The Art of Adult Architecture or The Politics of Pornographic Planning    (24.09.2005)
The USSR. Somewhere at the end of the fifties of the previous century. A group of intellectuals and artists gather together in basements. Their meetings have one goal; the exploration of PPP or Progressive Political Pornography. During their gatherings they find a common ground and language onto which their growing discontent with the Communistic system can bloom. One day, Octobriana shows up, from then on she was the main character in an underground comic strip, her name referring to the October Revolution, her forms a mixture between a woman with mongoloid features and those of Brigitte Bardot. In an era when, in the West as well as in the East, the representation of sex was taboo, PPP devoted itself to what one could entitle as ‘obscenity’. In Russia, sex was anathematized as a sign of bourgeois degeneration and a political betrayal of Communism. PPP used pornography as a pyromaniac uses matches, long before porno for pyros, without porn no change was possible. The creation of a flame would inevitably lead to collective conflagration.
The members of the PPP-movement gathered together in different cities of the former USSR to work on producing, creating and distributing their message. Or that is how the story goes, or the rumour has been spread throughout the book of Petr Sadecký: “The book presented excerpts from comics made by an underground group of Russian dissident artists who formed a mysterious organization called Progressive Political Pornography. In a miraculous coincidence, a part of their production was smuggled out of the Soviet Union by Czechoslovak citizen Petr Sadecký who emigrated with the body of the comics to the West in 1967. […] He described PPP’s structure and the birth of the character of Octobriana and laid out his own political views and their development. An extensive part of the book talked about cinema of the Transcarpathian states of the USSR, socialist realism, and the author’s family background in Prague and adventurous trips to Central Asia in the service of Soviet Army General Rodimtsev. On the occasion of the book’s release, articles about the book began popping up in a number of newspapers and magazines. The Daily Telegraph Magazine placed the book on its front page and gave it wide coverage even before it came out. It was followed by a story in the Sunday Times and other articles appeared in the media in Great Britain, France, Italy and other European countries. The discovery of Eastern European political comics came as such a surprise that the book received attention usually reserved for serious literature and political issues. […] It took merely one week from the time the book hit the shelves until Petr Sadecký’s story was cast in doubt. […] Sadecký’s contribution to the birth of Octobriana was far greater than just transporting the hot material from the Soviet Union to the West. Still, as we will learn later, we cannot consider him the only author of the remarkable comic story. The affair was also an example of an unusual art theft, unprecedented in modern Czech history. But even more than 30 years after the book was first published we still lack all the details and the entire truth of the case. This is due to the paranoid situation of the divided world and of Petr Sadecký, the great mystifier and no less paranoid author of the Octobriana concept. What we have today is Octobriana itself and its legend, which in many views turned out to be perfectly orchestrated and remarkably viable” [1].

In the book it is told that Octobriana is a collective work. From the following quote one could think she must look like some exquisite corpse, the outcome of a surrealistic game in which “despite the fact that each contribution is relatively identifiable, the total effect results from the combined elements. As such the ‘exquisite corpse’ can claim to have scored a victory for collective invention over individual invention and over the ‘signature’” [2]. This collective spirit can also be found in the PPP’s conception of Octobriana, but the total effect was the result of an a posteriori systematic smoothening. Or was she a collective dream, as a Russian-Orthodox icon, that first needed to be touched by everyone in order to release her? “In fact there were several Octobriana specialists. One would draw her body, another her face, while yet another would be called in for her dress and accoutrements. Finally the best artist in the group would be called in to go over the sketches and as far as possible to eradicate the inevitable differences of style produced by so many hands” [3].
PPP-members hadn’t always work on their mind; sometimes – could one call this field research? – they watched girls perform a striptease in front of a portrait of Lenin, to the straints of The Internationale. This as the supreme mockery of the Soviet regime. Organization-wise PPP had different cells, which for reasons of security almost never stood in contact which each other. They were spread all over the Soviet Republics, in Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlosk, Kiev, Tblisi, Erivan, Tashkent, Alma Ata and Baku. The distribution of their work went as follows:
“Of course the members of each cell knew that other cells existed, but they never met them. Even if a member from, say, Kiev went to Moscow to study, he remained a member of the Kiev organization and made no attempt to get in touch with his colleagues in Moscow. In fact, once the organization of PPP became formalized the only contact between cells was conducted through one member from each group called the Spetsofitser – the ‘special officer’, who was responsible for security and for all the administrative work of the cell. But members were able to share their views and exchange opinions with other cells through the group’s journals, which were published in a number of cells” [4].

