Tuesday, February 12, 2008

November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?



Questions (Luke)

1) “At any rate, you make one, you can’t desire with making one.” (p.149) If we are each constantly in the process of constructing BwO’s, how is this process tied to our construction of ourselves as architects? Is it helpful to consider the architect not as an organism but as a process of making BwO’s; one whose desire is to produce? Where do we fit in the spectrum of BwO’s consisting on one side with the cautionary, empty or cancerous BwO’s and on the other with those “full of gaiety, ecstasy, and dance?” (p. 150) What fuels the architect’s desire to create: lack (the negative law), pleasure (the extrinsic rule), jouissance (the transcendent ideal), or what lies to the west (the plane of consistency)? (p. 154)

2) What do the authors gain by walking us through their scenarios which are described as “not a phantasy,[but] a program.” (p.151) Through the extremes of an unfamiliar experience, are they heightening our understanding of the “program” or alienating us? How are readers, who may not be personally familiar with such experiences, not meant to perform their own form of psychoanalysis (through phantasy, signifiances, and subjectifications) in absence of real engagement with the “program”? Simply, without a real, shared experience does this not risk becoming a metaphor?

3) We are cautioned about the production of BwO’s “because we can botch it” ultimately leading to “demented or suicidal collapse.” (p. 149 & 161) If desire is the mode which fabricates the BwO’s as well as that which determines what “passes or does not pass across it,” how are we meant to be critical of our desires and at what scale (p. 152)? Are they formed from everyday, fleeting desires or only those which deeply motivate us? Is the production of BwO’s an activity which we engage with on the level of something as fundemental as breathing, or epic as the personal quest, or somewhere inbetween?

4) “Mimic the strata.” (p.160) How can this mantra be applied to design processes in a helpful way? If we are meant to: “Lodge [ourself] on a stratum [to] experiment with the opportunities it offers” or “keep enough of the organism for it to reform each dawn” then are we meant to acknowledge our foundations even as we grow away from them (through flights of deterritorialization)? (p. 160 &161) Is this a vindication of an aware iterative development? Or something else where “the child is the germinal contemporary of its parents?” (p.164)

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