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arch Thesis (BArch) A21

The Eisenman-Deleuze fold /







\ 9'94

The University of Auckland Library

Te Tumu Herenga

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Name (print)


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Tim Adams

Sub Thesis in partial fulfilment of the

Degree of Bachelor of Architecture






. t.

List of Illustrations ....................................................................................................... iii
List of Diagrams .......................................................................................................... v
Abstract ....................................................................................................................... vi
Introduction ................................................................................................................ 1
1. The Deleuze Fold
1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................... 12
1.1 Architectural Folds ....................................................................................... 12
1.2 Mallarmt's Fold ........................................................................................... 27
1.3 Baroque Music Folds .................................................................................... 35
1.4 Heidegger's Zweifalt................................................................................... 44
1.5 The Baroque City Fold .................................................................................. 49
2. The Eisenman Fold
2.0 Introduction ................................................................................................ 54
2.1 Cardboard Archltecture ................................................................................. 57
2.2 Decomposition ............................................................................................. 64
2.3 The Grounded Projects .................................................................................. 77

2.4 Imprint and Trace ......................................................................................... 100

2.5 The Folded Projects ...................................................................................... 114

Conclusion................................................................................................................... 154

A. Selected Eisenman Projects in Chronological Order......................................... 15 5

B. A Selection of Transformational Notations from Eisenman's House Series ........ 165
Bibliography. ................................................................................................................ 167

List of Illustrations

Gilles Deleuze (left) and Peter Eisenman (right).


The Rebstockpark project, plan ofthe folded park and urban typologies.


La Tourette Monastery by Le Corbusier, the High Alter.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.


The west elevation of La Tourette Monastery.

Fig. 6.

A graph of the massed glissandi in the music of Iannis Xenakis.


The Studiolo at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.


Deleuze's sketch of the Baroque house allegory.

Fig. 9.

Burial of the Count of Orgaz by El Greco.

Fig. ID.

The facade of Sant'Andrea della Valle by Carlo Rainaldi.

Fig. 11.

The interior of Sant'Andrea della Valle by Carlo Maderno.

Fig. 12.

Simon Hanta'i.


Wainscoting at Versailles.

Fig. 14.

Alciati's emblem 8.

Fig. IS.

Alciati's emblem 185.


Pli selon pli by Pierre Boulez, p 2.

Fig. 17.



House I.

Fig. 19.

House n.

Fig. 20.

House Ill.

Fig. 21.

The Fall ofIcarus by Pieter Brueghel.

Fig. 22.

House VI.


House X.

Fig. 24.

Choral Works.


The Klein Bottle.


House XIa.


The Klein bottle, formed by folding together the edges of a Moebius strip.


The Klein bottle, formed by folding a tube through itself.


Cannaregio Town Square, plan.


Cross-section of a mausoleum/house/model object for Cannaregio Town Square.


The IBA Social Housing project, 1st scheme plan.


The IBA Social Housing project, final scheme south facade.


Romeo and Juliet project, map of Verona with, from left to right, 1. Romeo's castle,
2. Juliet's castle and 3. Juliet's house.


Romeo and Juliet project, division of the lovers.



Romeo and Juliet project, union of the lovers.

Fig. 36.

Romeo and Juliet project, synthesis of division and union, death of the lovers.


The Mandelbrot set, self-similarity between 2 different scales, one magnified by a factor of 10,000.


Guardiola House.


Nunotani Headquarters Building, the striated context.


Nunotani Headquarters Building.


Nunotani Headquarters Building, first scheme model.


Nunotani Headquarters Building final scheme model.


The volumetric folding of the Rebstockpark project (above) compared with Rene Thom's Butterfly
Catastrophe (below).

Fig. 44.

Alteka office building project.

Fig. 45.

Rette Thom's taxonomy of seven elementary catastrophes.


Rebstockpark project model.


Rebstockpark project, raster grid.


Rebstockpark project, morphing of the raster grid.


Rebstockpark project, the full-sized raster enters the smaller zone creating alternating waves of two
urban typologies.


Rebstockpark project, the selection of buildings from among the two typologies.

Fig. 5 I.

Rebstockpark project, the half-scale raster creating lines offolding within the typologies.

Fig.52 ..

Rebstockpark project, final plan of the whole park.


Rebstockpark project, final plan of the smaller zone.


Emory Center project model.


The Vitruvian theatre from Athanasius Kircher's "Musurgia Universalis", 1650.


The vibrating string of the Pythagoreans, the correspondances between musical tone and measure are,
from left to right: the fundamental tone (1), a tone an octave higher (112), a fifth higher again (11),
a fourth higher again (1/4)' and a major third higher again (1/5)'


Emory Center project, concept diagram of the plan.


Emory Center project, upper level plan (above) and lobby level plan (below).


Unity Capsule by Brian Ferneyhough, pp 1 and 2.


Koizumi exhibition birdhouse.

Tun Adams


List of Diagrams.

Alternative parses accounting for the ambiguity of the noun phrase: "old men and women".


The formal transformations of the "Cardboard Architecture" projects.


The relational notations for House X with the most complex and ambiguous possibility determining
the positions finally chosen for the four quadrants.


The relational notations for House X, determining the treatment of the outward facing surfaces
of the "el shapes".


The superimposition of "signature el-forms" in the "imprint and trace" projects.

Thorn's cusp-catastrophe used to model non-linearities in the behaviour of dogs.
Rene Thorn's cusp-catastrophe used to model circularity in the figure-ground reversals of urban


Tun Adams

The infolding, unfolding and enveloping of typologies in the "folded projects".


"The Eisemnan-Deleuze Fold" is an analysis of Peter Eisenman's architecture, concentrating on the recent
inclusion of Gilles Deleuze's notion of the "Fold" in Eisenman's architectural theory. This analysis proposes
that prior to the appearance of Deleuzian notions in his writings, Eisenman's projects were already "folding"
"unfolding" and "refolding".
The "Fold" is Deleuze's abstract yet sensuous characterization of Baroque art and science as an operation that "folds" together two distinct levels which nevertheless remain heterogeneous, levels such as mind
and body or interior and exterior. Eisenman's architecture is considered complicated and his writings convoluted precisely because they fold together disciplines and gestures that are foreign to architecture without
ever mixing or confusing architecture with its other. Therefore the proposition is that Eisenman's architecture is "Baroque" in Deleuze's universalized sense of the Baroque as an operation of the "Fold".

Fig. 1
Tun Adams



Peter Eisenman should need no introduction to students oflate-twentieth-century architecture. Nevertheless,
Eisenman, in the words of Philip Johnson, "remains an enigma to all of us because of his combination of the
polemical, the practical and the theoretical. He is a friend ofDerrida," Johnson adds, "so we cannot follow him
in his further reaches of the philosophical speculation." 1 Keeping Philip Johnson's warning in mind, might not
an approach other than one based on Eisenman's association with J acques Derrida prove to be easier to
followr The aim here is not to deny that Eisenman is enigmatic but to present a less enigmatic introduction to
his enigmatic work.

For the benefit of those not familiar with this elusive architect, a brief introduction will follow: 2 Peter D
Eisenmanis an American theorist, writer, editor, educator and practitioner of Architecture. A cousin of
Richard Meier, he was born in 1932 into a middle-class Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey (14 kilometres
west ofManhatten). As a child he revealed his talent for initiating and writing in journals vvhen he invented his
own daily sports-newspaper. He showed no passion for architecture until he was already enrolled at Cornell
University; Ithaca, New York, in 1951. However, in 1955 he won the Charles Sands Memorial Medal for his
B.Arch. thesis. From 1957 to 1958 he worked in the New York office of the Jewish architect and associate
professor at Columbia, Percival Goodman. Then in 1959 he enrolled at Columbia University; gaining his
M.Arch. in 1960. Then, following the advice ofMichael McKinnell, a fellow postgraduate at Colun1bia (who
had recently arrived from England), Eisenman packed his bags for Cambridge University; England, in the
autumn of 1960. It was there that Eisenman came under the formalist influence of his tutor, Colin Rowe.
Together they developed a mutual interest in the work of the Italian Rationalists (especially Guiseppe Terragni)
and the ideas ofTheo van Doesburg and the Dutch De Stijl group. After receiving a Ph.D. for his dissertation

The Forl'nal Basis ofModernArchitect1tre in 1963, he returned to New Jersey to join Michael Graves as the two
youngest members on the faculty of the Princeton University School of Architecture.

1. Johnson, Philip, ''Preface: Philip Johnson on Peter Eisenman,"

Eiselllllanalllllesie edited by Toshio Nakamura, (Tokyo, A+U, 1988), plO.

2. This biographical sketch is an expanded version of the one in Contcmpormy ArclJitects, Second Edition, edited by Anna Lee
Morgan and Colin Naylor, (Chicago, St James Press, 1987), p 261.

Tim Adarns


It was there that Eisenman first made use of his talent for raising funds, initiating exhibitions and conferences,

and edi ting architectural journals. The founding of CASE (Conference of Architects for the Study of the
Environment) in 1964 was especially significant since it brought together for the first time:RichardMeier,
Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey and John Hejduk. Eisenman first received wider attention in 1972 when
his Hrnlses I andII

with two houses each from the others of the

the book-Five

Architects. 3
In 1967 he switched to teaching at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York. It was about this
time that he co-founded the IAUS (Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies). The Institute was a postgraduate research facility obtaining commissions from the City of New York for urban-design proposals. The
IAUS was the base from which Eisenman worked on his didactic House series and helped edit, from 1973 to
1982, the influential architectural journal Oppositions.
1980 saw Eisenman forming an architectural practice in partnership with J aquelin Robertson (Eisenman's
own practice had failed to complete any new commissions since the HOllse VI for Richard Frank in 1972).
Then in 1981 he received his first large-scale commission by winning first prize in the IBA Social Homing
competition in Berlin. That success was soon followed by the


Centerfor the VisttalArts at Ohio State

University in Columbus, 1983 (another commission won by competition).

3. Five A1'chitects; edited by Kenneth Frampton and Colin Rowe, (New York, George Wittenbom and Company, 1972). The
architects included in this book became known in the architectural press as the "New York Five". When the "New York Five"
came under attacl( in a series of articles published inArchitectuml Forum: 138, no 4 (May 1973))an ideological division in
American architecture became apparent. The "New York Five" became known asthe ''Whites''-referring to their hOllies' similarity
to Le COl'busier's Purist villas, while their opponents became known as the "Greys"-refening to the uniquely American "shingle
style" hOllies that were their inspiration. One of the An:hitectural Forum articles-"Machines in the Garden" was written by
Jaquelin Robertson (ironically later to become pattner in ''Eisen1lJCln/ Robertsol1 A1'chitects") who writes - on p.50 -!'Where
Eisenman falls short is in his attempt to somehow sever the intellectual process of ,ordering' fium, say, the 'subjective perceptions
of an actual environment' or the cultural inheritance of the orderer-when they are indivisible in the mental pmcess."



Before these large-scale projects were completed (the IBA SociaIH()1fsil1g in 1987 and the THixner Center in
1989) Eisenman was considered by most to be a distinguished thinker and critic yet disinterested in the actual
building of architecture. These successful buildings have demanded a reappraisal of Eis enman's activity, both as
a theorist and as a practitioner of architecture. Since leaving the Eisenman/Robertson partnership to form his
own practice "Eisenman Architects, New York" in 1988, Eisenman's involvement with the actual building of
architecture has increased exponentially:4. Recently completed commissions are the Koizmni Sangyo Building in
Tokyo (1988-90), the Colmnbus Corwel1tion Center in Ohio (1988-1993) and the Nlt11otal1iHeadq1larters) also
in Tokyo (1990-1993). Commissions in progress include the College ofDesig11) Architectttre) Art al1dPlarmil1fj
at the University ofCincinatti, Ohio (1988- ), the FrankfttrtR.bstockpark office and housing development
(1991 - ), theEmory Cente?; Emory University, Atlanta, (1992 - ) and the thirty-four storey Mav'ICR.il1hardt

Ha1ls in Berlin, (1992 - ). One would expect that such a busy practice would leave less time for his role as
architectural educator, writer and theoretician, but on the contrary, the greatly increased activity in the
prosaic world of construction is matched by an equally enriched theoretical activity in the world of architectural education. Part of that enrichment has been to incorporate concepts from the writings of the French
historian of philosophy, Gilles Deleuze.
For example, from around 1991 you will fmd the terms "folding", "infolding" and "unfolding" used by
Eisenman to describe his concept diagrams. 5 The source of this addition to his ever expanding vocabulary is
revealed in the epigraph placed above the project description for the Frankfurt R.bstoclzpark competition entry

The entry ofGenna11Y 011 the scene ofphilosophy implicates the entire German spirit which)
according to Nietzsche) presents little that is deep) but is full offlldings and tmfoldings. 6

4. "Eisenrnan Architects" has also expanded to cope with the increased demand. By 1991 it had thrity professionals on its staff, six
of whom were registered architects. Among Eisenman's most important staff are Thomas Leeser, George Kewin,
and Richard Rosson.

5. See for example the "Alteka Office Building, Tokyo",ProgressiveArchitectttre (January 1992), pp 63-65.

6. Eisenman, Petel; "Frankfurt Rebstock Competition",A+U: 252, (September, 1991), p 16.

Tun Adams




The epigraph is a quote from Gilles Deleuze's essay The Fold (Le Pli) in which Deleuze describes the Baroque in
terms of its characteristic to endlessly create folds. 7 In the quote Deleuze is paraphrasing Nietzsche's characterization of the German spirit as "full of foldings and unfolding." This then becomes a justification for the literal
foldings; between solids and voids, and between residential and office zones that takes place in Eisenman's

Rebstoclzpark project.

Fig. 2

7. Deleuze, Gilles, 'The

Yale French Studies: 80 (1991), P 239. Hereafter cited in the text as The Fold. Deleuze's short essay

The Fold is expanded to fonn chapters 1 and 3 ofhls recently published book-The Fold: Lielmiz and the Baroque (Minneapolis,
University of Minnesota 1'ress)993). Since the essay is moreillcely to be available than the book, I will refer to that versionfll'st.
When the essay l'equires fiu1:her clarification by refening to the book it will then be cited simply as Liebniz {l11d tIJe Baroque.



Who then is Gilles Deleuze? Well, according to Michel Foucault, we live in what may one day be known as a
"Deleuzian" century.8 No doubt many students of architecture will find Deleuze even more enigmatic than
Eisenman, therefore his introduction shall be correspondingly longer. 9 Gilles Deleuze (1925 - ) is a French
historian of philosophy and co-editor of the Gallimard edition of the complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche.
His development as a philosopher follows the conventional path for philosophy teachers in France; starting

(the grade between school and university) at the Lyde Louis-le-Grand (a secondary

school in Paris) under the tutelage ofJean Hyppolite (for Hegel) and Ferdinand

(for Descartes), then

to the Bcole Normale Superieure (a university in Paris), followed by teaching in the provincialIJcees (secondary schools), followed by a series of monographs written for the PUF (Presses U11iversitaires de France). These
were mostly conventional introductory surveys for undergraduates on subjects such as Hume (1952), Kant
(1963), Proust (1964), Bergson (1966) and Spinoza (1968).10
But among these monographs are two that stand out in terms of the shift they helped create, Nietzsche et la

philosophie (1962) andNietzsche (1965). These works helped reintroduce Nietzschean concepts into the French
academic scene and, with the 1964 Royaun1Ont colloquium on Nietzsche, mark the shift a\vay from the
predominance ofClaude

structuralism (with its thematic of binary oppositions, each element

being the presence of an absent origin) towards an an-archic philosophy of difference and multiplicity (instead
of a nostalgic absence, the joyous affirmation of the world without the possibility of origin or truth).


8. Foucault's comment on Deleuze can be found in Pecora, Vincent 1>, "Deleuze's Nietzsche and Post-Structuralist Thought"

Substance: 48 (1986) P 35.

9.This biographical sketch is an expanded version of the entry in The C01lcise Encyclopedia ofHlCstern Pbilosophy and Philosophe1'sy
edited byJ 0 Urmson and Johnathan Ree (London, Roudedge, 1992), pp 70-71.

10. All dates given in the text are for the original French publications. For a bibliography ofDeleuze's works in French and
English see Substance 44/45 (1984), pp96-105.

11. This shift in French thinking first became apparent to the English speaking world when Jacques Derrida read his paper "Snucture, Sign, and Play in the Disco1U'ses of the Human Sciences," at the 1966 Johns Hopkins symposhnn in Baltimore. See

The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences ofMany The Structuralist COl1tl'llVersy, edited by Richard Macksey amd Eugene Donato,
(Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970), pp 247 - 265.

Tim Adams


The turning point for this shift in thinking coincides with the student initiated strikes and demonstrations that
took place in France during May 1968, hence the derogatory label: "la pensee '68" (the thought of'68) used to
describe post-structuralist thought in France. Deleuze's first work to make positive use of these ideas was his
dissertation, Dijftrence et RCpetition (1968) which is remarkable (especially in comparison to his monographs)
for its extravagant display of topics and writers from mathematics, biology; literature and art. Together they
form" a scintillating world of metamorphoses, of communicating intensities, of differences wi thin differences,
hints, inspirations andexpirations."12

Difference et repetition was Deleuze's first attempt to go beyond Nietzschean concepts so that "joyous affirmation" is displaced by "repiPtion". Dialectical conceptual difference ("A" opposed to "not A") is replaced by a
non-conceptual difference ("A" presented with its only apparently negative "indeterminate other"), this last
gesture at least is still Nietzschean. In 1969 Deleuze became Professor at the Philosophy Department of the

Universite de Paris VIII in Vincennes. At about this time Deleuze began collaborating with the clinical-reform
activist and renegade psychoanalyst, Felix Guattari. Up until this time, any interest in the work ofDeleuze had
remained within the confines of the philosophy department (despite the avoidance of disciplinary boundaries
in the published dissertation). Due to the popularity of the first collaborative work with Guattari: Anti-

Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia) Volume 1 (1972), Deleuze had become accessible to a much wider
audience. In the wake of "May 1968" and its clear demonstration that Marxism could not provide any kind of
alternative to the status quo) particularly when the French workers and students needed it the most, it was
generally considered that a casting off of Marxism was required. Capitalism and Schizophrenia) Volume 1 received immense public acclaim because it covered the fields once dominated by Marx and Freud without being
either Marxist or Freudian. 13

12. Deleuze, Gilles, Dijforence et 1'cpctition, (Paris, PVF, 1968) P 313 translated quotation from Peny, PetIa,
"Deleuze's Nietzsche," Boul1dmy 2: 20:1 (1993), p 183.

13. Descombes, Vincent, Modem French Philosophy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980) p 173. The following
synopsis of The Al1ti-Oedipus is based largely on a reading ofDescombes.



According to Deleuze and Guattari in TheAnti-Oediptts) when Marx's political economy opposes potentially
revolutionary production (infrastructure) to reactionary ideology (superstructure) or when Freud's "libidinal
economy" opposes unconscious desires to unreliable consciousness, there takes place an imposition of an
absence on a presence with an associated element of sadness or guilt. For Deleuze and Guattari the solution
was to reconceptualize desire as a productive and potentially revolutionary part of the infrastructure. This leads
them to formulate their "schizoanalysis" in order to differentiate the "schizoid" (the active revolutionary pole of
desire) from the "paranoiac" (the reactive guilt producing pole of desire). Therefore in place of Marx's evolutionary history of capitalism through its various modes of production, Deleuze and Guattari outline a "universal history" of abstract machines for channelling and coding flows of materials, bodies and desires. For example, the essential "machinic processes" of capitalism is the destruction of codes-"deterritorialization". The
coded flows of the tribe with its rituals and ceremonies are decoded to produce the private individual, owner
of his or her own body; liberated to freely dispose of his or her own labour. But this liberation is always
accompanied by a "reterritorialization", desire is captured by the grid of Oedipal guilt and the flux oflabour is
pro1etarianized into production, accumulation and exchange. It is therefore pointless and reactionary to reproach capitalism for its cruel and cynical decoding or for its liquidation of everything because its decoding is
an effect of a universal machinic process. The problem thenis that the liquidation is not sufficiently liquid. The
production of a blissful "nomadism" of flows is an inherent tendency of capitalism but which it postpones by
restoring artificial "territorialities".

In the same year that TheAntiOediptts was published, Deleuze presented his "Nomad Thought" to the 1972

Cerisy-Ia-Salle colloquium on Nietzsche. Deleuze's Nomad thought breaks with philosophy to avoid its
"tragedy to interiority". 14 It is a fluid "counter-philosophy" that by its inconsistency and variability exteriorizes
thought as a "war machine" (war machines were what nomads deployed against the walled apparatuses of the
State). Exteriorized thought occupies a smooth surface in the manner of nomads occupying a steppe. Nomad
thought is therefore a force that arrives from outside the wall-building despotic machine to break down its
constraints and to open up new vistas.

Nomad thought is Deleuze's radical transformation of the image of thought that we create for ourselves, into
thought as the construction of a "nomadic war machine" to be deployed against bureaucratic State rationalism.

14. Deleuzc, Gilles, "Nomad

TIJe New NietzscIJe: Conte1llpormy Styles ofIlIterpretatioll, edited by David B AlIison (New

York, Dell, 1977), p 144.



In 1976 Deleuze and Guattari collaborated on the programmatic text "Rhizome" (which eventually became

"Introduction: Rhizome"inA Th01tsandPlatea1ls 1980: the second volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia).
Here Deleuze and Guattari contrast the multi -dimensional, tuber-agglomerating rhizome (with its proliferation of connections) to the dichotomous branching of roots and trees (with their hierarchical groupings of
binary divisions) .,While the root-tree can function as a transcendent model for thought (a "tracing"), the
rhizome, because it is perpetually either in construction or collapsing, is "an immanent process that overturns
the model and outlines a map."


A tracing pertains to the graphic arts, drawing and photography while the

map pertains to a rhizome that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable; with multiple
entryways and exits. "It is tracings that must be put on a map, not the opposite."


It is because of this always

being in the middle of things that the rhizome fails to form a new tree -like dualism when it is opposed to the
root-tree model.

In contrast to the cultural "root-book" that is necessarily an endless tracing of other books or an image of the

world, the "rhizome-book" is made of "plateaus". A' plateau is a plane of consistent intensity that doesn't peak
and dissipate (like the chapters of a "root-book") but maintains a continuous level of multiplicity evaluated for
its own intrinsic value but also connected to other multiplicities (other plateaus) to form and extend a single
subterranean rhizome. The "rhizome-book" is not an image of the world, it instead forms a rhizome with the
world in an "aparellel evolution" between tl1e heterogeneous book and the world, not an imitation but a
capture of code, "an exploding of two heterogeneous series on the line of flight composed by a common
rhizome" (a rhizome is nothing but "lines of flight" since it can have no points or positions).


The "explosion"

that the rhizome's line of flight produces on the plateau of the world is the deterritorializing nomadic war
machine. Rhizomatic writing "weds a war machine and lines of flight, abandoning the strata, segmentarities,
sedentarity; the State apparatus"


15. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, FeJL'X,A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Volume 2, (London, The Athlone
Press, 1980), P 20.
16. Ibid, P 21

17. Ibid., plO. For an example of heterogeneous elements forming a single rhizome, Deleuze and Guattari suggest the wasp and
the orchid. "The orchid de territorializes by forming an image, a tracing of a wasp: but the wasp reterritOlializes on that image. The
wasp is nevertheless deterritOlialized, becoming a piece in the orchid's reproductive apparatus." Together they "fmm l-elays in a
cin:ulation of intensities pushing the detenitorialization ever further."
18 . Ibid., P 24



A ThottsandPlatealts (1980) is that proliferation of plateaus anticipated by Deleuze and Guattari's Rhizome
(1976). A Thousand Plateaus exceeds the already extravagant use of invented and borrowed vocabulary found

in their previous works. The "Schizoanalysis" of "desiring machines" in The Anti-Oediptts is replaced by a
"pragmatics" of endless "machinic assemblages" inA Thottsand Plateaus. The last plateau in their rhizome
book is "The Smooth and the Striated." This particular assemblage of nonsymmet:rical differences is borrowed
from the French composer Pierre Boulez who uses it to form "mobile definitions of musical space."


A line of

reference (or line of flight) joins together a striated surface ( a plane of distinct melodic and harmonic forms)
with a superposed smooth surface (a plane of constant variations, too minute 01' too fast to be measured).
These abstract distinctions are simultaneously the concrete mixes of sounds in Boulez's music, not by imitation but because they proliferate in an aparallel evolution. Both writing and music can be war machines
creating passages or jumps in the lines of flight between the striations of the State and the smoothness of
Nomad thought.
Boulez already proliferates this basic abstract distinction of the smooth and the striated: within the field of
music it can describe the overlapping of heterogeneous elements within the domains of either pitch, meter or
texture (the mix of instrumental groups). But once caught in the network ofA Th01tSand PlateatlS) Boulez's
abstract distinction extends itself into the fields of technology, navigation, agriculture, road movies, mathematics, Mandelbrot's fractal geometry, physics and art. In each case there are forces at work within space and time
that are continuously creating boundaries or striations. But striation necessarily develops other forces that
create new smooth temporalities and spaces so that even "the most striated city gives rise to smooth spaces: to
live in the city as a nomad. "20

19 . Boulez, Pien-e, Bottlez on Music Today, (London, Faber and Faber, 1971), p 84. This book originated fiurn the six lectures
Boulez gave at the 1960 Dannstadt Surruner Course for New lvlusic.

20 . Deleuze and Guatrari,A Thotlscmd Plateaus, p 500.

Tim Adarns


After more than a decade of collaboration with FeIix Guattari, Deleuze returned to his more conventional form
of philosophising to write a monograph on the contemporary English painter Francis Bacon (1981) and two
volumes on the Cinema: volume 1-TheMopementImage (1983) and volume 2-The Time-Image (1986).21
These books address a much wider audience (those who follow art and film) than the pre-Guattari monoI

graphs intended for philosophy undergraduates. Deleuze's latest monograph on a philosopher is on the
seventeenth-century German, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1988). 22 Once again, this is a work of wide appeal
since it displaces Leibniz from any periodization or disciplinary partitioning to outline a universal history of
the abstract Baroque machine which Deleuze names "the Fold". The Fold is Deleuze's own proliferation of
Leibniz's improbable but precise concept of the "monad" (monads are windowless"unities" that nevertheless
communicate with an infinitely folded world).
Through Deleuze's proliferation, Leibniz is revealed not only to be the philospher of the Baroque but to be so
contemporary as to help us unfold modern architecture, art, poetry, music, philosophy and town planning. In
their most recent collaboration- What is Philosophy? (1991), Deleuze and Guattari develop the implications of
the Fold in terms of a "geopolitics of de territorialization" . 23 A monadic thought and a monadic habitat cannot
simply be separated into inorganic and organic matter (since for Leibniz everything is a monad with a "life" of
its own). This ensures that there will always be an ethical dimension to how we apprehend the world. Hun1ans
that act as sovereign subjects divorced from inert objects subject to human will, are the products of the totalitarian aspect of liberal democracy that will be atomized by a " geophilosophy" working towards "absolute
deterritorialization". What is philosophy? Philosophy is that commodification (re territorialization) of
concepts that began when migrants (nomads) arrived on the Aegean peninsula to form the first Greek
schools. Philosophy (as opposed to geophilosophy) fails to fold mind and habitat. What is the Fold? The
Fold is that jumping between planes of consistency that enables thought to be at once abstract and tactile,
profoundly conceptual and exquisitely sensuous.

21. Deleuze, Gilles; Francis Bacon. Logiqtte de la semation, 2 volumes, one text, the other reproductions, (Paris, Editions de la difference,
1981) and Cinema l:The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The TimeImage (Mirmeapolis, University ofMirmesota Press, 1986 and 1989).
22. Deleuze, Gilles, The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque, (Mirmeapolis, University ofMirmesota Press, 1933). Hereafter cited in the text as

Lieblliz and the Bmoque.

23.Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, F8ix, Qtt'estce que la philosophe? (Paris, Minuit, 1991), P 91. For a discussion, see Tom Conley's
''TranslatOl)s Foreword" in The Fold: X1l1-xv.




"The Eisemnan-Deleuze Fold" folds together two heterogeneous sections. Section one, " The Deleuze Fold"
unfolds Deleuze's notion of the Fold in terms of architecture, poetry, music, philosophy and finally town
planning. Each of these levels of unfolding develops the illustrations already suggested in Deleuze's short essay

The Fold. The general trend in developing each level will be to establish the effectiveness ofDeleuze's characterization of

Baroque; firstly by investigating Deleuze's examples taken from what is considered in art

historical terms to be the Great Baroque period (1600-1750) and secondly by investigating the relevence of
universalizing this characteristic for unfolding contemporary forms, again utilizing examples already given to
us by Deleuze.

Section two of "The Eisemnan-Delettze Fold" is the "The Eisenman Fold." This section unfolds Eisenman's
constantly evolving architectural theory and practice with the aim of revealing inherent resonances between its
operative mode of design and the universalized characteristic of the Baroque. For the sake of brevity,
Eisenman's development is divided into five phases. From each phase only one or two pivotal projects will be
investigated in any detail. The divisions and titles of each phase are derived from Eisenman himself: from his
many reflective discussions on his work, they are 1) the "Cardboard Architecture" phase (1967-1974), 2) the
"Decompositional" phase (1975-1977), 3) the "Grounded Project" phase (1978-1986), 4) the "Imprint and
Trace" phase (1987-1990) and finally 5) the "Folded" phase (1991- ).

Tim Adams


The Deleuze Fold


The Del9UZe Fold should not be mistaken for any simple representation of it, nor is it simply a stylistic
tendency in the way that extravagant complexity is a tendency of Baroque architecture. In fact, we should wage
war on this predominance of the purely material characteristic when searching for a model for this type of fold.
"The crux of the question is that the material components of the fold (the texture) must not hide the formal
element or the form of expression," writes Deleuze (TheFold: 246). The Deleuze Fold "can only appear with
the infinite, in the incommensurable and the extravagant ... with its corresponding status as power of thought
and political force." (The Fold: 246, emphasis added). We should instead think of a fold-machine or erent-fold,
capable of producing effects (empowering thought) and generating duties (political force). "The fold is Power"
writes Deleuze (Leibniz and the Baroque: 18).


One ofDeleuze's models for the Fold is Le Corbusier's well known Monastery, Sainte Marie de la Tottrette
at Eveaux in France, 1953-57 (TheFold:233). Deleuze directs our attention to the similarities between its side
chapels (with their famous light canons trained to project light into the nave only on the equinoxes) and the
Leibnizian monad (windowless, yet in harmony with the universe). Deleuze states that it is "impossible to
understand the Leibnizian monad, and its system of light/mirror/point of view/interior decoration without
relating them to Baroque architecture. The latter sets up chapels and chambers whose glancing light comes
from openings invisible even to their inhabitants, "and that it is" the Baroque spirit which, in this sense,
inspires Le Corbusier in the La Tourette Abbey" (The Fold:233) .


The Deleuze Fold



The Deleuze Fold

For the Deleuze Fold, the German philosopher, mathematician, jmist and theologian, Gottfried
Wilhe1m Leibniz (1646-1716) is the Baroque philosopher par excellence. To investigate the contribution of
the Baroque to architectme is simultaneously to question Leibniz's contribution to philosophy. Deleuze finds

of the monad to be particularly useful in defining the Baroque. The monad is Leibniz's

answer to the problems generated by Descartes' dualism (Descartes divides the world into two substances;
spatially extended bodies and non-spatial minds, thus generating the problem of causality between them).
Leibniz instead proposes a monism for which all natme is a continuum of monads (tmities), each actively
enveloping a multiplicity. Monads are metaphysical points endowed with; 1) perception, because each
monad mirrors to some extent the whole universe as perceived from its w1ique point of view, and 2) a
body, by means of which it perceives. Conscious perception (apperception) occms only in certain monads
(corresponding to the Cartesian minds) while other monads have only perception (bodies only passively
reflecting the universe). The activity of bodies arises spontaneously according to their own laws of corporal
mechanism. Nevertheless, a body only moves when a mind wills it to due to the preestablished harmony
created by the continuum of monads. 1

Fig. 4
1 Leibniz, Gottfiied WIlhelm, Monadology and Other Philosophical Essays, (New York, Bobbs-Merril

Company, 1965), pp 148-163



The Deleuze Fold

Now, is it possible to find a further demonstration of the event-fold taking place at La Tourette? Think
of those inspired undulating rhythms in the glazed panels (ondulatoires) on the main elevation facing the valley.
They are not in fact designed by Le Corbusier but are the work of the Greek engineer-musician Iannis
Xenakis, who was working in Le Corbusier's office at 35 rue de Stvres in Paris between 1947 and 1959.
Xenakis determined their spacing using the Fibonacci series in a process that forms a continuum with the
process he used to compose the pitches and durations in his similarly inspired piece of orchestral music:

Metastassis (1953- 54). 2 Here is a pre-established harmony between music and architecture capable of producing an infinite number of effects and obligations, a fact Le Corbusier himself was not slow to capitalize on
when he attempted to validate his own "Modulor" (a system of proportions also based on a Fibonacci series)
with this particular fold between the spatial and the temporal. Music is after all, second only to architecture in
its capacity to be inspired by the Baroque spirit.

