Distortion Mechanics of Ultra Marine Frank Gehry

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

The water distorted vision where Bilbao is a beached whale, leviathan up from undersea, is neither an analogy nor what we think.  Analogues suggested of it in statements of ill proportion are not grotesque enough to produce dislike  especially. Multi lopsided implied points of arch off center, arrangement of curves and planes and lines on the verge of regularity are suggestively distorted. As in the literary distory of Huysmans’ Against Nature, who cites Jan Luyken, Bresdin’s Comedy of Death, people, plants, buildings are “cultivated in sacrilegious beds, in impious hothouses” (John Howard). Breughel, the Dutch demoniacs, the Scream, Dada, (but not Kafka who is distressed at the distortions which make him love the human not the bestial, even while he is caught by it), are other art processes where specifically human fears and reactions slant to an acceptance of the grotesque made beautiful, like Baudelaire’s dead horse. These skew the normal into acceptance of the paranormal, even seek distortion as superior, so as to make presocratic philosophers like Heraclitus, who says the river is never the same, over and over, into a prophet of distortion, when in fact he is a proponent of law. In the country of distortion the blind are kings. A tidal influence such as at Bilbao reaches 15 km inland from the sea into  Bilbao’s old town.

Costa concordia2

Costa Concordia

Buildings as sea wrecks might serve the designs.

To understand Frank Gehry, so innocuous in person, so managed, so collected, when his imaginative distortion of architectures is a marine disturbance seen best underwater, it helps greatly to know he is not Irish but Polish, Ephraim not Gehry.

Costa concordia

Some say he changed his last name from Goldman, some say it was his father. Of this vision of distortion however consider that water has a greater refractive index than air, reduces focal range of a lens, the near distance distorted by some 33 percent. Chromatic aberration (color fringing) occurs at the edges of the image as well as geometric distortion. It is like the camera of Werner Herzog at the bottom of the sea. Water both absorbs and scatters light. Most of the scattering is variable depending on conditions, but the absorption is intrinsic and acts as a blue-green filter, first removing red light and then the remaining colors of the rainbow.

Gehry Garage

Gehry Garage-A bow echo is a radar echo which is linear but bent outward in a bow shape.

The motive beneath the overthrow of natural law by distortion comes with the rationalization that by looking at it distortion, fear will lose their power, but the contemplation of horror brings more horror close, like the mind of genocide makes death. No better preparation for what would have been termed a supernatural outbreak (had it been known) could occur, but of course to prevent it from being seen both supernatural and natural needs be redefined. Gehry plays a role in making us believe there is no supernatural in all the lone gunman, wereweather and mind waves, just as there is no nature in the untold numbers of hybrids loosed upon the world.

We have so gotten used to disproportion that it may have changed the way our brains process visually and emotionally process. Whether this is culturally intended with other mechanisms to reorient the mind, Mark Studdock in Ch. 14 of That Hideous Strength, is secluded in a disproportion “called objectivity–the process whereby all specifically human reactions were killed in a man so that he might become fit for the fastidious society of the Macrobes. Higher degrees in the asceticism of anti-nature would doubtless follow…offering him the very same initiation through which they themselves had passed and which had divided them from humanity, distending and dissipating Wither into a shapeless ruin which it condensed and sharpened Frost into the hard, bright, little needle that he now was (John Lane, 1949, 369). The best disproof of this is Gehry’s geniality, but who has not been sold sections of the Golden Gate?

