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A weak apparatus/2. Hungry Ghosts (Ermanno Cirillo)

Spam 30: L5A3E18

Las correspondencias entre el pensamiento Deleuziano y la arquitectura más aceptada y publicada por y para el gremio, ya se ha realizado. Hemos citado y comentado textos y arquitecturas de autores de reconocido prestigio como Gordon Pask, John Frazer, Manuel De Landa, Stan Allen, Philippe Rahm, Greg Lynn, Cedric Price… En este punto se propone trasladar el cuerpo conceptual ofrecido por Deleuze y Guattari en torno a la máquina, para aplicarlo a ejemplos menos considerados en los círculos académicos. Desde mi punto de vista constituyen testimonios de situaciones extremas además de antagónicas entre sí que se están dando en el panorama arquitectónico no-disciplinar (esto es, mayoritario) actual. Su generalizada ausencia en las aulas posiblemente sea debido a que son casos en los que la figura del arquitecto se vuelve completamente irrelevante. Funcionan como Heterotopías (Foucault): (3m2a1e)

Además de lo expresado en el segundo párrafo de Arquitectura, Rem Koolhaas combina lo más exquisito con lo más canalla e incluso empleando su reconocido espacio-basura (junkspace). Todo ello, en bruto, lo encontramos en su bolsa de fontanero, su universo propio que bebe del ahora, un lugar sin jerarquías ni distinciones, consciente de lo que le rodea. Rem Koolhaas está considerado por la crítica como uno de los arquitectos de mayor influencia del momento por su talento como teórico y proyectista y por su brillantez a la hora de tomar riesgos y no repetir fórmulas. (t+cATarantino)

 (…)Y, en fin, esta es nuestra propuesta a la arquitectura española contemporánea, un formato que definitivamente deja atrás los tan traídos y llevados conceptos arquitectura de la experiencia y arquitectura de la diferencia para, anulándolos, aunándolos en lo que podemos llamar arquitectura de la simulación o arquitectura simulada. Y entendemos simulación en el mismo sentido que la actual ciencia posmoderna le da ese término, es decir, la nueva forma de representación de los fenómenos por ordenador de la que se vale la investigación científica, y que según los filósofos de la ciencia ni es experiencia (laboratorio), ni es teoría (esencialismo de un yo teórico) sino otra cosa más poderosa que ambas y entre las cuales flota. Creemos que es condición indispensable para la nueva arquitectura, como lo es para todo arte emergente, que lo menos obvio sea, precisamente, saber qué es arquitectura. Es sólo un bosquejo de lo que, de cuajar, sabemos ya que seguirá y deberá seguir otros caminos porque así ha sido siempre la historia de la creación y el artificio. Y merece la pena intentarlo. Para construir como en el siglo XX siempre estaremos a tiempo. (Sustitución de la palabra poesía por arquitectura en la página 47 de Postpoesía, Hacia un nuevo paradigma, Agustín Fernández Mallo,  Anagrama 2009) (t+cWW)

Map 30: A weak apparatus/2. Hungry Ghosts.

When I’m hungry, but I don’t feel like carrying out a daily ritual accomplished within the boring static frame of an anonymous restaurant, I just look for a place where anonymity becomes a plus; namely, a place where it’s just the flowing of unknown faces and the chaotic and combined path of their bodies among a pattern of dirty round tables, that give dynamism to the space, and entertainment to my lunch. Suddenly it occurs to me a strange flashback: one of the images that constitute my memory, and maybe a very powerful one among these, the famous La città ideale kept in Urbino. Because of this image, I realize now, for a certain period in my life I felt the presence of people as unpleasant to really appreciate the architecture they live in. That was a deep misunderstanding caused by the view of space as static and utterly determined by geometrical fixed relationships, where any perturbation affect the very experience of space, approached on mere visual qualities. This entails a partial comprehension of the problem. It is no more enough considering an architecture, which form is designed by an a-priori model and thought to be finished, frozen, totally immovable in its relationships. First, there is no more any institution to celebrate and consequently any symbolic form that transmits that value. Secondly, space is more complex than what we thought. There are fluxes of information and material, bounded in a complex ever-changing pattern; there is a continuum flow of phenomena on one side, and there are discontinuities at the other side, which permit to our brain to studying and analyzing apparently discrete behaviours of matter. And there are opportunities. There are tools that can potentially undermine every aspect of current design practice and construction process. The pursuit of novelty seems to be a necessary state of mind for understanding reality. So I know where to find novelty even in the most repetitive aspect of human beings, alimentation. The food court just beside the People’s Park Complex has always something new. I never get bored there: even if I don’t understand a word, even if I barely distinguish one face from another.

Exactly in front of the main entrance of the Complex (but how do I say the “main”? It’s just one among many others, maybe bigger, and with a writing on the top of the glass doors) I unexpectedly encounter myself in the middle of a religious ceremony, a particular office within the “Hungry Ghosts Festival”. I take some bad pictures without paying attention, with my mobile phone. We use to think rituals linked to specific spaces: maybe a sacred space aiming to achieve a transcendental atmosphere. Even in the case of the processions, there is always a reference to a specific path, which is transfigured for the occasion and kept in a separated space. This is not the case. One month a year, the Ghosts go out from the realm of Heaven and Hell seeking food and entertainment in this world. During this month there are ritualistic food offers on the streets and different shows taking place in temporary installations around the city. There are even reserved seats for the Ghosts. They are believed to be the ancestor of those who forgot to give tribute to them after they died. This need of reification, typical of a totally different view of the world, could of course explain such a ritualistic ceremony, taking place quite indifferently at the corner of the street or at the entrance of a shopping mall. Nonetheless I am quite impressed. Every corner of Chinatown is temporary arranged to host these restless spectres, not by following a planned decision, but by the spontaneous actions of the believers.

The People’s Park Complex is a big collector of events, no matter of what kind. Its generic structure permits the appearance of the multiplicity. It is the opposite of a sort of estrangement strategy, which have something to do with classification and control. It may be representative of what it is called dynamic architecture; we are not in front of an evolutionary form, it is anything but complex in its architectural morphology, and despite of this we call it dynamic. The events connected to the pass of time make of this Complex a dynamic field. In other words, the inherent organization of this architecture allows the continue redefinition of its functions and interactions, through the appearance of simultaneous events within the same ambient. Any kind of event, this is the point. There isn’t any specific category or any functional prediction, but a weak succession of slightly defined spaces, which configuration is always been transforming by temporary structures, or simply by the different ways of people’s aggregation within some uncertain boundaries. Any kind of human ritual takes place in the same scenario, without preclusions. The immanence of this deep process of transformation, linked to a cyclic idea of time, weakens the very meaning of permanence we are used to relate to what we call city. With few simple rules of spatial organization, this place achieves a high grade of complexity through spontaneous mechanisms. By far, the slight will of shaping space permits a series of unpredictable accidents, which make of this old survivor of a utopian era, an interesting fragment, inset in the physical continuity of covered paths connecting one urban room to another.

I met a Belgian deejay yesterday night, he said to me: this city seems so artificial. And he was definitely right. I don’t understand the pursuit of shining images, implying conventional and boring spaces. The era of brands is going to an end. The People’s Park Complex was an attempt to rethink the city. And what are we attempting to do today? Few meters away, some cobblers repairing shoes under their sunshades, a hawker speaking into a microphone, some people going down to the subway station, others eating, indifferent. Like those hungry ghosts, we look for what we have been deprived of.

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