Bibliographic Essay – Final Draft

Find the original word document with outline and notes here:  Hartmann – Assignment F – Bibliographic Essay.

Erin Hartmann

11.1.13

Thesis Prep I:  Research Methods

Prof. Dan Hisel

 

Bibliographic Essay:  Collage

 

Collage has been explored through many art movements, types of media, and scales of design.  Collage is the juxtaposition of unrelated materials, not only the pasting of newspaper and string onto a pictorial surface as it is often thought of.  Although this methodology began with two-dimensional montages on canvas, the method of collage has also been utilized or understood in film, architecture, and urban design.  The practice of collage involves a recycling of meaning through the collision of found objects and new discoveries.

Collage has been involved in many different art movements, from Dadism to Schwitters’ “Merz” movement.  Collage first appeared in Cubism through Picasso’s work, particularly his Still Life with Chair Caning.  Art critic and professor Rosalind Krauss discusses this, saying, “Still Life with Chair Caning…echoes many other canvases from early 1912 in which the introduction of some kind of large plane which, like the chair-caning…is a wholly different color and texture from the monochrome faceting of analytic cubism, and inaugurates both the invention of collage and the opening of cubism to color” (Krauss 30).  In the 1920s, Kurt Schwitters introduced his creation of the MERZ movement.  Author Annegreth Nill explains this creation, saying, “quite consciously he searched for a trade name with which to present his work to the public.  He could not call it Dada, as he had been rejected by the Berlin Dadaists, and stylistically it did not fit under the label of any of the other contemporary art movements.  Schwitters chose the word MERZ, the title of one of the works he was about to exhibit” (Nill 226).  Schwitters created many collages under his own art movement of MERZ, including Grünfleck and Merzbau.  Another movement collage has been involved with is Surrealism.  Theater and dance professor Roger Copeland studied the work of Merce Cunningham’s performance art as a type of collage.  Copeland said, “the surrealist Max Ernst once defined collage as ‘the meeting of two distant realities on a plane foreign to them both’ (1968:68). Collage though, borrows only one-half of the surrealists’ agenda – their interest in radical juxtaposition” (Copeland 14).  Collage does not fit into a single art movement or period of time, which has resulted in many types of collages and the use of “random” materials.

Many collages in the visual arts have physically incorporated “worldly” elements, or elements of everyday life.  Art critic and professor Donald Kuspit talks about the main elements of collage, one being “purely worldly elements, especially such fragments of dailiness as newspapers” (Kuspit 55).  The newspaper is a very common element of collage for both its aesthetics and its representation of everyday life.  Copeland argues that the “newspaper provides a model for a collage-like distinctiveness of modernity itself.  On a single sheet, it treats the most diverse matters and ranges over distant countries” (Copeland 13).  Art critic Robert Rosenblum says that Picasso uses puns by fragmenting newspaper titles in order to provide realism in his Cubist collages.  Krauss discusses this, saying:  “that the word-fragments perform these jokes while serving to label the object – the newspaper – with its name, is very much Rosenblum’s point” (Krauss 31).  These newspapers have often been incorporated into the world of collage in order to accentuate or dramatize real-life situations.  Aside from newspapers, some artists collect other “worldly” elements from everday life.  Art history professor Katherine Hoffman describes the collection methods of Kurt Schwitters:  “From 1918 to his death in 1948, Kurt Schwitters produced a vast number of collages, collecting from sidewalks, dustbins, trash barrels, and cast-off materials to create his own medium and idiom” (Hoffman 225).  In one of Schwitter’s projects, Grünfleck, he incorporates found objects such as a ticket stub, wrappers, and a streetcar stub.  Together they tell an entire narrative in relation to that post World War I time period.  Overall, using these “worldly” materials gives meaning to the collage about the spirit of the time in which it was created.

