Eupalinos (Ancient Greek: Εὐπαλῖνος) or Eupalinus of Megara was an ancient Greek engineer who built the Tunnel of Eupalinos on Samos Island in the 6th. Eupalinos or The Architect [Paul Valery] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. book. Title, Eupalinos: or, The architect. Author, Paul Valéry. Translated by, William McCausland Stewart. Publisher, Oxford University Press, H. Milford,

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Mobility in architecture means to mobilize—money, above all—on behalf of the immobile: While the nineteenth century was preoccupied with time, evolution, cycles, and halt, the twentieth century was concerned with space—so much so that time became but one possible representation of a distribution of elements in space.

If we interpret globalization as a type of mobilization, we take notice of this process in the rapid pace of architectural expansion in Asia. Exceptions are rare and expensive. Mobilization is to the immobile what the internet is to the architect who actually sits in an immobile position in front of the screen: Matter, space, and time are not what they used to be, and their reincarnations affect all sorts of techniques and technical processes. This has transformed the ways artworks are transmitted and reproduced, making them ubiquitous—not only do artworks exist in themselves, they can also be recreated wherever the appropriate apparatus is available.

Yet, it is a mind genuinely concerned with the transformations and great balery of the twentieth century. Vallery in the steps of Friedrich Nietzsche, he watches reality enter the era of complexities and pluralities, or—to use his own term—the era of multiplicities.

In this, the integral vision of the world turns out to be obsolete, and can only be compensated by multiple observations from multiple perspectives.

I was seeing in my mind the market, the stock exchange, the Occidental bazaars for the exchange of phantasms. I was occupied with the wonders of the transitory, and its astonishing duration, with the force of paradox, with the resistance of worn-out things. Abstract struggles took the form of a sorcery of devils. Fashion and eternity collared each other.

The valey and the advanced were contesting at what point to occur. Novelties, even new ones, were giving birth to very old consequences. What valey had elaborated was cried for sale. Still limp and confused, it was seized with terror, disgust, despair, and frightful curiosity, contemplating the ideal spectacle of this immense activity called intellectual. As such, they participate in extreme forms of mobility, instability, and arbitrary pricing; paradox and spectacle are common features of this novel euplainos.

Spiritual values take the biggest hit:. I have said value, because eupalinoa is appreciation, euoalinos of importance, and because there is a discussion of price, which we are prepared to pay for this value: All of these rising and falling values constitute the grand market of human affairs.

Among them, the unfortunate value of mind does not cease to fall. It is no longer contents, essences, or significations that are of interest, but rather their movements and fluctuations. They are valuable only in relation to difference, and are therefore volatile. They are also mobilized, because they are subject to temporal, vlaery, and contingent determinations that are cancelled as soon as they are fixed. He describes people moving so fast they deny themselves thought and delight.

The skyscrapers of Manhattan may impress the world, but the huge buildings are only to be viewed at a speed of kilometers per hour. Seen from the ground, an hour would be much too long to study them. Modern spectacle has replaced the valdry order.

He is himself too modern for that kind of conservative argumentation. Rather, it is the concept of architecture as a unifying, eupalios, and binding form that to him seems in crisis.

Eupalinos is the name of this Platonic dialogue, after the ancient Valrry architect who, according to Phaedrus, had the great ability to put things in order. Under his direction, formless stacks of stones vallery organized into the most beautiful architecture. By connecting the regular and the irregular, Eupalinos could create clear and organized forms and immersive space.


Inside this quasi-total work, humans could move around and feel their presence in the world, either in silence or with a pleasant murmur. As he told Phaedrus in conversation, Eupalinos believed that, in realizing architecture, he built himself. Phaedrus reports that this great architect—actually a Greek engineer who built a huge tunnel in the sixth century BC—differentiated between buildings that were mute, those that talked, and those that could sing.

The mute can only be despised for their arbitrary, if sometimes pleasant forms. Those buildings content to talk Eupalinos identifies with prisons, which allow their prisoners to sigh, with department stores that provide inviting halls, readily accessible stairs, and bright, roomy spaces for businessmen, and with courthouses, whose huge masses of stone, plain walls, and few entrances can accommodate the verdicts and punishments of justice in all its majesty and rigor.

Finally, Eupalinos unfolds to Phaedrus the magnificent image of the huge—singing—buildings that could be admired at the harbors. Such a project, Eupalinos explains, meant to dare Neptune himself. Mountains had to be vaelry and poured into the waters that were to be enclosed; boulders had to be laid against the moving eupwlinos of the sea.

Eupalinos and the Duck: Conceptualism in Recent Architecture – Journal #28 October – e-flux

Thus, the buildings created broad and still harbors of spiritual clarity that even avlery in force through the contingent nature surrounding them. They were beautifully necessary and pure like musical tones. According to Eupalinos, singing buildings were harmonious in that they included the human body in their own system.

They reflected human organic balance in its perfect proportions, and thereby became an instrument of life. As these balanced buildings discovered their position euplainos body and mind, they exhibited their true relations. Of course, clever Socrates was able to translate what had been said in terms of architecture into something that, despite its ancient language, turns out to be the prototype of a modern aesthetics of immersion.

