vendredi 31 octobre 2008

# Home by Ursula Meier

Here is an absolutely brilliant new movie just released in France, Switzerland and Belgium called Home. Written and directed by French/Swiss film director Ursula Meier, this movie succeed to reach the quality of a Ballardian story (read The concrete island) in which Humans become prisonners of their technocratic environment.
The story of Home, depicts a family living on the border of an abandonned motorway in construction. Paradoxally, instead of the omnipresent fields, this artefact fits with their garden, their territory of dream, their heterotopia. Unfortunetly, this motorway will be soon opening to traffic...
I don't know if this movie will be released elsewhere, but I recommand it to anybody who'd be able to watch it !

jeudi 30 octobre 2008

# Aperiodic Vertebrae v2.0 by The Very Many

Here is an installation created by Marc Fornes & Skylar Tibbits for The Very Many in Francfort's Node 08. According to them, installation assembly "took less than 24 hours & 2 people & 2 laptops to (re-)assemble the 360 panels and 320 nodes".

mercredi 29 octobre 2008

# PATTERNS' Fake plastic trees

With a title covered from a really excellent Radiohead's song, Los Angeles based office PATTERNS created an hydroponics garden tackling the issue of "artifical nature" (I'm still calling it androïde nature). Representation is smart because program is clearly announced as a garden but there is no stain of green anywhere.

Presentation text:
Following the lineage of the Schindler house as an experiment in modern living in close relation to nature, our proposal is an attempt to investigate the formal, spatial and atmospheric potential of a vertically sustainable garden in sink with the most advanced technology for plant growth. The new hydroponic tree wall accepts the existing conditions of the site; the prevailing conflict between a historic architectural masterpiece and a new building development. Despite the irony of its title, Fake Plastic Trees [FPT] is a serious attempt to inventively negotiate conflictive boundaries by emphasizing new and multiple life forms over a single form of life. The conflict is then diffused into the intensity of new life.
The garden is composed of a branching circuitry network made of plastic PVC tubes. These tubes circulate and distribute water with a nutrient solution that nurtures aerial vegetation of different kinds. The section of the tubes diminishes as the trajectories they describe move up and away from the ground. The flow of water is induced by water pumps from several reservoirs located in the ground. Water is distributed directly to the plants base by pumping up from the reservoirs or indirectly down by dripping from the upper brunches and then moistening down. Depending on the section of tubes, their capacity to carry more or less water, different scale of plants can grow from and within them. The differential branching nature of the system is based on the varying disposition of a virtual surface of variable thickness that occupies the north wall of the Schindler House. The surface indexes the presence of conflictive zones by increasing or decreasing depth. On areas where FPT neighbors with adjacent zones of potential interaction [such as large windows of the surrounding condominium] the garden offers local flat decks that could be appropriated in different ways. Despite these local exceptions, vertical connectivity throughout the garden is dependant on body movement, weight, and ability to climb up and down. Human movement is just one of the many possible life flows that will exist in the garden.
The artificiality of plants growing directly on water, the modulation and scaling of them as they detach from the ground, the dynamism of the branching and choreographed vegetation and its likely wind induced oscillation, and the occasional forms of animal life negotiating temporary shelter within the garden, amounts to an advanced living ecosystem that both challenges and amplifies the assumed relations between the architecture of The Schindler House and its surrounding "natural" environment.

lundi 27 octobre 2008

# No. Architecture

No. Architecture is a new website and newsletter about architecture related events in Paris in London, led by Caroline Rabourdin, Peter Cook's assistant in ESA.

samedi 25 octobre 2008

# Korean Cinema in Paris

From october 22nd until november 18th, parisian theater La filmotheque du Quartier Latin presents a wide panorama of Korean cinema from 60's to nowadays thanks to 60 movies from masters such as Im Kwon-Taek, Lee Doo-yong or Bae Chang-ho and more currents directors such as Kim Ki-Duk, Hong Sang-soo, Bong Joon-ho, Im Sang-soo or Park Chan-Wook.

