Sunday, February 08, 2009

Minimalist/Modern Art #2

I had tendered a theory as to how minimalist/modern art, which sucks, ever got popular and thus far this is the most authoritative (and interesting) explanation I've received. It is quite long, so I once again, allow you to pour yourself a martini and enjoy (more shorter posts however are below);


Hey Cappy, well I just noticed your blog post about minimalist art and architecture, and I know all about the history of how this crap got started (or some of the history). It ties right into the history of socialism and fascism and communism and modern science. Lemme try to explain; I'll start with architecture:

As much as I dislike conventional religion, the one thing you cannot knock conventional religion on was that it almost always resulted in beautiful architecture in cultures. Architecture was considered the highest form of human achievement. It was also based on a set of geometric principles (which have mostly been lost by the modern "profession" of architecture). These principles of geometry are somewhat covered in a book called "Sacred Geometry" by Robert Lawlor. Basically these geometric principles are recognized by your subconscious, i.e. even if you don't know them, your brain does, which is why if you look at forms of architecture that were designed using these principles of geometry, whether Greek, Roman, Gothic, Egyptian, French, etc...whatever architecture, they all look beautiful, whereas with "modern" architecture, it looks totally whack.

However, when the Renaissance hit, even though this was the time of enlightenment, reason, and the rise of science, it had one problem: it also meant the beginning of the death of architecture. You see, historically, as said, architecture was always grounded very much in religion. But with the age of Enlightenment, the "intellectuals," who believed completely in science, rationality, and planning, began to see this religious-based architecture as nothing but "decorated shelter." It was not just decorated shelter, as it is grounded in geometric principles, but the intellectuals were unaware of this, and this artform was dying out (this adherence to science and rationality also is what led to the rise of fascism, socialism, etc...).

Then came the industrial revolution, in which science, "reason," and the idea that society needed to be centrally planned began to become the norm amongst the intellectuals. The idea of the free-market and all that was nonsensical to them. For an egalitarian society, society needed to be centrally planned. And people needed to be controlled. Told what to do.

Enter the beginnings of modern architecture and modern art.

Because of the emphasis of strict rationality, and on the belief that conventional religious-based architecture was just decorated shelter, the schools of architecture began to totally reject those old views for newer ideas of architecture. New architecture was to "scientific" and "rational." It was to be strictly for "function." Not form, beauty, none of that "crap." Just function and rationality. Logic.

Like the Borg would design it I guess one could reason. The classical geoemtrical principles for designing architecture began to be lost.

If you look at the history of many of the founders of the modern architecture and modern art movements, they tie right in with the Nazis and fascism (one architect even tried to start an American Nazi party). Many such architects also hated capitalism and Western civilization I believe. Modern architecture is, at its core, fascist. Remember, fascism, socialism, etc...all were movements emphasizing the rejection of religion, and the dominance of strict logic, rationality, and central planning of society.

What was so ironic is in reality, this so-called "functional" architecture was in reality completely un-functional oftentimes. You couldn't live in it. And it did not meld well with nature. Meanwhile the so-called "decorated shelter," was actually very functional and rational.

Architecture, in order to be liveable, has to fulfill what is called the "cave concept." We humans have programmed into our evolutionary genes the need for security from the forces of nature of course, and the base area of such security is originally a mother's womb. When humans are born and working to survive, they seek a secondary version of that womb, albeit subconsciously. The primitive humans sought it from "mother Earth," via caves. A cave provides shelter and is provided by the Earth, the "mother." it is dark and cozy, even if it is a cave. If there's a hurricane outside, a cave is great.

With buildings, homes must meet this same caveman concept. If you go into a home and you don't feel warm and cozy inside, and private, it isn't fulfilling this caveman concept. Well much of this modernist "rational" architecture did not fulfill the caveman concept at all. It was far too open.

Although the "elites" in the art and architecture and media worlds love to praise these crazy designs put forth, and used the term "reactionary" to describe folks like Treasury Secretary Mellon when he put up buildings designed in classical architecture, you will notice that none of these elites ever live in such architecture.

The entire home-building industry is dominated by classical architecture-based homes. Only the extreme environmental types or dedicated Marxists and so forth will live in the ultra-minimalist stuff. The home building industry remains dominated by classical designs because, as said, that is what the human mind recognizes as normal because it is based on geometric principles that all people recognize as least subconciously.

