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2007 02 07
Angle of Incident #41: Seminar 3 “Elemental Thunder” Part A


By Gary Michael Dault and the members of the Arch 684 graduate seminar, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo

Seminar 3 (Monday, February 5) was loosely structured, in our pursuit of an “alphabet of ideas,” around the letters F, G and H. As it turns out, the seminar was heavily tinctured by material drawn from the various graduate theses being undertaken by my seminarists. This is, I suppose, inevitable at this point in the academic year, as the time closes inexorably upon them and their theses grow ponderously and steadily like a new building. I am a fan of judicious excerpting, and it was fascinating for me—and, I suspect, enjoyable by the members of the seminar—to be privy to certain detachable moments from the lengthening trajectory of their researches.

Seminarist Jody Patterson, who is clearly a tireless maker and keeper of lists, asked me if I wanted her to compile yet another list of the afternoon’s proceedings. I encouraged her to do so—I love lists too. Later in the day she sent me this:

Here is what I’ve extracted from my notes this week, trying to frame these salient terms with some of the context of our discussions around them. We thus lose some of that suggestive Surrealist appeal of the juxtaposed words in isolation … but perhaps we gain a more faithful translation of the spirit of the seminar and the topics explored along the alphabetical armature.

  • flaneurs of the modern city
  • Francis Yates: Art of Memory
  • Lee Friedlander’s photography, visual static
  • “Fresh Air Fiend” by Paul Theroux
  • “Fugitive Pieces” by Anne Michaels
  • Garrison Creek, buried brick sewer
  • Gilles Deleuze: The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque
  • Gleb’s Photo Gallery at pbase.com
  • gothic cathedral, as an architectural process, as an ‘open question’
  • grafitti, as spontaneous art?
  • green spaces in cities, meaning and value
  • Greg Lynn
  • headlines, as spontaneous surrealism of juxtaposition
  • Helen Mills: Lost Rivers of Toronto
  • heroism in Baudelaire: flaneur, “botanist of the sidewalk”
  • heroism in building: study of old Toronto Power Generating Station, Niagara Falls
  • home, as intuitive, improvised shelter (Cairo’s City of the Dead, South American shanty towns)
  • home, as intuitive emotional floorplan (Cynthia Hammond)
  • Hurricane Hazel, Toronto 1956
  • hydroelectric power stations
  • identity, feminist philosophies of inside vs outside identities
  • improvisation, as performer / as composer / as architect
  • impressionist art and selective views of the city
  • “In The Skin of a Lion” by Michael Ondaatje
  • inconduit.com
  • indexing
  • infrastructure of Toronto’s underground rivers
  • instantaneous nature of contemporary society
  • intersections

See Part “B” for the next interpretation of the city.

[email this story] Posted by Gary Michael Dault on 02/07 at 03:05 PM

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