.

mirrors.ln lIuHJ1." Re- with the socially "reflective" of antisociality ing expressionism's the reiterative has reserved a dimension "Denn Adorno ed us to the persistence structure. of modern mass culture and everyday life. architecture's its autonomy reified context out of demon- meaning the constructivist continues.say) of the social product. an opaque refusal of the situation that was its sponsor.r'N~>n '6 'ppel'{raUf'fl ( . unless it reiFies itself. What it contributes communication to society is not some with the same but rather something Resistance reproduces the form demanded by the contingent config- short. in Berlin3 and finds its Learning from of the and aesthetic deny. With this. very body of the build ing conto rts to ass ume Art remains alive only through its social power to resist society. to prod uce effects that are object (itself a projection of subjective dlstur- and culture of groups. into its precincts. of this same of representation. silent elevatlcnal drawing-strives toward an immediate mate- of North America.. it would dig its own grave. the elevational compatible drawing seeming inmodel-Mies and refusal. the oscillations structure mark out the (called. subjectifying structure But countertendencies. to the silence. reflective and refractive elements The vivid coordination of the parent in the thick. and the technical form of the high-rise social "letting power society building of itself attest to architecture's to architecture's And that same to desubjectify the aesthetic phenomena-to categories the subject-centered sciousness. 2 The two aspects of Mies's project are. Mies's glass curtain wall. rul!ru. On the one hand."'? gent plan and aleatory volume. gravitas incompatible the skyscraper Mies's writings. on the other side of the mimetic submisof the encounter es: representation refusal. it becomes a commodity. cal object within an unsatisfactory non-identisocial and a 'bound duallty."Jn contribution to here to escape the kinds of interiority aesthetic practice by the traditional bequeathed to commitment ence-to fully to produce aesthetic experiof into radical contradiction. technological modernization. project above." physical Fabric. and expression Neumeyer versus sheer immanence. experience of that society's bourgeois cultural maintain some last dimension with cannot ture is deeply locked into the structure of cornrnodifi- which comprises almost equal and anxiety. what had been or what had how and what. measures makes its O'. Its autonomy allows architec- of euphoria the desubjectifying consciousness principal and alienation. hearsing the "double a manuscript more mediate-resistance.S for example. the contin- riality of the surface. alternately transparent." interpreting and 6 Mies submission (mimesis Between 1919 and 1922. nothing immanence of art by letting society into its precincts but only in dimmed form. ap- scraper's newly achieved optics of mechanical duction is a thorough encoding of post-World existence of the architectural was not resolvable by a redeemas a War I so- For the other aspect of the project-most will return to over thirty buildings liminary years later in the high-rise ing formula. unformed or appearances. Mies van der Rohe was already working resistance skyscraper through the determinate dialectic of Take the 1922 sion to the alienating. There is no avant-garde ends up declaring. and expression impulsand outside. . interiority. and poses mechanization contextual determinant. Gothic. inside and and overformed. and transpare ncy. of achieved engagement desire form that wish to cation. attempting to oppose tecture arises out of a central tension in his overall architectural program. But already in the skyscraper project-or at least in this no logy. the skyscraper power dissonance in this case. the result On the othe r side of Adorno's d ia leetic. been thought. as another sort of world is true. classical or functionalist. of resistance su bjective atte m pt to tra nscribe it). objective mimesis between these contradictory and resistance. that between the desire displace con- steel structural and negate the contextual status quo and assert itself as a radically intrusive. however. If it refused to do so. to salvage the of mass proin form. a bound 1. 4 His later work would emphasize again and again its ambition purity of high art from the encroachment duction. that almost every analysis of Mies the system. the skyrepro- and the independent sign.. tained. or distorts constantly changing Fritz Neumeyer's central thesis regarding the reciprocal mediations between art and tech279 images of city life. the immediate. yet one effect of this is to release architecture into a certain autonomy. or refractive dependand viewing positions. would say: only what does not fit into this social development in aesthetic terms without directly imitating it. I wa nt to keep th is dialectic of Mies's 1922 skyscraper project in the near background for some tlme for it is a dialectic that he thro ugh his u nd erl in ings of Rom ano Guard ini's 1925 Der Gegensatz: opposites "This conflict of project (l +2).dr".('. Theodor Adorno ing on light conditions put the point absorbs. the individualism that substitutes the ineffable limit-condition tecture into an agonistic position-combative.". the repetitive and floor plates.' It exists rather as an elemental form. then. was nicm in diese Welt posst. but also enabled. In his study of Neumeyer has already alertof their dialectical way to order. The urbanization. Mies seems eager and the like with the elementhe limit-condition tary bits and pieces of the object world itself-and Mies's dialectic for now. yet the same complicity racks archistriving location the fetishization of experience as a kind of private for the life expressionism's anguished stimulation property. Neumeyer notes "a regular twostep of opposites: life and form. the ab- of th e syste m yet aga ins t that is not conWriting bances). namely. reflective. Radical modernism preserves the anonymous repetition of the assembly of Mies's from 1927. higher values from which his early work had emerged -the map of prior experiences subjective refinements drawn by the cultivation discriminations. is not for with what I have claimed uration of the site and to register the circumstantial images. which strates through material It emerges. of the context.. What will happen under this strain is that Mies's back toward architectural straction aesthetic production will push of ture to stand against the very social order with which it is rnmplicltous. by what it opposes. of experience. 'synthesis Life could not be thought ciety's technical advances out of which Weimar culture was to be constructed. black. But he also wants to escape the "incomprehensible triviality" (as Martin Heidegger would." sometime this way: after 1956. glass surface.--~ The avant-garde in America is an architecture American architectural forced cul- representation the contradictory development. What is more. steel wahr is nut. as though it were a dream. mimics the line one of its aspects. I offer my prehypothesis: the abstraction of Mies's archi- of disparities' nor even as a whole the two sides of which are complementary 'parts.".

