SD video, 4:30 min, 2004
The ruler is the symbol of the new illiteracy. Today we live in a chaos of straight lines, in a jungle of straight lines. If you do not believe this, take the trouble to count the straight lines which surround you. Then you will understand, for you will never finish counting. Not all that long ago, possession of the straight line was a privilege of royalty, the wealthy, and the clever. Today every idiot carries millions of straight lines around in his pockets. When rust sets in on a razor blade, when a wall starts to get mouldy, when moss grows in a corner of a room, rounding its geometric angles, we should be glad, because, together with the microbes and fungi, life is moving into the house, and through this process we can witness architectural changes from which we have much to learn.
Adapted from The Mould Manifesto, Hundertwasser, 1958
The script derives from Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the Viennese artist and architect who adopted Aotearoa as his second home and left as his major memorial a glorious public lavatory in the Northland town of Kawakawa. Let the buildings collapse [he says]… let the human sacrifice occur, rather than suffer the moral uninhabitability of modernist utilitarian architecture. Better mould than straight lines. The video describes a fantastic architecture – a utopian minaret built from a radio antennae, oriental bronze pots, poured-glaze ceramics, bric-à-brac. A fantastic miniature urban scape: rich blacks, sleek glazes, a fleshy, fruity pink pear-shaped gourd…
From Cities at the Edge of Time, Sean Cubitt, 2005