chapter  6
42 Pages

Object

If we accept the conditions, described in the introductory chapters, of architecture, more specifically, the architectural product of a capitalist system, as having been reduced to the role of object, as a sign, within the image economy and that context, in this order, is reduced to the mediation of policy, then it must also be understood that the predominant production of buildings is no longer reflective of, or discursive with, the complex networks of urbanity. These networks themselves are impenetrable infrastructural edifices that have ceded to the status of ‘black box’ in our imaginations.1 In the way in which Chapter 5 can reveal latent narratives about signs and branding in a contemporary urban situation, this chapter also serves to reveal a narrative, about the order and negotiation of space in the urban condition and how a critical understanding of the evolution of art in the environment can be translated to a discourse concerning the production of architecture. In this sense we limit the discourse to physical artifacts, permanent or temporary, that are placed outside of the gallery. Whilst the connections between legitimized or illegal practice are little explored with regard to the tension between their constructed realities, we shall discuss and measure ‘objects’ produced by a range of artists and practitioners by using the same criteria which do not necessarily differentiate between the modes of practice; what does this practice or product mean when one considers ‘the city’ and ‘architecture’? Objects are physical interventions that may generate or activate the potential, or latent meaning, of a place. A deliberately placed object is loaded with meaning as it establishes both physical and cultural relationships with its context. It can influence the way in which a particular location is perceived, it can frame a view of something else, it can form a focal point or even a landmark. Objects may form reference points for the users and visitors of the city to orientate themselves.