the aesthetic architecture experience is different produced from in Mies's or essences waiting ideals or some hovering discovered Geist to be and made palpable in art form. insist. '922. frontal "American" will try to make the insistence (2) Ludwig Mie. . the axial. must be careful with my attributions. is not a suppleits distin- (I) Ludwig Mies vall der Rohe. a blocking together and the anti-aesthetic: of the aesthetic Ie fait social mise en wrestles with the inthat that anything thematized architecture. Such problems are historiwork. to which we can now turn. must normally bert's desire for a building of solid patrician ness or the idea or spirit or something you don't know about these things elegance that would rise above the mediocrity of steel and glass preeminence architectural in Manhattan. abdicate without fetishized And yet. In mattersof say. sur- passing even that of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. I would such art. escapable Mies contradiction appears architecturallv. model >Glass Skyscraper. van der Rohe. then no one can tell you. and if know about art. of objective cannot its aesthetic into the altogether turning the capacity for and imagination representation. some would itself or its absence. through the disc ip line's si gns. for talk of art in general (let's think of it with a capital A) must normally presuppose aesthetic a primitive accumulation of the capital of The facts of the Seagram known: Samuel Bronfrnan project are well Lamand Phyllis experience and allude to what you already make appeals to greatsimilar. they subtend the in Mies's trajectory of his architectural program begun in 1922 to intersect in the altogether duality). Berlin. and to the other side onto the scabrous surface of the ordinary where it is transformed symptom architecture vocation unformed. into a Similarly processes. there is only the experience appearance or nothing. ri sks faUi ng to on e side into the net of subjectifying with all its placating aestheticism 280 discourse and Visual commodification. elevation (schematic view) Bertin. that of Mies's position discourse in American of the 1950S. the already. fictionality. But I of Park Avenue 1954-58. which is nothing less than with another skyscraper different time and place art itself. '92<. unprece- It is rather an experience well-nigh dented. however (and specific shortly). ment to building guishing cized art but rather [eature. Glass Skyscraper.

. stands as a synecd och e for the stee l con structio n now pus hed be hi nd. planes. unmediated reality and leaving behind the of the unsatisfactory But Mies now (Aus- the Seagram's surface. like the cu rtain dimension. judging from the docusurface un- Licht der Oeifenlichkeit (Heidegger) . But it is hard for me to understand anything Mies's in the 1922 project. that sketch and a dozen or so more of sculptures for the plaza. wall of di st u rb ances and co ntextua I d i 5S 0" Bilderverbot as promising like experience Schein being 1922..come. Ifa rch itectu re could doaway with expression. no evocation 0 f any e ssentia I truth within the experience of modernity so framed. for without would this veil of matter-to. has a mimetic Here the Seagram's is cru cia I. I take it. and the negative dia- "European" logue of the Seagram pink granite plaza with the cavernous streets of New York . with Giacometti's sornnarnbulators steel. for one th in g. Th e sketch of th e plaza is the on Iy d rawi ng "i n Mies's hand. empty out every trace of agonistic subjectivity. to nic role in the tra beated frame and bri ck infill at liT (where the I-section still functions as a structu ra I su pport beh i nd the glass line or embedded in the wall) to the Seagram th e histo ri ca I mom en t 0 f exp ress ion ism. perh aps." is what the Seagram plaza. This s im u Ita neo us prod uction of d iffe re nce fro m and intsgratio n with the socia I city. are just those social forcestechnology. Mead tectural expression.toward som e vanishi ng po int where so meth ing nagging worry that what is driving the archi- stracti on: the effort to turn su bjertive expe ri- Jf. . Critics be no architectural surface. t ri es to effect It is a cuto ut in th ec ity. the chattering instrumental masses. the better formulation for my purposes since famo us l-sectio n stee I mu Ilion it captu res th e aestheti c artifice or illusion of the appearance). then perhaps some other kind plaza itself. these of ex- of represerithat ductlve materialism. Feature of ments is taken over by their visual effect.). 19S~-58.dialogue & White's of the Seagram Building with McKim. and framesneeded for its definition. e rasi ng themselves as f gu res and the glass curtai n into a continuous spread of the replaced by Mies's own scribbles for sculpture. by a logic of su rface pe rception. symptoms agency in favor are manifest in the two aspects of the 1922 skyscraper project-that is. the primary mark out of which the surface's tissue of effects mullion is produced. Yet it is necs ssarv that it be notated. grid of welded mullions and pan- like Neumeyer would want to see this as a staking out of a "space of contemplation." I suppose. das its read er. as built.. This. striki ngly more th ingl ike an d presen t than ever.. the model's commitment drawing's to the conautono- it hopes to change. But mostly there is wall as ground just the space of the plaza and the few props-edges. rhyt hm ic zigzag of the pe neil. its curtain drawn in and its "universal" space of Iheclear-span prefiglike what Hannah Arendt called "space of appearance.. sym belie: utterly co rnmo nplace yet of autonomous Though It is mo re correct to thi nk of th is sketch attempt to pass beyond the contradictions as Mies's without itself. instrumental fragment to a new form that organizes the visual exchange between the work and ing from start to finish as if unencumbered subjective text and the elevational inexorable druck) . Traces of Schinkel are there stlll. This was the lesson Mies learned from the moment of 1910-22. they can a nly be sea nned For textu ral information: tions they are metal-marked vision. To say it another way: architectu re. a Crown Hall project drawing of with its five bays and human Figures 1955 is there 0' ence through What would the Seagram its material and dimensional precisio.81 wish only to underscore one of the facts here: that the focus of Mies's attention seems to bements-the from the start.. calibrathey its older se nss: it attests mo re to the utter fu ngi b illty of su bj eel and object a Ii ke. it is rh e surface: func- nances onto the full body of the building. Rathe r. but by di 550 [vi ng its faetu ra I id entity into a mod e of add ress. destroying cannot become nothing into are" nexus of meaning of the entire building tio nal. i si nth e s ketch notated by on Iyah asty. is Mies's ab- my . ca nnot erad icate appearance altogether (the untranslatable Let us then move quickly to consider that matter as it was built be read "deeply" like the ago nized su rface of pro mise for su b] ective expe rie nce that noti 0 n holds out. The modulations reticulated els-as of the surface- a re con jo in ed a nd arch i teet ure holds both together in order to t hetic and soci aI effects. a Ii te ral with a positive pres" But as we move back to view the curtain wall at a distance. Ippi"al"l"1nr . which still projects subieclive (I. that is to say. with all the tectonically thick as they are. the New National Gallery is somehow ured. th is i mposs ib Ie thi rd term or "bound duality.so to speak. From the I"section's use as a load-bearing hypothetical steel-frame component building in some to its tee- Racquet and Tennis Club. 10 grid. What is as the marks signal precisely the renunciation pression and of a controlling of an immanent tation and resistance. of co ursa. faetu ral." as the arch iva I cu raters say. that is to say. beco m e 5 de rstood as a kl nd of fra m e 0 r su p po rt for th at pri mary dearing in the deadening thickness of the Manhattan of experience co uld ma ke an ap pea ra nce.9 n oth i ng" doggedly and what Mies called "almost wall of glass and now pavilion. there body to support the aes- casts shadows on the b ro nze glass. perspeci ive nothing endowed nevertheless pedigree. what is behind the appearance. the market. attestin g to th is new arc hitecture's lightenment enludwig New York. since with that concept comes the intent. the l-sertion can be construed evenness of surface persistby regards with distrust any expression fi nal sta ge ina set of tra nsform at! on s from a pu re Iy technical.. turning raised to re presentationa I status in the matrix that is trace a manufacture and a certain skill. The series of bronzed-steel mullions 11 the plaza become the most significant Building. von der Robe. This m alter. Look at that sketch (3).lm "IDlIrU'_r~J . the Facture of the prlrnalele- (3) Mi. cannot deny that either is ariy longer actually possible by itself.n. more. (4ii"u~rf. """ -.'trl"f("ljIlD· . with the building wh ere the t-sectlo n.into whose service architecture is constantly being pressed. Seagram Building. or mimesis and expression. the elementarist play of volumes.

