TRANSCRIPT FOUR JACQUES DERRIDA, PETER EISENMAN, THOMAS LEESER NEW YORK, APRIL 3, 1986

pЈ • have a new executive architect in Paris who will take the project and produce the final drawings in order to begin construc- , They want to begin in August. The new architect is a good friend of mine, Jean-Louis Cohen. JD Cohen — wasn't he with us at - p.-aubourg? PE Yes. But I don't understand this Pelissier affair at all. What happened? JD It's a mystery to me, too. PE I was .< a drawing, in which it seemed he had put this big piec^ght in the middle of our site, leaving nothing for us at all. When I saw .„; c.aicl, "Look, Alain, there is nothing left for us to do ^wHnally admitted that this was the case. But now they have agreed to •v<poct our project and we f <- ' 3n given three sites, a .Hffrom Pelissier. This means the registrations are going to be different,1 r a vve will use the same the:- ./VH[e should be able to finish the work to our mutual approval by June. I will even suggest to Jean- i 0, iis mat he meet with us at the end of April.What I wanted to do today is to explain where our idea is, and to ask some questions aboui the paper you gave in Trento and the one you wrote about Tschumi's project.2 From a reading of your Trento lecture, I find the idea of the maintenance of the metaphysic and the displacement the idea of movement and maintenance at the same time — a very good model. I think it is something that I have been intuitively working with' are not dealing with uninhabitable, unaesthet- ic. unfunctional places, but perhaps with deconstructive places — the dislocation of shelter. For example, traditionally, a museum shelters art. Yet in Ohio, we made the museum a long greenhw«*Ake structure that shelters — but not at all as a museum shelters. Hence It dislocates the notion of musj^jm, though it fulfills th^WBpum function. We are talking about the dislocation of the tradi­tional symbolism in architecture vv\il|Baintaining its construciive attitude. You cannot play the piano and say you are doing archi­tecture. So, in this interpretation, I '/PI suggest that the poles of Western representation or mimesis in architecture have always been metaphoric or metonymic. According to Jacobson, the vertical axis, poetics, is metaphoric and the narrative or realist mode, the horizontal axis, is metonymy. I see architecture as taking this notion of representation as its tradition. What I think we are trying to do, which is already present in the Romeo and Juliet project, but which has become clearer to me through our discussions, is to drive a wedge between metonymy and metaphor as the dialectic poles and suggest an aperture which could be referred to perhaps as allegory or analogy. Our work on these three sites is an attempt to dislocate the notion of metaphor and metonymy through a dis­location of time and place. What I mean by that is the following: ;A'?jMLj|| be a place which has a presence of site A but will also have another time and another place ipwill sites B and C. Scpl of the three sites will contain its own presence as well as its own absence of presence in a contr «Hi relationship. Site A will contain the absence of B and C; site B the absence of A and C, and so on. Each site will have the abiHfrce of the other sites as a trace — in one sense the memory and in another the future. The viewer will always have presence, memory and immanence, so that there is always a dislocation of the directionality of the narrative. The visitor does not understand at site A the conditions of the traces of sites B and C, but when the visitor gets to those sites, he or she realizes that they have both a memory of where they have been and an anticipation of the future. Then, upon arrival at site C, the structure closes in a sense, because you have the presence of memories of past and future However, these tenses, these past, present and futures of the sites, can themselves be displayed in differe oy|j|r o n o I o g i c a I times. Lt^e be specific about the idea of different times. We are talking about La Villette in 1867, when an abattV'**Bhipied the site of the park, about Paris in 1848, before the abattoir, when the walls of the city occupied the site, and about ParL-t?Pre68. We are also talking about the time of Tschumi, the time of Venice and the future: the superposition of Tschumi with the past suggests a trace of the future. Now, let's talk more about place. Each site will contain, through superposition, a part of the other sites, as well as the notion that A, B and C are one site at a different scale. The three can thus be read as a whole, as a unity — as A with pieces of B and C, B with pieces of A and C, etc. Each site speaks of another place at another scale of activity, so there is also the site of Cannaregio, which was itself the site of an abattoir, as well as other places which operate parenthetically. We can bring in other places in the superposition at differing scales.

