Audio: Madeline Gins and Arakawa on an Architecture for Tentativeness



In this interview, Madeline and Arakawa explain how they set out to conceive an architecture to reinstate tentativeness in the society of organisms that person. From a series of interviews Alan Prohm conducted at the Reversible Destiny Office over three days in 2006. The topic on the day of this excerpt was procedural architecture.




Madeline: We determined we need tentativeness. More tentativeness. People are too damn sure of themselves. Too, you know, fixated on how swell they are. They should just loosen up and be more tentative.

So, we said, Ok, we’re going to try to make an architecture, a surround that will make people able to maintain tentativeness. Ok? And then we proceeded to think of what actions could make someone more tentative about his or her own self. And then we thought, well, if someone didn’t know where to step quite, they would be a little more tentative.

Arakawa: At least one reason, historically speaking, tentative makes history so mess, so sociologically and philosophically, people made … they used … like this, and made any tentativeness, any I should say, anything you can make out of abstraction, they could off awfully important part. That’s why science in the 20th Century becomes so rigid, I’m sure in the 17th Century they were fighting about it for a half century, which way to go.

Madeline: But at that time their tentativeness was marred in another way.

Arakawa: That’ s right. For example, Leonardo, tentativeness, enormous difference.

They were looking for eternal conditions. Or what they call, something forever. Anything in this world. This is 20th C. 19th C. completely corrupt. After the invention of this so stupid, so called mind, consciousness. And they completely ignored this so-called living, this organism. Know what I mean. Most important name, everything unknowable, impossible to know, spiritual, all ideas and things. That’s what this is between.   Look at that.  We are now, Madeline and I, are trying to, just every inch of this, tiniest facts, we’re trying to point out. That’s why we need like a million questions, like 12 thousand more years.

Madeline: I feel things are coming out as assertions rather than questions for me, at this moment. It might shift. …

We say at one point, perhaps it’s the second or third step, that, you konw, if you’re not sure which of the several X’s you have in mind, always opt for the one that is most helpful for getting a reversible destiny, or for putting ourselves in the position of becoming a transhuman, not just a human.

But we don’t want to take, … we don’t think we can take big steps. A lot of our work, and particularly this part, is about little steps. Little big steps. So, for example, all of these together. If you could put all of these together, in a tactically posed surround, then you’d have a pretty good shot at getting reversible destiny going. Maybe. And maybe this is not enough.

Arakawa: Hmm, not enough.

Madeline: Right? You asked us how many of the ones on your list. This is a good start. And these do come from the Mechanism of Meaning subdivisions. They do. Now, we’re not sure that we can remember which ones they come from anymore. So it would be interested if you could tell which ones. Sometimes there are these lapses.


Indirectness, and, between, direct, there is an enormous between, a couple hundred, thousand years. Because the more time goes by, less less less less less indirectness. That means…