Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Architecture of Inception: Combat Archaeologies

Combat Archaeology

In a discussion of the methods he laid out in his book, The Archaeology of Knowledge, the French philosopher Michel Foucault admitted:

A nightmare has haunted me me since my childhood: I am looking at a text that I can't read, or only a tiny part of it is decipherable. I pretend to read it, aware that I am inventing; then suddenly the text is completely scrambled, I can no longer read anything or even invent it, my throat tightens and I wake up. 
I can't read in my dreams, words are always garbled, but I don't experience the confusion as a nightmare - it is always a fun discovery that makes me aware that I am sleeping. But then, Foucault was a writer, and I'm a sculptor. Tellingly my most crushing childhood nightmare was nothing more than disassociated shapes and colors. The horror came because there was something monstrous about the scale of things - as if you were to look down at your fingernail and suddenly realize it was a mile thick. Christopher Nolan's Inception seems to occupy the territory that precedes the horror (both mine and Foucault's). Nolan is using the logic of dreams to build his narrative, more than their expressions. In the film dreams are deeply constructed spaces - they are architecture. The architecture of the film is stacked and collapsed layers of logic.

In his book, Farewell to an Idea, the art historian T.J. Clark describes modernism as a "holocaust":
That already the modernist past is a ruin, the logic of whose architecture we do not remotely grasp. This  has not happened, in my view, because we have entered a new age. That is not what my book title mean. On the contrary, it is just because the "modernity" which modernism prophesied has finally arrived that the forms of representation it originally gave rise to are now unreadable.
This ruinous present, what Clark calls "modernity's triumph" is the moment in which Inception takes place  - modernism is this film's antiquity. It tunnels down into  the  layers of logic which we can no longer grasp. Nolan drills into that logic with the carelessness of a thief - he plunders modernism like one of Ken MacLeod's Combat Archaeologists. Doing so means that he plunders the logic of modern story telling, but also the logic of the places that give those stories meaning.

Shel Silverstein's Jimmy Jett, David Cronenberg's Videodrome

As an adult I have kept TV at arms length, because as a child I was a full blown Jimmy Jet. I have never learned to self moderate my intake - I can't carry on a conversation in a bar if I am facing the TV, or leave the house if there is a car chase on the news. I am easily lost to the spectacle. A few years ago a friend updated his home entertainment center and gave me his giant analog TV and an XBox. Because the TV was  no longer able to receive digital signals I was able to take it without fear of disrupting the rest of my life. I have never been a gamer, so I assumed I was safe from the XBox's charms as well. Along with the console, my friend thoughtfully tucked a copy of game Halo - so I would have something to play - it proved to be too awesome for this Jimmy Jet to resist.

Halo vs Inception 

At first Halo and I just flirted. I would come home late from a  party and I would turn it on, keep myself awake while I drank my glass of water (or on more desperate occasions - salt water). I was terrible at the game but I really liked looking around at the architecture. Strange massively over built concrete towers dotting sunlit landscapes. I haven't played video games habitually since the earliest hours of video arcades, but I have watched from a distance as video games progressed - every once in a while dipping in and binging on game play (Myst and Katamari Damaci each shaved a month off waking my life). Until I was given Halo however, I have never been tempted by first person shooter games. This was in part aesthetic.  The general consensus is that the percentage of our built environment that architects are directly responsible for is quite low. The estimates vary depending on who you ask (2% is common, but almost certainly wrong, 28% seems like an honest appraisal), and where in the world you're asking about. For a long time first person shooters were a developing world in which it seemed generous  to attribute 2% of game spaces to an architect's vision. Clearly more energy was being spent on the engines that controlled the "physics" of those games, they always seemed to take place in mazes of dreary vernacular of institutional hallways filled with rotting zombies. No thank you, too depressing. 
Holo vs Inception 