This design ofglazed panels for the corwent was made by Xenahis) an engi11ee1' who later became a
Inttsician and is now worhil1tf as an architect at 35 rue de Sevres: three favourable vocations
united in one man. The way in which 1114tsic and architecture to1tch upon one al1otlJe1; so often
reftrred to in connection with the Modulm; is nmv made manifestproftssiol1ally in a 'musical score
in which the resources ofthe Modulor are used as an aid to musical

by Xenahis)


2. Xenakis, Iannis, Formalized Music) Thought and Mathtmatics in Compositirm, (Bloornington,

Indiana University Press, 1971), pp 61-65
3. Le Corbusier,blodulor 2, (London, Faber and Faber, 1955), p 326.



The Deleuze Fold

Fig. 5

Fig. 6


The Deleuze Fold

ButLa T014rette is not the only architectural fold described by Deleuze. The Studiolo (private study) of
Francesco I de'Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence is also given as a model fold because, "the monad is a
cell, more a sacristy than an atom: a room with neither door nor window, where all actions are internal" (The

Fold:233). This roGlm, completed in 1575 by over thirty-five artists under the direction of Giorgio Vasari, is a
private vault where the prince kept the best samples from his collection of minerals, behind panels that were
designed to help catalogue and retrieve them. 4 It is a horizontal filing cabinet with absolute interiority but it is
also continuous with a fold running througy,rihe infinite exteriority of matter. Therefore the Studiolo forms
a "jewel box in which the absolute resides." 5 The iconography of this small room was devised by Vincenzo
Borghini. The room is devoted to the four elements as they are altered and affected by man or art. The wall
dedicated to air includes a panel depicting the Fall ofIcarus by Maso da San Friano.

Fig. 7

4. Schaefel; Scott, 'The Studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici: a checklist of the Known Drawings," Master I)-mwings:20 no 2,
(SUInIneJ; 1982), pp 125-130, and Boase, T.S.R., Giorgio Vilsari, The Man and the BOO!I, (New Jersey, Prince ton University Press,
1979), pp 314-320.
5. Jean Rousset, as quoted by Deleuze (The Fold:234).


The Deleuze Fold

The Fold is therefore a unifying event that works by exceeding its frame, an allegory of the world, a
universal theatre or a continuity between the arts (painter becomes geologist). Only "folding and unfolding,
wrapping and unwrapping are the constants of this operation" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 124). The Fold always
involves two le,vels of a single world or house that are made to resonate in concert by a pre-established harmony; like disconnected private apartments which only communicate by way of being variations on the same
interior design. Deleuze gives us a sketch of this "allegory of the Baroque house" with its t\vo levels (The Fold:








f"',,(f fU/J

(.. e;." 1







- .Gt.

bAA4>1 . . t..

Fig. 8
Deleuze's sketch illustrates a passage from Leibniz's New Essays. The New Essays takes the form of a
conversation between Philalethes-who states the views found in John Locke's Essay Concerning Human

Understanding (1690) and Theophilus-who adds his own (Leibniz's) remarks. Here is the passage illustrated
by Deleuze's Baroque house allegory.



The Deleuze Fold

Philalethes. The understanding bears not a little resemblance to a room wholly darlz) which
has only certain Sfnall openings to let in from (nttside e:-cterior and visible images...
Theophiltts. [To make the resemblance greater, ymt should suppose that in this room there was
a cahras to receive the images) not even) but diversified by folds) representing the (kinds of)
innate Imowledgej fiwther, that this canvas or membrane being stretched would have a kind
ofelasticity or power ofaction ... and this action w(iuld consist in certain vibrati(ms vr
oscillations) such as are seen in a stretched string so touched that itgives forth a Izind of
musical sound.... 6

The two levels in Deleuze's sketch can be interior and exterior or) interior room and autonomous
facade) which allegorize the autonomous yet harmoniously acting levels of the mind (without any physical
extension) and the body (extended). In place of Locke's empiricist model of consciousness as a blank tablet

(tabula rasa) that is totally passive to being inscribed by an exterior force) Leibniz proposes a block of marble
that is already full of veins. 7 In the context of consciousness) the veins are the innate ideas) figures folded into

the smtl) like the virtual forms that a good sculptor can always find waiting within the block of marble. Continuous with these first veins) but now in the context of the material universe) the veins can be thought of as
coils wrapped armmd smtls like a stream folding around a school of fish. According to this model there will
always be a communication between two active levels) a fold between two kinds of folding) each autonomous
to the other) so that we can say-"matter is marbled, and the soul is marbled) (but) in two different ways" (The

Fold: 229).

6. Leibniz, Gottfried WIlhelm, New Essays Crmcerning Human Understanding, (London, Open Court
Publishing, 1916), P 147. The emphasis is mine. Hereafter cited as New Essays.

7 Leibniz, New Essays, pp 45-46.


The Deleuze Fold

This folding between folds is the operative function of the Baroque-Ha fold which reverberates on both
sides in accordance with different orders, is the pre-eminent Baroque innovation. It expresses the transformation of the cosmos into 'mundus'" (The Fold:235). Deleuze's reference to El Greco's Burial ofthe Count ofOrgaz
(1586, Toled9l Santo

illustrates this characteristic of the Baroque very well. Here we see the par,titioning

of the two levels: in the lower middle zone, the coils of matter are the realistically portrayed contempories of
El Greco alongside Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine (who have miraculously returned to the lower level to
bury the Count) and in the upper zone, the souls are the saints interceding on the Count's behalf for Christ to
grant the Count entry into the upper zone. 8 El Greco ingeniously harmonizes the two zones by showing the
priest on the far right reading the funeral service, a well known text which finds its literal illustration in the
upper zone where we see how-Habove the soul rises, in a thin coil, awaited by holy monads each of which is
endowed with its own spontaneity" (TheFold:235).

8. Schroth, Sarah, "BUlial of the Count of Orgaz", Figures ofTholtght: El Greco as Interpreter ofHistOlY, 7Yaditioll, (md Ideas, edited
by Jonathan Brown, (Washington, Washington National Gallcry of Art:, 1982), p8.


The Deleuze Fold

Fig. 9


The Deleuze Fold

In the context of Baroque architecture, the Fold between two folds operates between a unified space of
an interior and an independently acting facade. In contrast to the facade's integration with the interior in the
work ofRennaisance architects, "in the hands of the baroque architects the facade became a magnificent showpiece, placed in front of a building without any organic relationship whatever with the interior." 9 This creates
the possibility for a new mode of correspondence which was totally unknown to pre-Baroque architects. A new
harmony emerges between the gate-like facade, punctuating itself with small openings, "thereby constituting an
infinite reception room ... a pure interior without exterior" and the sealed interior thus created, "lined in
spontaneous folds which are now only those of a soul or a spirit" (The Fold:234).

The Baroque church Sant'Andrea delta Valte in Rome has a facade and an interior designed by two
different architects. Carlo Maderno completed the interior between 1608 and 1623 and the facade was added
between 1656 and 1665 by Carlo Rainaldi. The interior demonstrates what Wdlffiin calls "a completely new

conception ofspace directed towards infinity: form is dissolved in favour of the magic spell oflight". 10 The gaze is
drawn to infinity by the magic of light streaming down from the invisible height of the dome. The whole
space is sealed by the vast ribbon-like cornice that is "at once continuous, mobile and fluttering, that converges
or tends toward a summit as its closed interiority" (Leibl1iz and the Baroque: 124).

9. Wdlfflin, Heinrich, Renaissance and Baroque, (Ithaca, Comel! University Press, 1968), p 93.

10 . Wdlfflin, Renaissance and Baroque, p64.



The Deleuze Fold

Rainaldi's facade for Sant'Andreadella Vitlle continues the clear course of Baroque church facade development with its two storeys; the upper storey is less wide than the lower storey and is crowned by a pediment.
This facade has no necessary connection with Maderno's interior, other than the verticality of the coupled halfcolumns suggestihg a continuity with the verticality of the paired pilasters under the dome. 11 The facade's
tendency to express only itself mirrors the overwhelming self-containedness of the interior, and the correlation
of independent facade and interior-without-exterior creates a new harmony between two infinite series which
never quite meet.

11. Norberg-Schulz, Christian, Baroque Architecture, (New York, Rizzoli, 1979), P 64.



____________________. -_________________



! l" 1 Jcleuze Fold

l imAd='


The Ddeuze Fold

Not allfolds are Baroque Folds. There are also folds of the Orient: origami (ol"i: fold, Izami: paper) in
which the fold oscillates bet\veen the emptiness of a blank sheet of paper and the fullness of the folded form.
Folds from the Orient always hinge on an emptiness whereas Baroque Folds are always full. In the Baroque,

the apparently

spaces always conceal more folded matter. This confrontation of the Orient and the

Baroque is put to work in tl1e paintings of the Hungarian artist Simon Hanta:i.

Fig. 12

Since 1959, Hantai has worked with large unstretched canvases, carefully knotting and folding them
prior to painting them so tl1at when unfolded, tl1e absence of paint in the creases creates empty spaces around
gridded squares of colour. "B anta'i leaves the eye of the fold empty and only paints the sides (line of the
Orient); and yet it sometimes happens that in the same region he will make a succession offolds which no
longer leave any empty spaces (the full Baroque line)" (The Fold: 244). Deleuze suggests therefore, that this
confrontation with the fold of the Orient is in fact a charcteristic of all Baroque folds. By creating folds
t\'ieen folds Hantai reveals the fold of the Orient in its becoming Baroque.



The Deleuze Fold



In the context of French verse) the great Baroque poet is undoubtedly Stephane Mallarme (1842-1898).
"The Mallarmean figure of the fold) for example) enables us to join the erotic to the sensible) then to the
reflexive) to the n;.etaphysical) and to the literary: the fold is at once sex) foliage) mirror) book and tomb-all
are realities it gathers up in a certain very special dream of intimacy."


For Mallarme words do not function to

tell) instead they form an endless operation between the reader and the shifty marks on a blank sheet of paper;
they are treated as objects to be folded in the operation of remaking grammer) synta.'{ and vocabulary into
something new and strange.

Mallarme writes that "there is at Versailles a kind of wainscotting in scrollwork tracery, pretty enough to
bring tears to the eyes; shells) coilings) curves) reprises of motifs. That is how the sentence I toss out on the
paper first appears to me in summary design) which I then review, purify, reduce and synthesize."


But the

word-object is not simply a thing or an image of a thing) it is a machine for producing effects) its operation is
to "paint, 110tthe object) blltthe effectitprodllces."


12. Richard, Jean-Piene, L'Univm imaginaire de MalUtl1r1t, (Pads, Seuil, 1961), P 28. The O'aIlSlation is talcen iiuIl1 Denida,

Jacques,Dissemination, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1981), pp 249 and 270. Denida quotes this passage from Richard
twice, marking its importance for any reading of Mallanne.

13. Mallanne, Stephane, Oettvres complttes) (Pads,

1945), p296. The o-anslation is fium Dissemination) p 180.

14. Mallannt, Stephane, Selected Letters, (Chicago, University of Chidago, 1988), P 39. The emphasis is


The D ekuze Fold

', g. 13

Tim Ad.lffiS

The Deleuze Fold

Mallarme's poemRrmemoratim d'amis Beiges CReme1ltomtion' to Belgian

paints the effects of two

folds, each folding in its own way. The city ofBruges (named in the fourth stanza) is gradually revealed when
the mist enveloping it gently dissolves. Mists are grains of matter "through which one perceives the visible as if
through the holes in a veil, according to the way the folds [replisJ offer glimpses of the stone in the indentation

of their inflections, 'fold following fold' " (The Fold: 236). Here is the first ofRe1'nernoration's four stanzas
followed by its translation.

A DES hettres et sans que tel souffle l'tmettve

Tottte la vetuste presque cottleur encens
C01'rtme furtive d'elle etvisible je sens
QJle se devCt pli se/ot1-pli la pierre veuve
SOMETIMES and without such a rousing puff
All the decrepitude almost colour of incense
As furtively and visibly I sense
How fold following fold the widowed stone strips off15

One fold is the fold of matter throttgh which one sees. The other fold is the fold of the soul in which one
reads "revealing the city; but also its absence or withdrawal" (The Fold: 236).The word-objects of

Rememoratiot1- paint an effect, the event of Bruges' becoming visible. The reading of Rem em Oration scrubs out
the precise sense of that vision. Together they create a new kind of correspondence. "The visible and the
legible, the exterior and the interior, the facade and the room: they are not two different worlds for the
visible has its own way of being read ... and the legible has its own kind of theatre" and together they
"constitute the 'emblems' or the allegories that were dear to the Baroque" (The Fold: 237-238). For a better
understanding of the Baroque we must therefore spend some time investigating that literary device known
as "allegory".


Selected Poems, translated by C F MacIntyre, (Berkely, University ofCalifomian Press, 1959), p 73. This

translation is slighdy rnodi1ied to confOlm to Deleuze's quotations.


The Deleuze Fold

Allegories are narratives that operate simultaneously on two continuous levels, each level being capable of
an infinite extension. An allegory (in Greek altos - agoria meaning "other speech') operates by extending an

e.vplicit and literal fable that in itself malces abundantly clear to the reader that it is the embodiment of a simultaneously developing implicit and figurative moral commonplace. For example no reader of George Orwell's

Animal Fann can be in any doubt about a certain fictional pig being simultaneously the figure of Stalin, since
Orwell makes it abundantly clear to us that his fable is really about the behaviour of certain figures in Soviet
The German literary critic, Walter Benjamin (1892 - 1940), develops the notion of allegory by analysing
the Baroque emblem books that permeated European culture throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. 16 These
books consist of a series of illustrations (pictura) , each illustration having an inscription (inscriptio) above and
an epigrammatic explanation (subscriptio) below it.l7 The following illustrations are two examples, with translated inscriptions and epigrams, from emblem books of Alciati.

16. Benjamin, Waltel; "AllegOlY and Trauerspiel" in The Origins ofGmnan Tragic Drama, (London,
New Left Books, 1977).

17. Russel, Daniel, "Alciati's Emblems in Renaissance France," Renaissance Qjtal'tCI'Iy: 34 (1981),
pp 534 - 554.


The DelellZe Fold

Q1J. Dij vocant,eunduf1L,.


I .V

frilllO mOllJ ef/

'Trlln,.1 Dt,l

J.JpiJi/m ';




,pI,7(J1'( jAfl.J 101111

flnf}IIJUJ: (wl!md" 1.Ii,l/or
Strl.l /)ro, rfdum 'INi llb, Tllflllflrtl ilff.


OIJJ!J( J ill It/IIIO jiIJIJIU, ,",/lIt




lJ/ Dill!

Ir.lfTJI/( '1.'II.l

I/'ft 1.I/.llII ..

Fig. 14

Inscription: One must go where the gods call.

Epigram: At the crossroads is a pile of stones; on top of it is the truncated figure of a god, fashioned from

the waist up. It is therefore the mound of Mercury. Traveller, offer garlands to the god, so that he may show
you the right road. We are all at the crossroads, and in this pathway of life we err unless God himself shows us
the way.


18 Alciatus, Anch'eas, The Latin Emblems, volume 1, edited by Peter M Daly and Virginia W Callahan,
(Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1985), Emblem 8.


The Ddeuze Fold

Muficam Dijs curer e{fu .


L 0 C RE N S I S pifNiI libi Dtlp/,ia P/urp4 (it4rl"m

Ellllomll1 IU17( I 'A/m.t fif/'A d((Or4 ftl.l.
c(rJllb,tI ,Idlro Spllrl)n (OmmiJ1l11 in hofla1/)
El P(r (II.!!A fo man p""f(( fI,t d.t/INIJI .
TrilA ftdo rAlle, {(fill (ittll Jlrid(T( bombo

L(!,iJlmNffI hHwwni.u 6- VII/An

TN,,; ri/hAr4 tlr!,'IIAI1J filllNW ftP IIIINIII "Iu I
.Q}I.t jr4[JAfN 'flIp/rrfl 'I/OU child.. ftdulJ:

AIIdIA, rowi Arl/rf,fm dr/cwdll Ab Alii>

I 't'/ nobi, e."rrNI" faro O/fm.
Erg# /114 ,vI jTmw fl(J '!wnOJ I " [,tN[ft. d'AdA,
Pro dlhArll hie jidl(w
Ipfo [fila,

Fig. 15

Inscription: Music the care of the gods .

Epigram: For you, Delphic Phoebus, Eunomus ofLocris set up this cricket, a fitting symbol of his own

victory. He was competing on the lyre with a Spartan rival, and the strings plucked by his thumb were resounding. As a worn string began to screech with a harsh buzzing sound, and began to spoil the correct tune
and harmony; a delightful, chirping cricket hopped onto the lyre, to make up for the broken string with its
voice, Attracted to the mode of the music it descended from its lofty wooded haunts, so that it, a chirper,
might bring us its aid. Therefore, 0 holy Apollo, in order that the honour of your cricket might endure, this

minstrel itselfin bronze sits upon the lyre.


19 Ibid, Emblem 185.


The Deleuze Fold

Baroque emblem books are therefore serial montages of; fragments of poetic and dramatic texts with
apparently enigmatically juxtaposed figures. The reader/viewer is inspired by this composite iconography to
pose questions about the structure of the illustrations) questions that will be answered in the explanatory te:h.1:s)
"in such a way as ,to recall a more or less unexpected moral commonplace. The element of surprise has the
effect of making the message more memorable) while the illustration provided a convenient memory place to
which the message might be attached.' 20

The figures in the emblem) like their inscriptions) are themselves fragmented ruins of some mythically
unified past. By focusing on transitory fragments of objects) nature itself is presented as transitory This is why
Baroque images "tend to break their frames) form a continuous fresco) and join broader cycles ... because the
pictured form ... is never an essence or an attribute) as in a symbol) but an event) which is thus related to a
history or to a series" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 125).

And despite there being no essential connection between the fragmented inscription and the ruined
figures of the illustration) there is nevertheless a mode of correspondence established between the two. This
communication between figure and inscription is guaranteed by the explanatory text that sets to work the
fragmented thought-images (Denkbilder) in the illustrations with the fragmented script-images (Schriftbilder) in
the texts) so that the visible becomes legible and the legible becomes an event. "All the plastic arts: architecture)
sculpture) painting etc belong pre-eminently among such script and developments and derivations of it."21

20. Rmsel, "Alciati's Emblems", p 545

21. Johann WIlhelm Rittel; as quoted by Waiter Benjarnin in The Origin ojGmml11 'JJagic Drama, p 214



The Deleuze Fold

Allegories, following the example of emblems, also present their visual images of nature as fragmented
representations of history. So we can say; along with Benjamin that, "allegories are, in the realm of thoughts,
what ruins are in the realm of things. "22 The ruin motif is typically Baroque, we see it in the emblematic piling
up of antique fragments in allegories and in the broken pediments and cornices and other theatrical
rustificationsofBaroque architecture. By monurnentalizing the ruin, the Baroque forces the object to overflow
its frame and to interiorize moral or aesthetic narratives. Benjamin intended to apply this notion of the Baroque to his own era in his unfinished "Arcades Project" (Passagen- lMirlz). By devaluing the nineteenth-century
covered arcades as the new ruins of industrial culture, he could read into them all the errors of bourgeois
consciousness (commodity fetishism, reification, fashion, prostitution, gambling and so on). 23 If the failed
material of our own period can be elevated to the position of allegory it should tell us that catastrophe is
necessary and guide our future political practice.

22, Benjamin, The Origin ofGmlJan 'fl'agic Drama, p 178 ,

23 Buck-Morss, Susan, The Dialectics of Seeing, YWtltel' Benjamin and the Al'cades Project (Massechusetts, MIT Press, 1989) .



The Deleuze Fold


Symbols are transformed into allegories when the timeless unity of image-and-its-meaning is fractured,
forcing it to be viewed and read as a montage of transitory fragments, fragments which exist on two levels:
the sensory level of images and the intellectual level of abstract distinctions. The Baroque allegory extends the
event of the montage into an infinite series, thus transforming Nature into a process of history by forcing the
object to overflow its material frame and enter the series. This is made possible by a correspondence between
thought-images (Nature ruined) and script-images (Nature monumentalized). In the realm of


Baroque can again be defined in terms of an operation across two levels: natural sounds are transformed into

music when they are forced to embody intelligence. Baroque music extends its sounds in an infinite melody to
harmonize the universe with the soul.

Music stimulates "at once the intellectual love of an order and a measure beyond the senses, and an
affective pleasure that derives from bodily vibrations" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 127). Baroque music can always
extract a pre-established harmony from both the measure of music and the pleasure derived from listening to
it, because

even the pleasures ofsense are reducible to intellectual pleasures, known confusedly.
1vIusic charms us, although its beauty consists only in the agreement ofnumbers and in
the counting, which we do not perceive but which the soul nevertheless continues to
canyout, ofthe beats or vibrations ofsounding bodies which coincide at certain
intervals. The pleasures which the eye finds in proportions are of the same nature, and
those caused by other senses amount to something similar, although we may not be able
to exp/ain them so distinctly. 24

24. Lcibniz, Gottfiied Wilhelrn, 'The Principles of Nature and of Grace, Based on Reason", in Philosophical Papers and Letters,
Volume 2, (Illinois, University of Chicago Press, 1956), p 1042 .



The Deleuze Fold

"Baroque" is a term borrowed from the world of architecture, used originally for its pejorative connotations of strangeness and distortion (the French word baroque comes from the Portuguese barroco: a pearl with
an irregular or bulbous shape).


Without knowing what led to the extravagances of the Baroque, its boldness

and speed will seem unnaturally grotesque, because Baroque composers "in a preponderant share of their music
strove for the expression of affective states, whether or not inspired by a text. It is this striving that led to the
extravagances that were frist deplored as 'Baroque''', so that "anyone who did not understand the motivation
behind these manners (like a Frenchman listening to Italian recitative or Vivaldi's violin concertos) could well
have found a work embodying them
This motivation to express the affections (distinguishable states of mind or feelings) operates under a
"doctrine of affections" (Affiktenlehre), a doctrine of the mysterious affinity between the internal and spontaneous affects (sorrow" admiration, gladness, fear, anger, hope, joy; calm etc) and their physical embodiment in
the world of senses-a "pre-established" harmony of a soul that sings to itself and the world that is like a book
of music, to be followed horizontally by singing it; its "line, is expressed in the rising of the interior song of the
soul, by memory or by heart, as in the extrinsic creation of the material of the musical score" (The Fold: 242) .
The affective states are what the soul sings to itself because they are already a fixed condition of the nerves.
The event of singing, or reading from the material world (like a book of music) simultaneously expresses the
affective states because the affects are themselves expressions of the same universe. This is what is meant by
"pre-established" in Leibniz's phrase "pre-establishedharmony."

25 . See "Baroque" in T71e New Grope Dictionary ofMusic and Musicians, (London, Macrnillan Publishers, 1980), volume 2,
p 172. AB this dictionary entry makes clear, the Baroque in terms of music is notOllously difficult to define. For evelY identifYing
trait that can be suggested, important counter e;xamples can be given. It is dynamic and open-formed (in the music of Gesualdo
but not in music by Scarlatti), it is ornamented (Caccini but not Correlli), it contains sharp contrasts (Gabrieli but not Cesti),
nevertheless all these composers can be called Baroque. A further difficulty is added by the tendency among French musicologists
to limit the Baroque to German music, prefening to use "Concertant Style" for French music composed in a similar vein. This
fluidity of n"aits makes Deleuze's notion of the Baroque particularly useful in the context of music because it gives us an oPel"ative
definition that can account for this variety of traits.

26 Ibid., P 175.



The Deleuze Fold

In terms of Baroque compositional technique this pre-established harmony operates between harmony
(the chordal accompaniment) and melody (the tune). Harmony here meaning the vertical sum of counterpoints considered as a degree of accord (pleasant to the western ear) or discord (unpleasant, preparing to
resolve into an accord) as determined by abstract, intelligible distinctions. Melody; the infinite horizontal

development of motifs, is the real vibration of sensible bodies, it is the cause of music's sensual pleasure. The
harmony (accord) between harmony (the determination of each chord's degree of accord according to abstract
distinctions) and melody is achieved when one folds over the other, each spilling over its frame. The vertical
sun1 of counterpoints and the horizontal melodic line act together like a flower and a bee, as heterogeneous
strata in a parallelism of reciprocal morphogenesis. A characteristic feature of Baroque music is its constructive
use of the shorthand notation of harmony known as "thoroughbass" or basso continuo: only the lowest tone of
the chord is notated (in the conventional manner) along with symbols indicating the type of chord to be filled
in by the upper voices (which by implication are now free to express a text or to soar in inst:run1ental fantasies).

In short) the continuous bass does not impose a hal1nol1ic law 'Upon the lines ofpolyphony without
having the


a new freedom and unity (Leibniz and the Baroque: 135).

There is a third aspect to the pre-establishedharmony of Baroque music. It is the harmony that operates
between music and its text. Whether it be a setting of words to music or purely instrumental, there will always
be a congruence of music and text. How then is the text folded so that it can be enveloped in music?

Baroque musicians count among the first) perhaps) to propose a syste'matic answer: accords are what
detennine the affective states that conform to the text, and that furnish voices (whether vocal or
instrumental) with the necessary 'melodic inflections... The same expressive problem will animate
music endlessly) from VUigner to Debussy and now up to Cage) Boulez) Stockhattsen and Berio
(Leibniz and the Baroque: 136).

The problem is this-accords are at once spontaneous abstract distinctions and the sensory expressions
which embody those distinctions. Without an awareness of the folding that operates between the levels of
intelligible measure and sensory vibration, levels which nevertheless must remain heterogenous, all expression
will cease because like Leibnizian monads they "are not only expressions, but they also express the same world
that does not exist outside of its expressions ... the issue concerns an accord of spontaneities themselves, an
accord among accords " (Leibniz and the Baroque: 132).



The Deleuze Fold

So for example, when a better understanding of the human physiology led to the idea of constantly
shifting nerve responses to internal and external stimuli (as exemplified by the associational psychology of
David Hume) the world of affections expressed by Baroque music- according to a pre-established harmony,
immediately disintegrated. The motivation for Baroque extravagances (the mysterious affinity bet\veen a fixed
condition of the nerves and their physical expression) was removed. The Baroque style was then replaced by
the "sentimental style" (Empfindsamer Stil) which explored the possibilities of transient sentiments suggested
by the psychology of associational impressions. This new aesthetic finds its apotheosis in Karl Philipp Moritz's
allegorical novelAndreas Hartknopf-

Everyone will have noticed at least a few times in their life that some othenvise 1Jtterly
meaningless tone) heard) say, in the distance has a quite wonderful effect on the so1l1 ifthe
mood is right; it is as though a thousand memories) a thollsand dim ideas had awakened
all at once with this tone and transported the heart into an indescribable melancholy. 27
Therefore the abstract distinctions generated in the texts and expressed in the music of t\ventieth-century
composers can no longer generate an accord beween accords or even express individual views of the same
world. Instead we find conflicting distinctions generated from various overlapping sources such as; the golden
section (BelaBart6k), prime numbers (Olivier Messiaen), the Fibonacci series (Karlheinz Stockhausen),
N ewtonian binomals (Jean-Claude Risset), the kinetic theory of gases (Iannis Xenakis), Paul IGee's "Pedagogical Sketchbook" (Harrison Birwistle), WaIter Benjarnin's theory of allegory (Brian Ferneyhough) and
Stephane Mallarme's figure of the fold (Pierre Boulez). Taken individually; each composer folds a text according to accords formed only by those abstract distinctions uniquely embodied in their particular music. Without
this new condition of the Baroque their textually derived distinctions would seem to be only idiosyncratically
useful working methods, having no value whatsoever for someone listening to their music, because without a
folding of the text and an enveloping of music, music can express nothing.

Today the combination of music and text, in the absence of any system like the seventeenth-century

Affektenlehre, will not fix meaning beyond the context of a particular piece of music. So for example, when
Pierre Boulez's Pli selon pli (five pieces for soprano and orchestra, 1957 - 1962) takes its title from a line in

27. Moritz, quoted in Dahlhaus, Carl, The Idea ofAbsolute Music (Chicage, University of Chicago
Press, 1978), p 131.



The Deleuze Fold

Mallarmt's poem Rem6noratio11 d'amis Beiges (as already discussed in terms of the Mallarmean figure of the
fold) and has the soprano vocalise selected fragments from Mallarme's poems, it is not simply a matter of
transferring intact, a pre-established meaning into a new context. Rather)Mallarme's texts (along wi th Boulez's
own critical writings) are in this work, folded in a new Baroque operation.

The criterion or the operative concept ofthe Baroque is the Fold) in its fill!
comprehension and extension: fold upon fold. If one can e.'4end the Baroque beyond precise
historical limits) it seems to us that it is always by virtue ofthis criterion) which allolVs 1IS to
recognise Michaux when he writes' To live in the folds' or Bot/lez when he il'wokes
Mallanne and composes 'Fold upon fold' or Hantai'when he creates a method 01lt of
folding (The Fold: 241).
So how does Boulez fold the text of Mallarmt's poetry? And how does his Pli selon pli envelop? Gone are
the accords (the vertical sum of notes designated by relative amounts of accord or discord simultaneously
expressing an affective state) that could express the feeling or affect of the text in earlier music (with for
example an unprepared dissonance being at once an expression of fury and a resolution of a dissonance at once
expressing calm). In place of vertical accords and horizontal melodies unfolded according to the accords,
Boulez creates a new diagonal dimension. 28 He abandons traditional phrase structure of lines (tunes) and chords
(accompaniment) and replaces it with a neutral figure floating on an unstable flux of complex texture types.
The polar extremes of this continuum of textures are distinguished by Boulez as being "smooth" (amorphe) and
"striated" (strie).

28 Bradshaw, Susall, 'The instrumental and vocal music" in PiClre Boulez, A Symposium, (London,

Eulenburg Books, 1986), P 131



The Deleuze Fold

According to Boulez, complete smoothness describes a space without landmarks and a time without
measure. It remains partially undetermined and only ever statistically defined, even at the smallest scale.
Smooth texture can vary only in its density of events relative to a striated texture. Completely striated textures
are by contrast, spaces inscribed with reference points dispersed over the greatest possible range, with time
always fixed by counting regardless of how irregular the pulses counted may be. Boulez gives us the following
illustration to describe the difference between smooth and striated.

Beneath a line ofreference) place a completely smooth surface and a striated surface: it malus no
difference whether the striation is regular or irregular. If this ideal smooth smface is displaced) it
willgive 110 indication of either' the speed or the direction ofits displacemen0 since there is 110
guidemark for the eye. The displacement ofa striated sttrface will 011 the contrary be immediately
noticeable) both in its speed and its directi011. 29
These abstract distinctions, developed in the text ofBoulez onM1tsic Today, are in effect an account of the
concrete mixes of sounds that proliferate in Boulez's Pli selon pli. The startling complexity of this work can then
be heard as a continuous oscillation between smoothly shifting dynamics (changes in loudness and density of
the sustained sounds of woodwind, brass and bowed string-instruments) and the striated pattern of attack
points (the struck or plucked sounds of piano, celeste, harp, glockenspiel, xylophone and drums). The smooth
dynamics are carefully controlled by swells of a fragmented melodic line shifting "diagonally" from instrument
to instrunlent. This swell of sounds forms a line of reference beneath which smooth changes in timbre, register
and pitch fail to disrupt the sense of a singular aural gestalt. Further beneath this floating line of reference is
the system of striated attack points. When an attack point coincides with any change of timbre, register and
pitch, the change no matter how slight, will cause a new aural gestalt to begin. In Pli sel011 pli, "rhythm is
focused as much on the smooth shifting of the dynamic continuum as on a system of articulated attack points.
The clean attacks represent points of renewal within the continuum

the continuum helps to counter any

tendency for the attack points to call a new rhythmic hierarchy into existence." 30

29. Boulez, Pierre, Boulez on lvltlSic Today>. (London, Faber and Faber, 1971), P 89.
30. Gable, David, "Boulez's Two Cultures: The Post-War European Synthesis and

Tradirion,"Journal oftheA1IIerican MlISicol'LQiml. Society, (Fall, 1990), pp 432 - 433 .



The Deleuze Fold

Boulez's music (its line of reference) floats on two surfaces: the statistical accumulation of detail (smooth
surfaces) and the temporal unfolding of newgestalten (striated surfaces). Focus is constantly shifted away from
the striated attack points to the other smoothly changing parameters of timbre, register and pitch. The privilege of the

point and its relation to a hierarchical system of rhythm, ultimately fixed by a regular meter,

had until now always been considered a natural and permanent condition of music. Boulez's music challenges
that privilege.

Pli selon pli therefore folds the text ofMallarmt's poetry on many levels. First, it folds together, folding
following fold, a chronological portrait ofMallarmt's oeJlvre by having the soprano vocalize fragments of
several poems, starting with Don du

(Gift of the Poem) from 1862 - 1865 and progressing to the

Tombeau (Tomb) of 1897. Second, it folds, fold following fold, various levels of interpretation of MallarmC's
poetry: from the mimetic uncovering of the strophic character of his poems in the strophic form of the music,
to the association (by way of a pun) of the hissed sibilants ("white" sounds) inserted into the sung text with
Mallarme's practice of inserting blank spaces (the "white" page) into his verse.

