Monday, May 21, 2007
The many edges of modernity

An illustration I made to accompany an article by Shumon Basar (he also edited this book) for the December 2006 issue of Tank which apparently got cut by the editor because it looked too similar to something someone had done somewhere else. Ah, well. At least it got me that much closer to my goal of eventually seeing my name in tiny print. And yes, that is indeed an element of Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin at the end of the razor blade.

The article, 'Destiny Designed', ends:

From the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, architects like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe sang sermons on the liberation of built form from the shackles of the past due to technological advancement. Modernism, in its purest ilk, took its lead from what was suddenly possible. The science of splitting of the atom came first. The atomic bomb followed. Application always lags behind discovery. Knowledge seeks its place of settlement, often in desperate or disturbingly strange ways.

We can, therefore, safely assume that in our lifetimes, we will experience a world that hosts a razor with seven blades. Then nine. Then eleven. And so on. An endless embedding of ever thinner blades engineered for our edification. And in doing so, the razor designers continue those heroic modernists' dreams. Dreams that refuse to allow anything we conceive and cultivate to converge into the dead end of historical stasis.

posted by Hong at 3:04 pm | Permalink |