6.27.2002

THIS WEEK with SAM RANDALL
coming to you LIVE from Austin, TX
...Sunday 8am
eat
hoist
prepare
prepare
draw
swim
eat
sleep
...Monday 7 am
meet
draw
eat
prepare
meet
draw
meet
draw
eat
prepare
sleep
...TUES 6:00am
prepare
eat
meet
teach
eat
meet
meet
weld
eat
draw
sleep
...WED 6:00am
prepare
eat
lecture
meet
eat
draw
library
draw
jobsite
meet
grocery
eat
draw
sleep
...THURS 4:30am
laundry
draw
eat
pack
post...................................


I'll let someone else do the math.




Life reduced to a set of verbs.
Or nouns that beome verbs ...."to library"

still to come:
prepare
meet
teach
meet
drive............


Leaving today on a brief trip, back July 1 (next month!). Two months to go before I head north (more on that soon). Why can't I get more in the rhythm of posting?

hmmm. see above list.

6.19.2002

"I like it when you come home at the end of the day from recording and someone says, 'What happened to your hand?' And you don't even know. When you're in that place, you can dance on a broken ankle."

--Tom Waits

6.16.2002

..........just woke up from a 20 minute REM-filled nap (is it possible?) and the sort of dream that encompasses several lifetimes -- no recollection of the circumstances, but lives were lived, with happiness and tears; years passed, with much goings on. When I wake up from such a dream, I am momentarily disoriented; upon becoming re-oriented, I am still strangely disconnected with myself.

no.... I am actually MORE connected with myself in this state. I look at my surroundings and am acutely aware of my present situation -- REALLY REALLY aware, where things are so real as to become unreal, thinking thoughts in rapid succession based upon my re-engagement with my physical surroundings. The thoughts are abstractions, but if I could assign words they would be : "....this is my stuff, and there are my cats, those are my shoes, this is where I live..." moving quickly into: "these are the people I know, and these are the people I love, and who love me, these are the places I have been, and this is what I enjoy doing, these are my hands, this is me..." Neurosis or self-doubt seems completely foreign, and laughable; everything just IS. A matter-of-fact-ness without prejudice (prae- before + judicium, judgement)

Can I think of this as a state of extreme self-awareness without self-consciousness? An understanding of my place in the world without assignation of (or reflection upon)its value? Sometimes D. and I will watch his dog (Bella) and wonder if this how animals feel, that they just are? A curious blend of physical, emotional and mental intuition (in-, on + tueri, to look at), but absent any rightness or wrongness...

The feeling begins to fade after a few minutes, but leaves a residue of calm. If I could articulate it better, then it wouldn't be such a wonder. I remember staring at my hand when I was younger, or at my face in the mirror, and having a similar experience, marked by a nervousness and confusion as to the person I was becoming. This is marked by a warmth and acceptance of the person I am (have become) --

oh, for more of this, more more, more,
this state of suspension.


"it's only life after-all"

6.14.2002

metal shop
apparently Austin Community College has one of the best metals/welding facilities in the entire country -- and it is amazing. Almost everyone I know in Austin has taken a class from the department at one time or another. There are these incredible racks full of hand-made tools - pokers, wedges, bending wrenches -- whatsits galore... (manifolds of kind...)

what am I learning?
in a good metals shop, you draw directly onto the tables with a soapstone, or chalk, to illustrate a technique, or work out a dimension (all the tables are made of steel, but they're so old and worn, they look like leather). This fascinates me to no end... Like on a construction site, where you draw a detail directly onto the wood framing, or plywood....

and welding is all about the not-touching. You create this little place between the cone of the torch and the metal, and like a wizard, you work the torch to work the metal without actually touching cone to surface.

more on fluid dynamics soon........

6.11.2002

side-bar links/archives are working again (I think)

6.10.2002

ok, so I've been chastised for my (false) (re)-start....

here's my latest project...once I get the class further along, I'll document what the students are up to onto this site (working on getting image-savvy as well)...


Topics in Architectural Theory:
MATERIAL STUDIES LABORATORY
summer session 2002
School of Architecture, UT Austin

[COURSE DESCRIPTION]
The MATERIAL STUDIES LABORATORY combines theory+studio practice in an investigation of materiality within architecture, art and design -- to engage the possibilities of material construction by considering MATTER (both hard and soft) through aspects of surface, pattern, substance and structure, and as an instrument of perception, measure and memory.



THEORY SESSIONS:
examine the relationship of matter, inhabitation, and concept across evolutions of art, technology, philosophy, architecture and popular culture in the 20th century. Discussions will include a survey of architects and artists whose projects engage a particular sense of materiality (the fluidity of a solid, the tautness of a skin...) and the environment in which it exists (water, light, inhabitation, weather...)


STUDIO WORK:
- visual + tactile studies of surface aspects
- constructional exercises exploring specific materials
- sculptural assemblies combining material, process + structure
- full-scale "material structures"/"perceptual fabrics"


first class, 6.6.02 (last Thursday)
had them do an initial exercise based upon work by Sal Randolph :

EX.1 [MATERIAL | PROCESS | STRUCTURE]

step 1:
as a group, generate a set of at least 40 of the following:
- a material description
- a procedure for altering a material
- a mathematical or formal structure of organization
print each onto small cards and place into the separate piles

step 2:
for each M/P/S:
1. draw one card from each pile to determine a set of instructions
2. generate a construction based upon your reading of those instructions

....after coming up with words for each, and drawing their lot -- one material (some sort of stuff), one process (something you can do to stuff), one structure (ways to organize stuff) -- the students ended up with instructions-phrases like:

punch leather infinitely
push a bottle of sunlight
melt into a slurry of two
close stretched latex
herd industrially-processed skins
float less paper
the canvas limited the squish

in under two hours they had to make something based on their set of instructions, using large-sheets of newsprint and chipboard as base materials (they could add in others).

the goal is to get the students to engage a material more fully, to investigate its specific nature, to understand the implications and possibilities depending on what you do to/with it -- and to be resourceful. Often, when asked what something is made of, a beginning architecture student will reply "metal," not engaging the reality that there are different types of metal, different types of things you can do to metal, different finishes, configurations, applications...

We also discussed the parallel of the material/process/structure relationship to linguistic structures of subject/verb/direct object,

jack and jill (material)
went up (process)
the hill (structure)

to fetch (process)
a pail (structure)
of water (material)

I am pleased with how well the exercise worked... the regurgitated newsprint (slurry) pooling together was very poetic... and I can't stop thinking about what it means to push a bottle of sunlight



more of the same for them later, with "real" materials required...