a foundation for psychogeography: to invent


constant nieuwenhuy’s new babylon concert hall for electronic music 1958 1961, from atlasobscura.com

GILLES IVAIN makes a call for a new architecture.

We are bored in the city, to still discover mysteries on the signs along the street, latest state of humor and poetry, requires getting damned tired….

We will not prolong mechanical civilizations and the architecture froide that ultimately lead to boring forms of leisure.

We propose to invent new, changeable decors….

Architecture is the simplest means to articulate time and space, to modulate reality, to engender dreams. It is not only a matter of plastic articulation and modulation—expression of an ephemeral beauty—but of a modulation producing influences, in accordance with the eternal spectrum of human desires and of progress in the realization of these desires. The architecture of tomorrow will thus be a means of modifying present conceptions of time and space. The architectural complex will be modifiable. Its aspect will change partially or totally in accordance with the will of its inhabitants. …

A new architecture can only be spoken of if it expresses a new civilization (it is clear that there has been neither civilization nor architecture for several centuries, but only experiments, the majority of which have failed: one can speak of Gothic architecture, but Marxist or capitalist architecture does not exist, although these two systems show similar tendencies and common aims.)

This new vision of time and space that will be the theoretical basis of future constructions, is not in the right state and will never wholly be so before testing comportments in cities set aside for this effect, cities in which will be systematically assembled—in addition to the organizations necessary for a minimum of comfort and security—buildings charged with a great power of evocation and influence, symbolic edifices representing desires, forces, events past, present, and to come….

In a way everyone will live in his own personal “cathedral.” There will be rooms more conducive to dreams than drugs, and houses where one cannot help but love….

The quarters of this city could correspond to the catalog of diverse feelings that are encountered by chance in daily life….

The principal activity of the inhabitants will be CONTINUOUS DÉRIVE. The changing of landscape from one hour to the next will result in complete disorientation.

This first experimental city would live largely off a tolerated and controlled tourism. Future avant-garde activities and productions would gravitate there of their own accord. In a few years it would become the intellectual capital of the world, and would be universally recognized as such.