This article was downloaded by: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] On: 20 October 2008 Access details: Access Details: [subscription

number 783016864] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:

Architecture at war
Reinhold martin

Online Publication Date: 01 August 2004

To cite this Article martin, Reinhold(2004)'Architecture at war',Angelaki,9:2,217 — 225 To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/0969725042000272843 URL:

Full terms and conditions of use: This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.

the paper’s influential architecture critic. Foremost among these was the question of the “event” itself. including its representation and commemoration. intellectual.” declaring (quite unbelievably) that P Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 reinhold martin ARCHITECTURE AT WAR a report from ground zero “our religion is progress – material. Herbert Muschamp. This assemblage associated a nominally “progressive” architecture with cultural hegemony. a specific assemblage of aesthetics and politics was consolidated.ANGELAKI journal of the theoretical humanities volume 9 number 2 august 2004 erhaps enough time has passed since the initial rush to “rebuild” ground zero to warrant a general assessment of the resulting design. ground zero may have served as a kind of incubator for an aesthetic strategy that has since found broader application. if not for the questions with which architectural discourse and its many publics were confronted following the destruction of the World Trade Center. with respect to the “politics of place. against which he contrasted American “reason. Or perhaps this is not really the issue. For example: writing in the New York Times on 30 September 2001. but also its repression and consequent prolongation. The concept of ‘progressive architecture’ is rooted in this faith.2 This question is lurking in Muschamp’s call. after more than two weeks of journalistic silence at a time when his colleagues were covering recent events with a breathless urgency.” Muschamp peppered his article with pseudo-philosophical musings on the subject of religious fundamentalism.1080/0969725042000272843 217 . spiritual. repeated com- ISSN 0969-725X print/ISSN 1469-2899 online/04/020217–09 © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd and the Editors of Angelaki DOI: 10. a form of frustrated aggression emanating from a representative of New York’s culture industry. in a precursor both to the (thoroughly modernist) “shock and awe” bombing in Baghdad. And. In that sense. and perhaps a prerequisite for it. decided to weigh in for the first time on the “rebuilding” debate already underway with a plea for what he called “progressive architecture.” what actually gets built in lower Manhattan may be less important than the aesthetic effects already generated by the design process. Since in the mix of interests and investments out of which the current plan emerged. the outlines of this strategy were drawn not by a dark conspiracy operating behind the scenes but rather in the light of day and the glare of the mass media. This faith is compatible with the search for the good. like many developments in US foreign policy that they paralleled. Instead.”1 It would be easy to dismiss such assertions as so much metaphysical flag-waving. and to the subsequent struggle for “hearts and minds” in an occupation that offered modernization as one of its primary inducements.

