Kazys's blog at the Evil Studio 2009


This is my blog for the evil studio I am teaching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Dec 12


I’m sorry.
Dec 02

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I’m sorry.

For Caren. By Roger Dean.
Dec 02

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For Caren. By Roger Dean.

Dec 02

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It’s been over a year since Obama was elected and while its an immense relief to be rid of the awful regime that laid waste to this country for eight years, the disappointment about the current administration is starting to set in. I’ve been cautious from day one since I remember just how stupid the Clinton administration really was and observed that during the election Obama never offered compelling policies to match his oratory.

Soon, my suspicions were confirmed as Obama began to hire deeply questionable figures to key positions in the administration. Of these, I suspect that chief economic adviser Larry Summers will go down in history as leading a failed economic policy that prolongs a stock market bubble that prevents the economy from having a strong enough correction early on, thus leading to a much worse recession later.

It’s hard to concoct a character as flawed as Summers for this position. I’ve already talked about Summers’s comic misspeak “We are all Friedmanites now,” but ran into an article the other day at Seeking Alpha that described how, as President of Harvard University, he ignored warnings about risky financial investments and, to his complete discredit, marched it even further down that path, ultimately resulting in a staggering $1.8 billion loss for the university.

Maybe he’s going to outdo himself this time?

Dec 02


Union Carbide Headquarters
Dec 02

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Union Carbide Headquarters

Dec 02

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Build an Indexhibit Site, Free



Since many of the students in my network culture class are building Web sites using indexhibit, I thought I’d figure out how to create such a site and post some rudimentary instructions on how to do it. Here’s what I came up with.

It took me 20 minutes to set up a site (kazys.99k.org) in indexhibit as follows.

Download indexhibit
Read the readme

Sign up for free web hosting at zymic.com

Create a free site

Unpack indexhibit archive. Upload contents of that folder using ftp program (like fetch on the mac) to the root directory of the site.

Change permissions for ‘files’, ‘gimgs’ and ‘ndxz-studio/config’ to 777 (could be done before file upload, but also can be done upon file upload)

Create a mysql database and user (you don’t have to put anything in the database, just create one, together with a user)

Run install.php (see readme) and input the name of the database, mysql user, and password you created.

You’re done or if you want, purchase a custom domain name at namecheap.com or godaddy.com or just use one of the extensions provided (for example 99k.org).

Now I’ve done indexhibit installs before and I know what I’m doing with this sort of thing but none of this is terribly difficult and, best of all, it’s free.

If anybody creates sites based on these instructions, I’d love to hear about it. Of course, I can’t offer any support, but if anyone wants to fine tune the install instructions, comment away.

Nov 26

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WIlliam S. Burroughs, A Thanskgiving Prayer, 1986

Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.

For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind the
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories— all right let’s see
your arms!

You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

Nov 23


Nov 23

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But Today We Collect Ads

For Eric and Michael,

In their famous passage, “Gropius wrote a book on grain silos, Le Corbusier one on aeroplanes, and Charlotte Perriand brought a new object to the office every morning; but today we collect ads,” Alison and Peter Smithson draw the allusion to Gropius, Corbusier, and Perriand to suggest that research into Pop culture is only a stimulus for architectural design. For the Smithsons, Pop was not to be taken at face value, it was to be questioned: “Today we are being edged out of our traditional role by the new phenomenon of the popular arts—advertising… We must somehow get the measure of this intervention if we are to match its powerful and exciting impulses with our own.” (Peter and Alison Smithson, But Today We Collect Ads, Ark, no. 18 (November 1956)).

See also my response, But Today We Don’t Collect Ads.

Nov 23

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Lecture @ Columbia Planning 11/24


I am lecturing tomorrow on Complexity and Contradiction in Infrastructure in the Lectures in Planning Series of the Program in Urban Planning at Columbia University, starting at 1pm, 114 Avery Hall.

Nov 15

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Would this work for future studios?

It seems like the Tumblr experiment has worked pretty well, but I have some issues with it.

  1. the lack of comments
  2. the difficult of aggregating all your posts together so that critics could see everyone’s Tumblr logs on one page
  3. the off-site presence (it’d be great to have it at the networkarchitecturelab.org site or at the gsapp site…the latter is less likely)

Would you mind taking a look at this site and letting me know what you think?


This is just a start (it’s not my site) and would require slideshows and some other features to be usable for studio.

Do you have any reactions? Don’t worry about the overall look. Much of that would change.

Nov 14


“a medium-sized dog would consume 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food. At its pre-dried weight, that equates to 450 grams of fresh meat and 260 grams of cereal. That means that over the course of a year, Fido wolfs down about 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals. It takes 43.3 square metres of land to generate 1 kilogram of chicken per year - far more for beef and lamb - and 13.4 square metres to generate a kilogram of cereals. So that gives him a footprint of 0.84 hectares. For a big dog such as a German shepherd, the figure is 1.1 hectares. Meanwhile, an SUV - the Vales used a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser in their comparison - driven a modest 10,000 kilometres a year, uses 55.1 gigajoules, which includes the energy required both to fuel and to build it. One hectare of land can produce approximately 135 gigajoules of energy per year, so the Land Cruiser’s eco-footprint is about 0.41 hectares - less than half that of a medium-sized dog.”

Nov 13


Nov 11


“This pair of pigs tattooed with Louis Vuitton logos will be on exhibition Monday at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair together with eight other tattooed pigs. They’re the unconventional works of Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye who just sold a tattoo on the back of a Swiss man which depicts the Virgin Mary with a lifeless skull (click for image) for a record €150,000.”

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