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SCI-Arc

Spring 2014


Tendencies: Rebooting from Genres

Instructors:
Benjamin Farnsworth derventio@gmail.com
Stefano Passeri stefanoppasseri@gmail.com


We (as a discipline) no longer lament the loss of the whole, but rather we occupy parallel ontologies, we occupy a simultaneity of multiple
subjectivities, foams, niches, networks, perhaps due to the ubiquity of social media, etc. In architectural terms, we have been witnessing the
genrefication of architecture in the loss of a clear dominant style.
M.Meredith

For a long time it used to be okay to talk about being a scientist. At a certain point in time there was a proliferation of science into an ecology
of expertise. So science is now like a kingdom, under which you have the biological sciences and the hard sciences, and under that you have
string theory and elementary physics. In architecture [...] it is either atomization into specialized disciplines or its genrefication. That is
clearly going on.
J.Kipnis

Proliferating typologies pose a new problem for discourse in terms of their description, categorization and naming.
Historically, theorists have sought to describe the architectural milieu either in terms of unifying epochal narratives
(Styles), or as the spirit of a particular moment (Zeitgeist). The fragmentary character of the contemporary condition has
led - perhaps inexorably - to the redundancy of such grandiloquent terms in favor of a more elusive multiplicity. But if
this interminable process of genrefication has already become fact, it is also true that the phenomenon has not been
adequately theorized. This seminar proposes strategies for the naming and description of contemporary architectural
genres. Each week our scheduled class time will include a lecture, discussions about the required reading and an
opportunity to identify and describe new architectural genres. Together - and over the course of the semester - we will
work towards the assembly of a chart and accompanying book which illuminate the contemporary architectural scene.

The course will be based on weekly lectures, student-led presentations and writing workshops.

Lectures:

During the first two weeks, the lectures will explore genrefication in its broader implications via notions such as
taxonomy, cosmology and atomized sub-disciplines.

The objective of these introductory sessions is to generate a tentative map of genres for the class to work into.

In the following weeks, the instructors will propose the close reading of selected genres in the form of 8 lectures. The
objective of these lectures is to provide methodologies, structures and paradigms for students to internalize, synthesize
and redeploy in the reading of their selected genres.

Student Presentations and Writing Workshops:

Starting in week 3, students will be asked to identify and develop their own genres. Students will be divided up into
groups each group will be expected to articulate its own position on the selected genre, first for the purpose of a formal
presentation to the rest of the class, then as written entries in the book we are going to compile. Presentation and
discussion sessions will always be complemented by writing workshops coordinated by the instructors.

Course requirements:

1. Attendance at all course meetings is mandatory. In accordance with the SCI-Arc attendance policy, more than three
unexcused absences will result in failure of the class, at the discretion of the instructors. Students are expected to be
prepared for all course meetings including attentive reading of all required material every week. Supplementary readings
listed on the syllabus are suggested but not mandatory. Active participation in discussions is also required.

2. Each group of students is responsible for one 30-minute in-class presentation related to genre they are developing for
the final assignment. Presentations will consist of slides and a written outline.

3. A 1-page proposal and bibliography for students' final text and presentation topics is due on 20 February, 2014.

4. The final assignment, comprising 4-5 entries in the class genre book (2500-3000 words for each student), will be
due on 10 April 2014, both printed and e-mailed to derventio@gmail.com and stefanoppasseri@gmail.com.

Course meetings:

The course will meet weekly for three hours, from 10 AM - 1 PM, on Thursday in the Mac Lab. If a meeting cannot
take place as scheduled, a make-up class will be arranged.

Assignment:

The final assignment will consist of 4-5 entries that each student will contribute to the genre book compiled by the class.
While the initial group work can provide some material for this assignment, students are required to produce their own
original and thoughtful genre descriptions individually.




Course Schedule:

Week 1
Jan. 9
Introduction.

Explain motivations for the course. Unpack the argument and strategy for naming and defining genres. Explain course
structure and assignments.

Lecture.
Defining key terms: genre, style, atomization vs. fragmentation, close reading, intertextuality and interarchitecturality.

Week 2
Jan. 16
Mapping Genres.

Hour 1:
Lectures
1. A short history of taxonomy (Benjamin Farnsworth),
2. The genrefication of disciplines and sub-disciplines (Stefano Passeri).

Hour 2 & 3:
Charette: Architectural Genre Map Workshop - the first workshop will be based on the required readings and lectures
for week 2. Students to be divided into working groups. The objective is to achieve a basic framework for the class genre
map.

