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Praxis 14 - True Stories Table of Contents

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Praxis 14, “True Stories”, guest edited by Ana Miljacki, with Amanda Reeser Lawrence and Ashley Schafer, considers the ways in which architects tell stories. Films, fictions, sitcoms, comics, and fairytales are among the types of architectural narratives featured in the issue. These acts of architectural storytelling are considered for their capacity as both critical and projective disciplinary tools. With Barry Bergdoll, Reinhold Martin, Jimenez Lai, MOS, Julia and John McMorrough, Keith Krumwiede, Carlos Teixeira, Keith Mitnick, Christina Goberna and Urtzi Grau, Klaus Roons [sic], Kazys Varnelis and Robert Sumrell, and Wes Jones.

This one was so long in the works that I ultimately forgot to post it. the triple AAA, Ana, Amanda, and Ashley, contacted me looong ago, and asked if I could do an illustration for -then- forthcoming issue #14 of PRAXIS: Journal of Writing + BuildingPraxis is one of those academic publishing efforts I have fond memories of, and the issue was so packed with old friends of this blog (Jimenez, Kazys Varnelis, MOS, Wes Jones…) that I couldn’t say no. Then, Amanda, Ana and Ashley became even more busy when they became appointed part of the curatorial team of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. I guess I’ll have to wait some time for issue 15. In the magazine, everyone was given a speech balloon (not bubble!) with their contribution title, authors name and page number written in it. Unfortunately, my copy is in a box somewhere, so you’ll have to get yourself one.

So, before January is over, I’d like to post the first one in a series of posts that look back at some of the stuff that happened in 2013 but which, due to the hectic-ness of these last months, had to wait till now. So, as a starting point, I thought it would be nice to celebrate the imminent -and eminent- first anniversary of my ongoing collaboration with Uncube Magazine, a Berlin-based, online journal that has managed to make its own place in the netsphere through a steady flow of thematic, monthly issues, since August 2012.

Drifting a little from my usually elusive manners, I offered them to draw an egotistic strip, “Numerus Klausus”, commenting on current issues on and around architecture in my own section within the magazine, ‘Klaus’ Kube’. Of course, even though it started as a regular-looking comic strip, they soon talked me into doing something a little more complex -they didn’t have to try too hard. Some of the strips are still pretty elusive, but at least this time their backstory is easier to trace back. Also, the editors’ suggestions gave me the opportunity to feature a lot of guest stars, such as the inevitable Rem-the-Man, but also MVRDV, Rafael Viñoly, Renzo Piano, Kieran Long, Pink Floyd (seriously), Florian Heilmeyer, Sophie Lovell, Zaha Hadid, Gregg Lynn, sylvia Lavin, Jean Nouvel or Sigmund Freud.

Scroll down for the whole series (including two non-posted ones)

Klaus's Kube 01 Delusional EconomiesI. Delusional Economies, in Uncube’s blogklaus Kube 02 You're so Kool blogII. You’re so Kool in Uncube Magazine # 07 : Off-places.

NK 03 On Intellectuality blogIII. On Intellectuality in Uncube Magazine #9: Constructing Images

NK 04 Taylorist Designs 01 blogIV. Tayloredist Designs in Uncube Magazine #9: Constructing Images

MVRDV Cloud EncountersV. Cloud Encounters of the 911th Kind in Uncube issue #10: Wood, Paper Pulp

NK06 - DEF 03 smVI. Metropol Para-Poli in Uncube Magazine #11: Charles CorreaUncube Numerus Klausus 07  Architecture Mon AmourVII. Architecture, Mon Amour in Uncube Magazine #12: Into the Desert NK08 02 xsmVIII. One of my Turns in Uncube Magazine #13: BerlinNK09 Viñoly attacks uncube 03IX. Faulty Towers in Uncube Magazine #15: Small Towns, Big ArchitectureShardnadoX. Shardnado! in Uncube Magazine #14: Veins