The bricoleur is someone who uses readily available materials, often “worldly” materials, which creates a form of collage.  Kurt Schwitters designed Merzbau, a collaged interior of his apartment.  Katherine Hoffman describes Merzbau as “a cavern of old lumber, strangely molded plaster, and other materials that might be called an early ‘environment’” (Hoffman 14). Switters himself says:

“Every means is right when it serves its end…What the material signified before its use in the work of art is a matter of indifference so long as it is properly evaluated and given artistic meaning in the work of art.  And so I began to construct pictures out of materials I happened to have at hand, such as streetcar tickets, cloakroom checks, bits of wood, wire twine, bent wheels, tissue paper, tin cans, chips of glass, etc.  These things are inserted into the picture either as they are or else modified in accordance with what the picture requires.  They lose their individual character, their own special essence (Eigengift), by being dematerialized (entmaterialisiert) they become material for the picture” (Hoffman 14).

Architects Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter discuss the idea of the bricoleur in their book, Collage City.  Within the bricolage chapter, the authors reference Claude Levi-Strauss who describes the bricoleur as “’someone who works with his hands and uses devious means compared to those of the craftsman…the rules of his game are always to make do with ‘whatever is at hand’” (Rowe and Koetter 102).  A bricoleur does not choose materials based on the purpose of the project.  This is similar to Kurt Schwitters, who creates his collages based on the scraps of material he finds rather than finding particular materials based on his ideas for a collage.  The bricoleur or collagist uses “worldly” materials that are readily available to create their collages, which leads to a disorganized piece of art, rather than a singular vision.

Collage is often ‘disorganized’ and ‘centrifugal’ due to the many layers of random material.  In Collage City, Rowe and Koetter discuss the ideas of Isaiah Berlin, who says, “’those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only some de facto way…these last lead lives, perform acts, and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal, their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects’” (Rowe and Koetter 86).  Berlin also discusses the idea of the fox versus the hedgehog.  The fox is typically preoccupied with many unrelated ideas, while the hedgehog is concerned with a singular vision. He says “the fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Rowe and Koetter 92).   In the world of humanities, foxes include Aristotle, Shakespeare, Picasso, and Wren, all of whom are collagists (foxes) in their fields.  Roger Copeland also discusses the disorganization of collage, saying “collage appeals to an age that has come to distrust claims of closure, ‘unity,’ and fixed boundaries” (Copeland 13).  This agrees with the idea of the fox, who does not have a singular, focused vision.  Copeland also argues that “collage, in a sense, is always divided against itself…the component parts of any successful collage speak with separate, even disunified voices” (Copeland 26).  The disorganization of collage is unique when compared to traditional types of art, architecture, and literature.

Gesamtkunstwerk, or a ‘total work of art,’ is comparable to the idea of the hedgehog and can be useful to understand the ideas of collage.  Collage and Gesamtkunstwerk share similar traits in that every layer is designed and is intentional.  Though collages are aesthetically disorganized, the creators very specifically choose how the layers are placed within the collage.  Unlike collage, however, Gesamtkunstwerk has a single vision – a total work of art.  Rowe and Koetter discuss the unity of Versailles compared to the multiplicity of Villa Adriana, saying, “we must re-affirm how much the conceptions of ‘total architecture’ and ‘total design’ are present, of necessity, in all utopian projections…if the one is certainly an exhibition of total architecture and total design [Versailles], the other [Villa Adriana] attempts to dissimulate all reference to any controlling idea” (Rowe and Koetter 90). They also say that in architecture, the central vision of the hedgehog and Gesamtkunstwerk has prevailed over the foxes through the work of Mies, Gropius, Fuller, and other leading architects.  Copeland also compares collage to Gesamtkunstwerk, saying it is “synthesizing the separate arts into a seamless and unified whole – what Wagner called the Gesamtkunstwerk” (Copeland 12).  Overall, these authors are saying that Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art” has a single, central focus that creates very different designs from the unfocused and unorganized collage.