The Politics of Pornographic Planning

This essay – a montage of analyses, opinions, voices and ideas centred around the topics of architecture, ideology, pornography and the network culture (the natural versus the electronic) – explores the possibility of resurrecting the concept of Progressive Political Pornography, this time as the Politics of Pornographic Planning, not as an act of retro-active necrophilia, but as a manifest discontent with the way the legacy of the hard-core second generation of modernists (the ones shaping our world after the Second World War) is treated. By presenting the ideology, philosophy, method of working and distribution of PPP as some kind of pre-internet pornography distribution system, it focuses on the idea how porn can be used artistically as a means to both resist and influence ideology. It is a plea for the ultimate freedom of an ideology and urbanity to be allowed of being caught in the act, to perform their act. It looks backward to the founding fathers of PPP, their relation with the network and pornography and an exploration of the possibilities within the culture of the ‘new pornography’ (just a mouse-click away) and the ‘new networks’. This essay is illustrated by a critique (theory, novel, comic, comment and experiment) in Pornoshop, the images are montages or collages, attempts to go beyond immediate satisfaction and the lust principle of the immediate experience that at the one hand is the attraction of the ‘free’ flow of pornography on the internet and that at the other hand is the cause of the refusal of the hard-core modern attempts to shape the contemporary city.

Who can refuse the idea that culture should endlessly come to an ejaculation and erect masturbating monuments to satisfy the metropolis to come? Or as Lasse Braun, the King of Modern Pornography, once said: “I believe pornography is at the centre of the biggest cultural revolution of our century.” It is that revolution that should be endless and uninterrupted. The architects, who built the two projects that are the protagonists of this story, told me once that they believe pornography is at the centre of the biggest urban revolution of our century.
The main character of PPP, Octobriana, has of course connections with the one of Barbarella. And who says Barbarella, says Roger Vadim. Roger Vadim says Et dieu créa la femme. But also The City of Sogo (1968). Reyner Banham in his book Megastructure – Urban Futures of the Recent Past (1976) wrote the following: “Based on Jean-Claude Forest’s intellectual comic strip, Vadim’s sexploitation space-opera knowingly caught the mood of the year. The sinful city of Sogo was convincingly megastructural, both inside and out, rising above the sea of encroaching horrors much as Isozaki’s Space City had picked its way over the relics of earlier urbanism” [5]. By taking two distant examples of intense architecture – one in Brussels, Belgium, and the other in Vilnius, Lithuania – this project introduces the reader and the voyeur into the realm of the mythical-critical interpretation of the pornographical philosophy that is the essence of every heroic form of planning and urbanism. By combining the different metropolises, using porn, its network, its image and distribution as an act of progressive planning policy, this project tells a different story. The one of the end of architecture, the changed distribution and access of porn over the internet and how porn and architecture are different expressions of the same desire that only can lead to a disappointment, the one of the image.

