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Friday, December 08, 2006


Space and dislocation. Is it right that the architecture of deconstruction should cause actual physical disorientation? DAM: It's dizzying, a piece in the Denver Post on how Studio Libeskind's new Denver Art Museum is making visitors 'dizzy and uncomfortable'. It's a non-story, of course, the kind of low-grade shock-of-the-new style scandal that accompanies almost any new commission ('"There were these sloping walls, bright lights that draw your attention other than where you're supposed to be walking, angles that were worse near the top,"' one visitor said, while Carol Foster, an 'ear specialist and balance expert at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center' (and clearly no budding Oliver Sachs) stated that "My patients are not going to the art museum, you could bus a bunch of them over there and they'd be flopping around on the floor".

The writer misses the point that Libeskind has, on occasion, striven to design spaces that induce uncomfortable emotions, most notably the 'memory area .. [of] nakedness and emptiness .. [to] represent the many victims' of the Holocaust in the Holocaust Tower within the Jewish Museum Berlin. This is an exception. For the most part, architecture comes without pre-determined emotional response; you are invited to bring your own. In the commercial realm, you have projects like , say, Federation Square (Melbourne) and Drake Circus (Plymouth), two favourite 'things' spaces for their self-conscious attempts at inserting deliberate discord and 'dynamism' into the public realm. Neither are memorials, but both attempt to memorialise, evoking past glory and celebrity (Plymouth) or ultra-contemporary theory and aesthetics (Melbourne), eking out some kind of reaction from their visitors.

The shapes of things to come. What form will the phones of the future take? If they take any form at all / we make money not art on how the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (itself rather anti-organic) is evolving a logotype, 'Different logos are being "bred" and then picked by fitness in relation to the parameters or voted for by the employees. Thus, everytime the logo is displayed on a website as an animated icon or printed out on a letter, it reflects the current state of the lab as a living organism.' It wasn't so long ago that people were suggesting objects like cars and characters could be evolved in a similar way.

Atrocity or Masterpiece?, asks the Guardian of Foster and Partners' latest tower. 'Mr Rosen is trying to parlay star power into an inappropriate proposal." Asked about Ms Wintour's support for it, he replied : "That's nice. That's great, Anna."' / best book covers of 2006, via kottke / some audio snippets by Bill Bailey / short architecture videoes at Hauz 29 / want to be overwhelmed by the blogoverse? From comments at Unfogged / a neatly prepared home page / new music, Comanechi / Pigeon Sniping, a response: who would have thought that the readers of the Surrey Comet could mine such a rich stream of Lee and Herring-type comedy? (via) / Bomb Magazine.