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Minor architecture: poetic and speculative architectures in public space

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  1. Tirtza Even, private communication, April 2002.

  2. I use compact mindful of its topological meaning: closed and bounded in a complete topological space.

  3. Poetry versus spectacle? As an exercise for the reader, consider the following two examples of architectural scale public installation events: Rafael Lozano-Hammer and Brian Massumi's HUMO: Huge and Mobile, exhibited at the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria, February 3–7, 2003; and Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio’s Blur built for the Swiss Expo in 2002. HUMO, mounted what was then the world's most powerful projector on the back of a pick-up truck, to project 60 × 60 m images onto buildings, malls, advertising billboards, etc. in unannounced and unregulated fashion. In a different scale of ephemerality and visibility, Diller and Scofidio’s Blur was a varying cloud 300 feet wide by 200 feet deep by 75 feet high formed out of mist shaped from 31,500 high pressure hoses drawing water from Lake Neuchatel. (Diller and Scofidio 2002) How do these work as poetry or spectacle?

  4. Helga Wild, private communication, March 1997.

  5. Thanks to Tore Nielsen, Ph.D., Director, Dream and Nightmare Laboratory, Hopital Sacre-Coeur; Professeur titulaire, Département de psychiatrie, Université de Montréa, Montreal, Canada.


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I compliment the energetic group of artists and critics who participated in the Topological Media Lab’s soft architecture seminar over years 2007--2009. Together with the contributors, we are grateful for the intellectual and artistic companionship offered by fellow travelers including Ann-Marie Korpi, Helga Wild, Patrick Harrop, Ayesha Hameed, Gabriel Levine, Michael Fortin, Toni Dove, Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa, Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, and members of the TML, the Dream and Nightmare Lab, and the SenseLab.

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Correspondence to Xin Wei Sha.

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Sha, X.W. Minor architecture: poetic and speculative architectures in public space. AI & Soc 26, 113–122 (2011).

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