metaphysical & metaphorical musings : art, architecture, and arithmetic

Other Instructions

The instructions for each CATTt slot are supplemented by additional in-class instructions/assignments.  These align with the CATTt's and work more directly with developing electracy's poetics, the metaphysics of image.

To read the accident as a sign, we must have an image of the accident.  This image must be abstract; it must represent certain bodily sensations on a visual plane.  This abstraction can achieved by manipulating and deforming the image of the disaster with the standard tools of any graphic art program, like Paintshop or GIMP.

The abstract image of Pruitt-Igoe is the grid.  It illustrates the mechanical force of sameness and repetition.

In finding the cultural myth, we used the archetypal narrative relationship of donor and protagonist.  Rather than focusing on these characters, however, our task was to follow the circulation of the object as symbolic exchange that maintains its sacred aspect.

In the capitalist commodity relationship, all things are equivalent and exhangeable, just like Pruitt-Igoe's little boxes (whose desegregation testifies to generic exchangeability), and just like mathematic's foundation in pure quantity (the removal of all quality so that all things have a common denominator, so we can compare apples to apples).

The commodity communicates to us sympathetically, gives us doe-eyes in hopes that we're a potential buyer who will take it home to live with us.  It reflects us, shows us a state of pleasure and wellbeing that we could have.  The object seduces us.

Pruitt-Igoe promises the future, a technoscientific utopia wherein mathematics and science are guaranteed to make our lives better, and architecture informed by these will provide an ideal living space.  The epiphany it shows us is inherent homogenization (the grid, exchangeability, repetition).  The Pruitt-Igoe disaster is our nemesis, a symbolic retribution, our lost agency coming back to bite us in the ass.