Halo was different - the built spaces screams of skilled architects set free from all limitations. The modernist form giver Le Corbusier dreamed of an architecture of total design as embodied for him by steam ships - everything from the smoke stacks to light switches and flatware were designed as if they sprang all at once from a single mind. It is hard to imagine Corb would not have coveted the total freedom and control accorded architects who design for digital end use. Sweetening the pot further (for me the gamer, but for prospective architects as well I imagine), this is greenfield architecture on a scale Frank Lloyd Wright could not have hoped to imagine. 
In Halo you're outside a lot of the time, the sky is a bright airy blue. The game's levels are bounded by great cliff walls and threaded by streams. The structures themselves are militarized, falling somewhere between visionary Futurism and full blown Heinlein Brutalism. By the time it was necessary to go inside and kill zombies (it seems to be an unavoidable trope of the genre), I was already hopelessly hooked. As it turns out even the corridor-cleaning duties were made enjoyable in this game because the interiors were expansive, varied, and seeing them was well worth fighting shambling crowds of bloated popping zombies (really gross). Exploring the architecture of Halo was not just a matter of navigating and puzzling out the challenges of each successive level however, it also required hours, days and finally weeks for me to simply master the game's unique interface
An architectural interior from Halo and a paradoxical architectural space within Inception

I enjoyed the challenge of learning how to play the game, there was however an aspect to mastering that interface that I found more than a little disturbing. In Halo you control your character's movement through the game environment. In addition you also move your characters head - using an independent controller that allows you to pan 360 degrees from any given position. The thing is there was something unnatural about the perspective. It was subtle, but very disorientating to a non-gamer. When I first began to play it even made me a little nauseous. Eventually I acclimated, I was able to successfully project my point of view onto the tilting perspective of the game, but once I did the weirdness of that view point began to frame my dream life. I wouldn't dream about Halo, I would dream about the sorts of things I always dream about - high school, falling, my everyday life, whatever - but I would dream in Halo mode. Now in my dreams, I could move my  head, but my eyes were locked in place. These first person shooter dreams were dizzying and creepy. I would wake up feeling my psyche had been violated, infected by the game. It is impossible to imagine that after generations of movie going, TV watching and now video game playing, that modern audience's dreams haven't been similarly (if more gradually, and more profoundly) reframed and reshaped.
Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971),  telling moment within Inception

In Nolan's film the deepest level of dreaming is described as "limbo," an "unconstructed" chaos; but when we finally visit Inception's limbo, the reality is very much at odds with that description. It is more like limbo as Dante describes it in the Divine Comedy. For its time (early 1300s), Dante's was a relatively generous vision of limbo. In addition to the orthodox understanding as a place for the souls of unbaptised infants (bummer), Dante peopled limbo with the souls of virtuous nonbelievers - philosophers and poets. Most crucially he describes it as a city ringed by seven walls and entered through seven gates, that is a strikingly beautiful and orderly image of a city. And unlike the violence and humiliations of the rest of the Inferno (limbo is the first ring of hell) this liminal territory is a beautiful place - more perfect than any city on earth. Dante imagined it as the highest order man could achieve without God, dense with the rational authority of the ancients. But Dante was a Christian, and he believed that no matter how virtuous, these thinkers were damned, so his limbo is also subdued and deeply sad. 
Le Corbusier and his 1925 Plan Voisin to rebuild the downtown core of Paris

Nolan's limbo is equally sad. It is a place the main character, Dom Cobb played by Leonardo DiCaprio, had occupied for happily for 50 years with his wife Mal, but it is also a place he came to realize was unreal - missing the perfection and imperfection; the contradictions and complexity of the real world. We learn that Cobb was once a great dream architect, but can no longer trust himself to build and is left to make his way as an Extractor, an idea thief. Together he and Mal had built a seemingly endless grid of Cartesian Skyscrapers - a modernist Utopia. Collapsing the places they loved from their childhoods, the two constructed a memory palace within this seemingly endless Plan Voisin. The building where they shared their first apartment is butted against the rural French farm house where Mal grew up, which in turn is next door to a modernist tower ("We always wanted to live in a building like this" Cobb explains) that impossibly houses the interior of the Craftsman bungalow in LA where the couple moved to raise their children. A single neighborhood is made to house the combine geography of two life times. (A completely understandable fantasy coming from a director who grew up going back and forth between London and Chicago and now lives in LA.)
Dante and Virgil, Ariadne and Dom Cobb

