THE EDUCATION OF ROSALIND KRAUSS, PETER EISENMAN, A N D OTHER AMERICANS: W H Y THE F A N T A S Y OF POSTMODERNISM STILL REMAINS by COLIN BRENT EPP BFA, The University of Saskatchewan, 1997 M A , The University of Western Ontario, 1999 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Fine Arts) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 2007 © Colin Brent Epp, 2007 Abstract Within current art and architectural circles the term postmodernism has a dated air about it. It has long been shorn of its currency in any meaningful dialogue about the state of art and architectural production. Instead, the name recalls for most a notion that was fashionable in the 1970s and 1980s, suggesting a manifold of concepts like historical quotation, allegory, appropriation, pastiche, the culture of late capitalism, the end of grand narratives, the critique of the authorial subject, the collapse of the Enlightenment project, pluralism. Yet, for all this, it has not been properly historicized. This thesis proposes to historicize the production and circulation of the term postmodernism, paying attention to two of its most important sites: October, a journal of art criticism founded in 1976, and Oppositions, an architectural periodical that was first published in 1973. With this aim, I turn to the dialogue between Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman that took place between 1969 and 1976, as each broke ties with certain aspects of her and his intellectual formation represented by Michael Fried and Colin Rowe. The rejection of the latter critics' anti-literalism propels the dialogue. But it was founded on a faultline - one that points to a difference much more significant than supposed between art and architecture, and one that could only be diffused by a discourse .on institutions. The political critiques of the institutions of art and architecture that emerged alongside alternative spaces and that were enunciated in October and Oppositions are part of a broader discourse on institutions and have their mirror reflection on the right. Neoconservatives set up their own alternative spaces in corporate-funded think tanks and from there launched their attacks on the liheralism they saw as being entrenched in the institutions supported by government and the university. I argue that the fantasy of postmodernism served to make illegible deep contradictions, not between claims about institutions by left and right, but between the different significations called forth by the figure "institution," showing that fantasies of efficiency have a deeper set of effects and conditions than the political claims based on them. Ill Table of Contents Abstract ; ii Table of Contents iii List of Figures • v Acknowledgements x Epigraph • 1 Introduction 2 Window Blow-Out: First Take 2 The Fantasy of Postmodernism 10 Outline of the Argument • 25 1. Efficiencies '. • • 35 Window Blow-Out: Second TakeS. 35 Alternative Spaces, Think Tanks, The New Class, and The Last Intellectuals 41 The Discourse on Institutions • 46 Window Blow-Out: Third Take • • 55 2. Institution in the Garden 60 The New England Mind and the Republic of Texas 60 The Republic of Learning 67 3. Rowe-Eisenman 89 4. Fried-Krauss • 114 Excursus ••••• 143 5. Eisenman-Krauss, 1969-1974 156 6. Machine : ....186 7. Crux 215 8. Blowout: Eisenman-Krauss, 1976 244 I V 9. The Real Crux; or, Just What is the Difference Between Art and Architecture, Anyway? or, Why the Fantasy of Postmodernism Still Remains 275 Epilogue: The Education of David Stockman 300 Illustrations : 311 Works Cited .' : 364 y List of Figures Figure 1: Gordon Matta-Clark, Bronx, 1976 (photograph used for Window Blow-Out, 1976). Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003), p. 103 311 Figure 2: Gordon Matta-Clark, Bronx, 1976 (photograph used for Window Blow-Out, 1976). Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003), p.103 .' 312 Figure 3: Gordon Matta-Clark, A W-Hole House: Datum Cut, Core Cut, Trace de Coeur, 1973. 6 black-and-white photographs [detail]. Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003), p. 72 313 Figure 4: View of Day's End by Gordon Matta-Clark, 1975. Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003), p. 10 314 Figure 5: Gordon Matta-Clark, Day's End, color photograph, 1975. Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003), p.9 315 Figure 6:. Gordon Matta-Clark, Doors Through and Through, 4 color photographs, 1976. Gordon Matta-Clark (Marseilles: Musees Marseilles, 1993)p.266 316 Figure 7: Cover, October 16 (spring 1981), published by the MIT Press for the institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 317 Figure 8: Cover, Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), published by the MIT Press for the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 318 Figure 9: Back pages, Oppositions 7 (Winter 1976), p.98 319 Figure 10: Leon Krier, Poster for the exhibition, "Peter Eisenman: House Number X , " af Princeton University, 1977. From Oppositions 14 (Fall 1978), p.59 ". 320 Figure 11: Louis Hellman, Illustration for "Eisenman's Bogus Avant-Garde," by Diane Ghirardo in Progressive Architecture 75 no. 11 (November 1994), p.70 .". 321 Figure 12: Funny Pages, Skyline 3 no.l (April 1980), p. 18. 322 VI Figure 13: John Hejduk, Courthouse and Lockhart Savings and Loan Association, Lockhart, Texas, photograph, from the essay, "Lockhart, Texas," by Colin Rowe and John Hejduk, Architectural Record 121 (March 1957), p. 201 . 323 Figure 14: Walter Gropius, Bauhaus, Dessau, ,1925-26. Colin Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, and Other Essays (Cambridge M A : MIT Press, 1976), p. 180 ".. 324 Figure 15: Le Corbusier, Villa Stein, Garches, 1927. Colin Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, and Other Essays (Cambridge M A : MIT Press, 1976), p.20 235 Figure 16: Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky, analytic diagrams of the facade of San Lorenzo, from Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky, "Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal, Part II," Pespecta 13-14 (1971), pp.294-5. ...... 326 . Figure 17: Anthony Caro, Midday, 1960, steel painted yellow. From Anthony Caro, by Terry Fenton (London: Thames and Hudson, 1986), p.33 327 Figure 18: Donald Judd, untitled sculpture, 1965, Aluminum and purple lacquer on aluminum. From Donald Judd, by Barbara Haskell (New York: Whitney Museum of Art, 1988), p.58 328 Figure 19: Kenneth Noland, Sound, c. 1966, acrylic on canvas. From Kenneth Noland: A Retrospective, by Diane Waldman (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1977), p.91. 329 Figure 20: Artforum 9 no.9 (May 1966), pp.24-5, "Allusion and Illusion in Donald Judd," by Rosalind Krauss 330 Figure 21: Frank Stella, Conway I, 1966, florescent alkyd and epoxy on canvas. From Frank Stella, by William Rubin (New York:'Museum of Modern Art, 1970), p. 116. : 331 Figure 22: Installation view of Noland exhibition at Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, 1967. From Kenneth Noland by Kenworth Moffett (New York: Harry N Abrams, 1977), p.67 332 Figure 23: Jules Olitski, Prince Patutslcy's Command, 1966, acrylic on canvas. From Art and Objecthood, by Michael Fried (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), plate 11, unpag 333 Figure 24: Artforum 11 no.9 (May 1968), pp.40-1, "On Frontality," by Rosalind Krauss 334 V l l Figure 25: Peter Eisenman, House II, analytic diagrams, from Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, by the Museum of Modern Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp. 34-5 335 Figure 26: Peter Eisenman, House I, analytic diagrams, from Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, by the Museum of Modern Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 22 336 Figure 27: Peter Eisenman, House II, analytic diagrams, from Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, by the Museum of Modern Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp. 32-3 337 Figure 28: Peter Eisenman, House II, black and white photograph, from Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, bythe Museum of Modern Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 37 338 Figure 29: Peter Eisenman, House II, axonometric, from Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, by the Museum of Modern Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 31. 339 Figure 30: Giuseppe Terragni, Casa del Fascio, view looking out onto the piazza. From "Dall'oggetto alia Relazionalita: La Casa del Fascio di Terragni," by Peter Eisenman, Casabella 344 (January 1970), p.39 340 Figure 31: Giuseppe Terragni, Casa del Fascio, oblique view. From "Dairpggetto alia Relazionalita: La Casa del Fascio di Terragni," by Peter Eisenman, Casabella 344 (January 1970), p.40 341 Figure 32: Peter Eisenman, "Notes on Conceptual Architecture," Design Quarterly 78/79 (1970), p.l 342 Figure 33: Frank Stella, Installation view, Lawerence Rubin Gallery, Konskie III, Cho dor ow I, and Felsztyn III, 1971. Photograph by Eric Pollitzer. From Art forum 10 no.4 (December 1971), p. 43 343 Figure 34: Ronald Davis, Four Fold, 1969, at the Castelli Gallery. From Artforum 8 no.4 (December 1969), p. 69 344 Figure 35: Artforum 10 no.9 (May 1972), pp.38-39, "Richard Serra: Sculpture Redrawn," by Rosalind Krauss. 345 Figure 36: Richard Serra, untitled (Pulitzer piece), 1970-71. Three views in Artforum 10 no.9 (May 1972), p. 40 346 Figure 37: Lynda Benglis, exhibition advertisement,."'macharina' pose," 1974. From Lynda Benglis: Dual Natures, by Susan-Krane (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1991), p.40 347 Figure 38: Lynda Benglis, exhibition announcement, photograph by Annie Leibovitz, 1974. From Lynda Benglis: Dual Natures; by Susan Krane (Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1991), p.41 348 Figure 39: Lynda Benglis, advertisement, Artforum (November J 974). From "Bone of Contention," by Richard Meyer, Artforum 53 no.3 (November 2004), p.73 '. 349 Figure 40: Artforum 13 no.3 (November 1974), pp. 54-55. "Lynda Benglis: The Frozen Gesture," by Robert Pincus-Witten 350 Figure 41: October 1 (Spring 1976), pp. 50-51. "Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism," by Rosalind Krauss, with two stills from Centers, 1971, by Vito Acconci : 351 Figure 42: Peter Campus, mem (below) and dor (above), 1974. Photographs by Bevan Davies, from October 1 (Spring 1976), p. 63 352 Figure 43: Jasper Johns, Weeping Women, 1975, encaustic and collage on canvas. From Jasper Johns, by Michael Crichton (New York: Abrams, 1994), pi. 168, unpag 353 Figure 44: Jasper Johns, Scent, 1974, oil and encaustic on canvas. From Jasper Johns, by Michael Crichton (New York: Abrams, 1994), pi. 161, unpag 354 Figure 45: Pablo Picasso, Nude with Drapery, 1907, oil on canvas. From Picasso: Style and Meaning, by Elizabeth Cowling (London: Phaidon, 2002), p. 184 355 Figure 46: Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Scent), c. 1953-55, oil and enamel on canvas. From Jackson Pollock, by Kirk Varndoe (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1998), p.3 12 356 • Figure 47: Jasper Johns, Untitled, 1972, oil, encaustic, and collage on canvas. From Jasper Johns, by Michael Crichton (New York: Abrams, 1994), pi. 148, unpag .357 Figure 48: Peter Eisenman, Five Easy Pieces, didactic panel, from the exhibition, Europa/America, Venice, 1976. From Europa/America, ed. Franco Raggi (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1978), p. 113 358 ( Figure 49: Peter Eisenman, Five Easy Pieces, didactic panel, from the exhibition, Europa/America, Venice, 19'76..From Europa/'America, ed. Franco Raggi (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1978), p. 117. 359 Figure 50: Peter Eisenman, Five Easy Pieces, model of House VIII, from the exhibition, Europa/America, Venice, 1976. From Europa/'America, ed. Franco Raggi (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1978), p. 118 360 Figure 51: Peter Eisenman,.Five Easy Pieces, didactic panel, from the exhibition, Europa/America, Venice, 1976. From Europa/America, ed. Franco Raggi (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1978), p. 115 361 Figure 52: Artforum 9 no.5 (January 1971), pp. 58-59. From "Jackson Pollock's Drawings," by Rosalind Krauss. ; 362 X Acknowledgements I thank first of all my supervisor, Serge Guilbaut, for bringing his critical eye to this work and for providing always lively discussion as it progressed. The other members of my supervisory committee, Sherry McKay and John O'Brian, also benefited me with their incisive commentary and discussion. On the occasion of earlier presentations of parts of this research, 1 was offered valuable feedback from friends and colleagues at UBC. For this I wish to thank, in particular, Aleksandra Idzior, Jasmina Karabeg, Carol Knicely, Becky Lane, Kimberly Phillips, and William Wood. And for reading versions of this thesis and responding with scholarly attentiveness special thanks are due to Becky Lane, again, and to Victoria Scott. My research was made possible by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and from the University of British Columbia, and by a research grant from the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. The staff ' at the C C A was particularly helpful. I thank Andrea Kuchembuk for assisting me in the archives, and Renata Guttman, Pierre Boisvert, and Paul Chenier for their help in the library. For facilitating the collections research grant program I thank Alexis Sornin. And for sharing his insights about the life of the 1AUS archive 1 thank Howard Shubert. Finally, this thesis would not have been written were it not for the support of my family. For the hospitality of Kevin and Vickie offered at numerous points throughout this research, but especially as it began, and for the continual support and encouragement from my parents, they deserve a special gratitude. 1 The intriguing question, in hindsight, is how this could have happened. How could so many grown men and women share in the collective delusion? ... Part of the answer, I think, lies in the magic of a new theory.... William Greider, The Education of David Stockman and Other Americans (1982) 2 Introduction Window Blow-Out: First Take The work of Gordon Matta-Clark has sustained the interest of critics and historians for its engagement of community - particularly the artistic community of the old industrial area of downtown Manhattan that in his time was yet to be given the name SoHo - and for its multiple forms of criticism of the practice of architecture. Said to be involved partly with the inquiries of minimalism and partly with conceptualism, his work has been summoned to give historical coherence to the art of the 1970s precisely by shedding light on the relation between such art-historical concepts, as evidenced in the recent spate of writings dealing with the late artist.1 A n example of his more conceptual work that has been singled out at the same time for being a particularly stinging critique of the profession of architecture is his Window Blow-Out. L ike much of the rest of Matta-Clark's work, which mostly tended to have an element of performance, little remains of this piece. Where his well-known building cuttings were in each case destroyed, some form of document has been made, often by Matta-Clark himself. But as for Window Blow-Out, apart from the photographs that comprised one element of this piece, what remains of it, and what is now essential to understand it, is a narrative told more or less 1 IVAM Centre et al., Gordon Matta-Clark French ed. (Marseilles: Musees Marseilles, 1993); Thomas Crow, "Site-Specific Art: The Strong and the Weak," in Modern Art and the Common Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996); Pamela Lee, Object to Be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-Clark (Cambridge MA: MIT, 2000); Corinne Diserens et al., Gordon Matta-Clark (London: Phaidon, 2003); Briony Fer et al., Transmission: The Art ofMatta and Gordon Matta-Clark (San Diego: San Diego Museum of Art, 2006); Elizabeth Sussman, ed., Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure (New York; New Haven: Whitney Museum of American Art; Yale University Press, 2007). 3 anecdotally by witnesses and persons who knew Matta-Clark who may or may not have witnessed the performance themselves.2 To review this narrative as it has circulated within Matta-Clark lore: Window Blow-Out owes its inception to an invitation to exhibit work in a show held at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York in December of 1976. Initially Matta-Clark planned to perform a cutting in the Institute's gallery, removing sections of wall and arranging the cut-out pieces on the floor of the gallery. Late in the show's preparation stages, the artist devised a new piece which would involve blowing out windows at the Institute and placing photographs in the casings of the damaged windows. Those photographs, which survive, depict windowed facades of derelict brownstone buildings [figs. 1 & 2]. They represent, that is, windows that are, as well, cracked and smashed in, recalling the more desperate living conditions for inhabitants of other parts of the city.3 The thrust of Matta-Clark's critique, then, was directed toward the Institute that staged the exhibition, an institute representing the profession of architecture, which did little to ameliorate the situation depicted in the photographs. The full force of this critique, however, is mostly registered in the anecdotal parts of the narrative that has come to represent this piece. When Matta-Clark abandoned his original plans and came up with the idea for the work that later became known as Window Blow-Out, he made certain arrangements to do so. He is said to have asked for, and to have been granted, permission to shoot out windows at the Institute that were 2 "Witness" may be the best term, given the covert and, alleged by some, criminal nature of the performance. Joan Simon, Interviews, in Mary Jane Jacob, Gordon Matta-Clark (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1985). 3 Andrew MacNair, interview by Joan Simon, in Jacob, 96; Marianne Brouwer, "Laying Bare," in Gordon Matta-Clark, IVAM Center, 363-5; Jane Crawford, interview by Jiirgen Harten (27 March 1979) in Gordon Matta-Clark: One for all and all for one, by Stadtische Kunsthalle, Diisseldorf (Diisseldorf: Kunsthalle, 1979), unpaginated; Crow "Site-Specific Art." 4 already cracked. Upon arrival, sometime during the night before the show's Opening, he proceeded to shoot out all of the Institute's windows with a firearm (said variously to be a b-b gun, an air gun, or a gun of unknown fire power appearing to be a rifle - though the gun's avowed owner, Dennis Oppenheim, acknowledges that it was an air gun).4 This gesture contravened the permission given by Andrew MacNair, the show's organizer (said sometimes to.be its curator, though MacNair was a staffperson at the IAUS, and the exhibition was the conception of Peter Eisenman, the Insitute's director).5 That Matta-Clark destroyed more than the already cracked windows was evidently read as a deliberately destructive act directed toward the Institute itself. This was amplified by the aggressive manner in which the artist chose to carry out his performance. According to the account by MacNair (interviewed by Joan Simon on the occasion of Matta-Clark's first major retrospective in 1985, it remains fullest account published to date), the action angered Eisenman, who unreservedly compared it to the actions of Nazi stormtroopers on Kristallnacht (Eisenman has acknowledged and stands by his resolute condemnation of Matta-Clark's action).6 The circulated reports of this response, including the fact that Matta-Clark was booted out of the show and that the damaged windows were immediately repaired, leaving no trace of the artist's involvement at the Institute, has in many accounts confirmed the reactionary nature of the architectural profession, which was the artist's object of critique in the first place.7 4 MacNair; Dennis Oppenheim, interview by Joan Simon, in Jacob, 21; Peter Eisenman, interview by Louis Martin, 22 February 2001, transcript, Insitute for Architecture and Urban Studies archives, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 5 MacNair identifies himself as "curator." See, however, Peter Eisenman, preface to Idea as Model, ed. Kenneth Frampton and Silvia Kolbowski (New York: Rizzoli for Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, 1981), 1. 6 MacNair; Eisenman, interview, 22 February 2001. 7 Brouwer; Crawford; Crow, "Site-Specific Art." 5 Other details have been called on to support this. For example, the exhibition in question has been identified as Idea as Model, a show of architects' models that included work by the so-called New York Five (in most accounts, Eisenman, Richard Meier, and Michael Graves, are the only members of the Five who are identified individually, though the other two - Charles Gwathmey and John Hejduk - were also represented in the show). The exhibition, then, was a venue for a form of production that suited the conceptual (and, it is sometimes pointed out, market) leanings of this group of architects that found an institutional home at the IAUS. 8 (As was Eisenman's customary editorial and curatorial practice, however, a range of architectural opinion was represented in the show - that is, apart from the modernist "Whites" of the New York group, there were also representatives of the postmodern "Grays" (e.g., Robert A . M . Stern, Charles Moore, and Stanley Tigerman).)9 Against the prolonged rhetoric of modernist purity within the architectural profession, Matta-Clark's intervention at the IAUS struck by exposing the neglect of architects to consider the conditions that bear on the inhabitants of architecture, rather than simply the act of building, thus giving the lie to the presumptions behind that blandishment known as development. Of the photographs meant to be included for display in the casings of the cracked windows, it has even been suggested that some are of developments in the Bronx resembling one just completed by Richard Meier. 1 0 Crow, "Site-Specific Art;" Rosalyn Deutsche, "The Threshole of Democracy," in Urban Mythologies: The Bronx Represented Since the 1960s, ed. John Alan Farmer (Bronx, NY: Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1999), 94-101. . 9 Kenneth Frampton and Silvia Kolbowski eds., Idea as Model (New York: Rizzoli for the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, 1981). On the White/Gray nomenclature, see Peter Eisenman and Robert A.M. Stern eds., "White and Gray: Eleven Modern American Architects," spec, issue of A&U: Architecture and Urbanism, no.52 (April 1975). 1 0 Meier's project in the South Bronx was one of a number in the Twin Parks neighborhood built under the auspices of the Urban Development Corporation, a state agency devised to provide non-profit affordable housing. Deutsche, 94. 6 For all the attention paid to the ingenuity of Matta-Clark, however, none of the published accounts of Window Blow-Out describe the circumstances of his being invited to exhibit at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in the first place. And these circumstances have much to tell us. Not just in terms of reading this one piece, or of Matta-Clark's work in general, but in terms of the art-historical descriptions of the period that have found in Matta-Clark a means of historicizing its practices (e.g., in the variations on conceptualism, minimalism, site-specificity, performance, etc.). Key among the circumstances not published is the fact that Matta-Clark had -within the circles of the IAUS - an advocate who petitioned on his behalf. This advocate was in the person of Rosalind Krauss, who reportedly defended the artist upon Eisenman's angered response." Krauss had that same year, 1976, co-founded October -this much is as widely known as the journal itself. What is much less discussed, however, is that October owes its beginnings - in legal and financial terms - to the IAUS. For it was with a commitment from the Institute, secured by its director, Peter Eisenman, that the new art journal found a publisher. More than a contractual and financial state of affairs, the relation of October to the IAUS points to the intellectual connection that underpinned the art journal's attachment to the architectural institute. Beginning in 1969 when they met, Eisenman and Krauss maintained a dialogue that tested the points of connection between practices in art and architecture that could be grouped under headings such as conceptual and minimalist. This dialogue occurred as Eisenman and Krauss each came to reassess the modernisms they were trained in (those represented by Colin Rowe and by Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried respectively). This dialogue involved explorations of " Eisenman, interview, 22 February 2001. 7 linguistic and Gestalt theory. Broadly speaking, Eisenman and Krauss were committed to reflexive practices. In a sense, this put them within a tradition of modernist thinking that held to notions of self-critique, but the kinds of reflexiveness they each promoted were meant as a check against what they took to be the primarily perceptual or phenomenological orientations of the modernisms they sought to critique. By turning to what they felt were the more rigorous theories of gestalt psychology and Chomskian linguistics, Krauss and Eisenman developed forms of reflexiveness that they claimed were founded on more solid epistemological ground rather than what they saw as the recourse to transcendentalism of their mentors. At the same time, the practices they promoted had to reflexively incorporate their material bases, despite the fact that neither gestalt theory nor Chomskian linguistics alone, in their view, dealt with materiality adequately. The modification of their preferred theoretical models in order to emphasize materiality was seen as a check against ungrounded conceptualism that could lead to a merely anomic situation, a threat that they regarded as present in much of the new conceptual art. In light of this dialogue, then, it is possible to see how Matta-Clark's building cuttings could have been read with admiration by both Krauss and Eisenman. As I will elaborate later, within Krauss's framework they may have demonstrated a figure-ground relationship that did not lose sight of what gestaltists called the field - namely, the environment's bearing on the work, to which Krauss appended a material importance. As for Eisenman's linguistic orientation, Matta-Clark's cuts could each be read as a signifying element that is only legible in relation to another and to the building's own signs. The name of one of Matta-Clark's first building cuttings, A W-Hole House -8 Datum Cut [fig. 3], points to this potential affinity, as it was Eisenman's custom to refer to building elements not in terms of their function but as pieces of information - calling, for example, the plane of a wall a datum. Certainly, Matta-Clark rejected the kind of conceptual gamesmanship practiced at the IAUS and at the Cornell school of architecture where he trained as an architect, and indeed this may have provided an ironic basis for the subtitle Datum Cut. But it is not impossible to see how the practice may have been understood by Eisenman's conceptual framework. (Indeed, the term "deconstruction" as it came to be applied to Eisenman's later work has been retrospectively used, perhaps more literally, in the context of Matta-Clark's work, and has thus begged a comparison). It is not certain how Matta-Clark felt about Rosalind Krauss's advocacy of his work, given his predilection for community-based involvement, which did not seem to resound with the individualist practices that she still supported. However, that Krauss instigated his invitation to the Idea as Model exhibition in 1976, and the fact that it was presaged by a dialogue with Peter Eisenman, sets out circumstances to Window Blow-Out quite different from what are usually attributed to the piece. In fact, I will argue that the usual reading of Window Blow-Out as provoking and demonstrating the conservative and reactionary nature of the architectural profession, or even of this particular architectural institute, is mostly misguided. Instead, I will argue that the piece needs to be understood as an intervention (albeit not an intentional one) in the circumstances just described, that it in fact functioned as a wedge that drove apart the shared points of contact between the projects of Krauss and Eisenman. In the wake of Window Blow-Out, then, a set of differences emerged which have proven to be quite significant. The usual contrast of an alternative art founded on 9 makeshift means and an institutionalized architectural profession does not tell the whole story. It is true that art and architecture are made into opponents in Window Blow-Out, but the important differences, I will argue, lie elsewhere. In the two-part essay that she published in October in the months following the Idea as Model exhibition, Krauss describes Matta-Clark's building cutting work in structuralist terms that were for her soon to become the basis for a theory of postmodernism. "Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America" set the parameters for "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," which was to appear in less than two years and was the first of a number of articles that were to appear in 12 October in the late 1970s and early 1980s that set out a theory of postmodernism. Up until this moment Krauss was quite content to describe her project as a modernist one, though since the beginning of the 1970s it was a modernism expressly different from that espoused by Greenberg and Fried. What set her new commitment to a postmodern project apart from her architectural counterpart, of course, was that at the IAUS and in its flagship journal Oppositions, postmodernism meant something entirely different. There, postmodernism was a sign of the growing conservative forces in architecture and was to be combated at all costs. A conservative architectural postmodernism was, to be certain, identified by writers in the circle of October. But what this confirmed for them was the existence of two kinds of postmodernism: one of reaction and one of criticism. ' 1 2 Rosalind Krauss, "Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America" (2 parts), October 3 (summer 1977): 68-81 and October A (winter 1977): 58-67; idem, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," October 8 (spring 1979): 31-44. 