Yuck!

Yuck!

5-06

In the days leading up to Halloween 2012, Hurricane Sandy rattled through the streets of New Haven—haunting houses and (literally) raising the dead. The mighty and historic “Lincoln Oak” on the Green toppled in the force of the storm, uprooting a tangle of skeletal remains from the unmarked graveyard below. As folklore has it, many people passed the exhumed bones that week without sensing that anything was out of the ordinary. Only when a local woman finally leaned in for a closer look did the horror reveal itself. Halloween has this effect on us. It makes space for the spooky, the creepy and the gross. We can assume our tackiest personas in a veil of darkness. Moldy drywall and stains on the paprika carpet, if just for a moment, stand in as festive decor. Skeletons are allowed, nay invited, to dangle in tree roots.

This issue takes inspiration from the real-life Instagram filter of the Halloween season and speculates on the greater role of all things yuck in the built environment. We draw inspiration from Julia Kristeva in Powers of Horror, where the abject is defined as something that disrupts a system of order and causes a reassessment of the frameworks that seek to repress it. In the following articles you will see a variety of perspectives on this theme, constructing a yucky nebula of material to draw from when considering the actioning of the abject in architecture.

Angela Lufkin, Adam Thibodeaux,and Max Wirsing