For most of Inception the characters inhabit urban spaces familiar to audiences of spy movies and heist films. A high rise rooftop in Tokyo, a meet up at a Parisian sidewalk cafe, a foot chase through an African favela and a concussive gun battle in downtown LA. All this feel torn out of recent blockbusters, but some of the funnest dreams do as well. (I have a great James Bond dream that I really like having.) Built just above the bedrock of  Cobb's modernist utopia are the levels of shared dream space designed by the dream architects for task of extraction. Unlike the rest of the film, these are fortified fantasy spaces. The logic being that the mind puts things it wants to protect in safe places, giving the thieves an easy target to find. The film opens within one such space: a Japanese castle. The penultimate action sequence takes place within another: an Alpine bunker complex - although by then the goal is no longer extraction, but instead to plant an idea - inception - for whatever reason the need for fortification remains. 
Sir Thomas More, Utopia Christopher Nolan on set outside a Japenese Keep

Both these spaces feel infected by video games in exactly the way my dreams were. Unlike many recent blockbusters where the whole film feels like an ad for a video game, Inception uses the architecture but also the logic of games as narrative devices that would be impossible to contain within a video game. In a recent interview, Nolan jokes that his "interest in the mind" is pretty straight forward: "I've lived in one my whole life" he answers. The mind in this film is more than just a place however, it is a built environment - one that is a lot like video game. We are told that shared dreaming requires an architect to design the "levels" that the subject populates with "projections." Ellen Page's character, a precocious architecture student recruited by the world weary Cobb, immediately wants to know how the "physics" work and then shows us her talent, not by designing something novel, but instead by folding the city of Paris onto itself, tearing its geography apart and reassembling it.
Guy Debord, Psychogeographic guide of Paris (1955) Inception Psychogeographic  Paris

For a time architecture provided locations within which to set film; think Carry Grant in North by Northwest (1959) backdropped by the spectacle of the still-fresh wonder of the UN building (1952). Or Audry Hepburn moving through the Midtown wonders of 1960s New York in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The early modernist architect Frank Lloyd-Wright imagined architecture as the Master Art - containing within its realm of authority all other applied arts. Philip Johnson dismissed Wright as "the greatest architect of the ninetieth century," and truly the idea of architecture as a Master Art is an idea that belongs to a nascent modernism. The fuss of stained glass and carved modelings was shed by the International Style architects Johnson championed. The Bauhaus of Walter Gropius, as well as other practitioners and theorists central to Johnson's concept of the International Style shared a similar view of architecture's relationship to the applied arts however (Fine Art was a special case, floating autonomous within modernism's white walls). If that exact concept did not survive into the flowering of High Modernism in the Post War years, that patronizing attitude did. 
Le Corbusier, Plan Voisin (1925); Cobb and Mal plotting their own Utopia

Cobb explains that he and his wife Mal spent 50 years within the atemporal nonplace of Inception's limbo, the two of them building-up and building-in an entire urban environment from scratch. This nicely echoes the rise and fall of modernist architecture which began in the 1920's with Utopian master plans and manifestos that promised to rebuild the world's cities using rational principals, only to collapse in on itself in the early 1970s. Those models and rules might have remained harmless maps like the political geography proposed by Sir/St. Thomas More, or the engravings of Phalansteries produced by Fourier and his followers, but the twin disasters of the the Great Depression and World War Two created both a need and a desire for exactly what the modernists were proposing - to build whole cities from scratch and to rebuild the irrational old cities that had been the birth place of the suicidal chaos of economic and nationalist madness that had laid waste to the supposedly modern world. The modernists promised to build according to a logic that would bring an end to social disorder.
Pruitt Igoe Vs Cobb's limbo

In the aftermath of the war Europe was in ruin. Millions of people were displaced and needed to be housed fast. The industrial building techniques co-opted by the modernists were harnessed to the job of creating high-density residential buildings - it was an idea who's time had come. Compounding that need was desire, and after decades of living with worn and spoiled things there was a hunger for The New. Unfortunately the overwhelming success of steel i-beam and cement slab construction, and the radical new look of the design gave God-like credibility to a whole host of harebrained ideas. The modernists' fetish for isolating residential activity from commercial activity killed the downtown cores of cities around the globe - the creative engines at the heart of urban economies and social life were snuffed out in the name of rationalism. Their ringed superhighways further cut cities apart; isolated neighborhoods became incubators for hardcore criminal activity. Waterways, likewise cutoff and forgotten, were reduced to little more than open sewers. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River caught fire. In the 1970s Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, came close to being pronounced dead. Nolan's vision of pancaking towers tumbling into in industrial sea gets it exactly right.
The implosion of Pruitt Igoe and the rotting debise of Cobb's Utiopia

