TECHNOLOGY IS THE ANSWER, BUT WHAT WAS THE QUESTION?
a reflection about Cedric Price’s Fun Palace at to Adhocracy Athens by Lorenza Baroncelli, Hans Ulrich Obrist with Simone Niquille, Vasili Saltas
“Technology is defined in the Oxford dictionary as the science of industrial art.” Cedric Price affirmed in 1966 at the beginning of his lecture entitled Technology is the answer, but what was the question?. The lecture speaks about the Fun Palace, the transdisciplinary cultural centre that Price designed in 1960 for Joan Littlewood.
The Fun Palace, which was never realised, is emblematic of our own era. It lends itself more to the choreography of 21st century time-based exhibitions than to the object- based displays of the 20th century; it fosters a more communal experience, largely free to operate outside its material limits, and ventures into other realms of human experience. In Price’s own words, “a 21st century museum will utilize calculated uncertainty and conscious incompleteness to produce a catalyst for invigorating change whilst always producing the harvest of the quiet eye”.
The contribution prepared for Adhocracy Athens is the continuation of the exhibition Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price, a stroll through a fun palace, hosted at the Swiss Pavilion within the context of the 14th Venice Biennial. In this occasion we reflected on an architecture based on time, able to integrate different formats and generate different intensities of experience and attention. The longer we worked on it and thought about it, the less ‘physical’ the exhibition concept became, so that, in the end, only Lucius’s and Cedric’s mental universes were floating in space.
For Adhocracy Athens the physical dimension of architecture and the curatorial interpretation of Price’s approach disappear, making only his words accessible by all. In the space of the exhibition, three headphones broadcast the original lecture given by Price. The images that Price projected are placed in this booklet which visitors can bring home.
To download the booklet click here: ADH_adhocracyPrice_STACK-2-LOW
To download the original track click here: Cedric Price lecture.mp3