robertogreco {tumblr}

grecolaborativo

about
writing
mentoring

twitter/rogre
pinboard/robertogreco

lizettegreco.com
flickr/lizettegreco
flickr/robertogreco
vimeo/robertogreco
stellar/robertogreco
reading/rogre

tcsnmy8.tumblr.com
tcsnmy7.tumblr.com
tcsnmy6.tumblr.com

twitter/rogreisreading
twitter/robertogreco

random post
archive
rss

The authentic forces that change and shape the world are deep and under the surface. So they move slowly. Real history is the history of the slow pace [of events]. The question is whether there will be enough people who see the deceit in the feverish tempo, withstand its temptation, and commit themselves to the truth of the slower tempo. Martin Buber (via Mark Patrick Hederman, “Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed” [.pdf])
To begin to think of the possibility of collaboration among the disciplines, we must realize that the ‘two cultures’ exist as such because both of them belong to the one culture of division and dislocation, opposition and competition… the culture of colonialism and industrialism. Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle (via Selin Jessa)
Future Library, Katie Paterson:


  Scottish artist Katie Paterson has launched a 100-year artwork - Future Library - Framtidsbiblioteket - for the city of Oslo in Norway. The prizewinning author, poet, essayist and literary critic Margaret Atwood has been named as the first writer to contribute to the project.
  
  A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.
  
  Margaret Atwood comments on being the inaugural writer for Future Library: “I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”
  
  A ceremony in 2015 will mark the handover of Margaret Atwood’s manuscript.
  
  The manuscripts will be held in trust in a specially designed room in the New Deichmanske Public Library opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. Intended to be a space of contemplation, this room - designed by the artist - will be lined with wood from the forest. The authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display, but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading – until their publication in one century’s time. The library room design is in collaboration with Lund Hagem Architects and Atelier Oslo.


Read on. Watch, Watch Margaret Atwood.

Future Library, Katie Paterson:

Scottish artist Katie Paterson has launched a 100-year artwork - Future Library - Framtidsbiblioteket - for the city of Oslo in Norway. The prizewinning author, poet, essayist and literary critic Margaret Atwood has been named as the first writer to contribute to the project.

A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.

Margaret Atwood comments on being the inaugural writer for Future Library: “I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”

A ceremony in 2015 will mark the handover of Margaret Atwood’s manuscript.

The manuscripts will be held in trust in a specially designed room in the New Deichmanske Public Library opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. Intended to be a space of contemplation, this room - designed by the artist - will be lined with wood from the forest. The authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display, but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading – until their publication in one century’s time. The library room design is in collaboration with Lund Hagem Architects and Atelier Oslo.

Read on. Watch, Watch Margaret Atwood.

The talking tribe, I find, want sensation from the mountain–not in Keats’s sense. Beginners, not unnaturally, do the same—I did myself. They want the startling view, the horrid pinnacle—sips of beer and tea instead of milk. Yet often the mountain gives itself most completely when I have no destination, when I reach nowhere in particular, but have gone out merely to be with the mountain as one visits a friend with no intention but to be with him. Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain (via Allen)
"[W]hat primitive people lose to disease and the marauding tiger we lose to war, traffic, and the killing pace of industrial life." —Guy Davenport, Every Force Evolves a Form (via Luke)

"[W]hat primitive people lose to disease and the marauding tiger we lose to war, traffic, and the killing pace of industrial life." —Guy Davenport, Every Force Evolves a Form (via Luke)

Solovki, White Sea, Russia (dog with bag), Pentti Sammallahti, 1992 (via Candace Dwan Gallery)

I’m reading John Berger’s The Shape of a Pocket. Berger opens the book with a description of Pentii Sammallahti’s photography. He writes:


  Early this morning, when I was still in bed, a swallow flew in, circled the room, saw its error and flew out through the window to alight on the telephone wire. I relate this small incident because it seems to me to have something to do with Pentii Sammallahti’s photographs. They too, like the swallow, are aberrant.
  
  I have had some of his photographs in the house now for two years. I often take them out of their folder to show to friends who pass. They usually gasp at first, and then peer closer, smiling. They look at the places shown for a longer time than is usual with  a photograph. Perhaps they ask whether I know the photographer, Pentii Sammallahti, personally? Or they ask what part of Russia were they taken in? In what year? They never try to put their evident pleasure into words, for it is a secret one. They simply look closer and remember. What?
  