If you notice, for all our great technology, engineering, scientific prowess these days, architectural development among humanity has literally died. It's gone. In the past, great architecture was the pinnacle of a civilization's achievement. It's art, it's engineering, it's religion, etc...were expressed through its architecture. But now, that is gone completely. Architecture instead is very degraded. The reason being because those sacred geometric principles, which all cultures in the ancient worlds were aware of, have been lost. All of the great architecture is the classical stuff from the past. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian, French, Gothic, English, Middle Eastern, etc...there is no new architecture designed in modern times that can match the classical stuff.

Yes, those big corporate skyscrapers made of glass and steel are beautiful objects in terms of how they light up at night and reflect light during the day, but they are really just gleaming rectangles. There is no geometric principle to them. And yes, they are great attributes to human engineering, but again, not architecture. Just engineering.

They are also the ultimate expression of the phallus (penis worship). You will find that reverance of the phallus and reverance of the vulva pop up in architecture throughout history. for example, the shape of the Catholic churches is that of the vulva and a woman's womb.

A prime reason for this lack of development in modern architecture is because architecture takes generations to develop. It you look at the great architectures, it's not like some guy just said, "Hmmm....I'll design a new form of architecture," and out comes the Cathedral or the Taj Mahal. Such architectures were developed by multiple architects and designers, over years and years, generations and generations even. Yes, a single building using an existing form of architecture may be designed by one architect, but the particular architecture itself takes generations usually to come forth (so the designer of the Taj Mahal was using an architecture form already in existence by that time, developed by many before him).

One can in particular see this in how the Greeks started off, and then the Romans took what the Greeks did and advanced it a good deal further.

Today, there is none of that. Architects are just expected to come up with their own stuff. As a result, an architect may sit down and try to come up with something original, but highly unlikely will any architect suddenly "invent" a new architectural style that can match the beauty of the classical stuff. No one has yet to come out with a totally new architectural style that matches that of the great cathedrals, or the Islamic architecture, or the Greeks and Romans in terms of beauty, but is actually designed in modern times, where if the ancients came into today, they'd be, "WOW, awesome new stuff guys!"

So instead, we end up with the most assinine architectural designs ever thought of. And worse, they aren't even attempted to be rational nowadays. They challenge the engineers to figure out how to build them! They also assault the human mind. The "elites" may praise them, but to a normal person, it's like, "WTF!?"

And worse still, architects these days are expected to be "fashionable." Now obviously, if creating a great style of architecture that is totally new and original takes maybe a couple of generations, it is thus a recipe for disaster if architects try to be fashionable, and thus we get such crazy, insane designs.

An architect can only really be original in a classy sense these days by taking all the classical forms of architecture and combining them to create hybrid styles, for example a home half French and half Meditaerranean, and so forth. Such architectures are also very beautiful. Look to the luxury home market for such beauty, in particular the homes that run like $5 million and up. Here is an awesome architect who designs such homes and an awesome website:

An awesome book on this subject which also will lead you into other books and talks about the fascism element of the history of modern architecture is the following:

The Return of Sacred Architecture: The Golden Ratio and the End of Modernism, by Herbert Bangs. I highly recommend it.

I also wonder about furniture too. If you look at the classical furnitures of the cultures of the world, versus "modern" furniture, it's like the same thing; there is no furniture designed in modern times that can match the classical stuff. It's all either the classical, or based on the classical designs, or it's some very crazy "modernist' furniture. Furniture historically was based off of architecture if you read about it.

Alright, now onto modern art and how that got started. Although modern art ties in somewhat with fascism/socialism and elitism and all that, it has a slightly different history.

Historically, as we know, human art always strove to be as realistic as possible. Since the time the first caveman tried making pictures, they have sought realism as the highest ideal. The Greeks with their statues epitomized this. Portraitists were greatly valued among royalty and elites for their abilities and so forth.

But then came a little snag: the invention of the camera. Suddenly, virtually overnight, what had once been a prized skill, became virtually worthless. No longer did you need some highly-skilled, expensive portraitist to paint your picture. You could just get a camera. Granted, the camera gave only black and white pictures in those days, but it was enough to destroy the portraitists.

And suddenly, photorealistic art began to get thrown out the window. No longer was it referred to as "art." This took a little time though. Artists, in order to be considered artists, had to find a new way to express themselves. Hence came abstract art. Now originally, an artist, to be accepted as an abstract artist, had to first become a skilled photorealistic artist, but eventually this all got thrown out by the pigheaded elites in the art schools so that only so-called abstract art was accepted.

