Monday, March 26, 2007

project one [section+surface+frame+motion]

file size: 14.2MB

As the culmination of the previous exercises to date, this animation explores the interpertation of section, surface, frame and motion as growth. This process of revision involved employing a new critical eye on the previous MOVIES (not previous models or even concepts). In acknowledging that the value was in the movie, I was able to use the movies themselves as building blocks. What was once the focus has now become the transition, the periphery to the new focus: the expression of raw, cyclical, infinite growth expressed, using a grammar of forms and spaces, in a language of animation.

I have always thought of the film industry as ahead of architecture in terms of integrating and embracing technology as a key player in shaping our respective products. Its easy to trace the potential causes of this phenomenon:

the film industry is much newer than architecture and therefore has less of a tendency for crippling nostalgia

the film industry is fundamentally about entertainment, it does not shy away from popular culture

our market driven economy demands that films provide new and surprising experiences with each successive release

a great movie review, From Here to Thermopylae, in this weekends post helped me clarify an opposing argument. Apparently Hunter wrote a bad review of 300 last weekend and there was some kind of public outcry. The public sentiment was that he somehow "didn't get" what the movie was REALLY about. First of all, don't ever tell an arts critic he doesn't know what he is talking about. But nonetheless, this essay published on Sunday brings up an interesting point. Bad movies by immature film makers are, at least lately, becoming too "self aware." The argument is that movies for movies sake are often too much about the actual movie rather than some sort of idea, concept, or "story," that transcends the actual movie experience. In the case of 300, this is especially problematic because the entire concept is allegedly historic. This conflict between represented event and the new event created to represent the event does not appear to be addressed.... This is beginning to sound a lot like the conflict that goes on between architecture and the representation of architecture.

I realized also that in using animation as a process, as a language, architects often have the opposite problem. Our animations are often so completely unself-aware. So much so that architects produce animations that fail, as animations. A critical point for me was when I stopped trying to communicate, or explain the form (as in a documentary--a concept that the makers of 300 would cringe at) and began to embrace the value of moving pictures to communicate more than the models used to generate those moving pictures.


JTH said...

"the film industry is fundamentally about entertainment, it does not shy away from popular culture"

sure, but architecture, to its credit, is burdened to be unavoidable. "napolean dynomite" was a fresh, funny movie, edited in a partiular trendy style, and tapped in to pop culture/demographic-specific humor. but now it's safely in its case, buried under adam sandler classics and boondock saints. architecture is obligated to never be ignored (though ignored architecture can be quite a gem when rediscovered).

my point is the liberation movies enjoy by shamelessly feeding off the engine of transient pop culture is something architecture can enjoy only if it wishes to be disposable (and given the expected "life-span" of a building is around 25 years, perhaps architecture already is).

bdickson said...

I saw a preview for Will Farrell's "Blades of Glory" last night and realized that I've already seen this movie at least twice (Anchorman, Talladega Nights). This is no different than Frank Gehry's resurrection of Bilbao in Chicago and LA.

The lesson here is that architecture is, in fact, no different than film in its relation to popular culture and its market driven aspirations.

In terms of their temporal qualities, they both have a remarkably similar cost [both in time and money], yet it is assumed that architecture is "burdened" with the notion of permanence, or at least a longer life span. Yet, both movies and architecture have revivals. Both are forgotten and rediscovered. We are watching the Wizard of Oz over 60 years since its creation, and Disney movies fly off the shelves when they are re-distributed every ten years or so.

I guess my point is that I don't see the divergence between film and architecture that is being described here. Clearly they are different modes of representation, but aren't they really equally handcuffed by contempoary culture - i.e. the way the 21st century human understands, views, interprets the world around him/her.