  In each of these pictures [the ones in Berger’s house], there is at least one dog. That’s clear and it might be no more than a gimmick. Yet in fact the dogs offer a key for opening a door. No, a gate — for here everything is outside, outside and beyond.
  
  I notice also in each photograph the special light, the light determined by the time of day or the season of the year. It is, inevitably, the light in which figures hunt — for animals, forgotten names, a path leading home, a new day, sleep, the next lorry, spring. A light in which there is no permanence, a light of nothing longer than a glimpse. This too is a key to opening the gate.
  
  The photos were taken with a panoramic camera, such as is normally used for making wide-section geological surveys. Here the wide-section is important, not, I think, for aesthetic reasons, but, once again, for scientific, observational ones. A lens with a narrower focus would not have found what I now see, and so it would have remained ivisible. What do I see now?
  
  We live our daily lives in a constant exchange with the set of daily appearances surrounding us — often they are very familiar, sometimes they are unexpected and new, but always they confirm us in our lives. They do so even when they are threatening: the sight of a house burning, for example, or a man approaching us with a knife between his teeth, still reminds us (urgently) of our life and its importance. What we habitually see confirms us.
  
  Yet it can happen, suddenly, unexpectedly, and most frequently in the half-light-of-glimpses, that we catch sight of another visible order which intersects with ours and has nothing to do with it.


I could keep typing, but I shouldn’t. Better: find a copy of The Shape of the Pocket. You won’t be disappointed. And you can see more of Pentti Sammallahti’s photographs around the web, for example a collection at Peter Fetterman Gallery that begins with one for my favorites: Helsinki, Finland (Dog Stretching), 1982.

Solovki, White Sea, Russia (dog with bag), Pentti Sammallahti, 1992 (via Candace Dwan Gallery)

I’m reading John Berger’s The Shape of a Pocket. Berger opens the book with a description of Pentii Sammallahti’s photography. He writes:

Early this morning, when I was still in bed, a swallow flew in, circled the room, saw its error and flew out through the window to alight on the telephone wire. I relate this small incident because it seems to me to have something to do with Pentii Sammallahti’s photographs. They too, like the swallow, are aberrant.

I have had some of his photographs in the house now for two years. I often take them out of their folder to show to friends who pass. They usually gasp at first, and then peer closer, smiling. They look at the places shown for a longer time than is usual with a photograph. Perhaps they ask whether I know the photographer, Pentii Sammallahti, personally? Or they ask what part of Russia were they taken in? In what year? They never try to put their evident pleasure into words, for it is a secret one. They simply look closer and remember. What?

In each of these pictures [the ones in Berger’s house], there is at least one dog. That’s clear and it might be no more than a gimmick. Yet in fact the dogs offer a key for opening a door. No, a gate — for here everything is outside, outside and beyond.

I notice also in each photograph the special light, the light determined by the time of day or the season of the year. It is, inevitably, the light in which figures hunt — for animals, forgotten names, a path leading home, a new day, sleep, the next lorry, spring. A light in which there is no permanence, a light of nothing longer than a glimpse. This too is a key to opening the gate.

The photos were taken with a panoramic camera, such as is normally used for making wide-section geological surveys. Here the wide-section is important, not, I think, for aesthetic reasons, but, once again, for scientific, observational ones. A lens with a narrower focus would not have found what I now see, and so it would have remained ivisible. What do I see now?

We live our daily lives in a constant exchange with the set of daily appearances surrounding us — often they are very familiar, sometimes they are unexpected and new, but always they confirm us in our lives. They do so even when they are threatening: the sight of a house burning, for example, or a man approaching us with a knife between his teeth, still reminds us (urgently) of our life and its importance. What we habitually see confirms us.

Yet it can happen, suddenly, unexpectedly, and most frequently in the half-light-of-glimpses, that we catch sight of another visible order which intersects with ours and has nothing to do with it.

I could keep typing, but I shouldn’t. Better: find a copy of The Shape of the Pocket. You won’t be disappointed. And you can see more of Pentti Sammallahti’s photographs around the web, for example a collection at Peter Fetterman Gallery that begins with one for my favorites: Helsinki, Finland (Dog Stretching), 1982.

Create! Make! Produce! Innovate! Why can’t I just be still? Or simply do some things sometimes? Anne Galloway
I kept thinking about how hard it must be to work in such a small place, but the sense of connectedness to the people every day must be what grounds him, too. Francis Lam on Faroe Island chef Leif Sørensen

Gardner Campbell on “Ecologies of Yearning" (via Audrey Watters)

From the comments:

(This lecture)… serves as a warning that what we really want - our utopia - is not necessarily to be found in the structures we are putting in place (or finding ourselves within).

