Friday, February 29, 2008

Section 4: Mobile - Biggest of the Small


Phase 4: section3

CAMH Food Stand Photos from Ravenna

Section 4: Material Assemblies

(Click here to download this handout as a PDF)

ARC3016Y Assembling a molecular architecture

Tuesdays 9am – 1pm and 2pm-6pm; Thursdays 2pm-6pm
Adrian Blackwell
Office Hours: By appointment

TERM PROJECT assembling a molecular architecture

SECTION 4 Material assemblies – systems


There are no internal drives in desire, only assemblages. Desire is always assembled; it is what the assemblage determines it to be.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – A Thousand Plateaus 229.

The task of philosophy when it creates concepts, entities, is always to extract an event from things and beings, to set up the new event from things and beings, always to give them a new event: space, time, matter, thought, the possible as events.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – What is Philosophy? 33.

You are in the process of deciding what to build. You need to build a machine that is driven by the desiring assemblage of the Mount Dennis Community Kitchen, built up from its member’s disparate desires, to grow healthy food, to share meals with others, to strengthen local ecosystems, to protect local wildlife, to mentor children, to share ideas and experiences with elderly residents. At the same time you want to build an architecture that inspires and supports the desires of a wider group of residents, passersby, local shop keepers, employers, renters, home owners and school children, opening up possibilities for the constitution of new and unplanned collective assemblages. This process of assembling desire is complex and delicate; it involves very real virtual and actual forces which must be channeled into a singular artifact.

At the last meeting we decided on many of the following issues, these decisions still leave a very wide margin for design thinking and further decision making.

1. Program: HEALTHY FOOD, the project should be clearly focused around three related programs: a) preparing food, b) eating food, and c) distributing food. In this sense it complements the community gardens in three ways.
a) Preparing food requires a surface at appropriate height and depth, it also may include provisions for water hook-up and waste water, a cooking surface (a barbeque or fuel electric range or oven), garbage and recycling area and storage for tools and supplies.
b) Eating food requires a surface of appropriate height for a large but indeterminate number of people and seating for the same number of people.
c) Food distribution requires a surface of appropriate height for selling food or giving it way. It could also facilitate the transportation of food within Mount Dennis.
All three of these three programs may benefit from shelter, from rain and especially sun as well and a lighting concept. These may be different in each case.

Related assemblages: Emmett Avenue community garden, Carl’s children’s gardening project, food distribution networks such as Meals on Wheels for seniors, Foodshare’s good food box, the existing harvest festival, a possible future farmer’s market.

a) All architecture designed in the studio should be made of materials that are recycled, or even better reused. Consider the objections raised within your experiments so far regarding the signification of recycled materials and consider the way things look.
b) It is essential that the architecture you build is durable, that the materials you use can withstand vandalism, vigorous use, and weather of four seasons: extreme heat and cold, snow, rain, sun, wind and sun.
c) Materials should be chosen for their performative characteristics. What does each material express? How does it modulate different forces?

Related assemblages: ReStore, garbage pick-up nights, salvage yards, Craig’s List.

a) Ease of Construction requires that we consider practical solutions to construction problems. Thinking about the availability of materials, the costs involved in acquiring them, the potentials that they might be donated, and the labour hours involved in putting them together.
b) Ease of Deployment means making the structure(s) easy for a small group of people of different strengths to move while walking, riding a bicycle, or in or behind an automobile. It also needs to be easy for people of different strengths to unpack and assemble any movable structures.

Related assemblages: the studio, community kitchen, gardeners at Emmett avenue, Children at the Oxford Avenue building.

a) Through discussion we have decided that the primary architecture that we will build will have to be mobile, movable by one or more people on foot, bicycle and or automobile. Mobility allows the structure to animate diverse sites in the community and to help to construct situations and events in relation to the assemblage of overlapping community groups in Mount Dennis.
b) Its mobility means that the architecture must be able to engage diverse urban conditions: streets, sidewalks, parking lots, apartment buildings municipal yards, abandoned sites, small parks, large parks, community gardens. Some of these sites are already used by members of the community kitchen, others could use a temporary architecture as an anchor for an event that could help to reconceptualize their function within the neighborhood. Each of these contexts offers specific conditions to respond to and inspire new uses.