Thirdly it folds, fold following fold, Mallarme's figure of the fold. As we have already discovered, this
figure always involves two folds and their harmonization. In the poem Rtmemoration d'amis Belges, from
which Boulez takes the phrase Pli seton pli (fold following fold) for his title, it was the folds in the mist through
which we see the image of the enveloped city ofBruges and, the folds in the written words which were made
opaque to any clear meaning. The correspondence between Mallarme's two folds is not dissimilar to the new
diagonal dimension created in Boulez's Pli selon pli. On one level of

(the sharp commencement

of sounds) will always form points that can be located on a fixed and regular series of pulses (the meter), and
on another level, smooth changes in pitch and instrumentation go virtually unnoticed and therefore uncounted by the meter. Boulez adds a degree of indeterminancy at this level to reinforce the notion that it goes
uncounted. In Pli seton pli, he often cuts up the traditionally linear vertical bar lines between the sections of the
orchestra and adds an instruction for the sections to start very freely and irregularly (tres libre) irregulie1j tres




The Dcleuze Fold















IY -


"% -r;












PP ..





Tees Iibre, irreguHer

Trh hesitant, pour commenceI'


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Vlbr. 2

(....... ,MUQf)


Harpe I

de.! dlrMrmb rrollpu

C(linrlder, par
;n'ff let 81.Joml.l!l
dellputllltln,G'lIIQnl une flmpJe
8U/I)(6 I.


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PPPPplml I

The Ddeuze Fold

Just as a Fold between the folds operates inRemhno1"atiol1 (the visible becomes legible and the legible
becomes an event in the fashion of a Baroque emblem) so do the floating dynamic swells (carefully controlled
changes in volume) operate between the striated attacks and the smooth changes in Pli selon pli. A smooth
change, or even a stasis) can be given extroardinary interest by the floating dynamic (thus becoming countable
by some kind of meter). The striated attacks create the sense of a meter, but also suggest in their extreme
irregularity that they

the extreme case in a continuum of texture types running from the completely smooth

to the completely striated. The rhythm of the attack points are, in this way, made into an event.

vVithout this folding

figure of the Fold, Boulez's distinction of the smooth and the

striated must seem bizarre (and therefore Baroque). Gerard Grisey for example, sees this distinction as one
of the "theoretical avatars" of twentieth-century music.

The notion ofsmooth (1t11measured) and striated (measured) time described by Pierre B01flez ...
is 'merely the invention ofa cond1lctior bereft ofany phenornenological awareness. liVho perceives the
difference betlVeen time divided 1Ip periodically by a 'meter ... and s1Hooth time) without a pulse) if
the rhythms which overlay it are there precisely to destroy all feeling ofperiodicity ?31
Griseyargues that such distinctions have no perceptible value, since they are based on a utopia of a
spatialized and therefore static view of time that treats music as if it were only for the specialist who reads the
score. But as we have discovered, reading the score is precisely what the Baroque Fold must do, for it is in the
score that correspondances between the intellectual love of measure beyond the senses and the affective pleasure that derives from bodily vibrations will be located.

31. Grisey, Gerard, "Tempus ex Mac/Jiina: A composer's reflections onrnusical time," in CrmtemporMY

lvImic Review) Vol.2, (1987), p 240.



The Deleuze Fold


We can now see that the Deleuze-Leibniz allegory of the Baroque house-lithe world of only two stories,
separated by a fo19 which reverberates on both sides in accordance with different orders" (The Fold: 235) is an
effective way of viewing expressions of the Baroque spirit in architecture (Le Corbusier, Vasari, Maderno),
painting (Hantai, El Greco) , poetry (Mallarme) and music (Boulez). In each case there is a bringing to light of
two folds; a sensuous fold (a facade, coils of matter, the verbal image or an affective pleasure) and a
nonsensuous fold (an

souls in heaven, abstract distinctions or the intellectual love of order and

measure) followed by an unconcealing of the Fold (correspondence) of the two folds. But this clarification,
this presentation or unconcealing is simultaneously a distortion, a withdrawal and a concealing. Unfolding or
presenting the twofold (Zwiefalt) conceals a necessary concealment. "When Heidegger refers to the Zwiefalt as
the differential of difference, he means above all that the differentiation does not refer to undifferentiated
origin, but to a Difference which ceaselessly unfolds and folds back from both sides and which only unfolds
one by folding back the other" (The Fold: 236).

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976) is the twentieth-century philosopher of the
Fold. Deleuze mentions an unpublished work by Andre Scala that traces the development of the Heideggerian
notion of the fold between 1946 and 1953, culminating in Heidegger's essay Moira, now translated in Early

Greelz Thinfling (The Fold: 236).

32 According

to Heidegger the unfolding of the twofold (die Entfaltttng del'

Zwiefalt) is an unobserved decline that starts with the beginning of Western thought. Beginning with the
Greek philosopher Parmenides (around 510 BC) the duality of "the Being o/'beings" and "beings in Being" is
concealed by a presentational thinking for which everything comes to be a being: the illusion that Being is
identical with the totality of beings. 33

32. Heidegger, Martin, Early G/'eel/ Thinking, The Dawn ofWiistern Philosophy, (San Francisco, Hruper and
Row, 1984), pp 79-101.

33. Heidegger's unique contribution to philosophy was to think the ontological difference between "regionalontologies": the
several meanings of being (as described in Franz Brentano's On the SerclYll Senses ofBeing in Aristotle, a O-eatise that was given
to Heidegger when he was seventeen) and "fimdamental ontology": "Being itself' in its unity. See Sheehan, Thomas, "Heidegger's
Early Years: Fragments for aPhilosophical Biography," inHeidegger: The Man and the Thinker (Chicago, Pl-ecendent Publishing,
1981), pp 3-19.



The Deleuze Fold

For Heidegger this twofold of Being and beings is "at least intimated by such nuances of phrasing as 'the
Being of beings', and 'beings in Being.' In its essence, however, what unfolds is obscured more than clarified
through the 'in' and the 'of'. These expressions are far from thinking the duality as such, or from seriously

questioning its unfolding."


What this unfolding conceals is that "every fold originates from a fold"

(Leibniz and the Baroque: 10). The twofold is language itself. It differentiates the 1tOetol1 (the nonsensuous,
the mental) from the aistheton (what can be perceived by the senses) and simultaneously withdraws the
folded zone of inseparability that produces their difference: the self-differentiation of language itself.

So when Heidegger says that "language is the house of Being" he simply means to say that language is
what lets Being's difference from beings be disclosed.


The bringing to light of the Folding bet\veen folds,

and unconcealing the harmonization between levels, hides this decline of the

its lighting is riddled with

darkness. "In it the unfolding of the twofold remains as concealed as its decline for beginning thought."


The allegory of the Baroque house, as an unfolding of the twofold, dazzles us with its changes of colour
and its immediacy yet simultaneously keeps us to what is made present. It veils the presencing of what is
present. "How does this fateful yielding occur? Already only insofar as the twofold as such, and therefore its
unfolding, remain hidden. But then does self-concealment reign at the heart of disclosure? A bold thought."


34. Heidegger, Early Greek Thinking, p 86.

35.Heidegger, Martin, "Letter on Humanism", inPhilosopby in the Tlventieth Centu1Y, An Anthology, Vol 3, edited by William
Ban-et, (New York, Random House, 1962), p 271.

36. Heidegger, Early G/'eek Thinlzing, p 86.

37. Ibid., P 100 .



The DelellZe Fold

This presencing of the twofold happens through moira (destiny), "the destining of the disclosure of the
duali ty ... as the truth of Being in the sense of the disclosure of the duality, and as "vi thholding from the
twofold." 38 For Heidegger all art is the letting happen of this truth and as such, all art is essentially poetic.
Poetry "as illumiI1ating projection, unfolds of unconcealedness and projects ahead into the design of the
figure", and therefore "the arts of architecture, painting, sculpture and music must be traced back to poesy:'


Architecture, traced back to poesy (poiesis: making) is Heidegger thoughtfully saying: "the relationship
between man and space is dwelling (wo/men)", which suggests a tending (schonen) or cultivation. Describing
the phrase ".... poetically man dwells .... " ( .... dicterisch wohl1et der Mel1sch .... ) from Holderlin's poem "In

leiblicher Blaue" (In Lovely Blueness), Heidegger says "poetry is what really lets us dwell. But through what
do we attain to a dwelling place? Through building. Poetic creation, which lets us dwell, is a kind of building."


It is by tending to the twofold, its unfolding and its self-concealment, that man first listens to the call

of Being and finds his true measure.

"To write poetry is measure-taking, understood in the strict sense of the word, by which man first
receives the measure for the breadth of his being." 41 Dwelling poetically is the measure-taking by which space
(t'aum) is made. "But space-does it remain the same? Is space itself not that space which received its first

determination from Galileo and Newton? ... is it that homogeneous expanse, not distinguished at any of i ts
possible places, equivalent toward each direction, but not perceptible with the senses?" 42 No, there is another
kind of space, a clearing-away (Ri:iumen) or a making-room (Einra1lmen) that is a twofold preparation of a
locality for dwelling.

3S. Ibid., P 100.

39. Heidegger, Martin, ''The Origin of the Work of Art," in Foetry, Language, Thougbt, (San Francisco, HaJper and Kow, 1975),

40. Heidegger, Martin, ".... Poetically Man Dwells .... " inFomy, Language, Tbotl[Jbt, p 215.
41. Ibid, pp 221-222.

42. Heidegger, Martin, "Art and Space" in1Vlitn and WOl'id:6, (1973), p 4.



The Deleuze Fold

Making space is a twofold operation- first it "lets openness hold sway which, among other things, grants
the appearance of things present to which human dwelling sees itself consigned," but then it also places us in
that lighted realm from which Being withdraws.


Heidegger is in agreement with Henri Lefebvre in so far as

space should rtot be treated as a passive reservoir of natural resources nor simply as the medium in which
actions are performed. But Lefebvre describes the active production of space in which space is the substitute,
intermediary, and instrument of power, where "the space of a (social) order is hidden in the order of space."


Whereas for Heidegger space is the twofold "It gives" (esgibt). "There is no production here. There is only
giving in the sense of extending which opens up time-space."


Space is not a stage with a permanently raised curtain, upon which the play of beings takes place, rather,
space itself is an event in which the truth of Being can be thought. "To think Being explicitly requires us to
relinquish Being as the ground of beings in favour of the giving which prevails concealed in unconcealment,
that is in favour of the It gives'! 46 Space therefore is given in" a coextensivity of the unveiling and veiling of
Being, of the presence and withdrawal of the being" (The Fold: 236).
This thought, which requires us to relinquish Being as ground has been recently recast as itpensiero debole
(weak thought) by Gianni VattimoY Under its new title this thought provoked considerable public debate in
Italy throughout the 1980's. In opposition to "strong" representational thought (unfolding the twofold and the
certainties this produces), "weak" thought thinks the presencing of what is present (Being is nothing outside
its event, it is inseparable from our interpretive encounter with it).

43. Ibid.,p6.

44. Lefebvre, Henri, T7le Production of Space, ( Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1991), p 289.

45 Heidegger, Martin, On Time and Being, (New York, Hruper and Row, 1972) P 16.
46. Ibid., P 16,
47. Vattimo, Gianni, The End ofModernity, Nihilism and Hmneneutics in Post-lIJodern Culture, (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1988),
p ix.



The Deleuze Fold

For Vattimo,

Philosophy today delineates itsel among other things) as a leave-taIling front fotmdational
thought) in other words as a recognition ofthe failure ofthe faith in the possibility offinding a first
principle) a reliable and definitive reference point, on the basis ofwhich to order experience. NolV
this situation) which in philosophy is called the dissolution offotmdations) finds its very clear and
quite strikil1g equivalent in the transformation undergone by the idea ofthe pro}ect in the
e.vperience ofarchitects and city planners. 48

Vattimo is a witness to the decline of the idea of an absolute programme in architecture and the allinclusive plan in urban design. In their place he sees the recognition of traces of requirements, materials and
sites, so that today "when you see the design produced through the interpretation of all these things, you find
that the design was not somehow already contained in any of those traces or materials. Instead, it alludes to
them, takes them up, arranges them in a new framework."


Another witness to this decline (the unfolding of

the twofold) is Alberto Perez-G6mez for whom "architectural meaning, like erotic knowledge, is primarily of
the body and happens in the world, in that prereflective ground of existence where reality is first 'given', and as
such it can never be reduced to pure objectivity or subjectivity" because if we think the truth of Being, ,ve will
then think that "Architecture is a verb rather than a noun."


48. Vattirno, Gianni, "Project and Legitmation I" in Lotus International:48/49 (1985/1986) p 118.

49. Ibid., P 122.

50. Pel'ez-G6rnez, Alberto, Polyphilo


Thc Dark Forcst Rerisited) An Erotic Epiphany ofA?'chitcctm'e)

(MassachusettB, The MIT Press, 1992), p xvi.



The Deleuze Fold


Unfolding (disclosing the two levels of the Baroque house) is simultaneously an infolding (concealing
the zone of

parabili ty that produces the seam between the two levels) "whence the perpetual overlappings

of the two floors" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 120). The baroque city is also a twofold event of disclosure/
concealment. Deleuze refers us to Lewis Murnford's The Culture of Cities to demonstrate the importance of the
city for the Baroque Fold (The Fold: 232, note 10). The modern state effects the harmonization of a centralized
authori ty with a continuous field of bureaucratic administration, its image is fully formed in the Baroque city
(the architecture of the Prince).

Law, orde1; uniformity-all these are special products ofthe baroque capital: but the law exists to
confinn the status and secure the position ofthe privileged classes) the order is a mechanical m-de'Yy
based not 1tjJm1 blood or neighbourhood or kindred purposes and affections but upon sttbjection to
the mling prince)' and as for the lt11ifonnity-it is the 1t11ifonltity ofthe

with his

pigeonholes) his dossiers) his red tape) his numermts devices for regulating and systematizing the
collection oftaxes. The e:'d:ernal means ofenforcing this pattern oflife lies in the armyj its economic
ann is 'mercantile capitalist policy)' and its most typical institttti011S are the standing anny) the
bmtrse) the bureaucracy and the court. There is an underlying hanltony that pervades all these
instittttttins: between them they create a new form for social life-the baroque city. 51
All these institutions make their mark on the constitution of the city (such as the grand avenues and
squares that were constructed for the army to be paraded with maximum effect) but always in the image
originally stamped by the court. "City building .... was, in effect, a collective embellishment of the life and
gestures of the palace." 52

51. Mumford, Lewis, The Culture of Cities, (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1938), p 82.

52. Ibid., P 108,



The Deleuze Fold

The architecture of the Prince constitutes a theatrical scene (the palace) where State power is at once
expressed and constructed, because "state power, produces, constructs and in turn appropriates the apparatus of
representation, since this apparatus of representation constructs itself as a power of effects." 53 The palace is
therefore a machine that; 1) produces effects by subjugating the gaze and 2) generates duties with the infinite

extension of an administered space." It was one of the great triumphs of the baroque mind to organize space,
make it continuous, reduce it to measure and order, to extend the limits of magnitude, embracing the extremely distant and the extremely minute; finally, to associate space with motion." 54

53. MaIm, Louis, "Classical, Baroque:Versailles, or the Architecture of the Prince," in Yale French Stttdies:80 (1991), p 173.

54. Mumford, TIJe Culture of Cities, p 91.



The Ddeuze Fold

Fig. 17

This twofold appropriation of representation (to produce effects and generate duties) and their folding
together, finds its operative model in the palace of Versailles in Paris (originally a hunting lodge built by Le
Roy for Louis XIII in 1623 and greatly extended, by Louis Le Vau in 1669 and by Jules Hardouin Mansart
from 1678 to 1708 for Louis XIv, who also had Le Notre design the gardens and the painter Le Brun coordinate it all from 1668 - 1683). The palace concretizes the tvmfold gaze of the Prince-"One fold is central
and defines the axis of the Prince's gaze from his apartment, from his bedchamber, and the other is horizontal,
defining a lateral axis .... tl1at determines the apportionment of tl1e natural geographic world and of the cultural,



The Deleuze Fold

urban, political world. It is this double folding that is repeated on the plan as a whole."


The lateral axis is

the palace facing two ways, folding together the urban side (source of rent, taxes and control of army and
state) and the countryside (source of sensuous pleasure and exquisi te uselessness). The central axis is the focal
point for the radi<j.ting street plans and the geometrically ordered landscape designs, they embody the desire of
the gaze to conquer space and make itself felt at a distance.

Because of this double folding of the gaze (the twofold appropriation of representation by the absolute
sovereign) there is an event, a "theoretization" of space-lithe architecturallyvisible is totally legible and the
descriptively legible is visible; image and symbol are founded and merge in a same reality of discourses and
places, that of a perfect simulacrun1 which manifests an identical prosography; the portrait of the Sun-King." 56

At Versailles everything is designed to express the symbolic association of the Sun King (even Nature is
presented as a device of the King) with the sun-god Apollo, so that a visitor to the palace, by displacements in
points of view and contemplative vistas, will effect this theoretization of space. By becoming subject to the
palace which is a portrait of the Prince, we actively unfold this t\vofold representation. But the light of the Sun
King (his gaze that we cannot escape and our own gaze that becomes subjugated) is simultaneously a withdrawal and a darkening (it conceals the repressed visual possibility of the Baroque).

Unfolding the twofold event of representation as; producing effects that subjugate the gaze and, generating duties by integrating an exteriority; infolds (depresses) the Baroque fascination for the opacity; unreadability
and indecipherability of what if folds.

For Christine Buci-Glucksmann, in her book-La Folie duvoi-;; de I' esthetique baroque, itis this dazzling,
disorienting and ecstatic surplus of images that enables the Baroque to reject the monocular
geometricalization of the gaze of the Prince. 57

55. Marin,

Baroque: Versailles, or the Architecture of the Prince," p 180.

56 . Ibid., P 181 .

57. For a commentary on Buci-Glucksrnann see Jay, Martin "Scopic Regimes of Modernity" in VISion and

Vistlality, edited by Hal Foster, (Seattle, Bay Press, 1988), pp 3-20. See also The Fold, p 240. While
Deleuze fInds The .Madness oiVision to be interesting, he warns us against limiting any defInition of
the Baroque to just its optical folding.



The Deleuze Fold

Therefore the harmonization of the standing army, the bourse (the French money-market), the bureaucracy and the court, that is presented everywhere throughout the Baroque city, is only the sign of a potential
force, a simulation that only needs to be presented to be believed. "Signs, to this extent are power and power
is but the irresistible effect of what may be called their 'text', the text of the place constructed by signs."58

The theoretization of space that is performed by a visitor to the theatrical scene that is Versailles, discloses a text (a machine for producing effects) and at once conceals the virtuality of its power, for what in fact
is its power? "It is being 'capable' of force, having a reserve of force .... And what would be a force that would
not be expended? It would exist at the moment that representation comes into play, turns force into signs." 59
Infolded between the unfolding of Versailles' focal central axis (producing effects by subjugating the gaze) and
its lateral nature/city axis (generating duties by extending a continuous space) is an unreadable actualisation of
signs of a virtual force. Unreadable, because no sooner than read, its "virtual" force is made actual, animated
and harmonised with a continuous space, and its irresistable effects and duties begin their work. As in the
Leibniz-Deleuze Baroque house allegory, unfolding the levels of the Baroque city conceals the zone ofinseparability that produces the two levels and their signs of force.

Likewise, the power of the Deleuze Fold is an effect of its inherent capaci ty to present its unfolding, the
infinite presentability of its two levels and their harmonization or folding between folds. But this will not
subjugate our vision or our thinking so long as we are able to think the Heideggerian unfolding of the twofold. That thought will not let us forget that the Deleuze Fold" ceaselessly unfolds and folds back from both
sides" (The Fold: 236),

It can only make the folds readable by concealing their repressed potential for indeci-

pherability. In the final words of Deleuze in Leib11iz and the Baroque-"YVe are discovering new ways of folding,
akin to new envelopments, but we all remain Leibnizian because what always matters is folding, unfolding,
refolding." And for Peter Eisenman -"Deleuze's idea of folding is more radical than origami, because it contains no narrative, linear sequence; rather, in terms of traditional vision, it contains a quality ofthe unseen." 6f)

58. Marin, "Classical Baroque:Versailles, or the Architecture of the Prince", p 173.

59. Ibid., P 173.
60. Eisenrnan, Petel; "Visions Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media" in DOIIIIIS: 734 (January,1992), p 24.
Emphasis added.



The Eisenman Fold


One of the most enduring characteristics of Eis enman's design process is its continuous folding of
external influences into the interior of architectural practice. On the conceptual level his writings have incorporated elements of structural linguistics (Noam Chomsky), French philosophy since Sartre (Michel Foucault,
Jean B audrillard, Roland Barthes, J acques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze), and art cri ticism (Erwin Panofsky;
Clement Greenberg and Rosalind Krauss), and on the perceptual level of form, his projects have incorporated
elements of minimalist art (Sol LeWitt), earthworks art (Michael Heizer), Italian Rationalism (Guiseppe
Terragni) and topolbgical geometry (FelixKlein and Rent Thorn). This listing of influences does not pretend
to be complete, on the contrary; it can only ever be a serial segment of a process of folding which is necessarily
continuous and potentially infinite. These foldings must not be thought of as simply "secondary" texts that are
then attached to the "firstness" of the architectural motif.
That would be to repeat a mistake commonly made by Eisenman's critics. The best example of this type
of criticism is found in Robin Evans' article, "Not to be used for wrapping purposes."l Evans argues that
Eisenman's folding of scientific and philosophical texts is merely a form of wrapping, that it is only a parody of
rigour overcompensating for the changelessness in Eisenman's use of cubic motifs. Wrapping then is a bodyguard that, however deep our interest in the motif may be, will always force us away from the source of
interest. We are instead left to wrestle in the "polygenetic profusion of foreign thoughts, terminologies and
subjects surrounding his architecture" (Evans:71).
According to Evans this wrapping is a ruse that leaves the critic in a state of exhaustion before ever
reaching the truth about the object. Evans' notion of truth rests on the possibility of the translation without
loss between a folded theory and a folding architectural motif. But there is a dilemma generated by this kind of
argument, and it affects all criticism of the supposed inadequacy between Eisenman's writings and his use of
architectural motifs.

1. AA Files: 10 (Autumn, 1985) pp 68-74, hereafter cited as Evans.


The Eisenman Fold

The dilemma is this-ifEisenman does indeed asphyxiate m with his endless writings, to the extent that
we cannot say anything about the "truth" of the design itself, then we should not even be able to see the design
either for to see through the wrapping is to deny that it has exhamted our vision and the "vhole argument
begins to unravel.

Either Eisenman's writings and textual foldings asphyxiate our critical eye so that the design itself is
effectively rendered invisible, or we see the design itself became the writings fail to asphyxiate. Asphyxiation
requires that the object be at least conceptually; if not also physically; invisible.

Take Evans' example of Eis enman's folding of topological geometry (the unbroken and continuom
surface of the Klein bottle) into the project ofHmtseXIa (1978), or the folding offractal geometry (the
process of scaling) into The RO/'neo andJttliet Project (1985). 3 For Evans, Eisenman merely pays lip service to
these lost opportunities, became a more truthful translation of "the plasticity of the topological surface; (and)
the inconceivable in-betweenish dimensionality of the fractal, if brought directly into play; would threaten the
most stable and fundamental features of architecture as it is now practiced" (Evans:70). Evans contrasts these
opportunities with the undisturbed rectilinearity ofEisenman's graphic productions, where three dimensional
space and measurement: the "stable and fundamental features of architecture," remain jealomly guarded.

2. We should not think that we can never be asphyxiated to the point of being blind and speechless when
confiunted with a Clitical object.

Lyocud in his boolcLes 'HansjimlJatettrs Dttcbamp presents

just such an occurrence in the fonn ofMarcel Duchamp's "readyrnade" art objects.These objects conceptually
and physically vanish (no doubt returning to the utilitarian world from whence they came) as soon as they are
recognised for what they really are; a bicycle wheel, a snow shovel, a minal etc, objects identical to those readily
available from any hardware store. For a discussion of Lyotard's thesis see Ball, Edward and Knafo, Robert,
'The R. Mutt Dossier" inArtjorttm;27 (October, 1988) p 119.

3. Eisenman, Petel; "Sandboxes: House XIa,A+U:112, (January 1980) pp 223-227 and, "Moving

Arrows, Ems, and Other Euurs: An Architecture of Absence," Al'qttitectttra-:270, (January-February

1988), pp 67-80.


The Eisenman Fold

Two points are made apparent by Evans' article. Firstly, it is clear that Evans is anything but asphyxiated
by Eisenman's folded writings, rather, these foldings actively participate in Evans' own speculations. Secondly,
Eisenman's design work is not as invisible as Evans' claims since he can see the difference between Eisenman's
design and his" own speculations generated by Eisenman's folded writings. What is made clear though is that
the assemblage of Eis en man's writing-and-architectural motifs form a machine capable of performing infinite
folds, so that we can say that it actively unfolds the potential consequences of topological and fractal geometry
for architecture, consequences that begin to unfold in Evans' criticism. Contrary to its title, Evans' article should
be used for wrapping purposes. By wrapping and unwrapping other discourses to discover their consequences
for architectural practice, criticism can begin to belong to the same world as Eisenman's architecture, which is
its elflike Russian dolls-l10thilW but wrapping. By belonging to the same world, criticism can begin to be
affected by Eisenman's practice, forming a new assemblage producing new effects.

In a similar fashion, each external influence in the partial listing that begins this section can be shown to
be more than a ruse to confuse the critic or an exergue collaged onto the autonomous motifs of Eis en man's
design work. Although, in a strictly material sense that is exactly what they are.


The Eisenrnan Fold


From HoltseI (1967-8) on, the Eisenman Fold is actively infolding other disciplines into architecture.

Hotlse I andH01tse II (1969-71) were collectively grouped as "Cardboard Architecture" by Eisenman. 4 Cardboard is an eminently suitable material for folding. On a more conceptual level, "deep structure" is folded
between the folds of Cardboard Architecture. The term "deep structure" comes from the linguist Noam
Chomsky's standard theory of generative grammar. Deep structure is "a technical term pertaining to the
particular grammar and designating a precise stage in the derivation of a sentence." 5 In the standard theory the
deep structure (or "initial phrase marker", prior to its transformation) can participate in the semantic interpretation of the resultant surface structure (or well-formed sentence). So that the single noun phrase-" old men
and women" can be the result of two different deep structures and can therefore have two different meanings.

Noun Phrase






Adr"' Nr








These underlying nonterminal strings or deep structures are required for an adequately descriptive
English grammar.

4. Frampton, Kenneth and Rowe, Colin, FivcArchitects (New York, George WIttenbom and Company, 1972), p 15. Hereafter
cited as Five Architects. Eisenrnan is fully aware of the derogatOlY connotation of the term cardboard:" as Baroque and Gothic
were when first used, (Cardboard) is used here deliberately as an ironic and pre-emptory symbol for my argnment," Five

Architects, p 15.

5. Chomsky, Noam, Language and Responsibility, (Sussex, The Harvester Press, 1979), p 183.



The Eisenman Fold

The Chomskyan revolution in linguistics includes the hypothesis of the autonomy of syntax with respect
to semaptics, which therefore helps to explain how a finite nwnber of deep structures can li11dergo a finite
nwnber of transformations to generate an infini te number of surface structures.

deep structures are "revealed only through an embedded relationship between t',C\TO formal
structures in the actual environment .... these actual structures thus have a common relationship in a deep
structure which is not perceptible but which can be understood after both structures have been perceived. "6 In

HOllse I, two separate transformations of the same formal structure are folded together in just such a way that a
negative impression of the deep structure can be conceptually pieced together by examining their overlap.

1) Formal Structures

2) Folding together

3) Negative Impression
of the Deep Structure


6. Five Architects, p 17.


The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 18

Hmlse II greatly increases the number of foldings and transformations of the deep structures. Here some
of the surface structures have been made to correspond to more than one deep structure, recreating the ambi-

guity of "old men and women".

Fig. 19


The Eisenman Fold

Holtse ill (1969-71) increases the complexity of folding by making the fold at an angle of 45 Eisenman's

introduction to Hot/se ill greatly increases the difficulty of our reception of Hot/se ill by folding the

Vi:1fremdtmgsejfillt ("alienation-effect" as described by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, 1898-1956) into
his writing and architecture.

Fig .20

For Brecht the V-ejfikt distinguishes Brecht's "epic theatre" from the "culinary theatre." The former
isolates the spectator by dislocating their habitual associations, while the latter forces the spectator to empathize with an illusion just as if it was actually happening in the present. Epic theatre is peculiar and unexpected,
it historicizes a unique incident, it presents every gesture for our approval and calls for explanation. The
culinary theatre on the other hand, forms a seamless whole that seems immediately familiar because it presents
timeless types in universal situations. Brecht suggests that a pictorial demonstration of this V-ejfilzt would be
Bruegel's painting TheFalloflca1'1ls (c. 1558).

7. Eisenrnan, Petel; "House Ill: To Adolph Loos and Bertolt Brecht", Progl'essil'eAl'c/;itectit1'e (May 1974), p 92.


The Eiscnman Fold

Clearly this painting does not depict the tragedy as we would expect. We must look carefully even to fi nd
the legendary figure (his white legs can be seen disappearing into the water below the shi p). The other characters in the scene do not even notice the legendary catastrophe taki ng place.

- --::-.:-...
"1. ,

'. <

Pig. 21

Anyone maki?1g a profound study of Brueghel's pictorial contrasts must realize that he deals in
contradictions. In The Fall of Icarus the catastrophe breaks into the idyll in such a way that it

is clearly set apart from it and valuable inSights into the idyll can begained. He doesn't all(Jw
the catastrophe to alter the idyUj the tatter rather remains unaltered and survives tmdestroyed,
mere/J disturbed. 8

8. Brccht, Bcrtolt, BI'echt on Theat'lc, TIle Dcvclopmc'III of

T imAdams

a ll

... .

A eIthetic, (London, Mcdmcn and Company, 1964), p l S7.


The Eisenman Fold

The spectator of Eis en man's alienating House ill must also question every gesture, "he must begin to
regain possession-to occupy a foreign container. In the process of taking possession the owner begins to
destroy; albeit, in a positive sense, the initial unity and completeness of the architectural structure." 9 We clearly
cannot easily mistake House ill for the culinary architecture of the" country house as cultural symbol". B ut as
Manfredo Tafuri reminds us, "in the folds of Eis enman's absences hide easily recognizable presences: a hidden
iconography guides a plan that is too Icarean not to create doubts about its real purposes."


The alienating flight ofIcarus to escape the labyrinth, is in fact "one of the labyrinth's most subtle
(treacherous) detours" writes Denis Hollier, it "leads one to believe it is possible to get out, even making one
desire to do so."


By folding Brecht's alienation-effect,Eisenman puts himself in an Icarus complex with its

constant risk of flying too close to the sun and the associated fold-catastrophe of collapse into the culinary
architecture of late modernist "stylemes established by the esperanto of the 'tradition of the new;'


So that

while Eisenman desires that his architecture be read as a non-ideological degree zero of archi tectural form, the
spectator can see the whole Icarean process fall into "a vague sort of revival of the European avant-garde
research of the 1920's." 13

9. Eiserunan, "House Ill: To Adolph Loos and Bertold Brecht", p 92.

10. Tafuri, Manfredo, "Peter Eiserunan: The Meditations of Icarus", Peter EisemlJatl HotlSe ojCards,
(New York, Oxford University Press, 1987), p 167. Hereafter cited as 1lrfori.
11. Holliet; Denis,Agaitlst Architecture, The TVi'itil1gs ojGeor;ges Bataille, (Carnblidge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1990) p 73.
12. Tafttri, P 168.
13. 1lrftwi, P 170.


The Eisenrnan Fold

A similar imminent collapse also inhabits H01lse VI (1972-6). When John Hejduk labels it the "second
canonical De Stijl house "

first being Gerrit Rietveld's Schroder house at Utrech, 1924) he condemns it to

the fallen realm of culinary architecture. 14 Eisenman, still flying too close to the sun, objects: H01lse VI he says is
"not an object as, an aesthetic experience or as a series of iconic meanings. Rather, it becomes an exploration
into the range of potential manipulations latent in the nature of architecture, unavailable to our consciousness
because they are obscured by cultural preconceptions."


The white and greYicolw11ns, beams and planes

merely notate one moment of an infinite virtual sequence of transformations suggested by the set ofH01lse VI
diagrams. Here "architecture is based on a dialectic between what is real and what is virtual."


Fig. 22

14. Eiserunan, Peter, "House VI", Progl'cssivcArc/Jitectttl'c, (June, 1977) p 57.

15. Ibid, P 59.

16. Ibid, P 59.



The Eisenman Fold

In the period following House VI there is an explosion in the munber and type of e:A1:ernal influences that
are subjected to the Eisenman Fold. This phase of his development corresponds to his work as edi tor of the
journal Oppositions. Between 1973 and 1982 Oppositions was a unique conduit for European thought entering
the American architectural publishing scene. 17 Oppositions was responsible for publishing the first English
translations of many European architectural critics and theorists:such as Tafuri, Francesco Dal Co, lvIassimo
Scolari and Rafael Moneo, as well as introducing the architects Aldo Rossi, Guiseppe Terragni, lvIario Botta
and the Japanese; Isozaki, Shinohara, Ito, and Ando, to an American audience for the first time.

