Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mystical Union of Art and Life and the Mega Engineering of Heroic Technology

Like the Two Towers of Tolkien, polar antagonism is the result of good and evil forces seeking dominance over the other.  Which will prevail determines the color of an age.  As the wizard Saruman says, "The World is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman ... and the union of the two towers? Together, my Lord Sauron ... we shall rule this Middle-earth."  We have come out of a particularly dark period, where towers have risen and fallen.  The Twin Towers hang like phantasms around a rather sober looking singular tower taking their place in New York City  In essence, the two have become one.  It is arguable that from an architectural standpoint, the New World Trade Center is deficient in design to make New York City nothing other than like Paris before the end of WWII.  That is another aspect of this however.

Paul Laffoley defines the Bahauroque as more or less a fusion of both "the heroic modernism of the German “Bauhaus,” with its aspiration toward a technological utopia, and the exalted theatricality of the Italian baroque, in which an exuberance of form and illusion serve to express the mystical union of art and life."  I think he means a resolution of opposites, perhaps resolved in the destruction of the Twin Towers and being rebuilt both physically and spiritually in one symbolic tower representing the age of technological advancement which is happening at high speed.  Perhaps these opposites were not so diametrically opposed after all, and their fusion promises a great future of aesthetic potential.

I think that the motivations are moving as Laffoley said, to breakdown the barriers between opposites.  This is not in some highly intellectualized, decentralized way like in Postmodernism, but in a new way that has a mystical foundation in form.  Art and architecture may be able to speak their own psychic language again and we can envision formality in a way that is dedicated toward beauty in order to bring about a higher dimensional reality.  

This is heroic technology, building on genius creations of great engineering potential.  It is also mystical, yoking together realities that have become divorced from each other as a result of the cold intellectualism needed initially to usher in this technological age.  Now the shift in consciousness is possible and the understanding transformational.