Monday 13 June 2011
18.00 RMIT (Building 8, Level 9, Room 64 (8.9.64), 360 Swanston
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by the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Architecture+Philosophy
research group, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University.
textures of voice are currently being explored in architectural
history, theory, criticism and design. A morning PhD seminar hosted
between the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and the Architecture+Philosophy
research group, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University,
followed by an evening public lecture at UCL by Dr Hélène
Frichot (RMIT) and Prof Stephen Loo (University of Tasmania), will
examine various modes of writing which cross the critical and the
creative, the subjective and the objective, adopting different positionalities
to construct new forms of architectural knowledge.
/ 09.00 UCL (Access Grid, Room 205, 66-72 Gower
/ 18.00 RMIT (Building 8, Level 9, Room 64 (8.9.64),
360 Swanston Street, Melbourne)
/ 20.00 Massey University (Room 10A78, College
of Creative Arts, Wellington).
work by Ema Cheatle, Julieanna Preston, Michael Spooner, and Popi
Iacovou. Hosted by Prof Jane Rendell (Bartlett School of Architecture,
UCL) and Dr Hélène Frichot (RMIT).
Public lecture: 18.00 UCL (Ricardo Lecture Theatre, Drayton House,
30 Gordon Street, London).
C’est la voix: A methodology of exhaustion and some
notes on stupidity and boredom, Dr Hélène Frichot
(RMIT) and Prof Stephen Loo (University of Tasmania).
This PhD seminar hosted
by Prof Jane Rendell (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) and
Dr Hélène Frichot (RMIT) will include presentations
by four PhD candidates:
and Mouthing Dust: Reconstructing overlooked aspects of the Maison
Emma Cheatle (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL)
the Maison de Verre through the Large Glass’, my PhD
proposes analytic and fictional methods of writing about the spaces
in and between these built forms. Investigating imagined and real
historical intersections between protagonists and events in 1935,
I give an alternative spatial reading of female inhabitation in
Paris between the wars. There are two methodical strands. The Sweeping
of the title above is a material method which assembles ‘evidence’.
Found snippets of ‘stories’, socio-historic ‘facts’
and archive material are rewritten as a text of fiction and analytic
commentary. 1930s medical tools and devices associated with female
sexual health, and dust, (collected by methodically sweeping the
building), inform a visual practice of drawn and constructed projects.
The Mouthing is a method which recreates short spoken-word narratives
from the fictions. This presentation will present excerpts of these
methods: with voice recordings laid over a sequence of still images
of text and dust/instrument artefacts.
Biography: An experienced architect and teacher,
I am in the final year of my PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture,
UCL, sponsored by a full-time AHRC scholarship.
Julieanna Preston (School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University)
develops a key proposition in
interiors, surface, a doctoral project approaching its final
stages. In recent years I have been using affirmative feminist agency
to emancipate seemingly inert finish materials typically found in
interior environments from an oppression I attributed to industrial
manufacturing processes, patriarchal paradigms and construction
economies promulgating standardization and uniformity. Of late,
I have reconsidered this practice; acts to liberate material have
been refigured as actions realigning the terms of respectful engagement,
an intellectual shift I credit to Luce Irigaray’s essay, i
love to you. As a result, my intimate and tacit relationship
with materials knows of latent forces emerging in our mutual exchange
beyond hierarchical human/non-human, organic/synthetic, affective/effective
modalities. These forces are mute voices circulating nonetheless
amongst vast complex tangles of associations shaping things physically,
politically and spatially, an idea that finds convergence between
Francis Ponge’s poems of everyday objects (Taking the
Side of Things and Soap) and Jane Bennett’s
investment into material vitality (Vibrant Materials: A Political
Ecology of Things). I continue to speculate on what interior
surfaces can do, what they utter, in a spatial and performative
practice that includes language, text and image as equally pliable
and politically active matter.
Biography: I am a doctoral candidate at RMIT University
pursuing a research project primarily through creative practice.