1 3 For a discussion of architecture, see Hal Foster, "Pastiche/Prototype/Purity: 'Houses for Sale,' Leo Castelli Gallery, New York," Artforum 19 no.7 (March 1981): 77-9; and Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson, editorial to "Art World Follies," spec, issue, October 16 (spring 1981): 3-4, which refers to the same exhibition reviewed by Foster. On the distinction between critical and reactionary postmodernism, see Hal Foster, introduction to The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster (Port Townsend WA: Bay Press, 1983; New York: New Press, 1998), ix-xvii. 10 However, just why October critics established two postmodernisms, while Oppositions and the architects could conceive of just one requires some accounting. The Fantasy of Postmodernism Within current art and architectural circles the term postmodernism has, for the most part, a dated air about it. It has long been shorn of its currency in any meaningful dialogue about the state of. art and architectural production. Instead, the name recalls for most a notion that was fashionable in the 1970s and 1980s, suggesting a manifold of concepts like historical quotation, allegory, appropriation, pastiche, the culture of late capitalism, the end of grand narratives, the critique of the authorial subject, the collapse of the Enlightenment project, pluralism. Yet, for all this, it has not been properly historicized. A recent library catalogue search produced six hundred entries under the subject heading of postmodernism (with dozens of new titles appearing every year, now mostly in areas like philosophy and cultural studies), while a search under the history of postmodernism produced only six. This thesis proposes to historicize the production and circulation of the term postmodernism, paying attention to two of its most important sites: October, a journal of art criticism founded in 1976, and Oppositions, an architectural periodical that was first published in 1973.1 will forego any attempt to discuss postmodernism as a movement, a period, or an ethos, as though the term were transparent or its referent were actual. Instead, I am interested in how the term was produced, what it responded to, and how it was used. 11 This is not to say, to repeat the most well-worn of postmodernism's cliches, that postmodernism has so many meanings that the term itself is meaningless. On the contrary, just such a claim is one of the things that should be analyzed. In fact, I shall call postmodernism a fantasy, not in the sense that it is simply something that does not actually exist, but in the precise sense that, taken as term reproduced in a range of contexts, it does have a coherence in the effects of its deployment. In other words, the differences in meanings applied to the term postmodernism throughout the period under study need to be understood as something like a system of differences. And this system is what I aim to uncover, for the primary role of the fantasy of postmodernism has been to dissimulate the effects of its composite discourses.14 This particular definition of fantasy will be important to understand why it is not like other discourses. I will argue that it is why postmodernism has resisted historicization. In order to discuss this further, it will be important to consider the ways the fantasy of postmodernism has continued. I have in mind two ways in which the fantasy of postmodernism has persisted and has not allowed itself to be opened up to historicization. First is through the cliche just mentioned. Consider the opening lines of the Postmodernism volume of the Tate Gallery's series, Movements in Modern Art: Like the concept of God who is everywhere and nowhere, 'postmodernism' is remarkably impervious to definition. A term thrown about to describe phenomena as diverse as the Star Wars films, the practice of digital sampling in rock music, television-driven political campaigns and the fashion designs of Jean Paul Gauthier and Issey Miyake, postmodernism seems to permeate contemporary life 1 4 This will serve to distinguish my use of "fantasy" from more common psychoanalytic uses - that is, it is not the sign of an unconscious drive in conflict with a symbolic order; rather it is the production of a mode of efficiency through different kinds of knowledge (practical and speculative). For this I draw on the work of Thorstein Veblen, which I will discuss in chapter 2. 12 ... Postmodernism is modernism's unruly child. And since the definition of modernism itself remains in dispute, it should come as no surprise that even postmodernism's ardent advocates seem unable to come to any consensus about what, exactly, it is. The severity of postmodernism's identity crisis can be glimpsed in some of the terms used to describe it. Characterised variously as 'an incredulity toward metanarratives', 'a crisis of cultural authority' and 'the shift from production to reproduction', and tossed into conversation in the company of words like 'decentred', 'simulation', schizophrenic', and 'anti-aesthetic', postmodernism seems to exist tenuously, as a thing that can only be defined as the negation of something else. To a student of the subject, postmodernism may feel very much like Narcissus' reflection in the water, which disintegrates the moment one reaches out to grasp it. This, as it turns out, is a very postmodern way to be. 1 5 Not only does postmodernism have so many meanings that any attempt to fix the term results in its disintegration, but this very condition is what postmodernism is said to be about. The attempt to analyze the term postmodernism has been cut off from the history of how it has been used and, as it turns out, this disconnect is a sign of the postmodern times. Compare the above with the following journalistic account of postmodernism written in 1980: Yes, "Post-Modern" is vague, but this vagueness allows us to pull in a large catch, incorporate phenomena in all the arts, in society, and in politics.... Yes, "Post-Modern" is a negative term, failing to name a "positive" replacement, but this permits pluralism to flourish (in a word, it permits freedom, even in the marketplace).... In this sense, this impossible phrase, this unreal Post-Modernism, is completely possible now, Richard Schechner [whose epigraph to the article in quotation here asked: " 'Post-modern'? Is it a good term - that is, does it say anything? And if it does say something, what is needed to be said now?"]. And it does say something - many things, in fact, all at once, as befits an age that distrusts dogmatic simplicity. 1 6 1 5 Eleanor Heartney, Postmodernism (Cambridge UK: Cambridge UP, 2001), 6-7. 1 6 Douglas Davis, "Post-Everything," Art.in America 68 no.2 (Feb. 1980), 11-14. At the time of this article, Davis was art critic for Newsweek and contributed periodically to Art in America. Cf. Peter Schjeldahl, "Appraising Passions," Village Voice, 7 January 1981. 13 Pluralism, in the arts, in society, in politics, and in the marketplace, is the sign of the times, and the polyvalence of the term postmodernism is just one more marker of this. The author of this account concluded with the following speculation about the phrase, however: "Where will it lead us? I suspect, in the end, it will follow us, and become finally, a period piece. Period." Indeed, postmodernism has, as I suggest, become as dated as any period piece. But for all this sense of datedness, the same de-historicizing and tautological cliche persists when it comes to accounting for it: the plural definitions of postmodernism form a sign of the pluralist, postmodern times. A second resistance to historicization is less obvious. Recent surveys of late-twentieth-century art have attempted to historicize key markers of the postmodern period, but in so doing they have followed the accounts offered by theorists of the postmodern writing in the 1970s and 1980s. For example, in Art Since 1960 Michael Archer begins his chapter on "postmodernisms" by naming economic deregulation as an investment impetus for collectors like Achille Bonito Oliva, Peter Ludwig, and the Saatchis, who fueled the return of figurative painting. Some critics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many of whom writing for October, identified the return to painting as part of a conservative formation in which artists and collectors cynically adapted to the shift in the economic and political winds. "In contrast to the negativity of these positions, described by the American critic Hal Foster as a 'postmodernism of reaction,'" Archer writes, "there was also a critical, radical postmodernism."17 Here, the historical basis for the conservative postmodernism is identified following the same criticism that Foster promoted - that is, it recognizes economic factors and their concomitant political circumstances. But as for the formation of di critical postmodernism, the prose of this 1 7 Michael Archer, Art Since I960 2d. ed. (London: Thames and Hudson, 2002), 145. (my emphasis) 1 4 survey has historical explanation replaced by the itemization of the different postmodernisms that coexisted, however much they actively competed with one another. By itemizing the emergence of "postmodernisms" and by tying them one to the other, however, a certain causality is implied that appears to reverse the causal direction laid out by Foster. That is, if one is to infer that this latter postmodernism described by Foster is critical of the former, that it responded to the conservative postmodernism, would not the label "reaction" apply better to the ostensibly critical postmodernism rather than the other way around? What Foster saw the conservative postmodernism reacting to, of course, were the advances by the left and various forms of cultural criticism beginning in the 1960s. By broadening the historical field that formed the conservative postmodernism, as many who have historicized this period have done, Archer has effectively taken the critical postmodernism out of the specific chain of contest, of action and reaction, described by Foster. This has the advantage of treating the formation of "postmodernisms" as a group, but by holding to the prevailing account of political and economic history, the criteria of historicization remain applicable to only one of the two postmodernisms identified by Foster - there is a broad cultural, economic, and political trend, which is historical, and then there is the critical activity in response to it, which in this survey does not require more historicization than just that. The general reorganization of the polyvalence and vagueness of the term postmodernism into two camps was codified by Foster in 1983 in the introduction to the landmark collection of essays he edited, The Anti-Aesthetic. In the manner used by Archer it has continued to be another standard means of reading the art of the 1980s. In After Modem Art: 1945-2000, David Hopkins, like Archer, identifies the economic shifts 15 of the 1970s as foundational to the period of postmodernism: "Whereas previous monopoly or imperialist phases of capitalism had been linked to cultural modernism, late capitalism was to be seen as synonymous with a 'postmodern' epoch."1 8 This economic historicization was most famously propounded in the cultural context of postmodernism by Frederic Jameson, an influence on Foster and one of the authors who appeared in The Anti-Aesthetic. Jameson had borrowed this periodization from the Belgian Marxist economist, Ernest Mandel, whose Late Capitalism was first published in German in 1972.19 One question that will have to be asked is how the work of a Marxist economist, so firmly rooted in the European events of 1968, can still serve as a model for the periodization of art historical surveys and not itself be historicized. And a related question: Why do 1980s cultural criticism and the recent 'histories' of it, which ostensibly bear witness to the opacity of discourse, continue to rely a science of the 'real' (which Mandel's work is) when it comes to economic matters? Why has no one in this context treated economic discourse as discourse? For Hopkins, ignoring this route and following the periodization established by Mandel and repeated by others allows the organization of postmodernism into the divisions set down by Foster. Although he acknowledges a practice of photo-painting by artists like Thomas Lawson, David Salle, Malcolm Morley, Eric Fischl, and Gerhard Richter, that fit neither the photo-based "critical postmodernism" advanced by October nor the archetypes of the resurgent painting, Hopkins says that, 1 8 David Hopkins, After Modern Art: 1945-2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 1 9 Frederic Jameson, "Postmodernism and Consumer Society," in The Anti-Aesthetic, ed. Hal Foster, 127-144; Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991); Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, revised ed., trans. Joris de Bres (London; Atlantic Highlands N.J.: NLB; Humanities Press, 1975). . 16 it can be asserted that postmodern art in the early 1980s broadly resolved itself into two camps. First there were those who were content to surrender to the 'free play of the signifier', even in its most lurid consumerist garb. Alternatively there were those postmodernists who set about reassessing modernism, utilizing Duchampian, Situationist, or Conceptualist strategies to open up fault-lines in the capitalist 'spectacle'. By again treating the incipiently historical aspects of postmodernism as those determining the actions of artists who would surrender to its lurid, consumerist movement, and by maintaining the active resistance to this movement as that outside the realm of historicization, surveys such as this repeat the line codified in the early 1980s by Hal Foster and critics writing in October. The ascendance of the October account of late twentieth-century art may by confirmed by the recent publication of Art Since 1900, a book bound to appear on the syllabi of many an undergraduate Art History course, which was written by four current October editors - Rosalind Krauss, Hal Foster, Benjamin Buchloh, and Hal Foster. Here too, the chain of action and reaction set up by Foster in the early 1980s is replaced by different criteria of historicization (those again of a survey text), as the book's subtitle -Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism - reads less as chronological list than a set of artistic formations that characterize "art since 1900." Further, the discussion among the authors at the book's conclusion suggest not simply the datedness of "postmodernism" Hopkins 203. The reference is not simply to Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, but, more pointedly, to Foster's use of that work in his assessment of a postmodernism of reaction, in "The Art of Spectacle," Art in America 71 no.4 (Apr. 1983), 144-149, 195-199. 2 1 This is not to say there have been no historical revisions of the October line. In the effort to establish a history of a different postmodernism, historians like Maurice Berger and Amelia Jones have been critical of the exclusions made to the art of the 1970s by critics writing for October. Maurice Berger, Labyrinths: Robert Morris, Minimalism, and the 1960s (New York: Harper & Row, 1989); Amelia Jones, Postmodernism and the En-Gendering of Marcel Duchamp (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994). However, as I will argue later, despite their critique, they maintain the same basic historical model -that governed by the figure institution - as established in October. 17 but the oafdatedness of that notion, as they (or, three of them, at least) return 22 commitments to the category of modernism. I claimed at the outset that the term postmodernism was dated in both art and architectural circles. That the architectural counterpart to the criticism produced in October, especially that in the journal Oppositions, did not devise a "critical postmodernism" in opposition to what was identified as a largely conservative architectural postmodernism (in particular, that advanced by the critic Charles Jencks), has made postmodernism an even more historically specific term in architectural history. But here, what has happened is that subsequent attempts to historicize it have necessarily been forced to account for developments outside architecture. Thus, the more strict use of postmodernism in the architectural criticism of the 1970s to mean things like historical quotation and semantic polyvalence, has been subject to the demands of broader definitions of postmodernism, such as those produced in the contemporary art scene. In this way, the identification of architectural postmodernism as one type of reactionary Hal Foster et al., Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004). Krauss's recent work on the concept of medium as logical rather than material form has made the sharpest turn away from the concept of postmodernism. Throughout the seventies and eighties, Bucholoh had never developed a critical project in the name of postmodernism, remaining always tied the project of the historical avant-garde. Foster, who of the four has had perhaps the greatest investment in the concept of postmodernism, is suspicious of the continuation of modernism as he questions Krauss's work on medium, 675. At the same time, postmodernism has become problematic for him as well: "in the last several years the two models we've used to articulate different aspects of postwar art have become dysfunctional. I mean, on the one hand, the model of a medium-specific modernism challenged by an interdisciplinary postmodernism, and, on the other, the model of a historical avant-garde (i.e., ones critical of the old bourgeois institutions of art such as Dada and Constructivism) and a neo-avant-garde that elaborates on this critique.... Today the recursive strategy of the 'neo' appears as attenuated as the oppositional logic of the 'post' seems tired: neither suffices as a strong paradigm for artistic or cultural practice, and no other model stands in their stead; or, put differently, many local models compete, but none can hope to be paradigmatic," 679. In a way that is typical of how "critical postmodernism" has now become "historical," Bois links up Foster's formulation with his own account of the formalism of earlier periods: "Hal [Foster] wrote an essay in the early eighties stressing that there were two kinds of 'postmodernism' in art, an authoritarian one and a progressive one, and he also wrote in a similar way about the divergent legacies of Russian Constructivism and Minimalism. This goes hand in hand with what I mentioned about the two kinds of formalisms, a morphological one and a structural one," 672. An example Bois gives is the distinction he and Krauss make between Breton and Bataille in their Informe exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1996. 18 postmodernism by critics outside the field of architecture, like Foster and Jameson, has been made to bear on subsequent histories of architecture.23 And this has raised the same historicist quandary. One important issue to be explored in this thesis is the reason for the different uses of the term postmodernism in art and architectural discourse in the 1970s and 1980s. The fantasy of postmodernism, then, is still with us. However dated the term seems, however much it can be identified as a marker of the 1970s and 1980s, it has not opened itself up to historicization. One way of conceiving of the resistance to historicization is through a distinction between a discourse on postmodernism and a discourse of postmodernism.24 A discourse on something, I will suggest, is easier to read. It is a sort of reflexive or self-analysis, as in the journalistic attempts to assess all the different meanings of the term postmodernism, or in the critical attempts to categorize different types of postmodernism. A discourse of something is what is produced through, or even despite, the analytic mode of the discourse on that thing. It is comprised of neighboring discourses that produce the effects of the discourse on that thing. This is the discourse that I want to historicize, that has been so resistant to historicization. Thus, in the journalistic account I first identified, the discourse on postmodernism led fairly directly to a discourse of postmodernism. That is, the identification of a plurality of different meanings for the term postmodernism suggests, as the cliche goes, 23See, for example, Diane Ghirardo, Architecture After Modernism (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996), 7-8; and Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture: A Critical History, 3d. ed., (London: Thames and Hudson, 1992), 305-11. 2 4 On this prepositional distinction, I am loosely following that made in Peter de Bolla, The Discourse of the Sublime: Readings in History, Aesthetics, and the Subject (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), see especially pp. 7-12. 19 that pluralism itself is a condition of postmodernity. If pluralism is an aspect of the discourse on postmodernism, this has not made the problem of historicization easier, however. As we will see, the notion of pluralism is open to competing uses on both the left and the right. And to understand these competing uses, to give coherence to them, will be the task of an analysis of the discourse of postmodernism. In the second resistance to historicization, the repeated recourse to the broad categorization of two postmodernisms - one of reaction and one of radical criticism - has really made historicization responsive only to the former, to the cultural logic of late capitalism, as Jameson put it. Critical postmodernism and the postmodernism of reaction, have been resistant to historicization together. Surveys, for example, have paid attention to the discourse on postmodernism established by critics like Hal Foster. In so doing, they have accepted the two postmodernisms but have taken the conservative cultural postmodernism as historical. Whereas the rhetorical thrust of Foster's label "postmodernism of reaction" was to identify that it was a reactionary response to the critique of the modernist consensus culture begun in the 1960s and carried through to the 1980s' critical postmodernism. Thus in the criticism of the 1980s and in recent histories of that criticism, the two postmodernisms have a causal relation, but the recent histories have reversed the order, making the reactionary postmodernism causally prior. What this resistance shows is that a discourse of postmodernism returns to the matter of causal efficiency. And just as the first resistance revealed a second discourse of pluralism, here, as I aim to show, postmodernism returns to a discussion of causality, which takes the form of a discourse on institutions. For, according to this discourse, institutions were above all the agents that caused and propelled the reactionary 20 postmodernism of late capitalism. Institutions, however, were figured in often contradictory ways. The important issue to consider is that, although the matter of causal efficiency was subject to contradictions, these were obscured through the production of different modes of criticality that appeared to cohere, especially in the journals October and Oppositions, around a common project dealing with postmodernism. My major contention in this thesis is that the fantasy of postmodernism (or, the discourse on postmodernism) served to mask and make illegible the deep contradictions between the different uses of the figure "institution." These contradictions, like the ones surrounding pluralism, cut across the political field. Thus, the usual cultural history of the late 1970s and early 1980s in the US, of a right-wing political resurgence and a more-or-less leftist criticism of it in the alternative institutions and the alternative press, does not tell the whole story. The more important historical matter lies in the changes effected by those discursive elements that cut across the political field - and these have to do with the relation between the production of knowledge and the economy of its use. In order to approach the historical events in question I have turned to the often forgotten work (at least, in the fields of art and architectural history) of Thorstein Veblen, whose collective writing forms one of the most sustained investigations into the concept of institutionality. Known primarily for Theory of the Leisure Class - a study of that class's consumption habits whose subtitle is An Economic Study of Institutions -Veblen's work incorporated a broad range of knowledge, from economics and anthropology to modern Darwinian evolution, and the study of the institutions of higher 21 learning. H i s account o f the relation between the institutions o f k n o w l e d g e and the institutions o f e c o n o m y is part icular ly important to m y story. " F o l l o w i n g a strict ly materialist D a r w i n i s m , V e b l e n says that there is no inherent order i n the w o r l d that causes things to turn out i n a part icular way. Instead, he says, e f f ic iency is strictly a trait o f conscious beings, w h i c h a l lows them to determine and compare ways and means i n the attainment o f pract ical ends. H o w e v e r , it is also a human characteristic to attribute e f f ic iency to certain things, a n t h r o p o m o r p h i z i n g causal i ty i n the w o r l d o f things b y g i v i n g it an external agent. T h u s , the basic feature o f institutions is the separation o f pract ical and speculative k n o w l e d g e - the separation o f things into matters o f fact, descr ib ing those things that are avai lable to the e f f ic iency o f persons, and matters o f imputat ion, descr ib ing those things that are caused by an external agent. In the west, V e b l e n expla ins , the history o f inst i tut ional i ty begins to have its first clear expression i n the m i d d l e ages, when the speculative s c h o o l i n g o f the c h u r c h emerges as a d o m a i n o f learning distinct f r o m the handicraft training o f the gui lds . T h i s h is tor ica l descr ipt ion is appl ied b y V e b l e n to his o w n t ime, however , i n a cri t ique o f modern e c o n o m i c institutions. T h e thrust o f his crit ique is to argue that contemporary economics is no less reliant o n a speculative scheme o f things (as i n the w a y A d a m S m i t h describes the i n v i s i b l e hand that guides the market and benefits al l) than any supernatural t h i n k i n g that has i n f o r m e d the western c h u r c h or any other re l ig ious i n s t i t u t i o n . 2 6 The major works by Veblen dealing with these issues are: The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions  (New York: The Modern Library) 1934; The Instinct of Workmanship and the State of the Industrial Arts  (New York: Norton, 1964); and The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men (New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1918). 2 6 See Thorstein Veblen, "Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?" and "The Preconceptions of Economic Science," in The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation and Other Essays (New York: Heubsch, 1919), 56-81, 82-179. Smith is the classical example. In the neoclassical marginal analysis of the 1890s and later, economics supposes the same causal scheme as in contemporary thermodynamics. See 22 This basic description of institutionality - the separation of practical and speculative knowledge - informs my study. But just as Veblen was also careful to describe the process whereby institutions change, it will be important to consider how institutions are subject to the contingent forces of historical mutation. Put simply, Veblen describes this as a process where things previously held to be caused by an external agent are now made available to the efficiency of persons, and at the same time, things previously said to be the objects of practical knowledge are now assigned an external cause. Veblen gives his students much to use in a study of institutions, and the history of his career suggests he was highly aware of how his own work was implicated in the very processes he described. This was an implication that perhaps Veblen did not live long enough to deal with fully. His most immediate followers did employ a theory of institutions in his lifetime, and Veblen felt dissatisfied with the way they were using it. But a full discourse on institutions was to emerge only a little bit later. In fact, such a discourse appeared in the 1930s well before the one I am concerned with in the 1970s and early 1980s. The argument I make in this thesis employs Veblen's study of institutionality in order to account for the emergence of a discourse on institutions, a distinction that is crucial in what follows. Veblen's account provides us with a way of thinking about the ' relation between institutions of research and speculative learning - in particular, the university - and institutions of economy. These two kinds of institutions are far from separate. In fact, rather than referring to them as institutions, it might be better to describe also, Philip Mirowski, Against Mechanism: Protecting Economics from Science (Totowa NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1988). 