At the eye of this explosion of foldings and located in the center of this period is the unbuilt Home X
(1975-1977). In the programmatic editorial to the sixth edition ofOppositiol1S, Eisenman enlists the ideas of
U:vi-Strauss and Michel Foucault to isolate the "new non-humanistic attitude" that had yet to be developed in
terms of architecture but had already been "displayed in the non-objective abstract painting of Male vi ch and
Mondrian; in the non-narrative, atemporal writing ofJoyce and Apollinaire; the atonal and polytonal compositions of Schonberg and Webern; (and) in the non-narrative films of Richter and Eggeling."


Fig. 23

17. Oclanan, Joan, "Resurrecting the Avant-Garde: The History and Program of Oppositions", Architecttwepmdtlctions,
(New York, Prince ton Architectmal


18. Eisenrnan, Petel; "Post-Functionalism", Oppositions:6 (1976) pill.


The Eisenman Fold

But by far the most important influence at work in Hoftse X and the tvventy-nine pages of tn.1: that
accompany its diagrams, is Jacques Derrida's notion of "deconstruction." On the back cover ofDerrida's

TiVriti11g a11dDiffe1;e11ce, Geoffrey Hartman claims that "Derrida can safely be called the leading philosopher in
France today." 19But to make this claim true we should add-"amongst those French philosophers that have
found an audience in American literature departments," because Derrida's influence in France is only marginal.
A French poll taken in 1981 showed that Derrida did not even make it onto the list of the top thirty-six
intellectuals considered to be the most influential among living French thinkers. 20 And when Derrida \vas
named for an honorary degree at Cambridge University in 1992, four dons protested, forcing the matter to be
voted on before the assembled university. It was the first time that this had happened since 1963 when Lord
Hailsham was opposed by academics angry at education cuts. 21 The result-336 for Derrida's honorary degree
versus 204 against. Not exactly the characteristics of what can "safely be called" a leading philosopher. Nevertheless, we can safely say that de construction has had more than a marginal influence in the world of architectural theory. Even to the degree that a student guide to deconstruction has been deemed worthy of publication. 22 Derrida creatively complicates the reception of deconstruction into architecture by actually participating
in the Eisenman Fold itself. Not only does he prepare deconstruction for its folding (in his articles specifically
about architecture), he actively folded it into architecture himself when he collaborated wi th Eisenman on

Choral Works (1986), the unbuilt garden designed for Bernard Tschumi's Parc de la Villette in Paris (19851992).
19. Denida, Jacques, Hritil1g and Difference, (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, 1978).

20. Mehlman, Jeffrey, "Writing and Deference:The Politics of Literary Adulation

Reprcsentatiom:15, (Sununer, 1986), p 8.

21."A storm in the cloisters", editorial, The Times, (May 9, 1992), P 12.

22. Broadbent, Geoffrey, Deconstl'llction, A Student Guide, Joumal ofArchitectural Theory and Criticism (UTA);!, no 2 (London,
Academy editions, 1991). This is a very uneven guide to say the least. The first section -"The Architecture of Deconstruction" makes
thoug)1tful connections between deconstruction and ; Paul Scheerbart's "Glass Architecture" of 1914 (p 25), Marcel Duchamp's chance
generated art (p 27), and the French Situationi;ts (p 29). Each one of these connections deserves further discussion. This is then followed by
the section-"The Philosophy of Deconstruction", which tries to turn Derrida into a bogey-man; who "advocates madness" (p 40) , who hardly
ever refers to Regel (p 40), for whom

need not mean anything" (p 42), and who sulfers from "some psychological state which prompts

(him) to want to reduce our thoug)1ts to that 'shapeless and indistinct mass'" (p 52). This ad hominem attack mig)1t be amusing if it were not for

its pretence to be a guide for students. It will be clear to anyone who has read Derrida for themselves, that this particular "guide" to
decon;truction has not read Derrida other than to take extracts out of context so as to turn Derrida into his opposite.


The Eisenman Fold

"'/' /



1.-__ -

c ____ '




, .,





Derrida participating in the Eisenman Fold must not be confused with the notion that the philosophy
professor somehow helps the architect translate a philosophical programme of deconstruction into its architectural project. As Derrida makes abundantly c1earl" there is no such thing as a deconstructive ente1prise, the idea
of aproject is incompatible with deconstruction. Deconstruction is asituation." 23

23. Denida, Jacques "On Colleges and Philosophy", lCA Documents> PostmodernimJ, (London, Free
Association Books, 1989), p 222.



The Eisenrnan Fold

It is a thinking encounter without prescribed criteria. Derrida tells us that the term deconstruction draws

on its original use as a grammatical term, meaning "to reveal the laws ofliterary composition," but he also


chose it because, he recalls:"among other things I wished translate and adapt to my own ends the Heideggerian

word Destrltktion or Abba1t. Each signified in this context an operation bearing on the structure or tradi tional

architecture of the fundamental concepts of ontology or of Western metaphysics." 24

The Heideggerian project ofDestrulltion means: to open our ears, to make ourselves free to what speaks
to us in the tradition, "this hardened tradition must be loosened up, and the concealments which it has
brought about must be dissolved." Heidegger continues, "this distruction is ... far from having the negative
sense of shalcing off the ontological tradition. We must, on the contrary; stake out the positive possibilities of
that tradition, and this always means keeping it within limits." 2S

Now compare the last quotation to Derrida's image of structuralist consciousness that perceives structure,
"at the moment when imminent danger concentrates our vision on the keystone of an institution, the stone
which encapsulates both the possibility and the fragility of its existence. Structure then can be methodically
threatened in order to be comprehended more clearly and to reveal not only its supports but also that secret
place in which it is neither construction nor ruin but lability." 26 This "lability" (inherent instability) of a given
tradition is therefore what we must concentrate our vision onto.

24. Denida, Jacques "Letter to a Japanese Friend", Derrida and Differance, (Coventry, Parousia Press,

1988), p 1.

25. Heidegger, Martin, Being and Time, (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990), p 44.

26. Denida, Jacques, "Force and Signification", vVi'ith!!l and Difference, (London, Roudedge and Regan
Paul, 1978), P 6.


The Eisenman Fold

Both Derrida and Heidegger suggest a kind of thinking which treats something as already constructed - a
tradition or a system, and then frees itselffrom the authority of that system by revealing its limits and its secret
places. That is to say; they both demonstrate a necessity of the architectural-archaeological metaphor (loosening the

for thinking. So then deconstruction is also an architectural metaphor and the

deconstructive architectural thinking of the archaeologist-architect would be a freeing up of the found artefact
called architecture? Definitely not says Derrida,

Contrary to appearances 'deconstrttction' is not an architectural metaphOl: The wOI'd OIt[Jht and
will have to name a tho'ught ofarchitecture) it 'must be a th01t[Jht at wOI'k. From the start it is not
a 'metaphm: It is no 1011ger possible to rely 011 the c011cept ofmetaphor. Next) a dec011stmcti011) as its
name indicates) must ft'01n the start deconstruct the construction itself the stmct1tral or
constrttctivist motif, its schemes) its intuitions and its c011cepts) its rhetOl1.c. But it deconstrltcts as
well the strictly a1'chitectural c01Jstrttctiol1) the philosophical construction ofthe concept ofarchitecture. The c011cept isgoverned by the model both in the idea ofthe system in philosophy as well as in
the them'J> practice and teaching ofarchitecture. 27
And despite appearances deconstruction "is no longer the HeideggerianDestrttlltiol1 even if its project
must be supposed." 28 A fundamental dogma in architectural thinking is that every architectural idea must have
at least the potential of being demonstrated in a material and concrete form. But deconstruction by defini tion
can have no such simple demonstration. This being the case, deconstruction, in architectural thought, will
collapse time and time again into a metaphorical loosening of motifs, or into Destruclltion, therefore we must
be especially careful to differentiate Deconstruction from Destrulltion in the context of architecture.

27. Denida, Jacques, "Fifty-Two Aphorisms for a FOlward", Deconrt11tctiof1: Omnibus VOlttllJe, (New
York, Rizzoli, 1989) p 69.

28. Ibid., P 69.



The Eisenman Fold

The Destruktion - de construction distinction for example seems at times to have eluded Eisenman's
thinking. The distinction will be made clearer if we compare Heidegger's and Derrida's respective re adings of
Plato's chora (sometimes spelt chara or khora) the oldest Greek word for place, replaced by the word topos
around 470 B. C.),. Plato introduces this third term into his otherwise dualistic framework of; the first permanent intelligible world of being (ontos on), and the second continually changing world of becoming

(gignomenon). In his dialogue, the Timae1fs, Plato tells us the "third is chora, which is everlasting, not admitting
destruction; providing a situation for all things that come into being, but itself apprehended without the senses
by a sort of bastard reasoning, and hardly an object of belief." 29

How does Destrttktion loosen this concealment and open our ears to what speaks to us in this tradi tion?
Heidegger's reading of chora takes place in his An Introd1lction toMetaphysics, where he makes the observation
that the "Greeks had no word for 'space.' This is no accident; for they experienced the spatial on the basis not
of extension but of place (topos); they experienced it as chora, which signifies neither place nor space but that
which is occupied byv,rhat stands there." 30 Heidegger therefore reads chora as the medium in which and out
of which becoming forms itself, and as such, it marks the beginnings of an abstraction leading away from the
essence of place because,

the transformation ofthe barely apprehended essence ofplace (topos) and ofchOra into a "space"
defined by extension was initiated by the Platonic philosophy, i.e. in the interpretation ofbeil1g as
idea (as 'ltnextended mind). Might chora not mean: that which abstracts itselffrom every
particular, that which withdraws) and in such a way precisely admits and makes place for
something else? 31

29. Cornford, Francis, Plato's Cosmology> The TImaeus ofPlato translated with a running cfJll1menta'l
(London, Roudedge and Kegan Paul, 1937), p 192. Slighdy modified by returning "chfJI'a" where
Cornford translates "space."

30. Heidegger, Martin, An IntrodttctifJIl to Metaphysics, (New Haven, Yale University Press,
1959), P 66.

31. Ibid, P 66. The second parenthesis is mine.


The Eisenman Fold

We should therefore try to overcome the tradition of space as extended becoming and being as
unextended idea, a tradition that begins with Plato's chora. Only then will we be on the path to a more fundamental truth of Being, a truth that the Greeks only hinted at in the essence of topos and the experience of chora


as the making,:;pace and presencing of Being, the "It gives" (esgibt) where the "It" is Being itself. It (Being)
gives place (topos). The experience of chora (as extension and not idea) withdraws Being and makes space.
Derrida's reading of chora is very different, even when it must presuppose Heidegger's reading of chorCl.
How does chora reveal the "lability" (inherent instability) of a structurd Chora is an impossible (but necessary)
figure of the unfigurable, but not in the sense of a negative theology (in which the true God cannot be named
or even conceptualized yet God's existence must nevertheless be affirmed) or of a philosophy of absence (in

which all presence hides a necessary absence). Chora is instead, an absolute crypt, atheological (non-metaphysical) and not even philosophical (knowledge and enquiry only begin "after" chora has taken place).

Radically nonhttman and atheological) one cannot even say that it gives plClce or that there is the
khora. The es gibt, thus translated) too vividly announces or recalls the dispensCltion of God) of

man) or even that ofthe Being ofwhich certain texts by Heidegger speClk (es gibt Sein). Khora is
not even that

the es or id ofgiving) before all subjectivity. It does notgive plClce ClS one would

give something) whatever it may bej it neither creates nor produces anything) not even an event
insofar as it takes place. Itgives no order and makes no promise. It is rCldically ahistorical) because
nothing happens through it and nothing happens to it. 32
Yet for centuries chora has ceaselessly relaunched itselfin the inexhaustible interpretations that have tried
to give it determinate form and meaning. That is because Plato's dualistic framework divides the world into
"being" (paradwmata:intelligible models) and "becoming" (eidolon: the sensible copies of the intelligible
models). Since Plato tells us "being" is the "out of which" all "becoming" must originate, there has to be a third
-a pure "in which": a formless receptacle (hypodoche) for "becoming" outside of both "being" and "becoming,"
neither model nor copy. Plato calls this third necessity chora. Ironically; Plato's dualistic framework necessitates
this enigmatic third.

32. Denida, Jacques, "How to Avoid Spealcing:Denials" inLangttages afthe Unsayable: Tbe Play afNegativity ill Litc'ratu1'e and

Litemry T7Jemy, edited by Sanford Budick and Wolfgang 1ser, (New York, Columbia University Press, 1989), p 37.



The Eisenman Fold

Chora cannot be an intelligible paradigm (being) the world of Forms) ultimate reality for Plato) because
paradigms must be absolutely independent from the world of sensible mimetic copies (matter) the imperfect realization of Forms) andchora is the "in which" the world of matter is realized. Nor can ch ora be a sensible copy because
that requires an "i,n which" to be already in existence for its becoming. Chora is therefore out of harmony with both
space, because it is the "in which" space first comes into being, and time) because it must always be somehow earlier.

"Chora 'is'," says Derrida "the anachronywithin being, or better, the anachronyofbeing." 33 Where Heidegger finds
a withdrawal of a more fundamental relationship with Being, Derrida finds the most aporetic of aporias, the most
unfathomable enigma. For him the chora in Plato's Timeaus is "a kind of architectural test, a rigorous challenge: a
challenge at once rigorous and necessary) inevitably rigorous) to all the text's poetic, rhetorical, and political stalces,
with all the difficulties of reading which have resisted centuries ofinterpretation. " 34The challenge is this-how do
we avoid spealcing about (and determining) this irreducible indeterminacy without simply denying it (and relegating
it to absence)?

Neither intelligible paradigm) nor sensible mimetic copy; this third necessity is difficult to conceive other
than by a "bastard reasoning") or "as in a dream". 35 Nonetheless, Eisenman does not hesitate in forming
architectural projects (Choral Worlzs: 1986, G1IardiolaHoltse: 1987, and the completed Koizmni Sangyo Build-

il'J:1988 - 1990) on the basis of his own idea of 'ch ora as "the space between the thing which is imprinting
and the thing which is imprinted leaving its trace on each." Eisenman even gives us a figure to illustrate his
idea of chora-"It is like the idea of a foot on the sand. A foot leaves an imprint on the sand and then when
you pick it up there is a trace of the sand on the bottom of the foot. Chora however is neither the foot or the
sand ... there is what I call the absent third in the space". 36

33. Denida, J acques, "C!Jora", an unpublished rnanusaipt quoted in Kipnis, J effi:ey ", (Twisting the Separatrix/', Assemblage; 14,
(April, 1991),p 50.

34. Denida, Jacques, "Why Peter Eisenman Writes Such Good Books", Eisenmal1aml1esie, edited by Toshio Nakarnura, (Tokyo,

A+V Publishing, 1988),p 116.

35. Comforcl,Plato's Cosmology, p 192,

36. Eisenman, Peter, "Chora and Weak Form", The JapallArchitect: 403/404 (NovernberjDecember, 1990), p 47.


The Eisenman Fold

Derrida, predictably enough, has serious reservations about his friend's reading of Plato's chara. He
writes in an open letter to Eisenman-"I am not sure that you have detheologized and deontologized chara in
as radical a way as I would have wished (chara is neither the void, as you suggest sometimes, nor absence, nor
invisibility; nor certainly the contrary from which there are, and this is what interests me, a large number of

consequences) ." 37
In fact, Eisenman inadvertently chooses for his figure of chara the very figure Denida wants to avoid when
describing his notion

I (Denida) would not say that the trace is described the way it should be described

when you speak of imprint, mould ... On the cont:raty, I am trying to deconstruct this model and even the model of
the vestige, the footprint in the sand. I would prefer something which is neither present nor absent: I would
prefer ashes as the better paradigm for what I call the trace-some,thing which erases itself totally, radically,
while presenting itself".


Now to return to Eisenman's House X, how is Derrida's deconstruction to be folded into its architecture.
Folded? "Yes, folded," replies Derrida because deconstruction, "consists in crossing tl1e architectural motif with what
is most singulat and most parallel in other writings which are themselves drawn into the said madness, in its plural,
meaning photographic, cinematographic, choreographic, and even mythographic writings." 39 In contrast to the linear
and sequential closure of the processes used for his previous houses, Eisenman tells us that wi th House X, " the
process of decomposition (deconstruction renan1ed for the Eisenman Fold) proceeds in a seemingly disorderly way,
both conceptually and perceptually," and that the "decompositional procedure may be seen as rougllly analogous to
the activity of an archaeologist." 40

37. Denida, Jacques, "A Letter to Peter Eisenman", inAssemblage:12 (August 1990), p 8,

38. Denida, Jacques, "On Reading Heidegger: An outline of Remarks to the Essex Colloquium", in Rescm-ch in

Phenllmenology:XVII (1987), P 177.

39. Denida, Jacques, "Point de Folie-MaintenantAn:hitectul'e", AA Files: 12, (Summer, 1986), p 70,

40. Eisenman, Peter, ''Transfonnations, Decompositions, and Critiques:HouseX", A +U:1l2, (January, 1980), p 31. Hereafter
cited as HO/lSe X. Eisenman makes it quite clear that his decomposition is "an activity analogous to one which liter;ny critics
call 'deconstructiOIT," and that his reason for

it decomposition was "to avoid the telm 'construction' (within the word

deconsnuction), which usually refers in architecture to the process of building and of design and composition" (therefore de-

composition is the prefencd tetm) HOlm X, p 29.



The Eiserunan Fold

Decomposition takes a critical look at the earlier Houses I-VI by "wrenching things apart, constantly
dissecting and breaking tl1.em down. Decomposition begins to reveal that volume, while seeming to be selfcontained and finite and material, is in fact an aggregate of many things which in the end may not result in a
closed, finite, material notion." 41
By folding his earlier houses into House .x;Eisenman intends to reveal the limits and secret places of the
humanist tradition that lies within them. "The role of man in Western culture since the Renaissance vis-a-vis his
object world has been a positivistic one-a kind of conical unfolding from anthropocentric man as creator-perhaps
the new role can be seen as an inversion of this unfolding." 42

The inversion of the humanist unfolding, with the architect as Homo Faber (the rational maker) is the
non-humanist Eisenman Fold with its archaeologist-architect as HomoL1Idens (for whom the playful use of a
given tradition transcends its reasonable usefulness).


If the earlier houses folded processes of transformational

grammar, then "decomposition searches for unknown orders and origins which do not develop through


The four quadrants ofHotfseX (one for each of the built Hotlses I; II, ill, and VI) are

arranged arbitrarily by "relational notations" to achieve a maximum of variation. In this notation, the four
quadrants displace their grid by pinwheeling (north-south and east-west misalignment). Then, contrary to the
pinwheel displacement, the northern quadrants return to their position in the grid. Thirdly and contrary to the
return to the grid, the northern exterior of the north-eastern quadrant returns to the pinwheel displacement.
When we place these notational variations in tabular arrays we can see that Eisenman systematically sets up a
group of arbitrarily generated variations from which he chooses the most complex and ambiguous solution.

41. HotlSe

p 65.

42. House X, p 33.

43. Huizinga, Johan, Homo Lttdens, A Stttdy ofthe Play Element in Cltlture, (GreatBrirnin, Paladin, 1970).

44.HotlSeX, p 39.


The Eisenman Fold










The Eisenman Fold

This ludic process is repeated endlessly on finer and finer levels of detail. For example, when each cubic
quadrant has a smaller cube voided out of one ofits corners (to form the now famous "Eisenman signature el shape")
the removed cubes of the two northern quadrants expose glass surfaces to the north while the southern quadrants are
left void, then contrary to the voiding, the south-eastern void becomes a "solid" wire cage and the north-western glass
void is pushed out to the edge of its quadrant thus filling its void. This consistent (and therefore arbitrary)
alternation between arrays of binary oppositions operates at every level ofHouse X's composition so that \vhen
it is completed it forms an end-game for which no humanly wilful sequence of moves could ever account for.










45. This high density of pre-compositional constraints becomes more and more a feature ofEisenrnan's design process. It has
many sniking similarities with post-serial music ("serious" music since Schoenberg). In both, a group of certain parameters fOlms the
basis for a perrnutational system (an array or matrix) that is then used to locate invariants within that group with the aim of limiting
redundancies in the final composition. Like a post-serial composer, Eisenman utilizes pre-compositional charts with the aim of maximizing complexity. AB in contemporary music, it is this complexity that alienates an audience who have come to desire and expect a more
affectively based gesturality. OIl: the problems of reception in music, see Toop, Richard, "New Music and Neurobiologic Research, Can
they Meet?" Music) Mind and Brain) The Nem'opsychowgy ofMusic, edited by Manfred Clynes, (New York, Plenum Press, 1982), pp 387 _


The Eisenman Fold

The "secret place" and limit of the HousesI, II, III, and VI (as revealed to us in House X's decomposition) is
the ever present will of the individual architect, secretly contriving every step of what it presents as a "universal"
process of transformation as if it were operative for all competentuscrs of architecture. The consistently arbitrary
procedures ofHouse X contrasts with, and reveals the privately wilful, humanist procedures hidden within the
earlier Houses.







Having folded Derrida's deconstruction as decomposition and then "decomposed" his own previous
works, Eisenman was then free to fold the form of the "Klein bottle" into his ne:>..'! project, H01lseXIa (1978).

The German mathematician Felix Klein invented this "surface" in 1882. When Henri Poincare later set out to
classify such surfaces he helped create that branch of mathematics now known as topology. Topology (topos:
place or situation) deals with properties of position that are unaffected by changes in size or shape, such as
whether one infinitely flexible shape can be continuously deformed into another without tearing any new
opening or closing any old one. 46 Michel Serres reminds us that it was in fact Lei bniz who first discovered
(conclirrently with modern algebra) what we now call topology, only Leibniz called it analysis situs.



complex geometric shapes discovered by topology are called manifolds. Manifolds appear to be Euclidean
when a small region is examined, yet on a larger scale fail to follow the rules ofEuclidean geometry. Higher
dimensional manifolds are used as models for the interlocking time, energy and space of black holes and for
the non-linear behaviour of Re ne Thom's catastrophes.

Fig. 25

Fig. 26

46. Tucker,AlberrandBailey,Herberr, ''Topology'',ScientijicAmericall, (January, 1950),pp 18-24.

47. Serres, lvlichel, Hmnes, Literattt1'c, Science, Philosophy, (Baltimore,Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), P 46.


The EisenmanFold

The Klein bottle can be considered to be a Moebius strip that has had its edges folded together. Alternatively
we can think of the Klein bottle as a three-dimensional tube whose surface is folded back through itself to
merge again with its outside, so that like the Moebius strip it forms a single surface that when we travel along

it, joins its inside'to its outside.

Fig. 27

Fig. 28

HouseXIa is modelled on the Klein bottle so that the "house becomes aserni-permeable membrane between
the inside and the outside," where the inhabitant is "in this dual condition of the viewer who is both inside and
outside of the house." 48 House XIa is in fact two Klein bottles placed vertically end to end, with alternating
solid and glass "outers" and folded back "inners" thus restoring the architectural condition of shelter. The folds
of the Klein bottle are then stretched into the signature form of the "Eisenman el shape" that we first encountered in House X We discover that the Klein bottle was always a possibility inherent in the el shape. "When
treated as a folded membrane, the el begins to approximate the unbroken and continuous surface of the Klein
bottle, while at the same time suggesting an architectonic condition of inside and outside, as opposed to purely
geometric readings.


48. Eisenman, Peter, "Sandboxes: House XIa", A

49. Ibid, P 227.


+ U: 112 (JanualY 1980) p 223.

The EisenmanFold

There is one other aspect to House XIa that we should not overlook-the fact that half of it is underground!
This marks HouseXIa out as the first of Eisenman's "grounded projects," part of what Eisenman calls his "'78

It was when I started to go into my unconsciolls in my analyses that I became less orimted to the
head. This caused a shift in my architecture: it went into the ground. I mean H01lSe XIa (1978)
House ElEven Odd (1980) Find'Ou T H()1f S (1982) revised 1984) all ofthose projects were in
the ground in a sense) they were digging into the 1t11conscio1ls) as were the projects fm- Cannaregio
(Cannaregio Town Square) venice) 1978) al1dBerlin (the 37-lInit apartlnent block built fm' the
Internationale B auausstellung, 1982-1987). They were allgrmmded projects. Before) nom ofmy

houses had anygrmmdingj they were all in the air. 50

In other words, House XIa is the inevitable end of the flight of Icarus, a flight attempted in this and all
Eisenman's previous projects. It is here that the antonomous exploration into the nature of architectural form
itself ("Conceptual Architecture") comes crashing into the ground.


The very next project, Cannaregio Town

Square, also from 1978, is littered with these fallen Icaruses.

5 O. Eisenrnan, Peter, "An Architectural Design Interview by Charles Jencks", Architectural Design:58, no 3/4 (1988), p 51.
Parentheses added.

51. This is not to say that the flight of Eisenman's didactic exploratioru of pure fonn comes to an end. Once something enters
into the Eisenman Fold it never really leaves, it is irutead superimposed with new folds and new intelpretations of earlier folds
(which have not become any less real) in a cumulative pl'Ocess of "fold upon fold." Forming a heavily pleated fabric, Eisenman's
development wavers between extreme fonnalism (Houses X and XIa) Fin d'Git T HOIt S, Gtul1'diola House) and,historical and
geographical contexUlalism (Cannaregio 'IIIJPn Sqttare) .IRA Social HotlSing)

Centtl') Ronteo and Juliet Project).


The Eisenman Fold


----- ----- -

. ___-,;J






Fig. 29
These fallen objects are in fact variatiol}s ofHot/se XIa reproduced at various scales. The larger variations
actually fold together three scales of variations; one larger than a house forms a shell (a

around a

second house-sized version, which in turn forms a shell (a mllSewll?) around a third even smaller versi on (a
model?). This "scaling" raises the question-"which object is the house, ifin fact one of them is a house: which
one is the 'correct' size; which one is the real object? ... The three objects together stand at the Iimi ts of <.Ichi tecture both in terms of their scale and their naming." 52

52. Eisenman, Peter, "Three Texts for Vmi cc", The Han'a?'d Anhitectttm l Rcl'ielv: ?, (\\inter, 1984), 146 .



The Eisenman Fold

This Russian doll-like folding is truly Baroque-"a succession

which no longer leave any empty spaces

(the full Baroque line)" (The Fold: 244 ). Although all of Eis en man's projects fold, all the previous foldingssuch as Chomsky's deep structure (Houses I - Ill), Brecht's V-effikt (Hollse VI) or Derrida's deconstruction

(House X), do not sufficiently allegorize the architectural motif with the folded inscription, they do not fold

between folds so they remain on the side of the Orient (which leaves the eye of the fold empty) in its becoming Baroque. Eisenman tells us (in a small addition appended to the article "Three Texts for Venice" for its
Italian publication) that, in the Can11aregio project "the objects are a pink-red. This is a Venetian red and it
symbolizes the martyrdom of Br uno. " 53 It was from the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548-1600)
that Leibniz received the idea of the monad as a unity that folds a multiplicity, for which "the multiple is
inseparable from the folds that it makes when it is enveloped, and of unfoldings when it is developed" (Leibniz

and the Baroque:23). In short, Eisenman in Venice gives us an emblem for what Bruno tells us-that all matter
is folded and folds divide infinitely into smaller and smaller folds.

Fig. 30

53. Eisenrnan, Petel; 'Three Te.m for Venice", DOllltls:611 (September, 1980), p 9.

The EisenrnanFold

The Can11aregio p1'Oject also marks a shift a'vvay from a metaphorical archaeology; wrenching things apart)
constantly dissecting and breaking them down (in the manner ofDerrida's deconstruction) although as we
now know, it was something more akin to Heidegger's Destruktio11) and shifts towards a figurative archaeology;
excavating an artifitial city (in the manner of Aldo Rossi's CittaAl1aloga drawings).54 In the Can11aregio

project) the grid of negative squares) upon which the positive grid of endlessly folded House XIa's are obliquely
placed) are the extension of "excavations" of Le Corbusier's last) unbuilt project-the 1200-bed Hospital of
Venice (1965 "one of the last anguishes of heroic modernism. The hospital program is symbolic of modernism's remedial ideology"


This unearthing of a grid left by a hospital that exists only in the pages of Le

Corbusier's Oeuvre compl'Cte (but if built ) would have been adjacent to Eisenman's project)is the first of a long
line of site-specific vestiges (real and imagined) that are folded into Eisenman's grounded projects.

Another grounded project is Eisenmah's IBA Social H01lsi11g Project for Berlin) 1st prize winner in the

Internationale Ba1lausstelhmg (International Building Exhibition a competition held in 1981. On the site)
Eisenman folds together three levels of imaginary excavations) "at the lowest level of excavation the trace of the
absent wall of the eighteenth-century. The invisi ble wall is plotted on the lowest gound plane as a shadow:
Next comes the excavation of the foundation walls of nineteenth-century Berlin- not the actual foundation
walls which once existed, but an artificial reconstruction) a hypothetical rationalization of what they might
have been)" and upon these folded memories-"Anti-memory is developed. The Mercator Grid superimposes
itself as a second set of walls upon and among the historical walls. It is built to 3.3 metres height-the same
height as the Berlin Wall. In this way the artificial or 'neutral' walls begin to erase the physical presence of the
historical walls. "56 Eisenman's intention here is to unfold a twofold. "Our strategy for developing the site was
twofold. The first intention was to expose the particular history of the site; that is) to render visible its specific
memories ... The second was to acknowledge that Berlin today belongs to the world in the largest sense) that
its specificity and identity have been sacrificed (by anti-memory) on the alter of modern history." 57

54. These drawings by Aldo Rossi are analogous to Canaletto's "View of Venice (palladian Fancy)" in that both juxtapose built and
unbuilt architectural projects by disregarding their original geography, history and scale. See Eisenman's preface to Aldo Rossi in
America: 1976to 1979, (New York, The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, 1979), p 11.
55. Eisenman, Peter, "Three Texts for Venice", The Harvard Architecture Review: 3 (Winter, 1984), p 146.

56. Eisenman, Peter, "The City of Artificial Excavatioo", Architectural Design: 1/2 (January, 1983), pp 91-92.
57 Ibid., p 91.



The Eiserunan FolJ

The anti-memory that is allegorized by Mercator's grid (the globe of Earth projected onto a cylinder, erasing
its spherical reality) is of course an emblem of the Berliners' refusal to be forced to take on the terri ble responsibility of keeping alive the memory of the horror and devastation that is historically and geographically
specific to their , 1he ci ty ofBerlill demanded that Eisenman's excavations be modified. With a "let's not
talk about that" 'attitude, the city of Berlin places itself between the folds of memory (the eighteenth and
nineteenth foundation walls, the horror of Fascism) and the folds of anti-memory (the Mercator Grid and the
silence concerning that particular period of the tv.rentieth-centmy). For the 37 -w1it building that the ci ty did
build between 1982 and 19H7, limi rl'd to just the south-west corner of the original site, Eisenman reinscribes
a variation of the twofold overlappi Ilg grids into the main, south facing, facade. Only when we think of this
facade as a tilted ground wil l the IBA Social Housing Project be restored to being "a museun1 of i ts own archeol ogy." 58

Fig. 31
58., Ibid, P 93.

The Eisenrnan Fold

Fig. 32

Other archaeological figures, excavated then folded into "the grounded projects" include; an armory building of
1898 (the vvexner Cmter for the Visual Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, 1983 - 1989), two oil derricks
(Univel'sityAl1:Museu1'n, Long Beach, California, 1986) and a DNA (hain in the process of constructing

proteins (Biomter for the University of Frankfurt, 1986). In all these figurations, with the last example being
an extreme case, a folding together of conflicting scales takes place.


The Eisenman Fold

This is the process of what Eisenman calls" scaling."

It is important to distinguish the process ofscali11[J from that ofarchitectural scale and its related
notion ofsize. Front thispoint ofvinJJ, three dijfirent sizes ofbttildi11[J types) say a h(iJlse) a theatre)

and it sltyscraper are the same) in that they are each simply multiples ofthe size ofa human being:
this implicitly gives the scale ofthe human body an origil1ary value. In scalil1[J there is 110 single
privileged referent) and therefore no originary value. Instead each scale chm1[Je involzes characteristics specific and intrinsic to that scale) scalil1gfrees architecture from the metaphysics ofscale.


Scaling therefore confronts the traditional authority of architectural representation for which a set of
drawings and models are subservient to and depicted by; a single object acting as its originary value and
measure. It is this object that separates discourse from figuration. Scaling refolds discourse into figuration by
forcing architecture to behave more like a text. "Representation refers outside itself to an origin; text does not.
Text refers inward to its own structure. Text has the capacity for an infinite combination of previous te::o..1:s into
new texts."


Scaling creates architecture as a text that is capable of infinite foldings, that is not so much read

(searching for a final truth: an object or origin) as "misread," because scaling-"yields open-ended readings.
This introduces the possibility of err01; of a text not leading to a truth or a valued conclusion, but rather to a
sequential tissue of misreading-errors which produce the condition for each new level of reading." 61

Eisenman's notion of text "misreads" Roland Barthes' notion ofText-"The Text must not be thought of
as a defined object .... the work (as object) is concrete, occupying a portion of book-space (in a library; for
example); the Text, on the other hand, is a methodological field ... it can cut across a work, several works."62

59. Eisenman, Peter, "Moving An'Ows, Eros, and Other En'Ors:An Architecture of Absence": Arqttitectttl'a:270,
(January/Febrruuy 1988), P 67.

