Topological architecture


David Manley: Ambivalent Structures



Source on Facebook here.

A topological science fiction story, A Subway Named Mobius, by AJ Deutsch.

Previous blog posts on related themes:

Cold architecture.

Liminal spaces.



7 responses to this post.

  1. You’re a funny old sausage. One moment you’re posting like mad about women smiling and pretty girls and women who dress nicely, and the next you’re posting ‘topological architecture’ and ‘Ballardian topologies’. You always keep us guessing. 🙂


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on March 31, 2016 at 5:20 am

      I confuse myself.


      • I like the frequent focus on the aesthetic perspective – it’s not one that is often discussed, and there are aesthetic insights there to be gleaned.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on March 31, 2016 at 5:43 am

        When one retires one is able to pursue old interests and also to try to discover new interests and talents. I tried drawing recently, something I have never been any good at. But I thought it was worth a try. No luck. I don’t have that gift.

        And yet, oddly, I think I have a fairly good eye for visual aesthetics. A nice suit on a woman; a well-composed picture. I can take a fairly good photo. My poor late FIL was a very keen photographer, with all the gear, but he couldn’t compose a picture.

      • I did art for some time at high school and enjoyed it, but I think I suffer from the opposite problem to you – I have a bad feeling for overall image balance and rather poor control of line. When I did a lot of art at school I tried to compensate for that by doing a lot of art with small pencil strokes, a bit like pointillism. Opposite problem but same results – a poor picture!

        I’ve done a bit of art here and there since then, I rather enjoy making cartoons and caricatures and I have picked up a few standard tips and tricks here and there -some well recognised visual icons, for instance. But it’s all rather limited.

        The Ballardian art is all rather interesting because on the one hand it satisfies this liking I have for simple Platonic images – Ballardian buildings are little more than squares and spheres, none of the fancy frilly 19th century stuff – but on the other hand they look very cold and dehumanising.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on March 31, 2016 at 6:14 am

        It is a rather autistic aesthetic. It reminds me of that joke about a certain type of introvert who gets emotional about a rocket launch. Some people find all that cold concrete appealing.

        I do think that art is one of those things you have to dab away at for a long time, picking up – as you say – tips and tricks. Some kids are like that in school. They are neat kids with good fine motor skills.

        “Ballardian” in this context refers to a cold, post-industrial aesthetic. But the man himself liked the Surrealists and his writing shows that. It is very visual, with some interesting topological-almost distortions and a lot of absurdity. It would not be hard to find the surreal vision in his Vermilion Sands collection.

        In respect of poetry, I did nothing with that for decades. But I had had some interest in my teens; there is a poetry chromosome in the family; and maybe all those years of writing civil service prose didn’t hurt.

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