From: Howard Lawrence <HRL@PSUVM.BITNET>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1993 13:16:15 -0500
- - The original note follows - -
Xref: news.ysu.edu alt.architecture:152
Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1993 15:33:35 CST
From: Laura Bootsy Boutwell <U58100@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: ARCHITECTURE: Sculpture Connection?
The project that you and your thesis student have set out for yourselves seems
to posit the architecture/sculpture dichotomy you seem to be leaning towards
exist on a continuum, and that rather than working with just two models
it might be a valuable exercise to work on a homologous series of test
or study models. Perhaps you could in fact do more than one parallel studies;
one that occurs to me off-hand would be to go from "minimalist-formal" to
For example, you say the cube "rests on a flat
plane." Why not turn this resting into a 3-d figure/ground study?
Seems to me that your student could use this opportunity to "take a stand"
on the postition of arch./scu. viz-a-viz the meeting of cube and ground, and
use the opportunity to "figure out" the cube - both finding the architectural
figures (as in the classical definition of architectural figures) but not
limited to these. Figures, too, could be inhabitants, drawings, or
grammatical structures ("figures of speech")
You haven't discussed programmatic issues much in your post, except for
urban issues; it seems to me that you could investigate an architecture
which decreases in scale from "urban" to, say, "prosthetic" without necessarily
becoming "sculpture;" certainly how our bodies interact with the masses in
question - and whether they are one-to-one or represented as something else -
could become an interesting series of tests.
Scale naturally would lead to questions of materiality and detailing. What
difference does the media of the cube and ground make? A chipboard cube
or a steak cube? How are these models made?
Why a cube, anyway? Naturally it is a disciplined, formal restriction,
that is understandable and easily test-able, but it seems to me that there
is a confluence of architecture and sculpture in the most banal places -
telephones, fountain pens, tables, coatracks, and certainly in avant-garde
or haute-couture fashion design. They're certainly "commodious" but have
more to do with "commidity" than Vesuvius.
Finally, it seems that the *meaning* of the work - cube or not - is a rich
possiblity, and that the intents of architecture and sculpture are deeply
problematic, tho not unrelated. These could be explored via representation -
*including* verbal representation - or context; by context i mean the context
of how the work is read within the school; the ideological context of the
study. Michael Hays, Peter Eisenmann, Bruce Goff, and Francious Lyotard
would all have very different interpretations of your and your student's
work. I realize that you cannot be accountible for every possible reading
of it, but critical and methodological testing goes on all the time in the
art world, and since your project attempts to investigate the differences
and similarities between them, you must make *some* concessions to it.
Please forgive my rambling sentence structures and i hope i have not been
offensive in of my suggestions - your project sounds wonderfully dense
and probably will afford you many months of fun. I'm charretting myself
at the moment and quite possibly incomprehensible. Keep us posted!
Laura Bootsy Boutwell
Frustrated architecture teacher wanna-be