SITE UNKNOWN, 1989
These three creatures – dog, frog, and aardvark - from 1989 are part of a bestiary of projects through which I worked out a fairly literal interest in biomorphism. I can’t account for this interest nor – given that these projects were self-generated - do I think it particularly interesting to speculate on its origins. There is obviously a point beyond which questions of taste remain personal.
The three houses do engage certain architectural specifics: symmetry, directionality, and elevation. Vertebrates are invariably bilateral and so are these buildings, each a small essay on a small range of variation within a fixed and essentially symmetrical envelope. I’ve always been interested in the way in which fixed forms accrete eccentricities, the way faces are never quite symmetrical, the meaning of the coming and going of pimples the swollen cheeks of tooth-aches. Modernist that I am, I’ve also always had a tooth for aircraft and ships. This aircraft carrier anchored in Manhattan has long been fascinating for the way in which its basic and rigorously symmetrical hydrodynamic shape has acquired a bristling entourage of turrets, antennae, cranes, and other apparatus that tilt any reading towards irregularity.
Higher vertebrates, being mobile, acquire their directional characteristic from the most efficient production of forward motion. Sense organs are generally deployed to facilitate this mobility. These houses, however, are only symbolically directional: the ocular advantage is not necessarily pegged to what seems to be the axis of motion, rather to the long sides of the object, which simply provide greater area for fenestration and view.
Credits: Michael Sorkin