Heini van Niekerk Architects (PTY) Ltd, SACAP Practice Number: PH4763, B-BBEE 4, IPIC Centre, 7 Plein Street, Vredenburg, South Africa, email: iam@heinivanniekerk.com , tel: 079 722 3064, Principle: JH van Niekerk : Professional Architect, PrArch24751285


By Heini van Niekerk, Dec 14 2018 10:12AM

This is an experiment...

If I die…then it was in good faith in the name of experimentation and education. Why will I die you might ask? Well for one I'd be experimenting with Boroughs theories and I've read a book and what seemed to be described as a rather “dull read”….turned out to be my best read so far. It contains the DNA and processes of Burroughs and his works.

The cut and paste technique (Experiment I) and the hallucinations which shapes his world and visions in many parts of this book, informs us of his solutions to changing the molecular and chemical structure of humans to improve the world. Hence Experiment II…getting high and reading it again, whilst causing a spasm to the machine as I'd be out of order for a short while...thank you very much. After all this is education on the Burroughs level.

After reading the book for the 1st time I knew I had to get onto other readings but I've done it twice again. Not because I'm as thick as a strawberry milkshake but because every time I read it there was a different reason for experiment. He’s projected idea of delivering a twisted or dystopian vision to real time users…does works by the way. He’s admitted that this technique was discovered from the process of drug use (not addiction) that he can now control without it…

If Boroughs took a clean sheet and glued the selected words on the paper, the story he’d like to express to all would be clear, you’d end up with a final product consisting of nothing more than a white sheet with a few words or sentences spread along with large amounts of white space surrounding “it”…the “word”…becoming the “object”… which is what the bourgeoisie and governments of this world aim to separate from one another as far as possible…but he goes further. He fills these blank spaces with normal words to ease the reader, only to shock them occasionally. The sea of white is there…and it only struck me when I experimented with his technique of hallucinations to write this 1st part (meaning I was high)…how else would you understand it? As I said…it only struck me when he highlighted the clue of white space or the importance of ink that should be there in the book in the first place with the following words..".the road without sound is white under the empty moon, stinging like the salt of a child’s tears sexualizing interdependence latterly contingent upon a motionless boat."

Explanation you might care to ask? ..."the road (our path) without sound (meaning irrelevant words/gibberish) is white (the colour that the ink should be, if you could “see”) under the empty moon (your head/mind)… stinging like the salt of a child’s tears (his tears)…sexualizing interdependence (the pleasure of being free) latterly contingent upon a motionless boat (meaning you won’t achieve a thing if you don’t act on the previous clues).

I will do a follow up of “The Job”, where I’d be discussing the book in more detail from my perspective but as this is architecture, were all about experimenting and learning, I have "retyped...and unglued the glued” for you to see the truth from The Job, Interviews with William S Boroughs” as Experiment I-II with the aim of telling the story of what he’d like to say. In essence I’ve taken one sentence from each page and pearl neck laced them together.

Below you can read three chapters in under a minute as a result of Experiment 1 and 2. It’s very interesting and the plot thickens in his typical satirical "straight but bent" humour writing style…more in my next article.

Prisoners of Earth, 83:108

I work for 23 Screwball Department. We got our files on all nut cases and each case is classified. We intend to destroy the police machine and all its records. To put it “country simple”, we have heard enough bullshit. “Joe” may my flesh rot if this department knows you are talking about it…bleeding profusely he was carried into the lobby where he described his assailant as the “Lamb of god from the beast 666” after three Martinis. It’s the normal process of conditioning people to believe what they’re told.

I sit down in my room and open the window and light a sigarette. There is a young woman who lives in the chateau above the garden. The new way of thinking is the thinking you would do if you didn’t have to think about any of the things you ordinarily think about if you had no work to do nothing to be afraid of no plans to make. The training is often interrupted with nausea, a springlike pressure around the forehead, cold shivers alternating with hot flashes. “Well chicken I think you’ll live”.

