The Funambulist Papers, Vol. 1
Edited by Léopold Lambert
CTM Documents Initiative (an imprint of punctum books + Center for Transformative Media, Parsons The New School for Design)
Brooklyn, NY: punctum books, 2013. 210 pages, illus. ISBN-13: 978-0615897189. OPEN-ACCESS e-book and $15.00 [€13.00/£11.00] in print: paperbound/5.83 X 8.27 in.
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This book is a collection of thirty-five texts from the first series of guest writers’ essays, written specifically for The Funambulist weblog from June 2011 to November 2012. The idea of complementing Lambert’s own texts on his blog with those written by others originated from the idea that having friends communicate with each other about their work could help develop mutual interests and provide a platform to address an audience. Thirty-nine authors of twenty-three nationalities were given the opportunity to write essays about a part of their work that might fit with the blog’s editorial line. Overall, two ‘families’ of texts emerged, collected in two distinct parts in this volume.
The first one, The Power of the Line, explores the legal, geographical and historical politics of various places of the world. The second, Architectural Narratives, approaches architecture in a mix of things that were once called philosophy, literature and art. This dichotomy represents the blog’s editorial line and can be reconciled by the obsession of approaching architecture without care for the limits of a given discipline. This method, rather than adopting the contemporary architect’s syndrome that consists in talking about everything but being an expert in nothing, attempts to consider architecture as something embedded within (geo)political, cultural, social, historical, biological, and dromological mechanisms that widely exceed what is traditionally understood as the limits of its expertise.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WALKING ON A TIGHT ROPE: INTRODUCTION
ENTROPY, LAW AND FUNAMBULISM
THE CLEAR-BLURRY LINE
Daniel Fernández Pascual
POST-POLITICAL ATTITUDES ON IMMIGRATION,
UTOPIAS AND THE SPACE BETWEEN US
Ethel Baraona Pohl & Cesar Reyes
THE MOSQUE: RELIGION, POLITICS AND
ARCHITECTURE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
NOTHING TO HIDE
Mariabruna Fabrizi & Fosco Lucarelli
BRIEFLY ON WALKING
Caroline Filice Smith
BECOMING FUGITIVE: CARCERAL SPACE
AND RANCIERIAN POLITICS
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi
MY DEAR FRANCIS . . . WHAT KIND OF PHOENIX
WILL ARISE FROM THESE ASHES?
MOVEMENT AND SOLIDARITY
A VISIT TO THE OLD CITY OF HEBRON
LAHORE’S ARCHITECTURE OF IN/SECURITY
THE TEXTUAL-SONIC LANDSCAPE OF JACQUES
PERRET’S DES FORTIFICATIONS ET ARTIFICES
MAPPING INTERVALS: TOWARDS
AN EMANCIPATED CARTOGRAPHY
THE FUNAMBULIST ATMOSPHERE
DISSOLVING MINDS AND BODIES
THOUGHTS ON META-VIRTUAL SOLIPSISM
OLD MEDIA’S RESURRECTION
CINEMATIC CATALYSTS: CONTEMPT + CASA MALAPARTE
OFF THE GRID LEFT OUT AND OVER
TRANSCENDENT DELUSION OR; THE DANGEROUS
FREE SPACES OF PHILLIP K. DICK
THE POSSIBLE WORLDS OF ARCHITECTURE
PET ARCHITECTURE: HUMAN’S BEST FRIEND
BREAD AND CIRCUS: AGORAE VS ARENAS
FIBROUS ASSEMBLAGES AND BEHAVIORAL COMPOSITES
UNFOLDING AZADI TOWER: READING
PERSIAN FOLDS THROUGH DELEUZE
TWIN (TECHNOLOGY/ART INDUCED)
Esther Sze-Wing Cheung
DIY BIOPOLITICS: THE DEREGULATED SELF
TWO QUESTIONS FOR SEHER SHAH
THE GROUNDBRAKING CLARITY OF
RYAN AND TREVOR OAKES
WOULD HAVE BEEN . . . AN INVENTORY
Léopold Lambert (born in 1985) is a French architect who successively lived in Paris, Hong Kong, and Mumbai and currently resides in New York. His approach to architecture consists in a delicate articulation between theoretical research and a frank enthusiasm for design. Such an articulation has been explicated in his book Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence (dpr-barcelona, 2012), which attempts to examine the characteristics that make architecture an inherent political weapon through global research as well as an architectural project specific to the Israeli civil and military occupation of the West Bank. He is also the author of the graphic novel, Lost in the Line. He finds his architectural inspiration from films, novels, and political philosophy books, rather than in architectural theory texts. He is currently collaborating with Madeline Gins for her Reversible Destiny Foundation (created with the late Arakawa) whose philosophical and architectural work is highly influential upon the role of architecture in relation to the human body.
The blog The Funambulist: Architectural Narratives , a daily architectural platform written and edited by Léopold Lambert, finds its name in the consideration for architecture’s representative medium, the line, and its philosophical and political power when it materializes and subjectivizes bodies. If the white page represents a given milieu — a desert for example — and one comes to trace a line on it, (s)he will virtually split this same milieu into two distinct impermeable parts through its embodiment, the wall. The Funambulist, also known as a tightrope walker, is the character who, somehow, subverts this power by walking on the line.