Adolfo Natalini, Detail from American Notebook 2–3, SB17_DMC_CS_PG

Mickey Mouse appears in the very first pages of Natalini's American Notebook following a sketch of thoughts on a kind of Truman Show-type project. Una Vita Intera (An Entire Life) questions the boundaries between real life and representation, proposing the real-time recording of a man’s life from the moment of birth until his death. Immediately following this rehearsal of a project, Mickey circles and scouts a landscape seemingly pulled out from Supersurface (1972). Natalini offers a ‘possible explanation’ for the realisation of this sketch where Mickey for the first time inhabits a Superstudio landscape across three dimensions, at the same time introducing himself as a third dimension in the nature vs. architecture dualism that has driven Superstudio’s inquiry from the outset of their explorations. – Sophia Banou

The Drawing as Actor

Stalinallee, image A(R)

In two publications about post-war reconstruction, How should we rebuild London? and Die Stalinallee Nationales Aufbauprogramme, the planning ferment in London and Berlin becomes a performance in itself, revealed through the choice of the media and subjects which they each adopt for illustration. For London the illustrations were graphic with drawings by 'Batt', Oswald Barrett, who used drawing as a freedom to dream sentimentally about the agency of the planner. For Berlin they were photographic: Gerhard Puhlmann was able to pose his photographs with all the authority of the DDR propaganda machine at his back. Both were of course handicapped by the absence of buildings that were substantial enough to be drawn and photographed. – Niall Hobhouse


Anon Italian, Fortification study, 17c, DM 2574.1 IN SET

Each city had to be surrounded by a complex system of walls and bastions. One may be tempted therefore to think of military fortification as a purely utilitarian programme, motivated by basic needs: security, economy, stability. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries however, because these designs relied heavily on geometry, they became the symbol of ideal cities, insofar as they enclosed a barracks, an arsenal, a church and other facilities; and contrary to the current use of wooden models for civil and religious architecture, drawing became the preferred medium to convey fortifications. Drawings travelled more easily, could be made and modified more quickly, and demonstrated more clearly a closeness to research in geometry. – Basile Baudez

Drawing Matter

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