Message - Re: Architectural perception through photography

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Posted by  Jacques Pochoy on January 30, 2002 at 16:12:28:

In Reply to:  Architectural perception through photography posted by Marjorie on January 30, 2002 at 11:57:40:

Phew... That's not a small topic for a thesis (what quantity of work the word thesis goes for in this forum.. I wonder?).

As usual... What is architecture... What is photography...
Several directions... First Roland Barthes (french philosopher and writer) Structuralism or Semiology ??? Where is the catch?

Maybe in the "Camera Lucida" (La chambre claire) see the link "in short" below for a quick analysis.

Then of course the old saying about architecture being a civilisation written on the walls of the built thing... Written or hidden (see the posts of "d" in the architecture forum)?
Can the "whole" be in the "part" as in the middle age homonculus theory... Does a building or a picture "represents" the culture of which it is issued?... Is it "true" or is always condemned to be "false"? Postmods and Decons are "styles" (Erm...:-)) based on Image, Icon, Symbols, much more academics then the worst of academic times...

Computer litteracy (what a funny marriage of words...:-) brings the "virtual" universe versus the "latent" image in photography... Latent can be potent when revealed... But virtual, can it ever be potent?

Sill with the notion of reality...
What makes us "tick"... Our senses ! Obtained by biological sensors through a brain filter called perception of reality...
Is a drawn perspective a reality.. Is it more or less then a photography? Our binoculary vision gives us a space "feeling" but less then birds with eyes on each side of the head (360° vision°) So this "space perception" could lead us to architechure if the latter was jts a mere building... But if it's architecture it has then a meaning if not an end..:-)

Then MacLuhan part... the medias of communication...
When you learn a language, it's easier to point at an object and say "how do you call that ?"(The Tarzan and Jane theory...:-))
The developement of printing in old europe brought a new "gadget"... A card with an image on it... Mythical or historical scenes (in France they are called "les images d'Epinal" from the city), people in the lost villages could speak to strangers... because of them, they were the "media"... Few people in those times had seen a cathedral or the Mount St Michel, still people "knew" what it looked like and could understand the "It reminds me of..."!
In the old haunted castles of Amanda's country there are the paintings of the clan leaders, all those who would have been erased of the future generation memories... But painting is long and need some skill... Then comes the photography... The little brown cube, cheap, easy to use, and suddenly the National Geographic becomes a "must"... You could "feel" people you wouldn't even thought they existed because of a photographer in the expedition (hard times, Tarzan was very busy...:-))
So photography as a "social mean"... Maybe just as cities..:-)

Then there is the tool...
Phtography as a mean of validating an idea, a thought... Already Mélies is there with the props for the first special effects in photography that moves... Cinéma... (Tarzan is buying a ticket for Hollywood)... You must know the rest of the story... then TV.. Up to the moon... Er.. Did they really go up there? Or was it done in a studio?

Always the "reality" problem... How many poor guy were hanged because somebody had the "proof", a picture... (Tarzan is caught red-handed!)...
When reality is shown... As in wars, or in disasters... Everybody cries... till the next time! Because ... you "see"... it's images...! It's not like having a jet plane in your window...
But then you can "experiment" like with a model in architecture... Look at the designworkshop scrapbook in this site... from the weel barrow to the space orbital hotel... Look how it is nice... (not the puppy in the window...the project)... the projecting of one's ideas or feeling... You get signatures for thousands of millions of dollars... just on the sake of an "image"????Do those very rednecked people really believe in the reality they see in the project images or do they share a dream (a virtuality?) or is the nice pics a "latent" building?....:-):-)

OK, I'll stop here... Tarzan and Jane have arrived on the other screen and we have a conference going on...:-):-):-)

Try to translate the following links...
Or how to study a city with a photographers language and tools...:-) (light, f stops, speed... simple and easy like the little brown cube "the brownie")..:-)
Perception of space in all it's senses... By the Dr Leroy The book of Abraham Moles on perception

Read again "Zen and the art of motocycle maintenance" from Robert Pirsig... About Quality...:-):-):-)
To see how photographers can give feelings about an "arrondissement" of Paris..:-)

And of course thousand of others links...

That brings me to be big question... "What do we do in our civilisation with the artifacts of Image...?"

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