I am deeply suspicious of the politics behind the hand that points at the implosion of Pruitt-Igoe as the signal event marks the end of the modernist architects' urbanist program. The finger that points there feels too much a part of the same reactionary fist that rose up and set itself to undoing the social and material gains of the New Deal and the Great Society. The housing projects built in the 1950s and 60s are used as examples of the hubris of social engineering. I am well enough acquainted with similar efforts in Chicago and New York to feel strongly that housing the poor with dignity is a worthy enterprise for a modern state and shouldn't be undone on account of early missteps (no matter how massive). If I were to point at the the change I would point to "modernism's triumph," it was the hubris that was most ruinous.  A more accurate signal event would be the construction of the four then-tallest buildings in the world: The John Hancock Center (1968), the World Trade Towers (1971-2), and finally The Sears Tower (1974). This at a time when the downtown core of Paris, which had survived WWII unscathed, had been transformed to such a degree (a full third of the old city had been demolished and rebuilt by the modernists) that one critic called it "a city only an American could love."
Ferris Wheel sets from 2001 and Inception

More than any building project the hubris of that moment is film that most perfectly embodied by  Stanley Kubrick's 1968 science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. In it the bureaucratic modernists purposefully move through a world of their own making with God-like assurance. The white low-ceilinged interiors of their corporate towers was looped back on itself to create a non-place suspend  between the earth and the moon. While the film has no architect, it is the modernist Master Art's finest hour. American Cold Warriors are shown within well ordered worlds, unshadowed by doubt. At the time it was made it was the fullest flowing of Corbusier's dream of total design, but instead of steam ships it was enormous space stations that housed the design and slimmed down corporate identities developed in the 50 year rise of the modernist masters. It was also the first time the claim can be made for film making as the new Master Art.
The Architect as Master from the Matrix Reloaded vs the Architect as stagere from Inception

Whatever else Inception is about (and it is about a lot of really interesting things), it is acknowledging a changing of the guard. It is the moment when a filmmaker has seen himself, not subservient to architecture, but its master. One critic referred to Ellen Page's architect Ariadne as Tattoo to Dom Cobb's Mr. Roark, another as an asexual indie-girl. These are cruel remarks if taken as judgements on Page, however they point to a very real on-screen asymmetry. That Ariadne was physically dwarfed by the broad fleshy presence of Cobb is not an incidental detail, it is so monstrously apparent, that at times in the film, it distracts from what the two are saying to one another. If it seems that I am being unfair to Ms. Page, imagine a What's Eating Gilbert Grape era DiCaprio cast in her place and dressed in ill fitting t-shirts. 
DeCaprio, Page and DiCaprio

Inception is a director's dream of film making. Just as serial killers are Hollywood's representation of artists, caper films are Hollywood's representation of film making itself. Bank robbers, con men, magicians and prison break movies often have the same sort of material focus as sculptors, and the planning, plotting, fabricating, and execution can all be likened to mounting a complex installation or especially large sculpture, but in fact what the activity of the caper most resembles is making a movie.
Architectect optically cutting Paris in Inception, Gordon Matta-Clarck's Conical Intersect (1975)

It is simple enough to chart the resemblance: It starts the moment The Overseer says, "Assemble your team Mr. Cobb." Mr. Saito is Cobb's financial backer. He's giving the go ahead for a blockbuster caper - one with a budget that will absorb the purchase of an entire airline (that's gotta feel nice). Cobb, who's job it is to plant ideas in people's minds (The Inceptionist?), is the most likely projection of the director himself. We then see him scramble to gather the talented and trusted villains needed to pull off this high risk creative enterprise. Aurthur is Cobb's Pointman; a slick detail driven job runner who also happens to be a demolitions expert. Eames, the only character with an easily identified modernist name, is The Forger. Unlike the slim deferential Arthur, Eames is Cobbs physical equal, and ready to confront and question him. He is flamboyant, even slightly fey, but works with deadly precision once the game is on. His stated value is that he is creative - he's Cobb's star. Yusuf, is The Chemist. Again not a small guy, he provides Cobb with the effects needed to stabilize the story. These men are all experienced veterans of past capers. The sorts who can, and are, left to there own devises. 
The architect Le Corbusier and his plans for the world, Cobb explaining his plans for the world to his architect.