NK 11 01 smXI. Form Follows Friction in Uncube #17: Construct Africa

This last one came after a suggestion (as another one preceding it and yet one more to come) by Sophie Lovell, who thought it would be better not to have me making humor of anything Africa-related, and asked me to tackle on Zaha Hadid’s vagina-like stadium instead. I have to say that, were I an editor, the prospect of myself being given free reign to draw vaginas in the magazine wouldn’t make me any less worried, anyhoo… so, consequently, I took the opportunity to throw in some of all this phallic proliferation that’s been happening lately in architecture, ranging from Jean Nouvel’s dildo to Foster’s recently-flaccid Gherkin, China’s People’s Daily Newspaper circumcised HQ, or that infamous church that looks like a penis in aerial view (if you’re interested in this highly intellectual topic, check Cabinet Magazine’s 2003 Competition for the Most Phallic Building in the World). It also gave me the chance to feature Gregg Lynn and Sylvia Lavin (not her first time in the blog), who’s the subject of a cartoon I never get to sit and draw. Over there, writing on his blog in Providence, David Brussat identified this as an ITD (Internet transmitted Disease): “Klaustoon on Koolhaas and Penises” at Architecture Here and There.

Next issue, it  will be FAT time.

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Cartoon for The New City Reader: Classifieds, guest-edited by Leagues and Legions and drawn quite in a rush, which explains the lack of shadowing. It will get done at some point (hopefully). Click on the images below to read the full issue, which also features a couple of other cartoons by Brady Dale and the inimitable Jimenez Lai, from Bureau Spectacular, or navigate through the assembled version on the New City Reader’s blog.

Update: As of 1.10.2011 it´s also downloadable from DSGN AGNC, thanks to Quilian Riano.


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The New City Reader: A Newspaper of Public Space is a project curated by Kazys Varnelis and Joseph Grima. The New City Reader is a performance-based editorial residency designed as a part of the Last Newspaper, an exhibit running at New York’s New Museum from 6 October 2010‒9 January 2011. It consists of one edition, published over the course of the project, with a new section produced weekly by alternating guest editorial teams within the museum’s gallery space. These sections are  available free every Friday at the New Museum and will also be posted in public throughout the city for collective reading. The permanent staff and list of guest editorial teams can be found in Varnelis.net.

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Cartoon for The New City Reader: Weather Section, a continuous 3-spread graphic that includes a large city expanse with magnified close-ups pertaining building materials/architectural objects and their relation to weather. The weather section has been guest-edited by Jeffrey Inaba/ C-LAB, and put together with the collaboration of  Justin Fowler, Simon Battisti, Nathalie Janson, Amanda Shi, Lauren Turner, Jeffrey Yip, Neeraj Bhatia, Charles Holland, Rory Hyde, Wes Jones, Sean Lally, Andy Lantz, Jürgen Mayer H., Markus, Miessen, Nicholas de Monchaux (http://nicholas.demonchaux.com/),  Philippe Rahm, and Dong-Ping Wong.

You can read it by clicking on the images below:

Or download the full pdf at C-Lab’s Weather Patterns.

Also, inside this issue you’ll find the Obituaries Section, guest edited by MOS (yes, these guys).



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The New City Reader: A Newspaper of Public Space is a project curated by Kazys Varnelis and Joseph Grima. The New City Reader is a performance-based editorial residency designed as a part of the Last Newspaper, an exhibit running at New York’s New Museum from 6 October 2010‒9 January 2011. It consists of one edition, published over the course of the project, with a new section produced weekly by alternating guest editorial teams within the museum’s gallery space. These sections are  available free every Friday at the New Museum and will also be posted in public throughout the city for collective reading. The permanent staff and list of guest editorial teams can be found in Varnelis.net.

Click to enlarge

Subject: sex!
From: Kazys Varnelis
To: Klaus
Cc: Robert Sumrell

any chance you’d like to do some kind of terrifying orgy cartoon for our essay?

a tangle of bodies, a la hieronymous bosch meets the mitchell brothers?

i’m terrified… i’m sure you are too.

robert will elaborate.

……………………………….
Subject: Re: sex!
From: Robert Sumrell
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Klaus

I think it should be an orgy in the graves design section of wallmart

Sent from a tin can and piece of string

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Subject: Re: sex!
From: Robert Sumrell
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Klaus

There is actually a pretty well know editorial cartoon of a bourgeois couple looking at a William Morris Teapot thinking “how can we ever live up to this”
Maybe this one could be a couple with a normal teapot looking at the Michael Graves or Martha Stewart Orgy thinking “They’ll never sleep with us, look at our teapot”
It would make sense with the content of the article…
R

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Subject: Re: sex!
From: Kazys Varnelis
To: Robert Sumrell
Cc: Klaus

Perfect.

