Visit: The Horniman Museum
Visit: National History Museum
Visit: Death at Wellcome Collection
See "Death a Self Portrait" at the Wellcome Collection
Contemplating the Death
→ memento mori “remember you will die”/brevity of existence/”Vanitas”/relic
The Dance of the Death
→ George Grosz, Face of death
→ Human skulls marked with numbers and words = precariousness of culture/”how the most sacrosanct entity of all - human body - can be objectified”
Eros & Thanatos
→ Table 4 from Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body (Bernard Siedfried Albinus engraving (1749)
Note: From Places to Non-Places, Marc Augé
Places and spaces, places and non-places interwine and tangle together.
Place become a refuge. Distinction between place and non-place derives from opposition between place and space.
→ PLACE: a relational, historical + concerned with identity (≠ non-place). Never completely erased/as an assembly of elements coexisting in a certain order (MdC)/
Merleau-Ponty: distinction between “geometric space" and "anthropological space" (= existential space, the scene of an experience of relations…)
The narrative “transforms place into space and spaces into places”
→ SPACE: a “frequented place… intersection of moving bodies” (Michel de Certeau) = pedestrian transforms a street into space/as animation of places by motion of body.
The term space is more abstract/an area: distance between two points, a temporal expanse (the space of the week)/airspace/advertising space: an area, lenght of time”buying space”/space as frequentation of places (journey), double movement = the traveller’s movement + parallel to the movement of the landscapes, the traveller catches a series of snapshots piled into his memory, recomposed… = not paying attention to the spectacle, position of the spectator
→ travel: constructs a fictional relationship between gaze and landscape. Tourist guides: offer anticipated images ===== THE TRAVELLER’S SPACE = the achetype of non-place.
space narrative: the narratives that traverse and organize place, “every narrative as a journey narrative” ex: the book passes through different places before becoming one itself, the narrative that describes it traverses a number of places = plurality of places (MdC) not being fully present (tourist)
→ NON-PLACE: never totally completed/mobilize extraterrestrial space for communication that puts the “individual” in contact with another image of himself. Negative quality of place. Can names be sufficient to produce “this erosion or non-place, gouged” out of a place, names create non-place in the place: turn into passages, the act of passing gives a status to place names but loss of focus → accumulation of places, negation of place/evocation of spaces in which neither identity, nor relations, nor history really make any sens = in which solitude is experienced. vanishing land: only a shadow, a rumour, a noise… the abolition of place is the consummation of the journey…
→ NON-PLACE: spaces formed in relation to certain end + relation that individuals have with these spaces (leisure, transit, commerce)/mass of relations indirectly connected/anthropological places create the organically social ≠ non-places create solitary contractuality/no room for history, has been transformed into an element of spectacle/the spectacle is only an idea only a word/
→ NON-PLACE: design to be passed through (units + time/departure + arrival).
→ word: certain place exists only through the words that evoke them = non-place or imaginary place: banal utopias, clichés/individual interact only with text/idea of place/
pilgrimage “one way place” = a space (MdC)
a rite of passage
Pb for Chateaubriand: holy places less inspiring = too much already written about them/should I produce another exact portrait, repetition?/abondance of documentation → consequence: being evasive: transform “holy” places into non-spaces
→ contrasts: transit (camps, passengers), interchange (where nobody crosses anyone else’s path), crossroads (where people meet). Passenger (his destination)/traveller (stroll)
→ The frontier zones or “marchlands” are on to totally foreign worlds (Vincent Descombes)
→ Modernity in art preserves all the temporalities of place ≠ supermodernity = produces non-places, non anthopological spaces, does not integrate earlier place (listed classified promoted to the status of “place of memory”), transit point/temporary abodes
/overabundance of events + spatial overabundance + individualization of reference = in non-places//make the old (history) into a specific spectacle///in the non-places of supermodernity there is always a specific position for “curiosities”… which are not integrated with anything, they simply bear witness, during a journey (… p111)////non-places are the space of supermodernity
… when individuals come together: they engender the social and organize places
non-spaces deal with individuals such as passengers, customers - they are identified only when they enter or leave a space - does not contain organic society
Heterotopia Michel Foucault ex: “Heterotopias of time” such as museums enclose in one place objects from all times and styles.
Edward Soja Third Space “everything comes together… subjectivity and objectivity, the abstract and the concrete, the real and the imagined, the knowable and the unimaginable, the repetitive and the differential, structure and agency, mind and body, consciousness and the unconscious, the disciplined and the transdisciplinary, everyday life and unending history.”
… I noticed the proliferation, in the contemporary world, of spaces in which no lasting social relations are established (transit spaces, spaces people pass through), I suggested calling those spaces non-places to suggest that in those contexts there were a total absence of symbolic ties, and evident social deficits.
— Conversation with Marc Augé here
Link: “Autoroute du sud” evokes non-place
"Animation touristique des autoroutes" 1972 (France) Jean Widmer
to fight monotonie and stimulate driver’s curiosity =
To create a universel language + quick read + messages distinct + playful system
2 pannels, one ask question with imagery (pictogram) and the other answer with text.
→ link to Marc Augé “place/non-place” (p97)
the return of culture into nature… the landscape keeps its distance, its architectural/natural details give rise to a text sometimes supplemented by a schematic plan… knowledge of proximity.
edgland: the interfacial interzone between urban and rural
— The edgelands are the debatable space where city and countryside fray into one another… comprise jittery, jumbled, broken ground: brownfield sites and utilities infrastructure, crackling substations and pallet depots, transit hubs and sewage farms, scrub forests and sluggish canals, allotments and retail parks, slackened regulatory frameworks and guerilla ecologies. → zone of inattention. Via the Guardian
Talk: Studio Roosegaarde at Architectural Association
Brilliant talk from Studio Roosegaarde at Architectural Association. The architect/designer introduced very inspiring project dealing with the idea of “Interactive Architecture”. Images via the studio website.
Dune 2006-2012. Modular system of length 100 cm, width 50 cm, variable heights. Hundreds of fibers, LEDs, sensors, speakers, interactive software and electronics; variable up to 400 meters.
Lotus 2010-2011. Curved wall of 4 x 2 meters with hundreds of smart foils, lamps, sensors, software and other media.
Flow 2007 2011 Interactive ventilators