Collage is often considered a two-dimensional art on canvas, but as seen in the comparison between Versailles and Villa Adrian or Schwitters’ Merzbau, collage often appears in other media as well.  After collage began appearing in Picasso’s works around 1912 on canvas, it made the jump into three-dimensional space as early as the 1940’s.  Kurt Schwitters was originally a two-dimensional collagist of “worldly” elements, but later created Merzbau.  It was a collage that became an environment.  “He made it a performance…every visit from someone was different from everyone else” (BAM/PFA).  Another example is the array of performances composed by choreographer Merce Cunningham.  Copeland says, “Cunningham’s movement vocabulary in Collage was unprecedently diverse…it juxtaposed his usual modifications of ballet with utterly pedestrian movement (hair combing, nail filing) as well as steps drawn from ballroom and social dance.  In other words, varieties of ‘found’ movement existed alongside varieties of ‘found’ sound” (Copeland 12).  Merce Cunningham was well-known for collaging mismatching costumes, music, and types of dance into one performance.  He eventually began to alter the “lens” through which the audience watched by collaging through a new medium – film.  Video and installation artist Max Almy talks about several collage artists that have used video as a medium, from Nam June Paik to Ed Emshwiller. She says, “whether using the concepts of polytropic space, polychronic time, ecstatic multiplicity, or a recontextualized video idiom, the video artists…have all responded to the challenge of using the video collage to reflect the way man perceives the world” (Almy 371).  Film became a popular way to collage, but this technique is still relatively unknown to many.  Rowe and Koetter discuss the ideas of Napoleon I, who thought of Paris as a Museum.  They said “the city was, to some degree, to become a sort of habitable exhibition, a collection of permanent reminders which were to edify both the resident and the visitor” (Rowe and Koetter 126).  Napoleon saw the city as a collage itself, holding many objects and layers of history.  Overall, collage can be seen everywhere and through many types of media.

Having been explored through so many types of media, collage is present in many fields from art to urban design.  Though the object(s) that are collaged can vary greatly, the ideas about collaging are carried through in each of them.  Disorganization, a collection of random materials, and multiplicity of ideas are some of these common traits.  Whether it’s a film about Merce Cunningham’s choreography or a study on the urban design of Villa Adriana, each collage shares them.

 

Bibliography

  1. Almy, Max. “Video: Electronic Collage.” Collage: Critical Views. Ed. Katherine Hoffman. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, 1989. 355-371. Print.
  2. BAM/PFA. “Kurt Schwitters: Merzbau.” YouTube. YouTube, 17 May 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
  3. Copeland, Roger. “Merce Cunningham and the Aesthetic of Collage.” TDR 46.1 (2002): 11-28. JSTOR. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.
  4. Hoffman, Katherine. “Collage in the Twentieth Century: An Overview.” Collage: Critical Views. Ed. Katherine Hoffman. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, 1989. 1-37. Print.
  5. Krauss, Rosalind E. “In the Name of Picasso.” The Originality of the Avant-garde and Other Modernist Myths. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1985. 23-40. Print.
  6. Kuspit, Donald B. “The Organizing Principle of Art in the Age of the Relativity of Art.” Collage: Critical Views. Ed. Katherine Hoffman. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, 1989. 39-57. Print.
  7. Nill, Annegreth. ” Rethinking Kurt Schwitters:  An Interpretation of Grünfleck.” Collage: Critical Views. Ed. Katherine Hoffman. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research, 1989. 225-251. Print.
  8. Rowe, Colin, and Fred Koetter.  Collage City. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1978. 86-117. Print.

Bibliographic Essay – Outline and Brainstorm

Outline

Collage and Art Movements

  • Topic Sentence:  Collage was involved with many different art movements, from Dadism to Schwitters’ “MERZ.”
  • Surrealism:  Copeland says “collage is interested in surrealism’s radical juxtapositions” (not interested in automatism or the unconscious)
  • Copeland also describes the work of Max Ernst (famous collagist) – collage as “the meeting of two distant realities on a plane foreign to them both”
  • Merz:  Hoffman describes how Schwitters created his own art movement.  “Quite consciously he searched for a trade name with which to present his work to the public.  He could not call it Dada, as he had been rejected by the Berlin Dadaists, and stylistically it did not fit under the label of any of the other contemporary art movements.  Schwitters chose the word MERZ, the title of one of the works he was about to exhibit.” (pg. 226)
  • Cubism:  “canvases from early 1912 in which the introduction of some kind of large plane which, like the chair-caning or the pamphlet ‘Notre avenir…’ is a wholly different color and texture from the monochrome faceting of analytic cubism, and inaugurates both the invention of collage and the opening of cubism to color.” (Krauss)
  • Collage itself didn’t fit into one art movement, resulting in many types of collages
  • Transition:  All of these movements involved with collage involve ‘random’ materials.

