Conversation with Terence Riley, 2003

[Gonçalo Furtado] - The Exhibition The Changing of the Avant-garde, which you recently organized at MoMA-QNS´s temporary facilities, was a remarkable synthesis of the vigorous architectural creation of the post-war period. This synthesis included 173 drawings from the recently acquired Howard Gilman Collection as well as 16 other drawings that already existed in the MoMA archives. In what way does this exhibition follow the historical sequence of MoMA Architecture exhibitions?
[Terence Riley] - We try to balance our program between the presentation of new works by contemporary architects and historical retrospectives on modern topics, particularly those that have relevance for present day such as the Changing of the Avant-garde. We don´t normally carry out historical research for the sake of research alone.
[Gonçalo Furtado] - It is interesting to notice that the third, and last, zone of the exhibition displayed the project Generator, by Cedric Price, which is a flexible system of the generation of ideas that highlights many of the aspects that characterize today´s architectural production (ephemeraleness, conceptualization, imagetics etc) On the other hand, it is based on communication technologies, which together with biotechnologies that interested the megaestructuralists constitute the two main vectores of contemporary scientific development. I believe that Cedric Price hasn´t received enough attention, despite his highly lucid and visionary perceptiveness. DO you agree?
[Terence Riley} - I agree that Price is vastly under-appreciated but I think this will change. I was happy to hear that ... the CCA bought his archives and that architects of a younger generation such as Abalos and Herreros have been writing about him. Price does brifge the gap between the megaestructure and the post-modern. If you look at Potteries Think Belt and the Generator project, it appears to me that Price was the first to realize, however crudely it might seem now, that the only megaestructure that would be built would be the World Wide Web. This is, of course, a parallel development to the shift between the Giedion´s machines and Eisenstein´s montage of atrractions. We are, of course, still in that transition. As Calvino said, ´the heavy machines still exist, they obey the commands of weightless bits´."

Gonçalo Furtado (conversation with Terence Riley), "Mediatization and Vanguard: Conversation with Terence Riley",[W]Art, N.1, Oporto 2003, pp. 97-103 and 179-181.

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