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Curated conversations with contemporary critics on architecture, and architectural thinking.

Hosted by Vikram Prakash, Professor of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
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Jan 17, 2019


“Isn’t this desire for objectivity a modernist sentiment?” - VP

“Where does one enter, and where does one exit out of the modern?” - MJ


In today's episode, we engage in a far-ranging and open-ended discussion on the question of the global with my longtime collaborator Mark Jarzombek. Circulating around the question of the larger agenda of the global, discussion topics include the modernity and its critiques, the nation-state and its limits, autobiography and its pitfalls, and what are the ways in which global thinking (dis)connects with deconstruction.


2:31 Magdalenian culture and civilization: the caves. The Gravettians.

4:09 A Global History of Architecture textbook + GAHTC: what is this global project?

6:50 Modernism, Postmodernism, and the critical question of the “after the modern”

11:23 Modernism as dualism: the good and the bad in equal doses, continuously, vs a Hegelian dialectic (destruction at the end)

13:30 “How to develop a critique that doesn’t entrap you into being complicit in one side of the game or the other side of the game?” -MJ

‘Isn’t this desire for objectivity a modernist sentiment?’ -VP

14:26 “Where does one enter, and where does one exit out of the modern?” -MJ

17:43 Ethics, rights, powers, and personal agency

19:00 Give money to Greenpeace but not on the boat: individual agency and the social matrix

21:06 “Ethical in a particular way,” haunting to one’s subject-position  

22:26 The shadowy terror of monotheism

23:35 The ‘Global’ as an ethics-opening term

25:04 Parallels and intersections of global histories with the craziness emerging with quantum theory in astrophysics

27:24 Uncertainty, possibility, and knowing (Meeting the Universe Halfway, Karen Barad)

28:04 What the people in Lascaux and Chauvet knew

28:14 “This sounds a little Hindu-ish to me, a little Vishnu,” and the conflicted presence of singular Judaism

34:36 Modernism and a vortex of non-dualities

36:42 Derrida as a “renegade rabbi”: reading from the margins

37:38 Connection between new materialism, French poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, Jewish philosophy and Buddhist thinking?

39:06 No singular global can apply to everything

39:13 Biography as entry? Significance of personal epistemologies in critical thinking of the world.

43:58 “Vishnu-Modernism”

45:35 the Post-Holocaust vs the Post-Colonial Global

1:00:20 Limitations of Derrida’s critiques: ethics and Buddha’s ear to the ground

1:03:19 “Other oralities need to be known.”: this is the global history project

1:05:33 “Writing on writing. Writing on writing on writing.” Iterations.

1:07:37 Writing corrodes oral-communicative structures