Une fois que c'est fini...

Murphy of entschwindent und vergeht offered this great post on "cackitecture," cock-and-ball-oriented architectural design, particularly in retrofitting of older buildings (if by retrofitting we mean addition of a lumbering phallic presence obscuring the sky for those in the original space).

Aside from my general puerile view of the world, I find an odd crossover here with an "indie" computer game of sorts I've been playing, called World of Goo, which basically consists of civil engineering tasks (insofar as that includes building tenuous, drooping suspension bridges between grinding gears) but with elastic, quivering goo. Rather fascinating, as it is essentially an architectual play game, albeit one that rewards "function" over "form." But most notably here is its tendency to produce structures - in the attempt to reach points high above or simply the temptation to build implausibly large towers - that quickly resemble initially-proud-and-precarious cockitecture, until the unsteady sway leads it to tip, devolving into cackitecture's leaning shape and ultimately, falling to the ground in a grand de-detumescence collapse of broken temporary goo bonds. Case in point: an image of a tower at its tipping point moment of decline, although this isn't a very indicative example of how high and evanescent the goo-spires can get.

As I play, I am reminded again and again of Lacan's late thinking (in L'envers) on the fragility of phallic law and the gap between the phallic function/symbolic phallus (ф) and the real penis (Π), based as it is on an idealized model of a promise of stability, hardness, and permanence, a model undercut by a certain anatomical reality that rarely matches its supposed position as the guarantor of authoritative meaning-making. As he puts it, une fois que c'est fini, c'est fini. In short, phallic law is always the promise of the coming-to-be or the soon-to-return of its phantom of obscene unchanging durability.

In a somewhat different register, this has led me back to the inevitable image, which I'll let stand on its own, so to speak.