Muschamp quotes Friedman as follows: “The real clash today is not between civilizations but within them – between those Muslims. Such efforts. since for decades urban municipalities worldwide have been seized by a conservative. for a “progressive architecture” to rise in response to the destruction of an office complex that – for many – embodied the exhaustion of modernist ideologies of progress.”3 Forced into a scheme that refuses to recognize the modernity of terrorism. becomes one of assisting in the foreclosure of any real public debate regarding the historical dimensions of the event itself. architects were essentially asked to plant a three-dimensional (neo-)modern flag on the site that pointed toward a triumphant future. a millenarian consensus that also authorized unprecedented and virtually uncontested changes in foreign and domestic policy. Consequently. they might commemorate in lower Manhattan. whose bland but “modern” replacement for No. Muschamp was also speaking in unison with the near-universal media consensus that “everything changed” after 11 September 2001. Thus. the Times Middle East editorialist Thomas Friedman. since the most effective vehicle for rebuilding the triumphalist bubble turned out to be not an outmoded corporate “neo-traditionalism” but rather an architecture Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 218 . This framing positions the event and the historical past it condenses as the proverbial pile of debris swept away by the winds of “progress” even as its effects continue to reverberate. symbolically opening the door to cultural and economic imperialism while declaring the historico-political case closed. complied. In his 30 September article. It was designed by the New York firm of Skidmore.” But such narrow stylistic considerations have also anchored the newly expanded public discourse on architecture in the USA firmly to such venues as the Arts & Leisure section of the Times. So Muschamp and many others were right to inveigh against the juggernaut of “tradition. Hindus. Still. And the architect’s job. as exemplified in New York’s Battery Park City or in the emblematic Jin Mao Tower in the new Pudong district of Shanghai. Here the rhetoric of rebuilding provided a ready answer. Buddhists and Jews with a modern and progressive outlook and those with a medieval one. ready for assimilation into the memory industry. Muschamp’s somewhat opportunistic call for a “progressive architecture” to emerge in New York is understandable. In another light. contextualist impulse that is inseparable from commercial efforts to maintain the phantasm of an idealized and sanitized urban past. While. with respect to the future of ground zero as framed by this context. SOM have since become the lead architects on the project under the guiding hand of David Childs. in the interim. Owings & Merrill (SOM) – the same firm that began working with developer Larry Silverstein on proposals for the World Trade Center site several days after the event itself. if not all. 7 World Trade Center (which collapsed late in the day on 11 September) will be completed in 2005. “9/11” had only just begun. This is a false opposition that conceals the complicity of pastiche or “neo-traditional” urbanism in the consolidation of a corporate lifestyle. aside from the individual lives lost. in the form of a pagoda extruded eighty-eight stories. architects were faced with the question of what. Instead. as a pretext for further aggression. who also chose to cast the post-11 September situation as one of modern vs. however. One notable example is that of his colleague. often pose self-righteously against the backdrop of jarring interruptions in the urban and social fabric wrought by such objects as the World Trade Center. in calling for symbols that effectively relieve the burdens of history. there are correspondences between Muschamp’s position and others espoused in the mainstream American press.architecture at war pulsively at every opportunity in subsequent articles. Christians. Most. if anything. common in Western cities but also in cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai. anti-modern ideologies. Daniel Libeskind’s alter-ego. “progressive” architecture at home thus supports a modernizing crusade abroad. safely protected from the geopolitical complexities and conflicts documented elsewhere in the paper. The latter building is a particularly telling instance of an appropriation of tradition that reconciles nationalism with global capital.

virtually all departed from the pastiche of “neo-traditionalism. There.5 Though it remains unclear what New York “deserves” to forget.”4 On the one hand (and again running parallel with the increased swagger of American foreign policy). the prototype and its author naturalize this state of affairs – which was long ago given the name “total war” – in a collapse of even the most rudimentary critique into an excited monotone.” often in favor of another kind of historicism colored by nostalgia for the futurist aspirations of the historical avant-gardes. their authors are significant representatives of a recent return to formal and technological experimentation in architectural production that has begun to yield large-scale built results (such as FOA’s impressive Yokohama Ferry terminal) while actively refusing to face its own political implications. and that is a good size to attempt to return to NY what it deserves. designers. unvarnished effort to exploit the “landmark opportunity” offered by 9/11’s presumptive clearing of the decks – a chance to fulfill a heroic vision (post-Saddam and post-postmodern?) already prepared in think tanks and universities but theretofore preempted by the exigencies of professional realism. The first evidence of this was offered in the form of an exhibition organized in New York by gallerist Max Protetch titled “A New World Trade Center” that ran from 17 January through 16 February 2002. this was a raw. digital logic of the instruments of production and consumption associated with Hollywood’s military-entertainment complex. with a lucid cynicism: “The transfer of military thinking into daily life is inevitable. Though by no means did the same aestheticopolitical drives course through all of the projects in the Protetch show. In this context. according to the gallery. it is abundantly clear that such willful amnesia refers not only to a salutary rejection of the often sanctimonious imperatives of memorialization but also to an active blindness to the historical conditions of which “9/11” was only one component. accompanied by these remarks: Let’s not even consider remembering … What for? We have a great site in a great city and the opportunity to have the world’s tallest building back in New York. Comparable in posture here is the project submitted by Greg Lynn FORM for a prototypical defensible skyscraper insightfully premised on “the collapse of boundaries between global military conflict and everyday life. this “end of history” argument for a new historical type – a new type of skyscraper – exploits its own contradictions to monumentalize the neoliberal consensus regarding new “opportunities” opened up by techno-corporate globalization: the responsibility of the professional in the new world order is merely to facilitate the arrival of the “new” while washing their hands of the overdetermined historical narratives – and the dead bodies – through which this new is named. Ground Zero used to host 1. and artists that.”7 These two projects bear notice for several reasons. the public was presented with fifty-eight proposals by architects. These figures and their work are also representatives of an ideological direction in architecture that was initially understood to be “Deleuzian. While on the other hand.”6 Rather than dissent. certain projects stood out for their combination of an avowedly “progressive” aesthetics (often associated with technological innovation through digital representation and/or new structural systems) and a regressive politics. contextualist mainstream.” a desig- Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 219 .martin dedicated to producing striking images of the future. a mere four months after the attacks. Hardly disguised. however. together represented “a landmark opportunity both for architects and the general public to explore the possibilities for the World Trade Center site. Firstly. Symptomatic of things to come on this front was the project submitted by Foreign Office Architects (FOA) for an undulating tower of bundled tubes. the Protetch exhibition was also the first real evidence of the capacities of a neo-modern aesthetics to channel the will to power in directions inaccessible to the more literal conformisms of architecture’s corporate.3M m2 of workspace. with overtones of Ernst Junger. Thus Lynn as¨ serts. The resulting hymn to total war makes sense only when seen against the backdrop of Lynn’s ongoing commitment to the supposed inner.