23 these areas of activity as being formed by a common bond, or, to use a term I feel better fits Veblen's thought (or, at least, better distinguishes it from a discourse on institutions), a common institutionality. The discourse on institutions, on the other hand, is a production of knowledge that aims to describe these two areas of activity. But what gives it its specific historical dimension is, as I will show, that it appears largely from the alternative spaces, the think tanks, and the independent research institutes. As a discourse on the social construction of knowledge, on the conventional character of knowledge, the discourse on institutions supposes at the same time a knowledge (itself) outside those conventions. This is part and parcel with the loci of its production. In defining the discourse on institutions as a "discourse on the discursive construction of knowledge," I want to suggest that it is at once like and unlike other discourses. It is, firstly, like other discourses in that it is a production of knowledge and can no more claim to speak transparently about "actual" social relations than the objects of its analysis (i.e., knowledge that is discursively produced). However, in supposing an outside to conventional or constructed knowledge (this is not usually an obvious supposition), the discourse on institutions differs from other discourses. More than a matter of this discourse being produced from the alternative spaces and therefore outside the usual institutions of speculative learning, the discourse on institutions supposes a knowledge that differs from the usual speculative knowledge of the institutions of higher learning. That is, in marking its difference from usual speculative knowledge, it claims to identify in that knowledge the conventional. Unlike speculative knowledge, which by Veblenian definition is the attribution of efficiency to the world of things, the conventional is entirely a matter of human efficiency. The important historical crux I read 24 in the discourse on institutions follows from the fact that it at once identifies conventions in place of speculative knowledge and supposes an outside to those conventions: it is that the discourse on institutions is productive of a fantasy of pure human efficiency unhindered by conventions. In this sense I distinguish a fantasy pure human efficiency from a speculative scheme that attributes efficiency in the world of things. However, although a fantasy may be different from a speculative scheme, it may nonetheless be productive of one. The task therefore is to show how a speculative scheme (postmodernism) emerges out of a fantasy of efficiency (the discourse on institutions). And to show at the same time how such a fantasy underpins, and remains with, such a speculative scheme. In other words, if we may describe institutionality as that binding university (speculative) learning and (the) economy, then we may show the discourse on institutions as providing the transition to a new regime of efficiency for the way it enabled a reorganization of the areas of activity touched by the university and economy. As I will argue, the discourse on institutions cut across the political field and across domains of knowledge, informing both the criticism of postmodernism and the new conservative economics and cultural criticism associated with the Reagan period. If the culture of consensus of the 1950s and 1960s, the liberalism of the Vital Center, may be described as one regime of efficiency, then it may be shown that, with the critique of it by both the left and right through a discourse on institutions, what emerged by the 1980s were the fantasies of postmodernism and Reaganomics. I call these fantasies in particular, because they belied the effects of the discourse on institutions - and they continue with us 25 because they provide an account (a supernatural one, as Veblen would have it) of the major shifts in the university and in the economy since the 1980s. Outline of the Argument This study covers the arc of a dialogue between Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman, a dialogue that shows the affinities between an art and an architectural criticism until the pressures of the emergent thinking on institutions could no longer hold it together. That dialogue initially emerged out of the criticisms each had made of her and his intellectual formation - formations that in each case involved a kind of mentor figure. In the case of Rosalind Krauss, this was in the person of Michael Fried, whom she met in graduate school at Harvard, when he had just begun his vocation as an art critic. In the case of Peter Eisenmen, Colin Rowe, his graduate advisor at Cambridge, England, was his interlocutor in a dialogue that continued as they both returned to the US, where Eisenmen eventually founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. What follows here is, firstly, an outline of the argument of this thesis, followed by a description of its layout chapter by chapter. Extending Veblen's thinking, I will suggest two ways in which institutionality has defined the rules of causality by linking up fantasies of human efficiency with causal schemes in the world of things: As such, I am less interested in what actually comprised such "mentor" relationships - a term that requires all kinds of qualifications. Instead I am more interested in the "breaks" that were, and have continued to be, part of the self-positioning of both Krauss and Eisenman. For such breaks to have the force they are meant by Krauss and Eisenman to be understood as having, the closeness of something like a mentor relationship is assumed. 26 1) One's practical work, which is free of any hindrance, is guaranteed by an external causal scheme. The practical efficiency of persons is not determined by an external scheme, but it is made possible by it. One may say that it is the total practical work in the world that is caused by this external scheme. (Following Philip Mirowski's reading of Norbert Wiener, I will call this Augustinian causality.)28 2) The task of one's practical work is to uncover the causal scheme in the world in order that one may work in accord with it and benefit by it. In other words, it is an efficiency that may be harnessed, but only if one synchronizes with it by combating the inherent disorder in the world. Without this synchronization, practical work in itself is merely arbitrary, and in fact, by the measure of the causal scheme, is not efficient at all. (And after Mirowski again, I will call this Manichaean causality.) These two logics combine to form what may be described as a regime of efficiency. And they become the bases for the criticisms of modernism made by Fried, Rowe, Krauss, and Eisenman. I will outline these criticisms point by point in fairly Veblenian terms here, but the analysis in the body of my thesis will be closely involved in the critical language used by these four. Here, to begin with, is an account of the history of art criticism surrounding Rosalind Krauss. Philip Mirowski, Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 27 i) The major precedent is the criticism of Clement Greenberg. We may describe his model of efficiency to be that of (2): as much as Greenberg claimed to follow Kant, he fairly consistently espoused, as Fried pointed out, a Hegelian scheme in his model of the historicity of modernism. The "modernist 'reduction'," the reduction of painting and the other arts to the essential features of each medium, was the schematic current to his historical model, which one was to emulate. ii) In his critique of the "teleology" in Greenberg, Fried attempts to isolate "practical knowledge" from any sort of externally causal efficiency. As this comes to be a critique of literalism (an important concept of Fried's, which I will discuss in chapter four) as well, Fried takes particular objection to false claims to practical knowledge - "literalism," in Fried's view, is a form of practical production that is based on the presumption that one has history on one's side. Thus, despite his disparagement of literalist art, what Fried aims to recover is that which is truly practical in the literal. This critique, despite the complaints of Fried's own critics, is in fact a fairly strong critique of external causality. Because he "isolates" the practical, or unhinges it from a causal scheme, this produces, by some accounts, a sort of undecidability between literalism and what he dubs "presentness." iii) Owing, one might say, to this undecidability, Krauss is suspicious of Fried's project, and claims, as many of his critics would, that the "practical" in Fried's project (what I am saying is truly practical in Fried's politics of communication, an art that he describes in terms of presentness) is in fact dependent on a causal scheme. Krauss identifies in Fried's notion of presentness a metaphysical 28 narrative of art which presumes that one can be copresent with a given work and all works in the history of modernism that come before it and on which it relies. iv) Krauss thus reverses the valuation that Fried had inscribed in his notoriously polemical essay of 1967, "Art and Objecthood." Literalism is now held up as the model of practical knowledge. Only that Krauss does not attempt to isolate it from a causal scheme. Instead her task is now (1): to demonstrate that the practical has its foundations in a gestaltist materiality. An account of the gestaltist field becomes the external scheme that guarantees what is effective in the art she espouses. v) At a critical point in this history, which I am associating with Matta-Clark's Window Blow-Out, Krauss comes to recognize that the causal scheme in (iv) is identical to the causal scheme she had found in the Fried and Greenberg lines, in (iii). vi) Now that causality is identified as "artificial" it is given the name "institutional," and at this point the ground is clear for the discourse on institutions in October. The second critical history to describe is that surrounding Peter Eisenman. (Note that each of the numbered points in what follows correspond, in mirror image, to the above.) i) The major precedents in architectural criticism are perhaps more numerous, but Rowe is particular to identify Sigfried Giedion. Giedion's project may be described as (1): it is, to Rowe, a technological fetishism. It propounds the great freedom to build and practical achievement that are the workings of a schematic modernism. 29 ii) Rowe attempts to isolate a causal scheme to modernity, one that does not merely guarantee the unhindered pursuit of practical aims. For Rowe, the literal is simply literal (unlike Fried, for whom literalism is an ideology) - the manipulation of materials to announce the technology of a building is merely being literal about function. What Rowe calls phenomenal transparency, on the other hand, is an attempt to isolate an experience that does not have this literal function. This is found in the experience of perceptual reversals described by gestalt theory. But in order to isolate a causal scheme from being merely an assistance to literal and practical aims, Rowe adapts gestalt theory to his own ends in order to claim that certain figures of a given period are given "field properties." There is thus a historicity to gestalt, but one that has no role in practical pursuits, that in fact is antithetical to practical pursuits. iii) Eisenman's critique of Rowe is directed toward this gestaltist scheme. Identifying what may be described as the counterpart to the undecidability in Fried's project, Eisenman argues that the forms produced by Rowe's gestaltist scheme are merely arbitrary. iv) Like Rowe (or, at least, the Rowe up until the rift between him and Eisenman), Eisenman argues that there is a main current to modernism, which may be described as a Zeitgeist. But for Eisenman, the critical task of the architect is to uncover it, to speak from its inner logic. And this is the logic of being able to announce the intentions of architecture to speak as architecture. It is, in other words, an attempt recover the practical as communication, which Eisenman takes as task (2): drawing on the linguistics of Noam Chomsky, Eisenman claims to 3 0 circumvent what is merely arbitrary in contemporary architecture, and to speak from its rational core, which has its own external causal scheme - one that, as I will show, is founded on a field concept of recursion. v) At roughly the same critical moment that emerged for Krauss, in the fallout to Window Blow-Out, Eisenman recognizes that the causal scheme in (iv) is identical the one he espied in Rowe's project, in (iii). vi) The final move Eisenman makes is one that does not mirror Krauss's. His own architectural project after 1976 becomes focused on what he calls decomposition, which would eventually be related, after Derrida, to the project of deconstruction. In other words, Eisenman seizes on the undecidability that was earlier identified by Krauss in Fried's project. But he maintains this as a program particular to modernism, and thus holds on to the Zeitgeist concept. An architectural mirroring with the development of institutional critique in art criticism does take place, however. And this is because the discourse in Oppositions had already begun to deploy the figure institution, along similar lines. The key moments in these two paths that I will trace are, firstly, that in (iii) where Krauss and Eisenman each make a critique of their intellectual formations. And then secondly in (iv) where the tasks of each nearly converge. Here, what holds the individual projects of Krauss and Eisenman together is the uncertain relation between art and architecture. The two ambulate over it and nearly identify this relation as the key issue in their two projects but are never able to settle whether there is or is not a difference between art and architecture. This relation is what makes the schemes of efficiency under 31 critique almost, visible as a form of institutionality, but ultimately it serves as the necessary distinction between the two modes of causality. Thus, finally, what makes institutionality as such ultimately invisible is the subsequent discourse on institutions.> And in this case the impetus is provided by Window Blow-Out. This invisibility is productive of the fantasy of postmodernism. In order to set the stage for what follows the opening chapter draws out some of the problems posed to historians by Window Blow-Out. The categories used in usual conceptualizations of the work are set in the broader dimensions of a discourse on institutions that extends beyond that normally supposed by historians. Chapter 2 sets out the thematic of practical and speculative knowledge as they were already present in the modernist criticism of the 1960s in the US. Leo Marx's 1964 study of technology and the pastoral tradition in American literature, Machine in the Garden, is just one of a number of attempts of the time to provide figures for the practical and the speculative. And in order to provide a key to this problematic, I turn to the work of Thorstein Veblen, which provides us with a rigorous account of the concept of institutionality (which has also been much neglected in terms of the important work it does in this regard). He also reminds us that, as much as the new critics of postmodernism liked to style themselves as having discovered the actual workings of institutions (the critical purchase presumed by the discourse on postmodernism relies on its own sense of actuality), the analysis and critique of institutions had been around since much earlier. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 are a close examination of the dialogue among the four critics under study here (or, perhaps better, the two art critics, one architectural historian, and one architect-critic). The narrowness of this focus will allow me to isolate the particular dilemmas faced by these four. These three chapters will deal with, successively, the dialogues between Colin Rowe and Peter Eisenman, Rosalind Krauss and Michael Fried, and Eisenman and Krauss. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with the "breaks" that Eisenman and Krauss each made with their "mentors." Chapter 5 will focus on the period from 1969, when Eisenman and Krauss met, until 1974 when Krauss quit writing for Artforum and began to plan with Annette Michelson the formation of a new art periodical, and when Eisenman made his last use of Chomskian theory in his work. This chapter will outline the ambulatory mode of the dialogue between Krauss and Eisenman, as one borrowed from the other, never quite settling on the precise relation between art and architecture. Chapter 6 will expand the focus and put some bearings on the dialogue between Eisenman and Krauss from outside the limited fields of art and architectural criticism. Eisenman had, since 1969, been working with the linguistic theory of Noam Chomsky. And Krauss, since approximately the same time, which was also that of her departure from the Greenbergian and Friedian lines of modernist criticism, had been incorporating aspects of gestalt theory. I will show that the two methods have a conceptual affinity and a genealogical unity in the sciences that incorporated the concept of entropy. This pairing, however, is a combined statement on the efficiency of the world, which it restored in the causal function of the "field." In chapter 7 the presumptions of the field concept are put to the test. I argue that they have informed all of the major readings of Michael Fried's "Art and Objecthood," and especially that in Hal Foster's "Crux of Minimalism." The field concepts of gestalt theory and Chomskian recursiveness as employed by Krauss and Eisenman within the 33 years 1969-1974, can be seen to be succeeded by the figural uses of "institution." I argue that rather than being high modernism's last gasp, a puritanical recourse to faith, "Art and Objecthood" speaks to a much more complicated notion of institutionality, which had been articulated by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. After Window Blow-Out it remained only for Krauss and the other critics surrounding October to redirect this opposition into a discourse on postmodernism, in which the figure "institution" would now come to bear the unresolved contradictions that were at the center of the dialogue between Krauss and Eisenman. This would put October in alignment with the architectural criticism of Oppositions. Chapter 8 outlines the Eisenman-Krauss dialogue throughout 1976, a final exchange before this breaking point is finally reached. It points to the ways in which the decisive sense of what the relation between art and architecture was all about came near the surface through the issue of irony, and then was dissipated upon the intervention by Matta-Clark. Chapter 9 describes the significance of the discourse on institutions. What it demonstrates is that the figural uses of institution served to designate the competing versions of causality that were evident in the dialogue of Krauss and Eisenman. However, the "institutionality" at the core of that dialogue was always just below the surface. To approach this, the full significance of the Merleau-Pontyan institution will also be drawn out in chapter 9. It is a concept that is meant to cover two aspects of the event of institution - to institute and to be instituted. The reading of Veblen provided in chapter 2 shows that what Merleau-Ponty had described was the imbrication of practical and speculative knowledge. Thus, the real crux in the critique of modernism is not the identification that art or architecture is an institution, or an already instituted set of 34 conventions, rather the crux lies in the way the instituted is at once instituted practical knowledge, and instituted speculative knowledge - a regime of efficiency that is not determined by conventions as such but by the ways they are imagined to determine what is possible, or what is available to human efficiency. The conceptual pair at the core of institutionality - the practical and the speculative - is never identified as such by Krauss and Eisenman, however. It forms instead an alternating opposition between art and architecture. The relation between art and architecture, which had been a point over which their dialogue ambulated, turns out to be an empty opposition, or one, at least, that could not describe that other, more operative, conceptual pair that formed the regime of efficiency. 35 1. Efficiencies Window Blow-Out: Second Take Of the readings of Window Blow-Out that take it as an effective critique of the architectural profession, one of the more convincing appears in Thomas Crow's short essay on site-specificity. Window Blow-Out is an example of what he identifies as "strong site-specific art," work whose "presence is in terminal contradiction to the nature of the space it occupies," as opposed to the weaker variety of site-specificity which, borrowing the words of Richard Serra, is " 'subordinated to/accommodated to/adapted to/subservient to/required to/ useful to ... ' something other than itself."1 According to these criteria, Window Blow-Out sits alongside Matta-Clark's 1975 cutting of an abandoned warehouse in the lower Manhattan pier district, known as Day's End [figs. 4 & 5]. Both works are intolerable to the authorities that oversee those spaces. Just as Peter Eisenman put an immediate end to Window Blow-Out, so too did the police with Day's End when they reinforced the closure of the work's site until the building was eventually demolished. For Crow, then, the critical edge in Matta-Clark's work lies in its ability to expose the nature of the space it occupies, which, in the intervention at the IAUS, had a particular investment from a certain quarter of the architectural profession. In his more recent monograph on the artist, however, Crow reconsiders the earlier assessment that placed the intervention at the IAUS and Day's End among Matta-Clark's "stronger" works. Here, Window Blow-Out and other of the artist's works of 1976 that ' Crow, "Site-Specific Art," 135, 146. 2 Ibid. 36 were made in the midst of personal and professional turmoil are said to have taken Matta-Clark to "the edge of nearly purified rage, criticality, and invisibility" - poignant works, undoubtedly, but lacking the consummate skill evident in the earlier works like Photo-Fry, Walls, Pig Roast, as well as the early cuttings like Bronx Floors and Splitting. The skill Crow now holds up in those earlier works is that of the anthropologist-Z?nco/eur - in other words, Matta-Clark's manipulation of the codes of alchemy, gastronomy, archaeology, and so on.' Despite this new angle on Matta-Clark's oeuvre Crow essentially repeats the reading of Window Blow-Out made earlier. Because of the reaction by Eisenman, the work's "critical point was neatly made, with greater power than any polemic, because the subject of the piece - the Institute itself - was maneuvred into acting out its message... ." 4 However, in revisiting the earlier argument, a particular lapse takes place. In the newer text, the Institute in question is misidentified as the Institute for Architecture and Urban Resources (the deliberateness of this identification is reflected in Crow's description of the Institute's "summoning of the 'urban resources'" to repair the windows damaged by Matta-Clark).5 To misidentify the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies as the Institute for Architecture and Urban Resources is a simple enough oversight.6 But in this case it points to a further issue in the reading of Matta-Clark's work. The site of another Matta-Clark work carried out earlier in 1976, Doors-Floors-Doors (a building cutting sometimes known as Doors Through and Through), was the 3 Thomas Crow, "Gordon Matta-Clark," in Gordon Matta-Clark, Corinne Diserens ed. (London: Phaidon, 2003), 7-132. This reading resounds with Crow's consideration of Levi-Strauss in his The Intelligence of Art (Chapel Hill NC, University of North Carolina Press, 1999). 4 Crow, "Gordon Matta-Clark," 105. 5 Ibid., 104. 6 Crow is not the first to misidentify the site of Window Blow-Out. In an interview in 1978, Jane Crawford, the artist's widow, named it as the Architectural League: Crawford. 37 newly reclaimed school building in Long Island City named Project Studios One, or PSI. The building was initially leased to the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, an artists collective founded by Alanna Heiss to find and promote exhibition and studio space among New York's abandoned buildings. The inaugural show for PSI, called "Rooms," included Doors-Floors-Doors and was the subject of the second half of Krauss's essay, "Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America" [fig. 6] . 7 The name of this artists' collective, which founded one of the many "alternative spaces" to emerge in New York in the 1970s, is evidently the source of confusion in Crow's monograph. The "urban resources" referred to by the artists' collective does not so much differ from that presumed by Crow to belong to the architectural Institute, but it undoes the apparent opposition between Matta-Clark and the quarter of the architectural profession represented at the IAUS. For the point "neatly made," one might say, by Crow's oversight is that Matta-Clark and other artists represented in the so-called alternative spaces in SoHo and at PS 1 were involved in a process, however complicated, of gentrification that was no less responsible for the conditions of urban neglect in the Q other parts of the city that Matta-Clark drew attention to in Window Blow-Out. Despite this point and the many studies that have reconsidered the role of artists and alternative spaces in the process of gentrification, an opposition between institutional 7 Julie Ault, "A Chronology of Selected Alternative Structures, Spaces, Artists' Groups, and Organizations in New York City, 1965-85," in Alternative Art New York, 1965-1985: A Cultural Politics Book for the Social Text Collective, ed. Julie Ault (New York; Minneapolis: Drawing Center; University of Minnesota Press, 2002), 33; Alanna Heiss, ed., Rooms P.S. 1: June 9-26, 1976 (New York: Institute for Art and Urban Resources, 1977). 8 The gentrification of SoHo, as has been well studied, pushed up rents and forced the relocation of long-time inhabitants of lower Manhattan. Many would have been forced to take up residence in the kinds of buildings in the Bronx that were photographed by Matta-Clark for Window Blow-Out. See, for example, Sharon Zukin, Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982). Though Rosalyn Deutsche does not include Matta-Clark in this process (like Crow, she reads Window Blow-Out as a critique of the architectural profession), she has examined gentrification in New York in relation to the rise of neo-expressionism: Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan, "The Fine Art of Gentrification," October 31 (winter 1984), 91-111. 38 space and alternative space is still maintained in the reading of Matta-Clark's work. Crow's reading of strong site-specificity, of course, depends on the way Matta-Clark maneuvered an institution into acting out its contradictions. Pamela Lee, on the other hand, insists on the "alternative" siting of Matta-Clark's work: ".. .the place of art-making for Matta-Clark cannot be described as an institutional given. Matta-Clark could hardly proffer a critique of such places as institutions, then, because none of the sites he worked in had yet to assume such a mantle, wielding none of their cultural purchase."9 This opposition between institutional space and alternative space is in effect a part of the same discursive operation. As Lee continues, And so, in a manner that may seem to contradict the critique of institutions but which dialectically compliments its conceptual sensibilities, Matta-Clark's art demonstrates that the terms of art making may, in fact, shape the terms of property, even facilitate its constitution as such. If architecture acts as the support or the ground to the "figure" of the work of art, his work announces the ground in turn.1 0 However, the "complimentary sensibility" of alternative space and institutional critique is not so much a part of the same criticism of property development in SoHo as Lee takes it to be, but rather it is a part of a discourse on institutions, whose broader effects I historicize in this thesis. The emergence of this discourse on institutions - which informs Matta-Clark's critique of modernism and Lee's pairing of alternative space and institutional critique - is dependent on a conceptual distinction between art and architecture, a distinction that upon closer examination proves to be empty. That Lee turns to a figure-ground reading of Matta-Clark's building cuttings returns her discussion to one formulated by Krauss in her "Notes on the Index." As I will 9 Lee, Object to be Destroyed, 88. 1 0 Ibid., 88-90. 39 describe, Krauss's writings, from the time of her departure from the Friedian and Greenbergian lines of modernist criticism, is deeply involved in recovering certain insights from gestalt theory. Her 1977 essay on the index in seventies art in America marks a turn toward structuralism that nonetheless still draws on her earlier, gestaltist work. Lee's description of a figure-ground ambiguity in Matta-Clark's work is the sort of account Krauss had put forward about other cases of post-60s sculpture, claiming that figure-ground reversals pointed to the material basis of the work, as a counter to the kinds ' 11 of subjectivism she was coming to perceive in the criticism of Fried and Greenberg. In "Notes on the Index," Krauss comes to conceive of such reversals as being like those of an indexical sign, or "shifter" - that is, a linguistic element whose content is arrived at strictly by way of the context of its use (as in, for example, the words "you" or "me"). This kind of meaning-making is evident in the work of Duchamp as well as that in the "Rooms" show at PSI, and what it demonstrates is that not only is it dependent on context, but it shows the conventionality of normal linguistic usage. On the shifter, Krauss writes, It is a sign which is inherently "empty," its signification a function of only this one instance, guaranteed by the existential presence of just this object. It is the 12 meaningless meaning that is instituted through the terms of the index. Krauss moves from the material ground described by way of gestalt theory, which in her system had earlier been the foundation of meaning, to the determination of meaning by context in a conventionalized system. The structuralist Krauss may indeed be the more well-known Krauss, but I argue that her arrival at this method involved a working " Rosalind Krauss, "Sense and Sensibility: Reflections on Post '60s Sculpture," Artforum 12 no. 3 (November 1973), 43-53. 1 2 R Krauss, "Notes on the Index" (part 1), 78. The "shifter" had been theorized by the linguist, Roman Jakobson. 40 through of the problems and limitations of gestalt theory, which from the start was always read by Krauss in terms of its material determinations as against the cognitive and Cartesian accounts of the same theory. The awkwardness of the phrase "meaningless meaning" may be accounted for by this shift in thinking, but it will ultimately stand as the transition from a gestaltist ground to an institutional ground. This institutional ground is the basis for the theory of postmodernism that was about to emerge in October - that is, the critical postmodernism espoused there was one that identified institutions, in one form or another, as the object of critique. What will be important to consider, however, is the way in which the so-called critical postmodernism was at the same time founded on a discourse on institutions. In other words, to historicize this discourse it will be necessary to point to the figural use of the term "institution" and to uncover the logic behind these figurations. As Krauss's account of the index shows, this grew out of another theory - in this case, gestalt - versions of which she had been drawing on since her first criticism of Fried and Greenberg. For this reason, the historicization of postmodernism I am undertaking turns to an earlier formative moment, over a number of years from the time when modernism (or, a particular aspect of it that one might associate with consensus culture in general) is first critiqued by Krauss and, at the same time, by Eisenman until the moment when the discourse on institutions began to take shape. Throughout this study, the discourse on institutions will be held in view as I examine the formulations of institutionality touched on by Krauss and Eisenman in the late 1960s and early 1970s -one of the most important of which will be that of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. 