Now, there is REAL abstract art, as in it has real meaning, but this eventually got tossed out the window as well. A few buckets of paint thrown at a canvas in a fit of rage were considered art, but a beautiful photorealistic painting was not. Throughout most of the 20th century, any kind of realiistic art was considered trash, and only so-called "abstract" art was accepted.

This still is the case among the elites, who will use taxpayer money to put up ugly twisted pieces of metal that they call art because the free market won't accept it (and in NYC when Rudy Giuliani cut such funding, they accused him of infringing on freedom of speech, the bastards).

It got so bad that by the end of the 20th century, a cigarette box nailed to a piece of cardboard was considered art.

(Interestingly, as a sidenote, it doesn't seem like music was hit in this sense. Luckily the elites do not look down at classical music, but give great praise to the theme of Super Mario Bros. :D ).

One problem many people do not seem to realize is that photorealistic artwork is not art that could easily be replaced by a camera. There are pictures one can paint that one could never use a camera for.

For example, if you want a picture of two gladiators battling it out in the Roman colliseum, to hang on your wall, you probably need to paint it. If you want a picture of some fantasy world with a huge dragon and a knight, again, you need a painter. You can't take a picture of such a thing.

Thus, the camera, contrary to the naysayers, did not wipe out the photorealistic painting.

There are also the naysayers who will say, "How can photography be a form of art? It's just taking a picture." Well yes, but if you take multiple pictures let's say, and combine them into one very unique image, that can be quite fascinating. They do that in advertising all the time, for example.

You can also use photography, computer generated art, and photorealistic painting all combined to create fantastic realitistic art (as does the artist I am about to give you a link to).

Today there has finally been a revolt it seems against the so-called abstract nonsense. Yes, certain art, like Picasso, the work of M.C. Escher (very mathematical), and mathematic artwork of the Islamic world, are abstract art that is very fascinating and has meaning and even beautiful, but most abstract "art" is just pure BS. A picture that is ripped isn't art. A statue of a dung-covered Jesus is not art.

A VERY awesome artist you should check out is here: - he is the epitomy of a photorealistic art painter who paints stuff you can't use a camera for! I love this guy's work.

If you are interested in some awesome classical luxurious interior design, check out Clive Christian:

Hope this helps, that's a summary of how this whole modern architecture and modern art movement got started. Check out that book I recommended, it will lead you to other stuff if you're interested.

The modern educational system, the university system, feminism, modern architecture, environmentalism, eugenics, etc...all have their histories grounded in fascism.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you... Honestly, it is all part of a conspiracy to keep us down.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! Until now I hadn't known that modern art and architecture was so intimately connected to both fascism and communism--I just thought it was ugly. Now I know better, and when I drive past the Walker I'll know the part it plays in the so-called "Obama Stimulus."

Fortunately, I've devised a clever and market-based solution to the problem: henceforth, I shall not buy any artwork or live in any building which I don't like to look at. Public art is harder to avoid, but I imagine there's some deadly-dull "citizen committee" which chooses the stuff, and perhaps I can attend their meetings and enlighten them. Someone must choose it, right? I doesn't just grow there.

If enough people do what I do, soon ugly art and architecture will be no more as the demand dries up completely. The only flaw in my plan is if there are people who actually like modern art, but I can't imagine that's possible. Except for the communists and fascists, of course.

stevo said...

Very interesting indeed, It all rings true to me, except the bit about penises and vulvas, which is stupid. But beautiful buildings are getting older all the time, and the new ones are not nearly as pleasing to the senses.


Wowplayer said...

this adherence to science and rationality also is what led to the rise of fascism, socialism, etc...

That's where I stopped reading. Skimming further, it's apparent that the author doesn't recognize that elitist societies are what allowed rulers and slaveholders to extract great wealth for the construction of their attractive structures. Our relatively egalitarian society involves certain trade-offs, and lousy modern architecture is one of them. I'd rather live now, though.

Anonymous said...

What I took away from the association of modern art with fascist and socialist movements is that they are both egalitarian- because they are both easy.

Post Modernism is a movement that will never die because it opens the door to the merely motivated. I believe we will always be stuck in 'Post-Modernism' because so much of what we call Art today (capital A) is produced in academia. And the price of admission is a check that clears and a pulse.

I attended a major art school in the midwest and the experience basically cleared my head of any youthful and naive political concepts I had come to accept up to that point. I learned eventually that to succeed one only need to ascribe meaning to your work regarding three things: Religion (gotta hate it), Dad (rebellion), sexuality/personal issue (anything but straight or happy). Got a gay priest for a dad who doesn't understand you and you get to sleep in.