This project builds on my transdisciplinary background as an artist,
spatial/ interior designer, architect and educator. It extends embodied
knowledge to the construction, craft and creation of performative
material things informed by, and generative of, theoretical and
A Clinic for the Exhausted
Michael Spooner (School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University)
in 1990 by RMIT University, and designed by the Australian Architects
Edmond and Corrigan, Building Eight derives much of its
impulse from is difficult mode of citation. In my PhD by project
A Clinic for the Exhausted, an architectural imaginary
emerges that conflates Building Eight with an ocean-liner.
The plausibility of this proposition is discovered in a letter addressed
to Peter Corrigan from the architect Howard Raggatt. Raggatt, who
admits in the letter of the influence of alcohol, offers, on taking
note of Building Eight’s illuminated interior, the
image of Building Eight as it “began to lift off
as though released from its anchors, or set free from its foundations,
now departing like a P&O liner.” (1996)
for the Exhausted draws on the protean transfiguration of the
detritus on the horizon, the remains of all that is left from the
sudden collision of Building Eight and ocean-liner, establishing
Raggatt’s letter as a sort-of-instruction and his vision as
a sort-of-evidence of an intoxicating malady that in turn keeps
this narrative afloat. The presentation will continue across the
unfettered contours of Raggatt’s inebriation and tangle up
everything and everyone in the same improvisation, bearing you aloft
only to throw you back into the tumult of that night. It is a voice
compelled to turn the audience out onto the street as giddy conspirators
in an unfathomable act.
Biography: Michael is currently a full-time PhD
candidate in the School of Architecture + Design, RMIT University,
where he is also a sessional tutor in the Program of Architecture,
teaching in upper pool design studios and supervising final year
thesis projects. In 2010 he participated with Peter Corrigan on
A City of Hope for inclusion in the Australian Pavilion
at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Popi Iacovou (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL)
focuses on the interrelations between performance and architecture
through an investigation of a building; the Casa Malaparte,
the house of the Italian writer Curzio Malaparte (1898-1957). Malaparte
stated many times that he considered his house the best portrait
of himself and he called the Casa Malaparte ‘A House
Like Me’. Driven by this statement and by findings through
my stay at the house, the Casa Malaparte is interpreted as an autobiographical
performance. The thesis asks how architecture performs autobiography
and aims at opening up a discourse where architecture is understood
as a performative act, both in its making as well as in its inhabitation.
The thesis follows
a twofold method: text and design. The writing aims at reflecting
the telling organisation of the house whereas the design aims at
bringing the writing of my own filmic voice.
Biography: Popi Iacovou is an architect that uses
video installation as a choreographic spatial practice to read,
interpret and reconstruct place, whether a building or a site. She
is currently a PhD candidate at the Bartlett (UCL) and Associate
Lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
18.00–19.30 (London) – Ricardo Lecture Theatre, Drayton
House, 30 Gordon Street, UCL, WC1H 0BE.
Followed by drinks at the Bartlett School of Architecture Lobby,
22 Gordon Street, UCL, WC1H 0BE.
la voix: A methodology of exhaustion and some notes on stupidity
Dr Hélène Frichot (RMIT University) and Prof Stephen
Loo (University of Tasmania)
Exhausted, Gilles Deleuze’s essay on the playwright Samuel
Beckett, the philosopher points out that exhaustion is not just
about being tired. He remarks that there are at least four ways
of exhausting the possible, and we would add that this list should
not be taken as exhaustive. We will argue that the four approaches
describe a methodology of exhaustion that can be usefully applied
to critical creative practice. These approaches include: 1) the
formation of exhaustive series; 2) the drying up or exhausting of
the flow of voices; 3) the extenuation of the potentialities of
space; 4) the dissipation of the power of the image; a list to which
we would add a further item, and that is the breakdown of the organic
the exhausted person renounces all need, preference, goal or signification
and is therefore “sufficiently disinterested” and we
would add, suffers from a kind of boredom. Exhaustion presents a
comportment that is wordless, indeterminate and generic. Exhaustion
may stupefy us, but it is precisely in the voidal nature of the
comportment that new unanticipatable modes of expression are made
The voice of
exhaustion is breathless. Not meager and unequivocal and therefore
secondary to writing, the voice has no equivalence to writing-sense.