Collage and “Worldly” Elements

  • Topic Sentence:  Many collages in the visual arts physically incorporate “worldly” elements in the collage.
  • Dance Professor Roger Copeland talks about three elements of collage, one being “worldly” elements like newspapers
  • Copeland says collage includes “intruders from the world of real things”
  • Copeland also argues that the “newspaper provides a model for a collage-like distinctiveness of modernity itself.  On a single sheet, it treats the most diverse matters and ranges over distant countries”
  • Katherine Hoffman describes Kurt Schwitters:  “From 1918 to his death in 1948, Kurt Schwitters produced a vast number of collages, collecting from sidewalks, dustbins, trash barrels, and cast-off materials to create his own medium and idiom” (pg. 225).
  • Professor of Art History Rosalind Krauss discusses Picasso’s use of “word-fragments” and newspapers:  “that the word-fragments perform these jokes while serving to label the object – the newspaper – with its name, is very much Rosenblum’s point” (Rosenblum says that Picasso uses puns by fragmenting the newspaper titles in order to provide realism in his Cubist collages
  • Using “worldly” materials gives meaning to the collage about the spirit of the time in which it was created.
  • Transition:  ‘Wordly’ elements often used by collagist/bricoleur to create physical collages.

Bricoleur/Craftsmen – Collage Method

  • Topic Sentence:  The bricoleur is someone who uses readily available materials, which often creates a form of collage.
  • Merzbau:  “a cavern of old lumber, strangely molded plaster, and other materials that might be called an early ‘environment’” (Hoffman 14)
  • Schwitters says, “Every means is right when it serves its end…What the material signified before its use in the work of art is a matter of indifference so long as it is properly evaluated and given artistic meaning in the work of art.  And so I began to construct pictures out of materials I happened to have at hand, such as streetcar tickets, cloakroom checks, bits of wood, wire twine, bent wheels, tissue paper, tin cans, chips of glass, etc.  These things are inserted into the picture either as they are or else modified in accordance with what the picture requires.  They lose their individual character, their own special essence (Eigengift), by being dematerialized (entmaterialisiert) they become material for the picture.” (pg. 14)
  • Collage City:  Claude Levi-Strauss says:
    • “in our time the ‘bricoleur’ is still someone who works with his hands and uses devious means compared to those of the craftsman.”
    • “The ‘bricoleur’ is adept at performing a large number of diverse tasks; but, unlike the engineer, he does not subordinate each of them to the availability of raw materials and tools conceived and procured for the purpose of the project.  His universe of instruments is close and the rules of his game are always to make do with ‘whatever is at hand’” (pg. 102).
  • Transition:  The use of these random materials leads to a disorganized piece of art – not a single, central vision.

Disorganization of Collage

  • Topic Sentence:  Collage is ‘disorganized’ and ‘centrifugal’ due to the many layers of meaning and material.
  • Architects Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter describe in Collage City:  “those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related by no moral or aesthetic principle; these last lead lives, perform acts, and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal, their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects”
  • Collage City, Hadrian:  “Compared with this single-minded performance of Louis XIV, we have the curiosity Hadrian – of Hadrian who is, apparently, so disorganized and casual, accumulation of disparate ideal fragments and whose criticism of Imperial Rome (configurationally much like his own house) is rather an endorsement than any protest” (pg. 90).
  • Collage City:  “disunified, no central vision or single origin”
  • Cunningham:  “collage distrusts claims of closure, unity, and fixed boundaries”
  • Cunningham:  “collage is always divided against itself – components of any successful collage speak with separate, disunified voices”
  • Collage City:  Foxes v. Hedgehogs – “fox is preoccupied with the multiplicity of stimulus” (Aristotle, Shakespeare, Picasso, Wren, etc.)
  • Krauss/Picasso?
  • Transition:  Comparing collage/the fox to Gesamtkunstwerk/the hedgehog can assist in a better understanding of collage.

