June: Convergence Month

I realise it’s a little late, but I declare – on behalf of The Palace of the Gorgeoisie – that June 2011 is:

CONVERGENCE MONTH

For some reason this word and idea had cropped up variously in my mind of late – and it seems like quite a positive notion, of flowing together, uniting and joining-up. Our good friend Mr Wikipedia says that it is, in fact, all sorts of things – from mathematics (which will somewhat go over my head, I fear) to net Goth Festivals (bless). The full range can be read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergence

Although reading about convergent and divergent thinking ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_and_divergent_production ), it seems I’m much more a fan of the latter…

In March, I was in Lyon (see post http://skylabstories.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/biovision-lyon/ ) for an event – and realised I’d previously read something about a brilliantly barmy museum being built there: the Musee des Confluences. I was researching a (never to come to fruition) idea about chaos theory when I heard of it. This building, at the Confluence from which it derives its name, was one of the (only) examples of attempts to render Chaos Theory architecture, though elements of it appear very often I suppose. As one architectural site put it, as the building deals with the overlap of science, society, technology, biology and ethics, ‘spaces mutate into one another via penetration, deformation, coexistence, breakdown and variability’.

Sitting on the fork of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the building seems to attempt to become the water flowing either side of it – physically and conceptually mixing together, echoing the elements in which it is sited. Perhaps there’s a subtle difference between ‘convergence’ and ‘confluence’ – but it still seemed a great physical example to kick off the monthly theme. I think it’s a brilliant and bonkers project – one that France would still have the guts to see through, even in times of ‘austerity’ (I like that about the French). Alas, it was not finished when I visited in March, but I hope to go back and see it when it is.

There’s information on the museum at the following link, and a picture follows:

http://www.museedesconfluences.fr/chantier/gb_projet.html

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