Conceptual Composition 14: New Materialisms

by katja2013

Interior China Central Television headquarters / Photo © Philippe Ruault

Interior China Central Television headquarters / Photo © Philippe Ruault

Interior China Central Television headquarters / Photo © Philippe Ruault

Since I have a Judeo-Christian religious background, it is obvious to me that one must link any definition of the accident to the idea of the original sin. The content of this idea is merely that any person has the potential to become a monster. Now, this idea of original sin, which materialist philosophy rejects so forcefully, comes back to us through technology: the accident is the original sin of the technical object. Every technical object contains its own negativity. It is impossible to invent pure, innocent object, just as there is no innocent human being. It is only through the acknowledged guilt that progress is possible. Just as it is through the recognized risk of the accident that it is possible to improve the technical object. Paul Virilio [1]

A rigorous geometrical logic invades the spatial and representational concept without ever finalizing its tectonic effects. An ‘Accidental’ tectonic emerges that is both foreign, strange, provoking and enabling. A tectonic far beyond what Semper, Frampton or other phenomenologist could have imagined. The rationality of its construction (absoluteness, autonomy) does not just affirm power, but also undoes it (contrary to what Mies tried to do)

[1] Paul Virilio, “surfing the Accident, “ in The Art of the Accident: Art Architecture and Media Technology(Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 1998) p. 30

Quote in: Keller Easterling, Enduring Innocence global architecture and its political masquerades, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press books, 2005 p123