La filmotheque du Quartier Latin
rue champollion (Ve arrondissement)

vendredi 24 octobre 2008

# Photography by kite

Here is a cool and suprising device which allows to take pictures thanks to a kite and a little mechanical device. Apparently it is used by some archeologists to be able to appreciate working site from above.
Two French websites to visit: this one and that one

jeudi 23 octobre 2008

# Dusseldorf's photography academy exhibition

Objectivités. La photographie à Dusseldorf is a quite interesting exhibition in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris about Dusseldorf school of photography since 1976 when Bernd Becher arrived to the head of the department.
Artists are Lothar Baumgarten, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Laurenz Berges, Elger Esser, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Klaus Mettig, Simone Nieweg, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Katharina Sieverding, Beat Streuli, Thomas Struth, Petra Wunderlich.

Bernd & Hilla Becher

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

Andreas Gursky (see here a short portfolio about how Gursky modifies subtly his photographs in order to reveal a new space).

mercredi 22 octobre 2008

# AAgrotecture

I invite you to visit Pruned's yesterday post about AA student Soonil Kim's project called King's vineyard and AA intermediate 3 studio's blog about AAgrotecture. Studio's tutors are Nannette Jackowski and Ricardo de Ostos.

mardi 21 octobre 2008

# ZOO (A Zed and two noughts) by Peter Greenaway

Great great movie by Peter Greenaway in 1985 !!!

lundi 20 octobre 2008

# Building in La Courneuve

This building is situated within what is called "les 4000" in La Courneuve (Paris' suburbs); 4000 housing units built in the end of the 50's and which are nowadays a good illustration of suburbs' urbanism issue.

dimanche 19 octobre 2008

# Jean Renaudie's housing buildings in Ivry sur Seine

It has been a long time since I'd like to post something about Jean Renaudie's contribution to Ivry's urban fabric. Situated in Paris' close suburbs, these eight buildings built from 1971 to 1980 are proposing an alternative to classical and modernist urban spaces. Public and private spaces are so mixed that you have some difficulties to see a clear limit between them. Third dimension is also used, not as a pedestrian flat lid but as play platforms invaded by "wild" vegetation.

If you are interested, a book (only in English) was released this year about Renaudie's work: A right to difference by Irénée Scalbert.

samedi 18 octobre 2008

# Michel Onfray / Principes de contre-renardie

Patrick Bouchain's 2006 book called Construire Autrement (To build differently), welcomes a very interesting text from French philosopher Michel Onfray about liberal and libertarian architectures, which ends this way: (English translation follows but I did it by myself so I'm really sorry for native English who will find a lot of mistakes...)


L’architecture libérale ne propose que les hochets de son monde : consumérisme, réduction au fétichisme de la marchandise, productions jetables, règne de l’éphémère, exhibitionnisme du capital. Comment d’ailleurs pourrait-il en être autrement puisque, Marx l’a magistralement montré, les productions intellectuelles d’une époque – dont son architecture – obéissent à la logique des modes de production du moment. Le libéralisme ayant fait du marché, de l’argent, des profits, des bénéfices, son horizon indépassable, il infecte bien évidemment les productions de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme.

La machine architecturale ingère et digère des capitaux souvent très excessifs quand au coût réel et véritable de l’édifice. Les parasitages habituels se greffent sur l’opération technique : la tyrannie de la marchandise étouffe le projet intellectuel et le contraint à entrer dans des moules conceptuels complices des régimes qui les célèbrent. L’esthétique minimaliste coûte dans la proportion inverse à la présence des matériaux utilisés. On marchandise de l’intelligence, du concept, des idées en faisant payer le prix cher…à l’intelligence, aux concepts, aux idées.

