Bryan Cantley. Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections

Bryan Cantley. Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections
Exhibition. SCI-Arc Gallery. [LA] USA 10.10 > 30.11.14
metalocus, SARA REBOLLO via Cesare Battelli
Poster. Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections, Bryan Cantley
Sci-arc continuing an established tradition about experimental and avant-garde architecture, from October 10 to November 30 presents the exhibition / installation, 'Bryan Cantley. Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections.' in the SCI-Arc Gallery.

Opening the exhibition with the inaugural debate between Eric Owen Moss and Bryan Cantley, the show is an opus in three distinct parts: the articulation of fallacy and artificial chronology of the architectural drawing; the suggested operational misalignments of his visionary projects; and the symbolic deconstruction of the gallery. It is not only the descriptive performance of the trajectory of an extraordinary visionary architect, but the staging of multiple vision: works and space that welcomes them.

Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections. Bryan Cantley /Form:uLA.

Form:uLA has always defied established contexts and criteria. The SCI-Arc installation is no exception. Challenging the normative ‘current building practices’ that substantiates the gallery’s lexicon, Cantley displays a more ‘conventional’ oeuvre of drawings, models, and images. Not a singular materialization, he presents a body of [predominantly] new work that suggests alternative spatial discourse. The space itself is conceptually dissected into a series of graphical surfaces, with the manifestation of the ‘anti-­‐object’ serving as both display [backdrop, organizational maneuver] and spatial delineator [object, anchor].

Cantley’s work is regularly divided into two distinct, yet transecting conditions-­‐ the experimental architectural drawing [image], and the ‘mechanical architecture’ paradigm [building-­‐object]. The exhibition presents both of these archetypes as conjunctive informants. His drawings challenge the architectural descriptive posture of singularity, while his building indicators suggest a world of implied functionality and machinic soul. And while the drawings and projects somewhat overlap, each artifact is its own threshold to a vision of architectural potential. The gallery is conceptually divided to document two radically different, yet unmistakably connected tissues of a conceptual chirality.

The Dirty Geometries portion houses a series of over 30 hand and hybrid drawings that attempt to enhance the audience as both voyeur and inhabitant, while simultaneously removing the framework of ‘the recognizable’ as a tool of navigation. The dirtiness of the geometries refer both to the unresolved nature of the content, as well as a condition of physical residue left over from an imperfect and [sometimes] organic digitally-infused process of drawing. These graphic experimentations serve as a proactive mode of research, becoming not so much drawings of objects, as much as they predict drawings of drawings.

The Mechanical Imperfections section presents 10 conceptual projects that engage a dialogue of imperfect machines struggling to construct perfect moments of architecture. These visionary projects abandon perceived mechanical precision in lieu of spatial poetics, political overlay and architectural inquiry.

Both of these categories of work speak of the degree of flaw that is derived from the human condition of the analog, though they do so under a disguised veil of ostensible accuracy. The exhibition is not as much about the strictness of the execution, as it suggests the fallibility of [all] technology. Wabi-sabi insinuates the condition of transience of not only an architectural solution, but of the vehicles through which such undertakings are discussed. These visionary projects attempt to establish a dialogue that broadens the interpretation of the underbelly of architecture as an explorative discipline. Cantley’s work is that of questions, not answers. This exhibition questions the role of representation in architecture, the potential of the non-building as critical dialogue, and the vehicles through which architectural discourse are delivered. It also questions the nature of the imperfect analog within this digital guild.

When.- 10.10 - 30.11.14.
Where.- at SCI-Arc Gallery. 960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. USA.

Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections by Bryan Cantley /Form:uLA

What is [a] Dirty Geometry? In the digital world, it appears as surface[s] having too many control points. Control points: the name itself a suggestion, perhaps an illusion of... control, perhaps an inherent conflict that is set up to provide a layer between the description and the actuation of architecture. The Illusion of Control [points]: the inaccuracy of the diagram, the release of ‘production value’ and the fact-based paradigm as a justifiable slice of architecture? Possibly it’s the use of unacceptable standards of media during the production of said geometries. It harkens back to the [old school] days of drafting’s construction lines, physical construction vs. media construction, a media input hidden as part of the data set. In that discussion there’s also something implied about the artifact of making, which includes analog system[s] residue: Blemishes of the instrument. Traces of the tool.

A Mechanical Imperfection, then, might be described in several scenarios: The inability, or the lack of need to produce mechanical crispness + efficiency; the lack of control in the execution of any analog action in reference to making (i.e. a drawing's false projection of controlled drafting, produced through the veil of freehand production); machines that may not or cannot work; buildings that are lacking water-tightness of program or context; drawings of finite description[s]…

Wabi-sabi ( 侘寂 ) represents a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is impermanent and incomplete —a lack of perfection. Precision? Flawlessness? Does the agenda of exactitude dismiss the [blurred? less than total?] vision as incorrect? Is perfection defined only as the complete? At what point does the idea behind an object come to fruition, when the object itself is beyond further growth, or will never be complete?

A machine is a contrivance using energy to perform an intended action. What is the action of/in architecture? Or at the very least, what is its representation? It points to the notion of the Act of architecture. It is hoped that these devices, these images, these architectures, will question the nature of this condition. It is hoped that they exist somewhere in-between that which does not provide answers, and answers to questions that no one has asked: the occupiable zones between architecture and its representation.


FORM_uLA. Curation + coordination.- Kim Cantley, Lemore Roberts, Evangeline Sheridan, Gina Takaoka.

Collaborators. Photography.- Matt Gush. Digital Renderings.- Mike Amaya Illustration, Joey Dhindsa. 3D Printing: Rich Brown.

Wall Drawing. Coordinator.- Joe Biel. Project Team.- Bryan Cantley, Kim Cantley, Matt Gush, Brian Johanson, Christina Lee, Devora Orantes, Kevin O’Donnell.

Fabrication + Installation. Ultra Unit Architectural. Studio Principal: Cameron Crockett, AIA, LEED.
Coordinator: Blayme lamba.
Fabricator/Welder.- Eric Budwing
Intern: Lucas Ruskavina.

SCI-ARC. Student Team.- Jinsee An, George Bartulica, Alex Chan, Joanne Chen, Chuck Diep, Eric Eisenhut, Colin Jacobs, Patricia Joseph, Dae Hyun Kim, Jazhwa lee, Nicole Li, Iman Mansouri, Payman Mansouri, Suhan Na, Hanb Niguyen, Soohyum Park, Poyao Shih, Anthoni Stofella, Guamnan Sun, Vincent To, Emre Turan, Joao Velazquez, Feiran Wang, Aswin Wijaya, diego Wu-Law, Chun Mei Yuan, Homayoun Zaryouni.


Form:uLA is an experimental design practice owned by Bryan Cantley. [Form:uLA Dimension Laboratory]

Cantley attempts to blur the undefined zone between architecture and its representation. In 1992, Bryan Cantley established Form:uLA, a practice that explores the boundaries more