Justine & Juliette

a.k.a. Twisted Sisters

A story about those that sleep. . . . . .and those that dream.

To those asleep:

you get the unconscious that you deserve! You who are asleep, hypnotized by your oh-so-Freudian dreams. You expected Santa Claus, but what did you get? Juliette has arrived, not to bring gifts, but to steal your paranoid/neurotic/perverse fantasies and turn them into nightmares. Juliette and Justine have arrived and they are a mindfuck; what they inject is especially bad, because it is architectural. It has the aura of permanence, but is always-producing. It feels like the ground is constantly slipping out from underneath you-your subjective bearings are shaken to the core. Juliette and Justine talk to each other (Juliette the practical animatronics, Justine the global Cloud Computer Network), they scan and calculate, disturbing the order of the segregated landscape; smoothing it, creating a streaming architecture that mocks your striated world. Juliette uses crass processes to reconstitute raw abject matter, like your dead Pomeranian “Paris” that is buried in the backyard, into “exciting” structures to be enlivened by the multitudes (maybe children, artists, vagrants, and teachers). Juliette and Justine follow the flows of desire, liberating the machines of production from their anti-productive shackles, and producing a movement from dream to myth (for dream is to myth as private is to public); the myth of the robot invasion, the myth of anarchy. Because dreams have no power without myth. And ultimately our myth of myths belongs to Sade: if for Klossowski, the Sadean God is the God of evil deeds, then Juliette and Justine are our Sadean Godzilla: “the equality of beings is the right to make equal use of all beings; freedom is the power to subject each person to his own will and wishes.”[1] Therefore, we say, we who are the masters of these sadistic fabricators, Juliette and Justine, we designers are emphatically libertines.

Juliette and Justine is both a vicious allegory of contemporary life and a serious designing automata fueled by your mind during paradoxical sleep. Justine (the abused damsel) and Juliette (the charismatic servant), historically the children of the Marquis de Sade, are the project code names we have assigned to the actors of this scenario.[2] The team studies, measures, and predicts your dreams through their content and form, for the duration of your lifetime. Juliette stores the calculations taken in by Justine, and forms top-down logics for new architectural augmentations. Juliette is a legion of artificial animals that nomadically roam the earth (great swimmers, fast runners, and swift climbers). We have designed these beings to have working ingestion, reconstitution, secretion, ambulatory, and neural systems that are used to transmit and receive data. Juliette’s function is threefold: to capture your dreams and transmit them into Justine’s cloud framework, to receive complete blueprints from Justine, and to construct dream-driven, territorial aggregations. The aggregations appear slowly over time, and with precise care for the lives of the environments that are being altered. Since these environments are gradually, continuously evolving this project amounts to a massive, world-wide gas-lighting conspiracy for humanity.[3] At once this project delivers abject horror – a beautiful world architecturally driven by human desire.

The way that we conceive architecture today is in a calamitous state. If we are to resist, it is against commodification that we must mobilize our forces. We need architectures that think (instead of reflecting, contemplating, sitting proud; architectures that are continually becoming through rigorous research). We all need a little bit more courage. The courage to make work that is unrelentingly curious. To be a source of power, active in falsification, artificiality. A courageous spirit of research, experimentation, and power (which is the opposite of a search for knowledge or erudition, really the prerogative of the dilettante or dandy). This "experimentation" is a research method that also puts into question the structures of iterative decision-making involved in a project, to achieve a high level of precision and meaning. This is far from the decadent sort of “algorithmic” design that passes for architectural research, which at its best produces charming desktop backgrounds. This abject-critical designer is a chameleon who, purposely naive, masks style with faciality. Because this education is not found in school, we must educate ourselves; we must form many small groups of like-minded creatives. “To create is to resist!” says Deleuze.[4] But the groups must stay vigilant, so that they don't get bogged down in fantasy, becoming prisoner to themselves. We suggest that a (schizo)analytical machine be brought into play, taking into account the plurality of desiring commitments that allow the organization to operate. “The analyst is everywhere” says Guattari.[5] We must take into account the dreams, imaginaries, and myths of space. And yet the dream of psychoanalysis is not sufficient. Dreaming is not the instrument, but aspires to be a method, and it will be the most serious method in conceiving architecture.

  1. Maurice Blanchot, Lautreamont and Sade (Stanford: 2004)
  2. Marquis de Sade, “Justine” “Juliette.” (Grove Press, 1990, 1994, respectively)
  3. Patrick Hamilton, Play “Gas Light”, 1938
  4. Claire Parnet, Gilles Deleuze from A to Z (Semiotext(e), 2011)
  5. Félix Guattari, Psychanalyse et Transversalité (La Découverte, 2003)

Collaboration with James Krendel-Clark