Journal of Civic Architecture, Issue 03
Patrick Lynch (Ed.)
Canalside Press, 2019
Contributors to issue 3 of the JoCA include the architects Francesco Venezia, Alun Jones, David Evans and Peter Youthed, novelist Tom McCarthy, artist Eva Stenram, architectural historian Nick Temple and poet Emily Hasler.
The Necessity of Ruins, JB Jackson claimed lies in the fact that “there has to be that interval of neglect, there has to be discontinuity; it is religiously and artistically essential….many of us know the joy and excitement not so much creating the new as of redeeming what has been neglected… that is how we reproduce the cosmic and correct history.” Jackson did not shy away from the wide horizon, the deep pull of time and the cosmic scale.
Ruins impact on the architectural imagination somewhat like an asteroid on a formal French Garden, or a fire on Table Mountain: undoing the neat lines of history and churning up and burning any self-contained idea of primitive or progressive, tendering teleology telluric. The earth reasserts itself over distinctions between nature and culture, and every sort of attempt to escape the artificial character of human culture seems like some strange sort of confusion between body and mind; human and animal; us and everything else here.
The ruin imagination is one of the most, if not the most potent reminder that, as Tim Morton observes in Being Ecological: “You don’t have to be ecological. Because you are ecological.”
In each of the projects and essays in this issue, as if in homage to Thomas Tranströmer’s Venetian ode to son in law and father in law, Liszt and Wagner (Sorrow Gondola No. 2): “The ocean’s green cold pushes up through the palazzo’s floors.”