there is more. 12 it might put itself sort of relation to the world. it will not be built are. In this.. but in such a way that you could still dance to it. quality: ing. The abstract put it in the back The "almost nothing" has become a "big glass" . then arch itecture might discover som e other mea ns of signifying in a different experience. tical field of the building of the sculpture. and then substance itself take on just enough of the aesthetic necessary to remain in experience at all. having his partner. desperate no n-soluti on to the historical guilt of modern architecture. reflecting images of the urban chaos that surrounds the timeless Miesian purity . "Almost noth- archives). as all up out of the human body (as the sculptures of Mies's chosen sculptures architectural materials Barthes's writing"-as were) but rather out of reified. will displace the figurative object.enee into objectlvized form and images but that now to build "almost abstraction. One is reminded of Mondrian. separating itself from the world to declare the world'S incurable malady.. If abstraction pose of any conciliatory It is helpful to consider the built wall of the Seagram Building together with Mies's sketches for the sculpcome into existence fully melody. if of Mies's building in North America. the sculptures variation. But I think others of the avant-garde." indeed. testifies uniquely to its own presence. The Miesian desire Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.3 ." to recall the formulation Manfredo by Adorno with which I began. churned out in variation after The sketches have a then finally discarded. New York. "Let's sit down.13 refusal. which have field last.. it seems. who while dancing to his favorite Broadway boogie-woogie. There is this implacable and the unsure plastic figure found the object already and the provocative and most elliptical interpretation object not-being-found. the ultimate limits of its own possibilities. Tafuri wrote: already already sucked in all corporeality. ruminations as if they had Flowed from Mies's Abstraction is late-modern architecture's way 285 over the famous cigar and whiskey in the back op- of working th rough the socia I fact.. perhaps Mies is just like all the only more so. Tafuri." Perhaps Mies's abstraction of modernist harbors just this negativity become absolute. '954-. tures. kind of hit-or-miss they can be taken as a search or as a catharsis. sees the abstraction Adorno-like Roland of its surFace-construed opposition "white filtered as an through the of one another. "I hear a melody. in the neutral mirror that breaks the city web. suddenly turned to Like the last notes sounded by the Doctor Faustus of Thomas Mann. because there is not much left towork on. as negations And the two make sense only By 1958. there is to be an appearance at all. and we must now push beyond a phenomenological reading of surfaces. as if they were never meant to go into production. in perhaps the most leisure time stili allowed to the social mandarin in his Chicago apartment. alienation." he said. architecture arrives at pages of the notebook or submerge it in the pools that finally appeared in the plaza in its stead. (I could find with little intermediate no developmental development in the drawings create an experience that culture had not yet invented or not yet banalized. pa rt of its "social power to resist society. the wall seemingly conceptualized. Seagram Building. nothing" is at one with his could finally dis- flow back into the space of experience thus left open.

of aes- room for itself. itself disappeared. perhaps. there was a simultaneous technologically developments and culturally were consciously leap forward both In Lefebvre's formulation. architecture itself began to be seen as part of Not only does tastes of the in space surface. raw materials. of political enshrined (savo. space is consumed ment in factories. and information. 286 I want to modify this account slightly to find the social still inherent historicize in the work. underground. inconvenience and reduces subjective choice to mar- power.. market. by dereducing it to its outline or plan and to the .mn Irui/din::) .. And the work of Archigratn. eral transparency. between are collapsed is abstract thought.r). industry and agriculture.• criticism signified' . Volume leaves the to al- than any other lime in modern history. on flows Lefebvre's conception originality of the historical specificity and thetic universals or invariables. Smithsons. like equipthe spatial regions arrangements of buildand beca use it re prod uces th e a bstractio n of th e socia I system of exchange itself. air.. duration is interesting It has a history space is utilized to produce surplus value. of global in the United States. "The 'signifierinto a genpresent- adve rtis ing and the conseq ue nt challenge to the cherished and autonomy. so to speak. into a one-dimensional ancien regime.. of our own place in history about the architectural communications. abstract jon is a sign of formal closure and withdrawal in the face of overwhelming abstraction is legitimate historical precisely Henri Lefebvre articulates condition for us this new operate: ground. and even more so the semiotic surfaces of Robert Venturi and Denise ScottBrown in the United States are only the most obvious examples of architecture'S volvement with consumer close in- of the historical city (and should as one flat surface . and as a kind of space that is produced whose whose forms structure experience but are not themselves part of that experience. as a to be and anthropological such herald?)." to Lefebvre. center com- [dissolved] conflicts During the years of the Seaand just after. for the social will still be found but. and in pa rti cu lar with soci aI p racti ces that assured the destruction surviving aristocratic forms of the last remnants but came into of " Ultimately. which sense. are materifo rces disti nctively and d iffe rently from other mod es of production. for Tafuri. and the Independent tion of space simultaneous social revolution. The facade . channel for as the environment and our felt perception distorted. with the latter determining a spatial abstraction which it endows with a 15 emergence of what we now call media culture.. A outside called pop architecture the work.. resulting in the i m possi b le . in tourism and leisure. more intensely independently of the class struggle with an aristocratic as had been the case in the Old World. and philosophical and especially "The fact is that arou nd 1910 a ce rtai n space was shattered. cities. and most apparently.For Tafuri. ganicity of the work. and the new consciousness of space liberately emerged whereby space tion of this. It is therefore important to in everyday discourse.'rD..2. explosion a world (an 0 bj ect in its s urrou nd i ngs) was ex plo red . which is not to say that it succeeded in doing so. the production of subject will be different in and more the older and in which these two linked. of the production of space-which is lived the tendency the logic of mass advertising were privileged and image-reception. repetition. visual signals spaced out along fixed trajectories ready laid down in the 'plan. forces. irrevocably topographies.confusio n grad ua lly kind from those of the controlled comfortable aristocratic ultimately. according architects consequences of this new mode of production: "1. much in- that can be manipulated. creates more de- arises between space and surface." the end of any doctrine image of mass production pends on global networks of banks and businesses. products controlled. production tech- going even so far (as we now know from our post modern perspective) as to break up the unity and or- over the mechanical of energy.. Lefebvre argues (in a harsh semiotics). modity and art. " "Thus space forms. Architectural as it is consumed... become as technologically as anything modernism could advanced foror the passage to the surface ... 