Related assemblages: Mount Dennis neighborhood, Eglinton flats, Humber river, Black Creek, Oxford Avenue Apartments, Balla School, Shortcuts, abandoned sites.

According to Situationist Guy Debord a spectacle presents itself for passive contemplation, while the events that this architecture supports have to be seen as participatory, as active not contemplative. The challenge is to imagine how architecture is related to events. How it can contribute to or support the production of meals, festivals, clean-ups, art events, to momentarily involve people in their neighborhood in new ways, in the process allowing for new concepts to be generated which might inspire future events.

Related assemblages: Event Schedule, existing events, community desires.


For the past two weeks you have been testing options for this architecture. You now have to propose a buildable architecture which plugs into different assemblages and ecologies – psychic, social and environmental. Working in groups of three (or four) produce the following:

a) A site plan following up on the green space audit, showing the potential uses and interrelationships of different elements of the neighborhood. Try to think about the relationship between our architectural intervention and the machinic assemblage of the physical site, as well as the relation between the proposal and the collective assemblages of enunciation. Who are we communicating with, and who will speak through and around it?

b) The design of a greenhouse at the Stanchester building on Oxford Avenue or elsewhere in Mount Dennis. Consider the possible sites, in relation to issues of structure, security, water, electricity, convenience in cold and warm weather, plant production and distribution. Include in this section any detailed design for that might be fixed within the site plan proposed in part a).

c) A mobile structure or structures for cooking, eating, and distributing food. For the mobile structure(s) carefully consider their use in terms of their mechanical systems. How do they move? How do they lock up or close down? Consider the duration that the device occupies different sites, and the range of ways it can interact with different sites. Consider how water circulates within the structure.

Consider carefully the affects that can be produced through these architectural designs. How do you produce new qualities with this architecture, in relation to weather, sound? How does this structure frame the city? How do these three elements constitute a singular assemblage?


Monday February 25th:
15 minute meetings with each of you to discuss the term so far.

Tuesday February 26th:
9:00 – 11:00 - Tour of Foodshare premises and a meeting with Ravenna Barker who is one of Foodshare’s urban agriculture specialists. 90 Croatia Street, just off Brock Street south of Bloor (near Dufferin subway station) see the map:
1:00 – 3:00 – pin up and discussion of work over the break, constructing groups of 3 or 4
3:00 – 6:00 – Discussion: Year Zero: Faciality, 167. and 1874: Three Novellas, or "What Happened?” 192

Thursday February 28th:
2:00 – 6:00 – Discussion of the work with small groups

Friday February 29th:
Presentation of diagrams and programs to the Community kitchen - 7-9pm meeting at Mount Dennis United Church. Each group is expected to have presentable materials for all three parts of your design to explain to the community kitchen.

Tuesday March 4th:
9:00 – 1:00 - Review for Part one – Preliminary designs
2:00 – 4:00 - decisions on a clear direction for the project and division of labour for Part 2 – detailed design.
4:00 – 6:00 - Discussion: 1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity, 208

Thursday March 6th
2:00 – 6:00 – interim pin-up Draft 2

Friday March 7th
Presentation of the project to the Community kitchen - 7-9pm meeting at Mount Dennis United Church. Each student will be expected to have materials describing their section of the project for discussion.

Tuesday March 10th
9:00 – 1:00 – review of part two - Material Assemblies
2:00 – 4:00 - section 5: Assembling a molecular architecture 1:1
4:00 – 6:00 - Discussion: 1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible..., 232.


Part one is due on Tuesday March 4th at 9:00am it should be printed on 3 sheets exactly 24 x 36” (vertical format).

Part two is due on Tuesday March 11th at 9:00am and will involve every student in the class, it should be a collectively produced as an 11 x 17 design document.

Together parts one and two are worth 15% of the term mark.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February 26th tour of Foodshare

Three Novellas, or "What Happened?"



