These Lines have Always Been Virtual

Space Popular's contribution to group exhibition "12 Walls - Architecture and Contemporary Ornament"  in Veszprém, Hungary exploring contemporary ornamentation with hand painted murals from 12 architects from around the world. The building is a former industrial school of Veszprém designed by Lajos Schoditsch and was empty for almost 30 years. 

LocationVeszprém, Hungary 
TypeMural, hand painted 
Year2019 October 17th - 
SPOPeopleLara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg
Organizers Paradigma Ariadné
CuratorDávid Smiló, Attila Róbert Csóka, Szabolcs Molnár, Heléna Csóka
ProductionNeopaint
Participants Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, Enorme Studio, False Mirror Office, Gyulai Levente, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Andrew Kovacs, MNPL Workshop, Giacomo Pala, Paradigma Ariadné, Space Popular, TREES, Very Good Office

These Lines have Always Been Virtual is an exercise on real-time 3D sketching, a reflection on new tools a the potential skills that may emerge from them. As opposed to the rigidity of complex software interfaces, VR sketching tools –such as TiltBrush– bring back the relationship between skill and gesture. As opposed to being proficient in navigating series of commands or in connecting wires to nodes in order to achieve form, 3D sketching relies in motion and not only goes beyond CAD but also hand drawing, extending what used to be the role of the hand to the whole body. It is precisely this reliance in motion what brings it away from the volume or the surface to focus solely on the line, as the pen or the brush did, yet turning the paper into an endless mass. Working with the line in 3D space highlights the fact the we tend to identify spaces with enclosures. This notion is challenged when we are given a brush that draws in mid-air and we desperately try to fill in surfaces -consequently making everything look like gingerbread houses. It brings about the realisation that space can be demarcated by wireframe volumes and perhaps a new nature for what constitutes buildings will emerge from this.

3D sketching also takes us away from the support of orthogonal geometry so prominent in CAD software, where even the way we look at what we are doing is translated into top|front|side views. One cannot think in plan anymore, instead it is the coordinate system of the body -with its sticks and joints- that rules geometry.
This piece takes these ideas on board, together with a consideration of the translation from digital to analogue. Digital brush-strokes are repeated by the physical paintbrush and, with it, detail is gained and lost, texture and shadows are interpreted, and geometries are altered to accommodate the new medium. The wall is painted on twice, each time in a different realm. And yet the way it is hereby presented remains virtual, as the thin layer of paint provides only the illusion of the mass it represents. All these lines have travelled through diverse mediums and, after the impressions gathered in their long journey, have finally landed in you: a virtual construction of your imagination.

From the curators 
Arts at the turn of the century were greatly influenced by two terms, motif and ornament. The achievements of this period include Lajos Schoditsch’s Industrial School (later the Elementary School of Music) or, across the street, István Medgyaszay’s Petőfi Theater, a symbol of Veszprém today. The two buildings now await renovation, and soon their histories will be even more interconnected, as the Industrial School will serve as office building for the theater. Prior to the renovation, there is an opportunity to reflect on the questions significant for Medgyaszay and the architects of his time, by investigating what ornament and decoration mean for young architects today.

In recent years, there is a novel interest in the ornament. This tendency is apparent in the international scene of architecture both in individual productions and in so-far isolated discussions. While this interest is definitely linked to the rediscovery of the Post-Modern architecture and approach, the opportunities provided by digital design tools and the latest accomplishments of the construction sector will result in completely new aspects. Departing from its original meaning, decoration is not a secondary or complementary function anymore, but an architectural quality. Many emerging architects and studios are struggling to settle with the repeatedly omitted, yet constantly resurfacing ornament.

Presenting different approaches by young collectives, the works at the exhibition examine the current roles and boundaries of the ornament, by appropriating the late Industrial School’s empty, undecorated walls. 12, to be precise.


The building is a former industrial school of Veszprém designed by Lajos Schoditsch and was empty for almost 30 years.