Bibliography:
Required
Jeffrey Kipnis, I Am For Tendencies, Log 28.
Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology, or What Its Like to Be a Thing, University of Minnesota Press, 2012 [3559].
Michael Meredith, The Eclipse of Beauty [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxN4LWPlwX8 (@0:59:25)].

Recommended
Jason Payne, Subpop (or Keeping it on the Down-Low), lecture at the Flip Your Field Conference, October 2010
Mark Foster Gage, Etiologies of Beauty, Perspecta 40
Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence, Oxford University Press 1997 [5-16]
Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, Vintage Books, New York, 1994 [xv xxiv]
Paul Virilo, The Insecurity of History (Log 23)
Gustave Flaubert, Dictionary of Received Ideas, One World Classics, London 2010 [1-100]
Gerhard Richter, Thought Images Frankfurt School Writers Reflections from Damaged Life, Stanford University Press, 2007
[43-71]
Anthony Vidler Taking Stock: Architecture 2013 (Log 28)

Week 3
Jan. 23
Genre Close Reading, Genealogy: Ghostly, Part 1 (Apparitions)
Hour 1:
Lecture
Ghosts #1 - Apparitions (Stefano Passeri)
Hour 2:
Genre Writing Workshop
Hour 3:
Discussions in Groups of Three (meaning 8 groups)

Bibliography:
Required
Manfredo Tafuri, LArchitecture dans le Boudoir: The Language of Criticism and the Criticism of Language, in The Sphere
and the Labyrinth.
Jeffrey Kipnis, Twisting the Separatrix, in K Michael Hays (ed), Architectural Theory Since 1968.
Peter Sloterdijk, Preliminary Reflections: Thinking the Interior, in Bubbles: Spheres Volume I.

Recommended
Bruno Latour, Atmosphre, Atmosphre, Tate Modern
Jacques Derrida, The Hinge and The Inside is the Outside in Of Grammatology
Ana Maria Leon, The Boudoir in the Expanded Field, in Log 11
Rosalind Krauss, Sculpture in the Expanded Field, in October 8
Aldo Rossi, Urban Artifacts and a Theory of the City, in The Architecture of the City

Week 4
Jan. 30
Figures of Following #1: The Lithologists
Hour 1:
Lecture
The Lithologists (Benjamin Farnsworth)
Hour 2:
Genre Writing Workshop
Hour 3:
Discussions in Groups of Three (meaning 8 groups)

Bibliography:
Required
Peter Sloterdijk In The World Interior Of Capital, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2013 [3-32]
Manuel DeLanda Nonorganic Life, Zone 6: Incorporations, New York: Urzone, 1992 [129-167]
Timothy Morton Hyper Objects, Posthumanities 27, University of Minnesota Press, 2013 [1-24]

Recommended
William E. Connolly The Fragility of Things, Duke University Press, 2013 [81-97]
Ferda Kolatan Mixing Urban Cocktails - Notes for a Syllabus, 2013
Bruno Latour Atmosphre, Atmosphre an entry for the catalog of Olafur Eliasson, New Tate Gallery 2003
Jason Payne Variations on the Disco Ball, or, The Ambivalent Object, Project, Issue 2, Summer 2013 [20-27]

Week 5
Feb. 6
Genre Close Reading, Genealogy: Ghostly, Part 2 (Disguise)
Hour 1:
Lecture
Ghosts #2 - Disguise (Stefano Passeri)
Hour 2:
Genre Writing Workshop
Hour 3:
Discussions in Groups of Three (meaning 8 groups)

Bibliography:
Required
Andrew Zago, Real What?
Jeffrey Kipnis, The Cunning of Cosmetics, El Croquis 84 Herzog & de Meuron
Graham Harman, Real Objects, in The Quadruple Object

Recommended
Andrew Zago, Awkward Position, in Perspecta 42 The Real
Graham Harman, More on Heidegger, in The Quadruple Object
Franz Kafka, The Burrow, in The Great Wall of China, Stories and Reflections
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, in Complete Stories
Sylvia Lavin, Lying Fallow, in Log 29

Week 6
Feb. 13
Figures of Following #2: Of Truncation

Hour 1:
Lecture
Of Truncation (Benjamin Farnsworth)
Hour 2:
Genre Writing Workshop
Hour 3:
Discussions in Groups of Three (meaning 8 groups)

