EXHIBITION at SCI-ARC_BRYAN CANTLEY
Bryan Cantley, Form:uLA: Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections
October 10—November 30, 2014 in the SCI-Arc Gallery
UCLA Alumni Bryan Cantley (M.Arch.I '90) and Form:uLA’s exhibition is an opus in three distinct parts—the articulation of fallacy and artificial chronology of the architectural drawing; the suggested operational misalignments of his visionary projects; and the symbolic deconstruction of the gallery.
Form:uLA has always defied established contexts and criteria. The SCI-Arc installation is no exception. Challenging the normative ‘current building practices’ that substantiates the gallery’s lexicon, Cantley displays a more ‘conventional’ oeuvre of drawings, models, and images. Not a singular materialization, he presents a body of [predominantly] new work that suggests alternative spatial discourse. The space itself is conceptually dissected into a series of graphical surfaces, with the manifestation of the ‘antiobject’ serving as both display [backdrop, organizational maneuver] and spatial delineator [object, anchor].
Cantley’s work is regularly divided into two distinct, yet transecting conditions—the experimental architectural drawing [image], and the ‘mechanical architecture’ paradigm [building-object]. The exhibition presents both of these archetypes as conjunctive informants. His drawings challenge the architectural descriptive posture of singularity, while his building indicators suggest a world of implied functionality and machinic soul. And while the drawings and projects somewhat overlap, each artifact is its own threshold to a vision of architectural potential. The gallery is conceptually divided to document two radically different, yet unmistakably connected tissues of a conceptual chirality.
The Dirty Geometries portion houses a series of over 30 hand and hybrid drawings that attempt to enhance the audience as both voyeur and inhabitant, while simultaneously removing the framework of ‘the recognizable’ as a tool of navigation. The dirtiness of the geometries refer both to the unresolved nature of the content, as well as a condition of physical residue left over from an imperfect and [sometimes] organic digitally-infused process of drawing. These graphic experimentations serve as a proactive mode of research, becoming not so much drawings of objects, as much as they predict drawings of drawings.
The Mechanical Imperfections section presents 10 conceptual projects that engage a dialogue of imperfect machines struggling to construct perfect moments of architecture. These visionary projects abandon perceived mechanical precision in lieu of spatial poetics, political overlay and architectural inquiry.
Both of these categories of work speak of the degree of flaw that is derived from the human condition of the analog, though they do so under a disguised veil of ostensible accuracy. The exhibition is not as much about the strictness of the execution, as it suggests the fallibility of [all] technology. Wabi-sabi insinuates the condition of transience of not only an architectural solution, but of the vehicles through which such undertakings are discussed. These visionary projects attempt to establish a dialogue that broadens the interpretation of the underbelly of architecture as an explorative discipline. Cantley’s work is that of questions, not answers. This exhibition questions the role of representation in architecture, the potential of the non-building as critical dialogue, and the vehicles through which architectural discourse are delivered. It also questions the nature of the imperfect analog within this digital guild.
About Bryan Cantley / [Form:uLA Dimension Laboratory] “Racing toward the future implied by the post-urban concatenation of human dwellings that is Southern California, Form:uLA envisions a world where the mechanical certainty with which we have shaped our physical environment dissolves into the endlessly hovering limbo of the freeway, the collage of the televised world view, and the directional certainty of diagrams that tell us where we are in nowhere. Bryan Cantley, the brain behind the post-architecture firm Form:uLA, gives us a chart to what he sees as our world. He thus is one of the last (though one hopes not the last) architecture visionaries looking beyond the needs of form and function to formulas for future orders…” — Aaron Betsky, In a Galaxy Closer Than We Think (2006)
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