Frank Gehry also has a line of jewelry so that  the actors in this 3D drama can wear distortions on the arm, have as it were distortion lamps to see by, as they walk the Dada landscape at Disney Concert Hall or inside the prints of Roy Lichtenstein. The stage is a stage, the audience is a stage, their lives are a stage. Dancing House in Prague portrays movement because  the windows seem to move up and down. The building sways as if two dancers were drunk. Then somebody realized  that Bilbao was a whale:
LEVIATHAN (Whale) camouflaged by abstraction, a marine-animal aspect of the building’s representational identity…Bilbao, based on Gehry’s earlier fish projects was inspired by fish imagery, fish surfaces, perhaps even by fish structure, and obviously by fish organization—it is a piscine organism. It is organized in architectural plan like a fish, contoured and massed like a fish, has features that represent identifiable body parts of fish, and a shiny surface (metallic scales) like a fish. So, although Iovine contends, perhaps wishfully, that it “doesn’t look at all like a fish” (I especially like the “at all” part), there is every reason to believe that Gehry himself would be surprised, if not disappointed, to hear this says….” deep SIGHT.
If Bilbao is leviathan, whale or hyacinth flower, lying upon the water, beside the sea pond river, further association asks that it be seen as an image of deity out of Job 41 where the analogy occurs, Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.10 No-one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me? This would make Frank Gehry a theist, or maybe a poly theist celebrating the forms of  incarnation in matter.  How many gods are in his distortion pantheon of earthly temples and material flowers, notions of the artificial, breasts like Alps, one might say, down which one slides? Of these transformations water and earth seem inhabited by the many not the One, so Bilbao has better credentials as the temple of Neptune which reckons us back in Troy with machinations.
Babylon, Rome, United States: Babylon-Troy-Neptune worshiped by the Romans primarily as a horse god was a simulacrum of Neptune to deceive. If Neptune hid the horse, in the horse, what hides in these? Neptune at Troy with machinations, for Troy was a port and sea serpents came to rest there under the control of that god who put all dissent against the horse to rest, if rest is death for the Trojan Priest of Neptune who threw his spear. So Bilbao is more likely one of many global temples whose subtext is not the majority text, being that all is well with civilization, even in its discontent. Frank Gehry is a prophet of these lulled antibodies.

This water distorted vision with Bilbao as the beached whale, leviathan of undersea with a hook in his nose, is neither an analogy nor what we think.  It is not a mirage. In refraction light as wave acts as water with dispersion of light into chromatic aberration. It is water light. How this deception becomes a property of the eye and the wave equivocates different kinds of seeing together. To simple rectilinear, curvilinear, pi, Fibonacci ratios, golden sections, fractal repetitions, all arithmetic challenges, it is the mind that sees not the eye. But the mind can be bent, delusions come to temples, labs, board rooms, sanctums that only such as Ezekiel (8) see, what he calls the visions of Elohim, elders swinging their censers before idols, images of death dressed as life, inverted.

To imagine cultural amenities and laws for design, what Gehry would not do, the standoff between distortion and convention is a collaboration with physical forms. It works as good as the idea of self similarity, a human skew, a fractal,  a communication that finds itself untrue.  Robert Macfarlane in Mountains of the Mind, proposes any “collaboration of the physical forms of the world with the imagination of humans–a mountain of the mind”  (18, 19), not a mountain in fact. So Bilbao, a museum of the mind as in Pieter Bruegel, Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1556),  a physical form collaborates with the mind.
Imaginative Not Collaborative

Look at Bruegel. He is himself eating himself. It is all human consumption. People have written allegories about it. The faceless interchangeable cogs of pen and ink, folly of the human, are not fish. “Out of the mouth of a large beached fish tumble many smaller fish…the land and water are overrun by fish: a two-legged fish walks off with another fish in its mouth, a fish hand from a tree, and a fish-bird flies… (Nadine M. Orenstein. Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints. Yale University Press, 2001, 140). So the mountain of the mind spews out little mountains and particles of the dust self. We don’t say mind fish are self identified fractals. Mind fish are imaginative, not collaborative, not real, but mean to show a maxim, like a faux Orc studied by a faux anthropologist  in a faux school by a faux professor eating his students shows…a faux whale? Sorry about that.

This reductio is as absurd as the perception of the mountain by the mountaineer. To Bruegel and his imitators,  natural physical forms are outside collaboration. Mental mountains are  imagining. This “puritan reality” is crumbling. It is a nice gesture of the Otaku architect to implode and distort. Whether this is a reflection or a major force or creation of destruction itself, it is not the earth which crumbles in distortions, except according to laws. Avalanches, landslides, eruptive wave motions are essentially a different force than what drives the mind. Is the mind natural? No. Nature is innocent compared to it. Things that fall from within are where Grank Gehry ended up. They decayed and bent to what Jack Lewis called the macrobe intent. Macrobial transformations. Jet engines, nuclear explosions.

University of Technology Sydney, 2014

Decay of the abstraction


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