Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LOST in Luxor (Egyptian saga continues)

Is it possible to overblog a trip to Egypt? Are three posts on the same subject too many? and can you possibly take too many pictures in one trip? These are questions I've been pondering while concluding the posts on Egypt (or not). 
(so at the last post, we were trying to teleport out of Luxor)
and we found ourselves at the apparently over-photographed Valley of the Kings. 
So over-photographed in fact, 
that they dont let you take any pics, ever, never
they have secured the entrance with miniature meta-pyramids that no doubt send messages to the sky if they see you take your camera out.

at the tombs, so much security that they dont even let you in. 
Is the Valley of the Kings that precious really?
or is it just so over-renovated 
that it does not look like an ancient extraterrestrial monument anymore, 
but like present day Las Vegas instead? 
(I would show you more pics, 
but the guard that caught me insisted that I delete all the photos, 
after I refused to pay him to get my iphone back, 
it was quite lol, etc)

anyway so the Tombs have been manicured and botoxed to perfection, becoming unreal and unruins in the process. It is clearly the Knossos school of Fake Ruinry.

pretty little path so you dont think it's just a desert mountain

 most of the tombs look like this, though some of them had no hieroglyphics on them, and we wondered wether they had just not applied the Egyptian Ruin coating on yet. Alas, those pics will never see the light of day.

Other temples were friendlier, though disappointingly authentic in their ruination

on the way back we stopped at the temple of Hatshepsut
where we witnessed an impromptu Alien visitation

on the way back to town, yet more Security inspired meta-puramids
and were rather spooked when we had to pass a drawbridge 
and a complete security check to enter our next hotel.

all the security hysteria seemed to be worth it,
since it was situated on a beautiful private island on the Nile.

some of the landscape did seem a bit artificial, but who could complain?

the island was dotted with cute little vernacular egyptian huts,
with some strange infrastructural things on the roofs.
Did machines live in these huts?

other huts seemed to be hiding inside specially constructed trees

then we started to notice various machines hiding in the bushes

even machines hiding in the sand

machines trying to pass as trees

suddenly it all started to make sense

 we had landed right into the lost Egyptian season of LOST
this was Dharma Central, right down to the hexagonal bungalows
the cores of the bungalows were inhabited by machines too
some buildings were curiously upsidedown
an innocent looking swimming pool was just a place to hide more machines

even the smoke monster was immortalized in the topiary designs

 suddenly trees seemed threatening
 Hexagonal Conspiracy #3
 Hysteria checkpoint #6
 Museum of Disaster?

suddenly screams and people running and coughing

it was the Jollie Ville Smoke Monster!  we had to get out of here!
(the hotel staff assured us this was just the regular anti-mosquito cloud, that they unleashed every evening)

we located a Topiary Teleport near the entrance and decided to make a run for it
(do be continued, perhaps)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Postcards from the edge

Browsing through the Graham Foundations' press section yet again, I found this really nice set of photos from Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
of course it is the studio which led 
to the book Learning from Las Vegas, 
which we all know
  I had not seen the entire set of photos, so I decided to study them a bit more.
 (of course this famous image is not from Vegas but from New Jersey) somehow I always understood this book to be talking about a contemporary moment in architecture, instead of Las Vegas in the 60's

Thats because I always confuse car dashboards with computer screens
surfing through a landscape of logos
 surrounded by lit surfaces and animated information
 finding corners of peculiarity hidden behind software facades

 google-earthing places I have been to only to notice patterns anew

where reality becomes as abstract as desktop background

 confusing real people for avatars and vice versa
 chatting behing facades of un-updated websites, 
 looking back at the landscape of the screen 
from the desert of the real

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Collage Career of Stanley Tigerman

(Pensacola Place shopping mall, 1980s)

So I got a nice email from the Graham Foundation about their upcoming Stanley Tigerman tribute. I guess there's been quite a few of those Tigerman tributes recently, though I am always trying to position the work. Post-Modern folly, Avant Garde polemic, early Deconstructivist but also Metabolist, and some curious Architoons (that I almost cant bear to post) and some serious cuteness and some plain weirdness. 
I guess it's a long career but is that too many styles for one person? Or is he the original copy paste tumblerist, the lady gaga of his generation, furiously jumping from reference to quotation, flipping through architectural movements as one really should. 
Eisenmannish grid from the Matrix series
Pre-Sejima minimal cuteness with Daisy House
I mistakenly thought that the facade on the left was the Tigerman one, but in fact it's the one on the right.
The interesting one on the left is Studio Grau, obvs from Strada Novissima Venice

Hans Hollein-ish sinking Mies collage

 Virilioesque and Claude Parent-ish Fonction Oblique from Urban Matrix

upside-down pyramids from the Urban Matrix too, 1960s

  and downright fantastic weirdness 
from his Black Barn renovation

Maybe this drawing explains everything, 
entitled "Career Collage", includes all his work,
though perhaps it should have been called Collage Career instead

(images for this post from the Graham Foundation's press section, from rndrd and Arqueologia del Futuro