Unreal Nature

December 10, 2019

There Are No Longer Places

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:25 am

… People go to rock concerts not to listen, because you cannot hear the music, but in fact to become part of the environment.

This is from Written Into the Void: Selected Writings 1990-2004 by Peter Eisenman (2007):

… Traditionally, architecture was place-bound, linked to a condition of experience. Today, mediated environments challenge the givens of classical time, the time of experience. For example, on a Sunday afternoon anywhere in the world, whether it be at the Prado in Madrid or the Metropolitan Museum in New York, there are literally hordes of people passing in front of artworks, hardly stopping to see, at best perhaps merely photographing their experience.

[line break added] They not only have no time for the original but even less for the experience of the original. Because of media, the time of experience has changed; the sound bite — infinitesimal, discontinuous, autonomous — has conditioned our new time.

Architecture can no longer be bound by the static conditions of space and place, here and there. In a mediated world, there are no longer places in the sense that we used to know them. Architecture must now deal with the problem of the event. Today, rock concerts might be considered the only form of architectural event. People go to rock concerts not to listen, because you cannot hear the music, but in fact to become part of the environment. There is a new type of environment being projected, composed of light, sound, movement. But this kind of event structure is not architecture standing against media, but architecture being consumed by it.

My most recent previous post from Eisenman’s book is here.

-Julie

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