Within, Campbell quotes Nicholas Nassim Taleb:

Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing.

He also quotes Oliver Sacks. [pointer to that post]

Additional notes and references about this talk are collected here.

Alberto Cruz Covarrubias and Godofredo Iommi

A couple of months ago, I read Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, Ritoque, Chile (1996), by Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian. It’s about Ciudad Abierta (Open City) an ongoing project started by Cruz (more) and Iommi, who founded the modern version of the architecture program (school website, aka e[ad]) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) in Chile.

En el año 1952, la facultad contrató al arquitecto chileno Alberto Cruz y al poeta argentino Godofredo Iommi (entre otros), quienes imprimieron su particular visión de la arquitectura, y formularon las bases, que generaron el desarrollo actual de la aproximación a la arquitectura que presenta la facultad.

En 1969, los profesores de la facultad, fundaron una cooperativa privada, hoy conocida como Corporación Cultural Amereida, la cual adquirió un extenso terreno en el sector de Punta de Piedra, ubicada entre las localidades de Con-cón y Quintero.

My fondness for e[ad] stems in part from my time living in Chile and studying at PUCV. I didn’t take any classes at e[ad], and I was suspicious of places like it during that time of my life, but even then it had an aura about it that piqued my curiosity. In the years since, I have come to love what Alberto Cruz Covarrubias and Godofredo Iommi created. I assembled a few clippings from the book to highlight aspects of the architecture school and Ciudad Abierta that speak to my interests.

Joseph Rykwert in the Foreword (1996):

The Viña del Mar/Valparaíso school is unique in that it is autopoetic; it has quite literally built and planned itself, with each building seen as a poetic act.

Giancarlo De Carlo in the introductory essay, “The Ritoque Utopia” (1993):

I asked why they chose such an elusive approach to the circumstances and means proper to architecture. Because, they answered, it is necessary to put forward radical alternatives to current architectural practice, which is subject to economic power and is therefore commercialized—in that it focuses on quantity and has a hypocritical attitude in regard to quality, providing ambiguous simulacra with the complicity of opportunistic or ignorant criticisms.

I must add, as I am afraid it is not clear from the above synthesis, that all this was expressed most quietly and gently, with the serene aloofness of people who are at peace with nature and all human beings.

[…]

So, what is the Ritoque utopia about? Well, it opens a series of questions that may be worth reflection and discussion—for example, that the primary concern of current building activity is financial, and so its products are mostly marketable commodities. Those who design and build as a profession engage in operations that must yield profits to their promoters, so they cannot evade the requirements of economic power and become inherently a party to making architecture a commodity. This complicity is consummated at a level of unawareness or hypocrisy, as in fact architects are always talking about philosophy or poetry, but most of their products are simply marketable. The extremes of this distortion are to be found in architectural education that, instead of preparing young architects to be disinterested inventors of spaces responding to the multiplicity of human needs, trains them to produce spaces as standardized as possible and thus more easily marketable. Ritoque’s utopia, like every serious utopia, does not admit uncertain hypotheses—for example, that it is probably intrinsic to architecture to have to resolve apparently insoluble contradictions—and so aims at an absolute alternative, making use of all the hazards and certainties that its deliberate estrangement can offer.

And Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian’s words from Chapter 1:

[…] In fact, the site is all movements, rhythms, and sounds: the sea, the sand, the wind, the light, and air, the motor traffic and train.

Two impressions form. A first impression: the site is land and space in one of tis most transparent, ephemeral, and mutable states. A second impression: because of or in deference to these qualities of the land, the constructions on the site of the Open City are light. They attain a status of lightness. Consequently, there is an apparent lightness of physical impression onto the site.

Lightness because the way in which the constructions touch the ground does not demarcate territory of building through strong physical impact and authoritarian footprints but, instead, lets the land initiate the configuration of territory and space in both plan and section. Because of the movement of the sand by the wind and movement of the ground (earthquakes), building weights and volumes are supported by many points of contact distributed according to structural and spatial needs and intents. Volumes lifted off of the ground allow the natural migrations of the sand to continue uninterrupted, whereas those buildings that do make physical contact with the ground, whether it be shallow or profound physical contact, allow the physical forces of the site into their space. One gets the impression that if all the constructions were removed from the land, the land would not hold their memory.

