“This book is an explicit attempt to create a new creation myth – one of a wilderness that is not pure but technological.” This statement at the beginning of the book, The Politics of the Impure, was so inviting that I immediately started to read this bundle of essays and interviews dealing with a myriad of subjects, such as food, art, design, biological evolution and politics.
I especially would recommend the text by Lars Spuybroek who is well known for his work with his Rotterdam based architectural office, NOX, but who is now dedicated to writing and teaching. In his essay he repositions the ornament, which since Adolf Loos has become the outcast of design and architecture. According to Spuybroek, Loos had it the wrong way around: “cruelty and criminality lie not in ornament but, on the contrary in its absence”. Spuybroek argues that ornament is often mistaken for a sign of exuberance, a kind of special treatment, a dressing-up for a special occasion, while in fact, it is simply “dressing as keeping”–”an everyday act, the act of care as work, calm and dutiful, like gardening”. I like this unpopular perspective.
Joke Brouwer, Arjen Mulder, Las Spuybroek (eds), The Politics of the Impure, V2 Publishing, Rotterdam 2010.