The Continuum (Common threads through the 6 different projects ) Update

The Continuum

Common threads through the 6 different projects 

Connection 1: Comparison And Contrast – The Notion of Extreme


In the majority of these projects the subject artist, architects, authors and politicians explain and define their points of view by contrasting them with their opposites. Things are defined as much by what “they are not,” than by what they actually are. Some examples:

1.The Kitchen Debate: In the name of breaking the ice of the Cold War, Nixon and Khrushchev hold exhibits in each other’s countries as a part of cultural exchange. The Americans took the opportunity to showcase a modern American kitchen in Moscow as a way of promoting capitalism . The Soviets hold their exhibition in NY. The cultural exchange is simply a platform for each politician to promote his opposite political beliefs in. The choice of two cities, New York and Moscow are a stark contract to each other. In fact they are opposites. New York is the symbol or wealth, sophistication and imperialism while post war Moscow was poor and trying desperately to feed its masses.

(American exhibitionà in the communist Soviet union

the Soviet Union Exhibitionà in New York.

Warhol uses the commonplace and the mundane to create art: Campbell’s soup cans, lurid newspaper clippings, photos of guns, celebrities, urine

2A Andy Warhol’s Piss Paintings: Instead of using paint to create art, Warhol does exactly the opposite. He essentially destroys his canvas, which in this case is covered in cooper paint, by using urine. The urine oxidizes the cooper thus creating a piece of art out that isn’t .

2B The use of urine as Warhol’s “artistic medium” is interesting. Urine is not only mundane but ubiquitous, everyone whether rich or poor expels it from their body. Yet, the body always makes more. Urine unlike paint, is not precious, everyone has an infinite supply. Warhol, the darling of the art world, instead uses it to create not just art, but portraits. A Portrait is specific, unique and directly connected to one’s identity, like an image in a mirror. Typically, portraits remain in families for generations, they are symbols of stability, lineage, legacy and identity. Warhol turned that very notion upside down by creating portraits from urine, a substance that is essentially waste material.

3A.In the case of the Six Memos of the Next Millennium, Calvino describes the idea of lightness by contrasting it with its opposite, heaviness. He explains that he often subtracts weight from stories by using fewer words, in order to create lightness. Quickness is the ability of a writer to control the pace of the story.

3B.Calvino introduces his personal motto‘’Festina Lente (Hurry Slowly)’’ which coincides with Quickness. Opposites, again…

3C. On the notion of visibility, Calvino says that in a world where visual images dominate, our words need to be vivid to gain attention and stand out. He uses Word as the opposite of Image.

3D.On Multiplicity Calvino talks about a world of systems, where each system leads into another system. One system conditions the other and is conditioned by others.

In this world of systems there are infinite, they have no ending, as each system leads into the another. Here we have a constant exchange between the one and the other system.

(This is a concept can be applied to all six of my examples: Theoretically in a utopian communist society the power and the means of production belong to the people, conversely in capitalism, wealth and power is in the hands of a few. Positive and Negative, Yin and Yang – opposite forces are actually complementary, The concept of duality forming a whole. One influences the other, and one cannot exist without the other, there is a constant ‘’exchange” between the different systems)

4.In the case of FAT: they engineered their own death as a way to reinvent themselves. The death of one, begets the death of another. Life vs. Death, New vs. Old. It is a way to make a new start, a new beginning.

5A.In the case of the 2029, The network applies to the AA diploma school, 4th year, they were rejected as a means for them to continue at the AA, they had to accept the offer for a 3rd year. Acceptance vs.Rejection.

5B. Regarding the moment of ‘’singularity’’ (the concept of when robots and humans merge to become one). Is based on the idea that in order for the human race to survive, we must adapt, and physically merge with artificial intelligence. Humans must fully accept technology in order to evolve. Humans and Robots (technology) are opposites.

6A. In the case of the 3D printer the contradiction lies in shifting the way we think of constructing buildings. Essentially we have been by using variations of brick and mortar, since the beginning of time, the idea is that we would evolve to the using 3D technology instead. Brick & Mortar vs. 3D technology are opposites.

6B. In some types of 3d printers in order to have an object 3d printed (positive volume) you need to have the negative volume before.

Positive volume vs Negative.

Connection 2: Time of the event takes place in the present but it refers to the future.

