Recently in e-flux;

In October of last year, Brian Holmes dug into “a condition of relational awareness” aka “Anthropocene public space“. Concluding with this challenge

For artists and activists seeking to transform the conclusions of climate science into the convictions of embodied experience, the golden spike is each local place and singular moment in time when a group of people is able to come to grips with their own implication in earth-system processes. Because abstract knowledge is always intertwined with embodied experience, such places and moments in time are never purely local or singular. To take form and consistency as a widely sharable practice of perception/expression, Anthropocene public space must seek the correlation of situated knowledges and experiences.

Then in November, Nicholas Korody penned Mere Decorating. As he explains

While the work of the architect ends with construction, the inhabitant-cum-decorator must continuously maintain the home, adjusting it to suit new tastes. Decorating is the under-recognized labor that constitutes the interior as such through the placement and upkeep of objects and things, such as bibelots, carpets, and houseplants, within pre-existing built space.

He goes on to review the history of 19th century pteridomania, and the contemporary Millennial interest in houseplants (aka phytomania or “fern-fever“).

Finally later that same month, Peggy Dreamer offered some criticism of “Typical American Institute of Architects (AIA) ‘design-bid-build’ contracts“, National AIA and “relational contract theory” as it might apply to ideas of class, labor and architectural praxis.

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re: Algorithmic Violence

“In my view, algorithmic violence sums up all of the things that we have experienced (particularly in the last five to ten years) as we’ve seen the availability of huge datasets, advances in computational power, leaps in fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the subsequent incorporation and leveraging of all these things into a hierarchical and unequal society…Like other forms of violence, algorithmic violence stretches to encompass everything from micro occurrences to life-altering realities. …Finally, algorithmic violence does not operate in isolation. Its predecessors are in the opaque black boxes of credit scoring systems and the schematization of bureaucratic knowledge.7 It’s tied to the decades of imperialism—unfolding digitally as well as politically and militarily—that have undergirded our global economic systems. Its emergence is linked to a moment in time where corporate business models and state defense tactics meet at the routine extraction of data from consumers.

via 

Two from Places

One from September (the former) and one for October (the later).

David Heymann on sustainability, The Ugly Pet

I’m particularly interested in how sustainable buildings might affect the experience of landscape differently — actually better, differently — because, as a human being, I’m hoping for more sustainable architecture, and, as an academic (and as an architect), I’m thinking the consequences should be revolutionary to architecture, as the consequences of every other major technological revolution have been. But they haven’t been, at least not yet.

The piece is also (at least in part) a paean to the architecture of Glenn Murcutt.

Amanda Kolson Hurley published The Forgotten Crusade (housing) of Morris Milgram

Regarding

Concord Park, one of the first private, integrated housing developments in the country, established years before the 1968 Fair Housing Act would make racial discrimination in housing against the law…Concord Park was Morris Milgram’s initial venture as a professional homebuilder. His motivations were idealistic: Milgram wanted to prove that multiracial suburbs were not only practical but also superior to segregated developments…To assess Milgram’s legacy, it’s crucial to view his career in the context of the Open Housing Movement, in which he was a leading figure. Today the Open Housing Movement is most closely identified with MLK and the Chicago Freedom Movement of 1965 to 1967; but it can be traced back to the early 1940s, when the NAACP first challenged restrictive covenants, and it was national in scope.

 

An architecture of “cowboy nomads” + Depoliticization

Over at e-flux, Douglas Spencer reflects on the exhibition California: Designing Freedom at the Design Museum, London, 2017.

California’s “tools of personal liberation” further the depoliticizing ends of neoliberalism, both in the conditions of temporality they impose, and in their tendency to atomize the social into an aggregate of hyper-connected individuals constituted, as such, by their investments in capital and its technological apparatus. Depoliticization, rather than some unfortunate and unforeseen outcome of an originally radical counterculture, is inherent to it.

h/t @NicholasKorody

re: Macri, the Brexit, Le Pen, Donald Trump

Trump occupies demagogically an empty place: the place of a people who can not represent himself. And why pretend return to Middle America, as does Marine Le Pen evoking the deep France, when what they really are doing is producing top a kind of imaginary identification. We must not forget that the subject of politics is symbolic.

Jacques Rancière (75) who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Valparaiso via Philosopher/Professor Federico Galende

He goes on to discuss posthistory, neoliberalism and the (new) extreme right.

Recent readings; as of 10/29/2016

It feels like it had been a long while (more than a year) since I had really read my way through some books. Partly, a result of among other things; a move across country, a new job, a new home. Also, much of my “reading time” is lately, generally spent trying to get through my backlog of Sunday NYTs.

That being said, following the first home purchase, we had boxes of unpacked books lying around and in process of unpacking, I made my way through a few. Was a nice change of pace and really enjoyed all three.

Unusually for me (at least in historical terms) I read most of these books in bed. Only ever works for me, when I have 3 or more pillows to prop myself up. Which is mostly C’s territory.

  • ‘Winter in the Blood’ by James Welch

Had Amazoned this a few years ago. Though it had just been moved around since. Sometimes the timing just needs to be right. Also, I think I was able to commit to reading it, because it could be a novella. It is barely 138 pages.

Feels very grounded in place. Indigenous but not “Indian”. Or rather not primitive or tribal. A sort of prarie-land magical realism. Was interested to learn that it had been made into a film released in 2013. Based on the trailer seems promising.

  • ‘The Man Who Lost His Shadow’ by Fathy Ghanem

The first work of Egyptian fiction, I have read (as far as I can recall). Of the three the longest book, though not more than double the number of pages, perhaps.

Three almost auto-biographical stories, presented in toto. Of two women and their relation, a man. Modern, simple and noteworthy.

  • ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler

Always been a fan of noir. Was good to finally read one of the originals. Picked up used at a vintage store. One thing that I learned and was surprised by; the word “gat” is used more than once to refer to a handgun. For some reason I thought this had a more recent vintage.