1874: Three Novellas, or “what happened?" Definitions: Gene Mastrangeli
The Novella: a literary genre where, in essence, everything is centered on the question, or evolves in the element of “what happened?” It has little to do with memory because it places us in relation with something unknowable and imperceptible . . . it has a fundamental relation to secrecy (not with the secret matter but with the expression which remains impenetrable) . . . to discovery (its form independent from its matter) . . . it also enacts postures of the body and mind that are like folds or envelopments (where a tale possesses attitudes and positions that unfold and develop)
What happened? (The expression or modality), Secrecy and Discovery (the form), Posture (the content)
First/ Second/ Third Novellas (three parallel concepts)

Couples/ Break Line/ Molar Perception = Line of Molar. . A rigid segmentation of the world . . . an overall survey with clear-cut elements . . . overcoded . . . populated by near-seers that use spyglasses and possess a terrible laser beam that reinforces a molar order . . . a psudobreak

Doubles/ Crack Line/ Molecular Perception = Line of Molecular . . . supple segmentation, fine and shifting compositions . . . vaguely coded . . . far-seers . . . a crack up

Lines of Flight/ Rupture Line/ Perception of Escape = Line of Drift . . . state of becoming . . . “This flight is not a running away from the world but rather the cause of a runoff in the world” . . . It does not tolerate segments . . . it is like an exploding of the two segmentary series . . . a clean break

“She has broken through a wall . . . obtained absolute deterritorialzation.”
“She ended up knowing so much that she could no longer interpret anything. “There were no longer shadows to help her see clearly, only glare.”
A “crack” has occurred at what D&G describe as the “angle of transparency” which gives way to this “line of flight”.
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
– L. Cohen (The Future)

“But on this third line there is no longer any form”
“In rupture . . . the form of what happened is volatized. . . One has become imperceptible and clandestine in a motionless voyage . . . I have lost my form; I am now no more than a line.
Florence Julien (painter) . . . interest in “lines of flight” . . . “she extracts lines from photographs that are nearly abstract and formless “
“A dictionary begins when it no longer gives the meanings of words but their functions. Thus formless is not only an adjective having a given meaning, but a term that serves to bring things down in the world, generally requiring that each thing have its form. What it designates has no rights in any sense and gets itself squashed everywhere like a spider or an earthworm. In fact, for academic men to be happy, the universe would have to take shape. All of philosophy has no other goal. On the other hand, affirming that the universe resembles nothing and is only formless amounts to saying that the universe is something like a spider or spit.” - Georges Bataille (Visions of Excess)


1) On the matter of secrets in the context of “In the Cage” by Henry James (p.196), Deleuze and Guattari state that “what counts is the form of the secret; the matter no longer even has to be discovered”. They then distinguish the difference between couples and doubles, and that the telegraphist “was literally afraid of the alternate self who might be waiting outside. He might be waiting; it was he who was her alternate self”, regarding the telegrapher with the secret she had knowledge of.

Can the “double” be considered the secret itself, then, since its “form” would be the same for the telegraphist and telegrapher? Regarding the point at which “the molecular relation between the telegraphist and the telegraph sender dissolved in the form of the secret, because nothing happened”, would this still be the case if the matter of the secret was spoken aloud? Would a linguistic articulation even be possible considering the “simultaneously present and imperceptible nature” of the “micropolitics of conversation”? Could it be said that it was due to the “molecularized, imperceptible, and unassignable” nature of micropolitics or secrets, that a line of flight can exist?

2) Deleuze and Guattari say that the far-seers are “collaborators with the most rigid and cruelest project of control”, who do not “feel a vague sympathy for the subterranean activity revealed to them” (p. 202). They describe the far-seers as those who “feel as though they foresee things and are ahead of the others because they see the smallest thing as already having happened; but they know that their warnings are to no avail because the cutting telescope will set everything straight without being warned, without the need for or possibility of prediction”, and that sometimes they feel that “what they see differs only in degree and serves no purpose”.