Finally, and this is tricky, we can say that each site is a tissue of three layers, in which tissue 1 interacts with tissue 2 at another site, and so on. I can conceptualize it, but to demonstrate it for you will require us to build an extraordinary model; it's very difficult. These three tissues superpose and interact with each other so that if you pull one tissue out of site A, it interrupts sites B and C. There is thus neither time nor place, but analogy. JD I understand, at least conceptually, though I cannot visualize it. PE There are two more points of the conceptual apparatus that I want to talk about. First, I am not dealing with figure/ground with an origin and something else, which would be a superimposition, Instead, there is what you might call a tissue of free-floating signifiers, one of which is not always the base for the others. This makes the notion of the receptacle that we discussed very problematic. JD The receptacle is not a ground, not a substratum. PE I am describing an analogy of th^/^eotacle and the object. The object is formed by the recep­tacle and the traces of the receptacle are left on the object. At the s<JL ;ne, the object forms the receptacle and leaves traces on it. It is a reverberating, displacing activity. JD This is more difficult. Tffb eptacle does not receiy*. - /hing. Everything is inscribed on it, but, at the same time, the receptacle remains virgin. It does not receive anything that it recy . r* It remains out of reach, so to speak. PE Have you added more to your chora text since you sent the first fragment? JD Yes, though it is not yet finished. The prob­lem is that there is no physical analogue. Plato uses many metaphors to describe something for which metaphors are essentially inadeguate. Receptacle is a metaphor: it is a container in which the traces form and are inscribed. PE But why, then, isn't recepta­cle a ground? JD Because it is nothing. It is np/' y.elligible, not sensible, not something. It is not a being. PE So what about these three tissues? We are constrained to make being in architecture. JD Of course. That is the trouble. We have to make being out of something which is not being. What interests me about chora isjc . " exceeds the normal ontology. What is being? The paradigm, the intelligible paradigm, the sensible emanation, these are beir».' ' e intelligible is more being than the sensible, but they are both beings, the paradigm and the copy. But chora, within which everything is inscribed, is nothijk s^ 'chora is neither sensible nor intel­ligible, it is a third something which does not belong to being. So it is place, place as interlk\ t. : openness; it is place, but place is nothing. So we have the use only of bad metaphors; indeed the concept of metaphor itself is "bad"; it has no pertinence. So, for instance, to get rid of figure/ground is very good. PE And metaphor/metonymy also? JD Also. But we cannot avoid metaphors. We know they are inadequate but we cannot simply avoid them, just as we cannot avoid buildings. PE But suppose we were talk­ing about allegory rather than metaphor? JD If this context requires the use of the category, allegory, okay. Allegory in the sense of speaking differently about the other — that is what allegory means. PE That is what we are trying to do — to speak differently. These sites are ephemeral; their physicality relates to another sitejp t other place at another time. The meaning of each site is tied to the next site; it requires movement in time and place. TL A sir%te does not mean any^:'"^ You have to go through all three, and the meaning, chora, lies inbetween. It is not the thing itself. JD Chora is the opennesses it ;;hasm. PE I do not think it matters that ordinary Parisians understand everything, but they must realize that they are in the presefroe of a textual activity, a simulation. They should sense something else and feel dislocated. That is the important thing — the dislocation from the ordinary expectation of what is a garden. It should be like reading Finnegan's Wake for the first time. JD You have to be amazed by it. PE That's right, you have to be amazed. The second point I wanted to add is that besides avoiding figure/ground, we are also trying to avoid a typical typol­ogy, such as the maze. That is r^v.we are working with the quarry, which does not belong to the traditional architectural typology. When we dig up a particular st&: , it comes from a pp+i^ular location; its meaning is in its specificity. So when we move a stone, we leave a gap, a presence of absence of that stone. \jj>0, e not disturbed the earth, we have not imported anything, we are mere­ly building by rearranging what is there, using the mateuS'i the earth. Of course, we have to invent what that earth is — it could be brick, stone, glass, etc. It will be made of materials that come from the earth, which we will pile up in certain ways so that the traces, the gaps, the markers and layers of textual activity will be clear. One possibility we are considering is using Tschumi as a sort of switch. At each site, Tschumi would be at a different level: top, middle or bottom. We are also considering switching on the quarry so that it could be seen at one site that my project at Cannaregio was used by Tschumi as a quarry, and at another Tschumi would be a quarry for a future project. Paris is a quarry used by both of us, particularly the abattoir and the walls. If we say the middle layer

.: • -s the quarry, we get an interesting result because in the process of quarrying you erase below and add above. This yields ., , ,,,.,-ential layers of erasure and causes the middle layer, the locus of the analogies from site to site, to be constantly changing. •r : some studies of the raw material — La Villette, Cannaregio and so forth — and found some interesting relationships. For ,      we found that Tschumi's grid for La Villette, at a scale change, precisely coincides with my grid for Cannaregio. So, if we