60. Ibid, P 76.

61. Ibid, P 76.

62. Barthes, Roland, "From Work to Text," in Tbcttlal Strategies, Perspel.-"tives in Post-Stmctttmlist Criticism, edited
by Josue V Rami, (New York, Cornell University Press, 1979), pp 74-75.


The EisenrnanFold

The Text is; irreducibly plural, endlessly folded, cross-referenced, and textural (consisting of many threads
woven together).

Every text, being itselfthe intertext ofanother

belongs to the intertextttal) which must not be

confused with a text's origi11Sj to search for the "sources of and "infhtence upon" a worlz is to satisfY
the rnyth offiliation. The quotati011S from which a text is constructed are anonymous) irrecoverable) and yet already read, they are quotatio11S without quotation tnarks.


For his example of Text, Barthes suggests "open form" music-music for which individual performers
must determine certain aspects of the composi tion (for example by reshuffling the order of i ts sections) for
themselves, prior to every performance. "The Text is largely a score of this new type: it asks the reader for an
active collaboration. This is a great innovation, because it compels us to ask, 'who exemtes the worlc?' (a
question raised by Mallarmt, who wanted the audience to produce the book)." 64

This is an important point. For any reading (we should say "misreading") of Eis en man's folding of the
discourse of others into his writings and into his machinery of architectural motifs, it will never be sufficient to
simply detect foreign influences and doggedly trace down their probable origins. At best, that would predetermine Eisenman to be merely an excellent interpreter of other people's ideas and at worst it could mistakenly
reduce the most cerebral of architects to the level of plagiarism. Such readings would treat Eisenman's projects
as if they were translated objects that can exist outside of translated discourse. No, if we want to do justice to
these projects and if we follow Eisenman's own example, we should "misread" them. In an autobiographical
article Eisenman ("misreading" himself) tells us that his earlier writings were "ostensibly explanations of the
process of their malcing, were in fact, albeit unconsciously; fictionalizatiollS, misreadings, creations of unreal
histories. The difference between those texts and the work today is that the fictional text, the misreading, has
become the project itself." 65 So architecture as a Text in itself, generates the obligation for the reader to
"misread" it (it is their duty not to find a single object as an origin for truth, measure and value).

63. Ibid, P 77.

64. Ibid, P 80,
65, Eisenrnan, Peter, "Misreading Peter Eisenrnan", Houses ofCa1'ds, (New York, Oxford University Press, 1987), p 186.



The Eisenman Fold

For such a "misreading)" Eisenman's Text is "best conceived as a series of palimpsests) a dynamic locus of
figures and partially-obscured traces. Site-specific and scale non-specifIc) they record and respond to change.
Although they are directed) they are ultimately authorless) that is) they refuse any single authoritative reading.
Their 'truth' is constantly in flux. "66 This constant flux can lead to insufferable boredom for those who must

always reduce reading to some form of consumption, and who therefore fail to "produce the teA'!, play it, open
it out, make it go." 67 Reading Eisenman produces boredom whereas "misreading" him generates effects that
can produce pleasure without separation. "Misreading" is the critic rewriting the Text by setting to work the
thought-images (Denkbilder) in the architecture with the script-images (Schriftbilder) in the texts. The critic's
text (epigram) is the only guarantee of a correspondence between Eisenman's explanatory texts (inscriptions:
the folded texts of others) and Eisenman's design process (the architectural object "ruined" by scaling). In the
manner of a Baroque emblem, it is the critic who executes Eisenman's Text, who makes it go.

This allegorization of explanatory text and architectural Text (the project of uniting discourse wi th
figuration) has, like the performance of open form music) an inherent element of chance. There is a large
degree of freedom in how we open it out, and the possibilities for the errors of "misreading" are tremendous.
But however open the form or however intertextual the Text, it does not constitute a place of unlimited
possibilities. The controlled indeterminacy inherent in "misreading" forms an event space; a field of oriented
possibilities. So that although Eisenman's projects (as Text) are never really finished (since they can always be
opened out in other ways), they nevertheless prescribe limits to criticism beyond which Eisenman's ruined
architectural motifs and their intertextual inscriptions will fail to harmonize. Eisenman's architecture is not only
aleatory (alea means dice) therefore "aleatory"-like a throw of the dice, irreducibly indeterminate) in its
reception (it cannot be predicted before each time the Text is "played"), it also incorporates an aleatory automatism into its very conception. The "author" controls the parameters of a process that generates "authorless"
random events.

66. Ibid, P 186.

67. Barthes, "From Work to Text", p 80.


The Eiserunan Fold

Eisenrnan's utilization ofhyper-rational cubic motifs always, and this fact is made ever more evident as
the size the projects (and the "event space") increases, involves dice-like processes producing unpredictable
intersections and overlappings (random events). Because of this, Eisenman's design process with the concrete
architectural events that it produces, form an allegory for our own indeterminate "misreading" of his architecture, since for Eisenman, "the misreading, has become the project itself."


That is not to say that Eisenman

takes us on a random walk through a pre-compositional event space, rather, the space of apriori defined
random events provides the framework by which the aesthetic decision-making processes of the architect
become meaningful.

Now to return to Eisenrnan's notion of scaling. Its most Baroque (most folded) demonstration takes place in
the ROlneo and}1Iliet Project (the award winning project for the 1985 Venice Biennale), subtitled "Moving
Arrows, Eros, and Other Errors." 69 Eisenman's intention here is quite clear-he wants to form an allegorical
narrative that unfolds on two levels, on one level-plans superimposed at conflicting scales, on the other leVelthe structure of the Romeo and Juliet fable (common to the three versions by Da Porto, Bandello and Shakespeare). Da Porto was first inspired to write the fable when he saw the two towers of Montecchio, yet he set
the story in Verona.


Therefore Eisenrnan bases all the superimposed scalings in the Romeo and }ttliet Pro} ect

on an axono)TIetric projection of a contour map ofDa Porto's Montecchio (showing the two towers with their
castle walls, one each for Romeo and Juliet) with maps of Verona and Montecchio, superimposed at relative
scales ranging from 1: 1 to 1:5000. Then, certain features are selected (the two castles, Juliet's house, a church,
Juliet's tomb, a cemetery, a river and a Roman grid street plan) and carefully aligned in ways that correspond to
the structure of the fable.

68. Eisenrnan, "Misreading Peter Eisenrnan", p 186.

69 Eisenrnan, Peter, "Moving Arrows, Eros and Other Errors: An Architecture of Absence", Al'quitectttl'a:270 (JanuaryfFebruary,
1988), pp 67-80.

70. VVhiteman, John, "Site unscene-Notes on architecture and the concept of fiction", AA Files: 12, (Surruner, 1986), p 80.



The EisenrnanFold

The narrative of the fable is characterised by Eisenman as having three structural relationships, each with its
own emblematic constructions. They arei1) division: the separation of the lovers, misalignment of the two
castles when superimposed, elements of immanence (colour coded white) and the Adige River, 2) union: the
marriage of thp' lovers, alignment of the superimposed castles and church, presence (in colour) and the Roman
grid uniting the city and, 3) synthesis of union and division: death of the lovers, alignment of Juliet's castle
with the church and the cemetery, memory (in grey), the entire city of Verona. In the series of superimposed
plans that form this project, these emblematic mappings construct an iconography of the continuous development of Eros in the fable. Like snapshots of a moving arrow they are paradoxically both in flight and at a
stand-still (the Romeo and Juliet Project was originally exhibited on separate sheets of clear perspex in a series
that enabled the viewer to see them as if in an uninterrupted exchange). The fracturing of forms so prevalent in
this project, along with its jill."taposition of borrowed texts and its dependence on a third explanatory teA"t to tie
them together, make the Rom,eo andJuliet Project conform precisely to Waiter Benjamin's description of the
Baroque emblem (with its ruin motif, juxtaposed inscription and epigrammatic explanation). In terms of
Benjamin's thesis in The Origin of German 'Hagic Drama, Eisenman's R01I1CO andJltliet Project is a perfect
example of a Baroque allegory.


The E'IScrunanFold

Fig, 33



The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 34


The EisenrnanFold

Fig. 35



The E iserunan Fold


Fig. 36



The EiserunanFold

But this des cri ption of the emblematic scaling in the Romeo andJttliet Project only paraphrases what
Eisenman already tells us in his own epigrammatic text) " Moving Arrows) Eros and Other Errors") that
accompanies the labyrinthine "glasses" (the drawings on perspex).

71 For

a reading of this project) we would

treat the "glasses" as concrete objects that occupy a limited portion of space outside of discourse. Reading then
searches for an origin (the myth of filiation) as the source of truth) measure and value for that concrete object.
Such an origin for Eisenman's scaling can be none other than Benoit Mandelbrot's "Fractal Geometry."

Fractals are the intractably irregular "monsters" avoided by classical (Euclidean) geometry; anything
grainy; tangled) wiggly; ramified) amorphous) etc. Fractal geometry (Latinfract-: to brealc) makes fractals
quantifiable by treating these difficult shapes as if they belonged to a fractional dimension (8/3)1. 868 7 )log 4/log
3) etc) instead of the usual integer dimensions of 1)2) and 3) and by assuming that there will be some degree of
invariance under displacement and change of scale. Mandelbrot calls this invariance "scaling." Most of the
fractals treated by Mandelbrot are "invariant under certain transformations of scale. They are called scaling. A
fractal invariant under ordinary geometric similari ty is called self-similar." 72 A good example of scaling in
nature would be a cascading waterfall for which the turbulence of water is decomposable into self-similar
eddies) superimposable over a wide range oflocations and scales. But as Mandelbrot warns us) the regularities
of nature are at best only statistically regular (by taking the average of a wide sample) because fresh irregularities appear every time we increase the magnification. Therefore) "scaling fractals should be limited to providing
first approximations of the natural shapes to be tackled." 73 Matter in nature is actually nonscaling) it is infini tely
discontinuous under displacement and change of scale. Nonscaling fractals involve chance and their irregularities are at best only statistically quantifiable.

71. By referring to these drawings on perspex as "glasses" ("Moving Arrows, Eros, and Other En-ors," p 73), Eisenrnan makes the
connection to that most famous of all twentieth-century painters on glass-Marcd Duchamp, whose equally Baroque glasses; Glider

Containing a TI1iterMill in Neighbouring Metals (1913-1915) and The Bride Stripped Bare by HtI, BachelO1's, Even (1915-1923), also fo=
composite iconographies out of cryptic inscriptions and fractured illustrations. Ducharnp's glasses therefore provide an eminent modd for
the pictorial allegorization of text attempted in the RmI1CO and Jttlict Project. For both "glasses", Eiserunan's and Duchamp's, the obligation to consult their explanatory texts fon1lS an attack on the dominance of the "retinal" (the attitude that the retina is the only addressee
for the sensuous appeal of painting and architecture). For an account of the retinal in painting see Duchamp, Marcd, ''Where do we go
from herd" Studio Intmlational: 189 (January/Febmary, 1975), p 28. On the relevance of Ducharnp for architecture see Perez-G6mez,
Alberto and Pelletier, Louise, "Architectural Representation Beyond Perspectivism," Pt1'specta:27 (1992), pp 21-39.

72. Manddbrot, Benoit B., The Fmctal Geometry ofNature, (New York,

vV H

Freeman and Company 1983), p 18.

73. Ibid, P 19.



The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 37


The EisenrnanFold

Scaling in the Romeo andJuliet Project is used to destabilise the anthropocentric desire for a teleological
ideal of human perfection.

Scaling in this contextproposes three destabilising agents; discontinuity) which confronts the
metaphysics oJpresence; recursivity, which C011fronts origin)' and self-similarity, which confronts
representation and the aesthetic object.. .Self-similarity refers to analogic repetition and not to the
geometric mimesis usually found in an aesthetic object... self-similarityproduces an ul1endin8
transformation oJproperties. 74

But Eisenman's scaling, like Mandelbrot's, reinscribes a unitary value (the metaphysics of scale) at another level. Fractal geometry quantifies intractable irregularities. Eisenman's scaling returns anthropomorphic
measure to the grainy; tangled, wiggly; ramified and amorphous architectural motif. Every last trace of the

Romeo andJuliet Project is guaranteed a quantifiable scale ranging from 1: 1 to 1 :5000 relative to its superimposed "analogic repetition," so that every trace has the potential to be nominated the datum for all the other
scales of tracing thus restoring the entire project to the stable and anthropocentric metaphysics oJscale.

Also, Eisenman's scaling becomes totalizing under its recursivity, its endlessness is that of a circle rather

than an infinitely folded spiral. The permutations made possible by the scaling and displacements in
Eisenman's project are sequentially linear and finite in number. This closure is therefore contrary to Eisenman's
description of architecture as text, as "an infinite combination of previous texts into new texts, the threedimensional experience yields open-ended readings." 75 By t:racing Eisenman's concepts back to their origin we
find the concepts' true meaning by which we can measure the effectiveness of their redeployment according to
the "myth of filiation."

74. Eiserunan, Peter, "Moving Arrows, Eros, and Other Errors,: pp 67-68.

75. Ibid, P 76.



The EiserunanFold

Such is the conclusion of a reading of Eis enman's scaling, but how would this notion of scaling unfold
according to its "misreading"- unfolding its "other

"Misreading" introduces chance into hmv it per-

forms the text, opening it to ever more open-ended "misreadings." In doing so, it activates a methodological
field that cuts jlcross several works. Ifwe go more deeply into the concept of scaling we will find it contains an
active intertextuality. For example, a "different encounter with scaling may be read (by those ready to be
generous toward the very rich) into Maxims 64 and 69 ofLeibniz'sMonadolqgy, where it is stated that minute
portions of the world are precisely as complex and organized as large portions."


Going further into

Mandelbrot's essay leads us back to Leibniz'sMonadolqgy.

64. Thus every body ofa living being is a sort ofdivine machine or natural autOl'natoJ1) which
infinitely surpasses all artificial automata. For a machine made by human art is not a machine in
all its parts. The cqg on a brass wheel) for instance) has parts or fragments which for 1tS are 110
longer artificial things) and are no longer proper to the machine with respect to the p1t1poses for
which the wheel was designed. The machines ofnature (namely, the living bodies) are) on the
contrary, machines even in their smallestparts without any limit. Herein lies the difference
between nature and art, that is) between divine and human art.
69. Th1ts there is nothing uncultured) sterile or dead in the universe) 110 chaos) 110 disordet; though
this may be what appears. It would be about the same with apond seen from a distance: you would
perceive a confused morel'nent, a squirming offishes)

ifI may say so) without discerning the single


And going further into Leibniz's two maxims leads us back to The Fold. Deleuze makes it clear to us that
Leibniz does not mean to say in these two maxims that Baroque organic machines are self-similar at every scale
(machines even in their smallest parts) and that Baroque inorganic machines are not (the cog as a part of a
machine is not by itself a machine), because self-similarity (a simple metric change without qualititive difference) is the characteristic of the inorganic and not the organic. A "simple metric change would not account for
the difference between the organic and inorganic, the machine and its motive force. It would fail to show that
movement does not simply go from one greater or smaller part to another, but from fold to fold. When a part
of a machine is still a machine, the smaller unit is not the same as the whole" (Leibniz and the Baroque :9). So
Mandelbrot and Leibniz in fact agree, scaling or self-similarity is a characteristic of artificial automata and can
therefore provide only the first approximation of nonscaling nature or organic machines. Maxim's 64 to 69 tell
us what Leibniz means by natural machines being machines at every scale.
76. Mandelbrot, Benoit, The Fractal Geometry a/Nature, p 419.
77. Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, MOlladology and Other Philosophical Essays (New York, Bobbs-Merril, 1965), pp 158-159.



The Eisenrnan Fold

The pond or fish hatchery seen from a distance is clearly not a living being, it is an e:h.1:erior site folded
between organic life. "Here the figure of the lake or pond acquires a new meaning, since the pond-and the
marble tile-no longer refer to elastic waves that swim through them like inorganic folds, but to fish that
inhabit them like' organic folds. And in life itself the inner sites contained are even more hatcheries full of other
fish: a 'swarm'. Inorganic folds of sites move between two organic folds. For Leibniz, as for the Baroque, the
principles of reason are veritable cries: Not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere" (Leibniz and the

Baroque: 9). The fish wi thin fish are not identical, they are entirely different species enveloped on alternate sides
of the inorganic folds of site.
If the Romeo andJttliet Project does in fact form an allegorical relationship between)l) its emblems (the
monumentalizedruins of Verona and Montecchio) , 2) its inscription ("Moving Arrows, Eros, and Other
Errors") and 3) its epigram (Eisenman's description of the emblems relationship to the inscription and to the
fable), as Eisenman obviously intends, then we should find among its emblems the organic wC! chines that are
meant to be folded-the Eros machine, the Romeo machine and the Juliet machine. The traces of the two
cities are the inorganic folds of site, self-similar in their outlines despite metric changes of scale. The active
mapping of the outline traces becomes ever more fragmented under the weight of superimposed traces, just as
we would expect for an allegorical emblem (allegories monumentalizing the ruin, forcing it to overflow its
frame and interiorize moral or aesthetic narratives). But the Romeo and Juliet organic machines escape this
becoming allegorical, their emblems (the t:\vo castles of Montecchio) are the only monuments in the entire

Rameo andJ1Iliet Project that are not fragmented by their multiple scalings. This is because they exist on a
smooth surface (the glass) that lies between the striated surfaces of the folded sites. They remind us that the
active map existed before its passive tracings and that a striated surface must also create smooth surfaces.



The EiserunanFold

The organic Romeo and Juliet machines, when superposed at different scales (fish within fish)belong to
different sides of the smooth glass surface-"Inorganic folds of sites move between two organic folds" (Leibniz

and the Baroque:9). But Deleuze (The Fold) also leads us to Deleuze (Nomad thought). Monadology leads to
nomadology. The Romeo and Juliet organic machines are in fact mobile siege towers (nomadic war machines)
instrumental in ?reaking down bureaucratic State walls. They exteriorize thought rather than simply allegorize
it so that they smash holes into the striated surfaces of the city opening vistas on to their smooth surface. The
striated surface of the city-State partitions Eros and the body from the soul and mind while the phallic penetration of the siege towers eroticize architecture in an affective capture of "that sense of oooouuuurrrrgggghhhh,
like a great goal or a great glass of wine or a great orgasm".


In any event, the Romeo andluliet Project forms

an Eros-machine that loves to proliferate connections. The Mandelbrot - Leibniz - Deleuze triangle is only one
of many constellations that can be caught in the network of its rhizomorphic architecture.

78. Eisenman, Peter, "Eisenman plays the centre forward", an intelView with Rowan Moore,.Bltteprint:96, (April, 1993), P 14.




The last "grounded project" and the first project to incorporate the results of Eis enman's reading of
Plato's notion of chora was the unbuilt project, Choral Works (1986), one of the four gardens intended for the

promenade cinematiqtte at Bernard Tschurni's Parc de la Villette in Paris (1982 - 1992). Tschurni co-ordinated
Eisenman to collaborate on this project with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Derrida's chief contribution to Choral Works was to present Eisenman with a text entitled "Chora".


As we discovered in an earlier

discussion, Eisenman's reading of chora (in terms of presence and absence) is closer to Heidegger's reading of

ch ora inAnIntroduction toMetaphysics (as a withdrawal and absence of the essence of top os or place) than to
Derrida's version of chora as an unfathomable yet rigorously necessary challenge to architecture. Nevertheless,
Eisenman's confrontation with Plato's chora was the catalyst for his shift away from the notion of traces (of
"grounded" maps on a surface) to the notion of traces and imprints (the "arabesque" or the "edge of between"
in space).

In the La Villette project (Choral Works) 1986) I was working) as I had been in the Wexner
Center (1983-1989) and in many ofmy projects) with only traces) with the tracing ofthe

absences oJ, what I called the absence ofpresence) and the presence ofabsence. Traces ofthings that
were formerly there) that were not any more in the space. I did not work with the concept of
imprint. Then in the Guardiola House (unbuiltproject) 1987) having readJacqlles Derrida's
full text ofchora and also Francis Comford's analysis ofthe notion ofthe chora in the
.Time aus , ... (Then) for the first time I began working with both traces and imprints.


For the "imprint and trace" projects, the emblem for chora is the space between two superimposed
signature el-forms which records ( or "imprints in space") the position of the el-forms' edges -the edges between overlapping forms that become absent when the fused el-forms are voided.

79. Derrida, Jacques, "Chora", Poikilia, Etudes offertes Jean-Pierre Vernant, (Paris, Eeale des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales,
1987) .

80. Eisenrnan, Peter, "Chora and Weak FOlm", Japan Architect: 403/404, (NovemberfDecember, 1990), P 47. Parentheses added.



The Eisenman Fold

2) Superimposed

1) Signature El-Forms

3) Voided and Imprinted

In the GttardiolaHo1tse project (1987, intended for Santa Maria del Mar, the Bay ofCadiz, Spain) this
imprint in space solidifies into the form of a non-structural steel frame floating within the reinforced concrete
house. Eisenman calls this

active supplement within the signature form," and a "third condition of

space ... absence that is more than absence."


Eisenman's chora is therefore "like sand on the beach: it is not an

object or a place, but merely the record of the movement of water, which leaves traces of high tide lines and
scores imprints-erosions-with each successive wave receding to the water."


The "controlled accident" of

this superimposition creates a manifestation of the sand-like chora, in the form of the "arabesque" steel frame
that "exists between the natural and the rational, between logic and chaos. It breaks the notion of figure/
frame, because it is figure and frame simultaneously." 83

81. Ibid, P 47

82.Eisenman, Peter,"Gual'diola House", A +U:220 (January, 1989), p 9.

83. Ibid, P 9.


The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 38

Eisenman's notion of "arabesque" has the same function as Deleuze's notion of The Fold: the operative
concept of a Fold between the two levels (folds) of a house) as an allegory for the vibrations that take place
between the rational soul and the sensations of the body. "Arabesque exists between figuration and abstraction)
between nature and man) between meaning and form. Traditionally it has been restricted to merely decorative
use) but it is possible to suggest that in arabesque can be found structure) or at least found a condition between
structure and decoration." 84

84. Eisenrnan, Peter, "Blue Line Tela", Architectuml Design:58, no7/8 (1988), p 9.


The Eismman Fold

In terms of the Deleuze-Leibniz Baroque house allegory, Eiserlli1an's arabesque (imprint in space)
functions as the canvas that stretches between the two floors (between mind and body, interior and exterior,
abstraction and figuration, measured structure and sensuous decoration). The canvas accommodates past
and new impressions (the absent edges and the new steel frame). It has the power to form new images because
it vibrates like a string that has been plucked to produce a musical sound. Similarly, Eisenman's arabesque is "a
line once put dovvn which cannot be erased, but in whose linearity is the density of unpredictable reverberations."


Unpredictable since the stretched canvas (or imprint in space ) does not receive images evenly but is

itself "diversified by folds."


The traces recorded (imprinted in space) by the linear steel frames wi thin the Guardiola Hotlse project are
simultaneously decorative: a passive mirror reflecting the external action of the intersected, rotated, displaced
and then voided el-forms, and structural: as the active source of all the accidental but controlled interweavings
of the penetrating solid structures. It is the "density of unpredictable reverberations" that permeates every solid
part of the GlIardiolaHotfse. Eisenman's "arabesque" imprint functions as a Fold between the folds of structure
and the folds of decoration. We are now in a position to understand why Eisenman might consistently misread
Derrida's version of chora. The tendency of Baroque architecture is to envelop a multiplicity so that its matter
overflows space." The characteristic of the Baroque is the fold that goes on to infinity" (The Fold:227). We
cannot unfold all at once all of the folds of matter and soul since they are infinite, yet a limited unfolding
always be possible for this characteristic to have any validi ty. Enough of tl1e folded series must be unfolded to
indicate its tendency towards infinity.

85. Eisenrnan, Peter, "Guarruola House", p 9.

86. Leibniz, New Essays, p 147. See also Deleuze, The Fold, p 228.



The Eis=man Fold

IfEisenman's architecture exhibits this Baroque necessity to be able to unfold a serial part of its folded
multiplicity; then an ontological presence (that part of the multiplicity that can be unfolded) and a theological
absence (the part that remains folded) must always be maintained. This is why Derrida says to Eisenman-"I
am not sure that you have detheologized and deontologizedchora in as radical a way as I would have wished

(chora is

the void, as you suggest sometimes, nor absence ... )" 87 Derrida then asks Eisenman, "is your

calculation, reckoning, of memory not baroque .,. despite some appearances?" 88 (\Vithout an operative definition of the Baroque, Eisenman's architecture might appear to be simply a mannerist version of late modernism
instead of its Baroque unfolding). The yet to be detheologized and deontologized reserve that Eisenman must
maintain for chora is an effect of his Baroque calculation, reckoning and memory

Derrida is radically opposed to this Baroque misreading of Plato's chora; as a third kind of absence on
which infinite folds can be imprinted, as a space that simultaneously mirrors an outside and proliferates new
images and new sensations. Derrida's version of chora (as previously discussed) is outside both thought and
sensation, it is an absolute crypt that resists all presentation. It nei ther creates nor produces anything, not even
the imprints of an absence. Ifwe had to give this impossible place without place an emblem (not forgetting
that emblems are only convenient memory places to which a message is attached but not by which it is symbolized) then we would have to turn to "ashes", Derrida's own choice of emblem for his notion of trace as
"something which erases itself totally, radically, while presenting itself." 89 Not an event because it can not take
place or have duration, but the snared structure of the not of "not an event." We can see this emblem of chora
is clearly at odds with the Baroque emblem which must always be an event-a folding or unfolding, that is
always "a temporal modulation that implies as much the beginnnings of a continuous variation of matter as a
continuous development of form" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 19). We cannot even characterize Derrida's emblem
of ashes as a fold from the Orient (folds hinging on an emptiness) confronting the Baroque fold (which is
always full of folds). The emblem of ashes therefore must remain as an indeterminate challenge to all folding,
and Eisenman's consistent misreading of chora demonstrates his own dependency on folding, from the Orient
or the Baroque. Ash is deconstructive while sand is Baroque. After all, it was sand in the oyster that formed the

ban,'OCo in the first place, that misshapen pearl that was the first emblem of the Baroque Fold between folds.

87. Derrida, Jacques, "A Letter to Peter Eisenrnan", Assemblage:12 (August, 1990), p 8,

88. Ibid, pH.

89. Denida, Jacques, "On Reading Heidegget", p 177.



The Eisenman Fold

Following the transitional Choral WorllS of 1986, the chom-inspired imprint in space replaces the Aldo
Rossi (figurative archaeology) and Mandelbrot (scaling) inspired traces of maps. As with all "replacements" in
Eisenman's development, this should not be thought of as one process ending and another one starting up, but
rather, a cumulative process of fold upon fold. For example, the incorporation of "grounded" features (such as
the history and topography of the site or figures associated with the program) into the form of the project,
returns to the "imprint and trace" projects, but is now superimposed with new interpretations. Therefore the
restless compression of layers of sounds, lights and shapes that is Tokyo takes the form of the imprinted elforms of the Koizumi Sangyo office building in Tokyo, Japan (1988-1990) thatlike Tokyo itself "can be seen as
embodying a concept of atopia lying with topos. This project proposes that this lying within can be seen as
another order, another potential structure. These ideas have always been a part of Japanese thought. "90
Similarly; the imprints and traces of "Boolean cubes" in the CarnegieMellonRrsearch Institute for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (unbuilt project, 1988) that form an architectural figuration derived from the hypercube
structure of computer architecture (a programme related figure, like the DNA chain used in the "grounded"

Franllfitrt Biocenter). Other si te and programme related figures folded into the imprinted form of the building
include; the arcs and sweeps of an eight-oared rowing skiff in Banyoles Olympic Hotel, Banyoles, Spain (unbuilt,
1988), tlle chevron shaped outline of the existing building and the slithering contoms of the hilly site in the

College ofDesign) Architecture) Art and Planning) at the U niversi ty of Cincinatti, Ohio (1988- ), the tangle of
fiber-optic tables cut at one end (the High Street facade) to reveal its condensed information in the Greater

Columbus Convention Center, Columbus Ohio (1988-1992), the raster pattern of scanning lines in a cathoderay tube in the Groningen Video Pavilion, Groningen, the Netherlands (1990) and, the earthquake generated
smface waves moving through the striated landscape periodically compressing and expanding a plate structme
in the NttnotaniHeadquarters Building, Tokyo, Japan (1990-1992). While the sand-like chora only solidifies
into a free-standing steel frame in the early "imprint and trace" projects (GuardiolaHouse and CarnegieMellon

Rrsearch Institute), in each case there is always a two-way imprinting between multiple forms that have been
superimposed, rotated, displaced and voided, thus complicating both structures with the decorative/structural
arabesque ("tide lines") of still fmther "controlled accidents" (on top of those accidents that form the outline
structure). This process is greatly facilitated by the use of computer plotting that provides the initial "striated
context" to guide all the "accidents" with complete accmacy.

90. Eisenrnan, Peter, 'Tokyo, Koizurni Sangyo and Nunotani Headquarters", Lottls
International: 76, (April, 1993), P 87.



The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 39

The Eiserunan Fold

In his writings, Eisenman characterizes this excess of arbitrary imprinting bet\veen structures as the

blurring caused by "weak images" and "non-vertebrate" displacements. "Strong images" on the other hand
exclude the undecidable and the arbitrary with their "vertebrate" anthropocentric ordering (reductively symmetrical and linear). In the "imprint and trace" projects there is always-

two weak images) which suggest a blurred third... Therefore the object must have a blurring effect.

It tnust look out offocus: almost seen) bttt not quite) seen. Again) this between is not a betwem
bttt a between wi thin. The loss ofthe idea ofarchitecture as a strOJ1g image undercuts the traditional categories ofarchitecture associated with man overcotning 11aturej place)
route) enclosure) presence) and the vertebrate) upright building-symbolic ofovercominggravity. 91
The ghostly; blurred, non-vertebrate form is at once sensuous, tactile, and haunting (beyond the senses).
It is fragmentary and unstable. The symmetrical, hierarchical vertebrate form is on the other hand, the tradi-

tional anthropomorphic imagery of house ne ss where; "I) A house is imagined as a vertical being. It rises
upward. It differentiates itself in terms of i ts verticali ty. It is one of the appeals to our consciousness of verticality. 2) A house is imagined as a concentrated being. It appeals to our consciousness of centrality,"


Ever since

Ho1tseX (unbuilt project, 1975-1977) Eisenman has been allegorizing man's loss of center (as described by
Michel Foucault) as a change from the vertebrate centered house to the non-vertebrate structure that is conceptually and literally a center-as-void.

Most houses are conceptually vertebrate. That is) in addition to their literal) 11Ccessary condition of
structure they are metaphorically vertebrate. They have a center, usually a hearth or a stairj thei1'
rooftpitch frotn the center and their construction exhibits a concern for an OPerall centrality. The
center expresses both the functional core (either as a place or a route) and conceptual unity ofthe
house. Here (in House X) the center is no longer place nor ro'tlte) it is essentially nothing. The
vertebrate ho'Use is also mimeticj it mirrors man's 'Upright) axial condition. In an attempt to
increase the conceptual distance betlveen man and object; House X is non-vertebratej to this
extent it is non-mimetic. 93

91. Eisenrnan, Peter, "En Terror Finna: In Trails ofGrotextes", Architectural Design:58, no 1/2 (1988), p 43.

92. Bachelard, Gaston, The Poetics of Space, (Boston, Beacon Press, 1969), p 17.

93. Eisenrnan, Petel; "TransfOlmations, Decompositions, and Critiques:House )(", A +U:1l2, (JanuaIY, 1980), p 69.


The Eisenman Fold

When the allegory of the centered and vertical vertebrate form reappears in the "imprint and trace"
projects, it is imprinted with one more effect, that of"phallogocentrism." So when Eisenman describes the

N1fnotani Headquarters Building in Tokyo, Japan (1990-1992) he wri tes-"Traditionally the vertical building
had two metaphoric connotations, the one as a metaphor of anthropocentrism-the hwnan vertebrae as
upright, symmetrical and skeletal-the other, symbol of power and dominance, in particular phallogocentrism,
the sexual strutture of power and dominance. Our building symbolically attempts to undermine these two
centrisms, first by producing a building that is not metaphorically skeletal or striated ... and second, by producing an image hovering somewhere in between an erect and a 'limp' condition." 94 Phallogocentrism is the
complicity oq) the notion of male firstness (phallocent:rism: the phallus as the signifier of sexual difference)
and:2) the notion that the expression ofhwnan reason as an ordered cosmos (logos) has priority over language
and inscription (logocentrism, the metaphysical prejudice that written inscriptions intrude upon a more
truthful self-authenticating knowledge).

