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The archienemy collective’s main goal is to gain back the true sense of the word architecture. In order to achieve this, we want to release our first archienemy Manifesto for those architects around the world who are interested in joining this initiative.
In the following issues we will publish other manifestos in order to carry on with our struggle to change the world.
1: The prostitution of architecture
We consider that architecture nowadays is being prostituted in favor of the 21st Century’s ruling communicational powers. Architecture has become a faithful servant of the Internet and general mass media, which have used architects as providers of more and more images to publish. This way, architecture is transforming into appearance of architecture more than essence of architecture. This is exactly the same process that individuals suffer through social media such as Facebook or Tinder, where the essence of men is transformed into mere appearance.
2: Architectonic porn
In his book Die Errettung des Schönen, German-Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han explains that we live in a pornographic society where everything must be shown ad nauseam, where nothing can be concealed. This is eradicating the beauty of things, for “hiding” is what grants object with erotic, beautiful and enigmatic value. Mass media have accelerated and extended this phenomenon towards unimaginable limits. As the philosopher says: “Pornography as nudity without veil or mystery is the counter-shape of beauty. Its ideal place is a showcase.”
Architecture has thus become that mere showcase, a kind of pornographic architecture. It has stopped being architecture in its classical sense, a built work independent of that great communicational burden. Today, an architectonic product has no sense without exposure. The media showcase does not serve architecture, it is architecture that serves the media showcase. Just as porn actors and actresses must use makeup and be corrected using Photoshop in order to arouse the consumer, so must architecture be corrected and modified to be appealing for the consumer of architectonic porn.
3: Architectonic earnings vs. architectonic pornography
Just as a person must smile in their Facebook profile because they must look happy for the thousands of contacts who are constantly watching and judging, so must architecture “smile” so it looks like “happy architecture”. Then it will be published by magazines and specialized websites. If an architecture “does not smile”, that is, if its façade or its materials are not sexy or photogenic enough, if it does not have attractive renders or blueprints, then it will be ignored by the media. This will imply lesser earnings for the architect. The bundle architectonic pornography / earnings is nowadays more consolidated than ever. Whenever an architect designs a building, he or she knows that one of the main tasks will be to observe faithfully the principles of the architectonic pornography.
Architecture, especially when it is published in the Internet, is “looked at” or, shall we say, “consumed” by a huge audience. This audience needs its daily quote of images. And this phenomenon is forcing architecture to mutate in order to adapt to this growing demand of fast and exciting stimuli in the eye of the beholder.
4: Recovering architecture
On the other hand, the Archenemy collective thinks that architecture must be real architecture again, as well as communication of information must be just communication of information. Both concepts must not be intertwined, as it is happening nowadays. We must recover architecture. In our opinion, neutrality in news communication (journalism) does not exist. This neutrality does not exist in architectonic communication either. In other words, communication of information will never be objective, either in journalism or in architecture. This is why our magazine means to give subjectivity to architectonic communication. We want to create a primordial subjective side for all the architectonic information in magazines and media. Communication of information, independently of its form of transmission, must be again a free expression of ideas.
This is why we want to propose several measures in this manifesto. These measures are directed to critical architects who agree with these principles and who are interested in freeing architecture from its pornographic, embedding it again in its architectonic essence and, finally, taking communication of information away from its porno-architectonic side. This way communication will have once more a critical and committed value.
Our dream is to disrupt all platforms, architecture blogs and magazines. Our dream is to keep them from being neutral, objective and politically correct. Our dream is to make them consequent with the political-economical-social responsibility that comes with the power of the communication of information. We are well aware that this is not an easy task, but we need a starting point. Therefore, we will propose a basic measure that shall be signed by architects all over the world. This is our fight to recover the dignity and consistency that used to be a sign of our ancestral profession as architects.
The undersigned architect commits to refuse every publication of photos, blueprints, models, renderings, details, schemes, drawings, drafts, etc. from his or her own projects, built or not yet built, in any media.
Note: If you sign this manifesto, please send us a scaned copy to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in our data base.
In other hand, please tell us if you would like to publish your signature or if you prefer to keep the privacy.
The architect ……………………………….