The ‘50s and ‘60s

The fifties and sixties of the twentieth century were strange times. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the struggle between two world-shaping ideologies generated both euphoria and fear. The (re)organization and (re)positioning of ideological powers on the world stage (East vs. West, Communists vs. Capitalists) was in tune with a modernism that lost its own agenda, ambition and aesthetics (which all together were the embryos that would develop into an eighties and nineties orgy of mass-produced consumer goods). It was also a time when Freud became a part of both consumer culture and scientific research; the new gained freedoms opened way to freedom of speech, although still difficult. Drs. Eberhard and Phyllis Kronhausen describe this evolution in their book Pornography and the Law (1959) as follows:
“The hue and cry against Freud and his early followers was that psychoanalysis would loosen the ‘social repression,’ cut down inhibitions, bring with it the breakdown of the family, and finally result in total sexual anarchy. The furor only abated when Freud himself came out with his theory of ‘sublimation’ of the sex drive, the necessity for which he advocated in the interest of ‘civilization.’ Immediately after these pronouncements of Freud’s his theories and the psychoanalytical movement met with much less public resistance and became almost universally accepted, even to the extent that the present day movement of ‘pastoral psychiatry’ operates with many of Freud’s concepts and does not hesitate to apply the very techniques which only thirty years ago were thought to be the devil’s invention for leading mankind into perdition” [6].

The same goes for what happened with the architectural and urban attempts of the Modern Movement (Le Corbusier, Bauhaus,…), which were contested in the twenties, although the designs were offered as solution in the interest of civilization. The attempts to update these after the Second World War resulted in projects that were stripped of creativity. They weren’t as sharp and eloquent as before the Second World War – there was a taboo on the issue of tabula rasa – and were now in bits and pieces erected in zones in and around the big metropolitan centres, as concrete cows mesmerized by their surrounding nature, or what one could call the modernistic attempt for ‘pastoral planning’. The rise and positioning of both Capitalism and Communism gave civilization a fixed framework, in which freedoms were generated, freedoms that could only exist and be tolerated within the hegemony of the system. In the West the resistance against this reached a climax at the end of the sixties in free love, 69 annee erotique or the Sexual Freedom League. In the so-called free West, eroticism, the celebration and exploitation of it, was already enough to shock civilization and criticize it. If we look at the East, in this case Russia, we see a same kind of resistance against the system, but it is one that couldn’t be celebrated and reach the surface of society, but necessarily had to stay underground. But as we can read in Pornography and the Law this suppression of sexuality was actually at odds with the initial ambition of the Russian State:
“We have some illustrative examples for this relationship between sex and authoritarian politics from the recent and current political scene. In Russia, during the democratic phase of the Twenties shortly following the revolution, the People’s Council passed the most liberal sex legislation of modern times, abolishing, for instance, their antiquated marriage and divorce laws, and legalizing medical abortions and homosexuality. This democratic phase ended with the change to Stalinist-type dictatorship. From then on, all the previous gains of sex reform were lost; abortion and homosexuality once more became punishable crimes, divorce and marriage laws were reshaped according to the traditional pattern, and sexuality in the Russian youth movement was strongly discouraged as a sign of ‘bourgeois (democratic) decadence” [7].


After Stalin’s death, hopes in Russia for a change in the system were high. All would be new. In relation to architecture and urbanism Khrushchev made his ambition immediately clear, he didn’t only want to get rid of Stalin’s architectural legacy (some kind of titillating mix of classicism, formalism and modernism), but the change in the attitudes of those that were translating ideology into matter, the architects, was his highest priority: “Architects are as much artists as they are craftsmen. They’re in favour of maximum flexibility; and they want every building to have a distinctive appearance. I, too, am all for flexibility and distinctiveness – but within certain limits. The looks of a building are important, but I don’t think the architecture should bowl you over or look too exotic. The introduction of prefabricated reinforce concrete into our building industry was not warmly greeted by our architects because the elements of our new buildings began to be mass-produced. This meant that the architects were somewhat more limited in their ability to express their individuality. Inevitably, certain conflicts cropped up from time to time” [8].