94. Eisenman, Peter, "Nunotani Headquarters Building", A +U:252, (September, 1991), p 56.



Fig. 40


The Eisenman Fold

Derrida tells us in a 1981 interview that "the truth value (that is, Woman as the major allegory of truth in
Western discourse) and its correlative, Femininity (the essence of truth of Woman) , are ... the foundations or
anchorings of Western rationality (of what I have called 'phallogocentrism' [as the complicity ofYVestern
metaphysics with a notion of male firstness]). Such recognition should not make of either the truth value or
femininity an object of knowledge ... still less should it make of them a place to inhabit, a home. It should

rather permit the invention of an other inscription, one very old and very ne\, a displacement of bodies and
places that is quite different." 95 Eisenman's excessive and decorative "other inscription" is the blurring effect
caused by the reciprocal imprinting between two superimposed and displaced "wealc images." Truth, as
Woman, always remains folded or invaginated in contrast to the unfolding phallus that signifies difference. The
phallogocentric Western rationality ,tjebases the woman as a figure of falsehood. "In the name of truth and
metaphysics she is accused here by the credulous man who, in support of his testimony, offers truth and his
phallus as his own proper credentials." 96

The "gynocentric" reversal of male firstness still maintains a phallogocentric order in its claim for truth
and objectivity. The woman "either identifies with truth, or else she continues to playvvith it at a distance as if
it were a fetish, manipulating it, even as she refuses to believe in it, to her own advantage."


Male firstness

finds its emblem in the vertebrate house, full of symmetry and difference, it makes a place for woman in the
home. Its gynocentric reversal is the negation of this figure of house ness, the limp condition. For the third
figure ofWoman (which Eisenman allegorizes in the N1motani Headquarters Building) "woman is recognized
and affirmed as an affirmative power, a dissimulatress, an artist, a dionysiac. And no longer is it man who
affirms her. She affirms herself, in and of herself, in man ... And anti-Feminism, which condemned woman
only so long as she was, so long as she answered to man from the two reactive positions, is in its turn overthrown." 98

95. Derrida, Jacques, "Choreographies", an interview with Cluistie V lvIcDonald, DiaC1itics:12 (1982), pp 69-70, all parentheses
are hum the original text.

96. Denida, Jacques, SPtt1's> Nietzscbe's Styles, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1979), p 97.
97. Ibid, P 97.

98. Ibid, P 97.


The Eisenman Fold

Like this third figure of Woman) the Ntt110tani Headquarters Building must suspend all decidable (vertebrate) oppositions between truth and non-truth to avoid reinstating yet another phallogocentric figure of
houseness. It must be "forever divided; folded and manifolded." 99 The imprint is "the mark which it has left
behind) irreducible though it may be) is just as irreducibly plural. Their (of these marks) 'granite stratum of
spiritual fate' both confers and receives marks. From them it forms matter. L'erection tombe" (,The erection

tomb' or 'The erection falls').

condi tion."



Thus forming "an image hovering somewhere in between an erect and a 'limp'

This blurring of verticali ty makes the Nttnotani Headquarters unreadable (the hard oppositions

of phallogocentrism are no longer operative). Suspended between stasis and collapse) the overlapping grids of
wall and window blur any effect of a vertical datum) making it impossible to be certain how many floors it
contains or where exactly the building meets with the ground. Even its scale becomes undecideable when
viewed without the help of any external reference. But the "limp erection" or /'erection tombe that blurs verticality is also a "ground." As the concept diagrams and models of the Nunotani Headquarters first scheme (later
revised to meet Tokyo's complicated zoning envelope) clearly show) the initial inspiration for the tilting and
overlapping grids of window and wall came from the geological tectonics of plate movement (that produce
earthquakes) in Japan. In a process that repeats that of the IBA Social Hot/sin!! Project in Berlin) what began as a
ground effect in the first scheme is uprighted in the final scheme.

Fig. 41

Fig. 42

99. Ibid, P 133.

100. Ibid, P 105.
101. Eiserunan, "Nunotani Headquarters Building", p 56.



The Eiserunan Fold

We can still view these uprighted ground plans as facades just as we can pin a map to a wall, but they also
suggest a radically new orientation to the vertical surface. The art critic Leo Steinberg calls this effect "the
flatbed picture plane."


Like the shift that takes place in the paintings of Robert Rauschenberg and Jean

Dubuffet around 1950, Eisenman's facades are no longer analogues of a visual experience of nature but are
now information tables revealing operational processes.

TMi can still hat1! their pictures-just as we taellup 'maps al1d architectural plans) or l1ail a

horseshoe to the wall for good IUell. Yet these pictures 110 longer sim1tlate vertical fields) but opaque
flatbed horizontals. They 110 more depend on a head-to-toe correspondence with human posture
than a newspaper does. The flatbed picture plal1e rna/us its symbolic allusion to hard sttrfaces such
as tabletops) studio floors) charts) bulletin boards-any receptor s1t1face on which objects are
scattered) 011 which data is entered) 011 which information may be received) ptinted) impressedwhether coherently or in confusion.


The opaque flatbed plane simulated by Eisenman's N1tnota11i Headquarters is the ever-shifting geological
structure of the Japanese islands. When this figure is uprighted it becomes an allegorical emblem (\vhen placed
alongside certain.inscriptions) for the process of reinscribing Western rationalit;s Woman and truth in a way
that is other than phallogocentric, thus avoiding its strong image of verticality (reason, male firstness, knowledge) without simply becoming another reactionary limpness (irrationali t;s female firstness, fiction). In doing
so it affirms its own blurring, its own weak image, overthrowing anti-irrationality and anti-feminism,
undecidably neither and both erect and limp.

102, Sternberg, Leo, Other Critel'ia., Confrontations with 'Ilrmtieth-Centttry Art, (New York, Oxford University Press, 1972), pp
103, Ibid, P 84,



The Eiserunan Fold

The figure of a ground and its emblematic uprighting, forms an operation typical of the Baroque. In fact
Deleuze uses Leo Steinberg's notion of "flatbed picture plane" to differentiate the Cartesian (classical) vertical
window simulating a visual field from the Leibnizian (Baroque) opaque information table "on which are
inscribed lines, numbers, changing characters ... Against the system window/countryside is opposed the pair
city/information-table. The Leibnizian monad would be such a table, or rather a room, an apartment entirely
covered with lines of variable inflection. It would be the dark room of the New Bssays, furnished with a
stretched cloth diversified by moving, living folds"(The Fold:232).

The Baroque uprighting of "grounded" material causes it to overflow its frame and take on "ungrounded"
mental forms because,

The Baroque is the pre-eminent infmina! art: on the gro/md) atgr01t11d level) at hand) it comprises the textures ofmatter ... But the infmina! is not the negation offOl'1nj it posits fOl'1Jt as
folded) as existi118 O1'lly as "mental landscape" in the smtl or in the mind) at a heightj it thus
includes immaterial folds as well. The kinds ofmatter constitute the base) but the folded shapes are
its fOl'111S. One mores jrml1 materials to fOl'111S. Frml1 grmt11ds and ten'ai11S to habitats and salons
(fhe FoH243).


The Eiserunan Fold


The N1t11otani Headquarters (1990-1992) is the last project to give precedence to the chora-inspired
techniques of imprint and trace. The next concept and motif to be folded by the continuous enveloping of the
Eisenman Fold is the Fold itself. On the conceptual level Eisenman now incorporates Gilles Deleuze's notion
of the Fold, ahd on the perceptual level he now employs figures derived from Rene Thorn's catastrophe theory.

Suppose for a moment that architecture could be conceptualized as a Moebills strip) with an
unbroken continuity between interior and e.vterior. VVhat would this mean for vision? Gilles
Deleuze has proposed just s1lch a possible continuity with his idea ofthe fold.


(And) the model offolding which we used was analogous to the mathematical In ode! ofRrne
Thom from catastrophe theory. Catastrophe theory is an attempt to e."<Plain abrupt changes in
state or flnn


Whereas the "imprint and trace" projects utilized the iconic signs of immanent texts (architectural motifs
that resembled objects or efficts inherent in the programme or site, such as the resemblance of the N1Jnotani

Headquarters to the displacements caused by Japanese earthquakes), the "folded projects" utilize indexical signs
of non-immanent teA'ts (motifs that are contimlO1lswith and actually afficted by forms that do not come from
anything to do with the programme or site, such as Rent Thorn's "butterfly catastrophe" within the Franlzfll1't

Rrbstoclzparlz project, 1991)and theAlteka Office Building) 1991).106

104. Eiserunan, Peter, "Visions' Unfolding:An:hitecture in the Age of Electnmic Media", DOJlJtls:734 (January, 1992), p 24.

105. Eiserunan, Peter, "Frankfurt Rebstock Competition", A +U:252, (September, 1991), p19.

106. Eiserunan's use of "iconic and indexical signs" refers to Charles S Peirce's triadic semiotics of icon, index, and symboL
See Noth, Winfi:cid, Handbook of Semiotics, (Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1990), pp 39-47.



TheE'lsenrnan Fold





.. :;



.\.! ....




The Eiserunan Fold

And where the "imprint and trace" projects utilized the effictiPe space of vision (a "striated" Cartesian grid
as a guide for the reciprocal imprinting between forms), the "folded projects" utilize the affective space of the
gaze (a "smooth and striated" environment that "looks back" at the perceiver because they are both equally
intertwined in a space of affects-haptic and taotile rather than simply optical). Smooth space is "occupied by
intensities, wind and noise, forces, and sonorous and tactile qualities, as in the desert, steppe, or ice.
The creaking df ice and the song of the sands. Striated space, on the contrary; is canopied by the sky as nleasure and by the measurable visual qualities deriving from it."


But there is always an overlapping of the

smooth space of haptic perception with the striated (gridded) space of vision.

Smooth space presents the possibility oforercomi11;!J or exceeding the grid. The grid remains in place
and the foltr walls will always exist but they are in fact orertalzen by the folding ofspace ... Alteka
(office building pro)ect) Tolzyo) 1991) is not merely a s1l1face architecture or a s1t1face folding.
Bathe,!; the folds create an affictive space) a dimension il1 the space that dislocates the disc1frsive
, fimction of the human s1fbject and thus vision) and at the same moment) creates a condition of
time) ofa11 evel1t in which thel'e is the possibility ofthe environwent 100hil1;!J bad, at the sltbject) the
possibility ofthe gaze ... My folded projects are a primitive beginning. In than the Sltbject 1Inderstands that he 01' she call110 longer conceptualize experience in space in the same way that he or
she did il1 the gridded space. 108

Fig. 44

107. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, FeJbc,A Thol/sand Plateaus, (London, The Athlone Press, 1988), p 479.
108. Eiserunan, "Visions' Unfolding", p 24


The Eisenman Fold

Eisenman takes his notion of "looking back" from Norman Bryson's discussion of Jacques Lacan's,"the gaze
of the Other" in The Four Fundamental Concepts ofPsycho-Analysis. 109 Lacan's model for the environment
looking back is in turn taken from Maurice Merleau-Ponty. According to Lacan, "in this matter of the visible,
everything is a trap, and in a strange way-as is very well shown by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in the title of one
of the chapters of Le Visible et l'invisible-entrelacs (interlacing, intertwining). There is not a single one of the
divisions, a singlepne of the double sides that the function of vision presents, that is not manifested to us as a
labyrinth." 1l0Vision divides the world into invisible ideas of the soul (inside) and visible objects in space
(outside) with the eye lying between them as a kind of window opening the soul to what is not soul.

The gaze, as elaborated first by Merleau-Ponty and then. by Lacan, unites the world as "flesh" so that
what is traditionally thoughtof as "vision" is in fact simply one part of the world turning its back on the rest.
Because the body and its organs are things among things, they are caught in the fabric of the world, therefore
things are an annex or prolongation of the body; they are encrusted into its "flesh," they are part of its full
definition, so that we can say "that vision happens among, or is caught in, things," and that "things are the
secret folds of my flesh."


Therefore tlle event or inaugurating place of the two levels of flesh - mind and

body-is the "chiasmus," a Moebius strip-like folding in the continuous ribbon of "flesh," turning inside and
outside around one another.

The chiasmus inaugurates two levels-one level is the sensing mind (or subject) for which tlle inside is
the soul (a darkened compartment, a study) and the outside is the ideas and images of space folded into the
soul. The other level is the sensed body (or object) for which the inside and outside are reversed, here the
inside is the body (the autonomous facade) folded around exterior souls. For

sensing mind

and the sensed body (and by extension all the things of the world) are obverse and reverse abstractions of the
same "flesh," now folding, now folded. Merleau-Ponty's "flesh" is like Deleuze's Fold-"the world of only two
stories, separated by a fold which reverberates on both sides in accordance with different orders" (The

Fold:235). The orders are different (despite their continuity) because they are on different sides of the chiasmus
-the reversal of inside and outside. When "flesh" (or the Fold) is conceived as a continuity; inside and outside
become merely temporary designations for regions of the same folded surface or manifold. Leibnizian monads
(the sensing minds, the darkened compartments) are therefore "windowless" not because they lack bodies with
organs but because they already communicate with an "exterior" indexically (because they are continuous with
and really affected by the outside) rather than iconographically or symbolically (communicating only by
resemblance or by conventional signs).

109. Bryson, Norman, "The Gaze in the Expanded Field", Vision and Vist/a/ity, edited by Hal Fostel; (Seattle, Bay Press, 1988),
pp 87-107.
1l0. Lacan, Jacques, The Fottr Fundamental Concepts ofPsycho-Anarysis, (Great Britain,Penguin Books, 1987), P 93.
lll. Merleau-Ponty, MaUlice, The Visible and the Invisible, (Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1969), p 46.



The Eisenman Fold

Therefore it is Gijs Wallis de Vries and not Eisenman who has misunderstood Deleuze when de Vries
accuses Eisenman of mistaking the Fold for a continuity between inside and outside.


The Fold is a single

"labyrinth of continuity ... like a piece of fabric or a sheet of paper which divides into an infinite nun1ber of
folds" (The Fold:231). De Vries momentarily forgets that the Fold, like the monadology on which it is based, is
essentially a mbnism of inside and outside in contrast to the dominant Cartesian dualism of inside and outside.
How else would the correspondence or harmonization between folded interior and facade be said to be "preestablished"? Of course the Fold always creates folds on two levels, two co-extensive labyrinths, but the Fold
between folds (the chiasmus in the Moebius strip) guarantees that they communicate indexically (because they
are continuous) rather than symbolically (by convention).

The body and its organs of sensation, as "windows" between the soul and its other, cannot take place prior
to the inaugurating event of the chiasmus or Fold which institutes a difference between mind and body,
between man and things, but which also guarantees a communication between the two levels lVit/JolltlVilld01PS.
In a similar fashion, Eisenman's "folded projects" are conceived as pre-constructions-opening the possibility
for levels of architectural flesh (typologies, programmes, sites etc) in contrast to the de-constructions of his
earlier projects which were fundamentally dependent on pre-existing "windows" of architecture (the given
tradition and its secret places).

The flesh of architecture would be something like Derrida's notion of the "trace''-the unnamable pre-

condition of plenitude for the movement of difference itself-"The (pure) trace is dijferaJ1ce. It does not depend
on any sensible plenitude, audible or visible, phonic or graphic. It is, on the contrary, the condition of such a
plenitude. Although it does not exist) although it is never a being-present outside of all plenitude, its possibility is
by rights anterior to all that one calls sign "', concept or operation, motor or sensory."


Or something like

Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the "Body without Organs," a plane of pure intensity and experimentation
"opening the body to connections that presuppose an entire assemblage, circuits, conjunctions, levels and
thresholds, passages and distributions of intensity, and territories and deterritorializations measured with the
craft of a surveyor".


112. de Vlies, Gijs vVallis, "Deleuze and an:hitecrure, A preliminary guide", Archis:11 (Novembel; 1993), p 59.
113. Del1ida, Jacques, "The Outside 'p.(the Inside", 0fGrammatology, (Baltimore, Johns Hoplcins University Press, 1976), p 62.
114. Deleuze and Guarrali,A Thousand Plateaus, p 160.



The Eisenrnan Fold

The flesh of architecture would not look back at "us", as if we continued to be subjects safely housed in
our own subjectivity, rather, its wild destratification would dismantle any "body with organs" just as easily as it
dismantles inside and outside. Such a dismantling of the strata of flesh courts the psychic death of both architecture and the subject it looks back on, therefore it is necessary "to keep small rations of subjectivity in sufficient quantity to enable you to respond to the dominant reality. Mimic the strata."ll5 The dominant reality of
architecture is a perspectival, linear and monocular vision. "It is in Vignola and in Alberti (where) we find the
progressive interrogation of the geometrallaws of perspective, and it is around research on perspective that is
centred a privileged interest for the domain of vision -whose relation with the institution of the Cartesian
subject, which is itself a sort of geometral point, a point of perspective, we cannot fail to see."


Therefore Eisenman will always have to mimic these "geometral" laws of vision (the stratification of the
flesh of architecture into levels of monocular subject and perspectival object) because the flesh or "Body
without Organs" must always be an overlapping of the striated planes that stratify it and the smooth surfaces
tllat set it free. "Becomings, which have neither culmination nor subject, but draw one another into zones of
proximi ty or undeci dabili tyi smooth spaces, composed from wi thin s tri ated space. "117
Eisenman describes the Fold's excessive reinscription of architecture as "Baroque." He reminds us that "no
space is uninscribed, we do not see a window without relating it to an idea of window," but, he adds, "in order
to have a looking back, it is necessary to rethink the idea of inscription. In the Baroque and Rococo such an
inscription was in the plaster decoration that began to obscure the traditional form of functional inscription.
This kind of'decorative' inscription was thought too excessive when undefined by function. Architecture tends
to resist this form of excess ... " 118 The Fold, or "trace", or "Body without Organs", when used as an inscription
for a folded, traced, and stratified architecture must remain outside of it, just as the theatrical, "counterfeit"
stucco mouldings will always be external to the functionally reasonable, "natural" building. The problem then is
how to harmonize an outside inscription with an interior space. The guide here is the Baroque where-"in (its)
churches and palaces stucco is wed to all forms, imitates everything-velvet curtains, wooden corniches,
charnel swelling of the flesh."


115. Deleuze and Guattari, A T7JoIlSand PlateatlS, p 160.

116. Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts ofPsychoAnalysis, p 86.

117. Deleuze and Guattari,A ThOtlSand Plateaus, p 507.

118. Eisenrnan, "Visions' Unfolding", p 24.

119. Baudrillard, Jean, Simttlations, (New York, Semiotext(e), 1983), p 88.



The Eisenrnan Fold

The swelling of the flesh of architecture is due to its excessive inscription, forcing its striated morphology
to overlap with smooth planes of pure intensity and experimentation. Eisenman's "folded projects" force the
stratified levels of architecture (programme, site, typology, etc) to overlap with the experimentation of Re ne
Thorn's catastrophe theory. Thom is a mathematician at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifique, BUl'es-surYvette in France. He first presented "catastrophe theory" in his book Structural Stability andM01phogenesis
(1972) in which Thorn describes the sudden jumps (catastrophic changes) in the morphogenesis of embryology, in terms of mathematical procedures derived from calculus and geometry derived from topology. Catastrophe theory can provide elegant models for intuitively conceiving nonlinearities (discontinuous behaviour) in
any discipline. "As soon as any discipline has reached the stage of being a 'morphological theory', that is as
soon as it offers a corpus of forms to be studied, then catastrophe theory may be applied."


120. Thorn,
"Rene Thorn-creator of catastrophe theory-replies", Nm Scientist:70 (17 June, 1976), p 632. For an
excellent introduction to
Thorn, see Zeeman, E C, "Catastrophe Theory", Scientific American, (April, 1976), pp 65-83.



The first seven catastrophe geometries









t x ax
t X4 - ax - t bx'
t x' - ax- t bx' - i ex'
i x' - ax - f bx' - i ex' - t dx4







x' + y' + ax + by + exy


Xl _ xy2 + ax + by + cx 2 + cy2


x'y + y4 + ax + by + ex' + dy'









Xl -

a - bx

x" - a - bx - cx 2

a - bx - cx 2


+ a + cy
3x 2 - y2 + a + 2cx
-2xy+ b+ 2ey
x, + 4y' + b + 2dy
3x 2









Fig. 45


The Eiserunan Fold

Rene Thorn creates a ta.'{onomy of "seven elementary catastrophes." The most elementary catastrophe is the
"fold catastrophe", having only two dimensions. Higher dimensional catastrophes include all the lower ones as
their sections. All the catastrophes therefore incorporate folded surfaces. Folds in a "smooth behaviour surface"
allow us to model erratic changes (catastrophes) in what would otherwise appear to us to be a set of linear
progl'essions on a control surface (a striated grid). The classic example of nonlinear behaviour is aggression in
dogs-the lintal' behaviour of dogs would be that they either growl then attack or avoid then retreat as they
become either increasingly enraged or increasingly fearful. But when we project various mixes of both fear and
rage onto a folded surface we will observe regions of erratic transitions between avoiding and fighting, and
between growling and flight, corresponding to the edges of the fold in the smooth behaviour surface. This
model has advice for anyone who likes to tease big dogs-a dog can create smooth folds out of a striated
control surface, a small change in stimuli can therefore produce a large change in behaviour.




smooth behaviour surface













ontrol Surface


For the Rebstockpark project (plan for the development of offices and housing on the outskirts of Frankfurt, 1991) Eisenman not only uses the topological geometry of catastrophe theory to get a better grasp of
urban design issues, he also incorporates those very same graphical models of behaviour into the park's actual
morphology so that the park is indexically affected by the direct contact with those issues as they are modelled
by catastrophe theory.


The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 46


The Eisenman Fold

The formal issues facing urban design today are succinctly presented in a brief article by Alan


Modernism, he tells us, treats space as a pre-existent sensible plenitude, a limitless positive

entity; a figure that can cut through the ground of inherited form. Colquhoun surmises, "it is precisely this idea
of an abstract, undifferentiated 'space' that has been one of the main objects of attack by postmodern urban


In gestalt terms of figure and ground, modernism effects an inversion-eighteenth and nine-

teenth century urban space has for its ground the functionally non-specific solid urban fabric, its figure is then
the streets-and-courtyards cut out of that solid (for example the perimeter block orMeitllClsernm). Conversely,
twentieth-century urban space has for its figure the functionally zoned building slab, its ground is then the
limitless void upon which the slab is placed (for example the serial ranks of housing estates or Seidltmgm). At
the beginning of this century this catastrophically abrupt reversal of figure and ground was considered by most
to be a great advance: creating dormitory suburbs in semi-rural surroundings and facilitating private


As the century progressed, and as the four-storey estates developed into high-rises, the left over

space they created became a no man's land dominated by fast transport. The modernist slab with its rigid
zoning of dormitory residential areas away from the commercial city proper, is today considered to have a
corrosive effect on tlle historically continuous urban fabric.

121. Colquhoun, Alan, "On Modern and Posonodem Space", Architecture, Criticism, Ideology, edited by Joan


Jersey, Prince ton Architectural Press, 1985), pp 102-117.

122. Ibid, P 105.

123. Colquhoun tells us that to witness thelvIietkasernen (high density, labyrinthine perimeter blocks with squalid courtyards)
today is to suddenly understand the whole modem movement-its figure-ground reversal being a reaction to the squalid conditions of
the perimeter block. In TIle Cltltltre of Cities Lewis MurnfOl'd presents the Siedltmgen (the parallel ranks of housing estate slabs placed in a
green belt around the city) as the best housing solution to the demand for

openness, order and beauty. The most cel-

ebrated example of the Seidltmgen is Romerstadt in Frankfurt, planned by Emst May. Between 1926 and 1930-15,174 Siedltmgcn type
dwelling units were built in and around Frankfurt establishing it as "the first twentieth century city," see Wiliet, John, The New Sobriety,
An- and Polities in the TVCimar Period, (Great Britain, Themes and Hudson, 1978) p 125. The literary critic WaIter Benjamin is often

associated with the "Critical TheOlY of the Frankfurt Schoof' through his work with Theodor Adomo at the Institute of Social Research
in Frankfurt, another fold into Frankfurt.


The Eisenrnan Fold

The temptation for today's urban designers is therefore to negate the modernist reversal and to again
build low-rise perimeter blocks, to reconstruct the city as a continuous urban fabric with housing and commerce intertwined. But what would happen if we were to project the modernist reversal of figure and ground
(as a catastrophic change) onto a folded behaviour surface? On the linear control surface urban growth appears
to take the form of one or other of two typologies; either the urban perimeter block typology 01' the suburban
free standing slag/Their lineal' behaviours are-under the pressures of increasing density and reduced state
funding for housing; the perimeter block has its courtyard filled and its passageways made more labyrinthine
until eventually it becomes an urban block slum, while the free-standing slab (under the san1e pressures)
becomes increasingly more high-rise, ever more affected by a lack of maintenance to services and has its left
over ground space made increasingly unusable, until eventually it becomes an uninhabitable high-rise ghetto.
When projected onto a folded behaviour surface, the reversal of ground: from urban fabric to voided space,
and figure: from streets and courtyards to building slabs, occurs across a fold. Returning to the perimeter block
typology would in fact lock the two typologies into a cycle of catastrophic reversals of figure and ground, like
the anorexic suddenly gorging after a period of fasting and thereby joining the two behaviours into one
catastrophic cycle.

, ..",""-..

Housing Block





Urban-Block Slum

Housing Estatc



,ubmb,o [,,<-'tancling ,lab




ponmot" block



Cycle of Catasttuphic Reversals




The Eisenrnan Fold

Avoiding the catastrophic reversals of urban space would mean avoiding the rigid binary oppositions of
figure-ground, commercial-residential, perimeter block - free-standing slab, Meitlzasernen-Siedl1t11[JC11, urbanrural, oppositions that are synonymous with, and in a real sense products of a fold catastrophe. Eisenman's

Rcbstoclzparlz project incorporates within its morphology the fold producing these oppositions of urban space.
the "trace" or unnamable pre-condition for the sensible plenitude of urban space-the move-


ment of difference between figure and grotmd, the pre-construction of typologies yet to be named, an inaugurating event.

Thus the idea offolding was used on the site in our project to initiate new social organisations of
1t1'ban space and to reframe e:dsting organizati011s. The 'model offolding which we 1Ised was
analogolls to the mathematical model ofRcI1Thom from catastrophe theOl)I. Catastrophe them)
is an attempt to explain abrupt change in state or form such as fl!J1tre to g1'OImd) urban to mral)
cOlmnercial to hOltsil1g by a cOlnplex fold which is 110tgradual yet is unseen. That is the structure
ofthe cpent 01' chal1ge is already in the object but is unable to be seen .... The folded stmct1tres 011
OItr site produce a l1ew OI'!Jal1ism that l1either stands OItt frOlit the old or loalzs lilze the old) but is
sOlnewhere in between ... The fold il1 a sense is neither fi!J1t1'e 1101'gr01t11d but contains aspects of


Instead of the "somewhere in between" of the fold and its reversal of figure and ground occurring only
symbolically in the pages of urban design critics such as Alan Colquhoun, the virtual fold here enters the actual
site, causing indexical effects by direct contact with the concrete morphology of the project.

124. Eisenman, Peter, "Frankfurt Rebstock Competition", A +U:252, (September, 1991), p 18.


The Eiserunan Fold


" \

_ _--.:"

___ ____._ ..

_ _-1-_ _

Fig. 47

Fig. 48

The morphogenesis ofRebstockpark begins with net-like traces being generated by the northern and
southern edges of two irregular zones-the larger zone of the whole park (forming part of the third green belt
of small market gardens that encircles Frankfurt), and a smaller zone in the north-eastern corner of the park
(the region that is to be filled in with five million square feet of housing and office space). To do this Eisenman
first lays a "raster" grid over the whole park then "morphs" the grid to form an overlay that coincides with the
northern and southern edges of the park and also fills the region between them with a series of traces by
"morphing" one edge into the other.


This process is repeated on the smaller region with a half size raster


125."Raster" and "mOlphing" refer to the cathode-ray tube and its associated techniques of digital processing. A "rastet" is the
pattern of scanning lines that the electron beam follows when forming an linage on the picture sa-een, and "mOlphing" is the
technique of using a computer to make one figure smoothly transfOlm into another.



The Eisenrnan Fold

Fig. 49

Fig. 50

When the full-sized raster grid and morphed edges of the whole park enter the smaller region they
become the lines of folding from which will emerge two urban-space typologies, one on each side of the lines
of folding. This process forms waves of urban-fabric perimeter blocks (some residential, some commercial)
alternating with pockets of parallel ranks of free-standing slabs (rigidly zoned residential in the manner of the

Seidlttngen typical of suburban Frankfurt). But so far this is only a compression of the pre-existing products of
a sytnbolic urban-space fold. A further indexical morphological folding of the Rebstockpark project takes place

within the typologies themselves, reinforcing the notion that the fold (and its sudden reversals) is the inaugurating
event of all typologies.


The Eisenrnan Fold

Fig. 51
The folding wi thin the buildings occurs along the lines of folding produced by the half-scale ras ter and
morphing of the smaller zone. Therefore, taken as a whole the larger green zone is not simply left over ground
for the figured buildings in the smaller zone, rather the buildings emerge from lines generated by the "ground"
of the park itself. And similarly; neither are the streets and courtyards of the blocks nor are the ranks of housing
estate slabs simply figures on a ground, rather they are literally folded into the "ground" along the morphed
edges of the smaller zone.

Fig. 52



The Eiserunan Fold

Fig. 53

Projecting the catastrophic inaugurating events (or "singularities" of potential) onto a folded surface
recalls Leibniz's Baroque house allegory (an allegory of the monad)- the house with two levels between which
hangs a canvas receiving images (the projections of an external space). The canvas is already "diversified by
folds", meaning: the canvas also generates and projects folds onto an external space. When Deleuze characterizes the Leibnizian monad as a "point-fold" or "point of inflection" he refers to an tillpublished work by
Bernard Cache and thereby establishes the relationship of Rene Thorn's folded catastrophes to his own notion
of the Fold. Deleuze, following Cache,describes its projection as "the projection, on external space, of internal
spaces defined by 'hidden parameters' and variables or singularities of potential. Rene Thorn's transformations
refer in this sense to a morphology of living matter" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 16). In the case of Eis en man's

Rebstockpark the hidden parameters of programme, typology and site are singularities capable of erratic jumps
between housing and commerce, courtyard block and autonomous slab, figure and ground. By projecting
these alreadjl folded singularities onto a folded external space, Eisenman places the levels of hidden internal
space (the virtual mapping of urban space by catastrophe theory) and external space (the actual morphology of
the project) into a relationship of pre-established correspondence characterized by Deleuze as "the preeminent
Baroque innovation" (TheFold: 235).


The Eisenrnan Fold

But the point-folds or singularities of catastrophe theory (planes oflinear behaviour bifurcating into
bimodal regions of erratic reversals) still favour the projections of a striated plane. Thom's catastrophes are
limited to a finite number of alternative outcomes whereas fully Baroque singularities are infinitely variable,
enveloping a multiplicity; making each interval the site of a new folding. The Baroque transformation of
singularities "can no longer allow for either symmetry or the favoured plane of projection. It becomes vortical

and is produced later; deferred, rather than prolonged or proliferating: the line effectively folds into a spiral in
order to defer inflection in a movement suspended between sky and earth," its movement is from fold to fold,
not point to point, in the manner of "a fractal model by which new turbulences are inserted between the initial
ones" (Leibniz and the Baroque: 17). Yet Eisenman intends his "folded projects" to perform this Baroque version
of folded space-where "the singularity of the fold refers to time and its infinite variations ... space as both
heterotopia and heterotemporal, occupying many places at the same time and many times in the same


126. Eisenman, Peter, "Architect-designed Birdhouses",A +U: 275, (August, 1993), P 20.



The Eisenman Fold

Fig. 54

TheEmmy Center project (Center for the AJ.ts at Emory University) Atlanta) 1992) forms an architectural
answer to a question Derrida posed in a letter written to Eisenman. The question is--"'iVhat relations (nevv or
archi-ancient) in any case different) does architecture) particularly yours) carry on) must it carry on) with the
voice ... If one can imagine a whole labyrinthine history of architecture) guided by the ent\vined thread of
this question ... "127 For Derrida this is not just one question among others) since Derrida believes that the
most powerful ethnocentrism of the vVest is logocentrism (logos has been given various meanings by many
Pythagoreans-"proportion", pre-Socratics-"underlying harmony of the universe") Plato-"true
account") AJ.istotle-"reason", the Jewish scriptural tradition-lithe Word of God", Hegel-"Ideal interiority",
but the common thread running through these interpretations is -"the proximity of mind \vith voice and
hearing as the guarantee of presence and the truth of being").


Logocentrism is therefore inseparable from

phonocentrism (the privilege of sound, temporal presence and phonetic languages at the expense of debasing
morphology, graphic wri ting and pictographic languages).

127. Derrida, Jacques, HA Letter to Peter Eisenman", Assclllblcrge:12 (August, 1990), p 9.

128. For Derrida's desa-iption oflogocentrism see 0fGrcr1lJ7IIcrtology, pp 10 and 11.


The Eiserunan Fold

Naturally enough this is not the first time Derrida has asked that question. In the contn.1: of the
phonocentrism in Hegel'sAesthetics, Derrida asks -"how does language come to the column?" and replies
with the enigmatic-"by an inner sun."


To interpret Derrida's answer we must first refer to Hegel's

Aesthetics, an encyclopaedic and developmental account of the various forms of art based on the recurring
triadic categories of the symbolic (the mysterious and external relationship of ideas and figures, the East),
the classical (figures as the appropriate embodiment of ideas, the ancient West) and the romantic (ideas as
adequately sensuous in themselves, the privilege of sound as the self-presence of the subject by virtue of
hearing-oneself-speak, the modern West). Overall these categories produce a hierarchy of necessary stages in
the evolution of art. First and lowest is architecture (symbolic) followed by sculpture (classical), then painting, music, and poetry (romantic), poetry being the last and highest form.

