This is the final drawing with colours!
Don’t stress and have fun with your projects, people!
I am continuing work on my book. The narratives are expressed within frames. If you follow the narrative on the horizontal axis, it’s different than the verthical.
Over the week left, my plan is:
-Make the book
-Finish the After Effects presentation
The book has two parts. One part acts a catalogue, kind of a “cliche” version of the archive, the archive as a book.
The second part becomes a graphic novel that tells the story of the archive.
Old friends and narratives, we meet again…
…in the archive.
I am continuing on the drawing. I enlarged some parts of it, so that all moments can be seen equally on the printed version. I am also working on the lineweights. My plan for this week is to finish it, in order to start next week with after effects.
Today I also met Ed Bottoms, with whom I discussed about the project, and I kept the following notes:
The idea of the archive comes down to the definition that we give to it. The term “archive” has been given so many different definitions that they tend to move away from the pre-WWII traditional meaning.
Archives are seen and talked about differently by art curators, philosophers and by historians.
The archive is an anonymous space, where content is represented without context. Artefacts are placed within boxes, folders, stacks.
Serendipity in the archive might seem that it happens by chance, but it’s actually curated through the classification process.
The world in the drawing is not that of an archive but of a research who has opened the boxes and laid them on a landscape.
DISCLAIMER: This is not my work, these are images I found on the internet.
What if I changed the landscape of my drawing? I think the reason that drawing does not seem to work is because the landscape appears disfunctional and its inclusion within the room seems like an architectural cliche. So, what if I changed the space to…something functional.
I found the brain and the elephant the two places where this can happen.
The brain is an archive, as its collection of memory, which is stored contextually, by associating memories with one another.
The elephant is not an archive but it explains the idea of the way I approach the continuum, as a collection of events that I try to connect on this one drawing. The elephant comes from the story of the Blind Men and An Elephant (more info here). Also, it seems that I enjoy Duck Buildings lately…
The intention of the project is to argue for the notion of the archive as a progressive method of preservation.
The drawing is the tool to lay the ground. It’s the way I make sense of the continuum, by laying down the reference and connecting them. We are all essentially archive.
The “method” of archive is not perfect. Themes that come across are loss and gaps, but these are not weaknesses but they are opportunities for re-interpretation.
I think this would be the last time I work on this model. Today I worked on it a bit more, just see how it could be transformed to 3d. It does not seem productive at the moment and seems like a big leap from where I was. I ll try over Easter to continue working on the drawing. Adding some colour perhaps, and increase its density.
I can’t leave the room…not yet!
There are things to explore within the room. There are places that cannot be seen within the view. The room is not a limitation. It is just a border for everything that takes place.
After the boxes are labelled, they are grouped and buried in the archive. The idea of burial here is not the same as that in a graveyard. Here, the artefacts do not become passive but are simply buried because in that way they are removed from the production space, they are a parallel world, where they are preserved but also removed. And unlike a real graveyard, here the tombstones act as index labels, so one can go through and open them up to find whatever they are looking for.
I don’t know why this is taking me so long to finish!
View post on imgur.com
There is no field of artefacts. Some artefacts can be found on the surface, but for other you need to dig deep. (Well, here it’s not so deep!)
I am trying to set overall foundations for my “proposal” drawing. Again, it’s going to alternate between one point, 2 point perspective, isometric and section.
The drawing is going to communicate the following principles of my archive:
In every jury, tutorial, etc, it seems that people come up to me and ask questions such as, isn’t the archive and the library the same? isn’t the archive life itself? Is the archive a collection?
People! PEOPLE! It’s NOT!
The Archive have a set of various characteristics in the way in which it works!
I am proposing the notion of the archive as a productive method of preservation. To demonstrate the way it works, I need to create this archive of the archive. Its content will be my grains, which are going to be used as examples for archiving. The grains are not artefacts but they are stories (knowledge), which are the items that we seek to archive. For this, I need to introduce some characters which will set the methods and characteristics of the archive.
The main character is me, the archivist, the curator of the archive. The archivist calls the other characters who need to help him in the process of archiving. The first three are:
the GARDENER; he finds and removes the artefacts from its context, unrooting the weeds from the landscape.
the BUTCHER; he takes artefacts and chops them into meaningful cuts.
ANDY; Andy Warhol gets from the butcher all the items and puts them in boxes. Andy has some experience of that from his Time Capsules project.
the ARCHIVIST; he catalogues and puts labels on the boxes.
