Week 39 - 5 November 2021

  • I had two cosmic experiences this week.
  • The first was a visit to The Cosmic House - Charles Jenck's residence until his recent death. At a time when we're losing a lot of postmodern architecture it's nice that this has become open to the public.

The Cosmic House

  • It made me realise that inhabiting postmodernism is different to seeing it. Despite it being an architectural movement known and criticised for surface-level ornament, there is a lot to learn from the way it uses story and mythology to make sense of the world.
  • The second was a visit to a floatation tank. I floated in warm dark salty water for an hour. At one point my eyes were open but I couldn't see and also I couldn't really feel my body and it just felt like pure me floating around separate from my body. I got a bit freaked out when I started wondering if that was what death was like. When I re-emerged Vauxhall seemed very crisp and slow.
  • Obviously the experience was weird and funny as well as transcendental. In the first 5 minutes I couldn't stop bumping into the walls of the tank. My other cosmic experience also made me laugh, in particular the introductory video in which architects piss their architectural pants at so-called architectural 'jokes' like putting two doorknobs on a door instead of one, or making a column not touch the ceiling. The funniest thing about architecture is what passes for a joke in it.
  • For school I'm still thinking about how we can see the city as a place for many species. I read a paper called 'Rethinking relational ideas of place in more‐than‐human cities' which I found helpful. In particular the idea that 'nature' is just as invented a concept as 'city' is - and the two are not binary.

A street sign in a bush

  • When I was walking around after my floating experience I ended up photographing a few artificially lit plants. I don't want to over-bake why I find them interesting - but I think there's something about how instead of a photo directly of the city, it's a photo of 'nature' that could only be taken in the city. There's a post-rationalisation of a blurry photo if I ever saw one. But I also like that they're a little accidental.

MA GCDP - Week 7 resources

Last update: 2021-11-05 12:00:00 -0600