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Designing Science Fiction...
Michail Vlasopoulos (M, 33)
Athens, GR
Immortal since Aug 11, 2009
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    From CoCreatr
    Bizarre Systems
    From Tomas
    Deleuze and the Genesis of...
    From rene
    Virtual Bodies, Virtual...
    From Environmentalalex
    Architecture: The Art of...
    From HackerLastPip
    The Mechanical Phylum
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    Cyborg Eye
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    Toys that make worlds
    Michail Vlasopoulos’ project
    Designing Science Fiction...
    The course will be loosely inspired by the movie (and the book) The Man who Fell to Earth in which David Bowie plays an extraterrestrial visitor...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.


    A distance that used to be maintained for ages has been covered. The distance that separated epic protagonists from their object of desire; the distance that produced the narrative. The Real and the Imaginary -once residing in separate universes- can now be unfolded on the same slab. The only thing that prevents those two worlds from bleeding into each other is the intermediary wall. There is only this one door you can use to reach the other side of the wall. Two windows give us an inside view of the Room. The Room is advertised as “a reservoir of a malleable plastic medium that translates any human desire into a material utterance”. It became evident at some point, that all scientific discourse and artistic endeavors would eventually lead toward the composition of such a prima materia*, an utterly undifferentiated matter, a molecular arena for design. The Room beyond the wall is made from an aggregate of nanotechnological particles of such complexity, so that a perfect simulacrum can now be purchased for domestic use. There is nothing the Room can’t provide for you. This pool of particles can take any shape to fulfill your plastic impulses. It is not a hologram, nor a projection, but a reification: fantasy can now be manifested in palpable matter:

    -It can take the shape of an ideal house.
    -It can become a musical instrument, a kitchen, a theme park, or a bathroom.
    -It can become a sexual object.
    -It can bring to life a deceased beloved one, or summon an unattainable role model.
    -It can imitate the soothing ripples of the vast ocean, the light breeze of the countryside, as well as the rocky surface of a cave.
    -It can print new unseen substances in spacetime; it is a tool for the philosopher and the scientist.
    The room before the wall is an impermeable enclosure, an ascetic place insulated from the ravages of desire. The desire there is extracted, filtered, collected and archived. Everything that is not taking place inside the Zone of the Room, is bound to be restrained in this degenerate space “behind the cameras”, the control room of epithemia. Gauges, levels, screens, buttons, circuits populate this room. The rust, the dust, the mechanical sounds, the dullness of the four-dimensional space reside here.

    Below the brochure, there’s a paragraph in Helvetica 7pt (almost illegibly small) that states:

    “Costumers should be advised that the company is not legally responsible for any given shape or form that could potentially harm the user, mentally or physically”





    * “Id-Machine, a mechanism that directly materializes our unacknowledged fantasies” Zizek S., The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology, 1999: 301
    * an alchemical element, the primitive formless base of all matter.
    Thu, Dec 23, 2010  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Designing Science Fiction Scenarios
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    I designed a house with three beds in it. There's nothing new here; a home comprising three existing houses located in three cities across Europe. My house is an aggregation of objects, machines, documents and surfaces that revolve around a bed. The body adjusts its habits according to the constant re-occurrence of sleep: the to-and-fros in the bedroom. The house is a mold for everydayness. It generates a geography of habits, customs and repetitive actions. All of these construct the certainty of the daily life; the routine. I created diagrams of my personal corporeal, psychological occurrences and periodical encounters: A statistical portrait of my life.

    My house is a trip
    . All of my belongings are scattered over Europe. My archive, my workspace, my family are distributed over different time-zones. There was a time when the city ended just before the door rug. Nowadays, you have to travel to feel like home. It seems that the house of the 21st century resembles a diagram that evolves on the axis of time. Inhabitation develops a velocity of its own.

    My calendar is my house. We tend to design our own biography -our own lifestyle- and we do that by dividing life into periods, cycles and epochs. Our civilization knows how to operate in a consensual calendrical time. I used this device of measuring time and cataloguing activities as a manifestation of the habitat. The calendars I came up with can be perceived as the blueprints of the contemporary house. The design focuses on a meticulous planning of the annual calendar, prearranging everything so as to function like a single edifice. Supposing that I'm in my hometown with my family, in order to climb up to the third floor of this villa analoga I‘ll need approximately one and a half hours. In order to reach the attic I’ll need a day on the train. By domesticating the trip you may come up with a house that you don’t ever exit. Endless interior.-
    Wed, Dec 8, 2010  Permanent link

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    Thu, Oct 7, 2010  Permanent link

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    Pre-Stressed Body or Revisiting the 'MAISON À BORDEAUX'
    by Dimitra Gelagoti
    co-edited by Michael Vlasopoulos



    Richard Lindner, "Boy with Machine" 1954


    "It's not flattering, it's embarrassing"
    Rem Koolhaas Interview

    The client approached the architect with a specific wish: "Contrary to what you might expect, I do not want a simple house. I want a complicated house because it will determine my world." Rem Koolhaas, the architect, former script writer, (sometime between 1994 and 1998) assigned his engineer, Cecil Balmond with a law-bending task: to build a “box” suspended on the top of a cliff.

    Every architecture needs a hero inhabitant. A Vitruvian man, a Davincian Man or a Modern man posing with his legs and arms stretched on a Cartesian grid, proudly showing off his able-bodiedness. There has to be a figure to pull the task of becoming the ‘fulcrum of all proportions.’ We, mortal receptors and mere users of architecture, occupy the periphery as deviations of these emblematic figures; our specificities are but mere accidents of these ideal singular bodies. These accidents are what individuate us from the ideal forms.

