The Wires!!! in Seattle

So I was at Dezeen, checking if there’s been any big architecture lately (only in China), and I saw this photo:

And I assumed we were in Japan. New modernist white box building, yes. The Wires!!! in front of it, yes. Absolutely nothing said in the text about The Wires!!! But all this was happening in Seattle.

Why do I make such a fuss about The Wires!!!? It’s because the phenomenon of The Wires!!! is an extreme illustration of the matter of what is seen and what is not seen. The point about The Wires!!! is that they are literally not being seen. There they are. And the Real Photographers are definitely seeing The Wires!!! They put them centre stage. They are saying to the people who write these extraordinary pieces, about buildings with The Wires!!! all over them: Look, The Wires!!! Write something about The Wires!!! But no, the writers don’t see The Wires!!! Or if they do, their Editors are under strict orders not to see The Wires!!! They delete all mention of The Wires!!!

Cities, in particular, abound with things you are supposed to look at, and things that you are not supposed to look at. Like stage scenery that is there to be looked at, and the equipment that supports the scenery or in some way services the scenery, that you aren’t supposed to look at, or even to see. We all look at cities in this way. I do it. I still try to avoid looking at all the poles, for lighting and for signs, that sprout out of urban pavements. (Memo to self: Photo photos that put these things centre stage, in the manner of the above photo of The Wires!!!))

See also: Roof clutter.

What’s strange about the The Wires!!! phenomenon is that there is a stand-up fight going on between the people supplying the photos, and the people commentating, at Dezeen anyway, on the photos. These Dezeen writers are either forbidden to see The Wires!!!, or, even weirder, they literally do not see The Wires!!!

The above photo, and the commentary on it, is the most extreme example of this phenomenon, of The Wires!!!, that I have so far encountered.

4 thoughts on “The Wires!!! in Seattle”

  1. Indeed. I do think I notice a pattern that if I really like the rendering of a building then it won’t get built. The Helter Skelter, Spire London. And the Boomerang being only 2/3 of its originally planned height making the reality a bit squat and dumpy, whereas the original design was very elegant to my eye.

  2. I didn’t know about Spire London, which is odd considering how much exploring I have done in that area over the years. So thanks for that reference.

    I think the story goes like this. Someone publishes a really nice looking fake photo of a would-be new building. All the people who broadly favour new buildings particularly like this proposed new building. This spreads the news of its intended construction, and alerts those who oppose all new big buildings, and they get together and squash it.

    Too nice attracts too much attention for its own good, in other words. A duller building gets no publicity, and is accordingly built without opposition.

    Well, it’s a theory.

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