We all know the categorical strengths of varied towns, are conscious of their score, may be able to speak about their density and progress. yet what do all towns have in universal, what will we find out about their “lowest universal denominator”?
The “city as a species”, the “primal genetic fabric of the city”: this can be the topic of A Quantum City. This monstrous paintings is a love letter to town and highbrow tradition.
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Additional info for A Quantum City: Mastering the Generic
CHARLES DICKENS A Tale of Two Cities 1859 MARK TWAIN Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World 1897 145 ← What a spectacle the railway station was, at train-time! It was a very large station, yet when we arrived it seemed as if the whole world was present—half of it inside, the other half outside, and both halves, bearing mountainous head-loads of bedding and other freight, trying simultaneously to pass each other, in opposing floods, in one narrow door. These opposing floods were patient, gentle, long-suffering natives, with whites scattered among them at rare intervals; and wherever a white man’s native servant appeared, that native seemed to have put aside his natural gentleness for the time and invested himself with the white man’s privilege of making a way for himself by promptly shoving all intervening black things out of it.
At any hour, raising your eyes among the pipes, you are likely to glimpse a young woman, or many young women, slender, not tall of stature, luxuriating in the bathtubs or arching their backs under the showers suspended in the void, washing or drying or perfuming themselves, or combing their long hair at a mirror. In the sun, the threads of water fanning from the showers glisten, the jets of the taps, the spurts, the splashes, the sponges’ suds. Famous Travelers 59 REM KOOLHAAS Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan 1978 148 ← Toward 1890, the introduction of electricity makes it possible to create a second daytime.
In politics too were there shifting sands: Florence was not a quiet, peaceful town, Nor were the neighbour cities, states and lands United under one commanding crown. As a republic Florence long had thrived And lately lifted from Piero the gown Of a de-facto ruler that derived From centuries of influence and might On which his clan, the Medici, survived. Now ousted and in exile out of sight, Piero lo Sfortunato was he called; But there was one man who from Piero’s plight Took inspiration and in secret scrawled Down everything he heard said, or saw done And later wrote a work that both appalled And thrilled in equal measure anyone Who read it, because here was put in print Advice on power, and how power’s won Not by divine authority or dint Of moral rectitude, or even force, But by the devilishly cunning glint Of dry intelligence and a divorce From sentimental values, bad or good, ORLANDO IN THE CITIES Orlando in Florence And cold manoeuvring without remorse Against whomever in the way of power stood.
A Quantum City: Mastering the Generic