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Passionate Being: Language, Singularity and Perseverance

15 Dec 2009-
TL;DR: Lomax as mentioned in this paper explores the non-division between practice and theory, criticism and creativity, and proposes language as an experience in the world rather than a means of representation, and concludes with the formation of a necessity -an 'ethos' for living and thinking.
Abstract: Lomax’s third sole-author book, Passionate Being, explores the non-division between practice and theory, criticism and creativity. Formal experiments bring attention to the action of language and its presuppositions. Lomax proposes language as an experience in the world rather than a means of representation. The book extends Lomax’s research into the written image and the transposition of writing into the repertoire of visual art as originally set out in her previous books, Writing the Image (2000) and Sounding the Event (2005). Passionate Being integrates an inventive play of citation and annotation that embodies academic and scholarly reference. Written in the first and second person, the book pursues the core questions ‘What can you say?’ and ‘What is it to be an example?’ Lomax’s research into the peculiar existence of the example (through using concrete examples to show what examples do and, moreover, drawing upon Giorgio Agamben’s insights into the example and ‘paradigma’) underpins her writing and gives insight into key ideas on community and presupposition of the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben. The book concludes with the formation of a necessity – an ‘ethos’ for living and thinking – that is the ‘dividing of the division’ (Saint Paul) between the linguistic and the non-linguistic, of having the word (humanitas) and not having the word (animalitas). Lomax has given numerous related public talks and lectures, including ‘Beginning, ends and middles’, Writing and Critical Thinking In Architecture 2 symposium (2011) and ‘A conversation with myself’, Writing as Architecture open seminar (2010), both at the Architectural Association, London; ‘Writers in conversation’, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); and a workshop at Birkbeck, University of London (2010). Lomax’s short text, ‘Beginning’, was published in Inside, a newspaper printed by YH485 Press, Nottingham (2010).
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Dissertation
06 Oct 2016
TL;DR: Plurivocity as mentioned in this paper is a method of writing the building to respond to the building's unique significance, to capture and represent different opinions and experiences, whether of the past or present, marginal or official.
Abstract: This thesis examines how writing can be used to retrieve what a building has lost, the layers of its cultural significance, through creative and critical consideration of past uses and current possibilities, to aid in its cultural recovery and contribute to the future use of its architecture. It posits a new means of recovery through ‘writing the building’, and develops this method of architecture writing for use in practice, education and re- search, and as a tool in the processes of regeneration. Alexandra Palace is the case study (1873; rebuilt 1875, 1988), and at time of writing, extensive redevelopment works are in process by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, following a masterplan by Farrells (2012). Research questions Can a building exist and have its life extended in words through recap- turing what it has lost or is missing there? How can language articulate the immaterial traces (of uses, users and their memories) within a building in order to reinvigorate it or direct/ redirect redevelopment? Can connections between architectural space and the interior land- scapes of its users be made manifest through writing? Methodology Plurivocity is part of an experimental approach to writing as methodology, developed as a means of responding to these research questions. As a method of writing the building, plurivocity is designed to respond to the building’s unique significance, to capture and represent different opinions and experiences, whether of the past or present, marginal or official. It is an imaginative method based on the factual that disrupts the categories of creative and critical writing so that each contributes to the other and then creates something different. Historiographical writing generated by the architecture in turn initiates and inspires critical, thematic and character-led writing. Using diverse materials from archival sources, interviews and chance conversations, the strands of writing respond to the building in its various iterations – the feedback loop of abduction of Grounded Theory. This feedback mechanism is a crucial element in the plurivocal model, its subject as well as method. Instrumentalising writing like this is in itself a form of reuse, a means of recovery, re-presenting (and representing), and demonstrates how imaginative writing might contribute to programming, and future uses in refurbishment of a building. The project also extends the temporal index of architecture writing to include the future. The building is alive with the voices of users, and the polyvocal form mirrors this, in order to revitalise the building, which has been destroyed, rebuilt or repurposed, even temporarily relocated. Ethnography The research follows ethnographic practice in gathering information and inspiration from site visits, observation and interviews. Constructing a se- ries of ‘characters’ brings more comprehensive sources into contention. Enabling users’ experience to be documented also helps to identify the unanticipated values a building provided, for greater understanding about the use that particular communities claim for public spaces or expect them to supply. Using Hans-Robert Jauss’s version of Reception Theory, interviewees include those involved in the current physical project, along with volunteers and users, who are embedded into the category of makers of the building. In these ways, this research and its outcome in writing practice establish another strand of architecture writing, one that suggests and emulates the building’s multiple and particular layers, creating and occupying a new cultural and historical space.

15 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
21 Oct 2009-parallax
TL;DR: In this article, a photograph that is never to happen but which in not happening, with reference to Foucault's 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe' forces us to apprehend an irreducible distance between speaking and seeing.
Abstract: The theme of this academic journal is that of 'Disturbing Spaces' and my contribution plays with a photograph that is never to happen but which in not happening —and with reference to Foucault's 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe'— forces us to apprehend an irreducible distance between speaking and seeing. Although knowing of this distance appearing in the work of Gilles Deleuze on modern cinema, this body of research produces a new direction in taking the very matter to the question of the 'human' voice being founded upon a division between speaking being (human) and living being (animal), which Giorgio Agamben alerts us to in his philosophical and political writings. The coda of this work brings into view the significant issue of this research, which is that of finding new ways to think of voice and the very notion of means. The context of this research is the continuance of the endeavour to create encounters with language and to understand — through a methodology that is constituted only in and by the act of writing— what it means to say 'There is language'.
Book Chapter
01 Feb 2017
TL;DR: The authors introduce an idea of making use that is non-utilitarian and immediately brings into existence a relational unity, a profound bond, between that which is used and that or who is using it.
Abstract: Starting with the peculiar existence of the example and the importance of a paradigmatic method for artistic research endeavours, my contribution to this volume on ‘transposition’ introduces an idea of ‘making use’ that is non-utilitarian and immediately brings into existence a relational unity, a profound bond, between that which is used and that or who is using it. Drawing upon my previous research and the current work of Giorgio Agamben, I bring close together the existence of the example and this idea of ‘making use’ to show that with both there is no residue, nothing preceding left behind, and nothing foundational to be found in a separate realm. This has consequences for not only how we understand ‘transposition’ but also for the functioning and control of a power that constitutes itself by separating something from it.