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Subject: This is the cartoon
From: Robert Sumrell
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Klaus


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Subject: Re: This is the Cartoon
From: Kazys Varnelis
To: Robert Sumrell
Cc: Klaus

Yes that is it. Perfect. except I think the couple should have the Michael Graves teapot. Could it be Brad and Angelina or some celebrities with design interest?

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Subject: Re: This is the Cartoon
From: Klaus
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Robert Sumrell

Hey, guys,

Lacking some context here. Could anyone send me the article, or sth.?
I woke up this morning, read your emails and still have no idea what you’re speaking about!!!

Best,

K-

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Subject: Re: This is the cartoon
From: Kazys Varnelis
To: Klaus
Cc: Robert Sumrell

Oh yes! We (AUDC) are writing an essay on the history of the idea of lifestyle, for the style issue…

in the US, the term “the lifestyle” refers to swinging or group sex.

k.

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Subject: Re: This is the cartoon
From: Klaus
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Robert Sumrell

So, in the article this would illustrate, there’s some commentary made of Michael Graves’s industrial design as compared to Martha Stewart?

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Subject: Re: This is the cartoon
From: Kazys Varnelis
To: Klaus
Cc: Robert Sumrell

There isn’t any particular commentary on them yet…

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Subject: Re: This is the cartoon
From: Klaus
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Robert Sumrell

Well, I hope there’s some way to make the connection, or people will think I’m just going mental…

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Subject: Re: This is the cartoon
From: Robert Sumrell
To: Kazys Varnelis
Cc: Klaus

Hi Klaus,

We are writing an article for the style section about the development of the concept of lifestyle.

In short, the rise of commercial culture came with conflicting sentiments. The desire to emulate the luxury of previous eras, and the knowledge of the social repression and sexual deviance that they allowed.

The old cartoon epitomizes the relationship of an engaged couple hoping to show others the status they want to have through a teapot that will express them. In victorian times, the means of expression were reduced. Leisure activity was limited to religious and organized social outings. Tea was a safe way to interact with others and kept things from getting too sexy, which was a constant danger. The couple hopes the tea pot will complete them. It is ,after all a consumate object.

Moving forward and skipping a bit, with the rise of the internet came a new freedom in social interaction that coincided with women’s lib and equality. the early Well was rife with hook ups and dating offers. Singles bars came into being. The lifestyle developed as we had the peak moment of subculture. In the late 80’s material culture bloomed, sex hit a wall with aids. Subculture became marketed as Alternative and Alternative lifestyles became marketable Everything gained a place in marketing campaigns and that was the end of identity politics. With the internet and dot com booms modern lifestyle begins as do the creative industries. You define yourself as a story to be broadcast, complete with objects and clothing to match. Your image becomes as important or more important than your resume. The second cartoon would update the first. We expect others to judge us by how we present ourselves rather than by what we actually do (work is now completely abstracted to almost become unexplainable and no one produces anything). We go into huge amounts of debt to support this descriptive system. Not to sound too crude – but where the victorian couple was trying to maintain fidelity to an object we currently buy teapots so that we can enter into the orgy of consumption and find a place to belong with our peers…

I hope that helps.

R.

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The New City Reader: Music + Style. Edited by DJ Nron, DJ Rupture, Robert Sumrell and Andrea Ching. The New City Reader: A Newspaper of Public Space is a project created by  Kazys Varnelis, and  Joseph Grima. The New City Reader is a performance-based editorial residency designed as as part of the Last Newspaper, an exhibit running at New York’s New Museum from 6 October 2010‒9 January 2011. It will consist of one edition, published over the course of the project with a new section (Editorial, International News, Business/Economy, Politics…) produced weekly by alternating guest editorial teams within the museum’s gallery space. These sections will be available free at the New Museum and—in emulation of a practice common in the nineteenth-century American city and still popular in parts of the world today—will be posted in public throughout the city for collective reading.

Click to read

Cartoon for The New City Reader issue VII: Real State, with contributions by Peter Tolkin, Mabel O. Wilson, Carmen Argote, Chloë Bass, Brigette Borders, John Cantwell, Catherine Ingraham (not this topic, this time), Marisa Jahn/CUP, Olalekan Jeyifous, Alexandra Lange, Elizabeth Lasater, Zoe Malliaros, Mitch McEwen, Minna Ninova, Daniel Payne, Alan Rapp, Cassim Shepard and Matthew Vaz.

Available since November 19 at the New Museum. A peek at the cover and contents here.

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