Metaforms: Against Banality and Beyond Signification
For too long the insipid sway of developers and their pandering architects have dominated our built environment, both urban and para-urban. For too long, the space around us has been subjugated like a pack mule, denigrated as factories and condominiums, forced to bend to the insipid will of its blind and slavering occupants, who see only the vapid emptiness of their own imaginations reflected in the plaster molds and popcorn ceilings of their cheap, mass-produced living-cells.
We, the arch-Poetechts of the new order, will topple the doomed towers of the trite and banal to rebuild anew the apotheosis of the Beautiful: the perfectly functionless. Function or architectural program can only diminish Architecture. “Funtionalism” is a decoy of legitimacy: just as Historicism fails to legitimize the built work as Architecture by appealing to the illusion of authority, so Functionalism fails to legitimize its Form by appealing to the ostensible needs of the “user” of the built space. We renounce the myth of Form versus Function, as Function has no place within Art, Poetry or Architecture. Space has no users, only readers.
Only as readers of space are we capable of viscerally experiencing the Poetry of space, and only via Poetry can space become Architecture. Conversely, it is via program that Architecture devolves into mere building. We have determined the following salient and imperative properties of true Architecture:
- The Urscape: the impossible primordial field of the unknown; the mysterious; the domain of Form. The Urscape is beyond Diagram, but lends the work the ability to be diagrammed; the Ur-scape is the conceptual framework for the development of the Poem or architectural “Spacetext.”
- The Sublime: not goal but paragon, not destination but horizon—the Sublime is the measure against which all Poetry, and therefore Architecture, is judged. The reader’s experience of the Spacetext is understood by the Sublime Circle: the infinite continuum where, at the point of maximum sublimity, Beauty becomes indistinguishable from Terror:
- The Enigmatic: the great Mystery that surrounds all works of Art in thick Arcadian mists. Enigma defies the easy explanations and rationalizations of the banal art tourists that plague our museums and choke our artistic fora. The Architecture of the Enigmatic produces perpetually incomplete semantic networks.
- The Uncanny: that which confounds the reader, while sustaining her intrigue and passion for the Enigmatic. The Uncanny discomfits and disturbs the proles and plebes into questioning their surroundings and the conditions of their own existence.