I have a few stories but I'll briefly share the one that most influenced me. Sorry for the long post.

I was a 2nd year photography major around 1990, and I knew it was the easy out- I had little real artistic talent at that point because I wasn't focused yet. But I did have a real interest in the science of it and spent great amounts of time studying densitometry, chemistry to make my own toners, etc. I was never good at math so I felt this was as close as I was gonna get to real science. I did ok.

For our 2nd year Color Theory (required) we had to produce a series of images and present an Artist's Statement describing them to our 'professor' for prior approval. This course was taught by a woman who ran it like a therapy session. People did work to look like hers just to get through it.

At this time I had discovered some books that visually explained math concepts to me and had finally understood concepts (algebra, calculus) that eluded me since middle school all the way to community college. I explained I wanted to do a series of non-staged photographs that depicted basic math concepts so that others could see what I was just beginning to understand. A genuine personal epiphany as imagery- what art is all about right?

Her response was a scrunched up face. 'I don't get it.' I explained again. Her response was 'But I don't understand. You have to pick something else.' I explained it all again- how diagrams explained abstract concepts to me in an instant that years of school could not. Her response is like a character out of Rand: 'But if I can't understand math, how can I grade you? Pick something else.'

That was the moment the veil lifted for me. I asked 'So are you saying that my work is limited to only what you can understand? What's the value in that?'

She didn't know but demanded that I pick something else. I never wrote a statement for that class, and turned in a series of large (and perfectly printed) random images with tiny random images cut into them. I told her it was about dreams. She said it was the most expressive thing she's seen me do all year. I got an A.

I quit school that semester and bought a computer. I've been working professionally as a 3d artist/developer ever since, and make a nice living.

Regarding architecture, a few years ago I was invited to tour the School of Architecture at University of Michigan. I was suprised to find it in the Art Dept. The professor told me he used to be a Fine Artist, and that computer engineering had changed archicture so much the emphasis was on art- the materials, landscape, light etc. It struck me as a scaled up version of any art dept, albeit with high end prototyping tools and expensive materials. I'm sure there's more to it than what I saw that day, but it was something I had not expected.


Anonymous said...

The sexual symbolism of architecture seems like kind of a stupid theory. While someone might look at the shape of a cathedral, possibly with flying buttresses, and think "vulva!", the basic reality is that arches are structurally sound and having the thing buttressed out to the sides is just good engineering sense.

A lot of the impressive architecture of the ancient world was commissioned by tyrants who wanted to show off their own wealth and power. Blaming modern architecture on communism and fascism seems bizarre to me. Rather, capitalism tends to give people what they want, and if you're paying for a massive office building you're going to be more concerned with the thing being inexpensive and structurally sound. More engineering, less art. If someone cares about having aesthetically pleasing buildings, they pay for them. It's about the bottom line more than some freudian theory of architecture or a communist or fascist conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

"That's where I stopped reading. Skimming further, it's apparent that the author doesn't recognize that elitist societies are what allowed rulers and slaveholders to extract great wealth for the construction of their attractive structures. Our relatively egalitarian society involves certain trade-offs, and lousy modern architecture is one of them. I'd rather live now, though."

Hi Joshua, it's the author of that post to Cappy: I am fully aware that old-style cultures were often slave-based for the construction of their architecture (though I do not believe all were). I was not trying to say that they were utopias or that living then was far better than today.

My point was simply that religion, throughout history, has always had a great influence upon architecture.

And I'd have to disagree that modern architecture that sucks is a trade-off to have modern society. Belief in science, reason, free-markets, capitalism, logic, etc...doesn't go against the concepts of classical architecture per se.

Modern architecture that sucks is a result of the drive for socialism and fascism that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries among the intellectuals and in trying to apply what people "thought" was logic and reason to architecture.

Look at socialism. To someone who doesn't know better, it seems very logical. Do you have an out-of-control free-market, or have a group of experts centrally plan the economy, and bring order and discipline to society?

However, when you REALLY look at it, and understand it, you see it is completely ludicrous.

Modern architecture is similar. It was supposedly based on logic and reason, but really is very illogical and unreasonable.

We know now for sure that socialism and fascism do not work. We also know that modern architecture doesn't work either, as people do not choose to live in it and it is ugly.

The constant push for modern architecture in modern times is based on a rejection of logic, reason, and so forth, the same rejection of logic and reason that leads the same people pushing this architecture to push for socialism.

