Constructed Thought

Argonautics

ARGONAUTICS, PHILOSOPHICAL FLANERIES
Remo Guidieri
Edited by Kim Shkapich

The term Argonautics refers to the rhythms of breath and the rhythms of thought which so closely resemble the rhythms of the sea.—Ilya Bernstein

Argonautics offers the reader eleven scenes from the drama of Modernity. Among the subjects of his philosophical chronicle are personalities and places, and ideas of contemporary culture: the Mediterranean; Malinowski and anthropology; Conrad’sHeart of Darkness; Shipwrecks; Naples; Marcel Broothaers; Orson Welles; Mexico and Paris. The pedagogical ambition of these essays are meant to establish and partially focus on a trend concerning the duality between nomadic and sedentary manners of assuming time, space, memory, strength, and destiny.

Guidieri teaches anthropology and aesthetics at Nanterre University and Ecoles des Beaux Arts in Paris; he is co-founder of Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, and is the author of numerous books published in France. Argonautics is Guidieri’s first book published in the United States. He is a visiting International Professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

Designed by Kim Shkapich.

NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 1997.
184 PAGES, 7 1/4 X 9 1/4
SOFTCOVER, $15.00

 

A Word About Words

A WORD ABOUT WORDS
Václav Havel with illustrations by Jirí Kolár

Alongside words that electrify society with their freedom and truthfulness, we have words that mesmerize, deceive, inflame, madden, beguile, words that are harmful—lethal even.—Václav Havel

Originally delivered as an address to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1989, during the collapse of communist Europe, Havel’s text A Word About Words is a reflection on the relation between words and freedom and the mysteries that words have woven in human history. For Havel, words are mysterious, ambiguous, and ambivalent and their duplicity is such, that, while they could signify "the first glimmer of hope for a Europe without cold wars or iron curtains," as Havel writes, they also provided a precondition for the removal of freedom. One of the most important writers of the late twentieth century, Havel knew the binds of language well, having been jailed as a dissident for his drafting of Charter 77 (1977), the founding document of political resistance in Czechoslovakia. Twenty-six years later, the Chamber of Deputies elected Václav Havel to be the first President of the independent Czech Republic.

Havel’s text is accompanied by 18 full-color illustrations by the Czech poet and artist Jirí Kolár. Using a fragment of Gutenburg’s 42-line Bible as a point of graphic departure, these illustrations show Kolár‘s fascination with the word as both a means of poetic expression and a graphic image. As John Hejduk acknowledges in his afterword, Václav Havel has always given his words freely with an awareness that, as Havel writes, "all the important events in the real world—whether admirable or monstrous—always have their prologue in the realm of words."

Introduction, Jirí Setlík. Afterword, John Hejduk.
Co-designed by George Sadek and Charles Nix.

NY: THE COOPER UNION PRESS,
PUBLISHED IN COOPERATION WITH THE V. HAVEL SECRETARIAT IN PRAGUE, 1992.
62 PAGES, 11 1/2 X 17.
18 ILLUSTRATIONS, ALL IN COLOR.
HARDCOVER, $200.00. LIMITED EDITION OF 500 COPIES.
TO PURCHASE THIS BOOK, PLEASE CONTACT THE CENTER FOR DESIGN AND TYPOGRAPHY, 212.353.4210.

 

All Yours

ALL YOURS
Cid Corman

Cid Corman personifies the enduring place of prophets, who spread knowledge and advance understanding. Through his penetrating poetry, this celebrated, creative spirit adumbrates light and exemplifies illumination.–John Jay Iselin

Fifty-seven poems by the preeminent poet published to celebrate his return visit to America as the first Feltman Fellow in the Illumination Series; Fukuoji to Cooper Union, August–November 1991.

Designed by Kim Shkapich.

NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 1991.
72 PAGES, 6 X 9
SOFTCOVER IN WRAPS, $15.00

 

Adventures of the Symbol

ADVENTURES OF THE SYMBOL:
MAGIC FOR THE SAKE OF ART

Francesco Pellizzi

Although no one has succeeded in defining culture as such—there are more than four hundred definitions, no two corresponding, in Clyde Kluckhohn’s classic anthology—Pellizzi is among the few researchers whose imaginative approaches have added fresh insights to its study.–Dore Ashton.

With an approach that hovers between the fields of anthropology and art history, Francesco Pellizzi questions the status of the Modern "art" object, asking us to consider its links to the enigmatic products of Primitive peoples. This essay discusses the role and meaning of symbolism and the issues of representation to discern the underlying attitudes that lead to artistic ‘appropriations.’

Presented as a lecture on constructed thought in the Great Hall of The Cooper Union in December 1986. Produced by The Cooper Union Center for Design & Typography, George Sadek, Director.

NY: THE IRWIN S. CHANIN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE OF THE COOPER UNION, 1986.
20 PAGES, 6 X 11
PAMPHLET, $5.00

 

Solitary Travelers

SOLITARY TRAVELERS

In the Spring of 1977, under the auspices of the Mellon Professorship, John Ashbery, poet; Jay Fellows, literary critic; Robert Freeman, filmmaker; John Hawkes, novelist and playwright; Aldo Rossi, architect; and Joseph Rykwert, historian were invited to the fifth year studios of the architectural school of The Cooper Union. The purpose was general: to make the school a crossroads where the maker and his work were no longer heroically apart but where the guest and student, in company, could share and sense the affinities of each other’s craft.

This book is a collage of thought containing eleven Poems by Ashbery, a labyrinthine text by Jay Fellows on John Ruskin, stills from Secret World by Robert Freeman, a story by John Hawkes and essays by Aldo Rossi and Joseph Rykwert. The reader may make a whole fabric of these pieces, or may remember these encounters, chance or chosen, as a necessary experience—something is always there for the eye that listens.

Preface by John F. White. Introduction by Sean Sculley. Afterword by John Hejduk.
Designed by Janet Gold and Tom Kluepfel.

NY: THE COOPER UNION SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, 1980.
VOLUME 1, 118 PAGES; VOLUME 2, 38 ILLUSTRATIONS, 6 1/2 X 12
SOFTCOVER IN WRAPS, SLIPCASED. $20.00

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.