Been reading up on the art and science on perspective in order to have it define (or maybe refine) my intentions with the project, with the questions addressed in the recon and the drawing in hindsight. Now is back to APP, and Sunday will be a HTS day!
“People do not organise or fight for something, but they organise to fight against something.”
–Gerald Silver (quoted from “The Seduction of Place”, by Joseph Rykwert)
What is the horizon line? It is the main equivalent and representation
of an infinite production, which does not curve, since the horizon itself
(in the drawing, not in reality) is infinite and can thus be magnified
to an infinite degree. It is the camera which sets the limit, like the eye did
in the days before physical reproduction. The office is the factory, and the collective
within the factory works towards a common goal from multiple views.
Thus, the perspective begins in the anti-horizon, and cannot end in the horizon
as this indicates that there can be only one result to the office; all forms converge
into one position, one output, one product. The infinity of the horizon is replaced
by its all-encompassing flatness and “line-ness.” What begins as a difference ends up
in monotony; we have to replace the horizon, we have to eradicate, and eventually draw
an office which is finite but indeterminate, which does not end in this line, but
at the same time, starts from the same conditions; we are all standing in the “now”, and
a movement does not begin in the call for the same solution, but in addressing
*the same question.* When we agree on a problem, we are united, and the conflict
that arises is a conflict of solutions – but as long as the problem is clearly stated
we can use arguments (aimed for the mind or the heart) to decide
upon the best direction forward. The “issue” is magnified into a “rationale”;
as we’ve been forced to abandon the movements of the past, we now have to embrace
the movement of the present, which has, as its core, the sureness of the now – we speak
of a “point of departure” as much as a “rallying point”; the focus here is, needless to say
on “point.” How do we draw this? How do we model it? How can the issue
of representation ever begin to reach the same level of discussion that we see
in the difficulty in proceeding ahead despite not choosing to create a project
according to principles set out by a contemporary precedent? If we are forced
to only refer to the now as our movement (in that people come together to fight
against something, rather than for something), how do we interpret the now if we are
solely constricted by the past? This is a fallacy; the past does not exist – it has existed.
We do not employ the past in deciding on our reaction to the present, because
that reaction is the only thing we have. We are stuck in the present, because we *are*
the present. Here, again, we return to the “now” of the representation:
it resembles something, because it is, in itself, the capacity of the now to be distorted.
Wear a pair of shades for a week, and you will be blinded by the light once you
take them off. The architectural factory, therefore, is turned on its head;
it begins in the product (the now), and eventually establishes its output
in multiple readings of architecture, the difference of which keeps
the movement together, precisely because we agree on the departure point.
If the departure point is the office, the change in perspective thus changes
the office as well. The issue, here, is that the office must change.
To change the use of perspective, we have to change the medium through which
the perspective finds its application, which is the flat canvas. A vanishing point
reaches its logical conclusion because it is conditioned by the flatness to apply
to certain rules, which do not provide drawing with the liberation we seek
but rather forces it to adhere to certain rules in order to be deemed correct;
but the inappropriateness is the very saving grace of the drawing versus the render
because before the computer, it was a craft to pick a certain view and render it
on vellum with the appropriate distances; but one can argue that the breakdown
of the hand-drawn perspective began far earlier, with the invention of the camera
the artificial lens. Before the camera, the eye alone dictated the possibility
and appropriateness of perspective; what we saw was correct and already
so perfectly aligned to what we see, that the purpose of art became what we
would later term “photorealism”; it became “vision”; the drawing was forced
to show not what the eye could see for itself, but what it could’ve seen
*if* it was present in the specific situation rendered
by the neoclassicist’s brush movements. Now, we’re living
in the age where the photograph and the render seem to open up
such unending possibilities that radically alter our perception of the world
that we dismiss the limitations that follow with every mathematical program
(which *demands* logic). The substantially shortened time it takes
to achieve near-photorealism, where all lines converge exactly as they should
has killed the manipulative (hand-drawn) perspective; to substitute this loss
we invented Photoshop. If the sky is not dark enough, we filter it. If the image
doesn’t reveal enough, we merge it with another. We cut in happy people
and flocks of birds until we have something that *appears* to be real, but isn’t.
Reality is boring. Much like the Dolly Zoom or the green screen, the architectural project
is distinguished from the architectural product in that it doesn’t allow for reality
to simply be reality – in that sense, the architecture of the pen, of the sketch
or of the render, all have in common the fact that they are not true; such fakeness
is magnified by the potential of the illusion; it forces our means of representation
to account for our definition of the architect in the office. The office changes
as the perspective of the architect changes. The foreshortening of perspective is akin
to the approach of drawing things as they appear, not things as they are, and are
therefore calling into question the idea of the office-representation versus things
as they are perceived. The drawing that displays its inhabitants at a scale “not realistic”
is perhaps more realistic than The Last Supper, which is not concerned
with reality per se, but with an ideal representation of that reality.
The architectural factory breaks the parallelism of the factory, out of the need
to define, in the factory, what makes a parallel line; any two lines which *paper-wise*
are not parallel can converge into a parallelism of the illusion. It is when the third line
is drawn, when it establishes another vantage point, that the perspective evolves;
it ends up not in chaos, but in a system of making oblique objects be perceived as parallel
to each other. When we *think* that what we see is the truth, when we *trust*
the drawing to a sufficient degree, we will accept the near-ideal placement
of objects as true, or true-enough. It should surprise no-one that the reality
of the singular architect in the office is found in the illusion of the drawings he produces.
No wall-construction nor door-moulding is ever true, but they are used
as transpositions (translations) of that which will become true: the architectural product.
The project, on the other hand, is entirely fictional, but does not gain the ability
to convince us on this merit; on the contrary, having been exiled from the world
the project must find its way back again, by the means
of research, precision and sound assumptions. It has to come back
to the “now” which it has left in order to proclaim the future. The best of projects
are those which convince us that they could indeed be built next day, given that they
have already been accepted by us, the architects. There is an entire parallel world
in the project, an otherworld which acts as the more exalted version of thisworld
while still being subordinated to this. Just like a line on the paper “somewhat” follows
the establishment of a vantage point, what would happen if the vantage point
*began to move*? This runs contrary to the movement of our body, but not
the movement of our eye. Everytime the eye moves, a new vantage point
is established, and the lines converging into it are shifting location, not angle.
It does indeed run contrary to common sense: it is the eye that moves, not the world.
But, in truth, the thing that is moving is our view of the world, our mental picture
whose very acquaintance with our way of looking is perceived as perfectly normal.
Either the world moves, or the eye moves, we say, but what happens
when we experience both? Will the nature of the world be more readily described
as a floating point? If there are only three directions available
to the 3D-modelling program, does it set the limit of the number of points
to which an object can converge? Certainly not, the xyz-indicator is merely
a mathematical invention; it has nothing to do with perspective. The means
of representation can emerge as project-creating, in themselves.