Within each stage the triadic categories are repeated so that archi tecture (essentially symbolic) is divided
into symbolic architecture (organic, symbols of national unification, independent of the individual spirit),
classical architecture (inorganic, subservient to specific ends, dependent on the enclosure of an external spirit)
and romantic architecture (harmony of the organic and inorganic, reflecting the multiplicity of the inner life,
independent of purposiveness).

Within the division of symbolic architecture, immediately following the example of the Egyptian obelisks
that form symbols of the sun's rays, Hegel introduces the example of the Memnons at Thebes, huge monolithic statue-columns which according to Herodotus, produced a musical tone when struck by the rays of the
morlllng sun.

Thus by sounding andgiving voice it (the Memnon) is not ofimportance or interest on the
strength ofits shape, but because in its existence it is living, significant, and revealing, even ifat
the same time it indicates its meaning only symbolically ... since they have their worth only in such
a regular order and size, (they) descend from the aim ofsculpture altogether to that ofarchitecture.


129. Denida, Jacques, GIns, (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1986), p 254. GIns is French for "knell"-the sound of a bell
rung at a fimeral. Here the bell that is lung is Hegel's own logocentrism announcing the anival of a non-logocenoic architecture

within the logocenoic system.

130. Hegel, GeOl-ge Wilhelrn Friedrich,Acsthetics, Lectures 011 Fine Art, Volume 2, (Oxford, Oxford University press, 1975),

131. Denida, Glas, p 225.



The Eisenman Fold

Hegel's enigmatic example goes beyond the logocentric limit of architecture (to refer to what has soul
only as to something other), yet it nevertheless clearly remains an architectural example within Hegel's
logocentric system. So how does language (and the phonocentric voice) come to the column (symbolic
architecture, the most independent material form in the presence of the phonocentric voice)? They come
together "by producing enigmas composing the two contraries, nature and consciousness, inside and outside,
the clear and

obscure. "131 The producer of enigmas suspends a fabrication between the objective clarity of

the sensible sun and the impenetrable darkness of stone, the enigma of "an inner sun" (the sound within the
stone). Language is the exteriorization of a sensible spirit. The phonic voice is the spontaneous production of
an inner sense penetrated by an exterior presence. The sound of the voice struck from the outside (the inaugurating event of the sun's rays striking the Memnon causing it to sound) does not speak (the logocentric voice)
but creates reciprocal incisions within bod1 stone and spirit.

Whatis Sprache (langue or langage) speech or language)? An exteriorization thatpresents) it

gives the there) the Da -sein, to the inner signiftcati01'lj but in order to more fonvard thus into
presence) it 1nttstfirst let itselfbe filled) fulfilled) filled in) accomplished) inflated) cttrved [galber],
rounded by the sense thatpenetrates it. It is the "ele1nent (Element;) in which the sense filling

itself (der erfi1llende Sinn selbst;) is present (vorhanden ist;)."

This element is called voice: the sp01'ltane01tS outside production ofan inner sense filling with
presence from then on the fonn ofits emissi01'l. The spontaneity) the prod1tcti01'l ofselfby selfgives
voice. The sound) res01t11dil1!] ever since the blow [coup] str14c1z from the O1ttside) does not utter
itself. The S01t11d announces and represents the voice bttt also holds it baclt) too much on the O1ttside
or too much on the inside.
This moment ofthe half-voice [mi -voix] sculpts its paradigm in the statue ofMetJ'l,n01'l) S01'l ofthe
dawn) adored by the Ethiopians and the Egyptians. The "colossal s01t11ding statue (kolossale
Klangstatue)" was ringi11!] under the first rays ofthe sun . ... The IGang (reS011ance) ofthe stony

bloclt is not yet the voice that it already is: neither inside nor O1ttside language) a mediati01'l or an
excluded middle .132

131. Denida, GIftS, P 225.

132. Ibid, P 253.


The Eisenrnan Fold

The statue ofMemnon, impenetrable to the voice of reason yet sounding out the voice's resonance with
the noisy but mute stone (inner sense prior to its exteriorization is equally impenetrable) is also the paradigm
for the production of an enigmatic architecture (the silent stone) that would sound out logocentric discourse
(the voice or "rays of the morning sun" as the disclosure of objectivity). A paradigm for an architectural
sounding of Glas. Logocentric discourse (Hegel'sAesthetics) institutes both architecture (mute stone, objective presence) and, voice (sound simultaneously spoken and heard, the ideality of presence) as a confrontation
of others in a tense polarity. The enigma of the sound within the mute stone challenges the authority of phone
and logos for all architectural presence, an authority that reduces architecture to the lowest form of art.

Therefore what relations (new and ancient) does Eisenman'sEmm), Center project carry on, must it carry
on with the voice? What is its enigma? TheEmmy Center is a project for 125,000 square feet of theatres,
auditoriums, offices and studios for the Theatre, Film Studies and Music Departments at Emory University in
Atlanta, Georgia. In what first appears to be a return to programme and site related iconic resemblances of
earlier projects, the Bmmy Center has a morphology consisting of four fluctuating volun1es (smooth, amorphous) divided by "ravines" that extend out from a pre-existing multilevel rectangular car-park (striated,
symmetrical grid). Eisenman tells us that the "grid is deformed by the topography of the site; ravines create a
profile resembling a sine wave, whose 'amptitude' and 'frequency' inspired the volumetric treatment of the
building: the 'compression' and 'extension' of the imaginary waves are represented in tl1e inflections and folding
of the building's discrete masses."


So the Bmmy Center resembles a striated score for a quartet of instruments

smoothly harmonizing with the undulating topography of its background) turning the noise of the ravines into
the music of the arts center? But that would merely confirm logocentrism-architecture reduced to objectively
housing, and at most merely symbolizing the phonocentric spirit (ideal presence) subjective inwardness)
hearing-oneself-speak) for which music and the voice are superior media (the self-unfolding of being). But
Eisenman tells us that his "folded projects" are not simply logocentric) he says, " I used to be Captain Logos)
right. Well now I have an enormous worry about the logos. The conceptual aspect of my work is history."


133. Eisenman, Petel; "Center for the ArtB", PI'ogressive Architecture, (January, 1993) p 78.

134. Eisenman, Peter, "Eisenman plays the centre forward", Bltteprint:96, (Ap1il, 1993), P 14.



The Eisenrnan Fold

We would expect that the Bmory Center) being a "folded project") would deploy indexical signs of a nonimmanent text) a text not inherent in the programme or the site) with signs in a relationship of continuity with
the building's morphology. Eisenman tells us that the "folded projects" address the atrophy of architectural
experience caused by the proliferation of mediated images now dominating all channels of communication.
"Sitting in front of the CNN television news) one is practically anaesthetised to an affect (in the sense of d1e

meaning "feeling") "emotion") "desire"). Does one believe the commercials or the live bombing?
Is it possible to have any affective response to such a juxtaposition? ... But if this is the case) that we are
uncertain today what reality is) then it is also difficult to understand what architecture is) because architecture
has traditionally been seen as the home of reality."135 "Traditionally" here also means "logocentrically''-as a
stable presence absolutely external to the being that experiences and confirms presence. The paradigm experience is traditionally "hearing-oneself-speak", the subject affirming the presence of the subject of experience for
This poverty of affective experience in the age of electronic media effects a neutralization of reality;
causing the French social-theorist Jean Baudrillard to ask) "Is there still reality? I would rather say that we are
in hyperreality. Effectively; everything can be the object of communication. Communication is completely
generalised: it is no longer only discourse) but everything) which is an object of communication: architecture)
art have as their first end) it seems) to communicate." 136 "Hyperreality" is the result of a gready increased
turnover in media disseminated images) effectively short circuiting meaning. Meaning is forestalled by an
excessive load of information. This "implosion" of meaning is what fascinates) inducing us to prefer the medium to the message) the idol to the idea) the simulacrum to the truth) and the glossy photography of architectural journals to the building. The "real" in the era of mechanical reproduction is "that for which it is possible
to reproduce") and in the electronic age-"that which is already reproduced") the hyperreal.

135. Eisenrnan,Peter, "The Affects of Singularity",A1'chitecttll'al Desigll:62, no 11/12 (November/

December, 1992), pp 43-44. Parenthesh added.

136. Baudrillard, Jean, ''The Art Object in the Electronic Age", Bloc/I:14 (1988), p 8.



The Eiserunan Fold

The Bmory Center addresses hyperreality. Eisenman tells us, "what I tried to make clear-what I think you
see in the Columbtts Convention Center (1988 - 1992), which you are also going to see in the Btn01),

project in Atlanta (1992 - ) is the fact that people have lost the capacity to deal with real time and real space,
with what's happening now, and to have a somatic experience. In other words, they have lost this almost
empathetic condi.tion with their physical environment." 137
We can trace this poverty of experience back to the decay of aura (halo of authenticity originally tied to
presence), a decay brought about by mechanical reproduction which, "by making many reproductions ...
substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, ... reactivates the object reproduced." 138

In the history of architectmal experience this decay has been traced back to the invention of the printingpress. In the chapter "This Will Kill That" in Victor Hugo'sNotre-Dame ofParis(1831) we read thatthe ubiquitous printed book-which scatters thoughts on the fom winds, occupying every point of air and space simultaneously also rings the death knell for architectme as the convergence of all society's material and intellectual
forces. "Dming the world's first six thousand years, from the most immemorial Hindustan pagoda to the
cathedral of Cologne, architectW'e was the great script of the human race ... Whoever was then born a poet
became an architect." That was, according to Hugo until Gutenberg's invention in the fifteeenth centmy when,
"the hun1an mind discovered a means of perpetuating itself which was not only more lasting and resistant than
architectme, but also simpler and easier. Architectme was dethroned ... architectme will no longer be the
social, the collective, the dominant art. The great poem, the great edifice, the great creation of mankind will no
longer be built, it will be printed." 139The loss of aura in the presence of architectme and the associated atrophy
of architectmal experience are due to the liquidation of architectme's ritual function; its basis in magic and
religion, its integration with a collective hun1an intelligence. Today we only have time for information captions have become obligatory replacements for experiences.

137. Eiserunan, Peter, "In a conversation with Alan Balfour",AA Filcs:25 (Summer, 1993), p 13.

138. Benjarnin, WaIter, ''The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", nttt1l1inations, (New York, Schocken
Books,1969), p 221.

139. Rugo, VictOli Notl'c-Damc ofPal'is, (Great Britain, Penguin Books, 1987), pp 188-202.


The Eisenrnan Fold

But this reduction in architectural presence is an effect of all theoretical writing concerning architecture. HO The earliest surviving theoretical treatise on architecture) DeArchitectttra by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
(Roman Architect c. 50-26 B. C.)) makes no mention of the mythopoeic enigmas found in Herodotus (Greek
historian) c. 480-425 B.C.) such as the statues ofMemnon. Instead (in answer to the question-"what relations
can architecture have with the voicd") Vitruvius gives us the "sounding vessels in the theatre".

'l.'(rtt l)I(.lIn



Fig. 55

140. Although theory (theoria:viewing, speculation, contemplation) is complicit with the dominant reality of architecture (the
perspectivallaws of monocular vision), the authority of that visually biased theOlY depends on submitting all to the oral: the
Western imperialism of monocular vision places the voice (hearing-oneself-speak) at the apex of its cone ofvision."In philosophy,
in Plato and others, you have Being determined as visible in the intelligible sense, what Plato detelmines as cidos (idea, form, ideal
image), Being which is really the Being ((mtos (m) is, eidos, which means 'visible'-visible for the mind or the spirit, 11OttS, not
visible for the eyes. This authority or prevalence of the metaphor of sight doesn't prevent the authority ofphone and logos," Jacques
Derrida, "Interview", An Papm:10, no 1 (JanuaryJFebruary, 1986), p 34.


The Eisenman Fold

In the spirit of the Pythagorean fascination for correspondences between spatial measure and musical

tone Vitruvius advises that for non-resonant theatres of stone there should be made niches between the seats

to house vessels proportioned in accordance with musical laws. 141 "On this principle of arrangement) the voice)
uttered from the stage as from a centre) and spreading and striking against the cavities of the different vessels)
as it comes in contact with them) will be increased in clearness of sound) and will make an harmonious note in

unison with itself."


This concern for acoustics seems perfectly reasonable) in fact it is paradigmatic of the

authority ofphoni and lqgos (the privilege of voice for all reasonable accounts) in other words) classic
logocentrism) .
In contrast to the Memnons) the Vitruvian vessels only echo a resonant copy of the voice) limiting

architecture to merely housing or symbolizing a spirit whose inner life is far more adequately embodied by
other media) such as poetry; music and song. This logo centric liquidation of architecture's capacity to embody
intelligence (other than what has already been embodied by other more inward, more directly heard media) is
an effect of all Western architectural theory. This restriction underlies the biblical story of Joshua (sound
destroys Jericho the mythical fable of Amphion (blocks move at the command of the lyre the comparison
made by German Romantics) Schelling and Goethe (architecture petrifies or freezes music French Symbolist)
Paul Valery (some buildings are mute) some speak and others sing) buildings that neither speak nor sing
deserve only scorn) and the "Modulor" of Le Corbusier (a tool for harmonizing measure modelled on the
tempered scale in music). Vitruvius creates aural incisions into the stone of architecture) but in tl1e absence of
enigmatic and mute incisions into the voice itself) the voice's authority is left intact) undisclosed.

Donald Preziosi reminds us that all the disciplines of the visual: art) architecture) cinema) theatre) dance)
costume) are comfortably divided regions of a single instituted discourse devoted to the co-ordination of vision
with the voice) a constant Pyiliagorean fascination with the synthesis of spatial measure and audible pitch.

This concern fur the co-ol'dination ofvision and voice underlies 0141' own designs fol' the theater of
the disciplines) itselfa synechdoche fOl' the utopias ofottr urban stagings. Resonance) synchronization) the aligmnents oftexts and obJects-the various sciences ofthe visual (our little semiolqgies)
wOI'k in the final instance as potteriesfOl' the manufacture ofresonating vases. Metonymies
perpetually at work 011 the same metaphor. The ghostly voice in the vasej the vase e1'nbodying)
disseminating voice along the entire warp and weft of the urban fabric and its several sciences.


141. Pythagoras (c. 580 B.C. - ?) discovered that chords which smmd pleasing to the (Western) ear correspond to divisions of a
sUing by whole numbers. The best surviving example of Pythagorean number mysticism is found in Plato's


142. Viuuvius, The 'Jetl Boo/IS (in Architecture, (New York, Dover Publications, 1960), Book V, Chapter V, p 143.

143. Preziosi, Donald, "Between Power and Desire, The Margins of The City", Glyth lb.:wrlt Studies: 1, (1986), p 240.


The Eisenrnan Fold

Fig. 56

Creating mute incisions into the unity of Voice would begin by reframing the voice-architecture relationship: instead of "active voice and passively resonant vessel", we should think of it as a relationship between two
reciprocally communicating vessels. The vessel of architecture (its paradigm -the statue ofMemnon) has an
impenetrable darkness of stone and a production of sound that does not speak (continuous with the voice but
not itself voice), and the vessel of the voice (hununity) has a spontaneous outside production of an inner sense
(the voice, consciousness in general) and an impenetrable unconscious (the animate body continuous with the
inanimate world). Communication between the vessels is pre-established due to singularities formed by soundand-voice, and animate body-and-inanimate world. This allegory of two vessels communicating through
singularities must not be mistaken for a new animism of architecture (projecting attributes of sentient beings



The Eiserunan Fold

onto the inanimate world) since that would simply continue the logocentric tradition of lending arc hi tecture a
voice-"certain buildings are mute; others speak." The singularities join vases that nevertheless have quite
distinct natures) one organic) one inorganic. The voice always strikes the vessel of architecture from the
outside) on passing into the stone the voice becomes resonance (/zlm1g) noisy but mute) too much outside of
the sentient being) too much inside of the mute stone to be voice or language.

So instead of the (mediated) experience of voice through the (debased) Vitruvian vessels there will be a
singularity between heterogeneous vessels) a "pinch" between manifolds. A "singularity" is a nomadic essence
with) "the capacity to represent on one site that which is of many places) ... gathering the diffuse and unstable
bits and pieces ... into a kaleidoscopic array".


An intrinsic singularity (in contrast to an extrinsic singularity

extended on a striated surface) is a field of immanence that makes self and other continuous. "Singulari ties that
can no longer be said to be personal) (with) intensities that can no longer be said to be extensive. The field of
immanence is not internal to the self) but neither does it come from an external self or a nons elf. Rather) it is
like the absolute Outside that knows no Selves because interior and exterior are equally a part of the immanence in which they have fused."


A unique "pinch" between the one and the multiple that would not have

time or place-"What Leibniz calls the monad is in a sense nothing other than a potential for a pinch)" a


144. Eiserunan,Peter, "Max Reinhardt Haus, Berlin", AA Files: 25 (Summer, 1993), p 12.

145. Deleuze and Guattari,A Thotlsand Plateaus, p 156.

146. Lyotard,

The Inhuman, Reflections on Time, (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1991), p 160.


The Eisenrnan Fold

Eisenman sees the notion of "singularity" as a way of creating an affective architecture still capable of
embodying emotions and desires when the hyperreality of the (logocentrically) strong electronic media has
weakened the experience of architectural presence. Eisenman asks)

how does architecture stand in the face ofmedia and specifically with the loss ofthe affecting aspect
ofindividual expression. A possible way ofreturning architecture to the realm ofaffect may not be
thr01lg/J the idea ofthe individual or the expressive) or through any kind ofstandardisation or
repetition ofa norm but) in fact thro'lIgh an idea ofsingularity.
Architecture-now operating as a wealz media-needs to regain the possibility ofan affective
discoJtrse. The tenn singularity begins to explore the possibility ofa discourse which brings to the
electronic paradigm whatparticularity) individuality) personal expression was to the mechanical
paradigm. 147
The mechanical paradigm maintains the possibility for at least some ritual cult value (aura) in the form of
Dadaist and Surrealist experiments in photography and film, in the tactile affect of architecture (weak media)
on the habits of the individual visually distracted (by strong media), or in architecture subject to the law of
literature (the only inscription of monuments possible in the age of the printing-press). These potentials are
liquidated by the electronic paradigm -the "disappearance of the architectonic." Today we all live everywhere,
passengers in the static audiovisual vehicle.

All of1IS) lilu animals ofthe "video zoo") which are present only by virtue ofa single image 011 a
single screen) images recorded at places ofno importance) excessive suburbs ofa cinematic development that finally takes audiovisttal speed as it relates to the interior design of(fill" dwellings and
puts it on the same footing as what the speed ofautomobiles has long been for the architecture of
0111" cities and the layrmt ofour cotmtries. 148

147. Eisenrnan, Petel; ''The Affects of Singularity",Architectttrnl Design:62, nos 11/12 (November/
December, 1993), p 45.
148. Virilio, Paul, ''The Last Vehicle", Loo/ling Back on the End oftbe World, edited by Dietmar Kamper and Christoph Wulf, (New
York, Semiotext(e), 1989), p 155.


The Eiserunan Fold

Experimentation under the electronic paradigm takes the form of singularities upon 'which intensi ties of
self and other pass-singularities that can no longer be said to be personaL A cinematic self and an electronic
other on a single smooth surface of telecommunications, a "cathodic transparency". A singularity is a

haecceity is therefore "this-ness", a zone of continuity). Eisenman, referring to the

work ofJapanese,uitic, Kojin Karatani says that the, "'this-ness' of the subject and object, 'this l' or 'this thing'
has nothing to do with its formal or physical features and characteristics. The 'this-ness' of a 'this l' or a 'this
thing' or a 'this dog' is singularity".


Not a unifed physical totality or an organic representation, but an

individuation of intensi ties, a configuration of qualities, that on closer examination only disperse into an
endless (and therefore unreadable) set of determinations.

Inscribed on the plane ofconsistency are haeccieties, events, incorpora I transformations that are
apprehended in themselvesj nomadic essences, vague yetrigormlsj continuun1s of intensities or
conti111101lS variations, which go beyond constants and variables)' becomings, which have neither
C1Il1'l'tinationnor subject; but draw one another into zones ofproximity or Imdecidability) smooth
spaces) composed from within striated space. 150

A singularity is therefore like the "new diagonal dimension" in the music of Pierre Boulez, an abstract line
of reference floating simultaneously on t:\vo surfaces: one smooth (immeasurable accumulation of detail) and
the other striated (measured rhythm and pitch). The line of reference crosses heterogeneous elements, composing smooth space from within striated space (the diagonal singularity constantly shifts our attention away from
and challenges the privilege of the striated).

149. Eiserunan, ''The Affects of Singularity", p 45.

150. Deleuze and Guattari,A Thotlsand Plateaus, p 507.



The Eisenman Fold

The affecting aspect of singularities (the expressive return of emotion and desire after the demise of the

AJfelztenlehre: the "doctrine of affections" that once tied together internal states of mind with their eA1:ravagant
material expressions) is due to their ability to tie together the heterogeneous-the organic with the inorganic,

and even combine the slowness or heaviness ofa matter with the extreme speed ofa line that has
becOfne entirely spiritual. The slowness belongs to the same world as the extreme speed: relations of
speed and slowness between elements) which smpass in every way the movCI'nent ofan organic form
and the detennination oforgans. The line escapesgeometry by a fugitive mobility at the sa'me time
as life tears itselffree FOIn the organic by a penmttating) stationary whirlwind. This vital force
specific to the Abstraction is what draws smooth space. The abstract line is the aJfect ofSlnooth
space) just as organic representation was the fieli11;[J presiding or er the striated space.


151. Ibid., P 499.


The Eiserunan Fold

1. .







\ \



i, \ ' ......

.,\.. \.\
';, \.".', \\ '11
. \



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Fig. 57
How does Eisenman return architecture to the realm of affect with his Emory CenteY project? When we
look at the concept diagram for the Emory Centey's plan, we find what could easily be a diagram of the "new
diagonal element" in the music ofBoulez. The regular grid formed by the existing multi level car-park is like the
regular meter and scale, the context and score to be overlaid by the diagonal "lines of reference" (the Emory

Center itself), lines that are "tres fibre) irregttfier, tres hesitant" because they connect this readable score (measured
pitch and rhythm) to anttnreadabfe accumulation of detail (timbre: the "quality" of sound, the characteristic
distribution of intensi ties of overtones unique to each instrument, the immeasurable affects of pitch). The
immeasurable "smooth space" of timbre can only be partially notated because "the notational system explodes
under excessive demands. It becomes unreadable and overspecialized. For the notation of timbre is infinite,
requiring the never-ending description of sound matter."

152 The

archi tectual notation of affect is also infini te,

but the immeasurable is also unbuildable. Therefore the lines of reference or singularities must allow
Eisenman to mimic the dominant reality of architecture (a perspectival, monocular grid of measure) while at
the same time drawing that reality into a zone of proximity with the unreadable, timbral realm of affect;
smooth spaces (a permulating vvhirlwind oflines that escape geometry) composed from within striated space
(measured geometry; the readable score, graphic preparations for a performance).


Jean-Charles, "YVriting Without Representation, and Unreadable Notation", Perspectives of

NelP Music: 30, no 1, (Winter, 1992), p 14.



The Eisenman Fold

N .,.



Fig. 58



The Eisenman Fold

The result is itself measurable, just as the music ofBoulez can be performed, yet they both challenge the
vertically and horizontally fixed dimension or meter by making it confront the amorphous, the informal, the
timbral, in a superposition or passage of singularities between the two. The Center does not capture aflects
(extreme speed, fugitive mobility, the spiritual in contrast with feelings that are exchangeable in a striated
space) but rather discharges them like projectiles escaping the striated geometry. Like a tent pitched in the
desert or an igloo on ice, or a boat on the sea, the Emory Center is, "subordinated to the journey; inside space
conforms to outsiae space: tent, igloo, boat. There are stops and trajectories in both the smooth and the
striated. But in smooth space, the stop follows from the trajectory."


Emory Center floats on an affective space of in tensi ties, of "wind and noise, forces, and sonorous and
tactile qualities, as in the desert, steppe, or ice. The creaking of ice and the song of the sand."


The lines of

the Emory Center are like isotopes: freely circulating among heterotopias; one visi ble (the car-park), one
invisible (the fugitive mobility of music, film and theatre, affective experimentation to be housed and indexed
by the Emory Center).

Eisenman tells us that the undulating profile of theEmory Center resembles "a sine \vave, whose 'amplitude' and 'frequency' inspired the volumetric treatment of the building: the 'compression' and 'e:x.1:ension' of the
imaginary waves are represented in the inflections and folding of the building's discrete masses."


But these

foldings lack the strict periodicity of a sine wave, they are instead much more akin to a complex sound-object
once it has been digitally sampled by a computer.


153. Deleuze and Guattari,A Thmtsand Plateaus, p 479.

154. Ibid., P 479.

155. Eisenman, "Center for the Arts", p 78.

156. The sine wave represents a pure tone with only one frequency, such sine waves can only be generated artificially. In nature

sound oc=s with a series of "overtones", if the overtones are hannonically spaced the sound is said to be a musical tone

which can then be given a nominal frequency: the lowest or "fundamental' fi-equency from its series of oveltones . The orchestral
instrument that produces a tone most like a sine wave is the flute-its overtones are so weak that what we hear is mostly the
fundamental fi-equency.



The Eisenman Fold

Just as all sOWlds in nature are timbral complexes of polyphonic constellations, with fresh irregularities
appearing at every increase in magnification (the pure sine wave, Wlchanged by changes in scale, is Wlique to
electronic technology) so too are the fWlctional typologies of architecture. The labels;'ll OO-seat music hall",
"ISO-seat recital hall", "ISO-seat studio theatre" and "ISO-seat cinema" each carry an historically defined
semanticity, constellations of familiar gestural conventions. These architectural constellations form expressive
objects in acco.Jidance with a certain ideology of affective-gesturality: when we enter a library for example we
will therefore know what the appropriate forms of behaviour are and what state of mind to be in. This is what
Eisenman means when he advises architectural students not to waste their time researching pre-established
typologies (now an integral part of the "program" in architecture-school curricula).

So when the teacher says) "'JiW are goiniJ to do research. Go and research libraries." As ifyolt needed
to research libraries to do a library. But it has been decided that the histor)' oflibrcrries influences
what we should do today. In other words) that the way to learn about libraries is to research not
just the architecture oflibraries) but how books are made) how they are checked orlt) how they are
processed) stored) etc. liVho needs to Immv these things? There are consultants to tell yorl about all
that. I do not know hmv a library works. If I were going to do a library I wort!dgo hire somebody
who knew what libraries were about ... So basically, the study ofprogram is useless.1S7
So Eisenman treats the "program" (strictly speaking:"a pure list of required utilities without implying any
semanticity of familiar gestures;' although such purity, like the sine wave, does not exist outside of the laboratory) as a fully worked-out event, a constellation of pre-established gestural conventions independent of his
compositional procedures, instead of the more usual treatment of the "program" as an absolute determinant;
origin, end and measure for all design decision-making. Although judging the value of Eis enman's projects
solely in terms of how they respond to the requirements specified in a "program" would be tantamount to
judging the performance of a flutist by referring to an oscilloscope (a pure sine wave is not in itself a musical
tone, a purely fWlctional building is not in itself architectural), his completed projects perform their tasks witll
surprisingly little complaint from their users. We should keep in mind that Eisenman's faith in consultants to
deal with the "program" has endeared him to the international judges -most of his larger commissions were
won in open competition, often winning simply because they presented the most coherent expression of the

157. Eisenrnan, Petel; "Strung FOlm, Weak POlm", Architect/n'e in 7J'ansitkm, Between DecltJIstntction and New lvlodernis1II, edited

by Peter Noever, (Munich, Prestel, 1989), pp 41-42.


The Eiserunan Fold

The fully worked-out programmatic typology in the "folded projects" is the launching pad for the selfreferential over-notation of; "infolding": volumetric subsections of the typology shunted) tilted) and superimposed into each other as if undergoing a controlled accident) followed by "unfolding": the proliferation of the
new "lines of reference" generated between the edges of the shunted volumes. Finally; "enveloping" extrapolates
plausible solutions from among the endlessly proliferated foldings. The folded drawings form an event-space of

singularities thithave a many-to-one relationship with the striated) measured space that they project.

2) Infolding

1) Typology

3) Unfolding

4) Envelope


Here (in the ''foldedprC1'ects'')) a change in the relationship ofperspectivalprC1'ecti<m to threedimensional space changes the relationship between project drawing and real space. In .this sense)
these drawings would have little relationship to the space that is being projected. For example it is
no longer possible to draw a line that stands for some scale relationship to another line in the space
ofthe project) thus the drawn lines no longer have anything to do with reason) the connection of
the mind to the eye. The drmvn lines are folded with some ur-logic according to sections ofa fold in
Rm& Thorn's catastrophe theory.


Mere the specificity ofthe grid reftrred to place) the singularity ofthe fold reftrs to titne and its
infinite variations.


158. Eisenrnan, ''Visions' Unfolding", p 24.

159. Eisenrnan, "Architect-designed Birdhouses", p 20.



The Eisenman Fold

The singularities on the smooth behaviour surface of a catastrophe fold move too erratically and too fast
to be adequately mapped on the striated control surface, yet they connect extreme speed (a line that has
become spirit) with the slowness of geometry because of the "diagonal" projection between the smooth and the
striated. The Emory Center has its volume extrapolated ("enveloped") from an over-notated folding (a
permutating whirlwind oflines) drawing that extrapolated reality into a zone of proximity with the unreadable, timbral 'Yorld of affect. Architecture as score: "the score serves as an embodiment, a physical entity,
around which various ideas and emotions of various viewers may circulate .. ."160

A score (a graphical preparation for a performance) can itself be a performance of another score: Brian
Ferneyhough's Unity Capsule for solo flute (1975-1976) can be a score for the singularities performed by
Eisenman'sEmory Center. Ferneyhough, an English composer named as "one of the most significant composers
of his generation in Europe" in the New Grove Dictionary of Music, and, who can list WaIter Benjamin,

Jacqucs Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, along wi th Piranesi as important influences on his music composi tion,
composes sonic events (singulari ties) that bring the readable score into proximity wi th the unreadable,
unmeasurable timbre of sound (its affective-qualitative aspects, too fast for geometry, endlessly revealing
infinite variations on closer inspection).


The over-notation ofFerneyhough's scores cannot represent the

result he requires from the performer, but is "the attempt to realise the written specifications in practice which
is designed to produce the desired (but unnotable) sound quality. A 'beautiful' cultivated performance is not to
be aimed at: some of the combinations of actions specified are in any case either not literally realizable (certain
dynamic groupings) or else lead to complex, partly unpredictable results."


160. Gaburo, Virginia, "Notes fium Inside the Piano", Perspectives ofNew . Music: 16, no 2, (Spring/summer, 1978), p 13.

161. See "Ferneyhough, Blian" in The New Grove Dictionary oflvlusic and Music and Musicians, volume 6, p 475.

162. Femeyhough quoted in Lukas, Katillyn, "Cassandra's Dream Song and Unit)' Capsule", Contact:20, (Autumn, 1979), p 9


The Eisenman Fold




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The Eisenman Fold

Both singularities, Eisenman's and Ferneyhough's, fluctuate between fully worked-out events (programmatic typologies or familiar notatable musical gestures) and an endless proliferation of detail (the "unfolding"
of typologies or the "trajectories" of the parameters of a sonic event). Both result in an over-notated score that
requires unpredictable extrapolations when they are

a many-to-one notation-realisation relationship.

Unity Capsule will no doubt one day be performed in the I IOO-seat music hall of the Emory Center, when that
happens the hall will not simply echo the sine wave-like tone of the flute in the manner of a passive Vitruvian

How does Eisenman's Emory Center relate to the voice? It resonates the voice, not the logocentric resonance as an echoing of voice, but the voice itself turned into resonance so that sound and architecture communicate as two equally intelligible, equally mute vessels. Example: Unity Capsule and theEmory Center, each as a
reciprocal score for the realisation of the other. Unity Capsule has a virtuoso voice part, the flute is literally
spoken into by means of voiced vowels and consonants resulting in a shimmering succession of sounds that
bear little resemblance to either the spoken voice or the normal flute sonority. TheEmory Centel' does not
passively echo voice, it is literally shaped by the resonance of voice in a continuity between two kinds of
notation and two kinds of realization.

"Unity Capsule" can of course be another inscription for the Leibnizian "monad": a metaphysical point or
"unity" that perceives, folds and "encapsulates" the whole universe from its unique point of view. Deleuze
characterizes the monad as an active enveloping of a multiplicity, an event that he calls tlle "Fold". The Fold
operates because the multiplicity is itself already "folded". When Eisenman was invited to participate in the
Koizumi exhibition: "Architect-designed Birdhouses" in 1993 he simply presented a portion of the Em01)'

Cmter: its I lOO-seat music hall reproduced with appropriate transparency and scale. Coincidentally this
birdhouse forms a three-dimensional analogue for Deleuze's two-dimensional sketch of the allegory of the
monad as a windowless room within a Baroque house (The Fold:229). The Baroque house has two levels: the
upper is the folding monad (the perceiving soul) and the lower is folded matter (the perceived universe). But
the birdcage is also an allegory for the re-inscription of Eisenman's architecture with the concepts ofDeleuze,
the Eisenman-Deleuze Fold. On closer inspection a fresh irregularity appears, the birdcage contains two
Baroque houses, two times two levels. They fold together and yet remain apart, like Eisenman and Deleuze,
architecture and philosophy; America and France.



