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Kissing Architecture

Kissing Architecture

Sylvia Lavin
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  • Book Info
    Kissing Architecture
    Book Description:

    Kissing Architectureexplores the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of contemporary art. In this fresh, insightful, and beautifully illustrated book, renowned architectural critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin develops the concept of "kissing" to describe the growing intimacy between architecture and new types of art--particularly multimedia installations that take place in and on the surfaces of buildings--and to capture the sensual charge that is being designed and built into architectural surfaces and interior spaces today. Initiating readers into the guilty pleasures of architecture that abandons the narrow focus on function, Lavin looks at recent work by Pipilotti Rist, Doug Aitken, the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and others who choose instead to embrace the viewer in powerful affects and visual and sensory atmospheres.

    Kissing Architectureis the first book in a cutting-edge new series of short, focused arguments written by leading critics, historians, theorists, and practitioners from the world of urban development and contemporary architecture and design. These books are intended to spark vigorous debate. They stake out the positions that will help shape the architecture and urbanism of tomorrow. Addressing one of the most spectacular and significant developments in the current cultural scene,Kissing Architectureis an entertainingly irreverent and disarmingly incisive book that offers an entirely new way of seeing--and experiencing--architecture in the age after representation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3838-7
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  2. The First Kiss
    (pp. 1-22)

    “The basic concept was not to try to destroy or be provocative to the architecture, but to melt in. As if I would kiss Taniguchi. Mmmmm,” (said with closed eyes and elaborate flourish, a bright yellow down vest, and a heavy Swiss accent).² This is how Pipilotti Rist described her installation in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art titledPour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)—a multichannel immersive video, twenty-five feet high, that wrapped the museum’s traditional white walls with a softly psychedelic garden of Eden populated with a prelapsarian Eve, apples, and animalism (fig. 1). The...

  3. Confounding Mediums
    (pp. 22-51)

    The convergence of Rist and Taniguchi in MoMA is an excuse for describing a series of contemporary contradictions that characterizes both the external environment in which architecture is produced and the internal logic of architectural thought itself. Architecture can expand its affective range—and therefore its consequence—by hooking up with more cultural players. And now is the time to do it, because the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of visual practice has never been more intense and more varied. From James Welling’s sustained focus on Philip Johnson’s Glass House to the pavilions of Thomas Hirschhorn to the...

  4. Superarchitecture
    (pp. 51-65)

    Describing the relation between mediums has been an ongoing topic of cultural discourses since antiquity. As noted above, one common diagram placed architecture low in the hierarchy, not even among the liberal arts, ensuring that manual laborers knew their place. On the other hand, by the Renaissance, architecture had acquired the role of what was called “mother of the arts,” depicted as a female who gave birth to techniques used by other mediums, such as perspective, and whose body served as home and caretaker for their progeny. The literal and figurative gathering around this mother gave aesthetic justification for the...

  5. Current Kisses
    (pp. 65-114)

    From the perspective, or rather the feeling state, of contemporary architectural discourse, there is something thrilling about taking a walk on the wild side of video and lingering over obscure historical examples of quirky design. On the one hand, they provide an opportunity to commit disciplinary and historical tourism and to experience the momentary pleasures of dalliance without duration. But at the same time that such flirtation could be described as simply a means of giving architecture a breath of fresh air from outside the field, the fact that it feels fresh is symptomatic both of the nature and of...