Around the early 1960s there was some kind of relaxation with regard to the Russian Party line, an evolution that tempted some young artists to gather and found PP, or Progressivnaya Politika (Progressive Politics). They published pamphlets that expressed a genuine allegiance to the pure principles of the original Communism of Lenin. They were soon taken in for questioning about what they where thinking and doing. In order to continue, they isolated themselves and went underground. As their views got more and more dissident, the members realised that active resistance was obsolete and too dangerous and that to remain a disorganised, open society was to court disaster. In the attics in the several capitals of the Russian States, they launched themselves in their first experimental sexual orgies. Their motto seemed to be quiet simple: “To the Party slogan, ‘Direct all your energies towards to building of Communism,’ we reply just as dogmatically, ‘Devote all your energies towards copulation with Maria Ivanovna’” [9]. Maria Ivanovna, besides being a character in Tolstoy’s Youth, was one of the Russian saints that according to the legend “soon after the Revolution began to use really terrible, foul language. She did this for a number of days. The nuns who lived with her couldn’t bear it and would leave the house from time to time to get some relief. Finally, they could tolerate no more and began to rebuke Maria Ivanovna, ‘How can you use such foul language?! Parasceva Ivanovna never did that.’ The blessed one replied, ‘Under Nicholas she could speak nicely, but try doing that under the Soviets!’” [10] The ones who were most disillusioned with the failure of de-Stalinization became the most vigorous sexual fanatics. Sex was still a taboo in the USSR, and as we all know, that what is taboo is soon to be welcomed as the new Messiah.

Their underground isolation demanded a strict organization in cells that only communicated with each other through their magazines. Although, as Petr Sadecký describes in his book, not all the members of the cell were isolated: “In every ‘regional headquarters’ there were one or two members who were know as filosofi, (‘the philosophers’) of the group. These people took a voracious interest in everything going on around them, both in the Soviet Union and – as far as possible – beyond its borders. They read the Soviet press with an avidity which would have won them the approval of any local party committee chairman – although of course what they were looking for was inconsistency and further proof of the duplicity of the Soviet authorities. […] Whenever an idea for a new Octobriana story struck a ‘philosopher’, a very important meeting was held. The remainder of the group, known on the whole as the Khudozhniki (the artist), would throw the idea around, and with the help of the ‘philosophers’ develop what might have been initially the mere ghost of an idea into one of the contorted story-lines that characterize this type of material” [11].
This isolation, removed from any contribution to society, was actually the goal of PPP; they build themselves an artificial, fragile world of dreams in which their superhero, the she-devil Octobriana, is a sufficient stimulus for withdrawal. Octobriana herself was the hero that embodied the true principles of the October Revolution, she flies in her wonder-machine around the world, acting sometimes as an agent of the Pentagon, sometimes on behalf of Peking, but always to combat oppression of the kind practiced by the Kremlin. But she wasn’t only a vehicle for the idealistic political dreams of the PPP; she had also to embody their wildest sexual fantasies.