41 Alternative Spaces, Think Tanks, The New Class, and The Last Intellectuals The linking up of institutional critique and alternative space maintained by Pamela Lee, in her recent monograph on Matta-Clark, does indeed appear to bear out the historical developments in the visual arts in the US. Many of the critical practices that Krauss favored in "Notes on the Index" and elsewhere were supported by a grant system that tied those practices to artist-run centers or alternative spaces. The National Endowment for the Arts was founded in 1966 and directly funded both artists and alternative spaces, which tended to show artists who had received N E A grants themselves or had at least been educated in the same university system that granted M F A degrees 13 and measured the competencies that were the granting criteria. " This same educational system, it may be fairly said, was the one that began to produce the different forms of institutional critique. Since institutional critique and alternative space were linked in this way, it will be worthwhile to consider how institutions came to be defined in the broader dimensions of that discourse. Broadly speaking, the modernism that was the object of critique for Krauss and others who took up the "critical postmodernism" banner may be said to have been a part of a culture of consensus. The initial criticism directed toward Fried and Greenberg, from a range of figures like Robert Smithson, Lucy Lippard and Annette Michel son, was against the modes of subjectivism they supported - a subjectivism that Krauss viewed as being tied to self-mastery and transcendence.14 In a larger sense, Krauss felt that the modernism they described no longer had any political purchase. And indeed, as other 1 3 On the history of the NEA, see: Donna M. Binkiewicz, Federalizing the Muse: United States Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1965-1980 (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); and Michael Brenson, Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Arts in America (New York: New Press, 2001). 1 4 The range of Fried's critics will be discussed in chapter seven. 42 studies show, Greenberg's modernism did by the sixties have discursive and institutional links to a politics of the Center, which in the US meant an anti-communist, anti-ideology, Cold War consensus culture.15 The Vital Center, as it was called by the prominent liberal, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., had come to describe the way partisans of different political stripes had given up their partisanship in order to unite around a common goal: the defeat of communism and the promotion of liberty.1 6 The blindness of the Vital Center to minority rights, and its expansionist global politics led to the civil rights movement and the debacles in Southeast Asia. As most histories of the 1960s will describe, these threw up major challenges to the ideology of the Vital Center. Insofar as modernism had come to be seen as a piece of this consensus liberalism, the critique of modernism may be studied in relation to the rise of the New Left, and the student movements that challenged the liberalism that put US troops in Vietnam and refused to make significant changes with respect to civil rights. The Vital Center, however, was not just viewed with suspicion by the New Left, but the left's own vocal criticisms of the role of government and universities in the politics of consensus was viewed with suspicion by those on the right. Only that they, like the left, were coming to define themselves as a new political movement, a new right, blaming the problems they perceived to have emerged with the counter-culture and the student movements on the shortcomings of liberalism. Indeed, many who moved in 1 5 See, in particular, John O'Brian, introduction to Affirmations and Refusals, vol. 3 of The Collected Essays and Criticism of Clement Greenberg, ed. John O'Brian, xv-xxxiii (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). Those institutional links have been described in broader accounts of US modernism of the 1950s and 1960s in: Max Kozloff, "American Painting During the Cold War," Artforum 11, no. 9 (May 1973), 43-54; and Eva Cockcroft, "Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War," Artforum 12, no. 10 (June 1974), 39-41. 1 6 On the Vital Center and its formative ties to US modernism, see Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1983). 43 liberal anticommunist intellectual circles during the fifties, now began to use the term "liberal" derisively as they came to define themselves, and to be defined, as neoconservatives.17 What will be of interest to this study is the way the critique of modernism shared certain terms with the critique of liberalism by the neoconservatives. In fact, given that by the 1980s neoconservatism and the cultural criticism that one associates with critical postmodernism were so completely opposed to one another, it is often forgotten that the critique of liberalism was at one point broad enough to share terms that were used by both the left and the right. One of the central points recognized across the politics of left and right was the fact that liberalism owed its strength to a professional class that had grown significantly by the 1960s. The New Class, as it was called, was made up of university trained white-collar professionals and provided the technical expertise and 1 8 know-how to all the major institutions of government. The New Left, and in particular the students that first revolted at Berkeley in 1964, recognized that government was supported by the universities that produced the professionals that serviced it. And in this way, the university was a primary target of critique. But as these students moved up in the educational system, eventually (for those that stayed in academia) becoming professors, that criticism entered the classroom. By the late sixties already, the prospect of aligning the New Class with the political aims of 1 7 Gary J Dorrien, The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture, and the War of Ideology (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993); Peter Steinfels, The Neoconservatives: The Men Who are Changing America's Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979); Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (New York: Basic Books, 1983). 1 8 David Bazelon, Power in America: The Politics of the New Class (New York: New American Library, 1967); Michael Harrington, Toward a Democratic Left: A Radical Program for a New Majority (New York: Macmillan, 1968); Christopher Lasch, The Agony of the American Left (New York: Knopf, 1969). 44 the left appeared feasible for some, like Michael Harrington, who thought a democratic majority could be founded on this alliance. To the right, meanwhile, all of the campus upheaval and "race riots" in the streets could be attributed to the permissiveness of the New Class. What was more, the university classrooms were being taken over by the left and the counter-culture. Neoconservatives saw the political interference of the New Class, now referred to with the epithet "liberal," as a corruption of the institutions of democracy, precisely because of its identification of rights with "special interests."19 The common reference by left and right to the concept of the New Class reaches back at least as far as the 1930s. Since many of the new neoconservatives were anticommunist liberals in the fifties, and anti-Stalinist leftists in the 1930s, some of the conceptual baggage of their youth reemerged in their critique of liberalism in the 1970s. Gary Dorrien has traced the New Class concept of the sixties and seventies back to its initial popularization by James Burnham in The Managerial Revolution, a work by a one-time Trotskyist and then strident anti-Stalinist who prophesied in the midst of WWII the world takeover by a class of managers in both a corporate capitalism and an international communism (as well as a corporate fascism which he thought would survive the war). 2 0 This text was a part of the long-standing anticommunist rhetoric that survived usage by 1 9 See, for example, Irving Kristol, "Business and the 'New Class,'" in Two Cheers for Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 1978), 25-31; Michael Novak, "Needing Niebuhr Again," Commentary 54, no.3 (September 1972), 52-62; Michael Novak, The American Vision: An Essay on the Future of Democratic Capitalism (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1978); Jeane Kirkpatrick, "The Revolt of the Masses," Commentary 55, no. 2 (February 1973), 58-62. 2 0 Dorrien, 19-67. James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World (New York: John Day Co, 1941).This critique of bureaucracy had been directed at soviet communism by Bruno Rizzi, The Bureaucratization of the World: The USSR: Bureaucratic Collectivism , trans. Adam Westoby (London: Tavistock, 1985). Burnham's work was in turn influenced by the work of the institutionalist economists, Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means, Modern Corporation and Private Property (New York: Macmillan, 1933; New York: William S. Hein, 1982); which itself owes to Thorstein Veblen, Absentee Ownership and Business Enterprise in Recent Times (New York: Huebsch, 1923). 45 the independent left in the thirties, Cold War liberals in the fifties, and now appeared among neoconservatives in the seventies. It was a rhetoric that could describe the corruption or the infiltration of democratic institutions by a bureaucratic and managerial class. Though the argument of Harrington could claim the potential of the New Class as an ally to the New Left, others on the left would draw on the earlier formulation and point to the New Class as one of the stumbling blocks to an effective politics. Christopher Lasch and Russell Jacoby have both suggested that the voices of the left in the sixties were able to find a home in the university and, feeling accommodated, gave up on radical politics.2 1 This argument owes in no small measure to that of the neoconservatives - both observe the occupation of institutions by a mostly left-leaning New Class. The only difference lies in whether the university has any social function, a difference that, in the end, is total. For Lasch and Jacoby the institution blunts any political action, while for the neoconservatives the institutions are entirely manipulated and corrupt the principles of democracy. The political critiques of the institutions of art, which emerged alongside alternative spaces, are thus part of a broader discourse on institutions and have their mirror reflection on the right. For the neoconservatives set up their own alternative spaces in corporate-funded think tanks and from there launched their attacks on the liberalism O O that they saw as being entrenched in the university. Given that both left and right employed a common discourse of institutions, it will be necessary to examine it more 2 1 Lasch; Russell Jacoby, The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe (New York: Basic Books, 1987). 2 2 William Berman, America's Right Turn: From Nixon to Bush (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994); Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado, No Mercy: How Conservative Think Tanks and Foundations Changed America's Social Agenda (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996). 46 closely, paying attention its own logic, rather than the logic presumed by either the left or right. The Discourse on Institutions While the neoconservatives had their own journals, like Commentary, The Public Interest and others, and these took part in the discourse on institutions, my focus to begin with will be on the journals October and Oppositions. It will be possible to read different uses of the figure "institution" in these journals - but these differences, I will argue, do not reflect a difference between art and architecture. They suggest something more complicated, or something, at least, that is not legible strictly on the surface of the discourse on postmodernism. Some accounts of the publishing histories of October and Oppositions have already been made and they do not need entire repeating here.23 But it is worth noting some of their general observations. Both journals model themselves after the "little magazines" of the European avant-garde, and thus have an investment in a particular history of modernism, however much they were critical of recent representatives of modernism in the US. Both announce avant-gardist politics in their names, and both have found those politics questioned, precisely in the way that avant-gardism in general has been revised and questioned for its own exclusions and elitism. 2 4 2 3 Joan Ockman, "Ressurecting the Avant-Garde: the History and Program of Oppositions" in Architectureproduction, ed. Beatriz Colomina (New York : Princeton Architectural Press, 1988), 180-99; Vincent P. Pecora, "Towers of Babel , " in Out of Site: A Social Criticism of Architecture, ed. Diane Ghirardo (Seattle: Bay Press, 1991), 46-76; Peter M u i r , "Signs of a Beginning: October and the Pictures Exhibi t ion ," Word & Image 20, no. 1 (January/March 2004), 52-62; Archer, 139-40. 2 4 These criticisms of Oppositions appear in Ockman and Pecora. Considerations of the October legacy has been spurred on by the recent appearance of Art Since 1900, which rehashed a number of its authors' writings already appearing in October. For reviews of the book, see Charles Harrison, "After the F a l l , " Art Journal 65 no . l (Spring 2006), 116-119; and those by Nancy J . Troy, Geoffrey Batchen, A m e l i a Jones, 47 Along these lines it has been claimed that the format of these magazines announces a particularly high-brow investment of intellectual content. And as a sign of this, it is often noted that for being magazines devoted to architecture and the visual arts there is a relatively small proportion of illustration, which itself is limited to black and white reproductions. These layout choices were, of course, deliberately made as a response to what were seen as the superficial glossy magazines of the commercial press [figs. 7 & 8]. But they have also left the editors open to the charge that they neglect the study of objects in favor of the production of theory and a strictly specialized discourse. It cannot be said that the editors of October and Oppositions wished a limited readership -both journals' opening editorials announce the hope for a bridge between specialized academic discourse and a popular readership - but to the extent that a specialization of discourse was deliberate, a relatively narrow readership must have certainly been expected from the start. (It has been noted that the editors of Oppositions had hoped for as wide a readership in Europe as in the US, which the founders of the IAUS disparaged 2^ for its insularity. This, however, did not turn out to be the case.) ' This has given the sense that both Oppositions and October (especially in the late 70s and early 80s when the contemporary art it considered largely revolved around a small group of artists associated with the critical term "Pictures," which I will discuss shortly) have promoted a kind of clubiness. For readers of Oppositions this was especially apparent in the back pages, which reproduced snapshots of the cocktail parties that followed seminars at the IAUS [fig. 9]. Pamela M. Lee, Romy Golan, Robert Storr, Jodi Hauptman, and Dario Gamboni, in Art Bulletin 88 no.2 (June 2006), 373-89. 2 5 Ockman, 183. 48 These details demonstrate that if October and Oppositions were going to critique institutions and speak from the position of alternative space, or alternative press, their own investment in a sort of specialization demanded that they be attentive to the particular purchase institutions might have for their own success. Still, the language of institutions appears in these magazines primarily to identify the conservative political formation that their editors opposed. This places both October and Oppositions in what I am identifying as a broad discourse on institutions. However, given their specific histories, which revolve around personal and conceptual breaks with certain modernist precedents, the way the criticism in these journals reach back to those moments gives unique coherence to, by closely grouping together, differently held but complementary arguments about institutions. This coherence, was present in Oppositions from its inception, and in October from the time the critics Benjamin Buchloh and then Hal Foster began to write for the magazine and anthologize some of its contributions. From its start in 1973, Oppositions had a range of intellectual positions, which guaranteed that institutions would be considered from alternate points of view. This was had by the fact that the IAUS had drawn a number of its fellows from overseas. Kenneth Frampton and Anthony Vidler, for example, came from England, Manfredo Tafuri from Italy, and the Argentinian couple Diana Agrest and Mario Gandelsonas from Paris where they had studied under Roland Barthes. Thus, different forms of dialectical materialism and structuralism appeared in the magazine from its inception. October, on the other hand, revolved around a smaller editorship, consisting of its co-founders Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson (initially including Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, and then later Douglas Crimp as managing editor). Krauss and Michelson 49 represented an interest in structuralism and poststructuralism, which was shared by Crimp and Craig Owens. The anthology, The Anti-Aesthetic (1983), which codified "critical postmodernism" and that came to be identified with the critical line set down by October was edited by Hal Foster. Foster, who was along with Crimp a student of Krauss's, had been an editor at Art in America, which for many had surpassed Artforum as the most critically engaging popular art magazine when the latter's publisher sold the magazine that had in the late 60s put to print many of the most important essays on minimalism. Foster's writing at Art in America had made references to Krauss's criticism but it became much more focused on the discussions of postmodernism found in the New German Critique, which had published work by Jiirgen Habermas, Peter Burger, Andreas Huyssen, and Frederic Jameson among others.26 Foster's criticism in Art in America, then, represented an approach rooted in the more or less Frankfurt School tradition of dialectical materialism. When Foster framed the essays in The Anti-Aesthetic he thus came to find the same problems of postmodernism to be taken up by the (post)structuralist October critics he included - namely, Douglas Crimp, Rosalind Krauss, and Craig Owens. Burger's dialectical theory of institutionalization was also taken up by Benjamin Buchloh, and by the mid-80s both Buchloh and Foster had begun to write for October. The conceptual linkage of structualist and dialectical approaches through the theory of postmodernism found an exemplary historicization in Foster's 1986 essay, "The Crux of Minimalism," an Jiirgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodernity," New German Critique 22 (winter 1981), 3-14; Peter Burger, "Avant-Garde and Contemporary Aesthetics: A Reply to Jiirgen Habermas," New German Critique 22 (winter 1981), 19-22; Andreas Huyssen, "The Search for Tradition: Avant-Garde and Postmodernism in the 1970s," New German Critique 22 (winter 1981), 23-40; Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," New German Critique 33 (fall 1984), 5-52; Frederic Jameson, "The Politics of Theory: Ideological Positions in the Postmodernism Debate," New German Critique 33 (fall 1984), 53-66. 50 important essay which I revisit in this thesis.27 Minimalism's crux was not just the point at which high modernist criticism broke down, but it also provided the genealogical link for the two strains of critical postmodernism - the minimalist-site-specificity strain and the Duchampian-conceptual strain - which also turn out to retrace the two critical methods that had converged in October by the mid-80s (i.e., the dialectical approach of critics like Foster and Buchloh, and the (post)structuralist approach of critics like Krauss, Crimp, and Owens). The discourse on institutions in both October and Oppositions produces an antinomy, which corresponds more or less to a distinction between dialectics and structuralism. This antinomy, however, is suggestive of a much deeper distinction. Put simply, the term institution was used to designate the visible signs of doubling, and the antinomy lies in the term's ability to designate that doubling as sameness and as difference. A brief look at some examples will illustrate this. The 1977 exhibition, Pictures, curated by Douglas Crimp, served as the site of much theorizing about postmodernism, not only for Crimp but for others who would also come to identify the mode of picture-making, as opposed to painting, as forming an important investigation into the process of representation. In the second version of his catalogue essay, which was published in October in 1979, Crimp associates the artists in the exhibition (Sherrie Levine, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Robert Longo and Philip Hal Foster, "The Crux of Minimalism," in Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945-1986, ed. Howard Singerman (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1986) reprinted in The Return of the Real, Hal Foster (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1996), 35-70. 51 Smith) as well as Cindy Sherman, with the notion of postmodernism.28 Taking the problems of painting to be explicitly those of modernist criticism, Crimp employs the non-media-specific term "pictures." In later essays he would become more precise about the tactics of this postmodern alternative. For example, claiming the period of modernism to be at the same time the period of the museum, he argues for a practice that would dissolve the museum and its essentialist classification of objects. In "The End of Painting," Daniel Buren's work is described in a manner very similar to Krauss's account of the works in the "Rooms" exhibition at PSI, such as Doors-Floors-Doors.29 That is, it is precisely the ability of Buren's stripe painting to be enunciated by their museum context - by doubling as figure and ground, to use Krauss's earlier terms - that points to the institution as the content of the painting. The difference here is that Crimp has named the institution under critique as the modernist museum. Similarly, in Crimp's account of photography, it is precisely the photograph's ability to double as a record of a work of art and to be a work of art itself that has confounded the modernist classificatory system." The doubling that Krauss had identified as a function of "shifters," is here taken up to signal a repetition that counfounds the institution's ordered set of differences. In Hal Foster's criticism, the so-called pictures artists are discussed just as much, but rather than following the model of "institutional critique" defined by Crimp, the Douglas Crimp, Pictures: An Exhibition of the Work of Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Philip Smith: Artists Space, September 24-October 29, 1977 (New York: Committee for the Visual Arts, 1977); Douglas Crimp, "Pictures," October 8 (spring 1979), 75-88. The conceptualization of Sherman as a "pictures" artist here has often obscured the fact that she did not appear in the original exhibition which was surely seen by far fewer people than who would eventually read Crimp's revised essay. (The original catalogue essay does not mention Sherman either, nor does it discuss postmodernism). The revised essay was reprinted in The New Museum's anthology, Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation, ed. Brian Wallis (New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984). 2 9 Douglas Crimp, "The End of Painting," October 16 (spring 1981), 69-86. See also Alanna Heiss, ed. Rooms. 3 0 Douglas Crimp, "On the Museum's Ruins," October 13 (summer 1980), 41-57. 52 theory of institutionalization as set out in Peter Burger's Theory of the Av ant-Garde 31 offers the conceptual armature. According to this theory, institutionalization is the name for the way avant-garde practices, when repeated, become a redundancy that can be reproduced for the market. In this way, the market demands of low culture steal from the high. Foster argues, however, that an artist like Cindy Sherman steals from this low culture, and performs a second doubling, where the repetition is transformed into a difference. In other words, the critical capacity of a Sherman film still lies in the perceptible difference, however subtle, between it and the 1950s movie still that it takes as a model. 3 2 The antinomy that appears in the criticism surrounding such artists, then, is one that sees the figure institution as a sign of doubling that is either a difference or a repetition. It appears throughout the discourse on postmodernism in October, whether it is in Craig Owens theory of allegory, or Krauss's study of repetition and the avant-garde. The logic of this antinomy is not limited to art criticism, however, as it also extends to the pages of Oppositions. There, "institution" signals not the object of critique of a "critical postmodernism." Rather, the term institution is employed to designate the conservative political formation that had come to take on the guise of an architectural postmodernism. But despite this difference it forms the same antinomy as appears in October. To consider how the antinomy plays itself out in the pages of Oppositions, the different approaches to the work of the Italian architect, Aldo Rossi, will provide a case 3 1 Though Burger's book was first published in German in 1974, it was not translated into English until 1984. Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984). His arguments did appear in English earlier, however, in related essays published in the New German Critique; see note 24 above. 3 2 Hal Foster, "The Expressive Fallacy," Art in America 71 n.i (Jan. 1983), 80-83, 137; see also idem, "Between Modernism and the Media," Art in America 70 n.6 (Jun. 1982), 13-17. 53 in point." For Manfredo Tafuri, Rossi's recomposition of architectural fragments affirms architecture's character as language. Fusing Marx's account of ideology with Foucault's "discourse on language," Tafuri argues that any attempt to speak about form amounts to "architectural ideology," and that Rossi refuses formal analysis. Instead, his repetition of fragments simply affirms the closed circuit of language, which Tafuri identifies precisely as the institution of architecture. This repetition allows the critic to treat the object in its most historical sense, which is as an object of language.34 For Anthony Vidler, on the other hand, Rossi's recomposition of typological form does not so much suggest the repetition of elements, but points to the possibility of a new content out of existing parts. The institutional is the typological reference point, and thus the doubling of institutional form with a difference allows for architecture to house a new social content.'" The critical possibilities, and dangers, of this are called upon by reference to Foucault's Discipline and Punish: commenting on the combined typologies of city hall and prison in Rossi's design for a regional administrative building in Trieste, Vidler writes, "The dialectic is as clear as a fable: the society that understands the reference to prison will still have need of the reminder, while at the very point that the image finally loses all meaning, the society will either have become entirely prison or, Rossi was a significant architect for the IAUS, the subject of a forum, an exhibition, and a considerable degree of discussion in the pages of Oppositions. Aldo Rossi, Aldo Rossi in America, 1976 to 1979 (New York: Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, 1979). The English translation of his Architettura delta Cittd was published by the IAUS. Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City. American ed. / revised by Aldo Rossi and Peter Eisenman ed., trans. Diane Ghirardo and Joan Ockman. (Cambridge MA; London: Published for the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies by MIT, 1982). 3 4 Manfredo Tafuri, "L'Architecture dans le Boudoir: The Language of Criticism and the Criticism of Language," Oppositions 3 (May 1974), 37-62. Tafuri is unique among the critics in view here, in that he recognizes and makes explicit the task of the critic (as opposed to simply the artist or architect) under this model of institutionality. That task is to identify the visible signs of doubling. Tafuri goes one step beyond his peers by announcing that this naming process, criticism itself, is the completion of the work. 3 5 Anthony Vidler, "The Third Typology," Oppositions 1 (Winter 1976), 1-4. Like Foster's, this "difference" is not closely identified and is vaguely connected with artistic intuition. 54 perhaps, its opposite." The fable here is that under present political conditions, visible difference is required for the work to perform its critical function. Again, the deployment of the term institution takes on the designations of doubling as either a repetition or a difference. And as in October it recurs throughout Oppositions. It appears as the demand for difference in work of Kenneth Frampton as well as Anthony Vidler. 3 7 And, apart from Tafuri's work, it signals a practice of TO repetitive doubling in the combined criticism of Diana Agrest and Mario Gandelsonas. This antinomy is far reaching, and what will be required is an account of the range of its effects. That it may be described as alternating between a representation of difference and a representation of repetition lends itself to a Deleuzian analysis. And Deleuze's critique of the representation of difference and the representation of repetition as that which is made and that which appears further suggests that the discourse on institutions may be examined for the modes of efficiency it supposes. My analysis of the historical effects of this discourse proceeds from the study of institutionality offered by Veblen, however. Veblen describes human efficiency as the comparison of ways and means in the attainment of some stated aim. And he notes that both the aims and the means in practical efficiency may be a matter of convention. This is a rather straightforward claim but, as a 3 6 Ibid., 4. 3 7 Kenneth Frampton, review of Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation, by Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver, Oppositions 3 (May 1974), 104-5; Kenneth Frampton, "On Heidegger," Oppositions A (October 1974), [unpag.]; Kenneth Frampton, "Towards a Critical Regionalism," in The Anti-Aesthetic, ed. Hal Foster, 17-34. Like a number of the critics of postmodernism in the New German Critique, Hal Foster had taken his cue from readings of architectural postmodernism. 3 8 Diana Agrest and Mario Gandelsonas, "Semiotics and Architecture: Ideological Consumption or Theoretical Work," Oppositions 1 (Septmeber 1973), 93-100; Diana Agrest, "Design versus Non-Design," Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), 45-68; Mario Gandelsonas, "From Structure to Subject: The Formation of an Architectural Language," Oppositions 17 (Summer 1979), 6-29. 