Bibliography:
Required
Jacques Ranciere Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art, Verso, London, 2013 [1-20]
Gilles Deleuze Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, Continuum, London, 2004 [20-26]
John Rajchman Constructions, MIT Press, 1998 [55-74]
Yves-Alain Bois & Rosalind Krauss Abattoir, Base Materialism, Cadaver in Formless - A Users Guide, Zone, New York,
1997 [43-67]

Recommended
[Additional texts, if any, to be determined]

Week 7
Feb. 20
(Mid Reviews)
MID REVIEWS WEEK
Three Hour Charette Preparation of the Book/Map

Week 8
Feb. 27
Genre Close Reading, Genealogy: Ghostly, Part 3 (Ambiguous)
(Mid reviews week)
Hour 1:
Lecture
Ghosts #3 - Ambiguous (Stefano Passeri)
Hour 2:
Presentation Groups 1 & 2
Hour 3:
Student Led Discussion

Bibliography:
Required
Jason Payne, Variations on the Disco Ball, in Project 2
Todd Gannon, Of Raspberries, Rawhide and Rhetoric, Log 24
Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Geopolitics of the Ideal Villa in The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture

Recommended
Colin Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, in The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and other Essays
Colin Rowe, Character and Composition, in The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and other Essays
Allen Fisher, Traps or Tools and Damage, MMU Inaugural Lecture
Jason Payne and Sanford Kwinter, Control to Design
SJ Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Introduction

Week 9
Mar. 6
Figures of Following #3: Dumb & Dumber
Hour 1:
Lecture
Dumb & Dumber (Benjamin Farnsworth)
Hour 2:
Presentation Groups 3 & 4
Hour 3:
Student Led Discussion

Bibliography:
Required
Aron Vinegar Ed Ruscha, Heidegger, and Deadpan Photography, Art History, December 2009, Vol. 32 Issue 5 [852-873]
Craig Dworkin No Medium, The Logic of The Substrate, MIT Press, 2013 [5-33]
Jeffrey Kipnis Nolo Contendere, A Question of Qualities: Essays in Architecture, MIT Press, 2013 [225-229]
Andrew Atwood & Anna Neimark How To Domesticate A Mountain, (Perspecta 46: Error, August 2013)

Recommended
Benjamin H. D. Buchloh Painting as Diagram: Five Notes on Frank Stellas Early Paintings, 1958-1959, October 143,
Winter 2013 [126-144]
Andrew Zago Awkward Position (The Real, Perspecta 42)
Andrew Zago Real What? (Log 5)
Michael Osman Negative: A Reader, Project, Issue 2, Summer 2013 [4-7]

Week 10
Mar. 13
Genre Close Reading, Genealogy: Ghostly, Part 4 (Undead)
Hour 1:
Lecture
Ghosts #4 - Undead (SP)
Hour 2:
Presentation Groups 5&6
Hour 3:
Student Led Discussion

Bibliography:
Required
John McMorrough, Undead, in Perspecta 40 Monster
Manfredo Tafuri, The Wicked Architect: GB Piranesi, Heterotopia and the Voyage in The Sphere and the Labirinth
Michael Meredith, The Zombies are Late, (http://www.mos-office.net/?p=273)

Recommended
Manfred Tafuri, Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology, in Architectural Theory Since 1968
Marcelyn Gow, A Soft Monstrosity, in Perspecta 40 Monster
Aarati Kanekar, Detours through Autonomy: Mismappings in Translating the Divine Comedy, in Perspecta 46 Errors
Peter Carl, Le Corbusiers Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, Cambridge University Press
BBPR, la Torre Velasca: il Progetto di Architettura

Week 11
Mar. 20
Figures of Following #4: A Long(ish) History of Quotation
Hour 1:
Lecture
A Long(ish) History of Quotation (Benjamin Farnsworth)
Hour 2:
Presentation Groups 7&8
Hour 3:
Student Led Discussion

Bibliography:
Required
Aron Vinegar I Am A Monument: On Learning From Las Vegas [Extracts to be determined]
Aron Vinegar Skepticism and the Ordinary: From Burnt Norton to Las Vegas, Visible Language, 2003, Vol. 37 Issue 3
[288-311]

Recommended
Daniel Shearer The Historicity of the Modern (Log 24)
[Additional texts, if any, to be determined]

Week 12
Mar. 27
(Undergrad Thesis Finals)
Week Twelve 27
th
March (Grad Thesis Finals)
Symposium Preparation (TBD)

Week 13
Apr. 3
Symposium (TBD)