Blue Monday 2007

Today is Blue Monday and, according to the formula by Dr. Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University,

1/8W+(D-d)3/8xTQMxNA, where (W) is the dreariness of the weather, (D)ebt, (d) monthly salary, (T)ime elapsed since Christmas and the failure to keep a New Year's resolution, (Q)uit failure to quit a bad habit, (M)otivational levels refers to low motivational levels and NA to the pressing the need to take action.

Accordingly, Arnall suggests, this is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.

No doubt Arnall is right, but it is also the day for AUDC to officially announce the upcoming publication of our first book, Blue Monday, published by ACTAR. The book is going to the printer next week, but you can get a preview of the text (for now) at our Web site.

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I am a strong believer in using search engines as oracles and tools of understanding.

To that end, this is the first image on google images that comes up if you search for my name:


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desert america @ columbia university gsapp

On Monday, November 20, 2006 at 6:30pm, I will be speaking as part of the American launch of Desert America: Territory of Paradox , a new book from ACTAR in which I have a piece about the Mojave desert and SpaceShipOne while AUDC analyzes the instant city of Quartzsite, Arizona.

The press release follows:

Desert America takes on the discussion of the American desert as a space of extreme uses and activities. The desert is a huge paradox: beneath the immensity and silence of its outward appearance, the traces of all kinds of activities, experiments, mysteries, fictions and utopias can be heard. Far from being “empty,” the desert is full of an uninhibited, excessive activity that encompasses everything from oases of entertainment to the secret staging of military power. The most hostile and seemingly uninhabitable of environments turns out to be an ideal setting for action.


Moderated by Michael Kubo, DIRECTOR, ACTAR NEW YORK

Event co-sponsored by ACTAR to celebrate the publication of its new title, Desert America: Territory of Paradox.

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ACTAR event at Van Alen, Thursday 16 November, 6.30-9.30pm

actar logo ACTAR is launching its New York office on Thursday the 16th, from 6.30 to 9.30pm at the Van Alen Institute. Come see Blue Monday, AUDC's first book as well as a preview of Infrastructural City: Los Angeles, which I am editing as a co-production of the NetLab and the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.


Thursday, November 16, 2006, 6:30 ”“ 9:30 pm

Thursday, November 16 ”“ Friday, November 24, 2006

Van Alen Institute is located at 30 W. 22nd Street, 6th Floor. Take the Q, N, R or F, V trains to 23rd Street.

Hit read more for the invite text.

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urban konsumterror

Two years ago AUDC put together a project on Urban Konsumterror for our friend Paulette Singley’s book Eating Architecture.

Things Magazine picked it up earlier this month, then Anne Galloway blogged it at Space and Culture, and Jo-Anne Greene at Networked Performance posted it too. So, I thought I’d post it as well. If you haven’t seen it, enjoy.

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AUDC at High Desert Test Sites, May 2005

AUDC will be at High Desert Test Sites on May 6 and 7, bringing telecom hotel One Wilshire back to the desert.

Greg Goldin explains the project far more succinctly than I could in an article he wrote for the LA Weekly last year:

Seen from the outside, function doesn’t matter. Windows, mullions, floor dividers, two-story-high lettering, are all, now, superfluous. One Wilshire could take any shape, have any exterior. And ””? here’s where the fun or disaster begins ””? the cyberbuilding is free from the traditional demands of architecture to produce an effect or meaning, the way, say, Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall billows atop Bunker Hill or Norman Foster’s Swiss Re tower blasts off into the cosmos above London. It could be a flat, black box; it could be a green mound; it could be a stainless-steel funnel.

One Wilshire, as “Ether” shows, is architecture without moorings. The building can be picked up and moved anywhere and deployed for any purpose. And so the exhibit ends with a photograph of the scale model transplanted to a rocky cul-de-sac in Joshua Tree National Monument. Wildly out of context, One Wilshire remains stupefyingly unchanged by the new surroundings. A frightening realization, yet one perfectly suited to the “empire of ether.”

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Two books : AUDC and Infrastructure

The last few days have been rather intense. After recovering from a cold that I got while at Yale, I wound up finishing the images for AUDC‘s first book, Blue Monday, to be published by ACTAR later in the year. It was a long haul, but the DVD-R went off to the press this morning and the project is looking very good indeed.

Amidst all that, I ran into Brian Hayes’s Infrastructure. A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape at St. Mark’s books while in New York. Hayes spent some 15 years on this project and it shows. Beautiful, pristine photographs stud a remarkably informative text that addresses virtually all the aspects of contemporary infrastructure. If you’re an architect, engineer, or just interested in the city, don’t even think twice, just buy it now.
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