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Findery | Javier Arbona - Academia.edu
"In sum, what makes Findery’s approach compelling is a deeply modern cartographic sensibility—a Cartesian map—that undergirds the represented com munity, which then clusters around a shared sense of place. If Findery presents places as a seamless, fluid, and utterly comprehensible environment, however, it glosses over the reality of place as a jumble of conflicting geographies. Put differently, Findery facilitates the combination of a modern cartographic sensibility with a community that shares a passion of—and for—a mediated place.

The peril of this powerful fusion is that although geography is not destiny, a community can come to believe it is, especially when the aerial viewpoint of maps is involved. What will the community end up doing to attain its presumed destiny if it involves, for example, land clearance or privatization? Or, in another sense, how much can a social network based on geography—and owned by a handful of founders and investors—popularize a given geographic destiny if it comes to be exploited by a territorial agency, colonial government, or larger corporation? And yet a geographical app can also work in the hands of communities struggling to free themselves from imposed destinies— whether it is used to document neglected public schools or illegal settlements."

Two final points will serve to navigate these opposing tensions.

First, the visual imagination of place-based communities along the imperceptible lines of vast and abstract electronic networks has a much longer trajectory than the contemporary web. Mark Wigley has written about the confraternity among Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, and Constantinos Doxiadis. Findery is at the tail end of the network “echoes” (as Wigley calls these) predating the web that enmesh places into a lattice of tele-connected temporal frames for efficient spatial labor-production coordination. As far back as 1938, Fuller envisioned buildings giving way to what he called a “world wide dwelling services network,” and Findery contains the code to further such a vision. But Fuller hardly imagined the forms of totalizing governance, not to mention surveillance, that would thrive on today’s networks.

Second, the cartographic web has many roots, not the least of which is military (i.e., for targeting), and it also happens to depend on the military domination of the aerial and astral surveying spaces themselves. In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency’s director, John McCone, instituted the agency’s science and technology branch to satisfy his lust for advanced aerial photography and U-2 spy planes. Sociogeographical apps echo this visual craving for information (and related information-gathering government and business enterprises) that intensified during the Cold War.

Fuller and McCone come together as two faces of the same coin to suggest that the view from above has a history not only of being monodirectional but also of serving as an infrastructure of control from afar. Geographic social media contribute to a subjectivity that remains ambivalent toward this uneven distribution of power and produces knowledge from an ultimately untenable standpoint: close-up at a distance. One can thus be misled by the false impression that one has godlike capabilities, simultaneously possessing a detached, celestial view and having an effective mode of up-close agency or contestation—literally—in one’s hands. These are, in other words, tools that are fundamentally disorienting in space and time—and they demand to be exploited as such.
javierarbona  maps  mapping  socialmedia  findery  2015  reviews  cartography  surveillance  place  geography  buckminsterfuller  marshallmcluhan  constantinosdoxiadis  markwigley  johnmccone  power  legibiity  community  destiny 
march 2015 by robertogreco
AA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE - Lectures Online [Counterculture?]
"This afternoon event includes a roundtable discussion led by Jeffrey Inaba, Features Editor of VOLUME, an independent quarterly for architecture. Issue 24 of the journal, published in autumnn 2010, examines current interests and recent histories of counterculture: in architecture, the environment, politics, art and culture. The 1960s countercultural roots of the hippie generation are now mainstream, and alternative values of 40 years ago can now be seen to guide the world of technology. At first glance, what appears prescient about the 1960s when looking at current US culture is the preoccupation with computer technology, the natural environment and alternative forms of community; but today each is disconnected from the radical political action and oppositional ideologies of the earlier era. Discuss.

This afternoon's roundtable conversation will include Jeffrey Inaba, Mark Wigley and others, and will be moderated by Brett Steele."
oppositionalideologies  radicalpolitics  radical  activism  politicalaction  technology  mainstream  art  culture  politics  design  environment  2011  ineswizman  petercrump  grahamcaine  markwigley  brettsteele  chalresholland  davidgreene  counterculture  1960s  architecture  jeffreyinaba 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation - Reading Room - Domus
"Studio-X is a multifunction outpost of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in lower Manhattan. Alternately a studio space for several of GSAPP's research groups (including C-Lab, Netlab, Living Architecture Lab and Urban Landscape Lab), exhibition space, and events venue, Studio-X's flexible programming makes it a uniquely unpredictable site where architectural and urban thinkers interact with a curious public. Now exporting its model to other cities around the world where GSAPP has a presence, including Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and Amman, Studio-X marks its first publication with The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation. José Esparza talked to the book's editor and Studio-X NY's former programming director Gavin Browning, as well as Glen Cummings and Aliza Dzik of New York design firm MTWTF, who designed the book."
process  competition  hierarchy  typologies  transformation  documentation  tabularasa  blankslate  studio-xny  craigbuckley  markwigley  danielperlin  innovation  creativity  rapidresonse  multidisciplinary  mixed-use  classroomdesign  informality  informal  workshops  studios  schooldesign  learningspaces  glvo  openstudio  columbia  nyc  studio-x  glencummings  gavinbrowning  design  adaptability  flexibility  adaptivespaces  lcproject  interdisciplinary  books  domus  architecture 
january 2012 by robertogreco
GSAPP Dean's Statement - The Future of the Architect by Dean Mark Wigley
"a way of thinking that draws on everything that is known in order to jump into the unknown. ... More than simply training architects how to design brilliantly, we redesign the figure of the architect. ... The architect crafts an invitation to think and act differently. ... a space of speculation, experimentation, and analysis that allows the field to detour away from its default settings in order to find new settings, new forms of professional, scholarly, technical, and ethical practice. ... With a biodiversity of continually evolving research trajectories, the school operates as a multi-disciplinary think tank, an intelligent organism thinking its way through the uncertain future of the discipline and the global society it serves. ... the students artfully rework the expectations of their discipline. ... a school's most precious gift is its generosity towards the thoughts that the next generation has yet to have."`
architecture  academia  columbia  gsapp  markwigley  design  pedagogy  philosophy  future  education  tcsnmy  lcproject  training  gamechanging 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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