    'Maison à Bordeaux’ is founded on an accident. 1998: a car accident rendered the husband handicapped, and this in turn rendered his old house in the medieval city of Bordeaux obsolete.

    Architects in the 90s were persistently looking for new paradigms to append meaning to their illegible creations. They sought to challenge the modernistic imperative that necessitated the divesting of their buildings from any narrative value, anything that seemed to turns away from rationality. The narrative was a means to counteract the tradition that saw architecture as something plainly ergonomic and a medium to bring life into their petrified statements. Such a story is the one now associated with Maison à Bordeaux. The house that Rem Koolhaas chose to build is not without an apologetic undertone. The car accident, the most common accident that modern urban life can offer has in a way condemned 20th century Modernism as a whole with its staggering statistics. Life is becoming safer for the entire population but more dangerous for the individual. Maison à Bordeaux speaks of its resident’s pathology in a unique autobiographical way. And in such a way, the architecture of the Maison becomes just another practice in the sequence of chiropractors, orthopedists, laser surgeons that are attending to the vulnerable body.

    The house of another famous yet unseen client of the Modern Era, Villa Savoye, was claimed to be a ‘machine for living.’ The house in Bordeaux takes this metaphor and applies it literally. The mechanically aided human being is not representing a kind of futuristic drive for automation, but provides support for an elliptic body. The machine constantly reminds us of what the body can't do. If we contemplate the invention of the ladder, the elevator, the conveyor belt, all artifacts seem to operate within natural laws in order to expand surfaces and facilitate processes.Thus, the architectural construct has featured in history as a study in tectonics, a laboratory for movement, a series of surfaces that enable the body to climb, sit or lie down, to attain kinetic morphologies that it wouldn’t have in its own. The house is what hold this man’s life together and it’s easy to detect this metaphor infused in the fragile tension of the wire that arcs the protracting pillar to the ground.

    The house invokes visions of futuristic houses or ‘space stations ready to be launched.’ If we take on a more cinematic approach, the house could have been the ideal shelter of a fictional hero such as Batman or Iron-man. The documentary of Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine “Koolhaas’ Houselife” insinuates an implicit inquiry: What happens to the lair when ‘Batman’ passes away?
    The death of the husband in 2001 turned the house into an architectural monument deprived from any residential activity. The building stands all by itself, holding the ghostly picture of the inhabitant that used to confine. The memory of the space is not engraved in pictures and inscriptions, but consists in the perpetuation of an everyday ritual: the periodical on and off of the machines, the sound of the elevator platform when it reaches the slab of the living room, all acousting signifiers for waking up,eating, arriving, leaving, all mechanical episodes in everyday life. And the home is recomposed, in every activation of the elevator platform bringing its section back to life. As seen in the documentary “Koolhaas’ Houselife,” the housekeeper is assigned with a critical task: to set the overall machine in motion, to keep away the dust and melancholy that threatens with decomposition. Through cleaning, she analyzes the architecture of the house into surfaces, corners and textures and by that, she offers a completely different reading of architecture. As Rem Koolhaas points out, there are somewhat conflicting strategies between the practice of the architect and the one of the cleaning-lady. Guadalupe’s clumpsy figure is completely opposed to the bohemian character of the house and motivates OMA’s anti-monumentalist manifesto, providing evidence of an architecture that works for an entirely unpredicted purpose. She is there armed with buckets, dusters, brooms and solvents, spreading her generic cleaning in wide sweeps. After all, the real user of the Bat cave has always been Alfred Pennyworth, the Butler.
    Fri, Sep 3, 2010  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Designing Science Fiction Scenarios
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    A poster Ι made for J.G. Ballard's caustic glossary.
    Tue, Jul 27, 2010  Permanent link

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    Stop Motion Animation Puppet

    Thu, Jul 1, 2010  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Designing Science Fiction Scenarios
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    Jukebots. A graphic novel of mine, featuring a mechanized band of robot jazz musicians.
    Not being programmed to ever bypass their standarlized marionette protocol, a sudden singularity of pure improvisation brings their own demise.




    From my photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25981668@N08/sets/72157605159413439/
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    "At the centre of my ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg. (...)A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction. Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction. (...) Modern medicine is also full of cyborgs, of couplings between organism and machine, each conceived as coded devices, in an intimacy and with a power that was not generated in the history of sexuality. Cyborg 'sex' restores some of the lovely replicative baroque of ferns and invertebrates (such nice organic prophylactics against heterosexism). Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction. Modern production seems like a dream of cyborg colonization work, a dream that makes the nightmare of Taylorism seem idyllic. And modern war is a cyborg orgy, coded by C3I, command-control-communication-intelligence, an $84 billion item in 1984'sUS defence budget. I am making an argument for the cyborg as a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality and as an imaginative resource suggesting some very fruitful couplings. Michael Foucault's biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field. (...) By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs. Ths cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation."


    Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.149-181.




    1. (above) External vision

    2. (middle) This is what the blind Canadian sees through the small camera on his glasses that simply converts light into pixels and concequenlty transforms it into electrical signals that run through the cable wire embedded on his head, ultimately stimulating the visual centre of the brain.

    3. (below) This is the image he now perceives from the outside world, since his out-dated system started to decay. The scientist who studied and applied the system died without finishing his research.

    A sad story of a post-goth E. Scissorhands

    From, The Cyborg Revolution [2005]

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    A scanning project by Michael Vlasopoulos powered by an excessive compulsive scanner.

    Fri, Jun 11, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: future, body, art, photography, scanning, absurd, toys
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