55 study o f the discourse on institutions w i l l show, it is surpris ing h o w di f f icu l t it is to think through its i m p l i c a t i o n s . In fact, I a m suggesting that the ant inomy at the center o f the discourse on institutions results f r o m consider ing the convent ional as strict ly one or the other h a l f o f what comprises pract ical e f f ic iency (aims and means). B y tak ing the convent ional as a false f o r m o f e f f ic iency i n one half, the discourse on institutions supposes a pure f o r m o f ef f ic iency, a fantasy o f e f f ic iency unhindered b y convent ion i n the other half. That is , when the inst i tut ion o f art or architecture is said to be a false set o f differences p r o v i d e d b y m u s e u m or histor ical c lass i f icat ion, this is said to be be l ied b y a c r i t i c a l repetit ion (demonstrating the repetit ion o f m u s e u m elements b y a c r i t i c a l postmodernism, for example) . H e r e , the " a i m s " are convent ional - "art" or "architecture" - and the fantasy l ies i n the i m a g i n e d w o r l d o f things as pure heterogeneity, a fantasy o f undetermined aims. O n the other hand, when the inst i tut ion o f art or architecture is said to have inst i tut ional ized certain " w o r k s , " the difference c l a i m e d between al legedly "avant-garde" w o r k s and those o f the inst i tut ion are be l ied b y an actual repetit ion, w h i c h is read i n the homogenizat ion o f culture. W h e n w o r k s repeat avant-gardist tactics o f an earlier per iod, they c o n f o r m to a repetition demanded by c o m m o d i f i c a t i o n . H e r e , the " m e a n s " are convent ional , and the fantasy l ies i n the i m a g i n e d funct ion or a i m for art or architecture as a pure inst i tut ion, a fantasy o f undetermined means. Window Blow-Out: Third Take T h e circumstances surrounding Window Blow-Out are at the cusp o f a fantasy o f postmodernism. M a t t a - C l a r k ' s w o r k appeared at a moment when a d ia logue between art 56 and architecture, represented by the persons of Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman, no longer seemed to have any common ground - at a moment when an advanced art criticism began to propound a theory of postmodernism at odds with its nearest architectural counterpart. But rather than confirming an opposition between art and architecture, and a lack of coherence to that impending postmodernism, Window Blow-Out served its underlying logic. This logic is still present in accounts of Matta-Clark's work, regardless of whether a postmodernism is called forth. An unresolved issue in the literature on the artist has to do with how Window Blow-Out relates to his more well-known building cuttings. The intervention at the IAUS has been singled out as a particularly strong critique of the architectural profession;' while his building cuttings have been treated as a more sustained examination of the very material and phenomenological ground of art.40 Consider two of the more convincing representations of these views. For Thomas Crow, as we saw, Window Blow-Out is an example of what he identifies as "strong site-specific art," work whose "presence is in terminal contradiction to the nature of the space it occupies," as opposed to the weaker variety of site-specificity, which is merely subordinate to the space it occupies. And in this account both Window Blow-Out and Day's End could be considered strongly site-specific in that they challenged the nature of the space they occupied. Pamela Lee's monograph on Matta-Clark, on the other hand, identifies in the artist's cuttings a phenomenological inquiry that challenges the usual perceptual indicators of the status of "work of art." By subtracting elements from an already existing 3 9 Crow, "Site-Specific Art;" R Deutsche; M Brouwer. 4 0 Lee, Object to be Destroyed; Judith Russi Kirschner, "Non-uments," Artforum 24 (October 1985), reprinted in Gordon Matta-Clark, by IVAM Centre et al. (Marseille: Musees de Marseille, 1993), 365-8. 57 building, Matta-Clark implies an impossible completion to his work - literally deconstructing the work that is the building/cutting. Matta-Clark's "work" has none of the usual metaphysical properties of that word. In this sense, Lee sees the cuttings as a critique of the metaphysical closure accorded to the status of "work of art" within high modernist criticism. The thrust of Matta-Clark's critique is more or less bolstered by Window Blow-Out through the reactions to it that saw it as an act of violence; for "violence," according to such modernist criticism, is the only way to conceive of the phenomenological critique performed by the artist in his cuttings. These two views differ, then, on how to treat the sum of Matta-Clark's work. For Crow, it is necessary to distinguish between strong site-specific works like Window Blow-Out and Day's End and, implicitly, the weaker works (like the original cutting planned for the IAUS or other gallery cuttings like the ones at PS 1 and the Museum of Contemporary Art at Chicago).4 1 For Lee, there is a consistency to Matta-Clark's oeuvre, which spans all of his projects and centers on themes such as community, property, and, above all, "worklessness." The consistency of these themes is found in all of the sites he engaged. More than an historians' dilemma over the relative merits of an artist's various works, the differences between Crow and Lee point to a much broader problematic - the very same problematic that gave rise to wedge between Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman in 1976 and placed Window Blow-Out on the cusp of a fantasy of postmodernism. Worklessness and site-specificity, then, may be seen as directly opposed to one another. As Lee says of Matta-Clark's late Paris work, and as if in response to Crow, 4 1 As noted, Crow revises this view of the other works in his more recent monograph, Crow, "Gordon Matta-Clark." 58 It assumes no productive relationship to changes in a site, engages no ideal progress for its own sake, and thus does little of the 'work' that site-specific art is often alleged to perform. Nihilistic, perhaps, but 'revolutionary' in their nihilism, these 'workless' projects offer a cogent political critique framed repeatedly through the form of the hole.4 2 But how precisely might this opposition between worklessness and site-specificity be taken? Lee's honing in on the term work will provide a cue, as the distinction in question revolves around the conventional meanings of that word. Work, customarily, is understood as a practical action that has a measurable effect. The phrase, "work of art" does not so much lose this connotation as it applies it to aesthetic measures. Lee's critique centers on the way a conventional humanist account might attribute "closure" to a work of art by linking it up with an historical scheme of such objects. The scheme that orders "works of art" has its own coherence and thus sublimates all the individual know-how of the "work" into a larger scheme. Worklessness, then, is paradoxically a demand, not for the unpractical, but for precisely the practical that has given up ties to any other form of causal efficiency. Strong site-specificity, on the other hand, is a claim not so much about the practical effectiveness of the work performed. Rather, it is a claim about the efficiency of the "site," which it is the object of the site-specific work to demonstrate. It is a claim that holds no practical efficiency in the work in question. Instead, it posits a causal efficiency that is operative in a class of things themselves - here, "sites." The opposition between worklessness and (strong) site-specificity, then, is not so much an opposition as it is the conceptual compliment that Lee had attempted to diagnose 4 2 Lee, Object to be Destroyed, 207-09. Crow, of course, is not the only historian to speak on behalf of site-specificity whom Lee may have in mind. For an example of the continued use of the concept, see Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (Cambridge MA: MIT, 2002). 59 but had landed elsewhere in terms of alternative space and institutional critique. In other words, what is at issue is not the distinction between institutional and alternative space, but that between practical and speculative knowledge, a distinction that may be said to describe a single regime of efficiency. This is the very regime of efficiency that I am claiming emerges as a new mode or ideology of consensus in the 1980s. The important point to take from Window Blow-Out is that the conceptual ambiguities that are present have been obscured by a fantasy that has persisted in the two readings outlined above. What has facilitated this fantasy is the distinction presumed to exist between art and architecture. The work of Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman can be shown to ambulate over this conceptual distinction, as it comes close to exposing its vacuity, but upon Window Blow-Out the difference between art and architecture becomes solidified and the fantasy of postmodernism takes shape, precisely because, among others, the Matta-Clark piece provokes a discourse on institutions. And in the case of Window Blow-Out this depends on differences presumed to exist between art and architecture. 60 2. Institution in the Garden The New England Mind and the Republic of Texas It has been well noted that Peter Eisenman's role at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies was very much that of an impresario. Not only was he one of the Institute's founders, its director for most of its existence, and an editor at its flagship journal, Oppositions, but it was through his notable PR skills that the IAUS was able to establish a wealthy and influential board of trustees, to find significant corporate sponsors for some of its programs, and to liaise with important institutions and publications in Europe, such as Casabella, Architecture-Mouvement-Continuite, and Arcquitectura bis (Eisenman was known to wish to emulate the little magazines of the European avant-garde and continually sought connections with European journals that he felt continued that tradition) and the Institute of Architecture at the University of Venice (an Italophilic, bias, largely Eisenman's own, is noticeable in the pages of Oppositions, which introduced many English-speaking readers to Manfredo Tafuri, Massimo Cacciari, and Francesco Dal Co). A l l of Eisenman's high-powered intellectual pursuits and consummate networking skills have even made him open to caricature [figs. 10, 11, & 12]. Although October was to become no less influential to its art world public in the US, or perhaps more specifically, in New York, its relation to the IAUS has been much less discussed, or even noted. Indeed, there is perhaps little noteworthy in this relation, for the Institute essentially covered the journal's startup and office costs and acted as its 61 publisher, leaving all editorial direction to its two founding editors, Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson; whereas Oppositions' editors were also fellows of the IAUS whose educational and exhibition programs were reflected in the pages of the architectural journal. What is more noteworthy, however, is that October owes its beginnings to the connection between Krauss and Eisenman, which was not just a friendship that provided the basis for Eisenman's promise to divert some of the IAUS's funds into a new intellectually oriented art journal, but was founded on an exchange of ideas that developed as each charted new paths that diverged from their intellectual formations. What resulted was a new convergence, as the two established points of common interest in each of their critical projects - Krauss in her assessment of the legacy of minimalism, and Eisenman in his articulation of conceptual architecture. In order to offer an angle of approach to this relationship, I shall propose a pair of figures. The matter of the figural will be of importance in this episode. It will be called upon, implicitly or not, as a counterpoint to the notion of literalism - a concept that was to have decisive bearing on the art and architecture of the 1960s. The literal will provide a series of related concepts - fact, information, program, machine - that will come to shape the new configuration of institutionality that emerges in the 1970s. The figures I am proposing - the New England Mind and the Republic of Texas - will serve to orient my approach, and they will suggest in the immediate the "American" context of this study. America is, of course, itself a figurative notion and any history that presumes to speak of America must in some sense be about the figurative. The study I propose, then, is about how certain kinds of figuration have operated on the very forms of social life 62 that, one might say, are mediated by institutions. For example, in an afterword to a recent republication of the text alluded to in this chapter's title, Leo Marx acknowledges the criticism directed toward the "Myth and Symbol school" of American studies for accepting too readily the generalizations that such symbols tend to make. But at the same time he points to the repeated recourse to figuration in times of political urgency, as when anti-war protesters a few years after the initial publication of his book found a popular slogan in "Stop the Machine!"1 The New England Mind and the Republic of Texas, the figures I am proposing, will be useful because they offer modes of approach to the object of this thesis. To begin with, the historical foundations of New England intellectual life are in the divinity schools of the early Puritan settlers. And if America was not precisely understood by them as an edenic garden, the theology they espoused was nonetheless tied to its place in the New World. It is the connection between speculation and that recurring image of America as nature/wilderness/frontier that I wish to stress, and which the Transcendentalists of the succeeding generations (figures like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson) would epitomize. With the image of the New England Mind, this is to suggest a tradition of intellectual life in America that, perhaps in its disdain for Old World highbrow culture, has been idealized in the form of the pastoral retreat.2 But where this has been treated, in its confrontation with technology, as a founding metaphor of 1 Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (New York: Oxford UP, 1964, 2000), 381-384. We might note the complexities of figuration in any attempt to write a history that, however provisionally, takes America as its subject. For example, in a preface to his essay, "Errand into the Wilderness," Marx's colleague, Perry Miller, notes how the recurring figure of America as garden/nature/wilderness was erroneously factualized as a "thesis" by Frederick Jackson Turner. Setting the record straight, Miller offers "errand" and "wilderness" as, precisely, figures around which to construct a history of how such metaphors are deployed. Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness (New York: Harper and Row, 1956), 1-2. 2 Lawrence W Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). 63 America," I would rather suggest that speculation in the garden, in (one might call it) an American sense, does not give to retreat, to the grove of academe. If one traces the New England Mind, as American historian Perry Miller does, to its Puritan roots, one is reminded of that other persistent metaphor for America - that of experiment.4 This tracing bypasses the usual sense of America as political experiment. Instead, it suggests that one's experience (in this new world) is the ground for speculation - in other words, speculation, if it finds its place in the garden, is not so much elsewhere, as it is in the America-as-garden around us. This is to point to a certain commensurability between the speculative and the experiential experiment found under the sign of America. If the New England Mind suggests to us America as experiment, then the Republic of Texas will call up America as model. When American settlers ventured into territory, the claims over which were disputed with Mexico, they followed a pattern of "settlement" that was not unlike others on the frontier. However, out of the ensuing conflict with Mexico the Republic of Texas was founded. The relation of this republic to the republic of the United States was one of emulation and model. It rested on the ways the American republic could be reproduced, the way its institutions could be replicated.5 In this sense the Republic of Texas is different from the usual history of the frontier. As cultural anthropologists have noted, the frontier is not just a mythical story of America's development but is a structural feature of its social imaginary. It provides the function of liminality where law is established through recourse to lawlessness. The problem with 3 Leo Marx. 4 Perry Miller, Errand. 5 See Colin Rowe, "Program versus Paradigm: Otherwise Casual Notes on the Pragmatic, the Typical, and the Possible," The Cornell Journal of Architecture 3 (1982/83), reprinted in Colin Rowe, As 1 Was Saying: Recollections and Miscellaneous Essays, ed. Alexander Caragonne. Vol. 2, Cornelliana (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1996), 7-41. 6 4 this account is not just that the frontier becomes an historical inevitability, but that it is the very image of historical inevitability. The Republic of Texas, on the other hand, forces one to confront the reproduction of institutions. This is to suggest an identification of America through its identity as model. If these figures seem unlikely guides in a study of 1970s art and architecture, it will be important to note that the New England Mind and the Republic of Texas have direct sources in the story I am concerned with - that of the exchange between the critical projects of Rosalind Krauss and Peter Eisenman in the early 1970s. As mentioned, both Krauss and Eisenman founded an intellectual engagement with one another at a moment when each was breaking ties with certain aspects of her and his intellectual formation. And for each of them this involved a break with a kind of "mentor" figure. For Krauss, it was with her former senior colleague at Harvard and fellow contributor at Artforum, Michael Fried, whose evaluation of minimalism she began to dispute in the pages of that magazine in the early 1970s. For Eisenman, it was with his former doctoral advisor at Cambridge and now professor at Cornell, Colin Rowe, who helped found the IAUS and whom Eisenman, in his role as director, was expelling from the Institute after a falling out that resulted from their dispute over the alleged political viability of the formalism they once shared. Each of these "breaks" have been noted, often in terms of the alleged political sensibility broken with - that of the last vestiges of a rearguard modernism - and the presumed political sensibility taken up - in the ambitious critical projects derived from a radical extension of the formal gambits of that same modernism. Such narratives rest on readings of Fried and Rowe as being rooted in a worn-out modernism, however much 65 each attempted to revise the most recent and notable representatives of that modernism. The alternate approach taken up here will be to tell how Oppositions and October became the sites of a specific kind of work performed by the figure "institution." In order to understand this work, I take as a starting point the alternate pair of figures that have already been supplied for us by Michael Fried and Colin Rowe. The historian of the New England Mind, Perry Miller, is cited by Fried in the epigraph to his famous essay, "Art and Objecthood." Fried's famous concluding formula, that presentness is grace, owes much to Miller's study of the eighteenth-century Puritan, Jonathan Edwards.6 (And if it seemed that I have been too insistent in foregrounding America as one of the subjects of this story, it will be worth recalling that Miller himself called Edwards the key to understanding the meaning of America.) On the other hand, Colin Rowe may be given credit for offering the Republic of Texas as a subject of inquiry. In his teaching post at the University of Texas at Austin, from 1954 to 1956, Rowe, along with the rest of what became known to architectural students as the Texas Rangers - Bernhard Hoesli, John Hedjuk, and Robert Slutsky - established a pedagogical experiment in the teaching of architecture that relied heavily on the kinds of formal methods used in Bauhaus-style integrative arts programs, and that more specifically fused painterly concerns with architectural ones.7 It was here that Rowe and Slutsky wrote their 6 Perry Miller, Jonathan Edwards (New York: W. Sloane Associates, 1949); Perry Miller, The New England Mind, vol. 1, The Seventeenth Century (New York: Macmillan, 1939) and The New England Mind, vol. 2, From Colony to Province (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1953). James Meyer should be noted for taking seriously Fried's use of Miller's Edwards. James Meyer, Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001). However, as will be seen in chapter 7,1 shall differ significantly from Meyer's reading of this source. 7 The extent to which the program at Texas resembled that of the Bauhaus must be qualified. It was what one might call the Josef Albers side of the Bauhaus rather than the Walter Gropius side that was emulated. Slutsky was a student of Albers at Yale, where Rowe had also been, studying under Henry Russell-Hitchcock. Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, vol. 1, 25-40. See also, Alexander Caragonne, The Texas Rangers: Notes from an Architectural Underground (Cambridge MA: MIT, 1995). Gropius, of course, 66 well-known pair of essays on transparency, though they were not published until much later. However, so impressed with the architectural environment of Texas was Rowe that he also wrote and published in Architectural Record in 1954 his essay "Lockhart, Texas," which mused on the sources of early Texas town planning.9 There, Rowe supposed that an Italianate cohesiveness so thoroughly permeated the anonymous architecture of this small town, that one might believe that it was the work of a master builder, an unknown Master of Lockhart [fig. 13]. This essay needs to be seen as the backdrop to the two more famous transparency essays. Fried and Rowe, each in his own way, provide a project critical of literalism. Through a rereading of these I hope to gain purchase on the relationship between Eisenman and Krauss, and the kinds of concerns that would come to be represented in Oppositions and October. In order discuss this more fully I shall outline some of the historical details that surround these four people. It will involve a detailed look at the critical and historical projects of each. But first, in order to help orient what is to come something of a recovery of what surely is among the most sustained thought on institutionality is in order - as it will show the themes of experience and model to have historical precedent. became a target of criticism in the transparency essays of Rowe and Slutsky. Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky, "Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal," Perspecta 8 (1963), reprinted in Colin Rowe, The Mathmatics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays (Cambridge MA: MIT, 1976), 159-83; and "Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal, Part II," Perspecta 13-14 (1971), reprinted in Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, vol. 1, 73-106. To Rowe, Gropius represented a kind of technocratic approach to architecture that was anathema to him. 8 Part I was written in 1955-56, and Part II in 1956. They were published in 1963 and 1971, respectively (see previous note). A third part was planned but was never written, as the group that became known as the Texas Rangers was forced to leave the University of Texas in 1956. Rowe, As I Was Saying, Vol. 1, 74. For this history, see Caragonne. 9 Colin Rowe and John Hejduk, "Lockhart, Texas," Architectural Record 121 (March 1957), 201-6. As Rowe explains in his collected essays, the piece resulted from a trip he and John Hejduk made to Lockhart; he wrote the text and Hejduk supplied the photographs. It is reprinted in Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, Vol. 1,55-71. 67 The Republic of Learning At a time, in the early twentieth century, when many fields, including art history and economics, underwent processes of specialization, Thorstein Veblen represented an older generation of academic who was well versed in a number of areas of study that were to varying degrees in the process of formalization as disciplines. Besides economics, his primary area of study, he kept current on the latest researches in anthropology, sociology, psychology and philosophy, and published in a range of journals just as wide. As a critic of neoclassical economics, Veblen's thought thus incorporated elements from a range of research interests. The degree to which it formed a comprehensive system has often been neglected, however, owing to the focus of Veblen's reception often centering solely on his most well known work, The Theory of the Leisure Class. This and contemporaneous essays formed a critique of the developments in the field of economics and the economic activity that it tended to ignore. Though it is probable that he had large portions of his system worked out at this date (1899), it was not until later publications - The Instinct of Workmanship (1914) and The Higher Learning in America (written around 1906 but not published until 1918) - that its full extent appeared. The Theory of the Leisure Class, whose critique rests on a study of the habits of competitive consumption of that class, was intimately connected with Veblen's critique of the latest developments in economic science, which, he argued, not only ignored such habits but tended to legitimate them. Economic institutions such as money and wages or land-ownership develop over long periods of time, and it is the mistake of economists to 68 treat these as the functions of natural laws. Speaking of classical economists Veblen writes, The ultimate laws and principles which they formulated were the laws of the normal or the natural, according to a preconception regarding the ends to which, in the nature of things, all things tend. In effect, this preconception imputes to things a tendency to work out what the instructed common sense of the time accepts as the adequate or worthy end of human effort.10 Veblen's broad project, to demonstrate human institutions that develop over long periods and serve particular ends where the functioning of nature is said to exist, took its aim at the way economists conceived of historical process. This, he said, was founded on a notion of cause and effect that had been common to all the natural sciences that had not yet become modern in their methods. These depended on the imputation of a force or field that guaranteed causation in a normative way. The modern scientist is unwilling to depart from the test of causal relation or quantitative sequence. When he asks the question, Why? he insists on an answer in terms of cause and effect. He wants to reduce his solution of all problems to terms of the conservation of energy or the persistence of quantity.1 Thus, in the manner of the physicist, the economist aimed to state the laws of economics in terms of equilibrium. In this way a normative law could describe sequences causally and could account for any contrary effect as a "disturbing factor."12 1 0 "Why Is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?" The Quarterly Journal of Economics 12 (July 1898), reprinted in The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation (New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1918), 65. See also, "The Preconceptions of Economic Science," The Quarterly Journal of Economics 13, 14 (Jan. 1899, Feb. 1900), also reprinted in The Place of Science. " "Why Is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?" 60. 1 2 Ibid., 61. For all the loquaciousness of his writing, which his critics are quick to disparage, Veblen could when called upon convey the force of his argument in a few carefully placed barbs. Making no effort to hide his sarcasm, he jeered at economists' conjectural history of the "beginnings of barter in the putative hunter, fisherman, and boat builder, or the man with the plane and two planks, or the two men with basket of apples and the basket of nuts." The cost-of-production theory of value of the neoclassicals is "pungently reminiscent of the time when Nature abhorred a vacuum." Ibid., 66-67. And their account of the subject according to the theory of marginal utility Veblen is particular to debunk: "The hedonistic conception of man is that of a lightning calculator of pleasures and pains, who oscillates like a homogeneous globule of 69 Against the imposition of the physical sciences on to the study of economics, which treated efficiency as governed by a natural law, Veblen proposed an entirely different model of efficiency. This model was built on a relation of instinct, habit and conscious activity. The language of Veblen's studies belongs to a different period in the history of the biological and social sciences. And it will require some care to sort out the assumptions of those fields from Veblen's critique of them. Ultimately, what makes Veblen's work valuable is the way he sets the terms of his study in motion, by making them speak relationally. He demonstrates a certain performativity of discourse. To retrace this will require some unpacking of his often loquacious writing, but it will benefit by suggesting an angle of approach to the art and architectural discourse of the 1970s. Science failed, according to Veblen, when it considered causation as coming to rest at any moment. It was only on the basis of these false stationary points that it could claim to determine the laws governing causation. The exemplarily modern sciences, on the other hand, were the evolutionary sciences. Any other account of causation can only have recourse to the imputation of some agent or force, as in animism. Evolution, on the other hand, considered causation as an endless cumulative process. Thus, economic activity cannot properly be understood in terms of the segmented parcels of time of marginal analysis. Only the long course of time, with the evolution of habits into institutions, can account for all economic activity. The practices of conspicuous consumption of the leisure class, for example, belongs to the institution of pecuniary culture that is proper to the leisure class itself, and these developed out of earlier practices desire of happiness under the impulse of stimuli that shift him about the area, but leave him intact." Ibid., 73. 