, ,r.,;;.ose my Cannaregio project at the appropriate scale, we get Tschumi's project, accurate even to increments of gray and black . >■1 are used in both projects. I should be clear here: we are inventing this connection. I don't for a moment believe that this analy- <-, ogests anything about Tschumi's project in relation to mine; in fact, as I mentioned to you some time back, I hoped a theme .,Vo s/ork would be the subversion of the arc h i tec t u rpft. ad 111 on of chronology and precedent. It is also interesting that my . - rreg.io project was on a site where an abattoir wa                                                                                                                  located, as is the case for Tschumi's project in Paris. So the abat-

v..r canal relationship at ear.'gives us another oppc.lWmy for superposition which we are exploring for analogic possibilities. But ;,e are not happy yet, be '-VH there is no amazement. We've gone through two people working on this project already, and one them almost went crazy. use analogous material at differing scales for several reasons. One is to subvert the notion of the :v.imao body as the source-authority of scale. Secondly, by presenting the same analogous material at different scales in the same orojeci we subvert the value of the thing itself, the privilege of a specific object ata specific scale. For example, in the Romeo and Juliet project, the superposition of the outline of the city of Verona with the outlir' the castle of Romeo challenged the notion that the city exists at one scale only, the castle at another, and that the only true relationship between the two is that of differing scales. By relating their walled enclosures, we created meaningful ("""tctural relationships, which is why I said that the operation is not quite metaphoric and not quite metormmic. The process is liH^ jjpd's dreamwork: displacement of scale, condensation by super­position. Then you build new ana'\->«H»rorri the condensed or superimposed materials, used again at displaced scales. TL In order to stop the reverberation from p^pWrig self-same copies at differing sizes, at each scaling step we introduce aspects of the changes in time — changes in rivers, borders, etc. We use the same superposition analogy but with the material at different points in history as we change scales to produce a self-similar, but not self-same result. It is as if we place two mirrors in front of each other, but one mirror reflects the image in the other at a different time. It is up to us to choose the particular time frame of a reflection to tell a certain story, to create further analogies. PE Two features of the process are important: first, you cannot predict at the beginning what your results will be, and second, invariably the process results injg. viable building that nevertheless is unlike any that has been seen before. It is full of the archaeology of the site, yet is d splac\'iHmi the traditional use of history in architecture, which is con­fined to a history of the immediate arqhijagkural context. JD I cam' iBBmze it as a dream, as a guess. PE Yes, that is precisely the feeling we want to stimulate. Since the? Swf our Romeo and Juliet project, when we first met, our work has become very exciting, and much of the development is directl'y cWnDutable to our interaction with you. We are going to show another project to a client next week. They think they are going to get another Ohio State, a grid building, but instead we have used design methods similar to those used on this project. I am certain they are going to be very surprised to see this. In any case, what I think is important is that we make sure your participation in the La Villette project is very strong. What we are trying to do is to reconstruct in our terms what you were saying in the chora text and in your talk at Trento. We are saying that this is your program-wind that we are interrupting your program. JD Okay. PE It may be a misreading — you can call it whate\/AMj)u want — but we v, "you to feel comfortable with the theoretical formulation. As Thomas will tell you, La Villette is a killer pra''l«Bhe theoretical paradigms which you set up are so diffi­cult to make. JD Do not worry; it is an impossible paradigm for architec JWni is the challenge in itself that is important. PE We real­ize that we cannot realize it and that is why the challenge is so great. This notion of contretemps3 is very good. Chora is not the main- tenant, it is the contretemps which cannot be. If we achieved it, there would be no maintenant. So we understand it, but under­standing it is not doing it. But I think it is just a question of breaking the back of it now. But what worries me, Jacgues, is that I think we are frustrated. JD I'm not. I would not say that I don't understand, I just can't visualize. PE Well, at this point we are having a tough time visualizing it ourselves. We cannot hold it, though there is a certain sense of understanding that we are onto something quite interesting. TL I think we have a fundamental problem, which we must get over. At this point we are dealing with plan only; so far, all the thinking is two-dimensional, not architectural. PE I agree that this is a problem, but if we could realize even two dimen­sions, we could make sense of this thing — we do not even have that yet. TL Here are Venice, the Cannaregio project, Tschumi's project and the La Villette site at their original scale. One thing we discovered is that the distance between the grid elements in Tschumi's project is exactly twice that in the Cannaregio project. Then, we scaled the grid squares in Peter's project up to the size of the squares in Tschumi's and we discovered that there are twice as many Tschumi squares, even though they are twice as far apart. In other words, the density of Peter's elements is half that of Tschumi's. When we scaled Peter's squares down to Tschumi's smaller squares, we discovered that the exact opposite is happening Mow the density of the elements in Peter's project is exactly