“In pornography (hard core obscenity) the main purpose is to stimulate erotic response in the reader. […] ‘Obscene’ books, on the other hand, are straight fantasy and as such cannot be said to be based on the reality of any community in any part of the world. It would therefore be impossible to apply even an artificial norm or community standard to such writing. The distinction between these two forms (erotic realism and hard core obscenity) of writing can only be sensibly made in terms of intent, content, and structure. We cannot overemphasize that none of these criteria singly, in isolation, constitute any evidence that a given book or writing is ‘obscene.’ As is the case in psychological tests which are designed to give clinical information about an individual, the criteria which are isolated and described must be seen in relationship to the whole. Thus, in ‘obscene’ books, individual criteria must be evaluated in relationship to each other in the context of the whole piece of writing under examination, or as a configuration and cluster of factors.” [12]
The individual criteria that Drs. Eberhard and Phyllis Kronhausen mention in Pornography and the Law are seduction, defloration, incest, the permissive-seductive parent figure, profaning the sacred, ‘dirty’ words in dirty books, supersexed males, nymphomaniac females, negroes and Asiatics as sex symbols, homosexuality and flagellation. The stimulus for the PPP was not the accumulated imagination of the interactions, montages, overlaps and merging of the above-mentioned criteria into one ambience, but a woman. Lydia Borisovna Gal.
“Lydia Borisovna Gal, allegedly adopted daughter of one of the top Soviet leaders Anastas Mikoyan, had a special position within the Kiev PPP cell. The 20-year-old Gal, a bisexual with S&M tendencies, significantly influenced PPP and Sadecký’s orientation. He writes that she dressed in leather but, at some PPP meetings, she came naked except for tall leather boots. She searched out unusual perversions, claiming she was the Marquis de Sade of the Communist era. Sadecký offers a number of hot details from Lydia Borisovna Gal’s sex life: She menstruated from the age of nine when she also started masturbating. From the age of 15 she studied a number of languages and soon spoke fluent English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Persian and Polish. She wrote studies on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and witchcraft. Her favourite authors included Sade and the symbolist anarchist Octave Mirbeau. Lydia Borisovna Gal studied medicine for two years to master the knowledge necessary to torture in various ways more efficiently. Within PPP she organized ‘experimental orgies,’ which later served as material for her pornographic texts, some of which describe driving a stake through a person, torturing pregnant women, having intercourse with a tiger and masturbating using the horns of extinct lizards” [13].

Architecture, the Image and the Pornographic Projects

But let us return to the original theme of this essay, the Politics of Pornographic Planning, starring architecture, urbanism and planning. In this, I want to highlight the work of Superstudio (Italian architects) and the early work of Rem Koolhaas (Dutch architect) as comments on the status-quo of architecture by using pornography, although not as explicit, and not as critiques as one might have hoped. It is work developed from the mid-1960s on and strangely stopped somewhere in the beginning of the seventies [14]. The pornographic elements in their work focus on the directness of the image, or serve as a metaphor for the evolution of the world. As for Superstudio, the reasons to refer to pornography go as follows:
“A series of aberrant images, capable of postulating another scale of values and behaviour, is substituted for the process of getting accustomed to the present society. Thus, the system’s public image is put into doubt: collectively induced desires are substituted with other, equally appetizing desires, which are however truer and more just; and to satisfy these new desires, the system is forced into a crisis. The action to be undertaken, in its simplest form, is to take these processes to their limit, showing per absurdum their falsity and immorality” [15].
1972. Together with Elia Zenghelis, Rem Koolhaas (who by then already worked together with Rene Daalder in creating the most expensive Dutch movie until then – The White Slave) thinks about the city, about culture and about evolution and presents the world The City of the Captive Globe, a conceptual ‘fast-forward’ of the life, death and eternal rebirth of the metropolis. It depicts a timeless and placeless grid in the middle of which is a half-buried globe. In Koolhaas’s terminology a grid is a ‘dry archipelago’ in which every ‘block’ is an island. The islands are breeding grounds for ideologies and are populated by designs by the likes of Le Corbusier, Mies, Dalí and Leonidov. The Rockefeller Center and Twin Towers are there, too. The accompanying text spells out how architecture, organised and erected in high densities, contributes to the development of culture: each block is the basis for an ideological laboratory that lures the masses inside with the result that the architecture represents a growing ideology. Eventually every ideology either fails or ejaculates [16]. This ejaculation, which is not granted to all ideologies, impregnates and satisfies the globe which swells and in so doing carries forward the perpetual gestation of the metropolis. The excitement of this skyline, argues Koolhaas, is quick and continuous. The metropolis as perpetual motion. Koolhaas sees the reality, confirmation and potential of this mania that unites the modern with the eternal in a ‘culture of congestion’ borne out in New York. Architecture, in this case the skyscraper, has the obvious connotation of being a phallic element, and nowadays, Koolhaas proclaims ‘Kill the skyscraper!’ – in order for architects to go and search for new forms, himself contributing to Beijing, China and the world the CCTV, a building that without a shadow of a doubt is inspired by the vagina.
Pornographic Planning

