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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lost Monuments

Walking around Downtown one can’t help but be overwhelmed by the immensity of the City. But imagine if our culture had energized and archaic values, values worthy of the term.

Of course our cities are huge, and they are testament to our engineering age, but they are NOT monumental in any sense other than their largeness. Imagine if we applied our genius for technique and triviality and banality towards true art and monumentality. We have the technical abilities to make monuments and edifices that could rival any classical Wonder, but instead we have abstract cubes, large-scale visual banality we call art, derivative government buildings, boring bureaucratic behemoths, and ad hoc housing towers that are actually thinly disguised prisons.

But just imagine if we actually valued anything outside the realm of physical pleasure and economic status, i.e. art, spirit, religion, etc. The Babylonians engineered a series of hanging gardens (in a desert!) that were so magnificent as to be wondered at throughout the world, and inspiring to this day, but our cities will be remembered with puzzlement at the amount of energy wasted for such ultimately trivial ends. Our cities are interesting, but never wonderful.

At least this is what Wolfgang Johnny G. tells me. Hear him speak what I have regurgitated:

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