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Visual Associations/Evil Corporations

November 21, 2009

Philip Johnson w/ Gate of Europe model, commissioned by the Kuwait Investment Authority, Madrid, 1996

Douglas Trumbull looms over the minature of the Tyrell Corporation pyramid created at Entertainment Effects Group

World domination through diagonalization. Postmodernity, or, the diagonalization of architecture, or the fold, or magic tricks, or whatever. Is there any goodness left in the world? Yes, wait, I think there is….

Rick Deckard–a man with a replicant retiring gun and a solid liberal arts school education to blast through all this bullshit. If I were going to blast my way through replicants and out of semi-retirement regarding this fragmented post, I might begin to try and lace together a theory of film’s relation to architecture, or, that is, architects catching up to the possibilities of crafting architectural scenes rather than just architectural sets. While Philip Johnson’s Gate of Europe and Douglass Trumbull’s Tyrell Corporation HQ both exhibit a simple sign language in their teetering, sun-eclipsing forms, they are easily understood as sublime fictions.

But i’ll let Roemer Van Toorn take it from here in his essay “Architecture against Architecture,” which explores filmic aspirations in architecture, specifically in Rem Koolhaas’ “urban montage” architecture (as opposed to Philip Johnson’s fetish for the architectural and art object).

From Architecture against Architecture:

Koolhaas is interested in urban culture because unlike architecture it is open in character. It offers a wealth of unprecedented opportunities. It does not consist, like architecture, only of precisely formulated restrictions. Koolhaas designs projects in which various dimensions of urban culture are brought together in a compact, abstract form. There is a congestion of spaces, functions, programmes, voids, structures, access routes, public and private domains. Almost as though in an infinite labyrinth, the disparate elements intersect and collide with one another. A critical moment results because, owing to their labyrinthine montage, the components lose their redundant, homogenizing, fragmented identity. The schizophrenia and ambivalence of multiple meanings thrusts itself forward. The mental conditions are accelerated until they produce a new, unknown reality, without denying the contradictions of everyday normality. (…read it all…)

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