Simon Sadler: The Situationist City (1998)

29 August 2017, dusan

“From 1957 to 1972 the artistic and political movement known as the Situationist International (SI) worked aggressively to subvert the conservative ideology of the Western world. The movement’s broadside attack on “establishment” institutions and values left its mark upon the libertarian left, the counterculture, the revolutionary events of 1968, and more recent phenomena from punk to postmodernism. But over time it tended to obscure Situationism’s own founding principles. In this book, Simon Sadler investigates the artistic, architectural, and cultural theories that were once the foundations of Situationist thought, particularly as they applied to the form of the modern city.

According to the Situationists, the benign professionalism of architecture and design had led to a sterilization of the world that threatened to wipe out any sense of spontaneity or playfulness. The Situationists hankered after the “pioneer spirit” of the modernist period, when new ideas, such as those of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche, still felt fresh and vital.

By the late fifties, movements such as British and American Pop Art and French Nouveau Ralisme had become intensely interested in everyday life, space, and mass culture. The SI aimed to convert this interest into a revolution—at the level of the city itself. Their principle for the reorganization of cities was simple and seductive: let the citizens themselves decide what spaces and architecture they want to live in and how they wish to live in them. This would instantly undermine the powers of state, bureaucracy, capital, and imperialism, thereby revolutionizing people’s everyday lives.

Simon Sadler searches for the Situationist City among the detritus of tracts, manifestos, and works of art that the SI left behind. The book is divided into three parts. The first, “The Naked City,” outlines the Situationist critique of the urban environment as it then existed. The second, “Formulary for a New Urbanism,” examines Situationist principles for the city and for city living. The third, “A New Babylon,” describes actual designs proposed for a Situationist City.”

Publisher MIT Press, 1998
ISBN 9780262193924
ix+233 pages
via heimitokunst, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Reviews: Andrew Hussey (LRB, 1999), Notbored (n.d.), Andy Merrifield (Harvard Design Mag, 2000), Rosemary Wakeman (French Polit Cult Soc, 2000), James L. Penner (TDR, 2001), Sarah Deyong (J Society Arch Hist, 2001), Benedict Seymour (Mute, 2004), Natasha Gershfield (Manchester School Arch, 2010).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Jennifer Gabrys: Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016)

28 July 2017, dusan

“Sensors are everywhere. Small, flexible, economical, and computationally powerful, they operate ubiquitously in environments. They compile massive amounts of data, including information about air, water, and climate. Never before has such a volume of environmental data been so broadly collected or so widely available.

Grappling with the consequences of wiring our world, Program Earth examines how sensor technologies are programming our environments. As Jennifer Gabrys points out, sensors do not merely record information about an environment. Rather, they generate new environments and environmental relations. At the same time, they give a voice to the entities they monitor: to animals, plants, people, and inanimate objects. This book looks at the ways in which sensors converge with environments to map ecological processes, to track the migration of animals, to check pollutants, to facilitate citizen participation, and to program infrastructure. Through discussing particular instances where sensors are deployed for environmental study and citizen engagement across three areas of environmental sensing, from wild sensing to pollution sensing and urban sensing, Program Earth asks how sensor technologies specifically contribute to new environmental conditions. What are the implications for wiring up environments? How do sensor applications not only program environments, but also program the sorts of citizens and collectives we might become?

Program Earth suggests that the sensor-based monitoring of Earth offers the prospect of making new environments not simply as an extension of the human but rather as new “technogeographies” that connect technology, nature, and people.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2016
Electronic Mediations series, 49
ISBN 9780816693122, 0816693129
x+357 pages
via publisher

Reviews: Etienne S. Benson (Am J Sociology, 2017), Matthew W. Wilson (Cultural Geographies, 2017).
Interviews: Rorotoko (2016).

Author (with links to related articles)
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (6 MB)

Shannon Mattern: Deep Mapping the Media City (2015)

24 April 2017, dusan

“Going beyond current scholarship on the “media city” and the “smart city,” Shannon Mattern argues that our global cities have been mediated and intelligent for millennia. Deep Mapping the Media City advocates for urban media archaeology, a multisensory approach to investigating the material history of networked cities. Mattern explores the material assemblages and infrastructures that have shaped the media city by taking archaeology literally—using techniques like excavation and mapping to discover the modern city’s roots in time.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2015
Forerunners: Ideas First series, 5
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License
ISBN 0816698511, 9780816698516
xvi+51 pages

Review: Nicholas Korody (Archinect, 2015).

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF
HTML (Manifold edition, 2017)

Wellington Reiter: Vessels and Fields (1999)

10 April 2017, dusan

“A collection of Wellington Reiter’s experimental projects, presented through a series of drawings that owe as much of a debt to Lebbeus Woods for their frenetic and intense energy as they do to Piranesi for their ability to use simple pen-and-ink linework to create unusually complex spaces. These fantastical projects-a mix of architecture, museum installations, and public art-often involve the reuse of obsolete military installations (abandoned missile silos, historic battlefields, and decommissioned aircraft carriers), which adds to the provocative nature of the work.”

“This collection of images was drawn, for the most part, from a lecture entitled, ‘The Necessity of Fiction in Architecture,’ (MIT, June 1994). In essence, the talk buttressed the role of speculation within the discipline and expressed the need for an operative mythology for the city. Rather than recount the arguments of that appeal, this visual text offers sub-plots which link the various works in ways that could only be discerned through graphic comparison. The result is neither a chronological record of development, an explanation of the projects, or even an accurate portrayal of the works in question. Instead, several formal and metaphoric consistencies are revealed and compounded. … Believing that much of architecture exceeds construction, this document is part of a tradition of proposing alternative pasts and futures for architecture and especially for the city. It is believed that such hypothesizing can influence our recption of real sites and therefore must remain an essential component of practice.” (page 10)

Foreword by Patricia Phillips
Publisher Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999
ISBN 1568981872, 9781568981871
188 pages
via tlukejones

WorldCat

PDF (68 MB)

Constant. New Babylon (2015) [EN, ES]

21 November 2016, dusan

Constant. New Babylon brings together a selection of works that Constant held in the framework of this project, whose realization and materialization has turned into a wide range of expressive means (architectural models, drawings, watercolors, prints, collages, modified maps, films, slides…), as well as an intense theoretical activity in the form of texts and lectures, with three representative examples in this catalog. There are also texts by Laura Stamps, Pedro G. Romero, Mark Wigley and a conversation between Rem Koolhaas and Pascal Gielen, among others.”

Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 20 Oct 2015-29 Feb 2016.

Publisher Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2015
ISBN 9788480265232, 848026523X
310 pages

Exhibition
Publisher
WorldCat

English: PDF (48 MB), Issuu
Spanish: Issuu

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