The only character who is never left to her own devices is The Architect, AriadneHer job is to provide an architectural maze in which the mark and his projections are lost, but the gang can easily navigate. In a film that makes the mind it self into an architecture, Cobb's choice in architects is suspiciously young, particularly tiny and glaringly under dressed. Unlike the rest of the cast who are able to look Cobb in the eye, both physically as well as professionally, Ariadne is out of her depth. When Cobb first approaches her through one of her professors, she is shown looking up at the two older men and asking if she is being offered a "work placement." For most of the film this first impression is reinforced by the fact that while the rest of the crew is shown dressed in a variety of natty suits and/or high end casual-Fridays drag, Ariadne appears in the shlubby costume of an exchange student. He finds her in Paris, but she looks like she just graduated high school in Chimacum Washington. 
Ariadne begins to guides Cobb through the maze as his reality check fails

From the very beginning of the film it is made apparent that Cobb is unsure of his hold on reality. By the end of the film he is (or should be) losing faith in the small metallic top, his "totem", that is meant to be a test of what is and isn't real. Long before the last shot of the spinning top Ariadne has become a far  more reliable reality check for Cobb. In that mythic role she too is able to stand up to Cobb, to call him out, but she is no Master. But it not just that she young and inexperienced; Cobb knows he is offering her something no architect could resist - a chance to build whole cathedrals, even whole cities, free of all material constraints. Its no wonder one of my architecture professors, Haresh Lalvani, told me the most exciting work was in Hollywood.
Guy Debord, The Naked City (1957); Inception's  Cobb and his giude Ariadne

Nolan showed in his depiction of Gothem City that he had a complex and nuanced urban vision. The great majority of his audience walked into Inception trusting him and was rewarded with a smart and at times pleasurably confounding blockbuster. This latest film deepens his architectural bona fides, and as a vision of the blockbuster as the new Master Art it is heartening. Nolan doesn't step into the role vacated by the modernist architects - he side steps it. Inception acknowledges the modernist project, but their collapse isn't celebrated. Their triumph, the hubris to believe they knew exactly how to build a better world, isn't treated with contempt. Nolan seems to genuinely mourns the loss. But all the same. his urban model is one very much at odds with the regimented purism of the Cold War era Masters. 
The Parisain neighborhood of Beaubourg demolished to make way for the Pompadu Center and other modernist (and post-modernist) improvements - Cobb entering the Sorbonne

Nolan has shown himself to be a rigorous and disciplined filmmaker, even as he has made the transition to blockbusters. In an interview with Elvis Mitchel he explains that before Inception he had never used slow motion in his films, that it seemed a "purely aesthetic effect," but that with Inception he was able to making it a physical part of the story, "part of it's architecture." Nolan's composer Hans Zimmer sampled and radically slowed horns from the Edith Piaf song the characters play in the film to create the foghorn like blare in the score, thereby simultaneously cleaving the diagenic to the extragenic and making the score an structural element of the narrative architecture.
It seems reasonable to assume then that locations weren't chosen for "purely aesthetic effect." That Cobb finds Ariadne in Paris; that her first awareness of shared dreaming is an explosion of violence that wrecks facades, blows up wooden push carts and tears up the cobble stones of the street; that he explains the new rules as the two of them walk aimlessly discovering the city anew; and that she proceeds to tear apart and reassemble Paris from memory, all this feel as carefully considered as Nolan's use of slow motion. While it is clear that Nolan's regard for Corbusier and other modernist architects is sincere, his film makes it clear that their logic is not his.

Guy Debord playing the Game of War, Christopher Nolan playing the Game of War

Nolan and I are contemporaries, and like him I grew up in and around Chicago. For a time my family lived in a modernist utopian townhouse complex on the South Side. In first grade I moved to Oak Park and went to school acros from Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio. I went to middle school near the Cabrini Green housing projects while living with my father on the 25th floor of a luxury high rise not far from the John Hancock Tower. (kids I knew got busted  selling tickets to the roof of the Hancock after they figured out a way to jimmy the door.) In high school I lived with my mother who had by then bought a old Victorian boardinghouse. Chicago is a city built on a grid - none of these places varied even slightly in their north-south axes. I was in my twenties before I lived in London and visited Paris (on exchange - dressed in neck kerchiefs and ill fitting t-shirts), but I remember the effect that visiting Boston and other cities without a grid had on my childhood self - it blew me wide open. The thrill of seeing building breaking at odd angles to one another still excites me. It's the Chicagoan in me. 