70 and habits of emulation and invidious comparison, which reach far back to primitive societies. As a matter of selective necessity, man is an agent. He is, in his own apprehension, a center of unfolding impulsive activity - "teleological" activity. He is an agent seeking in every act the accomplishment of some concrete, objective, impersonal end. By force of his being such an agent he is possessed of a taste for effective work, and a distaste for futile effort. He has a sense of the merit of serviceability or efficiency and of the demerit of futility, waste, or incapacity. This aptitude or propensity may be called the instinct of workmanship. Whenever the circumstances or traditions of life lead to an habitual comparison of one person with another in point of efficiency, the instinct of workmanship works out in an emulative or invidious comparison of persons.... In any community where such an invidious comparison of persons is habitually made, visible success becomes an end sought for its own utility as a basis of esteem.13 At work here are the combined effects of instinct and habit, terms that Veblen intends to carry Darwinian connotations. Veblen's own emulation of evolutionary science does not stop at an analogy between biological and social activity, however. As he would write later, "The fabric of institutions intervenes between the material exigencies of life and the speculative scheme of things."14 For Veblen the material exigencies of life are guided by the instincts. In this way, the leisure class habits and institution of invidious comparison, evolved out of the instinct for efficiency. This instinct could be satisfied by comparing one's own efficiency in the accomplishment of some concrete end with that of another's. But as comparison is made habitual, success becomes valued as an end in its own right. The emulative activity takes on less the character of industry and more the character of exploit, as in the acquisition by warriors of booty or trophies and, eventually, in the conspicuous 13 The Theory of the Leisure Class, 15-16. 1 4 "The Evolution of the Scientific Point of View," in The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation, 44. 71 consumption of those of late emulating the earlier lifestyle of nobility. These consumption practices are described by Veblen as an institution.15 The institution of the leisure class, then, arises out of the long cumulative development of habits which transform the material instincts of human life. Veblen's work on instincts appeared after The Theory of the Leisure Class and the few references to the concept in that work go undeveloped. But his evolutionary critique of economics did coincide with it, and in this lies the outline of the problems that would come to occupy him. The inclusion of instincts into his work, however, did not follow from a strict adherence to the biologism of his favourite evolutionary model (though his critics would complain of this).1 6 Instead it arose out of the careful elaboration of his critique of economics into a system of thought that would become certainly the most elaborate inquiry into the concept of institutionality of his time, a concept whose difficulty would hinder any direct claims of antecedence when it was taken up by structuralists and Marxian dialecticians in the 1960s and 70s. Indeed, as will be seen, it was with great subtlety and attention to paradox that Veblen's concept of institutionality may be set against what came later. In short, what makes many other uses of the concept of institution reductive is the tendency to treat it simply as either a guarantee of liberty (as in a social contract) or as impediment to liberty (where, for example, the interests of one social class or group stand in for the ostensible claims to universality of that institution). Veblen's inquiry into institutionality eschewed this figurative process whereby freedom and determination are 15 The Theory of the Leisure Class, 16-17. 1 6 See Rick Tilman, Thorsteln Veblen and His Critics, 1891-1963: Conservative, Liberal, and Radical Perspectives (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992); and Geoffrey Hodgson, The Evolution of Institutional Economics: Agency, Structure, and Darwinism In American lnstitutlonalism (London: Routledge, 2004). 72 held in opposition through the production of discrete categories of thought. In fact, his entire system is made up of the folding-in on one another of a series of categorical distinctions. And institutionality runs throughout his work as the figure to which all these foldings-in return. Furthermore, as the distinctions that comprise the social expand to include thought on the social, institutionality ceases to be simply a form of social description. It becomes instead a sort of surfeit in the movement of thought. It points to a circuitous path, but rather than re-inscribing the circularity of tautology, that remainder emerges as a trace of the event of institution. The apprehension of that event according to received categories, is the manner in which institutionality is usually conceived - e.g., as the compact of social liberty, or as the entrenchment of specific class or group interests. But the paths of thought that Veblen takes approach and trace the very event of institution - the institution of practical and speculative knowledge, which cuts across the social field. And, as Veblen's study of institutionality will help us to discover, this event will be had in a new regime of efficiency that will be legible in the study of art architecture in the 1970s. In order to approach this event, it will be necessary to examine how Veblen's account of efficiency came to include the production of evolutionary knowledge itself. This emerges in Veblen's thinking over a series of moves: from the mutual implication of instinct and habit, to their alteration by conscious aims, and then to the mutual implication of practical pursuit and speculative thought. To start with, Veblen began to work on the relation between instincts and habits in order to draw out the evolutionary implications of The Theory of the Leisure Class. 73 There, he had considered institutions as the consolidation of particular social aims through habit. According to the customary topology of institutionality, one might be tempted to read this work as a study of the determinations carried out by institutions. But Veblen was not content with the mechanistic model that would result from a consideration of use and wont alone. This would not account for change at all, let alone over a broad cumulative span. By turning to a consideration of instincts, however, Veblen did not aim at placing the origins of the cumulative span of evolution beyond social development back into the immemorial time of the origin of the species. Rather, he makes a distinction between purely physiological impulses, which nonetheless exist in all species, and those specific instincts which are guided by consciousness. Instincts, Veblen says, are teleological - they are the aims for which conscious thought considers the ways and means in order to achieve them.17 By placing conscious activity at the centre of his project, Veblen arrives at much more than an evolutionary model of social process. If the thinking on institutionality as it had come down to him divided institutions into those governing sovereign and Instincts, then, are placed squarely within the realm of efficiency, and thus of economy. This essentially universalizes the matter of economy in its basic form, as instincts are treated by Veblen as having only slight variation among the peoples of the world, especially in relation to the much wider variation in institutions. It is precisely the nexus of instinct and habit, however, that Veblen uses to deny any universal law of economy. Such a broad scope places Veblen's work in contact with contemporaneous research in anthropology. And it has been lasting source of difficulty for sympathetic critics to square Veblen's sharp critique of economic inequity with his comparative and Darwinian approach to anthropological issues. Indeed, the strong reactions to the concept of social Darwinism in Veblen's own time spelled the death knell for the reception of his later work, despite his holding to no such concept himself. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 41-66, 143-75; see also Rick Tilman, 43-4, 74-7, 123-9, 168-74, 190-2. His use of labels like savage, barbarian and civilised to talk about cultural development, however, can hardly spare him of the primitivist ethos of contemporary anthropology. Yet, on other accounts, Veblen sharply rejected the assumptions of primitivism. Taking the Darwinian model in the strictest sense, he held no belief in the concept of progress, only the selective adaptation of habits by way of mutation. The cumulative process of these adaptations does not add up to a higher or advanced culture (where these words do appear in this context, Veblen often supplies scare quotes), for the adaptation of habit always carries with it the redirection or contamination of the instinct it serves. In other words, instinctive activity is teleological, but evolution is not. 74 determined activity, Veblen would rewrite this in terms of nothing other than the effective life of the instincts. For instincts are comprised of both an inherent propensity for some end and the conscious ability to evaluate the ways and means to achieve that end. 1 8 But Veblen does not keep the sovereign and the determined as a simple pairing within the concept of instinct. Instincts are varied - some more prone to shaping and alteration by habit, others less so. An example of a significant one that is altered is the parental bent - that instinct of a community to provide for the welfare of the next generation. The fact that it may be altered owes to the different possible ways and means of achieving that end. The efficient discretion when it comes to ways and means Veblen calls workmanship. And, in a distinctly circuitous form of thought typical of Veblen, workmanship is another instinctive trait. [N]either this [the instinct of workmanship] nor any other instinctive disposition works out its functional content in isolation from the instinctive endowment at large. The instincts, all and several, though perhaps in varying degrees, are so intimately engaged in a play of give and take that the work of any one has its consequences for all the rest, though presumably not for all equally. It is this endless complication and contamination of the instinctive elements in human conduct, taken in conjunction with the pervading and cumulative effects of habit in this domain, that makes most of the difficulty and much of the interest attaching to this line of inquiry.1 9 Here begins the circuitous movement of Veblen's thought. Though it may not be propitious to do so here, a comparison of Veblen with Freud is certainly worth while. Where Freud made his noted re-evaluation of instinct in favor of the drives in order to separate the unconscious from simple biology, Veblen maintained a connection with the viscera. Though instinct proper is conscious, there is no clear boundary between physiology or tropism on the one hand and instinctive action on the other. As Veblen explicitly states: "Some such account of the instinctive dispositions and their relation to the physical individual seems necessary as a means of apprehending them without assuming a sheer break between the physical and immaterial phenomena of life." The Instinct of Workmanship, 13. It is precisely in this continuum that Veblen locates institutionality; whereas it is the legacy of both Freud and Marx to have founded their theories of the unconscious and ideology on the break that Veblen refutes. And the interpretation of these theories in terms of institutionality (of the Symbolic, of Ideology) has been to situate conscious activity in the determinative field of the institutional (repression, false consciousness). In this way, the theories of the unconscious and ideology have often been aligned according to the received topology of institutionality. 19 Instinct of Workmanship, 28-9. 75 That efficiency in achieving the ends of instinct should be guided by another instinct proceeds from the rather straightforward account of the entanglement of habit and instinct. That is, if instinct determines the ends that motivate human behaviour, and if those ends may by reached by a sufficient range of means, then the discretion involved in instinctive behaviour will be open to habituation. Habituation acts cumulatively to create customs and conventions that will over time run back only indirectly to instinctive predisposition. But just as habit alters instinct, the range of knowledge produced by habituation becomes the source material for the instinct of workmanship. That is, habituated knowledge becomes the ways and means for reaching further instinctive ends - habit can, by way of workmanship, be redirected back toward instinct (other instincts or the same one by different means). This last is not a return to nature, however, as these processes have been building up cumulatively.20 Were Veblen's system to stop here, we would have simply what he calls the mutual contamination of the instincts - that is, an account of how habit and workmanship act on one another in the cultural evolution of instincts. But Veblen is concerned to explain how some habituated knowledge may become re-employed in technological development and other knowledge remains simply customary. As technology is the intermediary between instinct and habit, a kind of filter that alters how one sees instinct and habit, two kinds of knowledge proceed: that which is matter of fact, open to the discretion of ways and means by the instinct of workmanship, and that of what is said to happen on its own, what in fact has workmanship imputed to it. This latter Veblen calls the self-contamination of workmanship, because it determines what is available to the Ibid., 38-42. 76 efficiency of persons. It is the attribution of an anthropomorphism in the apprehension of things in that they are said to work out means and ends on their own. [T]he most obstructive derangement that besets workmanship is what may be called the self-contamination of the sense of workmanship itself. This applies in a peculiar degree to the earlier or more elementary phases of a culture, but it holds true only with lessening force throughout the later growth of civilisation. The hindrance to technological efficiency from this source will often rise to large proportions even in advanced communities, particularly where magical, religious or other anthropomorphic habits of thought are prevalent.... The essential trait of anthropomorphic conceptions ... is that conduct, more or less fully after the human fashion of conduct, is imputed to external objects; whether these external objects are facts of observation or creatures of mythological fancy. Veblen uses the concept of anthropomorphism, the self-contamination of workmanship, to explain how the technologies of certain cultures and eras may remain static according to the strength of cultural institutions that have an interest in the explanation of things 22 according to some supernatural power. In the European tradition, it is with the scholasticism of the Middle Ages that reality begins to be differentiated into matters of fact and matters of imputation. This has the social implication of dividing people into classes according to these two types of knowledge - those of handicraft expertise and those adepts of speculation in the schooling of the church.2 3 This discussion of how knowledge is divided into matters of fact - that which may be acted on practically - and matters of imputation - a scheme of efficiency that operates in things themselves - ultimately comes to bear on the very knowledge that Veblen is setting out. This will lead to something of a conundrum. For what Veblen aims to do in his critique of contemporary economic science is to historicize it as the institutional imputation of an external causal efficiency (namely, the force that ensures Ibid., 52. Ibid., 52-62. "Evolution of the Scientific Point of View," in The Place of Science, 49. 77 optimization in the marginal theory of neoclassical economics). This radical historicization appears to accept no such speculative scheme of things, in which efficiency is externalized. It therefore should accept no concept of modernity, for modernity by this account is the name for the enlightened science which presumes to discover the laws of nature and society. Yet, Veblen is forced to attribute a certain modernity, if not external efficiency, to the very theorization of institutionality he is setting out. As his historical account continues, then, it comes to include contemporary institutions and knowledge, even the science on which his project rests. In short, modern evolutionary science is the outcome of evolution. Veblen values the Darwinian approach because it is able to recognize the differentiation of reality - into matters of fact and matters of imputation - for precisely what it is: an institutional outcome of cultural evolution. Accordingly, all such differentiation is founded on pre-Darwinian science -whether that of medieval scholastics or contemporary economists. And Veblen is particular to show the efficient causation claimed by neoclassical economists to be part of just such a pre-Darwinian conception of nature (i.e., it owes to a belief in a supernatural force that ensures the laws that guide economic science). But the growth of modern science, even the Darwinian science Veblen practices, is an institutional development. And this occurs alongside the technological development of the industrial revolution. Veblen explains how this happens: as industrial life intrudes into the scheme of the authentic knowledge of the adepts, "the body of matter-of-fact knowledge, in modern times, is more and more drawn into the compass of theoretical inquiry; and theoretical 78 inquiry takes on more and more of the animus and method of technological generalisation."24 Though the class divisions that result from the differential reality remain (owing to the hardihood of institutions that have recourse to the earlier preconceptions of natural law), the growth of workmanlike, matter-of-fact knowledge is the cumulative process out of which modern evolutionary science emerges. Modern science thus has its own scientific explanation. But Veblen is careful to stress that this does not lead to tautology. As he writes at the outset of his essay on "The Evolution of the Scientific Point of View," A discussion of the scientific point of view which avowedly proceeds from this point of view itself has necessarily the appearance of an argument in a circle; and such in great part is the character of what here follows. It is in large part an attempt to explain the scientific point of view in terms of itself, but not altogether. It is that which is not a l t o g e t h e r c i r c u l a r in such an argument that is of particular importance in Veblen's work. And it will require some care to sort out just what this is. To begin with, one may note that it is only in the context of science that the "modern" is positively valued. But this is strictly a partial view, for it only emerges from an evolutionary process that eschews all progress. Where his contemporaries universalized their fields in terms of the "modern," Veblen showed these notions of the "field" to be part of a differentiated reality. This he did in the name of the "modern" too. And where one finds in this place another "field" - evolutionary science - the "modern" immediately slips from view as it reflects light on the differentiated reality from which it derives. Thus, rather than simply a tautological form of thought, this account attempts to Ibid., 50. Ibid., 32. 7 9 trace its circuitous movement in order to identify the new evolutionary developments that emerge in that movement. Institutionality, then, is ultimately the name for differentiated reality and the cover under which it hides. Veblen's work is not so much an analysis of institutions per se, but a tracing of institutionality's movement in and out of visibility. And, as he would have it, the point of view that supposes it at rest at any one moment is that which imputes to it a false agent or force. But, at the same time, if we grant that the evolution described by Veblen has no end, we must be continually on the lookout for the forms of the new - by habituation or technological generalization. What remains to be considered is how Veblen extended his thinking to the study of the educational system in the US. In short, by folding his own position into cumulative evolutionary process, with all its habitual modes of differentiating reality, Veblen claims, This account of the production of the new, though in proximity with Deleuze, differentiates Veblen from the latter. Where Deleuze considers the new in relation to the forms of the unthought, Veblen proposes that habituation may be as productive of the new as scientific innovation. The proximity of Veblen to Deleuze may be had in the performative dimension of Veblen's thinking: the expansive approach to Darwinian evolution places it outside conventional speculative thought. This outside, may be compared to Deleuze's unthought, and the tracing of institutionality's movement I am ascribing to Veblen may be compared with the Deleuze's thematic of the movement of thought. The Deleuzian unthought has been fruitfully considered as an aspect of the line of modernist criticism under consideration in this thesis by Caroline A. Jones in Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg's Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). Jones' account of how Greenbergian opticality is less about the expressly visible than about the forms of interiority of discourse has much in common with my project. However, where I differ from her, and where one may say Veblen differs from Deleuze, is in the matter of the institutional. In Jones' account, the positivism of Greenberg's criticism has a productive aspect in that its emphasis on the sensory opens up new forms of thought that were previously outside the bounds of traditional speculative aesthetics. In Greenberg's ascendance, however, the senses are "bureaucratized,"made into an apparatus, and this has the effect of institutionalizing those forms of the new by tying them into a "sensorium" that is commensurate with the machinery of postwar US capitalism. The framework here is that of an innovative form of thought followed by its recuperation or institutionalization, and it is this framework, I would suggest, that is common to the discourse on institutions. The approach provided by Veblen differs from this, if not entirely from the Deleuzian model of the new, by suggesting that habituation (which I am associating with fantasy) is as much a part of the production of the new as "innovation." That is, rather than a model of liberation and recuperation, Veblenian institutionality suggests more a reorientation of efficiency into different nodes. The lines of connection between these nodes are less transparent than political discourse supposes institutions to be. 8 0 in The Higher Learning in America, that only on the basis of differential reality can one perceive differential reality. The critical edge in this study of the state of the universities as they underwent professionalization at the turn of the century was to demonstrate that university knowledge is imbricated with a general economy or regime of efficiency. The Higher Learning in America may seem still very topical and will ring very sweetly in the ears of anyone reading it today who has a distrust of the incursion of business into what she may regard as the last bastion of independent thinking (the book's subtitle is: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men). Veblen attacks at length the incursion of vocational and technical training into the realm of the university. Claiming no disregard for the prerogatives of the schoolmaster, whose task it is to induct pupils into citizenship, he holds the businesslike administration of universities at fault for confusing the aims of colleges with those of the university. What and how much of these extraneous activities the university should allow itself is a matter on which there is no general agreement even among those whose inclinations go far in that direction; but what is taken for granted throughout all this advocacy of outlying detail is the secure premise that the university is in the first place a seminary of higher learning, and that no school can make good its pretensions to university standing except by proving its fitness in this respect.27 The university can only properly be called as such if it sets before it no immediate ends in the practical world. Idle Curiosity should be the sole motivation for research in the university. The problem Veblen identifies in the university, then, is that it confuses practical aims with speculative learning. But as we saw, Veblen considered the confusion of the practical and the speculative to be an outcome of evolutionary processes - and this 27 The Higher Learning in America, 16. 281 am here using Veblen's capitalization of Idle Curiosity. 81 extended to the evolution of evolutionary science itself. The challenge then is to differentiate between the confusion of practical business aims with speculative learning, on the one hand, and the workmanlike way evolutionary science attends to the study of institutions, on the other. Veblen addresses this problem by returning to the same circuitous movement of thought. The critique of the universities demanded a return to Idle Curiosity as the guide to research. But where this may seem to recall a position of externality or autonomy, Veblen is quick to return the matter to the historical growth of the universities.29 The university in Europe emerged from the scholastic differentiation of reality into handicraft knowledge and the speculative knowledge of the theologians. If the former was guided by the instinct of workmanship, the latter was guided by the instinct of Idle Curiosity. Thus Idle Curiosity is that quest for knowledge about the scheme of things, and it was in the habitual order of matters in the period before Darwinian science to impute an anthropomorphic efficiency to the scheme of things. Idle Curiosity only comes to have matter-of-fact knowledge as its object in the post-Darwinian era. In recognizing this, the modern scientist is able to place matter-of-fact knowledge as an end of Idle Curiosity, which thus, in typically Veblenian paradox, takes on the character of workmanship (in other words, non-teleological activity takes on the character of teleological activity). Matters of fact and matters of imputation, workmanship and Idle Curiosity, are kept in a state of folding in on one another. This is the circularity that continually propels 2 9 Just as Veblen's thought may be set against later structuralist accounts of institutionality, so too may it be set against dialectical accounts that attempted to render the problem of institutionality in terms of partial or relative autonomy. Unlike these accounts, which rested on some notion of the provisional in relation to autonomy, Veblen asserted continuity. This is mentioned here to prefigure what is to come in the following chapters, which is to deal with the topology of institutionality as it was rendered by critics in October and Oppositions according to the two main currents of thought in the US in the 1970s, that of structuralism and that of dialectics. 82 Veblen's thought. It is what he refers to as the appearance of an argument in a circle, as the attempt to explain the scientific point of view in terms of itself, but not altogether. It is to Veblen's lasting merit, and undoubtedly the continual source of the misapprehension of his thought, that he never renders this remainder - the not-altogether-circular - in a constative, matter-of-fact statement. Indeed, it resists the constative.' Instead it emerges in the figure of institutionality, which is comprised of the back-and-forth movement between these two points of view: 1) institutionality is differential reality, the simple division of things into matters of fact (the object of workmanship) and matters of imputation (the object of Idle Curiosity); 2) institutionality is an imputation of an efficient order in the scheme of things that maintains or propels such a differential reality. The advantage of Veblen's thought, and what sets it apart from other accounts of institutions, is that it establishes an economy in general, or a regime of efficiency, to be produced through discourse. It is produced apart from, or in addition to, the positive statements of that discourse. It is, one might say, performed by that discourse. This will prove important as I examine the formation of a discourse on postmodernism. Lastly, however, it is necessary to consider how the circuitous movement of the discourses that comprise institutionality are localized. And for this we need to turn to Veblen's own professional life. It provides a sort of object lesson in institutionality. The fact that Veblen identified institutionality in a circuit of thought that moved from a straightforward division of fact and speculation, to their "mutual contamination" through habituation (consignment to institutions) and technology, meant that identifying 3 0 I aim to show that Veblen demonstrates the performativity of discourse, and for this I draw on the distinction between the performative and the constative, in J.L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1962). 