I

double that of Tschumi's. The next set of drawings has to do with thefeV ^ axis of the two projects. Tschumi's major axis is exactly ninety degrees to Peter's major axis relative to true north. In addition,*t bo, ami's axis cuts one of h^ \ /, ares in exactly the same way as Peter's axis cuts one of his. JD To what extent do you think Tschumi was conscious of this|. rf think perhaps it was uncon­scious. There is no question, however, that there is a marked similarity, even down to details such as these little squares. These sim­ilarities are as much inventions of scaling as discoveries. TL Yet there are amazing similarities. Once you study the two projects, once you put them on top of each other and adjust the scales, things fall into place. PE I want to reiterate that I make no claim to prior authorship. In fact, my project was inspired, j an unrealized project for a hospital on Cannaregio by Le Corbusier, which was to be located directly on the site of the old abattoir at the northern end of the island. I merely extended his grid to my site, and so it is more proper to say that both Tschumi and I used Le Corbusi/•» id system. Furthermore, Tschumi is Swiss and Le Corbusier was Swiss, so go the parallels for the story we are inventing. Oil-' 1 .instruction of the linear-time of narrative is also a deconstruc- tion of the tradition of precedent and authorial priority. JD Let me suggest that you are spec's, 'of a general hidden condition. TL Notice also the edge conditions of the walls of the old abattoir in Venice and the old abattfc. c. ;aris. That is another similarity we are trying to play with. PE They could be called analogous conditions. JD What happened to the Cannaregio project? PE It was abandoned, someone else did it. JD But has it been published? PE Extensively. It is well known; it was even on the cover of the Harvard Architectural Review and it was also published in Italy and France. Why do you think we are here? Tschumi is certainly aware of this relationship, and expects us to work with it. He couldn't be happier with what we are doing. JD How did this story with us begin? I met Tschumi; I know him. Did he first speak to you about this project? PE He spoke to me last summer. He wrote me a let­ter about doing a garden at La Villette, and he asked if I wop 1 .'interested in working with Jacques Derrida. I said, yes, absolute­ly, that would be a most fantastic experience, because I kr4-' at what would happen». -"?"ir| far transcend the project itself. Then he called you and asked you, you were enthusiastic, and here we are. I think these kinprt \nings produce very strange results. Of course, you happened to be working on your chora text at the time; we had no idea orYrW ;We were working on Romeo and Juliet and very similar things, I think. I could read chora and think that you told me what to do in Romeo and Juliet. JD Did I? It happens that I had written a text on Romeo and Juliet two months ago — nothing to do with architecture. But Romeo and Juliet will be per­formed in Paris and the director is publishing a small book for the occasion. He asked me to write something, so I wrote a series of what I call aphorisms on the aphr sm, entitled "Aphorisme et Contretemps." When I was writing chora I did not know that you were interested in that. PE When I rea^ our text on Tschumir-' ^id to myself, "That sounds like me!" JD It's true. TL This has been a very difficult project for us. JD Well, it's difficult for me, too/* lifficult to understand, but to imagine. PE Jacgues, this is the book of Romeo and Juliet. The plates are beautiful — you can^o e superpositions and process of scaling — but it is very primitive com­pared to where we are now. We will have to invent a way of presenting our work at La Villette. I would like to use as a subtitle to Choral Work that thing I made up with you in Paris, SONSANSONSENS. JD I don't know. I'm afraid it is a little too playful in French. PE Okay. Choral Work then. JD Yes, it is fantastic. PE It has three or four meanings that I can think of immediately. JD It is musical. PE Yes, and there is togetherness. For me, it means corral as enclosure, coral as stone and coral as color, choral as a group musi­cal work, and choral as of chora. JD It reminds me also of "firework"— choral work, firework, something work. PE Great, now we

____________ we have you, me, a story and a title. JD It remains to do the work. TL The work is missing. JD I never thought it

I think the fact that it is difficult means that something is at work — something good is at work. JD Do you devote .? pЈ | have been overseeing Thomas, because I have been working on three other projects at the same time. If we .      -a one week with this. . . . There is another thing: the money they offered us is totally inadequate. So, I am going to

'                        ; and say that we want a certain amount of money. JD You are in a better position than I. PE I just want to tell you that

