David Harvey « la dialectique casse des briques September 22, 2012Posted by sandyclaus in Invented Edens & Techno Cities, Retrotech.
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If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, Junk-Space is the residue mankind leaves on the planet. The built more about that later product of modernization is not modern architecture but Junkspace. Junkspace is what remains after modernization has run its course, or, more precisely, what coagulates while modernization is in progress, its fallout. Modernization had a rational program: to share the blessings of science, universally. Junkspace is its apotheosis, or meltdown . . . Although its individual parts are the outcome of brilliant inven- tions, lucidly planned by human intelligence, boosted by infinite computation, their sum spells the end of Enlightenment, its resurrection as farce, a low-grade purgatory . . . Junkspace is the sum total of our current achievement; we have built more than did all previous generations put together, but somehow we do not reg- ister on the same scales. We do not leave pyramids. According to a new gospel of ugliness, there is already more Junkspace under construction in the twenty-first century than has survived from the twentieth . . . It was a mistake to invent modern architecture for the twentieth century. Architecture disappeared in the twentieth century; we have been reading a footnote under a microscope hoping it would turn into a novel; our concern for the masses has blinded us to People’s Architecture. Junkspace seems an aberration, but it is the essence, the main thing. . . the product of an encounter between escalator and air-conditioning, conceived in an incubator of Sheetrock all three missing from the history books. Continuity is the essence of Junkspace; it exploits any invention that enables expansion, deploys the infrastructure of seamlessness: escalator, air-conditioning, sprinkler, fire shutter, hot-air curtain . . . It is always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits; it promotes disorientation by any means mirror, polish, echo . . . Junkspace is sealed, held together not by structure but by skin, like a bubble.”Rem Koolhaas, “Junkspace” 2002, p. 175-6