Collage v. Gesamtkunstwerk (A total work of art)

  • Topic Sentence:  Collage and Gesamtkunstwerk share similar traits in that every layer is designed/intentional, but very different in that Gesamtkunstwerk has a single vision – a total work of art.
  • Collage City:  “a total architecture”; “’total architecture’ and ‘total design’ are present in all utopian projections”
  • Cunningham:  “synthesizing the separate arts into a seamless and unified whole (Wagner); integrated work of art”
  • Collage City:  “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing (Berlin 91)”
  • Collage City:  ‘single, central vision’ prevails in architecture – Mies, Gropius, Fuller, etc.
  • While collage is typically disorganized, Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” has a single, central focus.
  • Transition:  Collage is primarily considered a 2D visual art, but it often appears in three dimensional works as well.

Collage in Three Dimensions – Room, Performing Arts, City

  • Topic Sentence:  After collage started to make an appearance around 1912 (through Picasso and other artists) on canvas, it made the jump into three-dimensional space as early as the 1940’s (ex. Schwitters’ Merzbau).
  • Merzbau:  a collage that becomes an environment – “he made it a performance…every visit from someone was different from everyone else” (Merzbau Video)
  • Cunningham:  dance performances as collages – “Cunningham’s movement vocabulary in Collage was unprecedently diverse…it juxtaposed his usual modifications of ballet with utterly pedestrian movement (hair combing, nail filing) as well as steps drawn from ballroom and social dance.  In other words, varieties of ‘found’ movement existed alongside varieties of ‘found’ sound” (Copeland 12).
  • Collage City – Napolean I on Paris as a museum:  “The city was, to some degree, to become a sort of habitable exhibition, a collection of permanent reminders which were to edify both the resident and the visitor” (pg. 126).
  • Cunningham:  “the way that society exists now…being able to take fragments, long and short, and put them together in different ways – we have to, in a sense, do that in our lives all the time, although we don’t think aboudft it” (Hutera 1987:8).
  • Cunningham:  derives inspiration from “deep disjunctive structures of the contemporary city”

 

Overlaps Between Sources (Brainstorm):

  • “worldly” collage elements – newspapers, etc. (Cunningham) – compares to Schwitters (Hoffman) taking elements for his collages from sidewalks, trash bins, etc.
    • Cunningham:  “intruders from the world of real things”
    • Newspaper as a model for collage
  • Collage & Surrealism/association with art movements – cubism, Dadaism
    • (Hoffman) – Schwitters as Merz movement/abstract, Dadaist
    • (Cunningham) – radical juxtapositions of surrealism
  • Collage is divided against itself – disunified, no central vision or single origin
    •  “disorganized, casual, proposed reverse of ‘totality,’ needs an accumulation of ideal fragments” (Hadrian, Collage City)
    • Compare to Gesamtkunstwerk (Cunningham) – similar to but different from collage
    • Foxes vs. Hedgehogs in Collage City (architects)
  • Collage v. Gesamtkunstwerk (Collage City and Cunningham)
  • Urban life as collage in Cunningham’s work:  “the way that society exists now…being able to take fragments, long and short, and put them together in different ways – we have to, in a sense, do that in our lives all the time, although we don’t think about it” (Hutera 1987:8); derives inspiration from deep disjunctive structures of the contemporary city
    • Compare to Collage City
  • Idea of the craftsman/bricoleur
    • Schwitter’s Merzbau – built it himself
  • Experiencing collage in three dimensions
    • Merzbau
    • Cunningham’s dance
    • City as collage
  • “concrete” sounds (real, preexisting sounds – Cunningham) – compares to Schwitters
  • their very concreteness, combined with Schwitters’s formal and verbal manipulation of them, creates possibilities for meanings of a very real kind”
  • Natural vs. Man-made collage
  • Definition of Collage?