Modern architecture is a result of the socialist elitist types who live in our society and shove such architecture down people's throats.

And I believe we could, in modern times, if the architecture world was devoted to it, create some totally new and fantastic form of architecture, but I doubt it will ever happen.

Another thing, do not confuse simple architecture with modern architecture. A simple basic home design can be based on classic principles of geometry and look fine, clean, and simple.

Modern architecture designs don't even adhere to that.

Also remember, the elitist societies such as those of the socialism/fascist variety also extract wealth from their people and enslave them, however their architecture is still terrible.

Regarding phallus and vulva reverance, worship of the phallus is nothing unusual. So it isn't odd at all that it pops up in architecture.

Japan for example has some ceremony where they involve a huge wooden penis.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Fuller, just read up on the history of some of the founders of the modern architecture movement and their beliefs. It had a lot of involvement fascism/socialism and oftentimes hatred of capitalism.

And modern architecture does not always adhere to the bottom line or sound engineering, at least not these days. That's the problem.

You are correct, for many commercial buildings, modern designs can apply fine and skyscrapers are fine, but I was more referring to the modern designs of certain museums and symphony halls and so forth and the modern designs for homes that were never adopted, although highly praised by the elites. Much of modern architecture is not sound engineering-wise or sound cost-wise either.

For example, I believe the opera house in Sydney Australia stumped the engineers for awhile in trying to figure out how to build it, because it was such a crazy design.

As I said, when Mellon put up some big buildings, which he based off of classical Greek and Roman architecture, they were called "reactionary" by the critics.

And no, modern architecture today is not really some fascist/socialist conspiracy, although the people who push for it tend to be very Leftist.

But the history of its origins has a lot tied in with them and that mindset.

And you are correct on the archways making good architecture and engineering, but it does seem like the phallus and vulva pop up in a lot of architecture. You could be correct though and people are seeing more into that than what is really there.

Hot Sam said...

"Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

Anonymous said...

This is just a long winded attempt to rationalize the author's dislike of modernism. Not your cup of tea? Fine. "I don't like modernism" would have explained your position and saved me a headache. Good modern architecture, not to be confused with post-modernism, is inherently grounded in geometry and historical forms. Many people, particularly the elites around the time of the birth of modernism, were experimenting with Fascism and Marxism. Doesn't mean their work was Facsist. By that reasoning as Henry Ford was a notorious anti-semite, The model T must hate Jews.
"A rectangle has no geometric principle"?! Who knew.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware of the commentary on architecture and art in C. Northcote Parkinson's East and West?

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's kind of amazing how little the writer of that letter knows what he/she is talking about. I actually stared at this a while wondering where to begin. It's not worth trying to refute all of it.
For one thing, the Bauhaus aesthetic made extensive use of the Golden Ratio (and still does). The idea that the intellectuals blew off Phi but the religious architects didn't, is ... interesting. The idea that the Renaissance blew off classical ideas of architecture is also ... interesting. Hell, Renaissance architects brought back a lot of classical design which the people before them forgot how to do: that's why it was called the Renaissance, stupid.
The whole concept of "modern art" and "modern architecture" is goofy. Bauhaus is, as I said before, from the 20's and '30's. If you think modern art or architecture is devoid of lots of design and limited to pure function then you clearly haven't actually seen anything by Gehry or Miralles or Nouvel or Stirling or even Le Corbusier or Wright - in which case you should strongly, strongly consider not opining publicly on "modern architecture."
But, OK. Let's don't talk modern architecture and keep talking about the ugly (in my opinion), bare-bones Bauhaus architecture built in America in the 60's and 70's that inspired the original post our critic here is trying to inform. Well, the links to socialism and fascism are another interesting invention: the Nazis hated the Bauhaus aesthetic and tried to kill it off. When you think Nazi art don't think bare function: think Futurism, think Wagner, think overblown. As for the Soviets: I call BS. The Soviets were big believers in programmatic art (an idea in Russia that goes back to the dawn of Realism): look at the love of the overdecorous works of say Mussorgsky and their attempts to rein in say Shostakovich. I mean there's just no support for what the emailer says. It isn't there.
"Architectural development among humanity has literally died. It's gone." Yeah, if you don't seem to know anything about modern architecture I guess so.
Even the ideas about innovation and form are wrong. If you knew anything about Michelangelo yu'd realize he did set out to do things that were new, revolutionary, unprecedented. So was the Taj Mahal, actually: it deliberately combined different architectural schools as opposed to following one.
And speaking of Michelangelo, let's go on to this illiterate idea about the origins of modern art. Michelangelo was a remarkably sculptor-like painter: his paintings can look like photographs. His contemporary, Leonardo, was considered the prime example of the "painterly" style: you move away from that type of linear image, away from strict realism to capture impressions and visions in a way only a painter can. Notice that this distinction got made long, long before the invention of photography and it set up its own school: and the people in that school are not of it because they can't paint some other way. They're doing something artistic.
Dear God, do you really think photography is only an art if you arrange multiple photos somehow?
I don't know. Either you know that that's BS, or you don't.