Around the same time of the above-told events, PPP came into live – the Politics of Pornographic Planning. This group would, through the use of pornographically inspired architecture, method, strategies and analysis offer the world two of the masterpieces of pornographic planning. One in Brussels, Belgium, the other in Vilnius, Lithuania. The one is known as the Tower of Finances, the other as the Vilnius Concert and Sport Palace. Both roam around in the shady realms of urban subculture. The Tower was inaugurated in 1981, The Palace in 1971. Soon after their opening – this as a sublime spin-off of the ideological and cultural identity crises that ruled the two countries – the first was renamed La Femme, the second The Palace of Entertainment Events and Sports. For as goes with the progress of civilization, new times meant breeding on new names for old things. Soon followed another change in the representational languages, The Palace of Entertainment Events and Sports was to be re-baptized as the Vilnius Concert and Sport Palace. When thought of, designed, constructed and inaugurated everybody knew that the Tower and the Palace were solid, visual and speculative ejaculations of an ideology: a capitalistic and a communistic one. Their form, shape and location within their cities have always been contested, giving way to civilization to experience at the same time sensation and disappointment. If architecture, like porn, is al about image, these buildings, when conceived on drawing tables, represented the all-coming together of the image of a culture to come. They were built fata orgasmata’s.
Today, these two buildings are threatened with demolishment. Their architects, all women, are hiding in the cellars of the two cities. Now and then they come out. Roam around the city. Spread pamphlets around in which one can read the following: “These two projects are more than a feeble and elusive celebration of the end of modernism or a contribution to it. Not to say they where bearing the semen of a new modernity. If their position and aesthetics were both evocative and subversive, this was only to serve their clear goal: create and give rise to a radical new way of organizing culture and civilization, give life to a new thinking with only one ambition; to end all culture, civilization and thinking. As forms they can be read and reread as mysteriously eloquent elaborations on the grand themes of alienation, rationalization, neuroses, therapy and the visceral forms of pornography. As experiments in the public celebration of the pornography of planning. Other readings are of course also possible. Their forms aren’t meant to be measured by geometry but by psychological involvement.”

Adult Architecture

It must have been somewhere in Flanders, a region in Europe mainly characterised by its free-standing houses and unusual organized sprawl pattern (98% of the territory is urbanized!) that Dennis Black Magic, Flanders’ King of Porn, stated in the mid-nineties that Fairs for Erotica attract as much visitors as the annual hypersuccessful building fairs. Don’t get me wrong, as far as is proven, there is no relation between the two events.
Both build in the middle of the metropolis, the Tower and the Palace are exponents of peripheral planning concepts. Peripheral not in the sense of devoid of any urban aspirations, not thought of the way as the urban slips and slides into the rural, but peripheral as a radical, distorted, deviated, inflected and out-of-the-centre thought ideas on urbanity and metropolitanism. Avant-garde? Avant hard-core.
Rumour has it that porn only goes for the image, as the city is only supposed to go for the imageability. But what is the definition of imageability then? Kevin Lynch, in his book The Image of the City (1960), gives the following definition: “ […] that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the environment. It might also be called legibility, or perhaps visibility in a heightened sense, where objects are not only able to be seen, but are presented sharply and intensely to the senses” [17]. As two ways of addressing the issue of the image and of the imageability, one can’t deny that porn and planning go in essence for the same effect. But more interesting than analysing them as dialectics, maybe working together to a thesis, it is more interesting, keep in mind the adagio two do not merge into one, to let them work together, to check where they overlap, how they mutually reinforce each other, and point the finger at that point in history where porn, network, planning and ideology came together in a radical new project. That is the concept lying behind the movie the architects of the Tower and the Palace shot one day, Adult Architecture or the Politics of Pornographic Planning. It is told that their development of Adult Architecture is based on a basic ambivalence – the image of domination and the image of liberation. It is told they are in the process of re-evaluating Freud’s The Future of an Illusion. During a fuck I had with one of the architects, she told me that she believes Herbert Marcuse when he in Eros and Civilization stated that: “The categories in which philosophy has comprehended the human existence have retained the connection between reason and suppression: whatever belongs to the sphere of sensuousness, pleasure, impulse has the connotation of being antagonistic to reason – something that has to be subjugated, constrained” [18].
Pornography and the Performance Principle

