An ikon (icon) is a symbol within a belief system, and the buildings depicted in this series are sites of supernatural mystery within this doctrine. This kind of building can be found in jurisdictions worldwide – although to the uninitiated these appear like any other building within the settlement. The buildings in this series are all found in London, GB; other provinces where IKONIC BUILDINGS are known to exist include Amsterdam, Dublin, Belize, Nauru, Delaware, and the British Virgin Islands.
IKONIC BUILDINGS are inhabited by gatekeepers – oracles who may refuse to speak with anybody except those initiates of the same order, known as ‘tax advisors’ or ‘accountants’. These secret, sacred buildings are spatial vortexes where hundreds of thousands of spirits known as ‘companies’ are thought to reside.
Builders in the medieval era also exploited the extraordinary properties of glass: its radiance and ability to refract or be imbued with light. As the most fragile, expensive and exuberant aspect of the building, coloured glass was used to depict scenes or concepts of religious dogma – which were only visible from the inside.
Glass is a dualistic material. Its properties are inherently contradictory. It manifests the idea of transparency but often has the effect of a mirror, obscuring the interior of a building. Glass is very commonly used in buildings known as ‘skyscrapers’ – totems within the same belief system.
In 1999, economist Andrew Lawrence described the coincidence of skyscraper building as predictors of financial crisis (for example, Chrysler Building 1928, World Trade Centre 1970, Canary Wharf 1990, Petronas Towers 1997, Burj Khalifa 2007). Lawrence’s ‘Skyscraper Index’ ultimately demonstrates that urban development can also be a manifestation of irrationality, emotional imbalance and neurotic speculation.
Urban development is often depicted as sensible, necessary and the product of a sophisticated system. However, nearly all development is equally based on collective fictions told to the tribe – from the 60+ storey type through to the sub-prime.
These geometric glass depictions of IKONIC BUILDINGS give specific form and place to the abstractions and confabulations of the financial industry, providing glimpses into metaphysical interstices within the physical city.