Monday, September 25, 2006

Being and Seeming: the Technology of Representation by Richard Powers

If I had to name the preeminent art form of the pre-informational era, I would go with architecture. It is at once the most durable, representative, and comprehensive of our available artistic utterances. Buildings embody our most profound, ambitious, and capital-intensive attempts to overhaul the conditions of existence. More than any other aesthetic instrument, monuments stand metonymically for whole cultures and eras. Old chestnut definitions for the field attest to how it incorporates the expressive capabilities of the other arts. Cathedrals are the bible in stone. The exterior of a classical faade sounds as frozen music in the mind. Archaic spaces are said to open onto pure theater, infinity made imaginable. The architect Mulciber was one of the first to be cast out of heaven. Writers, painters, and musicians had to take a number and get in line behind him. And this demonic creators masterpiece, the city of Pandemonium, has stood the test of time, outlasting all other created works except, perhaps, the first. more....


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