, .e taking a hard line, because it is a very tough project and we are doing three sites. I am trying to negotiate, so don't JD i "ey only pay $90,000, then of course, we, you, are completely underpaid. PE Yes, WE. TL We need to make a sys- , rn — to define a system of relationships, of ha^ much you quarry, etc., then operate with that system on the material ,, happens. PE We want to have the trace i"jHLwall of Paris, the trace of the foundation of the abattoir, the trace of , , We want to hav «tftte pieces which are tra - JPWid that become active presences. We want the wall to go from trace e, so that you :              foundation of the wall itself. This is what can change from site to site. It is important that we see

of this site in the project; a different way of looking at history. JD We will have to make a compromise with the people at ,, '.a., a.: v'/e will have to show them the historical aspect of the construction. They will be convinced by the totalization of the his- -a a/ill be the face of the compromise. On the other side, we should break this totalization. PE In the end, what we do must , . > C!e or it will not be architecture. Some of my critics attack my attitude th', v^chitecture must be built. They say, "If you main- .;(i.,: '.^ecture — its metaphysic — then how do you know what it is that you are maintaining?" JD Well, maintaining, if you refer v rA „ ae of the word maintenant, does not mean maintaining^jg^hole thing. PE In a way, it means dislocating the whole thing. JD /«>>n n-ainiaining the dislocation, mainlining the difference.  dislocation between an-architecture and architecture. You must

>aiva ooth an-architecture and ar jre, you cannot chooschone or the other. That is why I believe that what we are doing is both 'at/iaoror and metonymy, yet nei^pPI is the "difference between" that we are trying to open up, without saying no to anything. 1. The change in site changes the specific archaeology. 2. See Jacques Derrida, "Point de Folie, Maintenant architecture," in La Case Vide, Folio VIII, AA Publications, 1986. 3. Contretemps is a French idiom close to the English colloquialism "hitch," as in "a hitch in the plans." Plays on contretemps were used by Derrida in his Trento lecture, in which he developed a discussion of dis­placing architecture through weaving together various meanings of the French, maintenant — for example, now, but also maintain­ing. 4. Peter Eisenman, Moving Arrows, Eros and Other Errors — An Architecture of Absence, Box 3, AA Publications, 1986.

 

TRANSCRIPT FIVE JACQUES DERRIDA, PETER EISENMAN, THOMAS LEESER NEW HAVEN, APRIL 21, 1986

. remember Peter's discussion at our last meeting of the levels and layers of time and place? Well, what I did was to set

...... ... , ,ne vvith four elements — the site of La Villette, Tschumi's project, the site of Cannaregio in Venice and Peter's project there.

, -naed these four elements vertically, one on top of the other, and elaborated them through their four possible vertical per-

,By letting each horizontal level represent a differed time as well as a different condition of solid and void, form and recep-

: -'.stem was created in which each element is rel ;aHb the others in various conditions of past, present and future, absence

; >y. s nee, and materialvJ-^^*d or void. As you can «Plio first column of the diagram, which shows Tschumi's scheme and

, . vy, ; o as presences anc 9bs scheme and Venice as absences, represents facts as they exist relative to the site. So, we will

. ^ .-J that column, but tffe other three "fictional" columns. For example, in the next condition, we have Venice as a future for

project and La Villette as the present for Peter's Cannaregio scheme. So in this permutation, Bernard's scheme is the influ-

on Peter's scheme. Each column contains a different fiction, created by the different ordering of the four elements in the hori-

., conditions of presence and absence, solid and void. PE That is correct' three fiction columns represent the three sites

:.nd. as you can see, at each site there are always two elements in the present, one in the future and one in the past. TL We also

r-oor;;crate scale relations into the horizontal readings of th^a^Btins. JD What you call solids are. . . ? TL Things which come up,

voids are in the ground, negative.forms depressed in tfwMBLnd. JD And what you call receptacle is. . . ? PE That which is

'MiiiKfl                                                                                                  \ WW"

rvisibie. TL The negative shape.WBmvhich is not there except as a trace. PE This has to be fine-tuned, because it does not yet

incorporate erasure. There are th^ipBle are not happy with, but at least we have moved to a point where we can work with it. The fine tuning, in terms of the philosophic structure, is something that you can play with now, because it is in a form you can under­stand. JD So, you are saying that the existing condition does not appear and that these remaining columns are the fictional trans­formations of the existing condition. PE That is correct. Reality does not appear as such; this first column is reality. TL It's the miss­ing link, in a way. JD And the rows are future, past PE And present. JD Where is present? PE Always in the middle. The top row is future, the bottom is past, and the middle two are present. TL Let me try to explain the operation of scale in this scheme. The first column shows the two sites and two schemes at real scale, whic\i»Hbver the case in the fictional columns. So in the second col­umn, for example, Bernard's scheme.,4^Ma Villette are at actual while Venice at the top and Peter's scheme at the bottom are at different scales. PE And this             interesting because, if you remember, if you scale up Bernard's scheme, or scale down

