Saturday, October 4, 2008

Delirious New York

"How to write a manifesto - on a form of urbanism for what remains of the 20th century - in an age disgusted with them? The fatal weakness of manifestos is their inherent lack of evidence.
Manhattan's problem is the opposite: it is a mountain rage of evidence without manifesto.
The book was conceived at the intersection of these two observations; it is a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan.
Manhattan is the 20th century's Rosetta Stone.
Not only are large parts of its surface occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockfeller Centre, the UN building) and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall) but in addition aach block is covered with several layers of phantom architecture in the form of past occupancies, aborted projects and popular fantasies that provide alternative images to the New York that exists.Especially Between 1890 and 1940 a new culture (the Machine Age?) selected Manhattan as laboratory: a mythical island where the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle and its attendant architecture could be pursued as a collective experiment in which the entire city become a factor of man-made experience, where the real and the natural ceased to exist.
This book is an interpretation of that Manhattan which gives its seemingly discontinuous - even irreconcilable - episodes a degree of consistency and coherence, an interpretation that intends to establis Manhattan as the product of an unformulated theory, Manhattanism, whose program - to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e. to live inside fantasy - was so ambitious that to be realized, it could never be openly stated.

Excerpt from delirious new york, written by the God of contemporary architecture - my ex-professor worshiped him, Rem Koolhaas! big name big name, people's god!

Our tutor this year is very practical AND "REAL" comparing to him - Cary Siress, no fashion shows in crit (the way he wears) no pretentious speeches, imperfection accepted, briefs written in "English", no sarcasm 24/7, (No absurd hybrids between graveyard and school, no looking up weird names, no looking up weird graphs that make no sense, no seminars, no running to the copy shop at 8, no writing of Manifestos weekly...) 
but i guess we all miss that, miss that unreachable sacredness that scared the hell out of us. 

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