Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Worstward Ho!

Nothing much to report, apart from the accelerating downward motion of what Laurie Penny aptly calls 'kamikaze capitalism'. I for one don't really see how we can't be in line for the most ugly of outcomes, considering not only the fact that organised labour is in disarray, but also that we've got an almost 'accelerationist' government in charge. Say what you like about these vicious scum, but they're just the most avant-garde ticket in town.

Anyway; here's some deckchair shuffling.


You may know that I'm 'architecture correspondent' at Icon magazine. This month there's more of my words than usual: There's a short feature on Ball-Nogues, who are primarily installation designers out in California. They're affiliated with Sci-Arc, and I suppose that what they do is exemplary digital architecture, in the sense that it's humorous, playful, and perhaps most importantly , it's clever without being overwrought. There's also a larger feature about BIG's '8 House', a rather massive 21st century version of a streets-in-the-sky megastructure. Although Bjarke Ingels himself was (perhaps understandably) quite evasive about having his work compared to something like Park Hill or Robin Hood Gardens, the over-arching concern is remarkably similar; the introduction of traditional (or at least regular) patterns of street life into much larger structures and arrangements.

The day trip to Copenhagen was certainly a somewhat depressing one, but basically for reasons of London's continuing malady than anything else. It really is beautiful, all rugged Scandinavian civic architecture (the old stock exchange (pictured) being a particular highlight), the seemingly effortless modernism, the water everywhere, the obviously slight wealth discrepancies compared to the UK, combined with that old cliche of relaxed and healthy looking people cycling everywhere. BIG have a lovely office, even if it's clear that they're as stuffed with over-stretched interns as anywhere in less relaxed parts of the world, but they have a lovely kitchen. Even Ørestad, the brand-new neighbourhood built to the South of Copenhagen, which is still mostly credit-crunched, even this place had a sense of insouciance and life to it. Add to this the accidental stumbling upon an iron and glass winter garden, the sheer thrill of a nearly deserted airport at the end of the day (bringing to mind Mirabele, that great white elephant) and the pleasures of making the acquaintance of a charming fellow traveller, and it was enough of a pleasurable experience to put one into a really foul mood upon return.

Carl at the Impostume has started / is part of a new group blog abut the 70s, which is thus far excellent. There was a recent post about growth and decline, and about how the 70s prefigured much of what we've been hearing about ecological catastrophe in the last 10 years. The following passage is utterly fascinating, and worth mulling over:
Because of course, the end of growth, and consequent decline, doesn’t need to lead to starvation, anarchy, totalitarianism or genocide. Between a techno-grandiose future of plenty and the apocalypse, there lies a "third way" - decade after decade, century after century, of drab, dilapidated crapness; a distended Seventies stretching over the horizon, where it may only give way to a similarly distended Fifties, and then a Thirties and so on. This is the future most unacceptable to the Western mind, but alas the one it appears most likely to encounter.

Found Objects continues to be excellent, and I was very flattered to see something wot I did pop up on the site. Thanks, (mostly) unknown hauntologists!

I wrote something about Cory Arcangel before, where I noted his ability to tease out the utterly abject side of internet culture. Well, he now has a blog dedicated entirely to 'sorry I haven't posted in a while' blog posts. It's hilarious and abject, which is a delicious combination.


I've seen Patrick Keiller's new film, 'Robinson in Ruins'. I'm due to write a review of it, but I'll most likely write something on here as well, perhaps at length. It's going to be abject.

E&V is due to be doing a bunch of walks and talks in the next couple of months; I'll let you know what happens.

I'm currently reading the correspondence of Samuel Beckett. I feel like I'm 19 again.

1 comment:

bilions said...

Kamikaze means Divine Wind if i m correct.