the project simultaneously acknowledged the dollar sign (or what Koolhaas has elsewhere called the “regime of ¥€$”) as a dream image. just as Muschamp leveraged 9/11 into the equally metaphysical – though ostensibly more cosmopolitan – crusade for what he called here a new “aesthetics of architecture.”11 it frankly acknowledged the economic interests that had underwritten New York’s modernity since the nineteenth century. Indeed. were universally rejected for their lack of vision by a marketplace that had spent the 1990s celebrating CEOs like Bill Gates as visionaries. organized in full accordance with the precepts of a traditionalist urbanism (despite Muschamp’s earlier protestations) complete with reconstructed “streets. produced by the firms of Beyer Blinder Belle. in part to insulate the administration of New York governor George Pataki (which controlled the process) from public criticism during his re-election campaign. And finally. the clamor for “vision” was such that the increasingly inept Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) was forced to stage a public relations counteroffensive. then. comparable to the silence Manfredo Tafuri and Francesco Dal Co had once attributed to Mies van der Rohe via a Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 220 . in an open “Request for Qualifications for Innovative Designs for the World Trade Center Site. It nevertheless exhibited an ambivalent silence in the face of capital’s phantasmagoric facticity. sanitized future to replace the gleaming. on 19 August 2002. As it was used in this context.”9 Whether or not Muschamp’s appeal to Habermas is as opportunistic as his own interventions in the ground zero debates. however.architecture at war nation to which we shall return.”10 For at least one architecture critic. But first. would reappear in a subsequent chapter in the saga we are following. And so. when the now infamous six initial “concept designs” for the site were presented. and Peterson Littenberg (with Skidmore.”8 Unabashedly. these two firms. The Times study proposed a kind of open-air museum of contemporary architecture. sanitized past visible in the first six schemes’ allusions to historical monuments like the Rockefeller Center. Owings & Merrill operating behind the scenes). things took a peculiar. together with other representatives of the techno-formalist turn. he even felt compelled in closing to cite Jurgen Habermas: “Modernity … is an in¨ complete project. Meanwhile. the LMDC put out a second call for professional participation. So is New York. Referring to the “outpouring of images and emotions” in the debates over what should be built. the modernity in question was most definitely as militarized as the quasi-theological mission – “our religion is progress” – Muschamp cited in his earlier echo of the Times editorialist Friedman. Hardly an exercise in economic determinism. if predictable. as evidenced in his description: “The product envisioned by the study is a recast cultural identity for 21st century New York: a revised mythology of our place in the era of globalization. earlier that same summer Muschamp had begun convening meetings with prominent architects that resulted in an alternative plan for the site published in the New York Times Magazine on 8 September 2002. “vision” was also a code word for what Muschamp had called “progress” that indexed a reorientation of the cultural imaginary toward the reconstruction of a gleaming. Muschamp wrote: “Fantasies of new buildings became a form of recovery: signs of the city’s resilience in the face of unprecedented enemy assault. architecture’s job in a post-9/11 New York (implicitly compared to London during the Blitz) was to boost spirits on the home front. An upside-down office tower growing progressively wider toward the top rather than at the base. since these resolutely neo-traditionalist designs. the boys and girls in Washington prepared a counteroffensive that eventually leveraged retaliation in Afghanistan into a metaphysical crusade in Iraq. twist in the summer of 2002.” but populated by self-conscious set pieces executed with futurist elan.” A notable exception in the Times showcase was the disarmingly sober contribution made by Rem Koolhaas and his colleagues Dan Wood and Joshua Ramus in the New York office of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture). Predictable. “giving extra space to the more desirable and expensive upper floors.” For his part. Nor was the geopolitics ´ of architecture lost on Muschamp here.

