February 15, 2008

Art that Kills

An Australian artist, Maurice Agis, who created what visitors called a "psychedelic cathedral" is being charged with manslaughter after two people died in his giant, walk through art installation titled Dreamspace. The inflatable building was torn off its rope ties by strong winds, collapsing the structure harming many people inside. Read more about it here. The official website for the art piece is nothing more than a blank page with large black text reading, "Web-Page Temporarily Closed. All DREAMSPACE exhibitions have been cancelled." Extinction.
So how does this psychedelic cathedral relate to mockitecture? Certainly this is no hot dog-shaped hot dog stand, nor any other example of comical regionalism. DREAMSPACE (obnoxiously and officially spelled in all capital letters, sorry...) is a redefinition of religion as we know it. Taking one of the most traditional and highly symbolic forms of architecture, the cathedral, and radically redesigning the experience is a monumental achievement any mochitect dreams of creating. Maurice Agis created a disorientingly abstract space through manipulating light, color, form, movement, and sound. All of our preconceptions about the church have been thrown out the window and in fact, the design is so radical that visitors describe their sense of time being thrown off. They explain the variety of spaces encourage exploration from walking, to running, to sitting and laying down. Taking in this obscure experience certainly warrants a great deal of time. To greatly summarize this place which will no longer be, it is a place which embraces what I like to call "sensory overload."

Mockitecture is full of sensory overload, producing overwhelming moments throughout the design. It contains a great deal of obscurity, non-traditional design, and most importantly challenges the current practices of architecture. So the question becomes, if radical enough, can mockitecture kill?

1 comment:

dontknockitecture said...

my esteemed colleague norton anucibilates a profoundly procured set of idealments.

should buildings harm? this is a very underrated typologigraphicality, but how can we characterize it? neo brutalism? aids-based functionalism?
cataclysmic scatology?