mine, they are equivalent. TL Look at fkifqijares in both schemes. At full scale, the squares are different sizes, but in the scheme of this column, we would blow up Peter's scheme until his squares are the same size as Bernard's. PE That is a superimposition cre­ating Eisenman as Tschumi. TL And the process continues like that. It is not worked out in complete detail, but the basic operations and relations are there. You can see how in each scheme, each column, the various elements — Venice, Paris, Tschumi and Peter relate to each other in the various combinations of past, present, full scale, scale up and downed so on. So, for example, in the third column, Peter's scheme, at the top, is a future, while La Villette, atti^^ttom, becomes tht,;:™st of something else; it would be notated at a different time. PE For example, at one time, the past, the, "»■Ball would appear, whereas as at another time, the pre­sent or the future, it would not. TL Which way to scale, up or down, ex jliPnom the relations of the schemes. So, in the fourth col­umn, in which Peter's project and Venice are at real scale, Paris is scaled to, that is, superposed with, Peter's project and Bernard's project is superposed with Venice. So, Paris must be scaled down and Bernard's scaled up. The line which separates the top two elements in the column from the bottom two can be seen as a ground line; the two on top are solids above ground, the two on the bottom are voids, below ground. There are two horizontal logics, the 1-2-1 of tense and the 2-2 of superposition relations and solid/void. PE We should put that ground line in the diagram. JD A naive question. What do you mean by underground, what is it physically? PE We will show you in the axonometric. TL Everything that is underground, negative form, has a reading as a recepta­cle, either past or present. It depends on how deep it goes into the ground. The present has voids and solids, the past has voids and the future has solids. Perhaps we can find a better analogy, a better way to read the system diagram. Let's look at site one (col­umn 2). Venice, which appears at the top, is scaled up, is solid and is the highest. It is the future plan. The only part of Venice which you will see is the canal of Venice as a wall, three or four meters high. Bernard's scheme, the second element in the column, is at full scale, since it is in the present, and solid, but it comes only a little bit out of the ground. The notation we are using for present is a little bit up or a little bit down. La Villette, the third element in the column, is also in the present, but as a small void. It is a recep­tacle, as in its superposition it is both the wall of Paris and the canal. F?^r's scheme, the bottom element in the column, is the past, and is a deeper void. In the next site these things will change in terfe , scale, solid and void, registration, and soon, as per the permutation in the next column. PE It is not important that anybody stands this scheme. Itip . ^ ,/irtue of the notations that it will be seen as a text. Walking through, people will begin to see the differences . . . JD. . . and (| i<; 3 their minds. TL It does not matter whether you read this or that as past or future; the time is only important in that it gives the sy'stem a logic, to tell us which forms to use in the superpositions. But once the superpositions are elaborated in solid and void at various depths, it does not mat­ter to say that one condition represents past, and another future. The whole idea is to see this as interchanging. PE What happens is that you see the notations permutating three t^-',t, in different ways. TL I will show you the three sites. For site two (column 3), this is a drawing of Venice at full scale to La Villette. The funny thing is that it looks scaled down the abattoirs of Venice, compared with those of Paris, seem not to be at the right scale, but they are. If y^ ~k at this diagram, in which La Villette is scaled down to make the squares in Bernard's project the same size as those in Peter'J§ f Frisian abattoirs seemto be at the right scale, but they aren't. The Parisian abattoirs are so much bigger than the ones in Venice that when you scale ParisJ! s, the abattoirs appear to be at the same scale. PE Which is nice. TL Yes, it is a reversal of reality and meaning. PE You get thl4\«.' .--oly strange play of scale and real­ity, as if half is always at the same scale and half not, as if something terrible has happened. TL There is an intrinsic distortion. PE Of course how one knows this comes from how we key it. JD How they know. PE First of all, we have to be able to read it. We even get confused explaining it to you. TL But is it important to know which is the reality and which the fiction, or is the important thing to know the phases and transitions in the process from site to site? PE I see the whole project as a continuous fabric, with the three sites as holes within it. So, what I would like to see is a notation of a larger scale which erases these other scales at each site. That's what I think is missing from this project at the moment. Whatf ■ ed is the next layer. . . something similar. . . boom, boom, boom, that you read the three sites from. Do you see what I meanm I 'jes? Let's say the thre^, are like holes in a fabric and that the entire park is also a hole in the same fabric. Therefore, what we do on these three sites rrjii i-' - 3ernard's project as a whole an aspect of the same fabric and the three sites part of a schema underlying the whole thing. Thus o.ements in each of the three sites would not only relate to each other at various scales and times, but also to the scale of the fabric. It's difficult. I do not have it clearly yet. JD I understand in a very abstract way, but why don't you explain the physical aspects. That would be easier for me to understand. PE You have a ground plane, and you have these shaped cuts in the ground plane at a certain height, as well as objects above the ground plane at a related height, '-^'s say one meter. But as in archaeology, the deeper one digs, the further into the past one moves, and conversely, therefore, the h 1% ,r above the ground, "^ne, the further into the future. So the negative pieces — the past — and the solids of the future could be at a depth/height of tl|K /eters. We can arrange it so people will be able to walk down into the excavations as well as up onto the objects and walls we^ aid also use colored materials — red for the pieces that Tschumi and I shared, blue tile or gravel to simulate water and so on. If we color some of the solids blue, we would have a reversal of water and wall. This would be the physicality of the three sites, using the theoretical scheme we've discussed. As it stands now, everything is in the same scale relative to a human being. What we need somewhere is a notation of one of the schematic elements, say one of the Tschumi/Eisenman squares, that would be larger, at real scale relative to the actual park. This would break the boundary of the scheme and relate it and the park to a larger fabric. JD I think I understand, at least in principle. PE The first to be built is the site

