On June 13th, 2011, ‘THE CONSCIENCE OF THE EYE’…

The Conscience of the Eye, 1990

…is the obliquely titled and themed 1990 book by Richard Sennett that I just finished reading which is about the divides between inner experiences and outer lives in urban spaces through time – continuing my on-going year of ‘stewing’ on a general constellation of loosely connected ideas – an expanding series of topics – an intentional sense of direction towards a territory I’m interested in, and want to do something about – not yet sure what that is – maybe leaving the city to understand the city, in the country with friends to understand what it is like to start your own little version of a society – but here were some thoughts to chew on…

“…it is curious how the designers of parking lots, malls, and public plazas seem to be endowed with a positive genius for sterility, in the use of materials and in details, as well as in overall planning. The compulsive neutralizing of the environment is rooted in part in an old unhappiness, the fear of pleasure, which lead people to treat their surroundings as neutrally as possible. The modern urbanist is in the grip of a Protestant ethic of space.”

“The first settlers were ravaged human beings. They suffered the dual need to “get away from it all” in order to attempt to “Get control of their lives.” It was an early sign of a duality in modern society: flight from others occurs for the sake of self-mastery.”

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Author: Fritz Haeg on June 13, 2011
Category: books
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