Annotated Bibliography

Assignment D:  Annotated Bibliography | Studying the Scales of Collage in Architecture

All the sources listed below are based on my thesis topic of Collage in Architecture.  Within this concept, I am studying collage from the scale of an object to the scale of urban life.  Collaged objects are at the scale of a Picasso’s Still Life with Chair Caning and other visual arts.  Urban life is the natural collage of a city, as discussed in Fred Koetter and Colin Rowe’s Collage City.  By looking at the sources below, I can begin to study the middle of the scale – collage in building.  This has been studied less than objects or cities as collages.  I looked at all of the sources below as the opposite ends of the spectrum from object to city. For example, Max Ernst studies collage as surrealism by making physical, artistic collages (objects), while Copeland studies collage in the performing arts. Each of the sources studies a different type of collage, but all relate back to the main idea.

 

1.  Ernst, Max, Werner Spies, and Jürgen Pech. Max Ernst – Une Semaine De Bonté: Los Collages Originales. Madrid: Fundación Mapfre, 2009. Print.

Une Semaine De Bonté, or A Week of Kindness, consists of five books and 182 collages.  As a surrealist, Ernst juxtaposed images from Victorian novels to create surreal and dark situations.  I chose this source to study the collage as a type of surrealist art, in that images are juxtaposed to create something “surreal.”  Ernst is also a well-known collagist.  He attended the University of Bonn to study philosophy, art history, literature, psychology, and psychiatry.  The intended audience is likely anyone interested in psychology and its affects on art, or anyone interested in surrealist art and collage.

 

2.  Copeland, Roger. “Merce Cunningham and the Aesthetic of Collage.” TDR 46.1 (2002): 11-28. JSTOR. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

Copeland is a theater and dance professor at Oberlin College who has had his work published in The New York Times, American Theatre, and much more.  Copeland’s main claim is that collage appears in fields other than just the visual arts, although that is the most common.  He provides multiple examples of Merce Cunningham’s work in the performing arts that were strongly based on the idea of collage.  Music, costumes, and even the lens through which the viewer sees the performance were all manipulated to take part in the active collage.  Copeland provides many sources to back up his work, including personal interviews with Merce Cunningham and books on collage by Katherine Hoffman, Donald Kuspit, and more.  The intended audience is likely someone with some previous knowledge in performing arts and an interest in Merce Cunningham’s work.  I studied this source to understand collage as more than an image of random materials pasted together.

 

3.  Plowman, Randel. Masters – Collage: Major Works by Leading Artists. New York: Lark Crafts, 2010. Print.

This book simply provides examples of contemporary collages by “leading artists” and their inspirations behind the creations.  This source is helpful in understanding collage in its most primary and well-known form of pasting together unconnected objects.  Many of the artists use old photographs and items found in flea markets to generate their collages, tying together history and modernity.  The intended audience includes anyone interested in contemporary art or collaging.  The author, Randel Plowman, graduated with a BFA from Northern Kentucky University and an MFA in printmaking from University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He has worked with collages for over thirty years and has had his work featured in The New York Times and other publications.

 

4.  Lund, Nils-Ole. Collage Architecture. Berlin: Ernst, 1990. Print.

Lund studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and was a professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture from 1972 to 1985.  He created collages in response to culture shock and as a “weapon of satirical criticism.”  Collage Architecture provided a multitude of Lund’s collages that reference art, history, and architecture.  It bridges the gap between the well-known Picasso-style collaging with collage in architecture.  The intended audience is likely someone with previous experience in architecture and an interest in art and mixed media.  Lund uses collage as a “simile for reality.”

 

5.  Rowe, Colin, and Fred Koetter. “Collision City and the Politics of ‘Bricolage'” Collage City. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1978. 86-117. Print.