I look out the glass wall and that post card fjord explodes in my brain green and pink and blue. The brain artefact has a built-in mechanism that prevents it from solving problems and that mechanism is The Word. Dualism is the whole basis of this planet – good and evil, communism, fascism, man, woman, etc. As soon as you have a formula like that, of course you’re going to have trouble. Any life form that gets stuck with outmoded built-in artefact is doomed to destruction. So are the Hippies…chickens can live so without the head nourished from tubers and guerrillas will destroy every vestige of the old economy based on mass production and consumption. The American dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. An essential feature of the Western control machine is to make language as non-pictorial as possible, to separate words as far as possible from objects or observable processes.

The jewel striking twelve concentrates of otherness with orifices bitter perspectives. The road without sound is white under the empty moon, stinging like the salt of a child’s tears sexualizing interdependence latterly contingent upon a motionless boat. The words used have no referent; they absolutely intend to start a nuclear war.

Three Frogs, 111:122

Words are loaded with hidden meanings…we don’t know enough to know. The most prudish people and “respectable” people who regards Bosch’s paintings with unconscious admiration; no one could really take them seriously anymore: Dust of the dead gods “Killed While Cleaning Their Guns”…

I don’t dwell on torture, woman are a perfect curse. Normally such information lies dormant, but in Oxford experiments it has been activated. I think that the whole anti-sex orientation of our society is basically manipulated by female interest, what we call love, but rather what we might call recognition. The whole human race is crippled in childhood. Nations and countries is merely an extension of the biological family and I don’t see the need for family at all. Now, if you could produce artificial beings, you could produce them at a reasonable age, and you won’t have all this infancy.

Yes, it seems to me very desirable. You can almost judge the importance of a discovery by the efforts made to suppress it…the apomorphine treatment for drug addiction in another.

4 Academy 23, 125:137

Oh, unquestionably the most important point of control is inside the soft machine. Children should be paid to go to school and drugs are one of the ideal power devices. Western authorities won’t come out into the open with what they’re doing but they can keep young people under continual threat of police search or action.

I think it is necessary to establish the difference between different drugs and hallucinogens, between addicting and non-addicting drugs, perhaps altering the molecular structure of certain cell groups in the body. Under the influence of mescaline, I have had the experience of seeing a painting for the first time, and found later that I could see the painting without using the drugs. Recently, a Cambridge dentist has extracted teeth with no other anaesthetic than music through headphones….anxiety is treatment of the consciousness-expanding drugs to normalize metabolism.

Cannabis serves as a guide to psychic areas which can then be re-entered without. I am able to achieve the same results for cut-ups and fold-ins of my texts to thin in association blocks, instead of words. Thus youth is deliberately led into these dead-end channels which are then made criminal by act of Congress or Parliament. The press says that cannabis is habit-forming. It’s not habit-forming and no ill effects resulting from its use have ever been established. Just tell the machine to enforce all laws by whatever means and the machine will sweep us to the disaster of a computerised police state.

To bring drugs into perspective I would suggest that academies be established where young people will learn to get really high…high as the Zen master is high when his arrow hits a target in the dark…high as a karate master is high when he smashes a brick wall with his fist. . .high. . . weightless. . .in space.

This is the space age.

Time to look beyond this rotten radioactive planet.

By Heini van Niekerk, Nov 1 2011 07:00AM

French novelist and critic Marcel Proust best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu once said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

For me the voyage is only one ingredient to an encounter and encounters are key to remember and returning an experience or for that matter storing it as a memory. Everything in live will always be an encounter. The ethics of an encounter helps us to understand something central to the analytical experience be it a city or not. The potential for reaching out and across to the other. The potential for reaching out from Las Vegas and across to Dubai as a comparison.

I’m sure we can draw many similarities between Las Vegas and Dubai but these superficial similarities will be as unreal as the symbol itself. Instead of drawing on physical properties I believe we have to look at it from psychoanalysis point of view in terms of a sense of place and why. We need new eyes as all that seems real is nothing but a hyper reality.

Prior to its physical existence the urban plan dictated Dubai to be a super city. Today it currently holds true to exactly that. The world largest artificial islands (seen from space) in addition to the largest waterfront, tallest hotel (Burj al-Arab hotel), the first underwater hotel, towers three times the height of the Empire State Building in essence to clear all competition in order to hold the title of the tallest structure in the world. Currently, the Walt Disney World Resort is the number one tourist destination in the world. Once fully completed, Dubai land will easily take over that title since it is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors daily. Something the Greeks aspired to but have failed miserably lately.

