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Sebastien Marot, "Palimpsestuous Ithaca: A Relative Manifesto for Sub-Urbanism"

 

In 1978, the year Colin Rowe's Collage City and Oswald Mathias Ungers' "Berlin: The City as a Green Archipelago" both came out, Rem Koolhaas published Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, a theoretical and poetical masterpiece which can be considered as the manifesto for contemporary super-urbanism (the program fashions the site). Interestingly enough, those three urban manifestoes, each magnetized by a fetish metropolis (Rome, Berlin, New York) share the same "distance point" in the little city of Ithaca, NY, seat of Cornell University where their three authors interacted in 1972-73 and started to build up their theoretical plots. By a curious loop in history, it so happens that this frontier town, located on the inlet of a lake that could figure the geographical antithesis of the Island of Manhattan, was founded by the designer of New York's famous grid (surveyor general Simeon De Witt). Exploiting those coincidences within the laudatio urbis of a hyperlandscape where the poetical adventures of Robert Smithson, Gordon Matta-Clark and Vladimir Nabokov each found their "North-West passage", our ambition is to reverse Rem Koolhaas' demonstration in Delirious New York and produce a relative manifesto for sub-urbanism (the site invents the program). In other words, to quote Fitzcarraldo in Werner Herzog's film, "I am planning something geographical".

A philosopher by training, Sebastien Marot (1961) holds a PhD in History. From 1995 to 2002 he was the founder and chief editor of Le Visiteur, the French journal of architectural and landscape criticism. Having taught as a visiting professor in several schools od architecture and landscape architecture across Europe and the United States (AA School in London, Harvard GSD, IAUG Geneva, Upenn, Cornell, ENSP Versailles, University of Montreal, ETH Zurich, etc.), Marot is today professor of architectural history at the Ecole d'Architecture, de la Ville et des Territoires in Marne-La-Vallee, Paris. He has widely published and lectured on landscape theory and criticism, and is the author of Sub-Urbanism and the Art of Memory (AA Publications, 2003). A research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2005, he received the medaille de l'analyse architecturale in 2004, and the prize for architectural research in 2010, both awarded by the Academie d'Architecture in Paris.
In 1978, the year Colin Rowe's Collage City and Oswald Mathias Ungers' "Berlin: The City as a Green Archipelago" both came out, Rem Koolhaas published Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, a theoretical and poetical masterpiece which can be considered as the manifesto for contemporary super-urbanism (the program fashions the site). Interestingly enough, those three urban manifestoes, each magnetized by a fetish metropolis (Rome, Berlin, New York) share the same "distance point" in the little city of Ithaca, NY, seat of Cornell University where their three authors interacted in 1972-73 and started to build up their theoretical plots. By a curious loop in history, it so happens that this frontier town, located on the inlet of a lake that could figure the geographical antithesis of the Island of Manhattan, was founded by the designer of New York's famous grid (surveyor general Simeon De Witt). Exploiting those coincidences within the laudatio urbis of a hyperlandscape where the poetical adventures of Robert Smithson, Gordon Matta-Clark and Vladimir Nabokov each found their "North-West passage", our ambition is to reverse Rem Koolhaas' demonstration in Delirious New York and produce a relative manifesto for sub-urbanism (the site invents the program). In other words, to quote Fitzcarraldo in Werner Herzog's film, "I am planning something geographical".

A philosopher by training, Sebastien Marot (1961) holds a PhD in History. From 1995 to 2002 he was the founder and chief editor of Le Visiteur, the French journal of architectural and landscape criticism. Having taught as a visiting professor in several schools od architecture and landscape architecture across Europe and the United States (AA School in London, Harvard GSD, IAUG Geneva, Upenn, Cornell, ENSP Versailles, University of Montreal, ETH Zurich, etc.), Marot is today professor of architectural history at the Ecole d'Architecture, de la Ville et des Territoires in Marne-La-Vallee, Paris. He has widely published and lectured on landscape theory and criticism, and is the author of Sub-Urbanism and the Art of Memory (AA Publications, 2003). A research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2005, he received the medaille de l'analyse architecturale in 2004, and the prize for architectural research in 2010, both awarded by the Academie d'Architecture in Paris.



Media: Sebastien Marot, "Palimpsestuous Ithaca: A Relative Manifesto for Sub-Urbanism"

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