The Ibid of Influence


Talking is a personal—and increasingly prolific—form, and Archinect shows us why. In pace and format, it generates declarations, manifestos, and debates written and posted in a nearly continuous stream. If—as the website stakes a claim—talking is the creative form of communication best positioned at present to shape and reshape architecture, history, and theory, then what would it mean to introduce some distance while taking part in the back-and-forth transmission of all this talking in and about architecture today?

To formulate an answer, I've assembled an essay for Cross-Talk, a series of critical debates in architectural texts with the self-stated intention "to force the no, to contradict itself, to anger, to please and then anger again, if only to force a stance, to pull out the position of the self." The essay, "The Ibid of Influence: Ways of Not Talking Cross Talk", is not entirely my own, as it only employs citation and translation, reworking the archive of the series into a new version of itself as part of a discursive project on "distant talking." I would argue that when we situate this approach to distance within the history of depersonalization and negation in discourse, both architectural and literary—from notes on conceptual architecture to the anxiety of influence, and in practices of distant reading—something broader emerges: how, counterintuitively, not talking about positions in the discipline can tell us something about them, and, can tell us something about architecture in general, too.

I've appropriated 10 texts originally written for the series and translated them into a new context. I thank all of the authors, for permissions and originality.

Published on Archinect, Sept 2018.