5 months ago
Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal
Through an initial selection of drawings, films, and large-scale architectural models, the exhibition examines the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the skyscraper and on a comprehensive plan for the urbanization of the American landscape titled “Broadacre City.” Visitors encounter the spectacular 12-foot-by-12-foot model of this plan, which merges one of the earliest schemes for a highway flyover with an expansive, agrarian domain. Promoted and updated throughout Wright’s life, the model toured the country for several years in the 1930s, beginning with a display at Rockefeller Center. This dispersed vision is paired with Wright’s innovative structural experiments for building the vertical city. Projects, from the early San Francisco Call Building (1912), to Manhattan’s St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Towers (1927–31), to a polemical mile-high skyscraper, engage questions of urban density and seek to bring light and landscape to the tall building. Highlighting Wright’s complex relationship to the city, the material reveals Wright as a compelling theorist of both its horizontal and vertical aspects. His work, in this way, is not only of historic importance but of remarkable relevance to current debates on urban concentration.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal

Through an initial selection of drawings, films, and large-scale architectural models, the exhibition examines the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the skyscraper and on a comprehensive plan for the urbanization of the American landscape titled “Broadacre City.” Visitors encounter the spectacular 12-foot-by-12-foot model of this plan, which merges one of the earliest schemes for a highway flyover with an expansive, agrarian domain. Promoted and updated throughout Wright’s life, the model toured the country for several years in the 1930s, beginning with a display at Rockefeller Center. This dispersed vision is paired with Wright’s innovative structural experiments for building the vertical city. Projects, from the early San Francisco Call Building (1912), to Manhattan’s St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Towers (1927–31), to a polemical mile-high skyscraper, engage questions of urban density and seek to bring light and landscape to the tall building. Highlighting Wright’s complex relationship to the city, the material reveals Wright as a compelling theorist of both its horizontal and vertical aspects. His work, in this way, is not only of historic importance but of remarkable relevance to current debates on urban concentration.

1 year ago
There is, in California, an inherent strangeness that has always attracted loners, dreamers, and outliers. Hemmed in on all sides by mountains, forests, deserts, and the sea, California is an island in every sense but the literal, with its own distinct climate, air, soil, flora, and fauna. Geographically and culturally, California is a world unto itself. Cite Arrow Tom Wolfe’s California
1 year ago 2 years ago

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

2 years ago 2 years ago 2 years ago 2 years ago
Civilization is no longer a fragile flower, to be carefully preserved and reared with great difficulty here and there in sheltered corners of a territory rich in natural resources … Instead, humanity has erected a monoculture, once and for all, and is preparing to produce civilization in bulk, as if it were sugar-beet. The same dish will be served to us every day. Cite Arrow Tristes Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss
2 years ago
The sign of a truly prosperous Simcity was to have a fleet of arcologies. This was my jam.
Though there is no “true” victory sequence in SimCity 2000, the “exodus" is a close parallel. An "exodus" occurs during the year 2051 or later, when 350 or more Launch Arcologies are constructed; the following January each one "takes off" into space so that their inhabitants can form new civilizations on distant worlds (although the visual representation of the scene consists of the Arcologies exploding in a manner similar to bulldozed buildings, one by one). This reduces the city’s population to those who are not living in the Launch Arcologies, but it also opens wide areas for redevelopment and returns their construction cost to the city treasury. This is related to the event in SimEarth where all cities are moved into rocket-propelled domes that then leave to “found new worlds” (leaving no sapient life behind).

The sign of a truly prosperous Simcity was to have a fleet of arcologies. This was my jam.

Though there is no “true” victory sequence in SimCity 2000, the “exodus" is a close parallel. An "exodus" occurs during the year 2051 or later, when 350 or more Launch Arcologies are constructed; the following January each one "takes off" into space so that their inhabitants can form new civilizations on distant worlds (although the visual representation of the scene consists of the Arcologies exploding in a manner similar to bulldozed buildings, one by one). This reduces the city’s population to those who are not living in the Launch Arcologies, but it also opens wide areas for redevelopment and returns their construction cost to the city treasury. This is related to the event in SimEarth where all cities are moved into rocket-propelled domes that then leave to “found new worlds” (leaving no sapient life behind).

2 years ago