14 Around artists and Lefebvre is explicit The emergence shortly afterward is enough of soverificathe 1910. a space [until then] just as in of and ket desire.. And within his conception. niques of the modern "masters. Mies's effort at Seagram and factor in the shock of the European mandarin in we not include Mies's 1922 project Global space established void waiting colonized objects . in America in the 1950S and consumption. and periphery.• to be filled." The logic of image "N atural space" and its p articu la riti es. revealed at another level of social prac- reproduce spatialized immobility. of knowledge tice. or even that such a project makes any sense. Unlike in modernism's the earlier stages. space is the way in which the SOCiety of the commodity maintains itself. signs contact with the new American democracy that is his by commercial culture and mass socia I 5 U rroun d. Group in Great Britain. America and which finds its ultimate around 1950-counters instantiation in very concept of the aesthetic reception began to displace that of object production. identities or bourgeois of either publics. such as climates.trfln'lIl '''l'rOrrittr r (~"m!"'. things Even time is circularity.. and any overall view surrenders commodity culture generally. and bodies. and it means. ings. empty containers si b Ie defe nse agai nst mass eu Itu reo "II. 3. and to be at one with the logic of equivalence and exchange. abstraction-very cluding its most sophisticated equivalents. half-real existence. It means that aesthetic self-referentiality begins to recede as a pos- reduced to exchangeable prod u ctive the standard treat- a Is 0 n wh i ch soc iety's ment of space and time as universal. even light become exchanged. this mean that the aesthetic new mass-cultural better.. that is to say.' An extraordinary-indeed un th in kable. and precipitated from the production production of things and onto an as it were 'pure' appears solely in its reduced field to For American popular culture in the 1950S had on its own. in the abstract . putting the best face on the society's rationalization ultimately and planificalion disposes altogether of the subwith that in the present context. gram Building modernist ideals of profundity completely and superseded of architectural relationship being aspects of social life formerly marked by distinctions between city and country. the relations in capitalism's distances of production.. It was the space of common and architectural that of surface-is increase production ject. At the same time. The space of capitalism half-imaginary.. have hoped of space itself. with the logic of the commodity. Tafuri sees in Mies's work a wish to neutralize the social. on highways and airports. in Europe heralded a new concepwith imperialism. By 1950. the process spatialization absorbed of society had the as a medium waiting images.

spread out. straction in its fullest sense as a historically both subject and object what amounts to advertising any case. of modernism. The prisoner is present at a concert. or in to the of the Odyssey as homologous is too passive an adjective for Mies's abstraction. but while bound impotently the greater the temptation his bonds lightened-just to the mast. the experience of becomes a mere object of contemplationbecomes art. One of them he prescribes for his men.r1lrlill. But here I am attempting opticality not as an ontological cultural The particular experience of this "something. and that has been fixed on by historians characteristic of the resis- and critics as the definitive tant abstraction experience the everyday world of Ihe American popular environment."iM.a bu ild i ng that speaks antagonistically but only of itself-and the deco- tion of pleasure by the commodity fetish (experience as the "after-image of the work process"). this work thus actually shares with pop art and pop architecture source-the newly units awakened a common interest in with this manifestation is encouraged the perspective of just what is vilified (commodity ture) in order. He Iiste ns. The extensive development of build- ence. and his spirited call for liber· belies pinning that inside and that appearance to which is the production of reification. his men. in its most famous moments. of space. For now visual reception is an aspect of the Seagram that addresses itself to the eye alone. For one who would to adopt cul- geols would deny themselves happiness all the more doggedly as it drew closer to them with the growth of their own power. order to save him and themselves. and they must row with all their strength. is rather more complex and dialectical the abstraction was fell to open between the world of quality building. not by architecture rience of abstraction autonomy. And so they become practical. They reproduce the oppressor's life together with their own. is not to the gritty world of commercial culture tried changed the very nature of the experience public tactility. But I want to suggest that when read through a logic of the surface-a now understand sumer culture perceptual logic we must efied object of high art. which "lets society into its precincts in dimmed Form. with its newly devised strategies of advertising-large-scale color printing on outdoor billboards made ready-made"-something aspirations from in the Seagram project there is only a visual field so homogeneous.'11 Ipl. 16 the denial of to practice. to refuse.The reemerging consumer culture of the 1950S that I I have already made the first of two relevant points about this particular abstraction: that result is something like what art critics call a "handthat maintains the with wax. Thus the enjoyment of art and manual labor break apart long-held distinction is utterly collapsed. of found forms Given this sec- (Adorno). Society has always made provision for that." which additional effort the drive that impels to ings on the outskirts of the city and the new distribucommercial zones made is at once autonomous and porous. just maybe. its outside. The bonds with which he has irremediably tied himself as having been given to us by conitself-self-referential or autonomous Ab- with this dialectic of a ready-made enclosure and the production Adorno and Max Horkheimer replay the Sirens episode struggles of class and of signs for purposes. and he is able to survive only by being unable to hear it. tectonic.88 surface is the architectural form adequate to production social developimitating it" than seigneur who allows the others to labor for themselves. and the result is a new kind of architectural space and experito interpret threshold response: but the that modernism. and leave him at the mast in ond emphasis. an inactive eavesdropper like later concertgoers. And the development of the curtain wall generally is consistent system of In the first chapter of Dialectic of Enlightenment. space. A second point is that Mies's use of the tower type. at the same time.'r::~ . as well as of the grid. to see its "other. ernism. The j/J4. and must ignore whatever lies to one side. in short. of space and the rated shed of pop-a building that compares art not as bonheur but rather as only its promise: itself to other surfaces of the everyday environment-this supposedly definitive and He knows onlv two possible ways to escape. There construction impervious processes but. who do not listen.rr'IIU '. self-referentiality. the more he has as later the bcur- tional compositional. opaque and transbut only diversion. and pervasiveness not imaginable both on a scale previouslyof urban challenged surfaces the qualities peatable." which "reproduces terms without the control of the quality of urban space through tradi. and in- of modernism toward a visual logic derived of materials and the nature of and electric lighting for advertisement. here amounts to the appropriation as if each were a ready-made.. and constructional Consequently a split the new mode of production -the menl in aesthetic directly means more and more difficult. in the European tradition of bouen or Baukunst. abstraction and ready-made that." But allow to the It is precisely conceptual the isolation... and the oppressor is no longer able to escape his social role. Ventu ri's lam 0 us d istinctio n belwee n the se If-refe rentia I duck of m odernis m . one that gets at the radical working through of the conjunction of the aesthetic and anti-aesthetic-oF art been fixed 0 n by h isto ri ans a nd critics as I he defin itive characteristic of the resistant abstraction of mod- distinction between the ordinary. What Odysseus hears is without consequence for him. and Ihis would later (with Venturi and others) become a fundamental split in architectural theory. nothingness therefore alone. Whoever would survive must not hear the temptation of lhat which is unre- speak of. rese rves to himself. aIso keep the 5 ire ns awa y from practice: their temptation is neutralized and into 0 ur pe rce plio n inform s that are the mse Ives produced by society. know only the song's danger but nothing of its beauty. They must doggedly sublimate in tense that one wants to adopt the painting critic's nomenclature and call it optical. makes and systems-and me now to add one more account of abstraction opacity of modernist that has pro ble matic the co nve ntio nal list. the tion of services to suburban rather as a specific parent. . but it is too late. runl'r u t I'H·u:. The laborers must be Fresh and concentrate as they look ahead. and the perception of architectural began to overtake the experience of urban space in the traditional sense. He plugs their ears ation fades like applause. The expearchitecture's happiness yet the holding out of its possible existence in some unrepealable past.The other possibility Odysseus. functionally derived object and the rar- and commercially with a capital A ond advanced technical reification. that compare aesthetic reception and read the experience of art as a series of cancellations and repressions-the coloniza- specific comes themselves mode of organizing su rfaces of advertise ment. he IS able only to nod his head as a sign to be set free from his bonds.

ultimately derives from social to the aesthetic and back again. Yet. so the capacity of representation is itself is structured acquires a means to escape that same sta- mode of production (even mental processes and the experience modernism and the tus. it is just the nature of the production of space that it parcel out ex- its contours of pure sound. he can the reception of production less than art itself. abstraction of organizing as the historically emergent form back to the began. however. For Lefebvre. of the full range of of abstract experience being the precondition But it is important to insist on the thematic integration thought-and the only everything circle a historically new experience. this has everything mass production and the rationalization equivalence Just as the capacity of representation and domination the labor process-the on every dimension thetic reception imposed aeslike the in a final moment of transfer. like Mies.. of is substantial be restored (Schein) center of experience but only given modernism's can never surface as the support for that space is commensurate with that withdrawal. For Adorno. reifkation experience architecture of abstraction. epigraph with Here I Which I in order more the oarsmen are but two aspects of the same process. ("Not Italy is offered.ruN~fJn·. eve n more.. The epic already contains the appropriate theory.1J have been "Tavlorized") of the products of "high" culture industry nizing absent presence-is alike is what we might call at its most ad- What is produced here for Odysseus alone is nothing in hls bonds.· (. volume of experience that it flatten the full into surface. that the experience of the degree of an artwork's ness.~ '1'/''''111'-'-'11''''. 'b. the concreteness concretedis- true . And in modernity.. perience into discrete domains. and impoverishment. and the assertion life of the metropoof the architectural moment of society itself (however it may be periodized).~") . and both are grounded in the inescapable [am pulsion to social domination nature . in the perception of the abstract surface. is the of our world-for most powerful thing that can be represented in most performances. What results in the Seagram Building is a series of trans duct ions whereby abstraction changes its natu re as it passes from the or of its abstraction. des Unwiedetbrlnqliche. the orgathe maximal limit of the the vehicle of progress and regression at one and the same time. then homogenize those domains. At this point.S('-tI~. namely. 19 pure sound of the Sirens. to refuse to become a mere thing among things. reification as an illusion abstraction. whatever closeness to materials and production might be salvaged.. out on someexperi- But the crucial move of Mies's is to pose abstraction as.~. The cultural material is in exact correlation to work done according to command. Marx's painful lesson reap- of something pea rs in Adorno's rete Iii ng of the H 0 merle sto ry.as the world of prehistory is left behind. persion. impotent only contemplate rience is utterly vanced. like the rest of us. The or abstractness of the particular nonsynchronously a unified and plaza at Seagram is perhaps the first pulling back from the alienating lis. appears as the the abstract. art must submit to reification to preserve the possibility experience.) 18 While the bleach out that surface to form a thin and brittle simulacrum. adequate to of what is presented in the quoted passage as two differentiated modes. then but evidence that it exists" is the famous phrase from the "Culture Industry" domination capacity chapter that registers the same of representation. Then.. density. his expehollowed out. can neither hear art's song nor delight in its labor but can only sense that they are missing thing. and plenitude. By producing the measure of domination.am Ih'uldi... oarsmen. the sep- the genuine ultimate achievement of reification -the aration and neutralization ence that can never be brought back from prehistory. to do with of through is borrowed back from the social in the form of the volu metric ready· made of the high-rise bu ildi ng and. at one and the same time. Abstraction-the avant-garde. for the encounters of Odysseus and possible experience we have lost in reification.

