“Arakawa and Madeline Gins’s quest to make human beings immortal is at risk of dying. That’s because the couple lost their life savings with Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of a multibillion-dollar fraud. Of all the dreams that were crushed by Mr. Madoff’s crime, perhaps none was more unusual than this duo’s of achieving everlasting life through architecture. Mr. Arakawa (he uses only his last name) and Ms. Gins design structures they say can enable inhabitants to “counteract the usual human destiny of having to die.”
The income from their investments with Mr. Madoff helped fund their research and experimental work. Now, Mr. Arakawa, 72 years old, and Ms. Gins, 67, are strapped for cash. They closed their Manhattan office and laid off five employees. The pair’s work, based loosely on a movement known as “transhumanism,” is premised on the idea that people degenerate and die in part because they live in spaces that are too comfortable. The artists’ solution: construct abodes that leave people disoriented, challenged and feeling anything but comfortable.They build buildings with no doors inside. They place rooms far apart. They put windows near the ceiling or near the floor. Between rooms are sloping, bumpy moonscape-like floors designed to throw occupants off balance.
(cbc) – so if you are an architecture student and you’re having a bad jury or crit just adopt Arakawa’s argument “I’m making it really ugly and jarring because this approach can make the occupants immortal!”
On the other hand, the RUSSIAN FORMALISTS (Viktor Schlovsky) had a dictum “make the object strange” that they used as a definition for art. The idea being that a displacement from the everyday “sleep” of the conventional world is necessary to have an aesthetic experience.