Saturday, November 16, 2019

when you open a book, the person pops out, and becomes you

Ray Bradbury on why we read.

“…you’re very curious, aren’t you, to find out how I fell in love with books. Now remember this, love is the center of your life. The things that you do should be things that you love, and things that you love should be things that you do. So that’s what you learn from books… You see, libraries is people. It’s not books. People are waiting in there, thousands of people, who wrote the books. So it’s much more personal than just a book. So when you open a book, the person pops out, and becomes you… So you find the author who can lead you through the dark. And Shakespeare started me there… and Emily Dickinson led the way for me, and Edgar Allen Poe said, ‘This way. Here’s the light’. So you go into the library, and discover yourself.”
—Ray Bradbury.

https://youtu.be/Pqp38_uS-eg
 
Posted for #StudioBilbio, a studio/seminar on the architecture of public libraries.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

the most imaginative teaching hearth ever built

“Imagine... a Yestermorrow architecture, imaginative enough and large enough to enclose everything in a single structure... that lures, calls, leads, and pulls you from one area to the next.
...Imagine... an art gallery enclosing a museum, enclosing a library, enclosing a university, enclosing a theater. Five concepts, five environments, five ways of seeing life. Each circling, each rounding the other.
...Why a theater at our architectural core? Well, isn't life one drama topping another? Isn't everything theater? 
...Try to imagine any human activity that does not finally shape itself into vivid metaphors spoken, acted, taught. 
...stepping through from circle to circle, what would we find?
...An architecture, in sum, it seems to me, as marvelous as those rounded self-encircling nautilus shells found along the shores of our seas. Easy to build? In the mind, yes. With glass, brick, stone, and mortar? Difficult. And expensive. 
...What a pomegranate experience. What an incredible womb... Will it be built between now and the century's end? ....can it be the most imaginative teaching hearth ever built to warm our minds? I say it can be done. I wish it to be so.”
– Ray Bradbury, excerpts from "Yestermorrow Place" [1988] 
in Yestermorrow: Obvious Answers to Impossible Futures, Capra Press 1991, p 77-80.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Now is the Time to Take the Archi-Poetry Leap

Now is the time to take the Archi-Poetry Leap: 

“The language revising its own architectures is the cloud palace and drift of your desire.”
—Robert Duncan, Notebook 31 

[as cited by Steve McCaffery in “ParaPoetics and the Architectural Leap” in 'A Time for the Humanities: Futurity and the Limits of Autonomy' (Fordham 2008)]

2 choice McCaffery quotes, that I agree with (if that matters): 

1) “We must remain alert to architecture’s ominous expansion in the hyper-realism of the neoliberal dream, alert to the colonizing force in which architecture is mobilized by a compound telos of planning-for-profit.” p104.

2) “Why the leap into architecture? From ’stanza’ to the ‘prison-house of language’, architectural figures dominate within the very formulation of the linguistic. Architectural metaphors haunt writing to a degree sufficient to cause us to question a merely benign metaphoric presence. One of Heidegger’s lasting insights is into how both language and architecture ground us in the world. In architecture, as in language, human beings dwell (poetically or not) whether in open mobility or confinement. Derrida observes, ‘We appear to ourselves only through an experience of spacing which is already marked by architecture.’ Heidegger and Derrida alike suggest that prior to becoming social subjects, we are all architectural bodies [cf. Arakawa Gins]. We need, however, to add to Derrida’s grammatological conception of architecture as ‘a writing space, a mode of spacing which makes a place for events' the facts that architecture too is the materialized conception of dwelling and the dwelling is fundamentally a relation of ontology to spaces. Architecture in that enriched sense serves to return being to its problems by way of 'oikos' rather than 'poiesis'. And if Bachelard is correct when claiming that all inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home, then the link between reading and dwelling appears to be far from a strained analogy.” p105.

I have more work to do, on #archipoetry from the side of the poets...
Thank you Adam Katz and Garry Thomas Morse for the breadcrumb trail.

Link to source text here, or via your library > A Time for the Humanities