Literally Anything At All

Literally Anything At All

In its latest resurgence, architectural ornament has evolved from a responsibility towards symbolic significance to the ambition of sensual communication through affect. In some cases the visible aspect of affect is accomplished through the tectonic consequences of digitally fabricated assemblies, which though they are non-linguistic are nonetheless exceedingly complex and dense. At the same time the oscillation of attention and distraction that epitomizes internet culture has created an accelerated appetite and pressure for novelty which constantly requires new operative modes for decoration and visual expression. Art and media practices of the current moment engage in far less complex strategies for decoration and ornament, relying on the expedient layering of ready-made image and pattern without syntactic or semiotic relations but with new rationales for composition and arrangement capable of containing “literally anything at all”. The following paper presents the potentials of this nascent “seapunk” ethos as a conceptual framework for architectural ornament. Methodologically, the authors have experimented, with students and in practice, to borrow techniques from surrealist automatism, optical art, and aqueous craft techniques. The results of these endeavors outline unique approaches to composition, craft, labor, and optical fascination in ornament.

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3rd February, 2015

Written by

Vivian Lee, James Macgillivray

  • Conference
  • Ornament
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