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[Nettime-bold] Architecture and media
Nmherman on 20 Feb 2001 15:10:05 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Architecture and media

In a message dated 2/20/2001 6:29:24 AM Central Standard Time, 
office {AT} ortlos.com writes:

> As for the architecture as so for the art (net art), the time has come, to
>  produce relevant artistic and cultural content for the future environments.
>  With one, and crucial, difference that we relay on media theory (und
>  understanding), and not theory of the reinforced concrete (I hear my
>  colleges laughing behind my back). This is not a formal issue.

I agree.  I got a degree in Literature from Syracuse but left after my MA due 
to a lack of creative environment.  Now I live in my home city, Minneapolis 
MN, and work in the print room of a major architectural firm, HGA.  I use my 
$12/hr no-benefits job to pay for my writing and videomaking.

Ironically, I live on the same block as our state's most famous architect of 
the last century, Ralph Rapson.  Rapson worked with some very good 
international people over the years (he's 86 and still working) including 
Moholy-Nagy.  I got an idea for a structure to display digital art (art on 
monitors) and showed it to both Rapson and an architect at HGA--Bill 
Blanski--who had just won the Rapson Fellowship for 2000.  They both would 
like to see it developed and presented articulately in both text and image 
for possible publication.

You can see the first sketch (by me) and the second sketch (by a commercial 
architect I know at HGA) at
http://www.geocities.com/genius-2000/kempfhut.JPG (by Lance Kempf)

The structure is basically a gazebo for showing art on monitors and can be 
built for a very low cost.  Rapson and Blanski however have told me the 
concept is both "elegant" and "political" in that it both critiques the 
over-priced and short-lived Millennium Dome while being eminently practical.  
It resembles WPA structures of the 1930's in scale and materials, thus may be 
seen as an integrable addition to existing social architecture here in the 
US.  Many have offered the complimentary opinion that it echoes the simpler 
structures of many cultures, such as the Native American "hogan," and uses no 
reinforced concrete.

If you as an architect would care to develop a drawing--web-based is fine--of 
the Millennium Hut for me to show to Rapson and Blanski I would gladly accept 
it.  I have asked other online architects to assist without success.  

As far as scholarship and theory, the Millennium Hut has reassuring 
characteristics in common with James Wines' ideas as expressed in 
"De-Architecture" 1987.  In that book he emphasizes the "crisis of 
communication" in architecture; the need for structures to use narrative 
methods (in the simplest sense, his prime example being Gaudi, as opposed to 
schools of composition like the International Style); and the need to find a 
new visual language in which "the meaning that comes into a structure from 
the outside is more important and more relevant that anything emerging from 
its own internal elements."  However, I don't consider the Hut to be very 
similar to the SITE experiments with commercial storefronts; certainly not in 
materials and budget.  Wine's speculative designs of urban housing have a 
closer link.

Feel free to contact me regarding any kind of collaboration on the Millennium 


Max Herman
nmherman {AT} aol.com

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