! The wave in the 'foreground' is actually the "backdrop" to the Fuji Mountain! , FOA, etc (and me too ). are all damn mistaken if they think the painting is only about the wave. lol....


Michiel ..the roots of philosophy was always in the pictorial.
( back in the days of primitive man).

if you say that some philosophers think that pictures/visuals should be replacing literature.Their brains are going back to the stone age.
language ( the alphabets in any language )are also actually images.
the alphabets were also derived from symbols.

I was having a conversation with my friend ( she's a great architect )about this topic and she thinks :-

that modernist/pomo arch. has become so terribly individualistic and communicative - that is a problem, not a sign of intelligence. - that, is a sign of arch. having gone decadent and corrupt.

The problem with this kind of iconography will be akin to turn Arch. into a commercial Signboard! And any sensible person can really see what that means ,is an end to any "authentic communication" as the bill-board simply and vulgarly sends "signals" to the brain like a traffic-light

people cannot think, see or feel; so we must feed it to them'; that's an insult to man's intelligence, no? A question mark on man's capacity to understand a doghnut cafe unless it weren't designed in the shape of a doghnut!?

Its a banner crying out loud, "we are stupid, we need signs... signs for the blind"...

that's self-defeating - when a mode for communication is utilized (iconography) and ends up with that very purpose - defeated.

Mar 3, 06 4:12 am  · 

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