The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: September 2011

In front of the incredible silence of the media about the Occupying Wall Street Movement -the New York Times had a very small article in the NY section about it five days ago bias(ly) entitled “Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim“- I feel obliged to talk about this extremely interesting micro-society existing right in between Ground Zero and Wall Street in New York. About this very eloquent silence in the press,… Read More

Whoever reads regularly this blog knows that I develop an attraction for architecture schools in the United Kingdom; however I tend to focus a lot on the London ones (Bartlett, AA, Westminster, Royal College of Arts and Greenwich) and tend to forget too much the others which are proposing a very interesting pedagogy as well. This article is to make it up to those schools that might communicate less on an international… Read More

Stills from 36 Quai des Orfèvres by Olivier Marchal I recently wrote an article (Sept 14th) entitled The Weight of the Body Falling which consisted in a first approach of a study of the effect of gravity on the human body and its potential architectural interpretation. The latter can be explored by writing about the notion of Landing Sites created by Arakawa and Gins (see all previous articles), I don’t feel ready… Read More

Refugee Camp of Tadamon in Beirut (Lebanon) / Photograph by Simon Norfolk While the Palestinian Authority is playing a risky game at the UN forcing to Obama to be more Zionist than a very important amount of Israeli people themselves, Al Jazeera releases an extremely interesting article about the legal implications of the Palestinian right to return on an international justice level. It is very well known that the State of Israel… Read More

Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics after Modernism is a book written by Felicity Scott and published in 2007 by the MIT Press. She is director of the new program at Columbia University in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture. This book is a historical exploration and analysis of the evolution of the political ideology that functioned as a motor for architecture since the 1930’s. The first chapter is entitled A Vital Bearing… Read More

In his class at the Universite de Vincennes in 1983-84, Gilles Deleuze approaches cinema by what he calls la puissance du faux (power of the false) which intermingles (and not confuses) imaginary and reality to create the false and by extension, fiction. The notion of truth is therefore fundamental for his class and in his December 6th 1983 session, he exposes two visions of the world  of truths of existence (in opposition… Read More

It became a sort of tradition on The Funambulist to publish regularly the work of specific people whose interesting projects, add one by one over the years compose a coherent ensemble. Fredrik Hellberg is one of those people. After his Manhattan Oneirocritica, his Japanese Embassy in London and his essay about Meta-Virtual Solipsism, his work is back on the blog with his thesis project at the Architectural Association that is now competing for… Read More

After writing an article about Björk, the transition is easy in order to speak about the her husband, Matthew Barney‘s work, and more specifically the short-film he released in 2004 under the name Hoist for the collection Destricted. This idea to write about Hoist came for the reading of a similar article written by Todd Satter on his very interesting Any Space Whatever. Although my own (short) post will not reach the… Read More

Whether or not we like Björk‘s music (I personally do a lot !), we are obliged to recognize that she always knows who to work with in order to continuously push the limits of the musical field. The last example of this great sense of collaboration is the conception of new instruments for her album Biophilia, and more specifically the design and realization of what she called Gravity Harps. In order to… Read More

Theo Jansen and his beautiful Standbeests are having an exhibition in the Oita Art Museum (Japan) with Earthscape. Entitled in a very Miyazakian way, The Beach Animal that Eats Wind seems to translate very poetically T.Jansen’s narrative in which the ingenious assemblages he builds-up acquire the status of living beings once achieved.

picture: The Shower by Kerry Skarbakka Gravity is never more perceptible than when an object falls and when this object is a human body, the visual expressiveness of the scene becomes even more dramatic. Photographs of the body falling probably all owes a lot to the one composed by Yves Klein jumping in the void of a Parisian street  in 1960. Since then other photographers worked on this subject, more or less… Read More

Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal & Eyal Weizman and their team of Decolonizing Architecture are proving to us, once again, that not only they keep being the incontrovertible thinkers of the built dimension of the Palestinian struggle, but also that they constitute a crucial avant-garde in the relationships that architecture maintains with territorial and political challenges. Their new exhibition, in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) is entitled Common Assembly: Deterritorializing the Palestinian Parliament and focuses on… Read More

For a reason that I ignore, it has been brought to my attention that the following article has disappeared from this blog  in the transfer of the boiteaoutils’ archives…I am therefore re-publishing it here, apologizing to the people who already read it or who were looking for it on this blog… One story by Jorge Luis Borges is interesting to read as it reveals his vision of his own work. This short… Read More

After his Supurban Project, Nick Axel comes back on the Funambulist with a new project that despite its lack of images -which I therefore salutes as the cult of the image consumption seems to have definitely won the world of architecture- develops an interesting visualization of what is architecture. Nick indeed continuously assembles -and dates when he can- a series of aphorisms that all begins with “Architecture is…” He found a beautiful… Read More

Marcel Proust by Stephen Alcorn In a conversation he had with Michel Foucault in 1972 (L’Arc (No. 49, pp. 3-10)), Gilles Deleuze uses a quote from French literary author Marcel Proust to illustrate his interpretation of how intellectuals should consider their theoretical work: A theory is exactly like a box of tools. It has nothing to do with the signifier. It must be useful. It must function. And not for itself. If… Read More

This Sunday will be the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack against New York’s world trade center, anniversary that Americans had the bad idea to call Patriot Day. Although this date is appropriate to remember that terrorism does not offer any reason to believe that it is a legitimate method of resisting towards oppression, it is also a good moment to question the society that seems to have appeared -to have been… Read More

Corbu/Perriand reinvented: Chaise Lounge (1992) by jones, partners: architecture This week, exceptionally there won’t be any guest writers essays on the funambulist. Instead I propose an interesting conversation I had, two weeks ago, during a short trip in Los Angeles, with Wes Jones, who was kind enough to answer my questions about the way he intermingles the notions of machine and design in his work. Since the early 90’s when he started… Read More

Red Desert is the first color movie by Michelangelo Antonioni. First released in 1964, this film is indeed an extraordinary dialogue between bright chemical colors and industrial variety of greys. I don’t want to give too many indications about the plot here, and will only signal to the New Yorkers who did not see it yet or, like me who would like to re-see it, that the Brooklyn Academy of Music is… Read More

Let’s say it right away, Michel Onfray is not my favorite philosopher. I am doubtful of his -sometimes easy- peremptory conclusions and his systematic decomplexification that gets him to often appear on TV. However, one thing among others that I am absolutely admiring in his work, is the creation of the People’s University (Université Populaire) of Caen (Normandy) in which he has been giving very regular and rigorous classes of the Counter… Read More