Learning from Las Vegas, 1972 under “Directional Space” Las Vegas was diagrammatically represented with pure images highlighting Las Vegas elements as” space, scale, speed and symbol “all of which forms part of the modernised American dream at the time. Although Las Vegas happened a lot quicker than most other new cities it was the idea beyond “encounter” and commodity that drove the energy within these desert sands. If you look at Las Vegas today it’s only the thriving areas that are still driven by the original idea of an encounter which remains successful. Everything else have been faded in grey, now displaying a huge neon sign to highlight it’s understated iconic status which never was never fully realised to these urban parts to a true symbol or myth within the grain.

The Las Vegas urban grain consist of grids with several civic buildings in it and therefore contain the object/icon building which displays a jewel/neon like quality in contrast with the city backdrop, meaning its framing the vista in addition to the object building terminating the vista at a pedestrian level. This was one of the points highlighted in Complexity and Contradiction.

Dubai’s grain is treated as a serious of jewels, in contrast to Las Vegas. This makes the city layers almost impossible to read and the building fragments become clusters of what a super master plan demands rather than what a city demands.

Las Vegas cannot be compared to Dubai. They’re not the same. How can one love a place with no history? Dubai is an instant super which becomes an imperative for destabilising illusions of understanding, mastery and the individual agency of one city obsessed with itself….the instant aiming at creating a history and overthrowing all other foundations around the globe in order to become the world’s biggest commodity. It’s selfish but driven by reasoning true to a capitalists system on every level perceivable. Then again even capitalism have become a hyper reality for destabilising illusions of society.

Dubai left me with the sensation of having “your spine plugged into” a second hand account of yet another grand finale performance by a bully. Performances that typically involve an exposition of vulnerability to question what reality is? Where Las Vegas forges a meaning from their anecdotes which sees a conjunction between the analytic session and the theatrical performance with foregrounds of what society coins in terms of “liveliness” associated to each encounter, Dubai aim to be of a challenging and over-turning of such idealized urban forms of human history which shapes the human encounter to a capitalist encounter without remembrance or true renaissance.

By Heini van Niekerk, Oct 15 2011 05:03AM

Architects tend to bring out a more nuanced translation, allowing us to murmur before the first word. This is linked to a sense of what remains always with and yet always outside of language. Architectural Speech is always accompanied, necessarily, with the unsaid: an unsaid that is not simply nothing of silence but is rather a persistent murmur of the masses that sees it of yet no meaning or understanding.

Against the popular trend in architectural theory, fuelled by readings like Jonathan Meades, From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, Summer 2008 on Zaha Hadid. The questions are indirect and the ethics might be understood as an alien encounter, a more stringent alterity and this, in turn, raises crucial questions of what is the Zaha approach to the other ethically.

These questions are, in indirect ways, picked up through the article and is concerned with questions of relation and, specifically questions of how to conceptualise the Zaha boundary between the self and the social.

In short I suggest our constriction by the dominant concepts in modern architecture and urban form has forced us into a position where it has become all but impossible to think the relation of self and other without being trapped by seemingly common-sense notions of individuality and the naturalization of separateness that it could be suggesting. There’s a preconceived notion of architecture already formed and an armory of border concepts.

Just imagine our current timeline to be the equivalent of the mud hut era where change was needed and you might understand Zaha’s thinking for the future….and the rest, waiting for something to happen whilst sitting on the fence.

Although the beginning of Zaha’s career could be described as a paper performance. It’s exactly those paper concern experiences and sessions that made lines slip from paper to reality as a sensation of dedication and nakedness to one self. The world wonders why Zaha don’t explain her work…why would she, she’s already naked. Fragments of her soul is already laying bare in many cities across the world.

I call it nakedness as I’m again referring to the Jonathan Meades article stating “Architecture is the most public of endeavours, yet it is a smugly hermetic world.” Zaha is naked. Why does everybody need her to explain the practice to her performance? Step out of the mud hut timeline, stop being part of the audience. Allow yourself to walk into the fluorescent light, wander in its space, get absorbed by its colours and inevitably encountering a new world different from the usual.

Should Zaha been seen as a commodity. No. She’s like us, wandering through Georgian Streets, grim Noddy town cottages set in a maze of alleys…what you’re not seeing is the neon reflection on the rippling puddles.


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