There are more characters later to come. For now, I am taking each grain through the characters.
This weekend, I tried to distance myself from the project and I spent my time reading a book, probably not so much related to my project. That is the Ministry of Nostalgia by Owen Hatherley.
In the meantime, I feel that I need to spent some time figuring out my project in respect to all the questions that arose during the jury. What is the archive for me? What am I archiving? Is life the archive or a separate space and what does it mean?
Big Drawing part 2
That includes views within the archived world. What are the visual connections within that world? Can they have an ambiguous relationship in terms of scale? Am I in the event or am I looking at the event through the archive?
This is the first iteration for my landscape. I started with making sense of the different ways that I drew my items, isometrics, perspectives, plans, etc.
The next step will be to make the items part of the landscape.
I really like Grayson Perry’s tapestries, especially the ones that are a combination of a landscape and a story, using in different scales.
This is part of the drawing. It’s the city of facadism.
I am adding the archive into the big drawing. I think it will evolve into a big tapestry like a Grayson Perry tapestry.
White Book pages
Over the holidays, I read these two books: Rem Koolhaas’ “Preservation Is Overtaking Us” and Jacques Derrida “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression”. To be honest, the Koolhaas’ text did not satisfy me and gave me more questions rather than answers, while I found the Derrida book quite difficult, and I read several more texts to understand it.
For me the most interesting points that I extracted was:
1. The archive stores a memory but also buries it.
2. The archive is made possible by the death drive.
3. Preservationists are called to reinterpret buildings when preserving them.
Thus, I want to create city, like the ones described by Italo Calvino in Invisible Cities in the chapters Cities&Death, that would archive its buildings, which might be moments from the big drawing, then document them and bury them (two processes of the archive) and then open them again later to reinterpret them.
Plan for the project:
1. Forms of Preservation
a. Original – Copy (Artefact and Reconstruction)
b. Data – Metadata (Original and Record of Original)
2. Focus on the Metadata and the Archive
3. The Archive City
I discovered this interesting technique by which you can array frames from films in a row. This is Blow Up Unrolled.
Blow Up is starting to move in
After a lot of question with myself about what is the archive, what is gets archived, who chooses what is archived and what is the difference with a library, a storage room, or a skip, I got lost in a world of definitions.
So, I decided to try to construct my archive through drawing as an architect, through plan, rather than through text or brain mapping (it didnt work for me). In the plan, there is a continuous questioning of relationships. That sort of questioning can become 3d in a model. That is where I am heading at the moment.
Archive is one of my methods of preservation. The window becomes the archive, and what is inside is what gets archived. If we use this for every grain, we would have 6 windows, each one composed of their elements.
This is a very interesting photographing project I found online. It’s called HOARDING OFFENDERS – My memories will never die by BARONE/CONTE.
I started working on making a book. Through these first chapters, I am trying to define what is preservation currently, talk about the current discussions in preservation and developing my own thesis.
The medium/technique I am using in this book is layering/constant re-framing within the pages. It is related to Resolution and Blow-up.
This is the second part that I animate in the drawing. More to come…
Click on me! I am a gif!
An axe murderer kills seven people in Taliesin, and burns it to the ground. Frank Lloyd Wright rebuilds it, and 11 years later it burns again. He rebuilds.
He rebuilds because he wants to preserve the memory of his dead lover, the one he built Taliesin for.
This time I don’t want the same bedroom, I don’t want to remember the moment I saw her, lying soulless on the bedroom floor. A loggia! The bedroom can be moved and a loggia can be placed there instead.Oh damn! It burnt again!
This is a model of Villa Savoye unrolled according to the experience of the visitor.
The methodology that I use for each grain is to analyse each one through two filters; nostalgia and the feeling/experience of the space.
In the Villa Savoye model, we have two sides: the side of the experience and the side of the elements that were re-enacted by Le Corbusier in the design of Villa Savoye, like the Parthenon, the ship, the car, Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, etc.
However, one might argue, which one is the nostalgic and which one is the experiential?
After an intense discussion on whatsapp, I decided to move forward with the idea of resolution and preservation. So, I started with my favourite grain, the Tank Man, and try to preserve the event, having in thought that this photo is still being censored in China.
I tried to preserve the essence of the incident, which exist only within 2-3 photos and a 2:55 long video. I decided to take artefacts as they are seen in the photos and isolate them.
I started with the tank man’s shirt, and using it as a displacement map, I created a 3d surface of it, trying it at different resolution levels.
