ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the road and other stories

I just googled "post-apocalypse" images and was deeply amused by what I saw because it plays right into my hands. The artwork of the world after humans is deeply romanticized and idealized. The vestiges of our present are shown in glorious decay, a la Piranesi. Junk is artfully arranged, and in some scenes a lone survivor is shown amidst the ruins of some vague metropolis as a symbol of hope or as a reminder that even Satan needs a fan base. There is even a post-Apocalyptic fashion section, with Mel Gibson and Viggo Mortensen displayed proudly above the fold like a fantasy Jack Kerouac might have had after a hit of bad acid.

These visions manifest themselves in this way because the banal horror of our eventual extinction on this planet (see, even I hold out hope for a life among the stars) is something that we need to avoid thinking about or displaying in artwork. I spoke in my last post about optimism in this country for dying cities and towns. People there have a relationship with social mortality that denizens of Boston and New York simply don't have to consider yet.

I'll have more on this later.

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