The protagonists all exist in their present time but they are referring to behaviors or ideas that will be become reality in the future.

1.The Kitchen Debate:   Nixon argument is that this 1959 state-of-the art kitchen is what the typical American housewife is currently using. Where Khrushchev looks at the exhibition as something that Soviets can aspire to having in the future.

  1. At the time Andy Warhol created the Piss Paintings, the portraits were considered too extreme even for the sophisticated New York art scene. Critics hated the work, referring to it as “meaningless and disgusting”. However 40 years later, this has changed, and the Piss Paintings are considered important pieces of art .

Warhol’s Piss paintings look a future where the artist’s tools are not limited to pigments. By going in the opposite extreme direction Warhol challenged the status quo and changed our notion of what constitutes art forever.

  1. Calvino’s memos are lectures on the values of literature which he felt were important for the coming millennium.
  1. FAT uses death as a a path to reinvention. According to FAT the architect needs to ‘’die’’ in the present in order to move forward in the future. Only in death is he able to find new ideas that will make architecture once again meaningful . Successful architects in the future will not be architects at all.

5.We are discussing it now, but referring to something that will take place in the future.

Connection 3: The future Audience

All of the prompts look to the future, in the sense that these ideas were radical for the period in which they were introduced. Most people didn’t grasp the meaning and importance of these concepts because they were before their time. These ideas would gain acceptance from the majority of the audience sometime in the future.

  1. Soviets in 50 years would have state-of-the-art kitchens.
  2. Warhol’s Piss Paintings would be appreciated as avant-garde art in the future
  3. Calvino’s essays referred to values of literature that would be important to writers of the future, writers of “the new millennium.”
  4. Architects would cease to exist in the future
  5. To survive and evolve, future humans would have adapt to technology being part of their bodies. They would be techno/human hybrids.
  6. Construction methods and building timelines and materials would change radically because of future of 3D printer technology. .

Connection 4: Forms of “death” and destruction.

  1. Richard Nixon was the only U.S. president who opted to resign rather than face impeachment because of the Watergate scandal. It was a political death.
  2. Oxidation is the destruction/deterioration of a metallic surface.
  3. Calvino died and never wrote the last chapter of his lecture.
  4. Fat engineered their own death as a form of reinvention
  5. Humans as we now know them, will merge with artificial intelligence and evolve/change into a hybrid life form that is perhaps part man, part machine.
  6. Traditional brick and mortar construction methods will become extinct when the 3D printer technology takes over. 

Connection 5: Personal perspectives

Opinions And Perspectives (subjective opinions)

  1. In The Kitchen Debate each leader represents different cultural values through political ideologies. Nixon’s perspective on communism is at odds with Khrushchev’s ideas on capitalism. Nixon believes that the Soviet people have next to nothing, while Khrushchev believes that American’ consumers have too many frivolous gadgets.
  2. Warhol’s perspective on self-portraits pokes fun elitism and “preciousness.”
  3. Calvino’s perspective on literature in the future takes on the academic status quo by making words that matter meaningful and succinct. He also advocates interconnectedness as a value.
  4. FAT’s Perspective on architects in the future seems to have originated from the idea the present day architects have strayed away from their artistic mission and have become “door counters.” So why bother?
  1. Panels perspective on the Network and Ray Kurzweil on singularity
  2. Our perspective on construction
  • The concept of perspectives is directly connected with ideas and comparisons of the extreme. We need to get un-stuck and free ourselves from judgments in order to embrace new and different ideas. We look at one extreme in order to find its corollary opposite (the other extreme).

Connection 6: Different ways of recording of the events.

  1. The Kitchen Debate: Recorded on Television and shown to the world in news-clips.
  2. Warhol’s Piss Paintings: Recorded on canvas.
  3. Calvino’s : Recorded on book.
  4. Recorded on article.
  5. Recorded in the present (it’s a prediction)
  6. Recorded in the present (it’s a prediction)

Connection 7: Protagonist- artifact- space of the event

  1. Nixon, Khrushchev – Debate – Kitchen
  2. Andy, Hugo, Cutronie – piss paintings – The Factory
  3. Calvino – Book (lectures) – Auditorium
  4. FAT –                           -
  5. Network – Portfolio- Diploma Studio
  6. 3D Printer – City – Rhino space.









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