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Title: Modern Architecture in the Age of Cinema: Mies van der Rohe and the Moving Image
Authors: Robbers, Lutz
Advisors: Boyer, M. Christine
Papapetros, Spyridon
Contributors: Architecture Department
Subjects: Architecture
Film studies
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation investigates the relation between Mies van der Rohe and cinema. Its purpose is to elucidate, both historically and theoretically, the association between the architect Mies and the pioneers of abstract film Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling during the early 1920s. I argue that for each of these figures, as well as for many artists and intellectuals assembling around the journal G - Material zur elementaren Gestaltung, the medium of cinema epitomized the possibility for an alternative modernist project. They realized that cinema was not simply a powerful instrument for a convincing representation of reality or for entertaining the masses but a medium that fundamentally reshaped the existing regimes of vision, perception and knowledge. Both the architecture of Mies and the film experiments of Richter and Eggeling are, I argue, manifestations of this epistemic shift that promised to counteract modernism's failed reception of technology. They render visible and thinkable images, objects and processes that were formerly excluded from the cognitive field, and thereby contribute to an alternative, intermedial history of modern architecture. The intention of this study is to draw up a discursive map of Weimar Germany's avant-garde currents regarding the role of the moving image and to locate Mies's position on this map. The first part prepares the ground by analyzing the ambivalent discourses the emergence of the subject of the moving image elicited, from the 1910s onwards, in the writings and projects of numerous architectural critics, historians and practitioners. In the subsequent sections the focus is placed on the discourses of cinema that crystallized in and around the journal G and on Mies's affiliation with Richter and Eggeling. The aim is to correlate these discourses with both Mies's exposure to the highly cinematic life-reform project Dresden-Hellerau during early 1910s, as well as with his realized architectural works of the late 1920s.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture

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