, «- , - -'all. JD What's in between doesn't matter? PE It doesn't matter at all. TL We have to locate the schemes into each site; one thing we could use. . . . JD It seems that once you have finished your project, you'll have to surround it with a wall. ■ have made use of the ninety degree relationship between my Cannaregio project and Bernard's on their major axes. Two

pt -

, . are on Bernard's actual major axis, so we will be able to use that in siting the schemes. TL There are still a lot pieces -a JD Do you think that what will be missing on the terrain will be shown elsewhere? TL In a way, yes. In these two schemes ' the top of one and the bottom of the other. JD When you say "we show," you mean build. PE Build. We might build a half of one scheme here and the bottom of another here, so we are supplementing. People at one of the sites may realize, - .aae of what they have seen at another site, that thev^p seeing the same thing at different scales, different configurations, «a, here that were missing there, and so on. We won ~;aHat, as the fragments are similar, not the same. TL So you show all of r.rces, but . . . JD Senr;——. TL And at different t' PPvE And at different scales. JD As a system. TL As pieces. PE You . see all three at once. v JMwv see fragments, none of which is the basis for determining the others. JD But first you have to

* *                                                                          sppv

.. . \">:"srruct. My question is this: since people will have to reconstruct the whole themselves, will there be something which prevents -am from closing the circle, something temporal perhaps? PE What do you think it should be? JD I think something should either aa t- ssing or . . . PE Erased. JD Something which should not only prevent you from totalizing but also motivate an infinite desire to -,rart aaam. PE Start again. To see if you can reconstruct in a different way? JD'~,^JjJJ|So that under no circumstances can you have --a total picture in your mind. TL We are not showing the reality, what we called the existing conditions — the first column of the the­oretical scheme. PE But you could reconstruct that from wha|..ggflp showing. JD Yes, the existing conditions, present conditions, ;s the material from which you quarrythe elements. PE You ct.o^Bpure out the quarry from the stones. TL Yes, but you don't know which of these elements is the qi^wHrou couldn't figure it otft. JD To put it in an abstract way, I would be interested in a way of opening the dimension of either th'yjPwe or the past in such a way that they could never be integrated into the totality as present- future or present-past. In that way, the relationship to the future could be totally open; this could motivate the visitor to stop and read. PE Traditional architecture provides a virtual perception of the whole. When you walk through a Palladian plan, you schematize it in your mind — you don't have to walk through the whole building to understand its symmetries. The somatic memory puts these things together. Classical architecture always provided parts in different places to allow the whole scheme to be put together. What

Jacques is saying is that maybe there could be something in each piece that would provide an aperture, a kind of opening to