Colin Rowe is an architectural historian, critic, theoretician, and professor with a focus on world architecture and urbanism.  Fred Koetter graduated in architecture from the University of Oregon and Cornell University, and is a founding principal of Koetter, Kim and Associates in Boston.  In this chapter of Collage City, the authors discuss how the “fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”  Foxes are focused on an “accumulation of ideal fragments” or “set-pieces in collision.”  They also discuss the ‘bricoleur’ who performs a diversity of tasks using whatever materials are available to him.  Rowe and Koetter back up all of this information with pages of sources, from Gropius’ Scope of Total Architecture to Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture.

 

6.  Shattuck, Roger. “Introduction: How Collage Became Assemblage.” Essays on Assemblage. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1992. 118-23. Print.

Roger Shattuck was a scholarly American writer on works in art, music, and literature. He graduated from Yale and was a professor at Harvard and Boston University.  This introduction on “The Art of Assemblage” talks about the development from art as collage to art as assemblage, or “that of juxtaposition: ‘setting one thing beside the other without connective.’”  This resource is relevant and helpful to my topic because it looks deeper into the world of collage by examining both collage and assemblage. Shattuck provides several sources, including the symposium at MoMA in 1961 and William Seitz’s The Art of Assemblage.    The intended audience is definitely those who are interested in modern art and collaging.

 

7.  Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. “On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life.” Untimely Meditations. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1980. Print.

Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, and poet who graduated from the University of Bonn in the 1860’s. His writing in Untimely Meditations argues that man needs a healthy balance of historical and non-historical knowledge.  He claims there are three types of history: monumental, antiquarian, and critical, and that all three are necessary to the survival of man.  Nietzsche argues for a ‘collage’ of historical and non-historical information that is more useful that a single, central vision or idea.  He provides many sources to back up his claims, from musical composers to J.W. van Goethe.  The intended audience is likely someone who has some previous historical and philosophical knowledge, given Nietzsche’s background as a philosopher and the references to ancient cultures and figures.

Source: “Review of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche”

Notes on “Review of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche.”

  • “While it is the unwise study of history that more especially excites his wrath, he takes occasion to denounce a great deal of the shallowness of modern culture”
  • Humility is lacking – pretentiousness in modern thought and assertion
  • Nietzsche has occasional “bursts of denunciation” but the book is very readable
  • Gives food for thought, but doesn’t always directly say the source of the troubles
  • “He does not affirm that we should wholly abandon its (study of history) pursuit, but that, carried too far, it destroys the intellectual soundness of individuals, and so of nations and civilizations.”
  • Knowledge of history is useful to active men (1 – monumental history)
  • Study of history also valuable to those who need their emotions of patriotism encourages (2 – antiquarian history) – they learn the value of the hard-won benefits they easily enjoy (but must be cautious and avoid a too-superstitious regard of the past)
  • Also beneficial to be got from the critical study of history (3 – critical history) – helps us eliminate errors of the past
  • Nietzsche sees these as benefits, but is more eloquent about the harm they cause
  • He knows more about cultivation than he is cultivated
  • Our culture gets no further than thinking/feeling about culture – never reaches a determination about it
  • Modern culture depresses the force of individuality, produces uniformity
  • Knowledge of the past makes us think we have the power to judge the present critically
  • We demoralize ourselves by looking at everything in an ironical spirit
  • All these traits are the result of excessive historical training
  • Easy to put the blame on history
  • One thing learned from “much-abused study of history”:  change of moment can no more be effected by good advice than it can be by legal authority
  • It’s impossible now to abandon the study of antiquity – essential to modern life
  • What to do:  bear up under our historical knowledge, and look at what in life is still unsettled with wisdom
  • Greeks learned to “organize chaos,” devote themselves to cultivating what they had within themselves

Fritzsch, Verlag. “Review of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche.” The North American Review 121.248 (1875): 190-93. JSTOR. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.

