a machine for producing gods

I was out with Matt on Saturday night; he’s a friend from the Wolves LUG. We talked, amongst other things, about the now infamous Daniel Libeskind. Over the weekend I’ve been trying to source some of his early texts, to supplement our conversation about the complexities of architectural thinking. A quick Googling has let me down so far, so I shall have to resort to the printed page. How quaint. I did, of course, land on daniel-libeskind.com and enjoyed the stripped down, but tactile, design. It uses an interesting technique of switching between black on white / white on black, in order to highlight links.

I have mixed views about his work and can’t avoid the nagging feeling that he’s a one trick pony, but he writes with passion and elegance. Witness the opening page of his site;

In one … of my favorite books, by Henri Louis Bergson, Two Sources of Morality and Religion the author comes to the conclusion that the universe, to paraphrase loosely, is a machine for producing gods. It seems to me that architecture is, in fact, the machine that produces the universe which produces the gods. It does so not fully through theories or reflections, but in the ever non-repeatable and optimistic act of construction. The qualities of its resistance, which are as pragmatic as the materials from which it is built, form an irascible and volatile field whose smile is not that of Buddha.

Almost everything I read at the moment, from Arthur Koestler to Gaston Bachelard, seems to reference Bergson. I shall have to catch up and try some of his work.

Some interesting confluences there with our discussion about religion, don’t you think Matt?

By the way, it’s worth noting here that Matt and Jono are also involved in an interesting project to increase Linux awareness.

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