Archive for the ‘Functional Architecture’ Category

Co-Operative Cement Plant

June 27, 2021

Cooperative Cement Plant, painting by Torsten Slama
Co-Operative All-Togetherness Cement Plant, 2020, oil on canvas, 51,5 x 71 cm / 20,3 x 28 inches

This is a painting full of problematic content and a problematic history. In fact, the artist has since altered it in the form of adding a new brighter sky, thus completely changing its atmospheric mood, content, and “meaning”. Even this version was not the first version, because the dark sky replaced a former version of a brighter sky (since reinstated). In the end it became clear though that the artist himself had no way of determining which version was in fact bad or good or finished. It is all in the mindset.

The painting features a standard cement plant with a co-operative economic model, which by and large means, a people-centered enterprise, controlled and run by and for their members, with the function of realizing or materializing a common economic, cultural, infra-structural, civilizational goal. The plant, which could also be designated a concrete plant, is augmented by a more or less abstract floating shape which looks to be of artificial origin and crafted from a semi transparent metallic, completely unknown material. If not unknown, this material could also be described as transparent acrylics with a small amount of finely distributed embedded metallic particles. The whole tube-like construction might be filled with air and is big enough with thin enough walls so that the air inside could be heated by the sun to such a degree to ensure floating of the structure, where the metallic particles in the transparent thin transparent film constituting the outer walls of the object are light sensitive (liquid crystels?) which regulate the temperature of the air or gas trapped within in the way of a homeostatic system.

Note also the elongated pyramidical object in the window of the attached control room of the plant. This is a robot sentry overlooking the operation. This detail is also a veiled reference to the dead tram conductor in “The Thing in the Moonlight” by J. Chapman Miske.

A final note: concrete, though useful and aesthetically pleasing, is a thing of the past and present, not the future, As of the year 2070, all newly constructed structures will be made of some yet not perfected synthetic alternative or naturally occurring building materials like wood, clay, natural stone. Like trees, concrete buildings absorb CO2. New calculations show that concrete absorbs roughly 30 percent of the amount of CO2 that cement production emits. That is a non-cooperative, planet-unfriendly balance according to the Instrumentality of SCIENCE.

Food for the Gods

September 27, 2020
Converted Chemical Laboratory with Storage Facility / Experimental Prize Pig Setting 30 x 60 cm / 11,8 x 23,6 inches, oil on canvas (prefabricated, "Stylex"), 2020
Converted Chemical Laboratory with Storage Facility / Experimental Prize Pig Setting 30 x 60 cm / 11,8 x 23,6 inches, oil on canvas (prefabricated, “Stylex”), 2020

A painting, unusually tall (like modern cell phone), yet making up for tallness in smallness. Chinese inspired, in particular by the painter Shitao, the style being of course only a travesty of sumi-e, for the conversion into badly managed oil paints. Also, the painting ground in this case is industry-prefabricated and pre-primed canvas on stretcher, not paper scroll, hand mounted in fabric for either hanging in a museal context or storing in rolled form, stacked in shelves, to be perused by fellow art lovers, like books. However, the difficulties of endeavoring transformation and westernization by using oil paints on canvas make for intriguing results in terms of plastic surface effects (not well observable in photographic reproduction). A detail view shows better what is meant:

Observe how pencil line replaces insufficiently controlled brush strokes, creating not only optically observable lines, but also tiny grooves in the toothpaste-white of the supposedly tiled cladding of the storage building.

Please see also this post from 2009, with a design originally called “Bion Fermenter on the Eleventh Moon”, here moderately titled “Proposal for a Bion Conerter“.

© Torsten Slama and The Animal Welfare Society (Pig Dept.)