L’architecture libertaire découple bâtiment et souci de la production capitaliste. Elle soumet les projets à de nouveaux impératifs : nominaliste, sensualiste, empiriste, dandy, hédoniste, vitaliste, dionysien, organique, cinématographique, politique, militant, dialectique, écosophique, lyrique, historique – on l’a vu.

L’ensemble se veut donc alternatif et constitutif d’une façon révolutionnaire nouvelle.

Chacun a fait son deuil de la révolution dans son sens léniniste. Coup d’Etat, violence putschiste, armée de guérilla urbaine, avant-garde éclairée, etc., plus personne ne croit à ces possibilités pour changer les choses. Tant mieux. Pour autant, faire son deuil de la révolution est un luxe impossible en ces temps de libéralisme lâché comme des chiens furieux sur tous les terrains. D’où une lecture nouvelle des situations nouvelles : Foucault et Deleuze y aident. Aujourd’hui, on ne trouve plus de fascisme casqué et botté, d’où l’ineptie d’un antifascisme révolutionnaire casqué et botté. En revanche, le fascisme s’est métamorphosé : le fascisme du lion a laissé place à un fascisme de renard, rusé, moins visible, caché, dissimulé. La renardie politique (libérale) exige une contre-renardie politique (libertaire).

Cette alternative vit de la multiplication et de la prolifération de micro-résistances à opposer fermement aux micro-fascismes partout repérables. A situations de guerre, stratégies et tactiques de combat. Les micro-fascismes en architecture ne se combattent pas à l’arme blanche, au canon et au feu, mais avec la micro-résistance de bâtiments de chocs, de lieux manifestes.

Liberal architecture is only proposing its world’s rattles: consumerism, goods reduced to fetishism, disposable production, transience’s reign, capital’s exhibitionism. How could it possibly be in an other way when, Marx magnificently demonstrated it, intellectual productions of an era – architecture included – obey to the logic of that same time’s production modes. Liberalism made from business, money, profits and benefits its unreachable horizon; it thus infects obviously architecture and urbanism’s production.

Architectural machine ingests and digests too immoderate capitals compared to the real and veritable building’s costs. Usual parasiting are grafting on technical operation: the goods’ tyranny chokes the intellectual project and constraints it to enter into conceptual moulds, being accomplice of systems which are celebrating them. Minimalist aesthetic costs in an invert proportion of used material’s presence. Intelligence, concept and ideas are becoming goods by selling at high costs…intelligence, concepts, ideas.

Libertarian architecture uncouples building and capitalist production’s concern. It submits projects to new imperative: nominalist, sensualist, empiricist, dandy, hedonist, vitalist, dionysist, organic, cinematographic, politic, militant, dialectic, ecosophic, lyric, historic…

The whole thing is thus wanted as alternative and constituent of a new revolutionary behaviour. Each of us finished our mourning of revolution in a Leninist sense. Coup d’Etat, putchist violence, urban guerrilla warfare, educated avant-garde etc., nobody believes anymore to these means to change things. Good for us. However, to finish our mourning of revolution is an impossible luxury in these times of rabid liberalism. Therefore, we need a new way or reading new situations: Foucault and Deleuze are helping us for that.

Nowadays, there is no more helmeted and booted fascism which implies that an helmeted and booted revolutionary antifascism would be an inanity. Nevertheless, fascism got metamorphosed : lion’s fascism moved to a fox’s fascism, tricky, less visible, hidden and concealed. Foxy politic (liberal) requires a counter-foxy politic (libertarian).

This alternative lives thanks to multiplication and proliferation of micro-resistances steadily opposed to micro-fascisms which can be spotted everywhere. War situations require combat strategy and tactics. Architectural micro-fascisms are not to be fought with knifes, guns or fire, but with micro-resistance of manifest buildings and places.

vendredi 17 octobre 2008

# Guy Rottier's macrocephale architecture

Guy Rottier is a French architect who remains for fourty years a free thinker doing some delighting lectures sometimes and influences a lot of architects by his ideas.

Found on NDLR