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Re: <nettime> [NMF] Blue Monday Review
Kazys Varnelis on Wed, 3 Oct 2007 00:25:44 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> [NMF] Blue Monday Review


Hi everyone,

I've been a lurker for a time, largely due to information overload,
but I suppose I should chime in now if I ever should. Many thanks for
posting the review, Eduardo.

Yes, its published by ACTAR, and Mutations certainly is one of their
biggest publications. But we hoped to do something quite unlike
that project. When we started, we weren't really aware of Boeri &
Co. but rather were stimulated by our disgust with the predominant
interpretation of Deleuze and Guattari in the architectural circles we
moved in, which seemed to be (roughly) "make money, go with the flow,
be evil!" a vapid interpretation and simplification of Koolhaas's
most base moments. Our interests (and if I have a critique of the
review, it's that it really should say Sumrell and Varnelis, not
Varnelis?since the text was by all means a collaboration) were to turn
back to Archizoom (not so much Superstudio) as a way of disconnecting
with an architectural present that we felt obsolete and just plain
wrong.

I should leave it up to others to decide if we suceeded, if this is
a productive vein of research or just another formula in search of
admirers (though how precisely our work could be copied productively,
is baffling to me).

But a few words... of clarification ... While a subtitle calls        
Quartzsite the capital of the multitude, we also immediately deny it  
in the next paragraph. Obviously, as you point out, if urbanists who  
draw references from Empire see Quartzsite, they will see it as the   
capital of the multitude. But, there can be no physical spaces that   
embody the multitude in that fashion (we say this at the end of the   
book although for the record Hardt himself just spoke at Columbia     
about the metropolis as the space of the multitude, something that    
raised a lot of questions in the audience). And second, our book is a 
critique of Multitude. We simply don't understand how the multitude   
can work. Perhaps this is our own theoretical failing, but to us, the 
question (which animates Blue Monday) is why, collectively, we are so 
happy to submit (here, for once, the notion of power doesn't have to  
be precise... we just seem to have an all-pervasive drive to submit   
to whatever power is convenient). Throughout BM* our hope is to get   
to a better understanding of this condition. The different "sites"    
we look at?One Wilshire, a data center in Los Angeles; the Muzak      
Corporation; and Quartzsite?all revealed aspects of this condition    
for us.                                                               

The entire book is available (in a slightly less than finished draft
and sans illustrations) at http://audc.org/blue-monday so if people
want, they can judge for themselves.

All my best,

Kazys

*Hence the title. The 12" of New Order's Blue Monday was designed by
Peter Saville to look like a floppy disk. It was, at the time, the
best selling 12" ever... unfortunately it cost more money to produce
than it sold for, costing the label money each time it sold. In this,
the 12" is a parable of our desire to submit to media, to become it at
all costs.






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