Museum of Uncollectibles

Museum of Uncollectibles

L.E.S Vanishing Archives

Following this weeks design review, I feel that my presentation wasn’t clear enough to portray my ideas and offer a full perspective of the project and its intentions, perhaps due to the fact that I hadn’t yet narrowed down my own intentions for the brief yet!

Taking the feedback onboard, I will look into developing a strategy for a smaller area/ section of the LES, and define the voids and the pilgrimage route (some are housed on roofs, some are transient spaces, small or large, a gap waiting to be filled?) and where they are manifested and what they intend to preserve – i.e its collecting the views of something or just views out towards the city – something uncollectible, immovable – but as soon as something is physical it becomes collectible.

In a poem of James Merrill – Urban Convalescence – he describes the feeling of living in a city where ‘tomorrow is unknown’ and you don’t recognise your own city – you can not hold onto the past as its not there long enough for you to care for…. It also reinforces that ‘here you can never be too precious about your view’ as Todd Rouhe mentioned to me whilst in NYC – perhaps the museum is challenging that idea, and one should have sufficient time to appreciate and collect these moments, which vanish too fast before them!

As usual in New York, everything is torn down
Before you have had time to care for it.
Head bowed, at the shrine of noise, let me try to recall
What building stood here. Was there a building at all?
I have lived on this same street for a decade.  

Excerpt from James Merrill – Urban Convalescence

I’d like to develop on the idea of the Stairs becoming a device, or a public monument for preservation – having a political weight on voids – of being democratic. Who owns these voids? When the void calls for action – is there a resistance against new agents coming into the area and removing those from it – how do we preserve the void once an agent comes in and removes it- does it leave a mark or footprint behind? Does the museum of uncollectibles becomes ephemeral and it reflects on this idea and state of impermanence of NYC; where everything changes so fast- not allowing enough time to archive or preserve?

I’m still posing some questions for my brief but I want to narrow down my interests and develop a less nostalgic line of enquiry moving forwards. Looking into the idea of these observation stairscases/ decks I came across some precedents that have strong political lines of enquiry and I thought that they were quite evocative images. I’ll use these as a starting point to inform the narrative I want to explore – the preservation of uncollectibles; the LES urban fabric, its views and character.


boompjes_tower el-lissitzky_lenintribune-sketch_1920_collectionstatetretyakovgallery_moscow

Observation tower, OMA’s Boompjes Project (1980)
arguably is modeled on El Lissitzky, Lenin Tribune proposal (1920-1924).








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