Magazine article Artforum International

Artists Space. (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

Artists Space. (Reviews)

Article excerpt

"INFOTECTURE"

A loosely conceived exhibition of projects by architects and designers, "Infotecture" surveyed design methodologies that represent and organize information at a time when we are constantly communicating, shopping, watching, and working via high-speed technologies. On display were books, computer programs, clothing, videos, architectural drawings, and sculpture by nine participants, the best-known of whom were Diller + Scofidio, 2x4, and Rem Koolhaas/OMA.

For the digitally minded architects in this exhibition, information has replaced space as the new universal. As Richard Powers states eloquently in "Being and Seeming: The Technology of Representation," an essay published by the fiction author in 2000, "The great art of the future will be the data structure. Like a good stone monument, the data structure lays claim to comprehensiveness, sweeping all the other arts up into its compass." Powers meditates on the future shift between virtual representation and the real world, where architecture has been reduced to mere "tecture" in the service of data or media. No longer defining culture or our shared social experience as they once did, buildings lumber behind data networks that seem to connect everything.

Though ambitious in its approach to such issues, the show didn't fulfill its promise. In fact, the show's basic problem was its shifting terminology: "Information" sometimes seemed to mean demographic data, while other times it referred to modes of surveillance or, more generally, software as a whole. Not being clearly defined, this disparate selection of work never coalesced; instead of articulating a paradigm shift, the relationships among the pieces here were left to mere juxtaposition. Nevertheless, the questions posed by the exhibition were relevant: What are the relationships between statistical data and architecture? …

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