This mortality thing is bad news.
May 23, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

This one goes to the dreamers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:14 AM on May 23, 2010

me too!
posted by leotrotsky at 7:17 AM on May 23, 2010

It'll be up to Bob Geldof to redouble his efforts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:23 AM on May 23, 2010

“This mortality thing is bad news,” Ms. Gins said by phone from her studio on Houston Street. She said she would redouble her efforts to prove that “aging can be outlawed.”
This doesn't bode well for my campaign to have the Louisiana State Legislature repeal the law of gravity.
posted by localroger at 7:31 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ha! Now I just have to wait for Kurzweil to kick it, and there will be time for some serious gloating!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:43 AM on May 23, 2010

One of a couple of con artists (posing as real artists) dies, news at eleven.
posted by misha at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2010

“It’s immoral,” Ms. Gins said, “that people have to die.”

Funny how a universal cycle like birth/death can be construed as "immoral". It's like judging the morality of an earthquake or an ocean.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:05 AM on May 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously, misha? Are you even the least bit familiar with their work?"
posted by stagewhisper at 8:12 AM on May 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

I'm not against dying, just don't want to there when it happens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

At least he gave it a shot.

posted by R. Mutt at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2010

He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he is never going to die.
posted by Bromius at 8:40 AM on May 23, 2010 [3 favorites]

Well, certainly no one saw that coming.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I didn't really understand how their architecture was supposed to avert aging. To me it looked perpetually stressful and frustrating - like something that would speed aging. I guess the idea was that you kept your mind and body working all the time instead of settling into a comfortable stasis (stagnation=death?).

I also really don't understand the "death is immoral" thing. Do they mean literal, physical death? Or the death of humanness - death of curiosity, growth, interest?

I am fascinated by their architecture, but I feel very lost about the point they are trying to make.

What does that bumpy floor feel like? Was it soft and bouncy or hard and rough? And where do you keep your books and clothes and cross-stitch supplies?
posted by jeoc at 9:17 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Okay, okay, I don't mind being there, just don't see why I have take part in it. What if brought someone else with me, maybe they could take my place, what do you say?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:29 AM on May 23, 2010

posted by d1rge at 9:35 AM on May 23, 2010

The Foundation actively collaborates with leading practitioners in a wide-range of disciplines including, but not limited to, experimental biology, neuroscience, quantum physics, experimental phenomenology, and medicine.

How did I know that these words would show up? I think that house is really neat, though.

posted by brundlefly at 9:45 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Having gone to grad school in an environmental design faculty (planning/architecture/industrial design), I gotta say this sounds about right. Theoretical architects can be fucking annoying as hell in their staggeringly useless pretentions. 'Cradling tentativeness' is a perfect example - I'm nto surprised that the interviewer in the house multimedia link on the NY Times said that she talked with them for two hours about that phrase and still didn't know what they meant by it.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:46 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is about as ironic as when my grandpa, who was a sweets wholesaler, got diabetes.
posted by yoHighness at 10:00 AM on May 23, 2010

I have made the same decision.

Uh, so far so good.
posted by tommasz at 10:41 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Metafilter: This mortality thing is bad news
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:48 AM on May 23, 2010

These people want to live on in their apartments?
posted by longsleeves at 12:11 PM on May 23, 2010

Immortality you say? Well, my BFF Gilgamesh says eternal life's an impossible quest.
posted by TBAcceptor at 12:12 PM on May 23, 2010

Their most recent work, a house on Long Island, had a steeply sloped floor that threatened to send visitors hurtling into its kitchen.

Hey, death-defying architects? UR DOING IT WRONG
posted by kcds at 12:32 PM on May 23, 2010

This is about as ironic as when my grandpa, who was a sweets wholesaler, got diabetes.

Only in the sense that everyone who gets this notion in his head will produce an ironic moment, eventually.
posted by JHarris at 12:33 PM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like what Wittgenstein was purported to have said: (paraphrasing) "Don't concern yourself with how you came here, why you are here, or what life is about - simply wonder that you are here".

