Andrea Gibbons 3 Comments This has been my favourite of all of the works that poured from the pens of lettrists and situationists and all the -ists of the place and period. Nice to see Mike Davis there in the acknowledgments as well, for his inspiration and encouragement of the project. I love the opening: We are bored in the city, there is no longer any temple of the sun. I think of Aragon and Breton , all that is missing from their work, I somehow love this first sentence. It gets better from there: All cities are geological and three steps cannot be taken without encountering ghosts, bearing all the prestige of their legends. We maneuver within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past.
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It is easy to imagine the fantastic future possibilities of such architecture and its influence on the masses. We can have nothing but contempt for a century that relegates such blueprints to its so-called museums. This new vision of time and space, which will be the theoretical basis of future constructions, is still imprecise and will remain so until experimentation with patterns of behavior has taken place in cities specifically established for this purpose, cities assembling — in addition to the facilities necessary for basic comfort and security — buildings charged with evocative power, symbolic edifices representing desires, forces and events, past, present and to come.
A rational extension of the old religious systems, of old tales, and above all of psychoanalysis, into architectural expression becomes more and more urgent as all the reasons for becoming impassioned disappear. This city could be envisaged in the form of an arbitrary assemblage of castles, grottos, lakes, etc. It would be the baroque stage of urbanism considered as a means of knowledge.
But this theoretical phase is already outdated. We know that a modern building could be constructed which would have no resemblance to a medieval castle but which could preserve and enhance the Castle poetic power by the conservation of a strict minimum of lines, the transposition of certain others, the positioning of openings, the topographical location, etc.
The districts of this city could correspond to the whole spectrum of diverse feelings that one encounters by chance in everyday life.
Bizarre Quarter — Happy Quarter specially reserved for habitation — Tragic Quarter for good children — Historical Quarter museums, schools — Useful Quarter hospital, tool shops — Sinister Quarter, etc. And an Astrolarium which would group plant species in accordance with the relations they manifest with the stellar rhythm, a planetary garden along the lines the astronomer Thomas wants to establish at Laaer Berg in Vienna. Indispensable for giving the inhabitants a consciousness of the cosmic.
Noble and The Sinister Quarter, for example, would be a good replacement for those hellholes, those ill-reputed neighborhoods full of sordid dives and unsavory characters, that many peoples once possessed in their capitals: they symbolized all the evil forces of life. It would be difficult to get into, with a hideous decor piercing whistles, alarm bells, sirens wailing intermittently, grotesque sculptures, power- driven mobiles, called Auto-Mobiles , and as poorly lit at night as it was blindingly lit during the day by an intensive use of reflection.
This is demonstrated by the immense prestige of Monaco and Las Vegas — and of Reno, that caricature of free love — though they are mere gambling places. Our first experimental city would live largely off tolerated and controlled tourism.
Future avant-garde activities and productions would naturally tend to gravitate there. In a few years it would become the intellectual capital of the world and would be universally recognized as such.
In October the Lettrist International adopted this report by Gilles Ivain on urbanism, which constituted a decisive element of the new direction then being taken by the experimental avant-garde. The present text was drawn up from two successive drafts containing minor differences in formulation, preserved in the LI archive, which have become documents and of the Situationist Archives.
The Manifesto for a New Urbanism That Came Before 'New Urbanism'
And the police station on Rendezvous Street. The artificial flowers on Sun Street. The Hotel of the Epoch. And the strange statue of Dr.
Chtcheglov’s Formulary for a New Urbanism
The Tower of Nesle: The sinister Tower profiles its imposing mass against the somber, dark-clouded sky. The Seine laps softly. A boat approaches. Two assassins await their victim. Or the paintings of Claude Lorrain.