a group of young professionals whose members included. which resourcefully morphs the USA into the UN. and others Empire.”12 For his part. 407 teams of architects. the Hollywood-based entertainment and design firm Imaginary Forces? Citing Deleuze becomes redundant in a context in which affect is the primary commodity. and Ben van Berkel and Carolyn Bos (of UN Studio) – have consistently cited the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to accompany pre´ sentations of their work.14 Six were chosen. Muschamp was unable to follow this injunction. however. In support of the implied theme of resolute unity-within-diversity (in the face of a “faceless” enemy?). the LMDC announced the results of its own quest for “innovative” designers to produce more effective images for circulation in the mass media.martin citation from Weimar-era critic Karl Kraus: “Since the facts have the floor. in addition to those already mentioned and others. and in doing so they risk ˇˇ reproducing the “micro-fascisms” that Zizek sees lurking in a pseudo-Deleuzianism that exploits Deleuze’s own philosophico-political complexities to turn a revolutionary philosophy into a “pro-capitalist” one. and the “great polyglot aspirational surge” that some have called late capitalism. Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi (of FOA). this is how I design my advertisements!”) …16 Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 Does this not also conjure United Architects. now preferring techno-militaristic terminology such as “performance” and “instrumentality. on 26 September 2002. while images of the scheme proclaim the result – the “United Towers” – a “bold vision of the future” dedicated to “returning pride to the site.17 Indeed. For some time.”13 Left open was the question of affinities between the libidinal economy celebrated by Muschamp here. but enthusiasm. at ground zero the public relations message emanating from United Architects begins with the team’s name. feeling obliged instead to speak on behalf of New York’s cosmopolitan multiculturalism and the “relative sophistication of our cultural appetites.” is significant.” Zizek imagines another possibility: What. let anyone who has anything to say come forward and keep his mouth shut. rather than its abandonment in favor of more expedient rhetoric as the architects accumulate professional commissions. individual members of the United Architects group – including Greg Lynn (of Greg Lynn FORM). since it potentially marks. the project statement offers further rhetoric about solemnly moving forward (“progress” again). and designers “representing 34 nations” had responded to the LMDC’s call. Where Lecercle sees incongruity in the yuppie’s “puzzled look” as he reads “a book explicitly written ˇˇ against yuppies. In addition to several of the participants in the Times study. among these was a group that called itself United Architects. Meanwhile. like the work itself. a hybrid that itself dissolves into a transnational becomingBenetton in the team’s group portrait – assembled multi-racial faces in a field of colored squares. These architects just do it. among other things. “theory.” Though the project eventually submitted by United Architects failed to capture the public imagination.” which he saw embodied in the Times study: “We are one great polyglot aspirational surge. it is worth citing a passage in which ˇˇ Slavoj Zizek cites Jean-Jacques Lecercle as he amusingly describes the scene of a “yuppie reading Deleuze” on the Paris metro. planners. According to the press release. Here. it – rather than the winning entry by Daniel Libeskind that relied on early twentieth-century visual tropes such as fragmentation – is perhaps more representative of an emerging tendency in architecture that raises significant questions regarding the status of “theory” in the field.”18 And the Deleuzianism? Difference within con- 221 . the realization of a certain distorted Deleuzianism.15 That such citations have been unceremoniously dropped by most as they have assumed an increasingly anti-intellectual stance. when the yuppie reads about impersonal imitation of affects. about the communication of affective intensities beneath the level of meaning (“Yes. if there is no puzzled look. an international collection of relatively young designers described by the LMDC press release as “visionaries” in possession of an expertise in.

