Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Arundhati Roy wins the 2021 Ubu Loca Prize!

 "the place for literature is built by writers and readers. It’s a fragile place in some ways, but an indestructible one. When its broken, we rebuild it. Because we need shelter. I very much like the idea of literature that is needed. Literature that provides shelter. Shelter of all kinds."
— Arundhati Roy, architect-turned-critic, and novelist), from her
PEN America Freedom to Write lecture. 13 May, 2019

video of the lecture

partial transcript


Her entire lecture is powerful, but don't miss her response to last question, which touches on the Architecture / Literature connection, being transcended by the complex metaphor of a Novel as City / World City / Portal to Utmost Happiness.



Saturday, September 18, 2021

Join Oct 2, 2021, for an "Archi-Poetry and Invisible Theatre" event with Ted Landrum and Grant Guy - Act 3 of "Theatres of Archimagination" in collaboration with Arts, Letters, Numbers "SunShip" to the CityX Venice Virtual Pavilion

"Archi-Poetry + Invisible Theatre" - Act 3 of "Theatres of Archimagination"
(online) Saturday Oct 2, 2021: 11am Central; Noon, Eastern; 6pm Venice

The full video recording of the event is now available on the Arts, Letters, Numbers youtube channel

Ted Landrum and Grant Guy will share and discuss recent work as Act 3 in a series of 5 "Theatres of Archimagination" curated by Lisa Landrum at the invitation of Arts, Letters, Numbers (NY) and CityX Virtual Venice Architecture Biennale 

In response to difficult questions, this event offers collaborative experiments aimed at renewing the architecture, theatre and poetry of the world! Architectural imagination suspends disbelief in the shared dream that human situations can embody and inspire poetic experience. Every act toward this goal can be moving and transformative. One way to reopen human practices of worldmaking — including architecture, theatre, poetry, and teaching — is by risking more inclusive collaborations.  Grant Guy’s Invisible Theatre Events will bring humor, and the everyday, to this #architecture, #theatre and #poetry conversation.

Thanks to Grant Guy, award-winning theatre artist, writer and poet for joining the fun; to my partner Lisa Landrum for sharing with us the opportunity to participate in her ambitious "Theatres of Archimagination" series; and to David Gersten of Arts, Letters, Numbers, for his generous invitation to share some of what we've been up to.

For me, this includes a recent series of collaborative poetry projects and experiments, including poems-in-progress made at the invitation of Grant Guy, and two fresh poems made in dialogue with architectural students collaboratively responding to challenging "SunShip" and Venice Biennale questions. "If a Bubble" and "The Flood Poem" will stream a few days prior to the Oct 2 event, on my own youtube channel, where curious people can find recordings of other Archi-Poems.

View the full Oct 2 event here!

To keep up with related events, follow Lisa Landrum on Instragram.




Thursday, March 25, 2021

Exquisite Corpse - for Michael Sorkin

This archi-poem was made in memory of Michael Sorkin, who died one year ago today. Curious comrades can hear the poem here.

Learn more about Michael Sorkin here
Purchase a copy of Sorkin's book here

Ted Landrum

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Poetry was not in the order of things.

"When I first decided to be a poet... this itself was a disordering of the world and its orders in which I had been raised. My father had been an architect and, until he died, when I was sixteen, I had been preparing to enter that world. Ideas of architecture still continue in my art today as a poet, but my conversion to Poetry was experienced by myself and by those about me as my being at war with every hope the world before had had of me. Poetry was not in the order of things." 

—  Robert Duncan, "Man's Fulfillment in Order and Strife" in Fictive Certainties [1955] (New Directions, 1985) p112. 


Duncan's first collection "The Opening of the Field" (New Directions, 1960), begins with what is arguably his most famous poem:


Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow
as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made-place,
that is mine, it is so near to the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein
that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.
Wherefrom fall all architectures I am

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

On Living-Together: the Gift of Space, Pathos, Eros, Sophia, Tenderness and Tact.

 "The thirteenth lecture won't be taking place... for contingent reasons, I didn't have time to collect your contributions; when it came to cheerfully constructing a happy utopia, I found I lacked the necessary enthusiasm... [and] for a theoretical reason... from Plato to Fourier, all written utopias have been social: an attempt to fix upon the ideal organization of power. Personally... I've often felt the desire to write a domestic utopia: an ideal (happy) manner of figuring, of anticipating... search for... the Sovereign Good as concerns living space."

"...even in what appear to be the most gregarious species, there's always an attempt to regulate inter-individual distance: it's the critical distance. This would probably be the most significant problem of Living-Together: how to identify and regulate that critical distance, on either side of which a crisis occurs. (However [remember...] the aim of criticism is to provoke a crisis). A problem that's all the more acute today... what's most precious, our ultimate possession is space.  In houses, apartments, trains, planes, lectures, seminars, the luxury is to have space around you, in other words, to be surrounded by 'a few people,' but not too many... The gift of space... The utopian tension... stems from this: what is desired is a distance that won't destroy affect ('pathos of distance' [Nietzsche's] excellent expression)... a grand clear vision ['waking vision'] of utopia, a distance permeated, irrigated by tender feeling: a pathos ['affective' Imaginary'] that would allow for something of Eros and Sophia (grand clear dream). ... Here we'd [also] rediscover... Tact[ful] distance and respect, a relation that's in no way oppressive but at the same time where there's a real warmth of feeling."

— Roland Barthes, "Utopia" (seminar notes, May 4, 1977) in How to Live Together (Columbia University Press, 2012) p130-132.