Twenty-Five + Sentences on Minimaforms by David Greene
1. Something about the 70s in Minimaforms.
2. Put in front of you this picture of the word ‘Love’ in Trafalgar Square and next to it Robert Morris’s Steam Cloud in a pastoral location.
3. I only ask you to do this in order to suggest that there is no maudin reflection or Arcadia (that you may find in Watteau); Minimaforms reflect and investigate only the urban, yet they clearly are drawn not only to the conceptual clarity of the 70s but also to that period’s disinterest in the retinal realm and its focus on event and time.
4. In the mid-seventeenth century, from his laboratory in Stalbridge, Robert Boyle announced that he preferred work that was enlightening rather than money making (luciferous rather than lucriferous). We might admire Minimaforms for a similar preference for the pleasures of the creative project over the search for profit. Why do i mention this? Because it is an aspect of their working method that separates them from many of their contemporaries - you will not even find the desire for fame, only the passion for discovery.
5. Try to use the language of the fashion magazine they said.
6. The formation of un-ordered mass.
7. Or is it to the twenty-first?
8. Somehow the work seems to straddle the ideas of the 70s and the baroque lusts of erotic surface and geometry of the now. Yet in all of Minimaforms’ output there is a puritanical strand, a desire to be useful in the world - they desire something more than shape, they seek content over/as well as surface.
9. Minimaforms, cross discipline, Fusion?
10. Minimaforms, more the pursuit of curiosity?
11. Is that a contradiction? Or should we say architecture must be a point of stasis, a resistance against the world of consumption, and the ever slippery changing digital landscape? (After all on our planet we inhabit a fragile complex life system only four miles thick, a shaky thin world.)
12. Can anything ever be finished? He asked.
13. Minimaforms is of the twenty-first century, digitally correct.
14. Looking around the new grand garden? (At Versailles, the Grand Canal is 8km long with a view to speculating on some of its features. Minimaforms argue?)
15. The weight of the earth’s atmosphere was calculated in 1650 as 8,283,889,440,000,000,000lbs - an impressive number! Noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d’un pelago d’aria.
16. Minimaforms and their hugely varied output and interests are unusual, it is rare to find such a diverse range of design concerns within one practice (should we ask to know what the weight of the architecture of Minimaforms claims to be?).
17. Minimaforms - are they a question? Their production slides effortlessly from form to responsive apparatus, from a hint, a shadow, architecture as an apparition, to its denial, from vehicle to clothing.
18. So where are they?
19. Why do you ask? Perhaps they skate smoothly in and out of what we might call architecture.
20. They are an elusive source of creative energy inhabiting a supremely productive oeuvre that is a model, an example to all of us, that the question is far more important than the answer.
21. Suppose we fuse all of this work into one ‘thing’ - do we find a building? Clothing? Surgery? A vehicle?
22. Even if we fail to find a building, we will certainly find questions (unless like me, foolish dreamer that I am, you find a sentence that floats and twitches with a wind-blown cloud in Trafalgar Square - a building, unless you can imagine an architecture of a Rothko, blurred, indistinct). Yes, there is blurring but there is also a desire for the machine - we can imagine that the flight control system of a 747 might equally intrigue Minimaforms?
23. For Minimaforms everything is a potential project. Is that what they say to you? Whatever you think they say, there is absolutely no doubt that with the passion and range of their output, and the nervous uncertainty of their objects, they give us a strangely provisional and yet certain project for the present.
24. Is that all we can ever ask for? The fleeting word ‘love’ in the cloud? Is it as poetic as the usefulness of the vehicle?
25. So where did this writer find these ‘designers’ - firstly in 2003 in the bar at the AA, bodies moving within bodies, blind yet seeing, deaf yet hearing, architecture without walls, then later eviscerating old digital machinery to install Face Breeder in a shop window, then later carryig out demolition work on ancient 60s concepts of build and rebuild, demolition and decay to breath new life into ancient questions about where do we live and how do we live. And what is the architecture of these questions?
26. Can we end as we began with the wordless stream and the word-filled cloud? The one in a field, the other in a city? The latter signifying the most important desire of Minimaforms - the desire to re-inhabit the city, the urban?
27. ‘The world is full of objects more or less interesting, I do no want to add any more’, Robert Barry (1968).
28. Perhaps what I most enjoy, Minimaforms, and appreciate you for, is that you remind me of Robert Barry’s desire not to add any more and ‘to move beyond style away from the object’ so that you remain haunted by this ghost of conceptualism, yet because of your alarming technique are you sure you can remain aloof, unreduced by appearance and the glamour of technique?
29. Can we conclude with the Veteran’s Vehicle? Does it in a way (perhaps in an important way) concentrate Minimaforms’ talents, desires and problems in one project. In this one ‘object’ its wings are plucking at the air, it relies on new materials and interactive technologies and is perhaps too beautiful. It looks like an angel but we thought Minimaforms …
30. Thirty tones is the weight of air in the Albert Hall. How much do you weigh, Minimaforms?