Once upon a time, in the anime episode Gigi and the Fountain of Youth, also titled Magical Princess Minky Momo: La Ronde in my Dream, there was a king and a queen and they had a little girl named Princess Gigi. Gigi’s royal parents told her that in order to govern their world wisely she would have to learn as much as she could about people, and the best place to do that was on Earth. Once on Earth, Gigi discovers an island with a secret garden where everyone is a child. In the garden she meets Peter who controls the fountain of youth which keeps everyone young. Together Gigi and Peter learn the importance of following their dreams as they fight to keep the power of the fountain of youth from getting in the hands of an evil organization.
Real-life modern day Gigi is, of course, the uncategorizable luminous visionary poet architect physicist organism-that-persons Madeline Gins, the author of eleven books, many in collaboration with her partner Arakawa (analog to Peter in the anime story), and together they are looking for ways to, in Madeline’s words, “Save our Skins” by putting the power of the fountain of youth in our hands.
What the President Will Say and Do!!
The Mechanism of Meaning
For Example (A Critique of Never)
and most recently
Making Dying Illegal, Architecture Against Death
Madeline begins her bio: “B-b-b-b-b-orn and intends never to die.” Making Dying illegal – it sounds like an absurd proposition, doesn’t it? But then again, so did, at some point in human history, a non-flat earth, electricity, a personal computer, cloning. Gins and Arakawa are live serious about their project, and their built works include Bioscleave House–East Hampton; Site of Reversible Destiny–Yoro; Reversible Destiny Lofts–Mitaka, touted as dwellings that “boost immunity and increase longevity.”
Entering into their texts is in itself a revolutionary architectural experience. Reading them, one must make a pact with bioscleave. Bioscleave is Gins and Arakawa’s re-naming of the biosphere ‘to stress its dynamic nature.” “it is necessary,” they state,”to construct architectural works[poems] that reflect bioscleave’s intrinsic tentativeness.” Body, identity, mind respond elastically to the adventurousness of their works, which unabashedly do away with restrictive givens. Both writings and buildings are made to “invite optimistic and constructive action.” So, as to their Utopian projects, I say, suspend disbelief. Enter their “tactically posed surround.” We have nothing to lose but our mortality. To not to die? Why not? Why not indeed?