The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: February 2011

Dogtooth is a 2009 Greek film by director Yorgos Lanthimos that introduces a family whose children and mother never leaves the luxurious and remote villa they live in. In fact, the parents have elaborated a world limited to the house and the garden, the outside being defined as extremely dangerous, only accessible by car when one looses his(her) dogtooth. The children are continuously associated with dogs to the point that the father gives… Read More

Formlessfinder Form has always tended to operate as a mechanism of control in architecture. Whether through the ancient orders, Renaissance systems of proportion, or 19th century theories of tectonics, form has provided architecture’s symbolic value, its organization, and literally given shape to its materials and structures. This tendency is stronger than ever today, despite the illusion of freedom provided by digital technologies of design and manufacture and the new geometric possibilities they… Read More

It is interesting to envision Art History in terms of inventions. Of course,  one could argue that a work of art is not simply about inventing new techniques but also to be able to use those techniques to the content of this work, however we could approach the problem in a Spinozist way which does not differentiate the soul and the body, and therefore here, between the means and the essence. Studying… Read More

Geoff Manaugh just released an interesting post on BLDG BLOG about two images produced by the Italian Magazine San Rocco. Those provocative pictures have been created in reaction to a law proposal by the Italian Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni in 2010. This Law was imposing a filtering of Stadium’s population by the swiping of Electronic ID Card. This kind of law, justified by security purposes as always (against hooligans here) are increasing… Read More

I wrote an article about the same topic in 2008, but it seems worth re-evoking the very interesting practice of Recetas Urbanas (Urban Prescriptions in Spanish). Created by Santiago Cirugeda this office is situated in Seville and insert a part of its project in the ambiguous folds of the city’s construction code. In fact, I always refer to Cirugeda’s work as something in between the important works of Teddy Cruz who negotiate… Read More

I just re-watched La Jetée by French director Chris Marker and I am still fascinated by the uniqueness of this 29 minutes movie. Marker,  along with Peter Watkins (see previous articles 1 & 2), can be said to have invented a new type of Cinema that uses a documentary style in order to create fiction, the film crew being present in those movies as a fictive character. When he created La Jetée in… Read More

Sometimes interviewer reaches the level of the interviewed (one could think of the hours of interview of Alfred Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut for example). The following conversation is constituted by questions Antonio Negri has for his friend Gilles Deleuze about the notions of control and becoming. This topic is obviously always appropriate but the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and, let’s hope for it, Libya and Iran, make Deleuze’s words even more striking…. Read More

The following project is a design for an opera in Warsaw by the London based architect Jie Shen.Here, the model is not so much a representative tool than a diminished scale building in which materials match with their potential real application. That is how, the proposed opera introduces a rough vocabulary which recalls the one used in naval construction. found via designboom

This beautiful model is part of the project Oogst 1 designed by the Dutch office Tjep which introduces a self sufficient house for one person that provides its resident with food, energy, heat and oxygen. Its authors even add “In principle, one could live in Oogst 1 Solo without ever having to leave the house.” Beyond the ingenuousness of the design and its beautiful representation (one would not help noticing the introduction… Read More

Living Pod by David Greene (Archigram) in 1966 It has been a long time that I wanted to write a post about the short story The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista in the book Vermilion Sands written by James Graham Ballard between 1956 and 1970 (and published in 1971). In fact, this story introduces a very peculiar type of houses that Ballard entitled Psychotropic (ethymologically: that is stimulated by the mind). Those houses… Read More

After the revolutions in Tunisia and in Egypt, the abject Western reactions to them were shared between an extreme condescension (some E.U. representatives proposing their “expertise in democracy” to the people of Egypt, some American journalists (on Fox from all channels…) declaring that the notion of freedom in the Middle East has been brought by Bush and Blair…) and an extreme hypocrisy (yes, the will of people is respectable but really we… Read More

Daniel Fernandez Pascual had the very good idea to post on Deconcrete some thoughts about the new movie of Wim Wenders which I am looking forward to see with great enthusiasm as it is built around the beautiful work of German late choreographer, Pina Bausch. The preview (see below) give a first taste of space, bodies and cameras as being orchestrated both by Wenders and Bausch’s dancers in perfect accordance with PB’s… Read More

This posts intends to exhibit the beautiful drawings of one regular reader of the Funambulist: Michael Jia who studies at the Bartlett in London. Executed with a surgery precisions, those drawings recall the Micromegas of Daniel Libeskind in the 70’s. Objects are submitted to various influence fields and forces which provide to those drawings a powerful dynamism.

Spinoza par les bêtes (Ollendorf & Desseins 2008) is a French book part of a series entitled Le sens figuré which attempt to explain didactically the work of a thinker (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze etc.) by associating text and drawings. The result for Spinoza is interesting as it originally proposes to establishes a bestiary  in the Dutch Philosopher’s writings (mostly the Ethics) and by this mean, explaining the substance of such a… Read More

The 3rd Letter is a 15 minutes movie created by Polish director Grzegorz Jonkajtys in 2010. The plot is pretty classic in the science-fiction field but still very efficient in the representation of a capitalist system using biopolitical means to control its sustainability in time. Using an aesthetics sharing between Blade Runner (Ridley Scott) and eXistenZ (David Cronenberg), The 3rd Letter introduces the super power of a bureaucratic healthcare (the recent debate… Read More

I suppose that every architects know the TWA Terminal Eero Saarinen designed for JFK airport (New York) in 1962. However, the following photographs are maybe less known but almost as extraordinary than the building itself: pictures of the large size model built by Saarinen’s office prior to the construction. Photographs taken inside the model give the impression of being in the building itself but the joints and tape between each pieces of… Read More

This incredible house  in Fafe (Portugal) is built on two gigantic rocks making it appear as directly produced by the imagination of Hayao Miyazaki. The concrete’s texture is also maintaining an ambiguous relationship with the rocks as the limits between the two is not so clear. Found on Arkhe Tupos. (all photographs are from Feliciano Guimarães)

Theseus is an interesting character for architects. He is the one that, helped by Ariadne, solved the mystery of Dedaleus’ labyrinth in order to kill the Minotaur. However, another aspect can trigger our interest about this episode of the Greek Mythology: his boat exhibition after he came back to Athens. Plutarch recounts this story as following: “The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved… Read More

Dictionary Story is a beautiful book created by English artist Sam Winston. The book can be read horizontally as a dictionary and vertically as a story as words follow each others and create an uncertain signification. Sam Winston seems to be as obsessed by the language than by its representation as the text tend to desegregate itself and propagate its signs in the extents of the white page. The Folded Dictionary is… Read More

Jame Walker‘s project for the renovation of Robin Hood Gardens (London) in the frame of the studio tutored by Ed Frith at the University of Greenwich is a appropriation of the building originally designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in 1972. The assumed monstrosity of his project is beautifully expressed by a series of hand drawings which illustrate the intelligence of this design. found via the very useful ajnotebook Here is James… Read More