Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Is the medium the message in post-digital architecture? Archpaper.com, By MAX KUO • February 15, 2019

Possible Mediums
Edited by Kelly Bair, Kristy Balliet, Adam Fure, and Kyle Miller
Actar
$34.95 MSRP

Possible Mediums, a volume edited by four xennial American architecture professors, documents the formal experimentation of the recent post-digital turn in architecture. The book glimpses a generation paradoxically invested in using obscure methods to make charismatic forms. Unlike other postmodern camps (pomo, deconstructivism, parametricism), this generation eschews stylistic cohesion, instead claiming diversity and eclecticism as its hallmark. Inspired by philosopher Michel Foucault’s reading of a fictional Chinese encyclopedia in The Order of Things (the incoherence of which undermines Western epistemology itself), Possible Mediums’ preface essay, “Notes from the Middle,” relishes pluralism and how “the delightfully weird work of…colleagues challenged preconceived notions of order.” However, by deliberately withholding a theoretical framework, the editors leave their uninitiated readers to wonder whether the volume marks a new architectural movement or is simply a yearbook filled with the signatures of well-wishing friends. Whether Possible Mediums is a yearbook or Oriental arcana, the book’s format is infectious and invites casual, nonlinear, and occasional reading. In the same spirit of the volume’s meandering musings, this review will proceed as a loose collection of entries.

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