Lightness, also because the materiality of the constructions at the Open City is related to a type of constructions that is artisanal, which remains attached to the physical process of building at the scale of the artisan and not the machine. It therefore reveals the hands of the builders and is a representation of human occupation of the site and not the mechanical domination and reconfiguration of the site. One sense the presence of raw nature and not manipulated landscape, of footsteps and not tire tracks.

And status of lightness because there are no apparent imposed formal ordering devices that regulate the development of the constructions. Instead ordering devices that regulate the development of the constructions. Instead each constructions is attached to the space of the site through ideation and ideaphoria, which manifests itself as spatial strategies with spatial form and relationships. However, the forms and formal ordering devices do not come first and are not fixed but can transform as spatial specifics and tactics are developed. Because formal ordering of space is rendered through this mental activity and not through the (super)imposition of formal devices, physical center and boundaries do not exist in any conventional way. Each building has a center of gravity of sorts that remains unpunctual and difficult to locate with any precision because these centers are never formalized and because they migrate as constructions are added to or transformed. Occasionally groups of buildings, such as the Banquet Hospedería conglomerate, overtime begin to reveal sets of centers of gravity: constellations, in that they produce, in addition to the individual centers of gravity, a center common to the set. Again, however, this point is not fixed but can migrate because it is a resultant, not a determinant, of construction activity. Often edges of constructions are even more illusive than their gravity centers just as the edges of the city have never been defined by walls or fences.

And status of lightness, also, because not only are physical centers an edges illusive but there is also a tendency for meaning to migrate and transform within single buildings and within the city as it has grown and matured over time: as new buildings are added to the site or existing buildings revised; as constructions are overtaken by the sands, winds, or other natural forces and left ruined or rebuilt and reoriented to the forces of the site.

For more information about Ciudad Abierta, see the pair (one and two) of Domus articles on the subject, as well as any of several videos (one example). If you read Spanish, you might also be interested in Amereida, the poem collectively written by members of the school in 1967, and “La Ciudad Abierta de Amereida. Arquitectura desde la Hospitalidad” by Patricio Cáraves Silva. The extensive Archivo Histórico José Vial contains photographs, video, audio, drawings, writings, etc. from the school and makes great use of SoundCloud, Flickr, and Vimeo. The resources in the archive also cover (and map using Google Maps) the Travesías taken each year since 1984.

Las travesías son viajes poéticos por América que realiza anualmente la e[ad] Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseño PUCV a partir del año 1984. Estos viajes son integrados por los alumnos y profesores de Arquitectura, Diseño Gráfico y Diseño Industrial. Este sitio corresponde al registro de dichos viajes por el continente e invita a todos quienes han participado a colaborar en esta bitácora colectiva.

En las travesías se realizan obras desde la creatividad del oficio, en algún punto de América fijado a través del estudio que desarrolla cada Taller.

América ha de recorrerse en su extensión; es preciso ir al continente, ir a él para reconocerle y habitar su emergencia. El 1965 los fundadores de la Escuela decidieron partir en esa visión:

partida mañana a las siete antemeridiano desde santiago escalas del avión santiago puerto montt punta arenas los nueve están – jonathan boulting alberto cruz fabio cruz michel degury francois fédier claudio girola godofredo iommi jorge pérez román edison simons – henri tronquoy nos alcanzará en medio de la patagonia1

Esa primera travesía abre el horizonte dentro de los procesos educativos y de aprendizaje en el ámbito académico; en 1984 se incorpora al currículum de los alumnos de Arquitectura y Diseño la realización de una Travesía anual dentro del ámbito de cada Taller. El continente se extiende y nosotros con ellos vamos a él para habitar su intimidad y su mar interior al que amereida canta. Se han realizado ya más de 100, en donde la totalidad de los talleres de la Escuela, alumnos y profesores realizan obras concretas de Arquitectura y Diseño, en algún punto de América fijado a través del estudio que desarrolla cada Taller. Estas Travesías se llevan a cabo durante el tercer trimestre de cada año y duran alrededor de un mes.

Funny how our busted weird messy unwieldy code constructions resemble… every other human endeavor over a certain (tiny) size. Erin Kissane.

Slow Life, Daniel Stoupin (via Anne)

"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

Some I know quite well, and they have been lost to their alumni associations for decades, while living exemplary lives and accomplishing needed and innovative work in the everyday world. They are, as a Taoist once put it, “sages disguised as melon growers in the mountains.” Gary Snyder, A Place in Space (via Charlie)
I’m more interested in the sovereignty of the future. David Ryan in response to Tim Maly’s mention of “the future of sovereignty.”