RESOLUTION is the process of reducing things into sensible form (working on that definition). It is connected with the process and it affects the output. Thus, the process takes a key part in the project, how those “things” transform into forms. In the t-shirt the final form becomes completely detached from the original, yet it still preserves its essence and its symbolic significance. Would such an object be displayed in China? What would it mean to the viewer?
Drawing is coming together…
So, I was thinking about preservation, and it would be great to know what you guys think. If we consider what John Ruskin said in the Seven Lamps of Architecture that “it is impossible, as impossible as to raise the dead, to restore anything that has ever been great or beautiful in architecture.”
However, complete obliteration does not exist. Ideas like Plan Voisin could only existed in “tabula rasa” areas and not in existing cities, like Paris. So, although new buildings are built they continue the lines of the previous building. That could be the site lines, or other lines of a building, in the way that Sam Jacobs talks about architecture as re-enactment(Villa Savoye re-enacts the Parthenon, ancient greek columns re-enact timber pre-classical columns which re-enact nature itself).
Today’s London streets are laid on medieval streets, which are based on the Roman roads. In the same way, the Romans constructed their roads based on the size of two war horses, on which English roads were based and affected the size of cars and trains (and subsequently even space shuttles, look here for more).
Thus, in a world of no preservation, the re-enactment of the horse, by the train, or the re-enactment of the Parthenon by Villa Savoye, remain the means through which the only type of real conservation exists. In the end of the day, what are we trying to preserve?
I created a narrative to present the themes I was interested in and how they relate to my grains. I am trying to create a drawing, that is like a storyboard but the frames break into one another.
(1) artefacts from the tank
(2) re-enactment of the scene
Following one of the grains, I question what do we preserve? In the case of the Tank Man incident at the Tiananmen Protests, do we preserve the thingliness (1) or do we preserve the essence (2)?
Ville Savoye by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris
He was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, France in 1887. He joint the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School, but he dropped out in 1907, and followed his dream to become an architect in the US. There he trained to become an architect under the guidance of his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, for whom he worked for the next 20 years, until he went back to France to spread the ideas of the Prairie School. His most recognised building was Ville Savoye, built in 1931.
Reflection of Villa Savoye in the lake near Taliesin
Although Le Corbusier never mentioned it, one of his “5 Points of a New Architecture”, the “fenêtre en longueur” was a direct inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright. He also used other elements from Wright’s design, however he only mentioned him in one text as a “precursor of the modern movement”.
Introducing the protagonists from right to left:
Antonioni stages the Tank Man incident in his studio. Hemmings processes the film. Le Corbusier photoshops the photos of his neoclassical villas to make it more “modernist”. At the same time, he paints a mural of Algerian women. In the far left room, the bunker, citizens live their whole life within the digital realm.
It’ s a difficult subject to talk about copyright infringement in architecture. Laws on the subject tend to be very vague, and focus on the similarity of appearance of the façades, plans and sections. Slightly more deeply, they look at other facts, such as records of when the design started, was submitted or whether the one who copies had access to the copied design.
At the end of the day aren’t we all subconsciously copying from memory? There is a gray area between copyright infringement and fair use when you take a design as a reference and you change it. However, buildings behave differently in different contexts, geographical locations, orientations and times.
The following case on archdaily is quite interesting, as it describes the approach of a judge, to investigate two almost identical facades, but on one the facade consists of structural elements, yet the other one acts as a curtain wall. More here.
Mitch Tuchman. “What Makes a Copy-Cat a Copy-Cat? The Complex Case of Architectural Copyright” 20 Apr 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Oct 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/497568/what-makes-a-copy-cat-a-copy-cat-the-complex-case-of-architectural-copyright/>
Just came back from looking at Piers Gough’s student work in the AA Archives. The Archives are a really amazing world, full of information to be explored.
I was trying to see the connection between Antonioni and Piers Gough, and try to see if there was any influence by Antonioni, because of the Gough’s involvement in his film “Blow Up”.
His work is really interesting, and quite early he makes a choice of using one type of ink, to make line drawings. His lines seem far from perfect, which is probably his way of going against the conventional for the time modernist “straight” and “perfectionist” movement.
Courtesy of AA Archives and Piers Gough
Detail of one of Piers Gough’s drawings
Courtesy of AA Archives and Piers Gough
Detail of Piers Gough’s drawing
Next I am going to look more at the Situationists and try to relate both Blow Up’s first scene and Peter Gough to that.