Tuesday, November 16, 2004

another outline to someone else's complete thought

There's been a lot of talk recently about bottom-up vs. top-down. In everything. I like this false dichotomy more than most, but it seems that there's a lot of middle ground to be missed. Authorship is also an issue. As far as I get it, this can be used as yet another way to bridge the gap between Derrida and architecture: take the site, context, or any other pattern, invented or real, to substitute for the text. A "bottom-up" approach would then be to deal with this field condition through folds/warps/seams/what-have-you to produce Architecture. This is roughly synonymous with a literary critique. But, while text is a fairly even field, this is less applicable in architecture. Thus, the first real step- before you can work from this field, first you have to invent it. This makes the actual process of complication/critique reductive instead of revealing; to critique one's own creation is inherently to simplify through theme. Or, if not, it's just the first step again, invention, which is not really bottom-up, now is it? These "field conditions" lack the richness of context and ubiquity of existence that allows the lateral slide of associations Derrida was so enthralled with. There is no lateral slide in architecture; the goal of the process is to obfuscate until no readings can be made at all (which, strangely enough, may be a parallel to the literary critique in itself.)

I have just described contemporary theory as both oversimplistic and obfuscating, which, I suppose, makes it fascist. This seems like a rather extreme position to take, so I think I'll back away from this avenue and sleep on the mess I just made.

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