3tion of th@ Fri€drich$tr~s$e . '5 l. from the 'incomprehensible e-xcept by withdrawal lrivialitv~ of ~his common . of the com mod ity were (otged bl_. answers mlghl be found. new modalitv archltecting to 8 mons. is pie in the.. Ehrlicllkeil." spee:c:hat Barnard! College.relliteet$-.activity oi his ceaSE-Ie 5S clr@at"illgbe". 30." '"A:rchi- Science in tbe Possessed undeniably ently the firs! Amerkans of g-E:ttiuin::e roofeel at by How- WorM.s It sees fit or consubjectivlties 2 "'Iteed Noell' WMehead.of lnbutlt pctenttet. ~5 that Mies. PhiUp j[J.ax HQrthelmer Adorno. t979J.hitec rure. whe:te: me_n exist not meTe:ly like oHle-r li\.ad.fS.20. was EUfOp.s mor~ appropria·te-Iy -enre·'s. MICHAiE Bu ildl ng) L 'H.. Quantum leap in the bureaucrat.McTagKar~. The issue includes Clrlje'es l_l.. 125. re-.0 Whitehead.:)l'k. ~II the more '50 when fif:'ad agairrst the inle:-:ileLlual slan.. ·'5dlein .ake their appe·aral1te explicilily_" Ar"E'. they were all (with the par~ia:1 7 N:~wton could not beJr th~ . I have tried to suggest constructs in i3! opposed to the public reatm.a(jOrla~ Style.ally everything thaI. Sept_ 1923.teriz.u ral represeflH:ltion aod both of whi'h a""ly" whal Adorno. Modem Architecture. sky.gs. "'The Grid. $1:h:OlldJry and .). 4. 154-79. mode.nts.nt.of production subjecti""ity [n will use art and of A.ss. '958).Rift.i!lct~'on 's ApplE!<!Iran(.e.esr sen. (Dufcnarbe-ituflg).oncl2ptualiz.. 19 111 1959 a then almo·sl ~nk'nown Frank Steila prese-n~ed at th-e Muse~m iwi..rom the waU pat"~ern of bn. 1J This is WebE'r'$ most ~amOU:5 thesis.pes in u~mme~ci-al enam€1 with a house painter's 1nFluenc. 192~J. L' A rchite(. .." 2 mere trenatetion tlon..and pl~"e.335-36. 1923.rom producers to pe-:netrat-ss and that the very idea of art resisting such incorporation of Space. grMts ·the exiSl~nCE' or ab5cdute_ immovable p'lace-sand calts the sum o~ tllose pi. ""Sky5crapers.1gS (New York: Oxford Unive"fsity mf"JjOfjneni.!." and watter Curt Behrendt. MiJrk larzombek M.y Georg~ C.produ.as thl? high art of-. .Jsh. 1 10 umai of the Arne rlcoe Ins ntare ofArc/)ileCiS. structtng elternerlve journal at the Amerimn Institute Sept. '989)." Hound & Hom S. one might in of Natu. Tho(!. or becomredu{'. or whether th-ere ls en avant-gerde in America. Henry-Russel! Hrtchcock tr. Hitchco~. has as i(. Apr.!.1j()urd' nuj. could more usefullv tum his energies and attention to promotlon. L _of StuiJjes in the His("." Dill Co..25- ix.last-minute the c. presented 8: Hom in uecember 1931.a. section 1. 372who intro- mastery of social routines. Abrams. ment (New York. The Artle5s Wor. 5 Whitehead.go: Uniyersi~y of Ch'l[ago Pross. biography Pllilip Jo~nson Ihal fo.83· \"'("~U" pb.ank mechanism_" WhHehead tq Pii5S his t.analy- -of Mode-r'n Art four h'uge. :3:r'!IY production ing that rastdas within the extssant itself.:i: hus led to sum~ t mOrt a god ..1c. Science in the Modem World {New York.'" tJl"uepfint -ed..onfef~ {hange in Utle of a Eur-opean {j!Qlloi. " he..s.alm oi subjective ery €'hC€'.poe.Building the Exhibition.:3to h8 . that '93'.idea th..the Pnociples ot Krrow'edge.h c.ml'm Pre$$.y tim~ and .K'S wrilirt..~siorlland the. It 1Sin lhe- the culture objects Hie world: as such.ork Ihe book is the Hou. Of course.I from Frtlnz SCllu'lze'.p· pointing ratdy appearance of the arcu: phQtogT. sllosritute duces is Deautiful.i·sg_I""' Horkhe-imE-f .nd Wit Too~: The (as!? Study HOU:"5~s. aes.re. The in' Aestbetisctte Tbeorie [Frankfurt am Mai'n: Suhrkamp. who later sigi'led fo~m. and workers' Co. H_ Bradl-ey. in Mertins. He notes lhe.Y$ BE ATFO Z co 1(1 M I' N A :1 The concept of physicBi existenc. Nevertheless. Principies of PI.hapter 1. tic of ~nligh~enme(Jt. The-."rte.tn the w~d.[iOIlof whether there ts an American paradigms avant-gar de.. Roben Erich Wolff (No".enerrlnd?n on ectuellaatlon edge.an Find its prQper locatio:n almost an.(aflout F. It makes at Facts by no disagreeable more.f!nable. 'pace (spotiumj. ·'Style <'lnd I ntefn.fum of Modem Ar~.at the present writing_ 12' whltehe ad.2('I~-. 1929). of their gerteratro"fl_ subject gives passage cannot ver even of space.9 ·'A{~ion and speech create a: s. part:2.Ory Philoso' D_C: C"II1Oli. i'irli~ie5 or p18C€Sthemselves ril~ght b~ movable pecause this would render precis-e measurement impOSSib'Ie-_ln the first SLnol[um·oF his Pdl}clp'ia MOlhemQlico -he.Emphasis in criginal.iiosop(incipl-e :25. rh~ world trip· i5-matched bV the disa. sirnilarly.e-'S [}fheoung A /Wtl(xi..!S.ation of mobility with ~he aff. we.of appe.197.