Monday, 18 July 2011

Book - Clip Stamp Fold - Architecture Publishing

Renewing architectural traditions is hard business. You could try to change the practice, but this would be a singular act. If you publish about it using the media a wider audience is reached and the effort is more effective.

'Clip, Stamp, Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines, 196x -197x' redraws the history of some of the many radical architecture magazines at the mid last century that had this one idea, to change the world of architecture by writing about it. The Actar publication is is edited by Beatrice Colomina and Craig Buckley and brings together e a large body of research on the massive body of material.

There was a great urge to overthrow established architectural structures and break out of the as tight perceived ideologies of modernism. "[T]he FORMALITY of architecture and its teaching has to explode." as Archigram put it in one of their last issues NO.9.

Clip, Stamp, Fold
Image taken from electric type/ A section of the magazine timeline as presented on the Clip, Stamp, Fold online page.

The Small Talks section brings a transcript of talks between a selection of members of the movement that took place as apart of the exhibition Clip, Stamp, Fold in 2007 in New York. In different combinations the origines and motivations as well as the individual context of the activity and the magazine are discussed with an audience.

Stocktaking is a timeline bringing together a section of publication, ranging from 1962 to 1979. Each issue with a paragraph summarizing its content and context. This is a great resource and a very interesting read, since it provides an overview and the changes over the whole period can be directly followed.

The Facsimile and the Interview part are interwoven with the interviews printed experimentally onto 'inbook-magazines' surrounded by reprinted example pages taken from some of the magazines. It properly feels like poking around in an archive looking into different drawers with these great treasures popping out, explaining themselves.

Clip, Stamp, Fold
Image taken from architizer online / View into the exhibition space in Vancouver. The exhibition traveled the world after it was showing in New York.

Amongst the people interviewed are Peter Cook, Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Hans Hollein, Rafael Moneo, Graham Shane, Philip Steadman, Bernhard Tschumi or Tom Wooley, to name a few. In total there are a staggering 47 interviews.

The publication manages to be different things at the same time. It is a documentation of the activities and the context of this magazine period, but it is also a book preserving the motivations and stories behind the individual magazines. Furthermore it is also a summary of the achievements and an position statement thirty years later.

As such this can be read as a vision and a starting point for visions to come. The publication has an extensive website.

Clip, Stamp, Fold
Image taken from Peter Lang / Book cover, back and front.

Colomina, B. & Buckley, C. eds., 2010. Clip, Stamp, Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines, 196x -197x, Barcelona: Actar.

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