Anonymous said...

"Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

I'm not ascribing it to conspiracy.

The architecture tied in with fascism in terms of the mindset of the people of the time, which dealt with organizing and planning society.

Read about the history of the educational system. Or the university system. Or the eugenics movement. ALL have their origins in fascist concepts dealing with organizing and controlling people and planning society out.

Architecture played a big role in this as well. There is nothing conspiracy about it.

If you think I am saying that modern architects are all secretly fascists, no I am not saying that.

Science, rationalism, logic, etc...all were applied to architecture at the time, or attempts anyhow.

Classical architecture was thought of just as decorated shelter.

And no, modern architecture isn't based on any type of geometrical principles, which is why it is so hideous for the most part.

As I said, real architecture died out. Which is why none of the so-called architects of today can come up with anything that can match the previous works.

"Good modern architecture, not to be confused with post-modernism, is inherently grounded in geometry and historical forms."

Of course such architecture is. Because they cannot create anything new. Why must they use historical forms? Why can't they create anything totally new and original that is also grounded in geometry and just as beautiful?

One main reason is because doing so, developing a new style of beautiful architecture, can take years, generations even.

"Many people, particularly the elites around the time of the birth of modernism, were experimenting with Fascism and Marxism. Doesn't mean their work was Facsist."

Yes it does. Because they viewed their work as essential to helping promote such concepts.

Sort of like how many architects today view their work as important in promoting environmental sustainability.

"By that reasoning as Henry Ford was a notorious anti-semite, The model T must hate Jews.

Nope, the Model T didn't hate Jews, but Ford was a hardcore fascist Nazi lover, who was greatly admired by Adolf Hitler, and the Model T was a fascist concept, because it gave everyone a cheap, affordable car and they all looked the same. You couldn't buy one that looked different from the other. They were all identical.


Adolf Hitler greatly admired the Model T for this and he got Ferdinand Porsche to design the Volkswagon (literally, "People's Car"), another little car everyone could buy that was identical.

So yes, the Model T was, in a sense, fascist.

Hot Sam said...

Pig, my tongue in cheek comment about conspiracy wasn't directed at you. I was just taking a general swipe at the use of the word by others.

I agree with what you say, but there are many other factors involved, not the least of which is economics. In 20th century society, land in economic centers became scarce and so the only place to build was UP. Cities were also designed on a grid system for efficient traffic flow which makes rectangles the most efficient use of space in architecture.

Like battleships, skyscrapers became symbols of power, but their height and shape were constrained mostly by engineering considerations. You can describe modern skyscrapers as bland relative to Renaissance cathedrals or phallic, but the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, the TransAmerica Building, Petronas Towers, and others all show creative architecture.

Anonymous said...

At least the letter writer does a better job sounding like he knows what he's talking about than Pig.

Anonymous said...

The High-Modernists were most certainly fascist/central control types. Their architecture requires a supine population that it can be imposed upon. Le Corbusier was also a terrible architect and had very few buildings with any beauty what so ever. When he was given the commission to design a city from the ground up it was the Punjabi capitol Chandigarh which is a cold soulless place. Many who live in the city live on the outer ring which sprang up spontaniously and on a much more human scale. The same can be said about the Le Corbusier inspired city of Brazilia.

Le Corbusier was attracted to absolutists because they could force his designs on their populations. He courted Gen. Petain (Fascist), Stalin (communist), Colonial French Algiers and PM Nehru (socialist). The question is was he attracted to these people because he agreed with their philosophies or because it was the only way he could force his architecture on societies.

Overall I thought that this was an interesting article although I do think the vulva part was a bit over the top.

If one is interested in this subject I can recommend the book "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed" by James C. Scott. The first few chapters explain this very well in a non-polemical way.

Anonymous said...

Robert Miller, sorry for my misinterpretation of your statement.

Anonymous, will check out that book, thanks for the recommendation.