May 1968 Parisian combat urbanism, echoes though Inception

I expect that Nolan's upbringing was very different from mine, but I recognize all those places, and the need/desire they instilled in me: to see the city, all of it. Everything I have ever read about the  Situationist International makes me love them. They were urban activists and pranksters. Guy Debord, the Marxist contrarian at the heart of the group, I have never found much to love in his theories of the spectacle - an idea that is admittedly at cross purposes with blockbuster Hollywood movies - but Debord was a filmaker, and his ideas about experiencing city life fit nicely within Inception's architecture. I'm betting Nolan does too. Debord is infamous as a combat urbanist - for his central role in instigating the 1968 student uprisings in Paris that nearly toppled the French government. Its worth remembering they did it with absurdist tactics, that excited the students and confounded the authorities. Debord's surrealist urban theories of Pychogeography in which maps of Paris were torn appart and reassemble according to the a dream like alogic.  Inception made Debord's Pychogeography into spectacle.

Sophie Calle, Suite Venitienne (1979 Christpher Nolan, Following (1989)

Nolan's first film, Following points to another aspect of the dream thief's labyrinthine trip home that is simpatico with Debord's urbanism: The dérive or drift. This is another  equally slippery idea of Debord's. Building on the proud Parisian tradition of the flaneur it was an act of resistance to the rationalism the modernist were imposing on Paris. A tactic of misusing and misunderstanding the functions of the city and instead enjoying the city for itself, and it amounted to nothing more than walking the streets and talking, a kind of spacial free association intended to defamiliarize and renew the city. The greatest example of drift that I am aware of is the the artist Sophie Calle's 1979 conceptual work Suite Venitienne:
For months I followed strangers on the street. For the pleasure of following them, not because they particularly interested me. I photographed them without their knowledge, took note of their movements, then finally lost sight of them and forgot them.
Eventually she chose a man at random (or nearly so) and followed him to Venice. In Following Nolan gets the action rolling in exactly the same way. In that film a young aspiring novelist fills otherwise empty days by trailing strangers until, like Calle, he is confronted - but the novelist is confronted by a thief named Cobb. 

Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, Planetary: Spacetime Archaeology (2010) vs Inception: dreamtime combat archeology


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Your 7th paragraph reminded me of an article from the New Scientist from a couple of years ago:

    " [Murzyn] asked 60 subjects - half of whom were under 25 and half of whom were over 55 - to answer a questionnaire on the colour of their dreams and their childhood exposure to film and TV. The subjects then recorded different aspects of their dreams in a diary every morning."

    "Only 4.4% of the under-25s' dreams were black and white. The over-55s who'd had access to colour TV and film during their childhood also reported a very low proportion of just 7.3%. But the over-55s who had only had access to black-and-white media reported dreaming in black and white roughly a quarter of the time."

    [ http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14959-its-black-and-white-tv-influences-your-dreams.html ]

  3. There is a great comment by a gamer about "3D dreaming." How old is the idea that we dream in B&W? Does that predate motion pictures? I remember learning that is school and arguing with friends about it - some remembered colors others didn't - does that mean X is a generation on the cusp?

  4. have you ever played Portal? its a first person shooter-puzzle hybrid where your character navigates puzzles by moving through gateways you place by shooting at a section of wall (and then seamlessly jumping through it). you can look through one portal and see the world as you would from the other side. i remember having several portal themed dreams (mostly similar to the scene in inception where Adriane folds two mirrors together to create a bridge). think the architecture within that game is article-worthy, and the physics are mind-boggling. I introduced my non-gaming father to it and he was instantly hooked, in a similar way you were to halo (if you get halo 3 check out the cortana mission!).
    As a gamer myself, i can tell you that 99% of the time your looking between the end of your gun and whatever your trying to shoot, regardless of the architecture.

  5. loved this article, really super interesting. in fact your blog is amazing in general.

    also completely related to the part about gaming and architecture, probably the main reason i loved james bond games, grand theft auto and star wars battlefront. interestingly enough the dudes who worked on gta also worked on google sketchup.

    your blog deserves so much love. keep up the amazing work!