83 a locus for institutionality could prove a problem. In fact, this very movement might suggest that a kind of locus of institutionality could follow a similar path. In other words, the traditional site of speculative learning was, according Veblen, in the seminaries of higher education. But his study of the modern university demonstrated the confusion of speculative and practical ends. To call for the restoration of the speculative role of the university, however, did not necessarily guarantee that research there might shed light on institutionality. For it was also the mutual contamination of the modes of learning that was at the basis of a properly evolutionary thinking. Thus, the problem was to distinguish between the confusion of speculative and practical business ends in the university, and the proper workmanlike care one ought to devote to Idle Curiosity. More than this problem, however, Veblen's thought suggests that the university serves as a kind of fixture of the relation between speculative and practical knowledge, but that this relation may be altered when there is pressure from outside, in the form of other sites of learning. Institutionality, then, may be localized in a movement between university and research institute or think tank. It is a remarkable feature of Veblen's writing that he should identify in the midst of the professionalization of the university the active role that that process would take in social formation. Although he complained of the incursion of practical purpose into the proper domain of the university, he far from held to a view of autonomous knowledge. The sad history of Veblen's own professional career was enough to guarantee his sensitivity to this problem. His firing from the University of Chicago in 1904 under dubious conditions that surely appeared as a pretext for dismissing someone of Veblen's 84 apparent politics are discussed with careful diplomacy in the preface to The Higher Learning: As he explains, Veblen did not want the publication of that book to appear opportunist and vengeful by seeming to have a particular university's administrators targeted, and so it was delayed by more than ten years. American entry into the war pushed publication back another two years. When it finally appeared in 1918 Veblen had added a few paragraphs to the end of his introduction to explain how the war created an international disturbance in scholarship. The problem of the university remained, but Veblen foresaw a new role for US institutions of knowledge in retrieving the scholarly equipment and personnel dispersed by war. The progress and the further promise of the war hold in prospect new and untried responsibilities, as well as an unexampled opportunity. So that the outlook now (June 1918) would seem to be that the Americans are to be brought into a central place in the republic of learning; to take a position, not so much of dominance as of trust and guardianship; not so much by virtue of their own superior merit as by the insolvency of the European academic community.32 As national proclivities among scholars had impeded disinterested scholarship, the opportunity afforded by the insolvency of the European academic community is, according to Veblen, a new international republic of learning that would be hosted by American educational institutions. The spirit of this republic would not flourish, however, in universities under existing administrations. As Veblen argued, the vocational and technical aims promoted by university administrators merely fostered wasteful competition among universities. Instead, Veblen envisioned a new form of research The Higher Learning in America, v-viii. Veblen supported the organization of workers, which along with his critique of the economics profession put him at odds with the business interests of most universities' administrators. He was, however, critical of Marxism as well, which he analyzed with as much detachment as he did neoclassical economics. This served him in attaining his appointment at the University of Missouri after dismissals at the University of Chicago and Stanford. At Missouri he was asked to teach classes on Marxism. The dubious conditions of his dismissals have to do with a failed marriage and the Victorian politics surrounding marriage at the turn of the century. See Elizabeth Watkins Jorgensen and Henry Irvin Jorgensen, Thorstein Veblen: Victorian Firebrand (Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999). 32 The Higher Learning in America, 48. 85 institution that would become the neutral ground for disinterested scholarship. It would be a joint enterprise among American and international scholars supported by "one or another - perhaps ... one and another - of those extra-academic foundations for research 33 of which there already are several in existence, - as, e.g., the Carnegie Institution."'' A l l hopefulness for a new spirit of higher learning aside, Veblen stood at the cusp of a new relation between philanthropy and education. When he began writing The Higher Learning in America, philanthropy was in the main an activity of that generation of Progressives who espoused social reform according to a mostly paternalistic nineteenth-century liberalism. It was against this sort of reformism that the American Economic Association guarded itself as it attempted in its early years to be divested of apparent interests, supporting instead a "scientifically" backed policy of laissez-faire. In this generation, philanthropists themselves held a direct interest in the reform agendas that their grants supported. Research at organizations such as the American Social Science Association (modeling its name after the professional bodies) and the New York Bureau of Municipal Research helped shape the social sciences in terms of advocacy and reform.34 The type of foundation Veblen calls upon, however, was the new style of philanthropic organization that Andrew Carnegie founded in 1911. Carnegie had previously taken up the role of reformer himself as he oversaw the dispersal of funds, in things like libraries, from the fortune he had amassed in the steel industry. But by 1911 he was at an advanced age and the prospect of perpetuating his charity beyond his death took shape in the form of an endowment that would be managed by administrators who would oversee grants to separate research institutes. Along with the Rockefeller 3 3 Ibid., 55. 3 4 Michael Bernstein, A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). 86 Foundation (chartered in 1913) and the Russell Sage Foundation (in 1907), the Carnegie Foundation was a part of, not only a new form of philanthropy, but also a new attitude within liberalism. ' The interests that these foundations and their administrators supported were less and less expressed as the advocacy for social reform. Increasingly, social improvement came to be seen as a possibility that could be addressed by value-neutral science, or as James Allen Smith puts it, a shift from the medical model of curing social ills to the economic model of improving social efficiency.36 It is no wonder then that Veblen would be excited by the new foundation established by Andrew Carnegie. It seemed possible, finally, that scholars could organize and devote themselves to unencumbered research. In fact, Veblen would be drawn, in the years following WWI, into a philanthropically funded research organization. The New School for Social Research was founded largely at the bequest of Dorothy Straight in 1918. Although its founders were directly influenced by The Higher Learning in America, the principles that guided them were mostly those of reform-minded liberalism. It was conceived as a center for adult education with many classes to be held in the evening and late afternoon to accommodate workingmen, which turned out to be attended by many women as well. Although the school catered to the diverse interests that were thought to promote self-improvement in its students, debate arose among its faculty over The reasons why the Carnegie and not the Rockefeller Foundation was singled out by Veblen certainly have much to do with the fact that JD Rockefeller had held the purse strings at the University of Chicago when he was tired there. On some of the differences between foundations, see James Allen Smith, The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite (New York: The Free Press, 1991); and Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, The Politics of Knowledge: The Carnegie Corporation, Philanthropy, and Public Policy (Middletown CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989). 3 6 James Allen Smith, 24-72. 87 the degree of research independence that could be afforded by the school's small budget, which had come to rely on student fees.37 Veblen came to the New School in its first year, and given its founders' interest in his work he surely would have had high hopes for the time to devote to independent research. It is thus with sad irony that, after disputes with the director Alvin Johnson over the amount of time to be devoted to the classroom, that Veblen, the star academic at the New School, was fired in 1925. Reports of his diffidence in the face of classroom demands would have comic proportions were it not for the grave sense in which he must 38 have felt that the school was betraying its founding principles." Although one is reminded of the great "latitude" that Veblen hoped would be afforded scholars in the republic of learning, one must also be aware of the way workmanship, that sense for ways and means, was so closely interconnected with his sense of Idle Curiosity. And the story of Veblen's professional career confirm how, although the attempt to keep these things separate seemed necessary, this could only, according to Veblen's writing, be had provisionally - at one moment in the circular movement of thought, a sort of arresting of that movement that Veblen had elsewhere denied. The episode of Veblen's departure from the New School for Social Research serves to demonstrate the impossibility of unencumbered research and autonomy even in institutes established expressly for that purpose. But it also points to the fact that if institutionality is a name for a kind of regime of efficiency, then, although it is most clearly stated in the speculative learning of the university, it may also find the event of its change in non-academic research institutes. 3 7 Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott, New School: A History of the New School for Social Research (New York: The Free Press, 1986). The founding of the New School provided a place of employment for professors who had been fired from Columbia University for refusing to support American entry into the war, and thus from the start had an anti-establishment politics associated with it. Rutkoff and Scott, 1-18. 3 8 Ibid., 36-37. 88 Veblen showed, then, that the study of institutions was a study of the movement between practical and speculative knowledge. The theme of these two kinds of knowledge has not been unique to Veblen. In fact, they reoccur as common tropes. Such becomes apparent in Leo Marx's study of the Machine in the Garden. But where these tropes became commonplaces in the 1960s, I am suggesting that Colin Rowe and Michael Fried called upon particular versions of those metaphors that suggest the complex movement that Veblen identified. These will be explored in the following two chapters. 89 3. Rowe-Eisenman Colin Rowe and Peter Eisenman shared a friendship that began in 1960 when the latter arrived in Cambridge, England to do graduate research on Gothic architecture. There, an intellectual affinity with Rowe sparked Eisenman to redirect his research and to embark on a PhD thesis that was to analyze form in modern architecture. Their friendship continued as they both left Cambridge in 1963 to return to the US and lasted until a dispute shortly after the founding of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in 1967.' One of the bases for this dispute emerged in the divergent positions taken during closed critiques of the work of architects surrounding the new institute. Just how far Rowe and Eisenman differed became evident when material from those critiques was published in 1972 in the book, Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, for which Rowe had written his now well-known introduction that not only refuted any political content in the work of the book's modernist proponents, but also argued that the moral ambitions of architecture were always bound to the disastrous results of any Utopian thinking.2 Rowe, who had been an articulate defendant of the Much of the chronology of this relationship can be gleaned from Louis Martin's PhD dissertation, "The Search for a Theory in Architecture: Anglo-American Debates, 1957-1976" (Princeton, 2002), especially chapter eight, which draws on interviews that Martin conducted with former IAUS members and that are housed in the IAUS archives at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. The following section draws on these interviews and Martin's thesis. 2 Museum of Modern Art, Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975). First published by Wittenborn in 1972, Five Architects has the appearance of an exhibition catalogue. It derives from the seventh meeting of the Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment, hosted by the IAUS at the Museum of Modern Art. A prefatory note is provided by MoMA architectural director, Arthur Drexler. Apart from the two introductory essays (the second by Kenneth Frampton), the book is comprised mostly of drawings and photographs, with written statements on their own work by Eisenman and Meier, and a statement on Graves' work by William La Riche. It was republished in 1975. 90 formal achievements of the historical avant-garde, had, it seems, grown disillusioned with the radical posturing of that movement's self-proclaimed latter-day heirs. Eisenman, meanwhile, even by 1972, had never really broken with the humanism that underpinned Rowe's studies, which had given the impetus to his own formal analysis. Nonetheless, Eisenman did see his own theory and work as having an important political trajectory, however unapparent this may seem to those not familiar with the intellectual formation he attempted to shed. For example, Eisenman's view that Giuseppe Terragni's Casa del Fascio constituted one of the most significant works of the historical avant-garde rested on a formal analysis of it alone. It was the formal significance derived from this building that provided the key to his theory of conceptual architecture. Yet, the political claims he made for conceptual architecture were such that the historical program for the Casa del Fascio could be ignored.3 At the same time, the theoretical framework that Eisenman applied to Terragni's work, as well as his own, came to rely on the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Yet, Eisenman's rejection of Rowe's espousal of de-politicized architecture would have seemingly nothing to do with Chomsky's own politicization since the mid-1960s.4 A closer look at Rowe's and Eisenman's activities will help to chart their divergence. 3 Throughout his career, Eisenman has held Terragni's work in high esteem. He has recently published a book on Terragni, a work that had been promised for nearly forty years. Peter Eisenman, Giuseppe Terragni: Transformations, Decompositions, Critiques (New York: Monacelli, 2003). His long-standing defense of this architect's work for the fascist regime in Italy has received criticism. See Diane Ghirardo, "Italian Architects and Fascist Politics: An Evaluation of the Rationalist's Role in Regime Building," The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 39 No. 2. (May 1980), 109-127. 4 Chomsky had been a renowned professor of linguistics at MIT when he became a vocal critic of US involvement in Southeast Asia and thus something of an intellectual spokesperson for the New Left. His American Power and the New Mandarins (New York: Pantheon, 1967) and At War With Asia (New York: Pantheon, 1969) were both widely read. 91 Colin Rowe's architectural education was interrupted by WWII, and during military service a spinal injury "rendered leaning over a drafting table the reverse of easy," and thus, as Rowe has recently recounted, "I became an architect manque."5 His career as scholar began with his studies under Rudolf Wittkower at the Warburg Institute. In 1947 and 1950 he published two important essays that became notable for their comparative analysis of modern and sixteenth-century architecture. Together, "The Mathematics of the Ideal Vi l la" and "Mannerism and Modern Architecture," set out a terrain of criticism that was decidedly different from the technological and functionalist priorities of contemporary architectural criticism. In England this was dominated by the voice of Reyner Banham, while in the US the tone was set by the German emigre, Sigfried Giedion.6 Rowe's diagrammatic analysis of proportionality in the villas of Palladio and Le Corbusier owes much to Wittkower's Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism. This penchant for diagrams would be passed on to Eisenman when the two would meet in I960.7 Rowe would further mark out his terrain as a formalist critic with something of a classical bent in the US. In 1950, he went to Yale to study with Henry Russell Hitchcock and not to Harvard to study with Giedion as Wittkower had advised.8 Hitchcock had, of course, with Phillip Johnson curated the landmark International Style exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. And his interest in the crossover between architecture 5 Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, Vol. 1, p. 2. 6 "The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa," Architectural Review 101 (March 1947), 101-4; "Mannerism and Modern Architecture," Architectural Review 107 (May 1950), 289-99; both reprinted in Colin Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays (Cambridge MA: MIT, 1976). Banham's writing appeared regularly in the Architectural Review throughout the 1950s and informed his major study: Reyner Banham, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (London: Architectural Press, 1960); Sigfried Giedion, Space, Time, and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1941). 7 Louis Martin, 532-3. Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (London: Warburg Institute, 1949; revised ed., New York: Random House, 1962). 8 Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, Vol. 1, p. 21. 92 and visual art had been demonstrated in the M o M A exhibit, Painting Toward Architecture, which Hitchckock had curated in 1948 and represented an interest shared by Rowe. 9 However, it was with his colleagues at the University of Texas, where Rowe was hired by Harwell Hamilton Harris in 1954, that the younger historian began to establish a sustained formalist method.10 The two transparency essays written with Robert Slutzky were the major outcome of this. Since they will be revisited by Eisenman and others, a brief account of them is required here. The first, "Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal," was written in 1955 and not published until 1963 in Perspecta 8 - though it was submitted at the time of completion to Architectural Design where it was rejected, presumably by Nikolaus Pevsner, for its attack on the received primacy of Walter Gropius and Siegfried Giedion. 1 1 The essay aims to clarify what the authors take to be the confusion over the interpretation of cubism and its importance to modern architecture, a confusion that rests on conflicting uses of the term transparency. This term, they note, has inherent ambiguities, but they proceed from a basic definition provided by Gyorgy Kepes: transparency may be said to exist when figures "are able to interpenetrate without an optical destruction of each other."12 Confusion arises over the term because it may be taken, on the one hand, in its common usage as meaning clarity, as in the ability to see without obstruction. In this way the term 9 Henry Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style: Architecture Since 1922 (New York: Norton, 1932); Henry Russell Hitchcock, Painting Toward Architecture (New York: Duell, Sloane, and Pearce, 1948). 1 0 Rowe's none too flattering recollection of the director of the school's architecture program is provided in As I Was Saying, Vol. 1, p.25-40, where he claims Harris himself did not make personnel decisions. Harris's essays on American regionalism would later inform Kenneth Frampton's theoretical program, which he named "critical regionalism." " Colin Rowe, As I Was Saying, Vol. 1, p.74. Both transparency essays, as well as others by Rowe from this date had a xeroxed circulation among students and other followers, Colin Rowe, Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, p. vii. 1 2 Gyorgy Kepes, Language of Vision (Chicago: Theobald, 1944), 77; quoted in Rowe and Slutzky "Transparency" [Parti], 161. 93 has affinities with the notion of translucency, which, Rowe and Slutzky suggest, implies a literal sense of transparency for it refers to the literal passage of light through something. On the other hand, transparency may, when referring to that which is transparent, imply something approaching the opposite of clarity. In other words, it suggests that what is transparent cannot be seen. By proceeding from Kepes definition, which depends on the notion that two figures are in play with one another, the authors are able to maintain both senses of the word transparency, and indeed on this basis they claim to distinguish "literal" and "phenomenal" transparency. Beginning with this semantic distinction, Rowe and Slutzky then aim to analyze the real achievements of cubism. The cubist grid, which they perceive in Georges Braque's The Portuguese of 1911 but not in Picasso's Clarinet Player, also of 1911 (which is said to maintain a figural outline), implies the spatial effects the authors attribute to phenomenal transparency. The effect of the grid, in other words, is to compress the space of the figure, such that it can be read as being activated by the grid as well as being behind it. A few more pairs of paintings - a Delaunay and a Gris, and a Moholy-Nagy and a Leger - are called upon to demonstrate this. Their evaluation of the two kinds of transparency is clear: "When something of the attitude of a Delaunay [whose Simultaneous Windows (1911) they discuss] becomes fused with a machine-aesthetic emphasis upon materials and stiffened by a certain enthusiasm for planar 13 structures, then literal transparency becomes complete." This examination of the outcome of cubism in painting serves as a pretext for the comparison of different kinds of architecture that presume to draw lessons from the same discoveries in cubism. And the denigration of a "machine-aesthetic emphasis upon materials" is pointed in this regard. 1 3 Ibid., 165. 94 Noting that, "while painting can only imply the third dimension, architecture cannot suppress it," Rowe and Slutzky draw a significant conclusion about how the two kinds of transparency relate to architecture. Phenomenal transparency, they say, "wil l be more difficult to achieve - and is, indeed, so difficult to discuss that generally critics have been entirely willing to associate transparency in architecture exclusively with a transparency of materials."14 And here Giedion is singled out for his appraisal of Gropius's Bauhuas building at Dessau, which he had evaluated with the aid of a citation from Alfred Barr on the transparency of overlapping planes in cubism. Comparing this building with Le Corbusier's Villa Stein at Garches, our authors contend that Giedion is impressed simply with the glass curtain at the Bauhaus, which merely acts as a translucent screen for the underlying tectonics; whereas, for Le Corbusier, glazing is never used simply for translucent effects - instead he also, and primarily, endows it with planar qualities. Le Corbusier's achievement is to create a series of planes - real and imaginary projections -whose notional interaction is characterized by phenomenal transparency [figs. 14 & 15].1 5 In "Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal: Part II" (written the following year in 1956 but not published until 1971 in Perspecta 13-14), Rowe and Slutzky aim to demonstrate that their object of interest, phenomenal transparency, is not simply a post-cubist achievement. Turning their attention to renaissance architecture, a host of 1 4 Both quotes in this paragraph: ibid., 166. 1 5 Ibid., 166-167. It may be noted that, like "The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa," where plan and elevation are treated as virtually independent elements, the analysis of phenomenal transparency proceeds from a study of elevations, which are read almost as pictures. Even Gropius's wrapping of the glass curtain at the Bauhaus around corners, which works against such a reading, is merely an achievement of literal transparency. When the Bauhaus is compared with Le Corbusier's design for the Palace at the League of Nations, an axonpmetric is provided - but here in order to demonstrate the movement into phenomenal space - of perceived expansion and compression - that one is compelled to take. This movement is along axes at right angles to one another. In the following essay, Rowe and Slutzky return their attention to elevation views. 95 examples are cited as having the qualities of phenomenal transparency, including the facades of the Vil la Farnese and San Lorenzo. The analysis of the latter produces an especially large range of spatial configurations, for which the authors supply a series of diagrams [fig. 16]. This leads to an historical dilemma, which Rowe, who elsewhere demonstrates his sensitivity to historical explanation, would be particular to account for: how is it that these mannerist examples of sixteenth-century architecture can demonstrate the same insights supposed to be specific to cubist achievement? Willing neither to attribute a "proto-modernity" to Vignola and Michelangelo, nor a "deutero-Mannerism" that is revived by Picasso, Braque, Gris, Leger, Mondrian, and Le Corbusier, Rowe and Slutzky claim that, "in its narrowest implications the mere existence of the problem at least suggests that phenomenal transparency does have a basis in common vision and does imply, on our part, some kind of archetypal response toward it ." 1 6 Kepes definition of transparency - figures that interpenetrate without the optical destruction of one another -will lend itself to further discussion by way of gestalt theory. (Slutzky, who, it will be recalled, studied with Albers at Yale, had produced a thesis on the relationship between 17 gestalt theory and the visual arts.) The compression of space in phenomenal transparency, which relies on two figures, each being alternately transparent to the other, seemed to have substantial theorization in the gestalt psychology that made so much of figure-ground reversals, and which had had endless diagrams illustrating this in all the major texts on gestalt theory. 1 6 Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky, "Transparency, Part II," 99. 1 7 Louis Martin, 534. 96 Yet, ever the historian, Rowe (and I presume it is Rowe's voice here) recognizes the recentness of gestalt theory, which seemed to coincide with the developments in Cubism: But supposing the senses are endowed with 'intelligence', with powers of discrimination, with organizing capacity; and supposing physical processes to be governed by the same rule. In themselves these hypotheses really seem to have very little to do with what appears to be the inordinate Gestalt interest in phenomenal transparency, which it recognizes under a variety of names as "phenomenal identity," "double representation," and "duo formation."18 And: Although the preliminary Gestalt researches do date to the years during which Analytic Cubism made of phenomenal transparency a principal method of composition, it must be recognized that something of the Gestalt 'taste' for figural ambiguities is related to its emphasis upon field.1 The notion of field, then, shall provide a more adequate historical account of the phenomena in question. Maintaining all of the consciousness-formation properties that the notion holds for gestalt theory - "genetically prior" to "the sum total of elements it embraces" - the field may at the same time be responsive to contingencies. "[I]n history a given epoch may endow with 'field properties' the idiosyncrasies of the various figures which it supports." Thus, the equivocal figure-ground relationships Of phenomenal transparency may be more than just an offshoot of the main aesthetic developments of the period, but may in 20 fact bring "the supporting matrix, the field, into high prominence." This digression by Rowe and Slutzky into gestalt theory, more than simply an involved explanation for the apparent ahistoricism of their own formal analysis (which also ends rather abruptly their second essay), will prove significant as we examine other Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky, "Transparency, Part II," 103-4. 1 9 Ibid., 104. 2 0 Ibid., 104. 97 formulations of, and responses to, the literal. For now, I shall resume the narrative of events. Rowe returned to England in 1958 and had been at Cambridge for two years before Eisenman arrived. Eisenman himself had done some design work (even receiving recognition for it) and had been contemplating entering an architectural practice before 21 embarking on his studies in England. During the summers of 1961 and 1962 Rowe and Eisenman made Grand Tours of the major monuments of modern architecture in Europe, devoting the second trip entirely to Italy, where Eisenman became well acquainted with Italian rationalism and collected avant-garde magazines.22 Eisenman's thesis, titled "The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture," was completed in 1963, a short excerpt of which was published in Architectural Design in October of the same year. " Although rejecting the primacy of function and program as the bases for modern architecture, as had been expressed in the recent publication of Reyner Banham's Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960), Eisenman's thesis nevertheless did not advocate an unqualified formalism. For the other historian's position he took pains to refute was John Summerson's in his RIB A lecture of 1961, which argued for the possibility of geometric absolutes providing the basis for modern architecture. In some 2 1 Eisenman had taken an architectural degree at Cornell from 1951 to 1955, served in Korea from 1955 to 1957, and then completed a graduate degree in architecture at Columbia in 1959-1960. Eisenman designed, with Gerald Howes, a project for the competition for Liverpool Cathedral in 1960, which placed eighth out of 450 submissions, Louis Martin, 528-529. 2 2 He collected editions of Casabella from the 1930s and the entire run of Spazio, which was published in the 1950s, Louis Martin, 531. Eisenman later exhibited his collection of magazines, which grew considerably, in 1968 at the Princeton University Library. See Peter Eisenman Modern Architecture 1919-1939: Polemics: Books, Periodicals and Ephemera from the Collection of Peter D. Eisenman (Princeton NJ: [Princeton University Library], 1968). 2 3 Peter Eisenman, "Towards an Understanding of Form in Modern Architecture," Architectural Design 33 (October 1963), reprinted in Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963-1988 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 2-9. 98 ways, Eisenman's thesis may be seen as an extension of the formal investigation begun by Rowe, but in others it may be noted for already outlining some of the key themes Eisenman would gather under the heading of conceptual architecture. Significant in this regard is the way this would be expressed by reference, however obliquely at this stage, to communication theory. This, Eisenman notes, is in fact what gestalt is all about. Initially the essence of any creative act can be thought of as the communication of an original idea from its author, through a means of expression, to a receiver. The means of expression must be such as to transmit the original intention as clearly and as fully as possible to the receiving mind. This need for clarity and comprehensibility so much stressed by the Gestalt psychologists is critical to the development of any means of communication.24 Although, "[fjhe Gestalt psychologists have conclusively demonstrated that comprehensibility depends on essentially simple configurations, of which the square, the rectangle, and the circle are examples," these in and of themselves do not communicate anything. ' At the same time, no function, if one takes it as an idea to be expressed, has a natural form suited to it. These, then, are the problems of form and function as perceived by Eisenman in the terms of communication theory he used. The premise that Eisenman follows here, and would continue to follow as he developed the notion of conceptual architecture, is that architecture is essentially an act of communication that requires the rational use of its own "elements" in order to convey its author's intentions. Although intentionality would become a contentious term of art historical analysis (Eisenman would eventually revise his own use of it), it should also be recalled that in the context of Rowe and his student, it was wedded to that other difficult concept that has also been highly scrutinized, that of a Zeitgeist. As Eisenman saw it, and no doubt he was influenced by Rowe here, modern 2 4 Peter Eisenman, "Towards an Understanding of Form," 3. 