Gogo Penguin + Koyaanisqatsi, and the memory of a tower in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last night I went to a live screening of Koyaanisqatsi at EartH in Hackney with GC. I knew Gogo Penguin would be playing live, but I didn’t realise they’d be playing their own re-scoring! Pretty impressive, both the execution and to even take it on considering the epic proportions of Philip Glass’s original score. The synchronisation of the rhythm and the visual was maybe not quite as intricate as the original but it was expertly handled, particularly for a live performance. Most of the time the pace was frenetic, frantic. There weren’t quite as many despairing moments as in Glass’s score, but the overall vibe was very similar.

I need to listen to more Gogo Penguin and definitely need to watch the original film, before this I’d only seen small bits of it.

The derelict facade of the Ljubljanska Banka Tower, or “Sniper’s Tower”, in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Photo taken 15 April 2009

The second half of the film includes many clips of derelict housing projects and other buildings. Those clips unearthed a ten-year-old memory of a tower I’d seen when visiting a good friend in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The angular concrete structure loomed over the playground in Park Zrinjevac. It was an inanimate casualty of the catastrophic conflicts that consumed the region in the early 1990s, abandoned but clinging to a few remnants of glass and insulation.

That much I knew from the pocked concrete, but I didn’t know the specific role it played in the war until today. Once called the Ljubljanska Banka Tower, it’s now known to some as the Sniper’s Tower. It was used by gunmen targeting people below during the 1993–1994 Siege of Mostar. The multiple sieges led to the widespread destruction of the city, and almost 100,000 people fled.

I searched everywhere online for pre-war photos of the tower but couldn’t find any, just this photo taken a few months after I was there. The photographer captured it in much better light than I, the photo hints at the building’s formerly mirrored, golden facade. It still stands from what I gather, but the exterior structure has been removed and the entries have been blocked off. Graffiti artists use it, and urban explorers try to have a poke around. It looks like a skeleton in the more recent images I’ve seen. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable going in.

New site for a Barcelona-based architecture practice

We launched a new site for architecture practice Barozzi Veiga about a month ago. It was a pleasure to work with Adrien Vasquez at John Morgan studio during the development process and to work with the Barozzi Veiga folks as we fine-tuned things. The site launch coincided with the announcement that Barozzi Veiga had been selected to take on a major renovation of the Art Institute of Chicago (read more).

barozziveiga.com

Proposal with Mobile Studio for RIBA’s Constructing Communitites

Photo of the Constructing Communities wall vinyl

I enjoyed working on a proposal with Mobile Studio recently for Constructing Communities. This evening at the RIBA building on Great Portland Street, Julie Cormie is giving a pecha kucha on ‘Flipping Bricks’, our proposal for an architectural intervention driven by real-time train data.

The photos above and below are from the opening of the exhibition of shortlisted proposals in Peckham Levels, on from 2-30 June 2016. The exhibition graphics are by Matias Clottu.

Panoramic photo of Constructing Communities

Blender reference links

Black and white rendering of an 8 page gate fold leaflet done with the Blender Internal engine by Piper Haywood

Render of 8pp gate fold, done with Blender Internal engine

Been experimenting with Blender these past few months, pretty incredible free/open source 3D software. Definitely a bit of a learning curve, but very addictive and satisfying once you get the hang of it.

Links to some of the more helpful tutorials and info I’ve found are listed below. I switched from the Blender Internal engine to Cycles recently for improved results w/ architectural rendering, so some of these links are specific to Cycles.

Read more

Video: Ice Cube Celebrates the Eames

Lots of Eames notes recently. SB recommended this video to me, I love it. Also, found the Guardian review of the Eames exhibition kind of interesting. It does seem contradictory that they managed to be so unflaggingly optimistic in their lives and output in the face of some pretty harsh concurrent events.

“Design Q & A”, questions by Mme L’Amic, answers by the Eameses

Still from Design Q & A, questions asked by Madame L'Amic and answered by Charles and Ray Eames

Still from Design Q & A (image source)

Q: How would you define yourself with respect to a decorator? an interior architect? a stylist?

A: I wouldn’t.

One of 29 questions posed by Madame L’Amic and answered by Charles and Ray Eames. The resulting Design Q & A formed the conceptual basis of the exhibition Qu’est ce que le design? (What is Design?) at the Louvre. I believe the exhibition was held in 1969, though I have seen 1972 listed elsewhere.

The transcript and video are available online. For best results however, see it at the excellent The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition designed by 6a architects and John Morgan studio. It’s on at the Barbican until 14 February 2016.

Claude Parent at the Tate Liverpool

Panoramic photo of Claud Parent's architectural intervention in the Tate Liverpool

Another favourite part of the 2014 Liverpool Biennial, Claude Parent’s La colline de l’art in the Wolfson Gallery on the ground floor at the Tate Liverpool.

Particularly enjoyed the way the light was diffused and altered for works with very reflective surfaces or cases.

I really enjoyed Liechtenstein’s Moonscape, a screenprint on iridescent blue plastic. It seemed smaller and more experimental than his more famous pieces, and more reserved. You walk up a long ramp in Parent’s space to reach the piece and end up viewing it on a raised platform, a dead-end and the highest point in the gallery. That’s where I took the iffy panorama above. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but hopefully it gives an impression of the extent of Parent’s architectural intervention within the space.