We will probably never "understand" death, but it does happen with uncanny regularity; it happens in little ways every day as parts of us die, and regenerate; it happens trillions of times a second as the subatomic soup that make us up oscillates in and out of existence, with the latter appearing to be nothing more than a state defined by its opposite. What a great puzzle; what a great wonder; what a great puzzle; it makes us want to figure it out, even though it seems that we'll probably never be able to figure out the very phenomena of consciousness that makes out attempts to "figure it out", possible. There is something terribly ironic about the way all this happens. It's so grand, that we're here. Why is there something, rather than nothing? Have fun!
posted by Vibrissae at 12:51 PM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]

JHarris you're right - had my metaphors all mixed up there. Boy, I'm out of it today
posted by yoHighness at 1:08 PM on May 23, 2010

"The best break anybody ever gets is in bein' alive in the first place. An' you don't unnerstan' what a perfect deal it is until you realizes that you ain't gone be stuck with it forever, either." -- Porky Pine
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:33 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the idea -- as best I understand it -- is to create a space where living is hard work, therefore your mind and body constantly stay strong and adaptable. There is a grain of sense to this, as it turns out; there's a study I read (somewhere!) that looked at healthy people who were a hundred years old or older, people who were still living in their own homes, and one of the few common factors they found is that these folks lived in places where they had to climb at least one flight of stairs every single day. Like, a second-floor walkup or something.

However, these apartments don't look like they would cause my mind and body to stay strong and adaptable. They look like they would cause my mind and body to seize up under the never-ending stress of oh god oh god am I going to roll out of bed and impale myself on the faucet in the kitchen pit.
posted by KathrynT at 3:57 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I remember going to see "the Mechanism of Meaning" show at the SoHo Guggenheim my freshman year of college. That phrase "we have decided not to die" has stuck in my mind ever since. The little layout plan of the City of Reversible Destiny and this one piece where they conceptualized a room with a pink rubber sheet hanging down from the ceiling to the floor... such that you had to push it away as you moved through the space. Totally encroaching; architecture you had to actively engage.

I think there was a flamboyant humor about death and life... a life of challenge... in their work. To perhaps not live life as a progression toward eventual death, but as a progression toward life.

I think "This mortality thing is bad news," is the funniest thing I've ever read in an obituary, especially coming from the widow. I would dig on having a room designed in their surprising style.
posted by nutate at 6:24 PM on May 23, 2010

I was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. And I am immortal.

I have been known to tell people I am immortal. Just for shits and giggles.

Never fails to get a reaction. Often a nasty one at that, as if it's a game of one-upmanship like the business card scene out of American Psycho. Jeez some people are idiots.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:57 PM on May 23, 2010

Uncanny hengeman, 1518? Really? That's so... recent. I could tell you a few things. First of all, if you're watching a crucifixion, do not make a snarky comment to the guy being crucified, it's a really bad idea.
posted by localroger at 7:41 PM on May 23, 2010

Hey I stayed in a place in Tokyo that these two designed. It was just about enough to Reverse my Destiny from mild-mannered dork to maniacal faux-architect stalker and torturer. Although I feel lucky just to have gotten out of the house alive. Every thing in there was so scratchy and off-kilter. It was really disorienting, but not in a "I'm energized and reinvigorated" kind of way. I half-expected that messed up blocky fake Superman to step out of the closet pit and punch me in the groin. I'm sure if I lived there permanently, the house would interfere with my being able to concentrate on anything I was trying to do, because at least half of my brain would be dedicated to wondering if I was about to be impaled.
posted by donkeymon at 5:39 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

The tan and lumpy flooring reminded me of images of abandoned buildings full of blown sand or even recent ones of mud-filled homes after flooding. The net effect seems to be one of extreme difficulty--of maintenance, of ambulation, of storage--as well as waste. Seems like a lot of unusable space is being heated, lit, etc. Not green!

I'd love to talk to someone who has actually resided in one of these spaces for any length of time about basic practicalities and forced lack of furniture. Cleaning must be an annoying chore if nothing else.

The fact that one artist did not in fact have particular longevity provides the perfect ironic footnote. This would all make for a great "Best of Show" type satire on architects; imagine Fred Willard discussing the merits of a lumpy and uneven floor and Catherine O'Hara archly explaining the meaning of the angled outlets.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:25 AM on May 24, 2010

I think the lofts look kind of neat, but I can see how the novelty would wear off if you actually had to live there. I don't really see the connection to not dying, though. I'd go more towards plants and light and wood and open space if you wanted to achieve longevity, to start with...
posted by mdn at 8:36 AM on May 25, 2010

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