2 5 Ibid., 9. 9 9 architecture, or the Modern Movement in particular, had a distinct spirit or main current, 26 which it was the architect's task to systematize and articulate. Thus, Eisenman dissected and categorized architecture into five "elements": "intent," "function," "structure," "technics," and "form." Of these, he gave form primacy (only by creating a hierarchical order could one arrive at rational system of their relations). In addition to this, "form" could be divided into two types: the "generic" and the "specific." This would facilitate a discussion of historical and context-specific uses of form. The notion of the generic, however, would enable a further distinction that would serve to maintain the coherence of a generalizable system. A l l of the historically specific uses of form Eisenman gathers under the heading of percept. Whether it is the symbolic content of, say, the form of the dome of a temple, or the presumed fit between that form and the building's function, these, according to Eisenman, communicate percepts. Concepts, on the other hand, are a content of communication that has some specificity in the mode of communication itself - architecture. Just as Rowe had qualified his use of gestalt in the second transparency essay in order to introduce its own historical basis, Eisenman, working from the other direction, so to speak, relegates almost the entirety of what to that point had been considered formal analysis of architecture to the perceptual, the historically specific, in order to articulate what is proper to architecture itself - the conceptual. The generic aspect of the conceptual would be historical only in the sense that architecture itself - apart from its uses - has a 2 6 Ibid., 3. It is over the use of the concept of a Zeitgeist that much of the intellectual fallout between student and mentor would ensue. Rowe would begin to sympathize with the arguments of Karl Popper's Poverty of Historicism (New York: Basic Books, 1960) and see the notion as belonging to the ideologically corrupt uses of historical determinism. By his 1976 essay, "Post-Functionalism," Eisenman would drop the Chomskian-based uses of intentionality, but would maintain, through a somewhat fanciful reading of Foucault, the concept of a Zeitgeist as the unifying force in modernism, Peter Eisenman, "Post-Functionalism," Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), i-iii. See chapter 8. 100 history - a history that, it should be evident, culminates in the Modern Movement. Evoking "the standard definition of a 'Gestalt' as proposed by the theorists of that school of psychological thought; namely, 'that which at any given moment is seen as a separate whole in the total perceptual field,'" Eisenman argues, it is precisely the visual or pictorial concept of form which I am anxious to avoid, which indeed I am arguing against. To understand architectural form we must introduce the notion of movement and postulate that an experience of architecture is the sum of a large number of experiences, each one of them apprehended visually (as well as through other senses), but accumulated over a much longer time span than is required for the initial appreciation of a pictorial work, and building up into a conceptual, not a perceptual, whole.2 7 Following this distinction, Eisenman reads works of the major protagonists of the Modern movement. His thesis culminates in a study of Terragni's Casa del Fascio, which Eisenman claims to be the most significant achievement in outlining the conceptual basis of architecture. This lies in the double reading the Casa itself offers - namely, that it may be read either as a carved out solid or as an addition of planes. The pair of readings is, according to Eisenman, a sign of the conceptual workings of architecture - an architecture for which, in the ensuing years, Eisenman would attempt to provide a 28 grammar. Both Rowe and Eisenman left Cambridge in 1963 to return to the US. Rowe took up a position at Cornell, where he had been a visiting critic in 1957. Once there, he immediately set up an urban design studio. Eisenman was offered a position at Princeton's school of architecture, which at that time was headed by the Beaux-Arts-oriented Jean Labatut. There he met up with Michael Graves, who had been hired the year earlier. Together, they taught junior studio courses and began work on an urban Peter Eisenman, "Towards an Understanding of Form," 8-9. For an extended consideration of Eisenman's thesis, see Louis Martin, 536-49. 101 design project of their own called, the New Jersey Corridor project, a sort of linear city connecting different urban centers.29 In an effort to create a forum for critical discourse, Eisenman and Graves, along with Emilio Ambasz, then a graduate student at Princeton, organized the first Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment, which was held in the spring of 1964. The conference was broadly conceived, but for its organizers it represented an opportunity for a younger generation of architectural educators to interact. It included many of Eisenman's friends, like Stanford Anderson, Henry Millon, Richard Meier, Jacquelin Robertson, and Colin Rowe. Kenneth Frampton, then editor at Architectural Design in London, was flown in with the idea of working with him on a new C A S E magazine. The conference was also attended by Robert Venturi, who had been Labatut's student, and Vincent Scully, who by that time had already been 30 recognized as a leading historian of American regionalist architecture." Some sense of the larger shifts in attitudes of US architects can be read in this meeting. For it occurred as a certain groundswell of revolt had directed itself toward the shortcomings of the Modern Movement and its political and social aspirations. What was at issue was whether the proposed alternatives, in the new forms of vernacular and regional architecture, were any better off. American regionalism had long been considered a homegrown alternative to European modernism, which had always been perceived by some as tainted by the U t o p i a n socialism of many of its proponents. By the 1960s, a corporate version of modernism was seen as much a failure as social engineering in addressing the problems of urban "decay." 2 9 Louis Martin, 549-50; Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, and Michael Eardley, "Jersey Corridor Project: Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves and Michael Eardley," in 40 Under 40: An Exhibition of Young Talent in Architecture, ed. Robert A.M. Stern (New York: The Architectural League of New York and The American Federation of the Arts, 1966), 7. 3 0 Louis Martin, 550-1. 102 Vincent Scully's thesis of 1949 had been concerned with the nineteenth-century development of an American vernacular. It was partly reproduced in 1955 as The Shingle Style. His short book, Modern Architecture, was based on a 1957 lecture titled, "Modern Architecture: Toward a Redefinition of Style." And in 1962 he published a monograph on Louis Kahn. 3 1 Together, these works established a kind of pedigree for American regionalism, which was meant to serve as.the basis for any evaluation of modern architecture. The detailed history of nineteenth-century domestic architecture in The Shingle Style served as prelude to the major achievements of regionalists like Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene and Greene, and Harwell Hamilton Harris. Of latter-day architects this sensibility was best represented by Kahn. On the opening day o f the first C A S E meeting something of a showdown ensued between Rowe and Scully, the two senior historian-critics at the conference. What resulted was the division of the meeting into camps, with Rowe and Scully each being supported by younger attendees to the conference. Rowe's espousal of the "European" strain of modernism, not only earned him the support of the likes of Meier, Graves, and Eisenman, but was directly antagonistic toward any regionalism that took Wright as its apogee. On his first trip to the US in the early 1950s, Rowe had made a point of touring the mid-west in order to see Wright's houses, and concluded that Wright had little merit apart from his pictorial ability to set buildings in the landscape. After the antagonistic first day of the conference, Scully and Venturi walked out.32 Thus, the division between European modernism and American regionalism, an issue of debate going back as far as 3 1 Vincent Scully Jr., The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Richardson to the Origins of Wright, revised ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971); idem, Modern Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy (New York: Braziller, 1961); idem, Louis 1. Kahn (New York: Braziller, 1962). 3 2 L Martin, 551. 103 Hitchcock and Johnson's 1932 International Style exhibition, was reconfirmed as a sort of rite of initiation for the new generation of architects. Following the first meeting, C A S E became a loose organization of architects and historians devoted to the "white architecture" of European modernism, which, considering the group of friends that organized it, is hardly surprising. Eisenman and Rowe continued, with Kenneth Frampton, Stanford Anderson, and Henry Millon, to plan a C A S E magazine, which came close to fruition but ultimately never appeared. Instead a series of events led to the beginning of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and the collapse of CASE. While visiting Princeton, Arthur Drexler, head of the Architecture Department at the Museum of Modern Art, met Eisenman and Graves and became interested in their New Jersey Corridor project. Eisenman and Drexler became good friends and when Drexler proposed an exhibition to feature new work on urban design, it was most certainly conceived with the input of Eisenman. The New City: Architecture and Urban Renewal showed at M o M A from January to March 1967.33 The exhibition featured "renewal" projects for different areas of Manhattan designed by teams from the four East coast schools that now represented the major universities that taught the modernist approach. From Princeton, Eisenman and Graves headed a team. From Cornell, a team was led by Rowe, along with Thomas Schumacher, Jerry Wells and Fred Koetter. Jacquelin Robertson represented Columbia along with Richard Weinstein, Giovanni Pasanella, Johnathan Barnett and Myles Weintraub. And a team from MIT was comprised of Stanford Anderson, Robert Goodman, and Henry Millon. 3 3 Louis Martin, 552; Museum of Modern Art, The New City: Architecture and Urban Renewal (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1967) 104 In the year prior to the exhibition, Princeton had acquired a new director at its school of architecture, Robert Geddes. Soon after this appointment, Eisenman and Geddes had a falling out, despite the fact that together Eisenman and Graves, both untenured, had nominated him. When tenure appointments were made the following year, in 1967, Graves was given one and Eisenman was not. With this discouragement from academia, Eisenman called on his friend, Arthur Drexler, who with the approval of M o M A director, Rene d'Harnoncourt, offered the Museum's support in establishing a new institute for the study of architecture. Eisenman and Drexler, in the midst of preparation for the "New City" exhibition, quickly managed to secure a board of trustees that would help guarantee the institute's legal and financial operation.34 In January of 1968, the newly founded IAUS hosted a meeting of CASE, which was thereafter reorganized as two regional groups: CASE/Princeton-New York (which generally convened members from Princeton, Cornell, and Columbia) and CASE/Boston (which served primarily MIT) . 3 5 The IAUS was planned from the start as an educational institute that would bridge "the gap between the theoretical world of the university and the pragmatic world of the planning agencies,"36 and it drew its faculty from C A S E members, the majority of whom taught there part time while maintaining their own university posts, while Eisenman as full-time IAUS member served as its director. In early 1969 Eisenman became familiar with the work of Noam Chomsky, marking an apparent shift in Eisenman's theoretical orientation, which will be discussed in chapter six. It was enough to be the source of tension between him and Rowe, a 3 4 Louis Martin, 553-4. 3 5 Ibid., 565. 3 6 IAUS Announcement, 1967-68, quoted in Louis Martin, 554. See also "The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies," Casabella 359-360 (December 1971), 100-02. 105 friction that manifested itself in the managing of the IAUS. As a part of the teaching arrangements at the Institute, Rowe sent some of his students there from Cornell for further instruction and the use of studio facilities. Apparently dissatisfied with the organization and level of involvement from the IAUS faculty, the Cornell students complained. (The degree of organization at the Institute would be a contentious issue for IAUS students throughout much of its existence.) Rowe sided with his students, and Eisenman reacted strongly. Literally expelling Rowe from the IAUS, Eisenman changed the locks on the building, while Rowe, for his part, supported his students until the end of 37 term and then submitted his resignation at the end of March 1969. Thus, in the midst of political agitation and administrative crackdowns occurring on campuses across the US, the young IAUS experienced its own turmoil. Although Eisenman would consider himself to the political left of Rowe, the way political protests elsewhere were galvanized in opposition to institutional authority may have made it difficult for Eisenman to articulate his position while acting as administrator. To some, of course, this was not simply a problem of appearance - Eisenman's politics, along with those of the Institute, would often be called into question. It will be my task in what follows to not only sort out these politics, but to identify some of their effects beyond expressly stated positions. A few weeks after Rowe's departure, in May 1969, CASE/Princeton-New York convened a closed meeting that served as a critique session for the work of Eisenman, 3 7 Louis Martin, 565-7; Peter Eisenman, interview, 22 February 2001; Peter Eisenman, interview by Louis Martin, 16 August 2000, transcript. Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies archives, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. On the ongoing problems at the Institute, see also Peter Lemos, "Triumph of the Quill," Village Voice, 3 May 1983. 106 Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier, and William Ellis. The proceedings of this meeting, known as C A S E 7, would become the basis for the book, Five Architects, which would be published in 1972. In the meantime, Eisenman, still intent on starting a new publication in the spirit of the old European avant-garde magazines, decided it was not going to be produced by C A S E but by the IAUS. The first issue of Oppositions would not appear until September 1973, but the IAUS would be given an earlier opportunity in the exercise of publishing, when it was invited to guest edit the December 1971 issue of T O Casabella: For this, Eisenman made the first of many efforts to shape the field of architectural debate, calling upon his willing opponents, the most ready of which were about to become widely seen, in their defense of the new vernacular, as resounding with the recent developments in pop art. In 1966, Robert Venturi had published Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, for which Scully had written an introduction that demonstrated their intellectual alliance. (And in the preface to the 1971 republication of his Shingle Style, Scully singles out Venturi as heir to the regionalist tradition in the US.)" Eisenman had taken an interest in Venturi's work, finding in it some degree of usefulness as he formulated his own version of conceptual architecture in the years 1969-1971. But in 1968 Venturi with Denise Scott Brown published the first results of their study of Las Vegas, which came to the defense of a whole new vernacular architecture to be found in the most everyday sites of popular culture.40 "The City as Artifact," Casabella 359-360, special issue, ed. Franco Alberti and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (November-Decmber 1971). 3 9 Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1966); Vincent Scully Jr., Shingle Style, 176. 4 0 Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, "A Significance for A & P Parking Lots, or, Learning from Las Vegas," Architectural Forum 128 no. 2 (March 1968), 36-43, 91. 107 Taking this study of the Las Vegas strip as a polemic - a polemic that was to be amply demonstrated when the second half of their study was published in 1972 in the book, Learning from Las Vegas - Eisenman invited an exchange for the pages of the Casabella issue that he, as IAUS director, was editing. There Denise Scott Brown submitted, "Hop on Pop," which was followed by Kenneth Frampton's critical response, and a final rejoinder by Scott Brown. 4 1 When Oppositions came to be published, it was clear that its editors aimed to stake out a position that was, as the journal's name suggested, opposed to the architectural accommodation of existing social process. This was, they saw, to be found in the kind of populism espoused by Venturi and Scott Brown, but also in what was coming to be recognized in architectural discourse as postmodernism, a concept that owed to discussions of architectural "semiology" and "adhocism."42 Not that the editors, Eisenman, Frampton, Mario Gandelsonas, and, joining later, Anthony Vidler, were united in their own positions, but their arguments did spring from a rejection of architecture's role of appeasement to the forces of developers and others. Thus, Colin Rowe's place in all this, given his earlier role in leading the charge for the C A S E modernists, would be significant. At the end of 1972, the culmination of C A S E 7 was published as Five Architects. Rowe's response to the work, which was 4 1 Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1972); Denise Scott Brown, "Learning from Pop," Casabella 359-360 (November-December 1971), 15-23; Kenneth Frampton, "America 1960-1970: Notes on Urban Images and Theory," Casabella 358-360 (November-December 1971), 25-38; Denise Scott Brown, "Reply to Kenneth Frampton," Casabella 359-360 (November-December 1971), 41 -46. 4 2 Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, and Mario Gandelsonas, Editorial Statement, Oppositions 1 (September 1973), i; Charles Jencks and George Baird, eds., Meaning in Architecture (London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1969); Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver, Adhocism: the Case for Improvisation (New York: Doubleday, 1972). Jencks' would popularize the notion of postmodernism in architecture. His first full treatment of the concept is in Charles Jencks, "The Rise of Post Modern Architecture," Architectural Association Quarterly 7 no. 4 (October 1975), 3-14. 108 written in the months following C A S E 7 in 1969 and had been the source of contention between him and Eisenman, was made public as the book's introduction. On the one hand, it served as an apologia against the charge that the architecture the book represented was merely derivative Corbusianism masking itself under the litany of the revolutionary heroics of an avant-garde long past. But on the other, this defense would be in the name of the repetition of forms not the repetition of heroics. [I]f the steady incantation of, now, very old 'revolutionary' themes will encourage the further joys of rhetorical excursion into areas of assumed social and technological relevance, the recapitulation of the themes of building offers no present career so blissful and free from trouble; and thus, while the derivative argument continues to thrive, its exponents, conceiving themselves to be the legitimate and sole heirs of the modern movement, display very little tolerance for what ought to be recognized as the absolutely parallel phenomenon of the derivative building. "Which," Rowe continues, is again to establish that the physique and the morale of modern architecture, its flesh and its word, were (and could) never be coincident; and it is when we recognize that neither word nor flesh was ever coincident with itself, let alone with each other, that, without undue partiality, we can approach the present day. For under the circumstances what to do? If we believe that modern architecture did establish one of the great hopes of the world - always, in detail, ridiculous, but never, in toto, to be rejected - then do we adhere to physique-flesh or to mora/e-word? Rowe's answer is an argument that (more or less simply), concerns the plastic and spatial inventions of Cubism and the proposition that, whatever may be said about these, they possess ah eloquence and a flexibility which continues now to be as overwhelming as it was then. It is an argument largely about the physique of building and only indirectly about its morale.43 Although Rowe had not switched camps, so to speak - he was still critical of populism - this was, as a defense of the work in Five Architects, essentially a backhanded The preceding three quotes: Colin Rowe, introduction to Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier (New York: Oxford, 1975), 7. 109 gesture to Eisenman, who maintained an ambitious rhetoric in his own account of conceptual architecture.44 And the incantation of raora/e-word, as Rowe liked to put it, would be everywhere present in the editorial that opened the first issue of Oppositions?5 Thus it may have come as something of a surprise to find essays by Rowe in the first two issues of the IAUS's new journal. The nearness of these articles' appearance to Five Architects owes to the delay in publication of the latter. Sometime during 1970-1972, however, Eisenman had managed to patch things up with Rowe, and this may have partly had to do with his redirecting his energies to the old division that had appeared at the first C A S E meeting. Moreover, the Rowe essays appearing in Oppositions were not recent compositions, but were written during his first stay in the US as educator and had never been published. They thus would have been known to Eisenman from his study under Rowe in Cambridge. That they were resurrected for publication in Oppositions is a sign that Eisenman saw them as marking out some the terrain that the journal was attempting to clear for itself in terms of its own historical pedigree. The first to be published, in Oppositions 1, is "Neoclassicism and Modern Architecture," another look at Palladian sources in modern architecture, this time through a study of Mies van der Rohe. The second, appearing in Oppositions 2, is "Character and Composition; or Some Vicissitudes of Architectural Vocabulary in the Nineteenth Century." This was written just prior to Texas and the transparency articles, and though it seems to barely anticipate the formal Rowe's stance against populism would be reiterated in 1975, when, in the second edition of Five Architects, he included an addendum to his essay that supposed his original arguments, and the work represented, should be acceptable to his opponents who claim to follow a theory of pluralism. That they do not, Rowe suggests, is a sign that their pluralism is more a "determinist, technocratic, and historicist establishment." Ibid., 8. 4 5 Eisenman et al., Editorial Statement, Oppositions 1. 110 analysis undertaken w i t h Robert S l u t z k y , it does c l a i m to identi fy pr inc ip les o f c o m p o s i t i o n i n an architecture that otherwise had be k n o w n for e c l e c t i c i s m and mere p i c t o r i a l i s m . C l e a r l y , its i n c l u s i o n i n Oppositions was meant as a riposte to those r a l l y i n g around the banners o f pop, "the decorated shed," and " a d h o c i s m . " 4 6 O n e f ina l appearance o f R o w e ' s w r i t i n g i n Oppositions marks the last f o r m a l connect ion between R o w e and E i s e n m a n . In issues 4-7, each o f the editors, w i t h V i d l e r j o i n i n g on the seventh, publ i shed an editoria l statement. In Oppositions 6, E i s e n m a n submitted " P o s t - F u n c t i o n a l i s m , " an essay that marked the end o f his use o f the C h o m s k i a n not ion o f deep structure i n his theoretical w r i t i n g . It also m a r k e d the end o f his project on conceptual architecture, w h i c h had resulted i n a series o f houses that E i s e n m a n numbered I - X . A s I w i l l show i n a later chapter, the essay and the turn it represented were the outcome o f a dialogue w i t h R o s a l i n d Krauss . In particular, it was cr i t i ca l o f the grand narratives o f m o d e r n i s m that posited a h is tor ica l ly inevitable progression, i n m u c h the same sense that Krauss had become c r i t i c a l o f the Greenbergian m o d e r n i s m that she once espoused. There were t w o results o f these narratives, E i s e n m a n argued, both o f w h i c h were based on the recognit ion o f the failures o f funct ional i sm. O n e was to turn to the past to recover his tor ica l images, and the other was to turn to "pure architecture" and an i n q u i r y into the d i s c i p l i n e itself. E i s e n m a n , o f course, had always expressed h i m s e l f i n terms o f the latter, but here he disavows his o l d project. T h e differences he had attempted to establish between h i m s e l f and R o w e no longer seem tenable. N o w he casts o f f a l l that he had done i n terms o f deep structure and the 4 6 Colin Rowe, "Neoclassicism and Modern Architecture," Oppositions 1 (September 1973), 1-26; idem, "Character and Composition; or Some Vicissitudes of Architectural Vocabulary in the Nineteenth Century," Oppositions 2 (January 1974), 41-60. On pop and the decorated shed, see Venturi, Scott Brown, and Izenour; on adhocism, see Jencks and Silver. Ill articulation of architectural concepts in themselves as an effort wholly aligned with the diagnosis offered by Rowe in Five Architects. Indeed, Rowe was right, as Eisenman now saw it, pure architecture was at best a politically neutral contribution to pluralist society. It relied on a narrative of humanism just as the historicist camp did in its counter claim that nineteenth-century eclecticism offered the only repertoire of universally meaningful 47 images. A properly post-functionalist architecture, then, is a post-humanist architecture. And as if to make clear that he was not just departing from a previously held position but instead from a debate that preoccupied the entire field of architecture (the Foucauldian episteme is invoked), in the sixth issue of Oppositions, which opened with his essay, Eisenman staged an updated version of the exchange between Colin Rowe and Vincent Scully that had set the tone of that debate at the first C A S E meeting in 1964. In 1970 Yale University had held a competition for the design of its new mathematics building, which was won by the office of Venturi and Rauch. In 1971, a book was planned by Yale University Press that was to deal with the entire competition as well as the winning design. Eisenman was invited to be a reader for the project, which was to include, apart from the various design entries, essays by Scully, Venturi, Robert Stern, Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, and Colin Rowe. The inclusion of Rowe was meant as an effort to give representation to points of view "opposing ... the Venturi and Scott Brown philosophy."48 The essay Rowe wrote, "Robert Venturi and the Yale Mathematics Building," was not, in fact, hostile to their views - Rowe had found much in common with Venturi's account of mannerism in Complexity and Contradiction in Eisenman, "Post-Functionalism." Charles Moore, "Conclusion," Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), 20. 112 Architecture - instead, it was more critical of the historicist bent that had come to champion him - in particular, that of Scully. 4 9 In the course of preparation for the book, Rowe's essay was pulled, causing a minor furor that reached the university's newspaper and prompted Eisenman to write to the publisher in protest.50 In Oppositions 6, Eisenman published the nixed essay, which he introduced with the letter he had sent to the editors at Yale. He also included responses from Moore and Scully. Moore's contribution was a revised version of the short entry that appeared in the final version of the book and defended Venturi's position. The short essay Scully submitted to Eisenman was written for this issue of Oppositions, but it entirely avoided any reference to the controversy and instead discussed the siting of the Mathematics Building in light of its recent completion.51 In one sense, then, Oppositions 6 offered a public airing of grievances held against the editors at Yale (or, those at Yale that held influence over the project), which had clearly sought to praise the decision made by the competition's jury, 5 2 and through this Eisenman was able to offer a restatement of his position against the historicist position now becoming popularized as post-modernism. At the same time, however, any sort of conciliatory gesture toward Rowe is qualified by the "Post-Functionalism" essay, which aimed to situate the entire Scully-Rowe confrontation in terms of the outmoded Colin Rowe, "Robert Venturi and the Yale Mathematics Building," Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), 11-19. 5 0 The headline in the Yale Daily News cited by Moore reads, "Scully Blasts Building Critics as 'Despicable Scum.'" Moore, 21. 5 1 Peter Eisenman, Oppositions [editorial], Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), 1; Vincent Scully, "The Yale Mathematics Building: Some Remarks on Siting," Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976), 23. 5 2 The jury was comprised of Edward Larrabee Barnes, John Christiansen, Edward Dunn, Romaldo Giurgola, Charles E. Rickart, Kevin Roche, and Vincent Scully. Moore, 21. 113 discourses of humanism.'' As I mentioned, Eisenman developed this position through his dialogue with Rosalind Krauss, which I will discuss shortly. But first it is necessary to outline the departure Krauss made with her Greenbergian roots through her break with Michae
UBC Theses and Dissertations
The education of Rosalind Krauss, Peter Eisenman, and other Americans : why the fantasy of postmodernism… Epp, Colin Brent 2007
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