In search of time elsewhere

Stephen Hawking. Born in Oxford on January 8, 1942 – Died in Cambridge on March 14, 2018

The sculpture of certain fashionable aesthetes of the supporters of the luxury industry or Big Pharma is at best baroque, and at worst, outdated before even showing itself. A story of time?

Impossible to talk about time without referring to Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist and cosmologist who, despite a serious degenerative disease (“Charcot” disease), wrote the most beautiful pages on the notion of time in relation to the universe.

Stephen Hawking described black holes as energy traps in which time disappears. Undeniable contribution to the history of thought on time, it is an inspiring and original philosophy of a vision of the perfectly astonishing time/space relationship.

One of the most disturbing dimensions of this thought, a direct consequence of the work on black holes, is the simultaneous presence in the universe of a past, present, future time and a time ” somewhere else “.

In general, the thread of time is expressed by a double inverted cone where the thread flows gently from the past to the future, like a magic spring lined with small shrubs with enchanting foliage, letting hear the chirping of birds of paradise, in passing through the present, as under a bridge of intertwined branches in reinforced concrete with country motifs where upstream becomes downstream with delicacy, serenity and benevolence. But according to Hawking, there would be a time escaping this inexorable short.

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Most of his work on time has been drawn from his discipline, cosmology, and more particularly from the heart of black holes where matter disappears in an interstellar trap possessing infinite energy capable of capturing everything by the law of gravitational attraction. , defined by Einstein, including photons, hence the name ” black holes from which no light escapes. It is within these infinite energy black holes that matter no longer exists, and time deforms until it disappears as a parameter of the equation of universal gravitation:

E = mc²

Where C is a constant equivalent to the speed of light, theoretically constant… except within black holes. So there is no more past time, no more future time, no more present either, time is ” somewhere else “.

Given the intimate relationship that architecture maintains with time, as mentioned in the previous episode* of this chronicle (between the time of the production of the project and the time of the time and of the passions), is it possible to imagine an architecture which is neither present nor past, nor future but somewhere else », like an unspeakable UFO, coming from nowhere, leaving the most specialized architectural journalists speechless.

An architecture from another planet leaving speechless those who are capable of hatred or love according to fashions and coteries, those who have an opinion on everything and are on all juries and all prizes.

Absolute timelessness, a dream of the most ambitious shapes…

Already, we can note the disappearance of the future, undoubtedly since this one is compromised day after day in the gloom of a threatened planet, where the future comes down to the choice of the parameters to come from the thermal regulations. The disappearance of the word futurism of the dictionaries of contemporary architecture is revealing of the absence of dreams of which the whole of the profession, and culture in general, is a victim today.

Where are the Buckminster Fullers and Yakov Chernikhovs of today? Are their names only present in the corpus of references essential to identify a time when the memory of an anticipation belonging to the past has disappeared from the present?

time the future
United States Pavilion at the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair Buckminster Fuller
time the future
Yakov Gueorguievich Chernikhov 1889 – 1951. Futurism or constructivism?

Prospective thinking has certainly not disappeared, but the mythology of a beneficent and blissful future has mutated into architectural objects supporting a generalized neurosis where the environmentally correct has slowly taken the place of oneirism, d ‘where the outrageous and outrageous explosions of vegetation on the facades are as short-term as possible as the growth of roots is incompatible with sealing (what are the control offices doing??), as a remedy for heat islands.

We vegetate the facades and we put air conditioning!

To reinvigorate the notion of the future, perhaps it is necessary to seek in myths a refuge similar to what the year 2000 was for the previous century, that is to say, a target objective and place of convergences of all hopes in an imaginary world where everything would be beautiful and good: we would go to school in flying transport, the fulfilled housewife would be entirely assisted by automatic household robots. From these futuristic forecasts, the only one probably came from ubiquity with zooms, Team viewer and other Google meetings.

Do we have to wait until the year 3000 for these hairdressers of the year 3000 to flourish again, the florist of the year 3000 as we had, children, the insurance of the year 2000, the driving schools of the year 2000 , etc., there was even the scare of the year 2000 bug where computers went crazy for an unplanned date in the short-term codes of tinkerers who were the parents of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

In the architectural corpus, the meaning of the future has changed in an extremely perceptible way over the past twenty years. But what about the present and the past?

The past is still there: frenzied inspiration from all the associations of old things (Paris, Lyon, Viarmes, etc.) and other ABFs, meetings of climatosceptic perverts for whom nothing will ever replace black slate or anthracite zinc for roofs which, however, would have everything to gain from finally being white to better protect against the negative effects of the period of excessive sunshine over the next ten or twenty years.

But no ! Thus our elders built, thus we will build!

The present is an ephemeral thing by definition since yesterday is already gone and tomorrow is not yet. But what is interesting in the notion of present is its connection with the word ” contemporary which qualifies the era in a vague interval that lets the cursor move to where the user wants to take it.

Thus, by choice, contemporary architecture still contains the dinosaurs of the modern movement, but excludes the formal whimsicalities which are not contemporary, for what the word contemporary contains, in an underlying way, modernity or opinions on meaning or time of it.

But if the rationalism of the modern movement, a radical shock to the urban and architectural thought of the previous century, is modern, the sculpture of certain fashionable aesthetes of the proponents of the Luxury Industry or Big Pharma is at best baroque, and at worse, outdated before even showing itself.

Perhaps they are elsewhere, as their architectures seem so out of place with the era characterized by a certain logic born of constraints and tools (without favoring one because one is famous or the other because one is lazy). But which architect wishes to be considered as practicing an architecture “ by the way which could mean, between the lines that its author is disturbed?

Finally, perhaps these architects should perhaps have remained in the black hole of non-thought from which escapes no radiation or spark of the slightest architectural vision?

time the future
Luma tower in Arles – Baroque futurism or black hole of architectural thought that has missed its contemporary mutation

Francois Scali
Find all the Chronicles of François Scali

*Read the chronicle O time suspend your rape

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In search of time elsewhere

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