”19 This farcical historical repetition was belied. Muschamp proposed renaming United Architects “The International House of Voluptuous Beauty” in recognition of their apparent efforts to realize “form for form’s sake. in theater. thus potentially liberating the designers from limitations associated with sheer bulk and leaving more room for the exertion of architectural finesse. the UN) in invading Iraq was prefigured affectively and aesthetically “beneath the level of meaning. When the results of the LMDC’s “Innovative Design Study” (including the Libeskind and 222 . highly politicized desire for a potent.” By reproducing such a logic at the aesthetic level.” but this time mesmerized by the radiance of their target. so strong was the public. an architectural avant-garde thus finds itself switching sides in the culture wars that brought (critical. In the set of revised guidelines handed to these teams. crypto-Gothic “cathedral” (their term) designed by United Architects as a baldly symbolic response to an act associated with militant Islam. Likewise for the proposal’s symbolism. in effect. “visionary” aesthetics in the LMDC’s search for innovation that even economic profit was asked to take a back seat. This particular connection (whether or not intended by the architects) reproduced the violence of the attacks themselves in aesthetic form.” the project internalizes the naturalized growth fantasies of global capitalism in the form of a relentless. evolutionary development of the site. however. regardless of ideological claims to the contrary. Indeed. while simultaneously allowing the more unconscious impression of a family of skyscrapers holding hands in the absence of the missing “twins. which in many ways crossed nationalism with theological pathos more systematically than did Libeskind’s expressionist winning entry. gentler imperialism that now has the USA speaking with respect about Iraqi culture even as multinational contractors (engineers. managers. by the project’s own rhetoric. the particular.5–10 million square feet. Since by responding obediently to the call for vision while remaining utterly blind to the violence of the “affective intensities” they are being asked to serve up. In the architecture of becoming that mixed spirituality with marketing offered up by United Architects. these architects and others put themselves in a position of docile compliance with the imperatives of a nation at war. the amount of income-generating office space required was reduced from 11 million square feet to 6. Affective unity is shown not to preclude “difference” – a basic premise of the kinder. It required only a little “imaginary force” to see the corporate. in part as an expression of dissatisfaction with postmodern architecture’s reinforcement of the political status quo. as American political fantasies morphed Osama into Saddam. from which would emanate a “clear signal” of cultural triumph by way of the dazzling vision that had replaced the banality of the earlier towers. which will be the centerpiece of the entire project. an image was thus conjured of planes once again “approaching Manhattan.” On 12 October 2002 the Times celebrated this new “freedom to maneuver” in an editorial symptomatically titled “Larger Visions for Downtown” that again tied architectural invention to a thinly disguised nationalism: The guidelines do not require a detailed design for the memorial. beginning with the reproduction of the nonexistent tower “footprints.20 Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 Uncannily.” Though their project was clearly not his favorite. A monument to corporate “diversity. violent irony of the USA claiming to act morally on behalf of the UN (to become. poststructuralist) “theory” into the discipline with a vengeance in the 1980s.architecture at war tinuity: a “single continuous building” that differentiates itself into five linked towers built in five phases. But by melting such ruthlessly “meaningful” symbolisms into a dynamic series of visual effects that had the buildings dissolving into a majestic forest in an accompanying video.” the project set in motion a fluid dynamics comparable to that which organized subsequent militarization. for more “growth. and mercenaries) lay the groundwork. Instead they ask for an overall concept that ensures that whatever replaces the towers becomes a prominent part of the skyline and sends a clear signal to anyone approaching Manhattan that the city has been rebuilt in a triumphant way.

