“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Chrysler Building on Acid: Object-Oriented Architecture

So, this is Yale architect Mark Foster Gage's idea for an OOO skyscraper in NYC. What do you think?

I like the use of Massive Attack in the video...

Of course there could be many kinds of OO buildings. They might already exist, waiting to be seen. Could be made for us lot in the 99% you know, too. So before you, Cynical Reason, jump all over this particular example, just realize, how things get funded and built etc etc, we live in an absurd economy, just think about how art is funded and collected etc etc, and remember, these phenomena are not the fault of a philosopher. Or philosophy. Like Derrida didn't have to defend every piece of deconstructive architecture, and may not have himself liked any...There's a bit in his biopic where he is confronted with a portrait and he very politely (typical) says “J'accepte”--he's not going to be drawn on whether it's any good, etc etc.

I like how the building bristles. In my essay in Elemental Ecocriticism, I start to use “bristle” instead of “withdraw.” It sounds different, but is in fact the same.

For my money, the most interesting OO building at this kinda scale isn't explicitly OO, but it so is: it's R&Sie's design for an electrostatic building in Bangkok. Discussed in Hyperobjects  you're interested. It's a very ecological idea. The building accumulates all the other buildings' dirt until a fantastical patina is formed. That's electromagnetic waves translating bits of skin cells and viruses and other forms of dust, no? Without explicit human input.

Whereas this one has been designed to look encrusted. The slightly sinister flirtation with the imperial-or-demonic-or-Chrysler-Building-on-acid angels' wings is nice. The way the building stands out uncannily against its fellow skyscrapers, spookily vorhanden, showing you how buildings can become zuhanden, which is because of a deeper level of withdrawal...

41 W 57th St from Mark Foster Gage on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't look encrusted. At all. By anything, including any relationship with anything around it. It looks utterly disinfected and diamond-lathed, like a titanic amalgam of surgical scalpel blades cutting into everything around it by being taller, slimmer, brighter and generally more ostentatious than...well, YOU for example. It reminds me of Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn, only future-romantic instead of past-romantic. In that way it kinda works, as a sort of mind-sucking singularity to crush and destroy the mind of whomever beholds it. But why, though, why?

cgerrish said...

I like this idea of "zuhanden" being a deeper level of withdrawal, with a breakage allowing the bristles of the vorhanden to poke through.