Archives for category: culture

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Complete list of search terms that have led to a visit to our blog… makes for some interesting reading:

Australia is a nation of fringe dwellers. Our population centres famously cling to the perimeter of the landmass; a critical pattern in our urban condition. However, in the ensuing decades several iconic models of coastal inhabitation will be all but extinct as the pressures of population growth, rising sea levels and geopolitical transformations actively reshape the East coast of Australia. Occupying primary real estate between the Pacific Highway and the coastline in a number of coastal centres, caravan parks are an idyllic reminder of Australian life, reflecting utopian low-cost communities on sites of extremely high land value. Blending the romanticism of a nomadic life with the resilience that has previously guaranteed their survival, the parks have a certain cultural traction that has seen large-scale development surround them, without impacting on their centrality or longevity. Clinging to some of the lowest-lying real estate in Australia, the caravan park is situated at the frontline that will increasingly divide the desire for coastal inhabitation from the environmentally turbulent edges of the Australian landmass.

As an architectural paradigm, the caravan both critiques and embodies this futurist quandary: nomadic and technological at the same time as they are fixed and historical…What is the legacy that they leave behind?

“[t]he surrealists rose up from their writing desks to find out whether it was still possible to have experiences. They thereby opened themselves up to the problematic constellation that arrived with bourgeois society with the expressed intention to solve it, not through thinking but in reality. The constellation is the following: the bourgeois individual who presents himself as an autonomous, self-responsible subject experiences the society into which [they were] born as a world that inhibits everywhere his possibilities for actualisation and that simultaneously is the result of human activity and thus his own activity. Where the solace of a better world beyond slips away, only art remains to close the gap and to reconcile the subject with the world. The symbolic artwork uniquely joins form and matter, subject and object, to a completed image at the cost of separating the sphere of art from the cultural battles of [the individual] and the world. The surrealists are not satisfied with this solution.”

— Peter Bürger, “Inversions,” in Peter Bürger, The Thinking of the Master: Bataille Between Hegel and Surrealism, trans. Richard Block (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2002), p.107.

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friday poll:


It seems there are a lot of trajectories that are overlapping at the moment as I make my way through the world. Inception has made it worse. I have always liked the Pig City Farm project by MVRDV. I also find some of their thinking about urban farming quite amusing. Animals and architecture have always had an uneasy alliance.Possibly it goes back to the primal scene in first year, where we designed a doghouse in week one.

Anyway, after seeing Inception I started thinking about Sigfried Giedeon again, and his writing about space and time which I have had to look at recently. However it drew me to his more obscure work about mechanisation and agriculture and, in particular, some half remembered images of pigs, whose world shifts momentarily from vertical to horizontal. In some ways it resembles the scene in Inception where a dream world is created independently by an “architect” independent of the person who is experiencing the dream. It must feel something like this for the pig as the horizontal abruptly becomes vertical, through this ingenious apparatus.

Maybe, it is the same quarter revolution that is described in Orwell’s Animal Farm, where pigs take control under the banner of “all men are enemies, and all animals are comrades!!”. The seed of an idea, buried in a psyche…Minor shifts have major reverberations…the architecture of power… more inception references…pigs in space. A little tenuous. Time for another poll:


With a lifespan of 25 years, tonight was a milestone with the 6000th episode of Neighbours.  Well-established character Paul Robinson is pushed off the balcony of Lasseters in an act of attempted murder. And it was exciting, fresh, full of suspense with the quality of a feature film. The script, cinematography and acting was good. Yes, my opinion may be biased but only slightly. Although the daily post-work halfhour mindnumb everyday is much appreciated, I do appreciate Neighbours in a critical sense. Long interested in ‘credible’ forms of film and cinema of which many scholars have made much connection, my interests recently turn to television studies and the phenomena of longstanding TV serials such as Neighbours.

Contrary to the one off episode of a blockbuster film, it is intriguing is the way that Neighbours would be scripted around an everyday job. I imagine actors, like any other person, require sick days, take leave and change careers. Child actors go to school or at least have a basic education they need to undertake. Further to this, the show needs to run for an exact half hour and maintain space for commercial breaks, and constrain itself to some sort of network budget whilst striving for ratings. Major milestone episodes need to be planned to occur on a Friday, requiring a well-planned plot that is able to coordinate some tragedy for this time. After all these factors and considerations, the show needs to be interesting and have some sort of viable plot form which produces effective day to day drama.

Perhaps the bastard cousin of the network TV serial is commercial architecture; the brief for writing a Neighbours episode seems more complex than a commercial architecture firm attempting to design a shopping mall in Cessnock.

For more speculation on Neighbours ratings click here.