which pitted Libeskind’s crystalline fragments against the open latticework proposed by the Think group. it is possible that Libeskind’s emotionalism simply became redundant. in contrast to the “feudal superstition in which our enemies remain mired. in near-perfect symmetry.”23 Again. only to be projected back outward. Where many have seen this as further evidence of the forces of corporate greed. the plan embodies the Orwellian condition America’s detractors accuse us of embracing: perpetual war for perpetual peace. The subsequent chapters in the story are by now well known. In a few years knockoff versions of them will be transforming skylines in Asia and elsewhere. as images of “progressive” architecture – including Libeskind’s – circulating in the winter of 2002–03 were replaced on American television screens that spring with images of the “shock and awe” bombing campaign in Baghdad.” winning out over artistic integrity (“idealism”?). as if to underline the elision. was only a partial turnaround for Muschamp. But in apparently forgetting his own assertion in late September 2001 that secularism was itself a “religion.”21 Muschamp also continued to promote the (otherwise important) research that they represented largely on the basis of their supposed vision.”25 Muschamp had finally seen what was on the screen the entire time. as a modern-day New Yorker I would like to think my way to a place beyond armed combat. and mystification with critical reflection. Taylor was even enlisted into the cause.martin United Architects schemes) were made public with great fanfare in mid-December 2002. the LMDC had narrowed its choice to two of the six original “innovative designs.”26 This. who in an earlier assessment had more cautiously described the cloying Libeskind scheme as a “perfect balance between aggression and desire. While aimed primarily at the memory industry. Total war had been waged in the aesthetic training camp called ground zero. or at best “realism. Unintentionally. he complied by offering the extraordinary exhortation (published in the Times on 29 December 2002) to avoid “becoming obsessed with a past we will never understand” and instead turn optimistically toward the future. the New York Times continued to serve as a site in which the alliance between aesthetics and politics was negotiated.”22 Theologian and erstwhile architecture theorist Mark C. Muschamp reasserted the connection between the architecture of ground zero and war: “While no pacifist.”24 Describing the Libeskind proposal as “an emotionally manipulative exercise in visual codes. Chillingly.” he was more than willing to sign on to the broader cause of spreading Enlightenment-as-myth. the foregoing account may suggest slightly different conclusions. down to the made-for-television struggle between Libeskind and Childs for control of the project’s architectural image that Childs eventually won. he failed to acknowledge the elements of Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 223 . Taylor approvingly concluded his summary with the message he heard coming from United Architects: “e pluribus unum. “[e]ven in peacetime [the Libeskind] design would appear demagogic. the design’s message seems more loaded. such collateral dismissals of any effort to articulate the historical (and political) dimensions of “9/11” as so much backward-looking nostalgia also continued to confuse images of “progress” with positive historical change.”27 In his enthusiasm for the Think project. The Times editorial page celebrated the designs as offering a “rare possibility for civic and architectural triumph. Thus by early February 2003. As this nation prepares to send troops into battle. Like the distorted smatterings of “theory” in the discourse of those who would eventually become United Architects. four months after the US Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (of 11 October 2002).” Muschamp goes on to note that in contrast to the more “secular” Think scheme. The Think project accomplishes this … It transforms our collective memories of the twin towers into a soaring affirmation of American values.” During the ensuing debate. in one instance condescendingly suggesting that the designs were so compelling that “planners and public officials around the world have been downloading images of these six projects with an eye toward constructing them in their own regions. what looks progressive fades into its opposite. then.

as quoted in Muschamp. affective intensification of neo-imperial desires that it represented from the beginning. critics.” of the aestheticization of 1 Herbert Muschamp. “Filling the Void” 1.” Grey Room 07 (spring 2002): 114–23. html (accessed Mar. Mr. “Progress” was something to be imposed militarily.” to recall United Architects spokesman Lynn. Arts & Leisure 1. 2001. architects. then. A New World Trade Center. earnest straining to adhere to the protocols of cultural “progress. collaborators on the failed early proposals: Peterson Littenberg is nostalgic for Art Deco Manhattan circa 1928. Because he continued to see a quasi-futurist aesthetics as an alternative to the sinister passage from Caligari to Disney in the Libeskind SITE/PREVIOUS/ANEWWTC/FORM/index. “A New World Trade Center: Exhibition Overview. “One or More. 224 . This. evil” under which war was being waged. and not against it. 5 Max ANEWWTC/index. And “progressive architecture” at ground zero was its mirror image.maxprotetch.” New York Times 30 Sept.” By enthusiastically accepting such protocols. The dilemma. It was aesthetics as politics. “progressive” architects showed themselves unprepared and perhaps unwilling to unbind the chains that link their production to the cultural notes An earlier version of this text appeared in the Newsletter of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University (fall 2002/spring 2003). a condition in which the “transfer of military thinking into daily life [was] inevitable. 4 Max Protetch. 2004). Even today. Thus the global city prepared itself to market an image of supposedly enlightened rationality symbolized in a “visionary” architecture. As with all of the complexities and contradictions inherent in the phrase “humanitarian bombing.” available http:// www. was not merely a sordid rerun. 6 Max Protetch.” available http://www. was that this gesture was made in the service of an emboldened sense of empire and war on all fronts. Thus.” as it was applied to Afghanistan. They too must be evaluated for their explicit political content as manifest in aesthetic terms through their collective. Muschamp associated its “retro vision” with that of the neo-traditionalist project submitted by Peterson Littenberg. 3 Thomas Friedman expanding on the words of Shimon Peres. preferring instead to misrecognize the demand for “vision” as an “opportunity” that was later betrayed by the back room deals of developers and politicians. beginning with the twin “towers of light. 2 Reinhold Martin. 2004). 2004).html (accessed Mar. before the stock market crash caused the United States to abandon the prevailing ideology of social Darwinism.” available http://www. before religion was exiled from the public realm. “Filling the Void: A Chance to Soar.architecture at war his own discourse that reproduced Orientalist fantasies in which an implicitly Western secular rationality was opposed to implicitly Eastern (or medieval) myth. “A New World Trade Center: Greg Lynn FORM.28 Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 logic of repressive power.html (accessed Mar. the legacies of secular humanism had been actively assimilated into the symmetrically fundamentalist regime of “good vs. Muschamp also failed to recognize the equally theological bellicosity of the “cathedral” submitted by United Architects. I am grateful to Gil Anidjar for his thoughts there and elsewhere on the subject.maxprotetch. “A New World Trade Center: Foreign Office Architects Bunch Tower. and other producers have yet to respond to the challenges thus posed. Libeskind’s plan is nostalgic for the world of pre-Enlightenment Europe. put simply. the various other projects for ground zero cannot simply be evaluated on the basis of their apparent depoliticization of the event. rather than the overexposed. Explaining his increasing dismay over the Libeskind proposal.

