Considering a few perspectives on representing the voids and its cultural value in the modern context. A building that opens up onto the street from one side and the darkness of the void on the other. A window into darkness:
Props for voids? A turell sky opening into the dark void?
“Since Mallarmé, scriptural experience has deployed itself in the relation between the act of moving forward and the death-dealing soil on which its wandering leaves its track. In this respect, the writer is also a dying man who is trying to speak. But in the death that his footsteps inscribe on a black (and not blank) page, he knows and he can express the desire that expects from the other the marvellous and ephemeral excess of surviving through an attention that it alters.”
These thoughts are difficult, elusive, hard to parse. Yet I suspect they are vital if we want to think of what it means to write today – to write, that is, in the shadow of omnipresent and omniscient data that makes a mockery of any notion that the writer might have something to inform us, and of a technologically underwritten capitalism that both writes and reads itself. We could quite easily dismiss these thoughts as French bollocks, brush them aside and pen great tales of authenticity and individual affirmation, even as the sands in which we’d need to bury our heads in order to do so are being blown away. Alternatively, we could explore, with trepidation and with melancholy joy, this ultra-paradoxical and zombie-like condition, this non-life-restoring resurrection that, if De Certeau is correct, is writing’s true and only lot, its afterlife. What would this afterlife look like? What forms might these melancholy-joyful explorations take? It is impossible to prescribe these – nor would I want to. I just hope they happen: let a thousand zombies bloom.
From an article by Paul McCarthy: link
Moulding clay into a vessel, we find the utility in its hollowness; cutting doors and windows for a house, we find the utility in its empty space. There for the being of things is profitable, the non being of things is serviceable.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Notes to self: remember the need for voids in the office daily routine. The space in-between buildings and objects as political. Politics as the relationship between people rather then something that concerns people themselves (Arendt). The void as something that is created with the application of an active void-making agent as in the work of Rachel Garrard. Rajasthan temples and the whole of northern Indian aesthetic representational culture – built on the event of ritual – and thus movement. Movement represented in painting like nowhere else – not the symbolic notion of movement – not movement as a prop to tell the story of the painting – but represented actually – capturing the spray of particles of dye in festivities – the movement IS the event – IS the key representational element of the painting. Events and phenomena are prioritised over objects. Indian mythology is not based on coded messages and symbology, but on phenomena. The Enlightenment as a movement that in defining itself as science tries to find a scientific base for itself in antiquity through an archaeological methodology. Analogical models. Claude Levi-Strauss systems of equivalence to establish a universal systems of ethnographic analysis to be used anywhere in the world. Literature as the romanticisation of the profession and romanticisation of cultures as a driving force for the research of the ethnographer. What their work (output/writing) standing against is the driving force of the practice (action on the ground/research gathering). This distinction between ‘the field’ and ‘the workplace’ no longer exists. The ‘work’ has become a separate self-referential field, as ‘practice’ is no longer possible or needed. [The profession has become a closed system – equivalent to the modern corporation – it has become corporate. If professions are become increasingly self-referential – the ‘gravely earth’ the professional walks on is the digital terrain. Could the raw terrain of the under slab be analogous to the digital terrain of the slab itself?]
Notes for work: seeing the space of public vs private as architectural vs urban space and proposing a purely architectural space with negative and positive volumes, that is fully manipulatable as an architectural project. Public movement – defined by the urban space previously – is not dependent on either of the two architectural domains (the negative and the positive) and is free to move between the two. A layer of raw terrain (rather then the definition of terrain as something that contains urban and architectural massing) is superimposed with a layer of public movement, superimposed with an architectural layer. Ideologically layered relationship, rather then an ideologically delineated one. The slab is only proposed as an actual physical/architectural being so as to put into existence the two conditions of positive and negative architecture.