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Star Wars + Everything Else

John Powers' dense, sprawling, provocative star wars: a new heap (or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star) filters George Lucas' movie through Kubrick, Kandinsky, Diego Rivera, the Pruitt-Igoe low-income housing projects, Thomas More, Frederic Jameson, OMA, Jane Jacobs, Venturi, and more. It's sort of dizzying, in a good way.

Unlike the residential architecture of Robert Venturi, which invokes bygone palaces, Star Wars was not a retreat to the imagery of past. Lucas was not reacting against the dominant program of faux-industrial imagery, which Venturi righteously criticized. Venturi’s passive ambit of comforting the old with a palatial appliqué had nothing to do with the modernist compulsion to make it new. Lucas, like Smithson, Morris, and Jacobs, dug deep into the dominant ethic of rationalizing the inconsistencies and contradictions of modern senescence. Star Wars built on the radicalism and procedural logic of minimalism and made a bold visual assertion, proposing a future “drawn not from how it ought to be, but from how it is.” In defiance of conventional wisdom, Lucas revealed a place that was modern, but not new, a future long occupied, unfinished, worldly. Modernity is the presumption that the natural environment for man has yet to be built. Lucas was the first to imagine that future built environment as already old.

[via kottke.org]