Troy – digital ornament first writing



  1. I enjoyed the way you labeled the ornamentation of early skyscrapers as the application of a human scale to previously unseen gargantuan forms. Throughout the entire paper I was looking forward toward your views of the period now labeled as post-modernism, as it is a very recent reminder of purely aesthetic ornamentation. During its popular period in American architecture, post-modernism was labeled as representing our melting pot culture, playful combination and exaggeration of previous architectural styles. It was meant to represent American culture in its time, and its projects are usually viewed as blights in our cities today. Is this rating of failure so extreme because of its relevance to such a recent culture? Is it because of the daily reminders it has left behind in many urban American street-scapes?

  2. I appreciate the suggestion that decisions in ornamentation are a product of a particular context, and as such, difficult to truly understand from the outside looking in.

    Near the end of the essay, you mention Duchamp’s “Fountain” as an illustration of industrial ornament. Duchamp’s major contribution to art is one of making palpable this change in context. By rendering this utilitarian toilette functionless, he declared it autonomous, a sculpture worthy of the tag of “art”.

    I wonder if by virtue of these new technologies, ornamentation can find some medium between superfluous and solely functionally economic?