As Hélène Cixous says, the metaphysical sense of writing
must be destroyed so the soufflé – the undifferentiated,
non-articulated cry of the divine – can be voiced. She says,
“… I am at the mercy of their inspiration [insufflement].
They can fail me. I master nothing, I submit to the oracles. This
risk is the condition of my creative energy and of my discoveries.
It can happen that I run out of breath [souffle], that something
loses steam [s'essouffle] … a word whispered/given by someone
else, and a word stolen, whisked away.”
We will present
this methodology of exhaustion in relation to exemplary practices
located in the transdisciplinary terrain marked out between architecture,
art and philosophy, which allow us to expand what a methodology
of exhaustion can be. This work, in two voices, will include re-voicing
the work of Emma Cheatle, Julieanna Preston, Michael Spooner, and
Popi Iacovou. Hélène will also touch on the work of
Michelle Hamer and Bridie Luney, and Stephen will speak on voice
(voix), speed (vitesse) and life (vie) in the work of the recently
late John Barbour, and his own work K2-02 (with Michael Yuen) that
includes sweeping the gallery floor exhaustively.
when exhausted, and in relation to exhaustion, we will make a few
remarks on the perplexing power of stupidity and boredom, not as
a derogatory marker of ineptitude, but rather as the cry or warning
that alerts us to the danger of claiming we know more than we do.
Dr Hélène Frichot is a senior lecturer in
the Program of Architecture, School of Architecture and Design,
RMIT University. While her first discipline is architecture, she
also holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sydney. Hélène
is co-curator (with Esther Anatolitis) of Architecture+Philosophy,
a public lecture series and forum that commenced in 2005. Recent
publications include: “Following Hélène Cixous’s
Steps Towards a Writing Architecture” in Naomi Stead and Lee
Stickells guest editors, ATR (Architecture Theory Review), 15:3
(2010); “On Finding Oneself Spinozist: Refuge, Beatitude and
the Any-Space-Whatever”, in Charles J. Stivale, Eugene W.
Holland, Daniel W. Smith eds., Gilles Deleuze: Image and Text
(Continuum Press, 2009); “Olafur Eliasson and the Circulation
of Affects and Percepts: In Conversation”, in Julianna Preston,
guest ed., Interior Atmospheres: Architectural Design,
vol. 78, no. 3, (London: John Wiley and Sons: May/June 2008). She
also writes regularly for Artichoke, Architecture Australia,
and similar art and design journals.
Stephen Loo is Professor of Architecture at the School
of Architecture & Design, University of Tasmania. He has published
widely on the spatiality of language, affect and the biophilosophy
of the contemporary subject, which includes ethico-aesthetic models
for human action, posthumanist ethics and experimental digital thinking.
His current research book project (with Dr Undine Sellbach) concerns
the connections between ethics, psychoanalysis and the space of
the entomological imagination with forthcoming publications in Angelaki,
Parallax and Deleuze Studies. He is on the Editorial
Board member of several journals including Interstices: A Journal
of Architecture and Related Arts and is curating its 2011 symposium
on Technics, Memory and the Architecture of History. Stephen
is a practicing architect and Founding Partner of architectural,
design and interpretation practice Mulloway Studio. His recent artworks
include Longing for the Field, LARC Gallery, Launceston
(2010), and K2-02 (with Michael Yuen), SASA Gallery, Adelaide (2009).
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provides a unique opportunity for a space of exchange between
the two disciplines. While what we provide is a local space
– Melbourne practitioners on Melbourne issues –
Architecture+Philosophy welcomes speakers from any discipline
to engage with questions of contemporary urbanism, planning,
technology, space, system, design, distribution and other
issues in the productive overlap between the two disciplines.
We curate a diverse range of presentations, from research
students and established academics to architecture and planning
practitioners, policy makers, public artists and those working
in the world between theory, buildings and the city.
has presented an inspiring diversity of thinkers, makers,
collaborators and speakers across 2005,
and 2010. Be
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enquiries, contact Esther
Anatolitis or Dr
Hélène Frichot. about
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