Monday, July 19, 2010

Making the Law

Bruno Latour is a curious spectrum shift from Bucky. While Fuller offers a (historically imaginative) totalizing world view, Latour give is a microscopic look at French Administrative law. He outlines the movement, the verbs of the place-where people stand, how chairs move, how the files rotate, the organization and shifts in the mailboxes and the redirection in conversation. Latour is the HOW of how power moves, whereas Fuller is a broad stroke why.

The contrast is startling, but...useful. The frustration at Fuller's obsessive need to fit every bit of everything into his call to throw one's self into the cause of humanity is matched by an underlying frustration that Latour seems to be purposefully obfuscating his position as an agent and collector of information. He simply states what he sees at movement, or like an active verb, instances of shift or change, but refuses (so far p. 175) to make any broad social or narrative assumptions based on his observations.

Latour's openness to observe an institution is remarkably refreshing. I just hope it is not like so many modern novels where the words just end, right in the middle of a some larger narrative left for the reader to interpret. And yet, that is so often how it really is.

Somewhere between grand narrative and hands off narrative could be a good spot for me.


And So Bucky

So we all agreed Bucky deeply stumbled when it came to accuracy or implementation. Yet, we found a deeply generous spirit towards humanity that was intriguing enough to keep us reading.

Below are Annie Heckman's musing/notes (slightly abridged).

Over-emphasis on technology
Top-down approach


Gems throughout notes – marked with *
*Local information gatherer

Globally active – act local think global

Omni – absolute
Perhaps he overused this word, just a little, every other sentence or so? (AG comment)

Jane Jacobs/Direct articulated lens/Areas of city healthy/unhealthy
Fuller – work for all of humanity

Things that humans all share globally: gravity, sunlight, air
Resources generous but finite
*Posture of abundance and generosity
*Counteracting a fear of limited resources
Mother hen
20th century Ben Franklin

history of power
documenting history
owning things
*power of one
*local efforts
*apply yourself
*methodology of creating

art and design
research and development
burden of development on the individual in the art world
design process more closely follows collaborative practice in architecture
architects who don’t want doors in their offices because it slows down collaboration

*taking responsibility
*interest in honoring what the individual directly experiences as a source of data
*setting out personal principles
*personally developed way of life
*consciously creating your own worldview independent of how you were raised

impressed with his ego
*believing that smaller things that happen along the way will be somehow important in the future/ once the process is realized
sometimes we might tend to labor away and downplay the importance of the backwork
*valuing background work enough to document it
*finding useful reminders of the relationships between thoughts and actions
*idea that the universe regenerates and that using this it is possible to recreate within the system

technology emphasis is a mistake
it’s not technology that saves us but the implementation of technology
weaponry livingry

*his way of figuring out how to get things done
*examining the process of invention

obsessive documentation
the idea that if you say it often enough it will be true

All, every
world game
World-wide energy grid
Dome – gravity
NPR piece about $2,000 sustainable living space for Haiti, inventor who wants it to be helpful

One person
Creating new problems
Involving the whole neighborhood
Not being aware of the law of unintended consequences

The whole idea of having a world plan
Chris Rock bit about jobs vs. careers
*Influencing us to Find little things we can do to change things – why don’t I just do this?
*Open possibilities
burden of humanity
*allowing small things to be important to the whole
Marianne Williamson
Fear is that we’re powerful
Rebecca Solnit -- Hope in the Dark

Larry Kramer – having a plan, idea that there are people with awful intentions who have made careful plans and therefore it is your responsibility to make your own even if the idea of making a master plan seems in itself wrong
Relating the idea of master plan to efforts in US to further strip LGBTQ rights

Good intentions
Stepping back and seeing how much things have changed
Happier to live in 2010 than in 1927
Seeing the changes that have been made

Life work
*Having a cause - 1 thing that you care about deeply
too many things in the world for everyone to mind everything
*finding out what needs to be done that is more important than what we’re actually doing
what are you spending your time doing?

*Idea that if everybody worked on it, it would be better
Don’t forget to do, and not just think

DO-ing got complicated for Bucky
Dealing with unintended consequences
Awareness of the things that we’re working on

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesdays become Latour-days

Good evening everyone.

Soon a Bucky re-cap will be posted. I just need to be in the same physical space for more than a few days.

So onto Latour and French Administrative law. If you like files and listening in on closed door conversations, this could be the text for you.

Still, every Tuesday at 8pm, Chicago time.