The Eiserunan Fold

Fig. 60

15 3

The Eisenman Fold


If this thesis has proved anything at all it will be at least that the unfolding of Eis enman's architecture
with the folded notions ofDeleuze can be colourful. But this thesis only begins to indicate the potential
endlessness for such an unfolding of Eisenman's architecture, that is its power: it subjugates our vision with its
inherent unfoldings. The critical obligation to unfold Eisenman's projects is itself an effect produced by the

"Eisenman-machine," a carefully contrived political apparatus that tells us to wage war on the purely material
aspects of architecture, to diversify; to convolute matter and soul but to do it differently each time, to strip off
the widowed stone fold by fold because architecture is at once sex, foliage, mirror, book and tomb, always full,
always Baroque.

But is Eisenman's architecture always fully Baroque, even in the universalized Deleuzian sense? Surely it
has periodic peaks ofBaroque-ness, such as the quivering transitions between superimpositions in the Romeo

andJ'Uliet Pl'qject (1985), the "arabesque" ramification of structure and decoration in the GltardiolaH01fse
project (1987) or the shimmering mental landscape of the broken ground uprighted in the NUl10tani Head-

quarters (1990-1992). But the Eisenman-machine, perhaps inadvertently; also infolds radical challenges to the
Baroque Fold, impurities that tIu'eaten the stability of every Baroque apparatus, such as the Heideggerian

Zweifalt that warns us not to be dazzled by the surplus of images produced by folding and unfolding because
the Fold also effects a repression of what escapes its folding; the unreadable, the line of the Orient, the withdrawal of Being and so on, or the Derridean chora that substitutes ash for sand in the Baroque

challenge that creates severe anxiety for the Eisenman-machine, a machine that is "tI1e song of the sands"
through and through.

The power of the Eisenman-machine is Baroque even if its architectural product is only periodically
"fully" Baroque: it produces effects (the subjugation of our vision with its everchanging colours) and, it generates duties (the critical obligation to unfold its enveloped notions). But its Baroque power is also its fragility:
its "new Baroque" harmony of gesture and affect will disintegrate on contact with every "new sentimental
style." It is this fragility that fascinates when we analyse the architecture of Peter Eisenman in terms of the



Appendix A

Selected Eisenman Projects in Chronological Order.

The best bibli6graphy of articles on and by Eisenman up to 1988 can be found in Bisemnanamnesie) edited
by Toshio Nakamura. Unfortunately that publication only illustrates a few of Eisenman's projects. The best
collection of illustrated projects can be found in the A + U; special Issue on Peter Eisenman, number 252,
September 1991. Unfortunately that journal only covers projects from 1988 to 1991. Since no single collection of Eisenman's projects up to 1993 has yet been published, the following list with illustrations is
provided.The list cannot claim to be complete, (it is only intended as an easy reference for those wanting
more information about a particular project). Only those projects for which illustrations could be found are
included, along with their key concepts and sources. The sources given are those that I have found to be the
most useful but in most cases many more will be found by referring to the Bisemnal1amnesie bibliography.

Tun Adams

Appendix A


1960, Liverpool Cathedral

(with G Howes).


The Architect and Building

News: 218/219, (August 31,
1960), P 279.
The Architects' ] oltmal: 132
(September I, 1960), P 326.

1966, The Manhatten Waterji'ont

(with Michae1 Graves).

L'architect1lre d'a1lj(ntrd'hui: 132,

(1967), p cvi.

1967-68, House I, Barenholtz Toy

Museum, Princeton, New Jersey;
converted into a guest house1982.

Five Architects, (New York,

Wittenborn & Company; 1972),
pp 15-22.
Progressive Architecture :49 (May;
1968), p 171.
Dom1ls:638 (April, 1983), pp 3637.

Cardboard Architecture formal

marking of physical environment
to reveal Deep structure.

1969-71, House
Falk House,
Hardwiclc, Vermont.

Five Architects, pp 25-35.

Cardboard Architecture
Conceptual bi-valency between
two equivalent notations.

1969-71, House Ill, Miller Residence, Lakeville, Connecticut.

Progressive Architecture: 5 5, (May;

1974), pp 92-96.

Cardboard Architecture Alienation

of occupier from "his house" to
force inquiry into latent spatial
cap acities.



Appendix A

1971, House IV, Falls Village,

Connecticut (unbuilt).

Casabella:374 (February; 1973)

pp 17-31.

Cardboard Architecture.

1972,Hottse V, (unbuilt).

Artfor1t1n: 19, no 7 (March

1981), pp 48-51.
A+U:1l2 (January; 1980), p
179:fig lla.

1972-76, Ho1tse VI, Frank

Residence, Cornwell, Connecticut.

Pl'ogl'essive Al'chitectu1'e: 58, (June,

1977), pp 57-67.

Non-sequential transfonnations in
virtual notation for mutually
exclusive spatial sQ-ategies.

1973, Ho1tse VIII, (unbuilt).

Artforum:19, no 7 (March, 1981),

pp 48-51.

1975-77, House X (unbuilt).

A+U:1l2, (January; 1980), pp


Decomposition;the geologistarchitect digging into the

ontology of architecture. Notation
of fonns used to select "nonconcspondentJl configm-ations at
various levels of design.

Tun Adams


Appendix A

1975, Roosevelt Island Hmlsing)

New York, (competition project,
with Peter Cook, Christine
Hawley, Ron Herron and others).

Architectural Record, (October,

1975), pp 111-113.

1978, House XIa, Forster House,

Palo Alto, California, (unbuilt).

A+U:1l2, (January, 1980), pp


The Klein bottle used to

suggest an indetenninacy of inside
and outside.

1978, Cannaregio Town Square)

Venice, (competition project).
the memOlY of Le Corbusier's
1mbuilthospital and the return of
House XIa at various scales.

Dmntls:611, (September, 1980),

pp 9-11.
The HarvardArchitecture Review:3, (Winter 1984), pp 145150.
Le Corb1lSicl; Oetlvre complete:
1957-65, edited by W Boesiger
(London, Thames & Hudson,
1965), pp 140-155.

1980, House Bl Bven Odd, (project A+U:123, (December, 1980),

pp 96-98.
for the exhibition "Houses for
Sale", New York).
A'Conometric object, simultaneously a three-dimensional
object, an axonometric
projection and a plan. A
passive solar-heated earthmass object.

1981, Beverley Hills' Civic Center,

(competition project with
Jaquelin Robertson).
An automobile plaza to

American Architecture Now II,

edited by Barbaralee
Diamonstein, (New York,
Rizzoli, 1985), p 81.

acknowledge the desire in

Beverley Hills to be seen in



Appendix A

1981-82, Cmmnil1s Plant, Madison, Indiana (with Jaquelin


American Architect1Jre Now If,

edited by Barbaralee
Diamonstein, (New York,
Rizzoli, 1985), p 79.

A master plan for 350,000

square feet of manufactuling

1982) Fin diGit T Holt S, first

version (project for an exhibition
at the Leo Dastelli Gallery; Ne\v
The decompositional folie; an
object that dissimulates and

1982-87, IBA Social HOllsing)

South Friedrichstadt, Berlin,
(winning project, now built, for
the Internatiol1ale Baualtsstelhmg) .

Follies) Architecture for the Late'IiventietIJ-cent1try Landscape)

edited by B J Archer & Anthony
Vidler, (New York,Rizzoli, 1983),
pp 54-57.

Architectural Design:S3, nos 112,

(January; 1983), pp 91-3.

Progressive Architecture :68,
(March, 1987), pp 81-92.

The City of Artificial Excavation;

the exploration of the history of
the si te and the ci ty of Berlin.

1983-6, The Travelers Financial

CmtC1'; Hemstead, Long Island,
New York (with Jaquelin

A +U:202, (July, 1987) pp 23-32.

1983-9, VHixner Center for the

Visual Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Progressive Architecture: 70,

(October, 1989), pp 68-89.
New Art Examiner (Summer,
1990), pp 27-30.
D01n1ts:712, (January; 1990), pp

A "non building"; an archaeological

earthwork whose essential
elements are scaffolding and
landscaping. Recovery of an
ArmOlY formerly on the site but
tom down in 1959.


Tun Adams

Appendix A

1984, Fin d'Ou T H(nt S) final

version, (project for an exhibition
at the AA Gallery; London).

Peter Eisenman, Fin d'Olt T Holt

S) Folio V; (London, The Architectural Association, 1985).

The decompositional folie.

ArchitecturalDesign:55, no.s 1/2,

(January/February; 1985), pp 4855.

(See above for fIrst version).

1984-7, Firehouse for Engine

Company 233) Ladder Cotnpany
176, New York, (with Jacquelin

A+U:202, (July; 1987),

pp 33-48.

D01mts:686, (September, 1987),

pp 30-32.

Form generated by union of

two conteATIlal grids: the
elevated railway tt'acks and
the street block.

Arq1titect1tra :270, (J anuary1985, The Romeo and Juliet

Project) MOPing ArrolVs) Eros) and February; 1988), pp 67-80.
Other Errors: An Architecture of
Artforttm (October, 1986), p 134.
Abse11ce) (the award winning
project for the Venice Biennale).
AA Files: 12, (Summer 1986), pp 7684.
Scaling; the object becomes
text, the fIctional elements of
VelUna superimposed on the
real Montecchio.

1986, Tokyo Opera Ho1tse (project

for a competition).

The Japan Architect: 352, (August,

1986) p 23.

A new kind of architectm'al

analogy: the superimposition
of forms of a different scale,
fimction and type.

1986, Progressive Corporation)

Cleveland, Ohio, (a masterplan
for a company headquarters, with
Frank Gehry).

Dotmts:686, (September, 1987),

pp 38-39.

Invented archaeology, buildings

chisel an elUded coastline revealing
layers of history.

Tun Adams


Appendix A

1986, University Art Museum)

Long Beach, California,
Building as an archaeological
artifact, tracing the histOlY of the
area; rebuilding a Greene and
Greene House, an oil denick, a
pier, etc.

1986, Choral Worlzs, Pare de la

Villette, Paris, (with Jacques
Derrida, unbuilt).
Analogic space;
Scaling and superposition of
La Villette in 1867, Paris in
1848, the Cannaregio
project and Denida's sketch
of Pia to' s chora.

1986, Biocenter for the University of

Franhfitrt, Frankfurt am Main,
West Germany; (unbuilt).
BInning interdisciplinary
boundaries: anology of fractal
geometry of architecture and
biological DNA processes.

1987) GuardiolaHouse, Puerto de

Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain,

Lotus International: 50, (1986), pp

GA Docmnent:18, (April, 1987),
pp 13-15.

Arquitect1lra:270, (JanuaryFebruary; 1988), pp 53-65.

Eisenmanamnesie) edited by
Toshio Nakamura, (Tokyo, A+ U
Publishing, 1938), pp 136-145.

A+U:209, (Februar)j 1988), pp

Assemblage:5, (February; 1988),
pp 32-43.

A+U:220, (January; 1989), pp 932.

The Arabesque between

fi-ame and object; imprinting
forms with its movement, a
conttulled accident.

1987, Fuller/Toms Residence and

Studio, New York City; (with
Faruk Yorgancioglu).

Architect1t1'al Record Interiors: 176,

(September, 1988), pp 78-86.

All the thinking used on the

ffix'ner Cet/tel' applied to a
Manhatten loft-aparnnent.

Tun Adams


Appendix A

1988-90, Koizumi Sal1gyo Building) Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, (with

Kojiro Kitayama).
''Weak FOlm", non-vertebrate,
mediated condition, an oscillation
between El cubes leaving O'aces
and residues, c!Jom.

1988, Carnegie Metlon Research

Institute) Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, (unbuilt).

Lotus International: 76 (April,

1993), pp 87.
The ]apanArchitect:403/404,
(November-December, 1990), pp

A+U:220, (January; 1989),

pp 33.

An "N-geomenic figure";unstable
infinite chance events) the overlap
of two solids and two frames
creates both imprints and O'aces.

1988, Banyoles Olympic Hotel)

Banyoles, Spain, (unbuilt).

A+U:252, (Septembet; 1991),

pp 112-127.

The necessity of the arbitrary;

exponential torsions and phase
shifts become the sweeps of the
rowing skiffs' oars, the hotel is for
the Rowing Olympics, 1992.

1988 - , College ofDesign) Architecture) Art and Planning, U niversity of Cincinnati, Ohio (in

A+U:252, (September 1991), pp


Addition to existing ehevronshaped building fi'actures and blurs

O'aditional architectural diehotomies, the space of excess.

1988-92, Colttmbus Convention

Center, Columbus, Ohio, (winning project in a competition,
now completed).
Symbolic of our complex dynamic
culture; highways for flows of
infOlmation, "lllOlphing", fibreoptic cables.

Tun Adams

A+U:252, (September, 1991),

pp 128-137.

Architecture)AIA: 82 no 5, (May;
1993), pp 52-61.
Progressive Architect1,tre, (February;
1994), pp 78-81.


Appendi.x A

1990, Cooper Union Student

Housing, Cooper Union School of

ZodiacA, (September, 1990) pp


Architecture, New York,

Symbolic ofits own time and
place: comple-x, multivalent,

1990, Groningen Video Pavilion)

Groningen, The Netherlands.

A +U:252, (September, 1991),

pp 98-111.

Symbolic of the zig-zag raster of

scanning lines in a cathode-ray
tube, the visitor becomes the

1990-92, Ntmotani Headquarters

Building, Edogawa, Tokyo.
The Sniated Landscape; plate
tectonics, waves of movement
causing plates to overlay producing an unsniated "limp" condition, a non-phallogocennic

1991,Alteka Office Building)

Tokyo, (unbuilt).

A +U:252, (September, 1991),

pp 56-79.
Bltteprint:97, (May, 1993), p 12.

Progressive Architecture, (January,

1992), pp 63-65.

Building becomes an event,

infolding, unfolding and enveloping the basic el-shape, taking place
in a continuum.

1991, Frankfurt Rebstockparlz)

Frankfurt, Germany, (masterplan

for office and housing development, unbuilt).

A+U:252, (September, 1991),

pp 16-55.

To reassess the n-aditional idea of

static urbanism with its figure/
ground contextualism. The fold
and the catasnuphe.

Tun Adams


Appendix A

1992- ,Emory Center for the

Peifonning Arts, Emory Univer-

Progressive Architecture, (Januar);

1993), pp 78-79.

sity, Atlanta (in progress).

Ravines and sine waves represented in the inflections and
folding of the buildings' discrete

1992- ,Max Rrinhardt Hatts)

Berlin (in progress).

AAFiles:25, (Summer, 1993),

pp 10-12.

The "folded" building, an infinite,

fragmentary, constandy changing
array, a heterotopia: singularity in
the city.



Appendix B

A Selection of Transformational Notations from Eisenman's House Series.

Tun Adams


There Is no House IX.

Tun Ad;uns



la Articles by Peter Eisenman

"Cardboard Architecture, House I and House I1", Five Architects, edited by Keneth Frampton and
Colin Rowe, (New York, George Wittenborn and Company, 1972), pp 15-35.

"House III:To Adolph Loos and Bertolt Brecht", Progressive Architecture, (May, 1974), pp 92-96.

"Post-Functionalism", Oppositions: 6 (1976), p iii.


"House VI", Progressive Architecture, (June, 1977), pp 57-67.


"Introduction", Aldo Rossi in America: 1976 to 1979, (New York, The Institution for Architecture and
Urban Studies, 1972) pp 4-15.


"Transformations, Decompositions, and Critiques: House X",A +U: 112 (January 1980), pp 15-150.


"Sandboxes: House Xla",A+U: 112, (January, 1980), pp 221-243.


"Three Texts for Venice", Domus: 611 (September, 1980), pp9-11.


"The City of Artificial Excavation", Architectural Review: 3 (Winter, 1984), pp 145-151.


"Misreading Peter Eisenman", Houses of Cards, (New York, Oxford University Press, 1987),
pp 167-186.


"Moving Arrows, Eros, and Other Errors: An Architecture of Absence", Arquitectura:270, (January/
February, 1988), pp 67-80.


"An Architectural Design Interview by Charles Jencks",Architectural Design: 58, no 3/4

(1988), pp 49-61.


"En Terror Firma:ln Trails of Grotexts", Architectural Design: 58, no 1/2 (1988), pp 40-43 .


"Blue Line Text",Architectural Design: 58, no 7/8 (1988), pp 6-9.


"Guardiola House",A+ U:270 (January, 1989),pp 9-32.


"Strong Form, WeakForm",Architecture in Transition Between Deconstruction and Newlvfodernism, edited by Peter Noever, (Munich, Prestel, 1989), pp 33-43.


"Chora and Weak Form", The Japan Architect:403/404 (NovemberlDecember, 1990), pp 47-51.


"Frankfurt Rebstock Competition", A + U:252, (September, 1991), pp 16-55.


"Nunotani Headquarters Building", A + U: 252, (September 1991), pp 56-78 .


"Alteka Office Building", Progressive Architecture, (January, 1992) pp 63-65.

"Visions Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media", Domus:734, (January, 1992),
pp 21-24.

Tun Adams



"The Affects of Singularity",Architectural Design: 62 no 11112 (November, December,1992),

pp 43-45.


"Centerfor the Arts", Progressive Architecture, (January, 1993), pp 78-79.


"Eisenman plays the centre forward" an interview with Rowan Moore) Blueprint: 96) (April)


"In a conversation with Alan Balfour") AA Files:25 (Summer 1993 p 13.


"Tokyo) Koizumi Sangyo and Nunotani Headquarters") Lot1lsInternatiol1al:76 (April) 1993

p 87.


"MaxReinhardt Haus) Berlin)AAFiles:25) (Summer) 1993 pp 10-12.


"Architect-designed Birdhouses") A +U:275) August) 1993 pp 20-24.

lb. Articles on Peter Eisenman

be used for wrapping purposes") AA Files: 10 (Autumn) 1985 pp 68-74.




Johnson) Philip) "Preface: Phi lip Johnson on Peter Eisenman") Eisenmanamnesie edited by
Toshio Nakamura) (Tokyo) A+ U) 1988 pp 10-11.


Morgan) Ann Lee and N aylor) Colin) "Peter Eisenman") Contemporary Architects) Second Edition)
(Chicago) St James Press) 1987 pp 261-264.


Tafuri) Manfredo) "Peter Eisenman: The Meditations ofIcarus") Peter EisenmanHo1tses ofCards)
(New York) Oxford University Press) 1987) pp 167-187.


Whiteman) John) "Site unscene-Notes on architecture and the concept of Fiction") AA Files: 12)
(Summer) 1986 pp 76-84.

2a. Articles and Books by Gilles Deleuze


Dijforence et repetition) (Paris) PUp, 1968).


"Nomad Thought") The New Nietzsche: Conterl11!orary Styles ofInterpretation) edited by David B
Allison) (New York) Dell) 1977).


(with Felix Guattari Anti- Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia) Volume 1) (Minneapolis)
University of Minnesota Press) 1983).


(with Felix Guattari A Tho1tsandPlateaus) Capitalisrn and Schizophrenia) Volume 2) (London)

The Athlone Press) 1980) .


Francis Bacon) Logique de la sensation) 2 volumes) (Paris) Editions de la difference) 1981).


Cinema 1: The Movement-Image) (Minneapolis) University of Minnesota Press) 1986).

Tun Adarns



Cinema 2: The Time-Image) (Minneapolis) University of Minnesota Press) 1989).

(with FeIix Guattari) Qjt'est-ce que la philosophie?) (Pa.ris) Minuit) 1991).

"The Fold") Yale French Studies: 80 (1991)) pp 227-247.

The Fold) Leibniz and the Baroque) (Minneapolis) University of Minnesota Press) 1993).

2b. Articles and Books on Gilles Deleuze

"Bibliography: Gilles Deleuze) Felix Guattari") Substance 44/45 (1984) pp 96-105.

Descombes) Vincent) Modem French Philosophy) (Cambridge) Cambridge U niversi ty Press)

1980)) pp 152-67 and 173-90.

Pecora) Vincent P, "Deleuze's Nietzsche) "Boundary 2:20; 1 (1993)) pp 174-191.

Urmson) J 0 ) and Ree) Jonathan) "Gilles Deleuze") The Concise Encyclopedia oflVi:stern

Philosophy and Philosophers) (London) Routledge) 1992)) pp 70-71.

Vries) Gijs Wallis de) "Deleuze and architecture) A preliminary guide") Archis:11) (November)

1993)) pp 54-64.

3. Other Articles

Ball) Edward and Knafo) Robert) "The R Mutt Dossier") Ariformn:27 (October) 1988))
pp 113-119,

"Baroque") The New Grove Dictionary ofMusic andMusiciam) (London) Macmillan Publishers)

1980)) volume 2) pp 172-178.

Barthes) Roland) "From Work to Text") Textual Strategies) Perspectives in Post-Structuralist

Criticism) edited by Josue V Harari) (New York) Cornell University Press) 1979)) pp 73-81.

Baudrillard) Jean) "The Art Object in the Electronic Age") interview, Block: 14 (1988)) pp 8-10.
Benjarnin) Walter)"The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction") Illuminations)
edited by Hannah Arendt) (New York) Schoclcen Books) 1969), pp 217-242.


Bradshavv; Susan) "The instrumental and vocal music") Pierre Boulez) A SymposimH) (London)
Eulenburg Books) 1986), pp 127-229.

Tun Adams



Bryson, Norman, "The Gaze in the Expanded Field", Vision and Visllality, edited by Hal
Foster, (Seattle, Bay Press, 1988), pp 87-107.


Colquhoun, Alan, "On lvlodern and Postmodern Space",Architectttre) Criticism) Idealogy, edited
by Joan Oclcman, (New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1985), pp 102-117.


Derrida, Jacques, "Interview",Art Papers: 10, no 1 (January/February; 1986), pp 31-35.


Derrida, Jacques, "Point de Folie-Maintenant Architecture",AA Files: 12, (Summer, 1986),

pp 65-75.


Derrida, Jacques, "Chora", Poikilia. Etudes affirtes it Jean-Pierre Vernant, (Paris, Ecole des
Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, 1987).


Derrida, Jacques, "On Reading Heidegger: An Outline of Remarks to the Essex Colloquium",

Research in Phenomenology: 17 (1987), pp 171-188.


Derrida, Jacques, "Why Peter Eisenman Writes Such Good Books", Eisemnanaml1esie, edited by
Toshio Nalcamura, (Tokyo, A+ U, 1988), pp 114-124.


Derrida, Jacques, "Letter to a Japanese Friend", Derrida al1dDifference} edited by David Wood
and Robert Bernasconi, (Coventry; Parousia Press, 1988) pp 1-4.


Derrida, Jacques, "On Colleges and Philosophy", lCA Docmnents} Postmodm1ism, edited by Lisa
Appignanesi, (London, Free Association Books, 1989), pp 109-228.


Derrida, Jacques, "Fifty.::I'wo Aphorisms for a Forward", Deconstr/tction: Otrmibus VOlttme, edited
by Andreas Papadakis, Catherine Cook and Andrew Benjamin, (New York, Rizzoli, 1989),
pp 67-69.


Derrida, Jacques, "How to Avoid Speaking: Denials", Languages of the Unsayable: The Play of

Negativity in Literature and Litermy Theory, edited by Sanford Budiclc and Wolfgang Iser, (New
York, Columbia University Press, 1989), pp 3-70.


Derrida, Jacques, "Chora", an unpublished manuscript quoted in Jeffrey Kipnis, "/Twisting the
Separatrix/" , Assemblage: 14, (April, 1991), pp 34-35,49,50 and 51.


Duchamp, Marcel, "Where do we go from here?", Studio International: 189 (January/February;

1975), p 28.

'fun Adams



"Ferneyhough, Brian", The New Grope Dictionary ofMusic andMusiciC111S, Volume 6, p 475.

Jean-Charles, "Writing Without Representation, and Unreadable Notation",

Perspectives of NewM1tsic: 30, no I, (Winter, 1992), pp 6-20.

Gab)e, David, "Boulez's Two Cultures: The Post-War European Synthesis and Tradition",joltrnal

of theA1'nericanMusicological Society, (Fall, 1990), pp 426-456.

Gaburo, Virginia,"Notes from Inside the Piano", Perspectives ofNew Music: 16, no 2, (Spring-

Summer, 1978), p 13.

Grisey, Gerard, "Tempus ex Machina: A composer's reflection on musical time, "Contemporary

Music Rcvinv, Vo!. 2, (1987), pp 239-275.

Heidegger, Martin, "Letter on Humanism", Philosophy in the 'Iive11tieth

An Anthology,

Vo!. 3, edited by William Ban'ett, (New York, Random House, 1962), pp 270-302.

Heidegger, Martin, "Art and Space",Man and World: 6 (1973), pp 3-8.

Lulcas, Kathryn, "Cassandra's Dream Song and Unity Capsule", an analysis of two flute pieces
by Brian Ferneyhough, Contact:20, (Autumn, 1979), pp 9-11.

Marin, Louis, "Classical, Baroque:Versailles, or the Architecture of the Prince", Yale French

St1ldies:80 (1991), pp 167-182.

Mehlman, Jeffrey, "Writing and Deference: The Politics of Literary Adulation,"

Rcprese11tations:15, (Summel; 1986), pp 1-15.

Martin, Jay, "Scopic Regimes of Modernity", Vision and Vis1lality, edited by Hal Foster, (Seattle,

Ockman, Joan, "Resurrecting the Avant-Garde:The History and Program of Oppositions",

Bay Press, 1988), pp 3-20.

Architectureprodttctions, edited by Joan Oclcman, (New York, Princeton Architectural Press,

1988), pp 181-199.

Tun Adams

Perez-G6mez, Alberto and Pelletier, Louise, "Architectural Representation Beyond

Perspectivism", Perspecta:27 (1992), pp 21-39.



Preziosi, Donald, "Between Power and Desire, The Margins of the City", Glyth Te:d:ural Studies: 1

(1986), pp 237-252.

Russel, Daniel, "Akaiti's Emblems in Renaissance France", Rl1aissance Qparterly:34 (1981), pp


Schaefer, Scott, "The Studiolo ofFrancesco I de'Medici: a Checklist of the Known Drawings",

Master Drawings: 20 no 2, (summer, 1982), pp 125-130.

Schroth, Sarah, "Burial of Count of Orgaz", Figures ofTh(mght: El Greco as Interpreter ofHistorJ)

7J-adition) and Ideas, edited by Jonathan Brown, (Washington, Washington National Gallery of
Art, 1982), pp 1-17.

Sheehan, Thomas, "Heidegger's Early Years: Fragments for a Philosophical Biography"

Heidegger: The Man and the Thin/ur, edited by Thomas Sheehan, (Chicago, Precedent Publish
ing, 1981), pp 3-19.

Thom, Renc, "Rene Thom-creator of catastrophe theory-replies", New Scientist:70 (17 June,

1976), P 632.

Times Editorial: "A storm in the cloisters", The Times (May 9, 1992), p 12.

Toop, Richard, "New Music and Neurobiologic Research, Can They Meet?" Music) Mind and

Brain) The Neuropsychology ofMusic, edited by Manfred Clynes, (New York, Plenum Books,
1982), pp 387-398.

Tucker, Albert and Bailey; Herbert, "Topology") ScientificAmerical1, (January; 1950), pp 18-24 .
Vattimo, Gianni, "Project and Legitimation 1", Lotus International: 48/49
(1985/1986), pp 118-125.

Virilio, Paul, "The Last Vehicle", Looking Back on the End of the World, edited by Dietmar

Zeeman, E C, "Catastrophe Theory", ScientificAmerican, (April, 1976), pp 65-83.

Tiro Adams

Kan1per and Christoph Wulf, (New York, Semiotext(e), 1989), pp 106-119.



4. Other Books

Alciatus) Andreas) The Latin Bmblems) Vol1) edited by Peter M Daly and Virginia W Callahan)
(Toronto) University of Toronto Press) 1985).


Bachelard) Gaston) The Poetics ofSpace) (Boston) Beacon Press) 1969).


Baudrillard) Jean) Simulations) (New York) Semiotext(e) 1983).


Benjamin) Walter) The Origin ofGerman Tragic Drama) (London) New Left Books) 1977).


Boase) T S R) Giorgio Vitsari) The Man and the Book) (New Jersey, Prince ton University Press)


Boulez) Pierre) BOlllez onMttsic Today) (London) Faber and Faber) 1971).


Brecht) Bertolt) Brecht on Theatre) The Development ofanAesthetic) (London) Methuen and Company, 1964).


Broadbent) Geoffrey, Deconstruction) A Student Guide) jo1tmal ofArchitectural Theory and

Criticism (UIA) :1) no 2 (London) Academy editions) 1991).


Buck-Morss) Susan) The Dialectics of Seeil1{j) TValter Benjamin and the Arcades Project) (Massachusetts) MIT Press) 1989).


Chomsky, Noam) Language andRsponsibility) (Sussex) The Harvester Press) 1979).


Cornford) Francis) Plato's Cosmology> The Timae1ls ofPlato translated with a runnil1g c01nmentat'J;
(London) Routledge and Kegan Paul) 1937).


Dahlhaus) Carl) The Idea ofAbsolttteMttsic) (Chicago) University of Chicago Press) 1978).


Derrida) Jacques) OfGrammatology> (Baltimore) John Hopkins University Press) 1976).


Derrida) Jacques) Writi/1{j and Diffirmce) (London) Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd) 1978).


Derrida) Jacques) Spun) Neitzsche's Styles) (Chicago) University of Chicago Press) 1979).


Derrida) Jacques) Dissemination) (Chicago) University of Chicago Press) 1981).

1im Adams



Derrida, Jacques, Glas, (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press) 1986).

Hegel) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Aesthetics) Lectures on Fine Art) Vol. 2, (Oxford) Oxford
University Press, 1975).

Heidegger, Martin, Being C111d Time) (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1990).

Heidegger, Martin, On Time and Bei11J, (New York, Harper and Row, 1972).
Heidegger, Martin, Poe'tr)j Language) Thought, (San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1975).
Heidegger, Martin, Early Greelz Thinfli1% The Dawn ofWCstern Philosophy, (San Francisco,
Harper and Row, 1972).
Hollier, Denis, Against Architect1l1'e) The Writil1JS of Georges Bataille) (Cambridge,
Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1990).
Hugo, Victor, Notre-Dame ofParis, (Great Britain, Penguin Books, 1987).
Huizinga, Johan, Homo Ludens ,A Study of the Play Element in Culture, (Great Britain,
Paladin, 1970).
Lacan, Jacques, The Four Fundamental Concepts ofPsycho-Analysis) (Great Britain, Penguin
Books, 1987).
Le Corbusier,Modulor 2, (London) Faber and Faber, 1955).
Lefebvre, Henri, The Production of Space, (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1991).
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Monadology and Other Philosophical Essays, (New York, BobbsMerril Company, 1965).
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, (London, Open
Court Publishing, 1916).

Tun Adams

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Philosophical Papers and Letters Vol. 2, (Illinois, University of
Chicago Press, 1956).



Lyotard, Jean-

The Inhuman) Reflections on Time, (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1991).

Lyotard, Jean-

Les Transfonnatettrs Duchamp, (Paris, Edition Galileee, 1977).

Macksey; Richard and Donato, Eugenio, The Languages ofO'iticism and the Sciences ofMa11) The

Structttralist Controversy, (Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1970).

Stephane, Oe1tvres completes, (Paris, Pleide, 1945) .

Mallarme, Stephane, Selected Poems) translated by C F MacIntyre, (Berkeley; University of
California Press, 1959) .

Mandelbrot, Benoit B, The Fractal Geometry ofNat1tre, (New York, W H Freeman and
Company; 1983).

Merleau-Ponty; Maurice, The Visible and the bwisible, (Evanston, Northwestern University
Press, 1968).

Mumford, The Culture of Cities, (New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company; 1938).

Norberg-Schulz, Christian, Baroque Architecture, (New York, Rizzoli, 1979).

Noth, Winfried, Handbook of Semiotics (Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1990).

Perez-G6mez, Alberto, Polyphilo or The Dark Forest Rtrisited) An Erotic Epiphany ofArchitec-

ture, (Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1992).


Richard, Jean-Pierrre, L'Unwers imaginaire de Mallarme, (Paris, Seuil, 1961).

Serres, Michel, Hermes, Literature) Science) Philosophy, (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983).

Steinberg, Leo, Other Criteria) C011fr011tati011s with 'Bventieth-Century Art, (New York,
Oxford University Press, 1972) .

Vattimo, Gianni, The -End ofModemity) Nihilism and Hermeneutics in Post-modem Culture,
(Cambridge, Polity Pressm 1988) .

Tun Adams

Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture) (New York, Dover Publications, 1960) .



Wolffiin, Heinrich, Renaissance and Baroque, (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1968).

Xenakis, Iannis, Formalized Music, Thought and Mathematics in Composition,

(Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1971).

Tun Adams