The new Perpsecta will be launched tonight in New York - 7 pm at the Trespa Design Centre for those of you who are in the city. The issue revolves around the dialectic between memory and amnesia and it is an exciting cross section of texts that deal with everything from data centres to Hejduk to the architecture of websites (of architecture). The editors picked an eclectic list of authors - it is indeed refreshing to see the variety of the positions included by Aaron Dresben and his colleagues. Mario Carpo, Stani von Moos, and Sam Jacob between the others are featured alongside our very own Maria S. Giudici and Tommaso Franzolini aka Sigmund Frantz, the author of a stunning series of photos of the Soane Museum. Memory and amnesia are the twin faces of our digital selves: we are condemned never to forget, never to be forgotten, through the non-stop nostalgiafest that social media provide us today. Googling our past lives, from youtube videos of our favourite songs to photos of ourselves continuously reposted, has forced us paradoxically into an eternal present where, weirdly enough, fashions never change because there's always a comeback going on. The vintage image is past, present, and future, instagrammed and filtered just right, and soon forgotten without ever being truly forgiven. A short memory allowed many of the greatest moments of the past: Brunelleschi was as distant from Carolingian architecture as we are from him today, and yet, at the same time, infinitely more distant. The whole Renaissance celebrated a past that was largely invented, well, by the Renaissance people themselves.
In our piece on the Soane Museum we look at the way in which the modern concept of memory has been painstakingly constructed by intellectuals, politicians, and, most notably, by architects. However perhaps today what we need is not anymore a project to teach us to remember, but, perhaps, a project to learn how to forget.
Black Square thanks the Soane Museum, Aaron Dresben and the Perspecta Editors, and Sigmund Frantz for this great opportunity.