Invisible Cities: Concept City, Remote Cities, Nature and Music
Outline • Italo Calvino & The Invisible Cities • Your Views? • Patterns of the Invisible Cities • Other Kinds of Invisible Cities • The Music Garden • Conclusion?
Italo Calvino • One of the world's foremost postmodern authors; • Calvino is listed alongside Philip Johnson's AT&T building, Disneyland, Monthey Python, Max Headroom, and Donald Bartheleme as the most prominent 'icons' of postmodernism (Pilz)
Different Kinds • Cities and memory. • Cities and desire. • Cities and signs. • Thin cities. • Trading cities • Cities and eyes. • Cities and names. • Cities and the dead • Cities and the sky. • Continuous cities. • Hidden cities.
Outline of our Reading • Marco Polo’s talk to Kubla Khan 1. • The invisible will not perish; • Description of cities with gestures and language; the emperor’s responses 2. • The past is always ahead of us; elsewhere is a negative mirror • From gestures to words and back to gesture; the use of silence 3. • Cities are made of desires and fears.
Outline of our Reading Your views? 1. Cities and memory. 1. –Diomira – past happiness; Cities and memory. 2. – Isidora – past desire; Cities and memory. 3. – Zaira – past connections; Cities and memory. 4. – Zora – described point by point, unmoved till it disappears; 2. Cities and memory. 5. –Maurilla – a postcard city 1. Cities and desire. 1. –Dorothea – 2 ways of describing a city Cities and desire. 2. – Anastasia –describing the city vs. full experience Cities and desire. 3. – Despina -- 2 perception of a city 2. Cities and desire. 4.–Fedora -- with a mental city which turns into a museum; 1, Cities and signs. 1. – Tamara – arbitrary signs Cities and signs. 2. – Zirma – The city is redundant, so is our memory, because they are repetitive. 2 Cities and signs. 3.–Zoe – a city which is a mixture of functions. 1. Thin cities. 1. – Isaura – a city of wells two religions; (東石鄉; Venice?) 2. Thin cities. 2. –Zenobia – a city of platforms, balcony and ladders; not happy or unhappy, but one generating desires. 2. Trading cities. 1. – Euphemia – where merchants meet; to buy and sell, but also to tell stories.
Patterns of the Invisible Cities • City, memory and the past • Desires are memories. Cities contain our desires. • Polo p. 28 – we know more about our past as we move ahead. • A city’s past – pp. 10-11 • The Concept City vs. the Lived City – • Dorothea: p. 9; Also city vs. desert • Anastasia: p. 12 describing a city and desiring in it; • City and Desires – • Two perspectives. P.17 – Cities are formed by their opposites and desires.
Patterns of the Invisible Cities • Human constructions • Religion • Buildings – Isidora p. 8; • Human Languages • Signs – arbitrary (Are there any which are not signs?) • Gestures and Signs
Invisible Cities II: Distant Cities • Diomira p. 1: City and Memory: Byzantium underneath Istanbul • Isidora City and Arts: Carpentry at 古川 (a town in a mountain) • Anastasia p. 12 City and Desire/Arts: Kite Festival at Lahore • City and Signs/Postcards
Kite Festival at Lahore • Basant, the festival that marks the start of spring; • Kite with “string coated by hand in a doughy substance which is impregnated with pulverised glass” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2750193.stm )
The Music Garden • What do you think? • General Design • Efforts – Arts, Business and Politics • Music, Nature and Urban Space
Bach & Garden Plan Suite#1 I – Prelude II – Allemande III -Courante, IV – Sarabande, V - Menuet I , VI - Gigue Bk 5
Toronto Music Garden • From Boston’s City Hall Plaza to Toronto’s Harbor Front
Prelude: An undulating river scape with curves and bends. Response to the environment Bk 3
Allemande: A forest grove of wandering trails. Original plan: Bk 7; adjusted in the new plan Bk 14
Sarabande: a poet's corner • the garden's centerpiece is a huge stone that acts as a stage for readings, and holds a small pool with water that reflects the sky. Bk 13
Menuette: A formal flower parterre. • Gigue: Giant grass steps that dance you down to the outside world. Bk 8; 12
Efforts – Arts, Business and Politics • Different concerns of the Boston government: noise, money (to privatize the space to increase more economic interest), tourism, security • To gain financial support: to ‘massage’ the corporate power. Bks 10; 6
Music, Nature and Urban Space • Ma’s intention: to create a space for music without walls. what about traffic? (e.g. Bk 16)
Music, Nature and Urban Space • Julie Messervy: To shape nature in simple forms (Bk 2) • The film’s: Bk 9, 15
Minuette: formal dance • Hand-crafted with ornamental steel, a circular pavilion is designed to shelter small musical ensembles or dance groups.
Music and Nature: The Gigue • or "jog" is an English dance, whose jaunty, rollicking music is interpreted here as a series of giant grass steps that offer views onto the harbor.
Conclusion? • A city can be variously defined, imagined, desired for, and connected to the past. • Concept City does not just belong to the city planners. We also have our concepts in the use of signs, memories and through our desires and efforts in construction.
Reference • Pilz, Kerstin. ”Reconceptualising thought and space: labyrinths and cities in Calvino's fictions.”Italica, Summer 2003 v80 i2 p229(15) • http://www.juliemoirmesservy.com/pro.htm • Toronto Music Garden Photo Gallery---Inspired by Bach: Yo Yo Ma http://www.nakayoshi.org/musicgarden/ • Loraine Hunter http://www.garden-time.com/magazine/03september/article_gotw.php