Or was the start of postmodernism actually not due to the excitement that the demolition of a building provoked, as a snuff movie featuring the city and her architecture. Strangely enough the demolition meant a manifest resurrection of the concept of erotic, phallic and urban planning for the city to come. While the one building was brought down, the architect already started building its counter project in the heart of downtown Manhattan. A project only to come down in a fantastic ejaculation. Remember September.

The Porosity of Pornography

Both The Tower and The Palace move in enlightened zones. We made hundred different shots of them, proliferated their ideas, histories, visibility and legibility in a multitude of positions. We interacted as such with them that we could present them sharp and intense to the senses. Some say we work in the realm of the fuzzy logic, we told they could fuck off. There is nothing. No story, merely the accidental encounter between a milkman and a virgin on a kitchen table. Only the act, the image, the advent of disappointment, excitement and architecture. Once build and used. Once filled and sizzled. If porn and architecture share one thing, it must be this: they are empires of intentions. If the internet and the metropolis share one thing, it must be this one; they are empires of interactions. Every image, video, city or architecture today is sold as if it is the most interesting story on the planet. Is distributed in p2p porno or p2p polis, in magazines (the old fashioned way of distributing both porn and architecture) or different networks (in the dark rooms or auditoria). Images of new cities proliferate on the internet; they seduce cities, governments, mayors, developers and architect before one can interact with them. They promise, they built up, they are replaced the next day. They are presented as if every coming and seducing is unplanned, without script. If you see them in reality, they fill the body with a sense of disappointment. The same goes for the contemporary city and her architecture. As always the trailer is better than the movie. As always rendered *.mpeg gives a more convincing image than the experience of its spatial reality. “I’m a whore and I’m paid very well for building high-rise buildings,” answered Philip Johnson to anyone objecting that he ignored the needs of inhabitants. But Philip Johnson is dead now, and neither The Tower nor The Palace had inhabitants. Or that is how the story goes. Some say they were both a mock-up for the gatherings of a group that called themselves PPP.

By: Bert de Muynck

Bert de Muynck ( is an architect, writer and independent researcher. His main field of research lays in the interaction between politics, culture and architecture. He has published in several international magazines as Archis, DWB, LOG, GAM. If he is not travelling around the world, he lives in Amsterdam.


[2] José Pierre, A Dictionary of Surrealism, London: Methuen, 1974, p. 72.
[3] Peter Sadecký, Octobriana and the Russian Underground, London: Tom Stacey, 1971, p. 66.
[4] Sadecký, p. 62-63.
[5] Reyner Banham, Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past, London: Thames and Hudson, 1976, p. 101
[6] Drs. Eberhard and Phyllis Kronhausen, Pornography and the Law, New York: Ballantine Books, 1959, p. 152-153.
[7] Eberhard and Kronhausen, p. 283.
[8] Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers – The Last Testament, London: André Deutsch, 1974, p.98.
[9] Sadecký, p. 80.
[11] Sadecký, p. 64.
[12] Eberhard and Kronhausen, p. 243-244.
[14] Although Koolhaas occasionally uses porn in his books S,M,L,XL and Content, their function changes, it is used for the effect.
[15] Superstudio, Life Without Objects, Torino: SKIRA, 2003, p. 164-66.
[16] Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York. A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1994 (original 1978), p. 294.
[17] Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994, p. 9.
[18] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, London: Sphere Books, 1969, p. 132.


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