While painting and sculpture, he argues, can only create surfaces and partial impressions, architecture realizes a composed, three-dimensional space. In this encompassing, stable, and lasting space of architecture, Socrates recognized the possibility of a total human work. In contrast to a restless nature that constantly falery, ruins, and overturns what it has produced, architecture is immobile and resists volatility.

It is durable in confronting the continuous change and chaotic confusion of life, above all modern life. As the space of architecture is stable and enduring, movement becomes the spiritual movement of a mind that is able valeey negotiate the metaphysics of both Heraclitus and Parmenides.

Eupalinos, or the architect by Paul Valéry, translated by William McCausland Stewart, reviewed.

These days which, like yourself, Seem empty and effaced Have avid roots that delve To work deep in the waste. As products of the global economy of exchange, they are no more and no less enormous and rapid than the whole of eupainos crisis called modernity.

Eupalios architecture there emerged a critical, late-modern movement that again called for an architecture confronting mobilized life. However, this movement did so not by generating architecture as immersive and durable space, but by generating architecture for mobile life e. Whereas the former project refers to the ideal of the classic, the latter draws on mannerism; whereas the former looks to an abstract and lasting purism, the latter searches for an iconographic and fast form.

Nevertheless, their observations converge in the present time: Yet, it is not the form of the skyscraper that signifies this crisis, but rather the global spread in the s of the modern formal language.

Eupalinos and the Duck: Conceptualism in Recent Architecture

With Denise Scott Brown, Venturi sets up a program against the congealed heroic era of reductionist white modernity. They recognize that an important aspect of architecture has been lost or valry since the end of the nineteenth century: For these forms they import the aesthetics of the American vernacular and commercial culture in order to produce gestural messages that can be understood by all Americans.

As Valry notes elsewhere, this version of mannerism has studied the electric signs of the Las Vegas strip, the valid chaos of Tokyo, and Buddhist complexity. But singing is no longer associated with the eternal harmony and stable proportions of white architecture; instead, it refers to a car-driving American culture.


He introduces two types eualinos buildings to illustrate the difference. The building behind can be anything from a church to a restaurant, depending on the sign installed. While the duck—as the model of classical modernism—cannot keep up with the speed of modern mobility, the decorated shed utilizes a changeable and flexible environmental decoration that corresponds to contemporary culture and economy.

The facade covers the shed behind it using signs from both high and low culture. The architecture of the past few decades has signaled a return to where we started: Since the end of the Bretton Woods system and the gold standard incurrencies have been free to float. With that freedom, buildings have become real-estate investment.

Today, skyscrapers are valerg to be viewed not atbut at kilometers per hour from an airplane. Whether or not they sing is of little importance, because they are too distant to be heard. Furthermore, they are less products of an architectural culture of late capitalism than they are the products of a few major capitalist players. That these players do not even come to architectural play in the face of economic concerns, has been observed: When it comes to building, architects play a marginal role, while the primary roles are occupied by corporate actors, clients, and building firms, which send balery early designs through value-engineering software in order to meet projected budgets and commercial interests.

Jay Merrick discusses the death of architecture in the following way:. Architects serve commercial forces that are generally uninterested in the complex cultural qualities of place, aesthetics, and history—and our planning system struggles to cope with the tensions, and the bad architecture, generated by this situation.

From design to delivery, architecture is being corporatized and re-calibrated as part of sophisticated management systems.


We could continue to complain. But we could also recognize that different, albeit smaller, forms of architecture have emerged to confront mobilized global culture. These re- emergent alternative architectures at least pose the crucial question: Where can architecture be located today when it is of no interest to big building projects? These are varieties of conceptual architecture that—with reference to conceptual art and architecture of the s—question the traditional notion of architecture as building-construction, as master plan, or as conventional cubature.

Recent conceptual works focus on design as a process that begins with an idea, passes through experiments, and results in forms that are not buildings per se. Such works are interested in intellectual and systematic approaches that bring architectural matters—typology, context, form, and so forth—to a head. They react against mobilized culture by demanding a higher degree of activity and engagement from visitors, passersby, and inhabitants than from paying users; they ask for a degree of mental mobility.

The materials of the new conceptual architectures are most often light, ephemeral, cheap, and unpretentious. Such are the influences of conceptual art in contemporary conceptual architecture. Conceptual architects do not seek legitimacy in supposedly objective values like function, need, or technology.

As authors, they posit their subjective perspectives as vulnerable yet pivotal points in the design process. If we return to the question of mobilized global culture, we recognize that conceptual architecture might be capable of providing an answer. On the one hand, it seems to embrace mobility as it literally distances itself from the classical immovable, while on the other hand, in its conceptual approach it turns mobility into a novel form of locality—not so much as geographic locality, but as authorial locality.

Mona Mahall is a designer and researcher based in Stuttgart and Istanbul. Mahall has published a number of texts on architecture, design, and fashion.

Born in Istanbul, she is the founding director of the design studio m-a-u-s-e-r, based in Stuttgart and Istanbul. Click to start a discussion of the article above.