{'cl. th@. cant ur'lderstanding or amd not onl"y in the a.lhe change.orrelo.ible to or F. Proouaion tbe Antess MIT Press." George plans or for offices or Nimmons dismissesthe testlc and unuseab!e kirJes." See IY(lr lecler(s slriking-ly original anatys.earliil.urban lo rattonal 3" In this context onl:"!. f10~ 'nes des 6ftentHannah of working through school of philosophy and paid lor the exhibition's and to which he may have mburcd some edltlng.ord. '377 Neumeyer.ar.e. der experrls e from wortplat:oe'"(machine·s) to 'Ieisure modalities {automobiles) reinforcing and back loop that in a mutually meru of mechankal lt was p:u bushed posthumoustv.. ""hidden and .:.ced Smilh (Los Angeles: Milss_: MIT f're$$.d.Jse.s bla(. and depl~tiQn of e.elebvre. Press. is I.. 58- Science ie the 7'3- are transformed consumers.m: Adomo~ or. views Fral1ZI? Schulze. the spacE' where I appear to.199~r~.hhel1 . of fnlightr?nment.Just short or implying SOme existence of a 1950:5. pa...xhibitlon g~oIJP_Koo~hi!as's is a Eump·l?an's.Modern Worid documentedin The Presence Detlef Mer~inst ed. f'or exa.and @xpreS'sion. arternetety of tasdsm and of essay. 'l968).198-9910 sentS I€ss.Harcourt Brace g World. Ralph Rapson.akes e-xiste-nce for meaning and The disappoint- (New York: Payson & Clarke.History and Legacy r. in turn. "Skyscrapers fJl·Germarliy.y Rosali.. 9 while.k" :5tri.. . Nim- qeia . This.adl:"l'.ar. and tneodcr of Eolighten- (New York: J It was also Hitchcork the marker Princeton A~chite'tura! 2 The odor Adorno.d 'Iaimed' Ihat his philo'Sophy was an attempt lo produce an l'org. of this.. of ~han a e~y that epistemic . appears in public __Th~re is no eS(. But it is precisely that recogni.a- .. !4 addition. uans. was.. 165ff. _.rd11r?kel( Cliles' went to 1[11 the meuer.y it is correct to OJ] '7 Her kheimer and Adorno. Harry N. 1979).1 G"ben of over-came a pret. Di. i 1"1 his ever. The fragm-ented notes that make up. ·'Klarh~h. {Chic. n.:iple:s Enqulry of NC'It[lral COflcerttil"'lg Knowl- well '9ndowe-d ior in:tellectua-I work and so." tlwe wt'le to ccnnnue to reflect on the QI1. Tafmi and franr-esc:o trans. s.gram K. ~'6 M. Johnson.dClrd$ of mod-ern times.Q. "Heideg· modemism.""protected by lhe privacy of the SE'lf. L?x. [n.:_ On ~he dialertics of appearallce experi- .1I!' Cam:retelless iiJii:d the "Avant-Gi3Ird~n in Am'~rjca SAN FORO KWI ~TE R (Se.:IJphed ale-as which but evidente that it 148_ '926. free Press. 75- Con d ilion' the voyage mighl in'luO'.. Late of j vase-s proje(ted with i. ~hi'! Prim.the/Clo"dl. in Uie historic European evant-g ar de were played OLJrby emigl"t~.ra·lly. boOlh of INhich are enclosed by the Sameboundad.2.to serve as the ueator ot all places. The Production of Space'. by his Arendt..hinglon. ul1d AlJsdruck. ai'ld that is J.hapiog en'liro. course S'JCCI?$$iully_It s@~m$that this was ~ln import8Jr1{." AesfheUs~ lhat turope~ in its weari4 HrlnTloahArendt writl?~. and other Brlrlsh deal to me that WhiteiSSl..t.aV." object on the yerv led Mles to his "almost an arrnltectural duced Mies to the readers (if Hound AI fred No rth W h i teh ea d. Rche stends out like that of Schinkel in old Berlin. While Hitchcock ~t'fers to Mies.:l'r1Son WriU. . htstoriL~I. ar'e ·C"omjc:a[n their c:oniident disi . I" owe this reFer'e-ncl?(~ Corney. MU$il2ym 'OfContemporary Cambridge. vcrk.1. c .others as others appt·ar to· me.::anno' but invo"f..ansference itseU~. a time he was 0311 gel des(. '970). $cjen "e in the Modem ot vol. For.at deal with 'the they.eptionof Barr. July 1950. if! the World's Modem Elizabetll ryes. by the Mus.at~omie resulting ex. 11 The "tntarnal with the work ileo-Heg-eiians It seems thougf head's work relauons" is associated primarily semantic. Donald NicholsOl1' Blackwell. the W_ilY.. prhnarHy a booster along for the ride.n social i spac~ Ihrough Ihe so-<a'lied democratiz. or change or posi- know-the ~4 Henri Lefebvre.nham. and Ihe 101.s u n. ar-chi~t repre·(:Of- -cance'!I"n \!".as one of the "New Pioneers" f. since it cO'flvin. It is the space.dergrad. even th-e ractory floor. wages are Df i'Wjes Aeslhetis(ne Theone. unlverslty of Chicegc tectural ChToni~le- Barlln: Paris: . oiotec34-3"5.. rec:tive to lhl..(in~ or il1..JLJtomQbil~_ 16 Rem Koolhaa'S's seductive.al obst.lurni(J"g poir'lt liT lohnson'~ 'life. motorized workforce 4 Whitehead. in o .2.c.1 betleve.plays and deten:5e of vapid SE'fl~ihility ov-e-rprincipl~ and' ide-a. we now know of ness."k5.g or the drawings or Agnes Martin_ See Rosalind Krau$$.nly illtJsHa~ion of his . Adomo was speaking gen~..e tradition vJas the ulnmate issue: of their (rip.atiOl1 of certain experiments orlginatin.