Georges Teyssot


Lecture | Monday 31.10.2011 | 19:00h | R211a 


Lectureseries: Architecture History after Foucault

Nomadic Lines : from Hogarth to the Spline

As Deleuze and Guattari wrote, to have something stand up doesn’t mean having a top and a bottom. One can draw a monument, but one that may be contained in a few marks or a few lines. The lecture attempts a brief history of the line, from William Hogarth’s “line of beauty”; John C. Loudon’s “ugly line”; Henry van de Velde’s line as a force; František Kupka’s curved ribbons; Wilhelm Worringer’s abstract, northern line; Wassily Kandinsky’s errant lines; Paul Klee’s inflected lines; up to the topology of splines used in 2D/3D modeling. Today, a question remains: how topological concepts have been introduced in architecture? Perhaps a particularly fine topology is needed to describe the formation of spirals and vortices, or nomadic, smooth spaces, which are formed by sets of haptic relations. As Deleuze and Guattari evoke, hacceities are to be found along intersecting lines: “Climate, wind, season, hour … Haecceity, fog, glare. A haecceity has neither beginning, origin nor destination; it is always in the middle. It is not made of points, only lines. It is a rhizome.”

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Georges Teyssot


Lecture | Monday 31.10.2011 | 19:00h | R211a 


Lectureseries: Architecture History after Foucault

The nomadic line is defined by the becoming-line of the point, which unfolds in a trajectory. As an outcome, nomadic lines take on great vortical organizations, prop up smooth topological spaces, and allow for a speed of proliferation that expands beyond the frame. The aim of art is to divert force into matter. What sets apart the nomadic line, whether from the northern-gothic variety or from the baroque type, is that it embodies speed and fluidity, while it captures intense forces in new materials.

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Georges Teyssot


Lecture | Monday 31.10.2011 | 19:00h | R211a 


Lectureseries: Architecture History after Foucault

Georges Teyssot has taught history and theory at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, where he was Director of the Ph.D. program, and at the ETH of Zurich. Presently, he is Professor at Laval University’s School of Architecture in Québec (QC, CA). He has published many volumes, including: Die Krankheit des Domizils. Wohnen und Wohnbau, 1800-1930, (Wiesbaden, 1989). He has directed a collective volume, with Monique Mosser, entitled The Architecture of Western Gardens (periodically republished in five countries, 1991 to 2002). He has written the introduction to the volume of Diller + Scofidio, Flesh: Architectural Probes (New York, 1995; reprint, 2011). He was the curator of an exhibition on The American Lawn. Surface of Everyday Life, at the CCA (Montréal, 1998), and the editor of a volume on The American Lawn (New York, 1999). More recently, the University of Coimbra has published an anthology of his work translated in Portuguese (Lisbon, 2010); and a selection of his most recent essays will appear in the Writing Architecture series at The MIT Press (forthcoming, 2012).