Author(s): John May
Architecture is immersed in an immense cultural experiment called imaging. Yet the technical status and nature of that imaging must be reevaluated. What happens to the architectural mind when it stops pretending that electronic images of drawings made by computers are drawings? When it finally admits that imaging is not drawing, but is instead something that has already obliterated drawing? These are questions that, in general, architecture has scarcely begun to pose, imagining that somehow its ideas and practices can resist the culture of imaging in which the rest of life now either swims or drowns. To patiently describe the world to oneself is to prepare the ground for an as yet unavailable politics. New descriptions can, under the right circumstances, be made to serve as the raw substrate for political impulses that cannot yet be expressed or lived, because their preconditions have not been arranged and articulated. Signal. Image. Architecture. aims to clarify the status of computational images in contemporary architectural thought and practice by showing what happens if the technical basis of architecture is examined very closely, if its technical terms and concepts are taken very seriously, at times even literally. It is not a theory of architectural images, but rather a brief philosophical description of architecture after imaging.