Would D&G be saying, then, that the far-seers, although without the terrible Ray Telescope of the near-seers, are equal contributors to the cutting of “flesh and blood” and the “misshapen figures or shaky contours” which the telescope performs? They seem to attribute this to the sentiment of: “you should not insist, you should not argue; you should flee, flee, even saying as you go ‘Okay, okay, you win’” when one operates on a line which does not conjugate with another’s. How is this situation improved upon, however, when a far-seer abandons his or her segment and starts “walking across a narrow overpass above the dark abyss, breaks his or her telescope and departs on a line of flight”? If the circumstances of the departure are unknown (“what happened”?) and unimportant once it has taken place, how does this line of flight serve to dismantle the lines of rigid segmentarity that still occur with the near-seers, the Ray Telescope, and the State?

3) On page 206, following a quote from Fitzgerald describing the drunk and the madwoman, D&G associate the various aspects of their relationship to the three lines of rigid segmentarity, supple segmentation, and the line of flight. In the line of flight, each of the two people are now “the clandestine of the other, a double all the more successful now that nothing has importance any longer… nothing will enter memory, everything was on the lines, between the lines, in the AND that made one and the other imperceptible”. Supple segmentation is “the limit of what they can endure in their state with the tacit understandings serving them as internal messages”.

Do you think that in today’s society, relationships can often exist permanently in a state of supple segmentarity, for example where the male character in Fitzgerald’s novella says “she loves the alcohol on my lips and I cherish her most extravagant hallucinations”? What do you think D&G’s stance is on relationships between “drunks and madwomen”, since the stage of supple segmentarity must occur before the line of flight – and also, it is the stress during such a stage which eventually causes the line of flight?

Year Zero: Faciality



The Face : White Wall/Black Hole
Since all semiotics are mixed and strata come at least in twos, it should come as no surprise
that a very special mechanism is situated at their intersection. Oddly enough, it is a face: the white wall/black hole system. (167)
It is not exactly the face that constitutes the wall of the signifier or the hole of subjectivity. The face, at least the concrete face, vaguely begins to take shape on the white wall. It vaguely
begins to appear in the black hole. (168)

The Abstract Machine of Faciality
Concrete faces cannot be assumed to come ready-made. They are engendered by an abstract machine of faciality (visageite), which produces them at the same time as it gives the signifier its white wall and subjectivity its black hole. (168)

Fades Totius Universi : The White Face of Christ
Not a universal, but fades totius universi. Jesus Christ superstar: he invented the
facialization of the entire body and spread it everywhere (the Passion of Joan of Arc, in close-up). Thus the face is by nature an entirely specific idea, which did not preclude its acquiring and exercising the most general of functions. (176)

Limit Faces
Whether in the Christian or pre-Christian state, one element may dominate another, one may be more or less powerful than the other. We are thus led to define limit-faces, which are different from both the facial units and the degrees of facial divergence previously defined. (182)

Terrestrial Destiny
The despot or his representatives are everywhere. This is the face as seen from the front, by a subject who does not so much see as get snapped up by black holes. This is a figure of destiny, terrestrial destiny, objective signifying destiny. (183)

Maritme Subjective
Now, on the contrary, the white wall has unraveled, becoming a silver thread moving toward the black hole. One black hole "crests" all the other black holes, all of the eyes and faces, while the landscape becomes a thread whose far end coils around the hole. It is still a multiplicity but constitutes a different figure of destiny: reflexive, passional, subjective destiny. It is the maritime face or landscape. (184)

Faciality Traits
We could say that the face holds within its rectangle or circle a whole set of traits, faciality traits, which it subsumes and places at the service of signifiance and subjectification. (188)

Probe Heads
Sometimes the abstract machine, as the faciality machine, forces flows into signifiances and subjectifications, into knots of aborescence and holes of abolition; sometimes, to the extent that it performs a veritable "defacialization," it frees something like probe-heads (tetes chercheuses, guidance devices) that dismantle the strata in their wake, break through the walls of signifiance, pour out of the holes of subjectivity, fell trees in favor of veritable rhizomes, and steer the flows down lines of positive deterritorializaton or creative flight. (190)