Thursday, April 09, 2009

Is This Building A Car?

Sometimes I sit back, eyes closed, with the beat heavy in my head, the blur of the nights and days confusing my eyes, the space beneath them storing whatever it is that I have left, and I feel the pressure of the headphones on my ears, thinking, Thank God for Aesop Rock. Sometimes he's all that can keep me up.

As all the joints in my body tell me to stop, tell me the building is done, I distract them with Aesop Rock. My joints like music too. I distract them with Terry Pratchett audio books, I distract them with podcasts, the sound of engines, caffeine, nicotine, the breathtaking silence of Moscow at 4 AM. To think I used to hate this. I used to want to lose this battle. I used to want to quit.

I keep clicking. I always keep clicking. Maybe it's a sign of laziness that I can't even stop. Maybe it's a sign of addiction greater than nicotine, music, and all those other things. Whatever it is, I'm hooked. I used to tell myself, If I win the Pulitzer before I get out of Architecture Grad School I fucking quit architecture. My joints and I both know the truth though.

So lying back as far as my chair will go, I close my eyes. I feel my hoodie turn into grass, I feel the LCD turn into sunshine, I hear the beat thick inside it all, guiding the body back to the light of... It's just SketchUp. It's just a building. It's just a grade. Now I just have to finish. And that's where Aesop Rock comes in. Or Pratchett, or CPI, or Crystal Castles, or Flogging Molly, or the smooth voice of an architect giving a slideshow I'm not seeing and as he says, "I actually went over to Tokyo and built this shit. I'm amazed people still want me to build things. It's a Roman wall in the middle of Tokyo. I hired a bunch of Italian workmen from a small mountain town and took them over for three weeks because the Japanese don't even know how to build like this." I imagine what a Roman wall would look like in downtown Tokyo. I imagine one just popping into place one day, and the smoothly choreographed and memorized bodies suddenly forced to explore as the main road is blocked off by this wall ignorant of time. And I imagine a woman looking up, a man beside her, and both decide to spend the day in a restaurant nearby, and after twenty or so beers they wake up the next morning leaning against the wall, each on the other side. And when I pay attention again I hear a woman talking about a poolhouse, and various methods of thatching and I imagine it all. But I'm always wrong, it's just good to amuse the body every now and then so it will try to help you last until the end. But I guess that's the basic problem, that the body and the building are on different schedules. Oh well. Back to work.



6:33 PM Update:

It's certainly something different than I've ever done, but at the same time it is exactly the same. And that's what I am addicted to: this wicked question. The myriad solutions to every problem and the myriad outcomes of every project. "Architecture is monstrous," and it's so true. In order to allow I have to deny. This might be where my main link up with poetry is: both are monstrous in the same way. And yet in both I am only a part. Tschumi: "Architecture is the violent and sometimes pleasurable of space and its use/uses/users." I can design the building, but the construction team changes it drastically, and most importantly the use itself alters the building irrevocable by attaching meaning to it, something an architect cannot do.

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