Category Archives: Architecture

Iceland can’t be real

Have you ever seen “Heima”, the 2007 documentary about Icelandic band Sigur Rós’s homecoming concert tour?  They do their concerts in valleys and fields and abandoned factories and other such poetic hotspots. After watching this with my tall friend, I concluded that Iceland is fake.

I can take completely random screenshots from this documentary and they will all be breathtaking calendar shots (no shots of the ever-desctructive and airplane-hating  EJYALKFDKUGLLHJ). In fact, I think I will.

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And it’s not like this movie is the only thing I know of Iceland. I read architecture magazines. So there.

 

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Science Channel made me cry last night

I’m rethinking things.

That’s not to say I’m doubting what I find beautiful right now, but I’m definitely re-discovering what I found beautiful as a child/lil’ teenager.

I just realized something.  Over the summer my definition of things beautiful has narrowed, not in a bad way, because it means that I’m becoming a lot more acquainted with a certain niche (contemporary media, art and culture…in relation to ancient and traditional media, art and culture I suppose).  But in the process I’ve neglected a very strong love for all things geekily scientific.

That was remedied last night, when I flipped to almost the end of “Wonders of the Solar System” with Brian Cox. He’s like, a rockstar-turned-physics professor and that’s kind of freaking rad. That one particular episode has to do with the earth’s atmosphere.  It compared it to Titan’s methane atmosphere which – well, first of all, Titan has a methane atmosphere. Awesome.

In any case, I was (internally) crying because of the beauty of the observable universe and stuff, cuz I’m sensitive like that. I rediscovered the aching thrill of learning about all things astrophysics. It brought me back to the days my aunt used to take me to Barnes & Noble and I would huddle in a corner with astronomy charts that I couldn’t afford to buy. WHATEVS, BROKE-ASS CHILDHOOD.

I used to want this soooohoho bad.

Lately my mind has been filled with words like “design”, “print”, “industry”, “contemporary”, and other dutifully and involuntarily pretentious words comme ça. I’m ready to integrate that with embedded-within-me concepts like “Saturnian ring girth” and “Continuum of angular momentum”.  Because I can.  And I will.

I continued to watch the Science Channel for the next three hours.

Also, can I say, educational programming is so dynamically sexy these days? I mean in terms of cinematography, visuals and big-budget musical score, not in terms of the perceived hotness of the host.  Well,

Kari Byron, Mythbusters

Adam Yamaguchi, Vanguard

Adam Yamaguchi, Vanguard

Marian van Zeller, Vanguard

Brian Cox, Wonders of the Solar System

Morgan Freeman, JUST CUZ

Communicating with the Future

Last night I was sitting in Bryant Park reading some books I picked up at the library for the weekend. It was around 7:30, and at one point I looked up and realized how freaking beautiful everything was.  Sometimes I knock on modern and contemporary office architecture for being kind of boringly all glass siding and predictability (except for the Bank of America tower by Cook+Fox, ever since I made the connection between its Discovery Channel special and the hunk of construction I used to walk by as a teenager. In any case, it’s completed now and very, very beautiful.

Anyway, the view from my chair was almost exactly the same as the view of the above picture I stole from the innernet. Looking around and taking in the way reflections off this tower and its surrounded glass-faced rectangular towers played with each other, it all felt kind of movie-like to me. Within a greater diameter of the few adjacent blocks were buildings from other eras of the past century, some made out of combinations of concrete, some concrete white and others stark grey and some almost brown.  Of course, then you have the Schwarzman Building directly behind, and then there’s…gaaah this park can’t not be beautiful.

So the sun hadn’t set yet and I’m looking at these buildings and this park and the people (workers/tourists/lovers/crazy people) around me. See, whenever I see something, be it a work of contemporary engineering like the future PATH station at the World Trade Center, or the iPad, that reminds me of how it’s like, the future, I tend to imagine people from the past marveling at our technological and aesthetic advancements. Then I realize they can’t do that because they’re either still alive and not as impressed or already dead.

Along with that slight dip in my sense of hope came a resolution to speak with my future self.  There are many interpretations of the idea of “Communication”, and all of them are culturally subjective. Uggh, there’s this one word I’m looking for, but I can’t remember it. It’s like…”the specific act of declaring something intangible but culturally significant into existence through verbal action”. Like when you say “I promise”, the very act of saying “I promise” wills the promise into existence.

Whatever the fancy word for that idea is, it’s what I did in Bryant Park last night.  It probably sounds completely nerdy, but I “declared communication” with my 50-year-old self at this time of the year 30 years from now.  I made a mental note that at that moment, I was in direct dialogue with myself, but 30 years apart. Now all I have to do is acknowledge that communication when I’m 50 and trans-time communication will have been established!

I dunno, I guess I was feeling a little “romantic”. The buildings moved me. Here they are, in an almost permanent dialogue with each other, each from different eras. But in essence, they’re part of the same “space”.  Maybe that’s what I was going for. We’ll just have to wait and see if I turn 50 and remember I ever sent myself such a message.