- «sum

nowhere. TL That breaks the circle. JD That would be left to inituVvaHPE This is a key point, I think. This is where the concept of erasure could enter. For example, as. U||jjfS stand, each site ha jPH same number of each type of quarried stones and is a rearrangement of those stones. So thatt.'-ljHreone wanted to count the integers, each site would have the same number. What would be very strange is if we took some aw'-rjPRj Missing, or to the contrary? TL You mean misplaced? JD No, more than. PE More stones? There you go! Yes, that is very interesting. We could add. We could say that the colored stones we have are red, gray, blue, for example. However, in one place you could have some extra green ones, or some missing pink ones so that you find more or less. TL I understand. But how do we go about it without, you know, just throwing stuff in? PE Without being gratuitous? JD No, no. At the moment there is nothing gratuitous. Leave something, a fortuitous event. PE Yes, but how do do that? JD That is a problem. Perhaps you could make it possible for the visitors to do something whifTj-upu cannot predict. \?™does not prevent or close you? PE No, not at all. I hear what you are saying, but I don't know how to . ;)HBjD The temporal dimensions, which could perhaps be picked out, are extrinsic to La Villette, or the abattoir of La Villette, and I: :<PPft Tschumi an intrusion that gives you an idea of some­thing that was not there before. It could provide the visitor with a kind of promise — an ultra-memory and ultra-future. PE In the pro­ject we are doing there is a Tschumi, and a La Villette, past, present and future. We are adding an ultra-memory, as you were say­ing, before La Villette, and a future memory, a future presence after Tschumi. Our sites project back and forward into an ur-memo­ry and /j/"-future. JD Which would be the same in the end. It makes no difference between the ultra-past and ultra-future. PE Right. That is interesting — I think we could do it. TL I don't know how. JD Without disturbing this? PE Perhaps you would disturb it, a piece that ruptures the fabric. It could be something looming underneath, like a photograph taken on top of another photograph. Something other than the material we are using. JD A ghost. We must not say that before La Villette there was simply nature; we need some other artifact which is totally buried, totally invisible. PE I think we could do that. TL We could go to your work at Cannaregio, and dig up something from its past. PE We need something like the slab in 2001. It had no meaning, no life. JD Something without any meaning as an artifact; something which is not nature. PE An unexplainable artifact. It could be out of a different stone or metal, which is not a natural material. JD What is needed here is some heterogeneity. Something impossible to integrate into the scheme. TL It could also be in a different scale, distorting the scales. JD Much, much bigger or much, much smaller; very out of proportion. TL Out of proportion to the other elements, so that it makes no sensejp.the circle. JD We might call this a "lateral focus" because, since it is totally heterogenous, it could become the focus. PE Yes, _ c's all the visitors would look at. JD It is not integrated into the text, but at the same time, we should not make it too central. PE v,_ cS interesting is that thek , 'pi focus would render the rest of this text almost familiar to the visitor. JD They would say, "We can read this — it is very comply ' .3. but we can read it." PE "We can read it and it doesn't bother us." JD And then there is this other, this

uncanny other. PE Great! hautastic! JD And this will be the place of the real signature. Some little something, I don't mean names, but some signature would be there. So your work would be read on the one hand as a combination of those three elements contextually expanding, and then as an exercise in reconstruction in a sophisticated way, and then, in the margin,^ ; ,ld be something totally alien from which and towards which everything had been or would be written. PE From which and towards which . . . that's very good, I think. JD Now, practically, where would this be situ­ated? PE Well, we have to make the site first. We have to make^ cuts. I think we just have to try it. TL I think this piece would be best just in the ground, on the surface, maybe. PE But it shc|;, ^ metal, it has to be alipn. TL A piece of metal, particularly flat, on the surface of the ground. Just suddenly, this flat metal. PE Stainless steel. TL No other n| 6- - the whole work. PE It's just there. TL On the surface would be nice, because it's not one of our schematic options, It is not 4 yr void, it is just a plane. PE Yes, I don't think it should be solid. It should not raise or lower. I'll tell you what we could do — we could have Jacgues put what feels right to him. Then it would be totally heterogenous. It will bring the final closure to the project, in the sense that we started with your pro­gram, chora, we took it and developed it, and now you add the heterogenous element. It will be terrific. JD At least I'll make a sug­gestion, okay. Have we decided that this piece will be a flat piece of iron? PE Of stainless steel, perhaps. What do you think? You decide on the surface. JD Everything else will be stone and water? PE Stone and water. JD Now, what is the approximate dimen­sion of such a thing? PE You will have to feel it, and decidf * ehe choice of dimensions, and the shape? PE Yes, the shape, the size, the material we won't say anything. JD No, no. You hi , i (J It will only be a propo^^h J>E. No. That finally closes the thing from the totally heterogenous to the totally rational. If you think of the text that we are making }t - ^ther as some sort of narrative, then we began with the program, then we drew and had discussions and various attempts at this, *a. the last thing is M. le Philosophe draws the piece. I think it is perfect. It gives us no responsibility. JD If I find something interesting, I think it will be good. I'll work on it.

Rambler's Top100
Hosted by uCoz