24 Herbert Muschamp. Bodies and Blobs: Collected Essays (Brussels: La Lettre volee.” New York Times Magazine 8 Sept.” New York Times 23 Dec.” New York Times 12 Oct. 21 Editorial. “Introduction. 46. “In Latest Concepts for Ground Zero. 2004). Organs without Bodies 183–95.” available http:// www. 13 Muschamp. 2002: E1. 19 Herbert Muschamp. 2004) 183. 2004). 20 Editorial. 2002: A20. “Visions for Ground Zero. 53. Alejandro Zaera-Polo et al. Planning. “Larger Visions for Downtown. ˇ ˇ 16 Slavoj Zizek. “Thinking Big: A Plan for Ground Zero and Beyond. 1986) 2: 311. 2002: A38. 26 Ibid. “Balancing Reason and Emotion in Twin Towers Void” E5. ´ 1998). Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos. 27 Muschamp. .” available http://www. Phylogenesis: FOA’s Ark. Foreign Office Architects (Barcelona: Actar. 8 Herbert Muschamp. Farshid Moussavi. NY 10027 USA E-mail: rm454@columbia. 10 Ibid. Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences (New York: Routledge.asp-id 39. for example. Folds. “Thinking Big” 58. Greg Lynn. Building Hope on Ground Zero.” New York Times 29 Dec.” New York Times 19 Dec. 9 Ibid. it’s Reality vs. “The Ongoing ‘Soft Revolution. 2004). Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 22 Herbert Muschamp. Reinhold Martin Graduate School of Architecture. “Balancing Reason and Emotion in Twin Towers Void. Arts & Leisure 40. and Preservation 400 Avery Hall Columbia University New York. 28 Muschamp. 1999). “Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Announces Six Teams of Architects and Planners to Participate in Design Study of World Trade Center Site: Noted Architects and Planners from Around the World Come Together to Help Shape the Future of Lower News/DisplayStory. “The Latest Round of Designs Rediscover and Celebrate the Vertical Life.2 (2004): 292. 12 Manfredo Tafuri and Francesco Dal Co. Modern Architecture (New York: Rizzoli. 25 Ibid. 2002: B10. “Beyond Mourning. 23 Mark C. 14 LMDC. Move (The Netherlands: UN Studio & Goose Press. 11 des dev/wtc site/ new design plans/firm f/default. E5. ˇ ˇ 17 Zizek. 2002.’” ˇ ˇ Critical Inquiry 30. 2002: 55.htm (accessed Mar.htm (accessed Mar. 18 LMDC. 2003: E1..renewnyc. Renaissance.martin 7 Ibid.renewnyc. “The Latest Round of Designs Rediscover and Celebrate the Vertical Life” B10. 58. See also Zizek.” New York Times 19 Dec.” New York Times. 26 Feb.asp. 15 See.

Downloaded By: [Canadian Research Knowledge Network] At: 03:15 20 October 2008 .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful