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Theses on Punk Rock by John Maus1

after Pisaro2 after Badiou3

  1. The only workable name for the musical4 truth procedure that begins with Elvis Presley, and continues through the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, et al.5, is “punk rock.”
  2. Punk rock, like every truth, is (a) singular6, (b) open to all7, (c) without being8, (d) proceeded upon9 by subtraction10, (e) giving of the impossibility of totality11, and (f) disordering of the Police12.
  3. Punk rock, like every truth, is the void13 of a particular, immanent, situation. This situation is presently Global Capitalism14.
  4. Punk rock, like every truth, is anarchist15 in this sense: it gives itself as a disordering of the Police.
  5. Emphasizing the difference16 between moments of a truth procedure, rather than the singularity they proceed upon, which is their truth, is a type of Policing.
  6. Punk rock has often been flamboyant, however, not the smallest shred of musical truth has ever been wrested by17 hopping around in a band uniform with epaulets.
  7. Proceeding upon punk rock by subtraction means over-concentrating (a) this situation’s particulars18, (b) the materiality of these particulars19, and (c) under-concentrating (subtracting) the differences amongst these particulars by the singularity so proceeded upon20.
  8. While finally irreducible to any particular, punk rock has something to do with youth21. (Although, it has nothing to do with childishness)22.
  9. Representation by the Police usually speaks to a moment’s untruth. This means: to the extent that a work is, e.g., played on the radio, discussed in magazines, sold in stores, etc., it is probably not punk rock23.
  10. Like the subject of any musical truth, the subject of punk rock is fascistically anti-fascist, not as the “tolerant” who would hypocritically hide their intolerance, i.e., their intolerance of intolerance. The punk rocker, through their moment, absolutely embraces the absolute denial of any absolute as creativity, and so defeats the nihilist, the ironist, and/or the cynic, who do not embrace this, but rather concile themselves to the dominance of evil in the world.
  11. There is no scale for the ranking of a work; its self-identity mocks the dimension of “more or less”24.

Stephen Nowlin

Regarding the Calarts Design School 1970-75…

History of the Bean Bag


The first bean bag chair was created by the Italian designers Gatti, Paolini, and Teodora while working for the Zanotta Company in 1969. These first bean bag chairs were called Soccos which were pear-shaped leather bags filled with Styrofoam beans.

When the Socco went into mass production, after several failed attempts, it became the basic model for all bean bag chairs to come. Although unconfirmed, it is rumored that the Socco was actually discovered by accident. This discovery came from a Styrofoam factory that put all the leftover pieces from the production line in a bag. This new fad soon became a very popular item because the Socco was the first chair to move with the person sitting in it.


Gruppo Strurm

A Pattern Language

In short, no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world, only to the extent that is supported by other patterns: the larger pattern in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller patterns which are embedded in it it.
This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing you cannot merely build a thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and that the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.

via A Pattern Language

Building Dwelling Thinking

In what follows we shall try to think about dwelling and building. This thinking about building does not presume to discover architectural ideas, let alone to give rules for building. This venture in thought does not view building as an art or as a technique of construction; rather it traces building back into that domain to which everything that is belongs.

Martin Heidegger

from Poetry, Language, Thought 1971

Montessori sensorial materials


Sheila Levrant de Bretteville

Cover of Art in Society magazine, designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, 1970


Poster for School of Design, California Institute of the Arts, designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, 1969


(top) Instructions for newspaper used at International Design Conference at Aspen designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, 1971. (botom) Spread from newspaper used at International Design Conference at Aspen designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, 1971. Participants at the conference were asked to fill out a diagonal module. The panels were grouped, pasted up, printed, and delivered as a newspaper record of the conference.


Entrance to 207th St. subway station for New York City Metropolitan Transportation and the Inwood community. Designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, completed 1999.



Sheila Levrant de Bretteville is a graphic designer, artist and educator whose work reflects her belief in the importance of feminist principles and user participation in graphic design. In 1990 she became the director of the Yale University Graduate Program in Graphic Design and the first woman to receive tenure at the Yale University School of Art.

In 1971 Levrant de Bretteville founded the first design program for women at the California Institute of the Arts, and two years later co-founded both the Woman’s Building, a public center for women’s culture, and its Women’s Graphic Center in Los Angeles. In 1981 she initiated the communication design program at the Otis College of Art and Design.



Rip it up and start again

Orange Juice, Rip it up (1983)

Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti – Ladder and Chair, A-frame

Alighiero Boetti (also known as Alighiero e Boetti; December 16, 1940 – February 24, 1994) was an Italian conceptual artist, considered to be a member of the art movement Arte Povera. He is most famous for a series of embroidered maps of the world,Mappa, created between 1971 and his death in 1994. Boetti’s work was typified by his notion of ‘twinning’, leading him to add ‘e’ (and) between his names, ‘stimulating a dialectic exchange between these two selves’.

Generally Optimistic Faces

A series of pastel knobs with generally optimistic faces.

Each is ceramic, has a brass insert, and mounts with the included bolt. All are 1-1/2″ in diameter and just over 1″ in height

via Face Knobs – Lee Valley Tools.

Arcosanti: an urban laboratory?

Arcology is Paolo Soleri’s concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of urban sprawl with its inherently wasteful consumption of land, energy and time, tending to isolate people from each other and the community. The complexification and miniaturization of the city enables radical conservation of land, energy and resources.


It is not easy to translate into English the Italian word autoprogettazione. Literally it means auto = self and progettazione = design. But the term ‘self-design’ is misleading since the word “design” to the general public now signifies a series of superficially decorative objects. By the word autoprogettazione Mari means an exercise to be carried out individually to improve one’s personal understanding of the sincerity behind the project. To make this possible you are guided through the archetypal and very simple technique.

Therefore the end product, although usable, is only important because of it educational value.

from Autoprogettazione? by Enzo Mari

The Field Lab

Have you ever thought to yourself, ” How would I do it if I had it to do all over again?”  Usually this thought only pops into your head when you are about to die or your life is in ruin or perhaps during a midlife crisis where family and job stress suddenly takes its toll.  This feeling is usually accompanied by mounting debt and an overwhelming feeling of being trapped in the life you have chosen.  Tension in the world, an unstable economy, high fuel prices, and mind numbing popular culture may also add to this feeling of utter futility.

The Field Lab /  Blog

Marjetica Potrč

Marjetica Potrč is an artist and architect based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her interdisciplinary practice includes on-site projects, research, architectural case studies, and series of drawings. Her work documents and interprets contemporary architectural practices (in particular, with regard to energy infrastructure and water use) and the ways people live together.

via katie


A palapa (a Spanish word of Malayan origin, meaning “pulpous leave”) is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. It is very useful in hot weather and, therefore, very common in Mexican beaches, such as in Acapulco. It is perhaps one of the most important architectural contributions of Philippine culture to Mexican West cultures.


Yona Friedman: L’Architecture Mobile

A new city built from scratch in the desert is in general not a viable proposition. Large cities have evolved out of small, ancient cities: the new city must be an intensification of existing cities.

Mobile Architecture


manual for


WALKING HOUSE is a modular dwelling system that enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with minimal impact on the environment. It collects energy from its surroundings using solar cells and small windmills. There is a system for collecting rain water and a system for solar heated hot water. A small greenhouse unit can be added to the basic living module, to provide a substantial part of the food needed by the Inhabitants. A composting toilet system allows sewage produced by the inhabitants to be disposed of. A small wood burning stove could be added to provide CO2 neutral heating. WALKING HOUSE forms various sizes of communities or WALKING VILLAGES when more units are added together. WALKING HOUSE is not dependant on existing infrastructure like roads, but moves on all sorts of terrain.


The $200 Microhouse

A HOUSE tour is the highlight of a visit with a proud homeowner, but when one drops in to see Derek Diedricksen, who makes playful micro-shelters out of junk, it is less so. Possibly because the temperature up here on a cold winter day is less so, possibly because his square footage is less so.

At about 24 square feet, the Gypsy Junker, made primarily out of shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and a neighbor’s discarded kitchen cabinets, is the largest of Mr. Diedricksen’s backyard structures. The Hickshaw, a sleeper built on a rolling cedar lounge chair (or as Mr. Diedricksen calls it, “a rickshaw for hicks”), is considerably smaller, at 2 1/2 feet wide by 6 1/2 feet deep. The Boxy Lady, two cubes on a long pallet, is the smallest: 4 feet tall at its highest point.


Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous (One Night in Los Angeles), 1973. Copyright Bas Jan Ader Estate, courtesy Patrick Painter, Santa Monica.

Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous One Night in Los Angeles, 1973. Copyright Bas Jan Ader Estate, courtesy Patrick Painter, Santa Monica.

Metronome No.10

Via: Lais


You Can Make It Anything You Want

Forgetting and Remembering the Instructions of the Land: The Survival of Places, Peoples, and the More-than-human

Economy originates with the Greek oikos, meaning dwelling place, and nomos, to distribute. Oikos has the derivatives oikein, to inhabit, and oikoumene, the inhabited world.

The word economy, small e, connotes the flow of goods in an inhabited place, a particular community, informed by the criteria of merit and mercy and true value.

Making Things Work

Crawford argues that the ideologists of the knowledge economy have posited a false dichotomy between knowing and doing. The fact of the matter is that most forms of real knowledge, including self-knowledge, come from the effort to struggle with and master the brute reality of material objects — loosening a bolt without stripping its threads, or backing a semi rig into a loading dock. All these activities, if done well, require knowledge both about the world as it is and about yourself, and your own limitations. They can’t be learned simply by following rules, as a computer does; they require intuitive knowledge that comes from long experience and repeated encounters with difficulty and failure

Francis Fukuyama on Mathew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft

Total Corruption

Let’s be clear: a political generation isn’t just an age group that can be data-mined for a promising trend. It’s a common resolve that things have to change, and that change begins with you, concretely. Somehow, young and not-so-young people from all walks of life need to discover not only the philosophical principles, but also the popular vocabularies, the social contexts, the media, the science, and the aesthetics to articulate a critical, resistant, and constructive ethos that could challenge this total corruption. Which means, not a new conspiracy theory or apocalypse scenario, not a new and probably failed call for protest movements either, but deeper territorial processes of inquiry, formation of collectives and public spaces, experiments in co-education and alternative economies, all at a distance from existing institutions, but with a willingness to form new ones and to push for a transformation in the very idea of what an institution can be (since the existing ones, including the art institutions, are totally corrupt).

The Make-Up

“The problem is that the high creatures are the server mechanisms of the technology and the system they have created, meaning that we’re dictated to as much by cars. We’ve turned the world into a parking lot. Similarly we use musical technology that we create, and it finds a use for itself”

Utopia Is No Place: The Art and Politics of Impossible Futures

A growing number of artists are abandoning truth-telling political art for a boldly utopian practice, recognizing that political problems can’t be solved by an atrophied collective imagination. With examples ranging from Thomas More’s 16th-century tome Utopia to the Yes Men’s recent “special edition” of the New York Times, Stephen Duncombe explores the creative terrain within this new world of dreampolitik. Duncombe is an associate professor with the Gallatin School at New York University.



February 2011


How Buildings Learn

Stuart Brand’s concept of a building’s “shearing layers” that suggest a single building is changing at various speeds all at once.


Hidden Labor and the Delight of Otherness: Design and Post-Capitalist Politics

What would be necessary to transform “design” into a discipline of un-disciplinary moves and motions, into a practice of possibility and an articulation of becoming?

Lucien Kroll

Rural Studio

In Hale County Alabama, you see ghost buildings: abandoned barns, tumbledown shanties, and rusted trailers–fragile remnants of a more prosperous agrarian past…

How to Construct Rietveld Furniture

Many people construct their own Rietveld furniture in the evening-hours. Apparently these designs are an invitation to do so…


by Adam Werbach

I am here to perform an autopsy.

Autopsies begin with these words.

Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae

Translated from Latin, this means: “This is the place where death rejoices to teach those who live.”

I tremble at them, because this is not an easy speech for me to give.

I know in my mind that to forego the examination of death is to fail to honor the dead. But all I can think about right now is my love for what environmentalism was.

Nobody enjoys an autopsy, and yet its value to life is indisputable.

The word “autopsy” means to “see for yourself.” An autopsy is the key tool that doctors use to determine whether their diagnosis was correct, and to see if the treatment was effective. In the past, autopsies were common — in the 1950s, 50 percent of deaths had autopsies performed. Today, that number is barely 10 percent.

We will perform an autopsy tonight. We will question our diagnosis of the problem and prescribe a new treatment.

With fond memories, a heavy heart and a desire for progress, I say to you tonight that … Environmentalism is dead.

Drop City

Plywood House

Principal-in-Charge: Ricardo Scofidio

The Plywood House is built on the foundation of a house that burned to the ground the year prior. The construction budget is based on the limited fire insurance settlement. Standard wood frame construction is sheathed with off-the-shelf 4’-0” x 8’-0” plywood panels, stained gray and pre-cut to receive stock windows. The facade is the product of interference between a serial strategy of exterior cladding and specific demands of the interior program.

diller scofidio + renfro.