{.:. Mies van der Rohe: A Critiwl! Brography 8 See {Chicago: Press. Y. but ramer supulate that the trans- rrom Parmenides [j lhe s arcastlc. Modern World. M·iE':5'smanuscript in Appendix 12_ Continuum.collaboraReich on the tion of Mie's and lilly that "the work 355 1991).::tO. ''988). career-long apologia for this.:md or to sustain any {fadOJ1~sJ in re-Ia~ioll to housing. and Philip Johnson..8IpII. . He i. productive locales 193.ill disappear' from Optimization of that his.1 oder» Ar.e.a~chite(. The [Haieeri. zeitgeist. own 8dmiSS~I)Il. grBE'I'l Building 13 Manfredo in Sl:?pt'E!mber ~97. Word.e" intellectually or e'JNl :U This two·stage inspired for World.PQLeb£:i:weert the partid'pant~ whi(.8 "The new ideology U$€ oft he wcrshlp venturi.thelss.alist$ Livin_g:.and Adorno. 58.c on young . !l..' American experiences.:)nimate things but" m.ation of Some maximal oi Ifmlt betwe-en p.y of Natursection r. the Glass Skyscraper as "too fanapartments.. ph.. fair enough.mple. ql1Jantiiic. '99'). sratemenr lithkeN the heart 011the plaza of the an ordinary obiect.al~8-dr8WC<"lt~ioll~ 1 jig-ht.afnting.:..N'~ . 93.rdthe Philip Johnson legacy_ or Mie5. C(l[1- 1 I shatl not enter into a discussion. 57.r.abl@(a5 it were) ... mits the steadv transfer and refine14 Alfred Barr jr.. l~O. and !ho D..1 re. him tha_t he was not particularly and focus to'Ni:I:.world of f8CtS 111 iE'p/E'$ent~ng them met~C:lJlolJsly.5in North Amerka during the a principle of internally driven transformation.e 1. 6 t' Architeavte . 6. far him philosophically unt.Theorie·.$Cof ~hlf word.. v iE'''"'.5.)tiv-(!-mijlrkl:HS. 1958). he {ails "space.((}se 5t1J'dy HO(..alecti{ 5 Gordon Ora~e.d Krauss's weroe to becoml? the minim.: [Cambridge. EnqM. Unic"JNsity of Ame:r.and G~org Simme]'s tion of the titv's mental life:-. Men in Dark Times (New vork. 1951.· and gener.at . I?dge of the catsgory "Archttectore.irCii ress. ve.!id-egger. perlod ill question.erninp .vestigate tb-e shih of [rom Slt'Ha and Mies to Warhol and . z zoff. chapter 1.. a scribi ng-re al 0' con c:r-ee'ness" to t thi:s mathema~icai construct was~ curiously.r:qua:inlance with EUirope.jth social.ture d'aujoufd j te-c.ann8h existence' into the..:lnLe.' ~heir 'mere {. legilimizt-d hom the sy·stem. ereastf'lgly.. Whatever' the camera re-'p""O~ ment of the prospect that one might be the typLst who win:.. defense5 of-thEInternational Style exni"bltro'n that rne Hu. parcticularly his. r~(lding w(!. that soutude whidli pnttosophers anc PI.should fl1. 94-97. Whitehea. 1986).im painting) too d~eply entrenched Ilinet-eeIHh'{!:"lniury refine-d apprHia:tion philQsophiCJl tions of connoisseurship parlor tradi· .tion thai norhlng.tion of the. in America. wi. Einf. m. this work date from 1956 to 1968.. according economic principles of.hite-ct5-tnclud@d in this issue. UJte years 81 Harvard despile haviog failed 10 imp." Presence and the'pop t!!r~i5tS WJS pro round_ For Slelia seems to have fOl(ed Ihe {.'" an article 01"1 Berlin .acquaintance of Whitehe-ad Verso 1990).into s.ture :noiwiths~Jnding. byway projecl.alic fragmelllatiQl1.c workers f. where motion is concelved design..nme.. CUrtO:5lty and aeel they WE'/E'apparteast professionaUv concemed wi11soon become so ccmprehenstve that it w.an developm~nls.is.as.an . not just about American art. e perversesounding Ucllt 12 Marilyn "dance" Wood steg ed such a S-2'a- in Aristotelian based rnetaphvsic s was . could nor susti3in see Fredric Jameson.atron.tail. tHH1S.H~S from.. Art. 200_ exhibition of materials and states of Mies van.per flest p IIbt i s he d as a respo nse to a svmposlurn held in ]992' ai'ld Smith {Cambridge._ NO! lroly is offered.than elevettnga 01 that .es ·of time . 1_2.-:3!3. Science io Ille Mod- em World. owes il to Rebecca 5 Adorno. Se-e The Protestant Ethic ood tile Spirit 0/ (apitalism (NfWJ Yort: Scribnel and SMS. a r€(. One will insist at this point that This is an expanded version of a I have seen no ccnftrmatton l5 The Mode-'I T Qi 19~1i represents 8 George Baird who. ~oIIDwin£" Simmel and (j~org Luk. ~ei: Adorno.ribed with u'nca'nny precision in thosE' paragraphs 01 Be~ng and Time th.Phifip Johnson. 3 354 6 rrttz Neumeyer. namely. Romanticism Q"l')d Reintegration 6 D.head.~veryday world: ~rom ~t. who h<3dsignifi. Modem Science in the . tr. and lohn v~n der Meulen ar-e the 'other Ameri"atil . d 'H.anywhere. . . no. condrtfontr which .o me s the un iv€ rs ~I substrate.. the Per5islerjCe (he into a room palinted mechanically r-egWllarfi:petttive DialecUc (LOildO'n: 1" Reyner B. or a(lalog"! to Mies's GeQr~ Grosz's 1919 illte-rch8fac.. recycled as revenue Q~ through the repurchase th'5!y themselves products per- produce.salvaging lradi·tiofl Amerio]!'s actlo'n_ ~7 The third S€Ctiorl of this essay was adapled shorHy hef-ore Ihe conference in or{~e:rt9 addr-es. P 8 Wh ite he.342. luly 1950.The fallacv"f M isplacod Ab5tr.ac'Cording to H'I. new Europe.is in The Philosophy phy (W.arti::Hs who and his wife during hi.thelj-c issues. Mies's .

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