Source: On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life

Reading Notes for “On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life” from Untimely Meditations by Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Worth and worthlessness of history
  • We require history for life and action, not avoiding life and action
  • We all suffer from a historical fever
  • Man is proud of being human and not an animal, but is envious
  • Man can’t learn to forget, always attached to the past
  • Animal lives unhistorically
  • Man resists the ever greater weight of the past
  • Child has nothing in the past to remember (like the animal)
  • Happiness is being able to forget, live unhistorically
  • All acting requires forgetting
  • It’s possible to live without memories, but without forgetting it’s impossible to live
  • Plastic Power (of a man) – how well one heals after being affected by something (from bleeding to death over a single experience to having a totally clear conscience)
  • The stronger the roots of man’s inmost nature, the more of the past he will master
  • Historical and unhistorical are equally necessary for the health of an individual, a people, and a culture
  • Animals live unhistorically, are happy and live without boredom
  • Living unhistorically provides a foundation for healthiness, where something truly human can grow
  • Unhistorical also means life is generated only to disappear again
  • Man becomes man through power of using past for life, but with an excess of history man ceases again
  • Superhistorical – result of historical observation (pg. 12); one who adopts this standpoint won’t be tempted to cooperate in making history – he would take history seriously
  • No one wants to relive history, but for different reasons
    • Future will be better
    • –or— the world is complete and achieves its end at every moment
  • Historical men:  looking to the past encourages them to the future – light is shed on the meaning of existence in the course of its process
  • Our estimation of the historical can be a prejudice, but we must continue to make progress – we must constantly learn to improve our ability to do history for the sake of life
  • Unwisdom will have more of a future than those with wisdom
  • Historical education is only promising for the future when guided by a higher power, not guiding itself
  • With a certain excess of history, life crumbles, so history itself crumbles
  • History belongs to man in 3 ways:
    • As long as he is active, striving
    • As long as he preserves, admires
    • As long as he suffers, needs liberation
  • Three kinds of history
    • Monumental
    • Antiquarian
    • Critical
  • History belongs to the active and powerful man
  • Man of action has a goal for happiness, not always for himself but of mankind – uses history as a means against resignation
  • Monumental history’s fundamental thought – the great moments in individual struggles form a chain across the millennia – the distant past is still alive
  • Conflict:  monumental shouldn’t arise as it obstructs the path which the great must travel to immortality
  • “He lives most splendidly who pays no heed to existence” (pg. 16)
  • Monumental history is important because the knowledge of the great which once existed was at least possible at one time and could be again
    • What was possible once could only happen again if every minute detail was repeated – it’s the only way the powerful man would desire monumental history, in complete truthfulness
    • Until then, monumental history won’t find complete truthfulness to its advantage – expense of the cause to present the effect monumentally (worthy of imitation)
    • Monumental history disregards causes – could be called a collection of “effects in themselves”
    • As long as the past is worthy of imitation, the past is in danger of being distorted
    • Past suffers damage/forgotten pieces when monumental vision rules over antiquarian and critical visions
    • Deceives with analogies
    • Monumental art – art which has at all times “produced an effect” (pg. 18)
    • Monumental history – disguise in which hatred of the mighty/great is paraded as admiration of them
  • Man who wants to achieve something great who needs the past will master it thru monumental history
  • Man who likes to persist in the traditional will care for past as an antiquarian historian
  • Man who is oppressed by the present, wants to eliminate the burden will need a critical, condemning history
  • Man who gives thanks for his existence – antiquarian history
    • With loyalty, love looks back on his origins
    • Wants to preserve the conditions he grew up in for those after him
    • Preserving soul of the antiquarian is possessed by the things it preserves
    • History of his city is the history of himself
    • Happiness in growing out of the past of your homeland – proper historical sense
    • “The past itself suffers as long as history serves life and is rules by the impulses of life” (pg. 20) – monumental & antiquarian history
    • Limited field of vision – everything is equally important
    • Danger very near – everything old and past will be seen as equally venerable/respected – the new & growing will be treated with hostility
    • When historical sense no longer preserves life but mummifies it, the tree dies unnaturally
    • Antiquarian history itself degenerates the moment (which the present no longer animates) and inspires it
    • Only understands how to preserve life, not generate it
    • Always underestimates what’s coming, bc it has no instinct for discerning its significance
    • Monumental history has this instinct
    • It hinders the powerful resolve for new life
  • Man needs all three types of history:  monumental, antiquarian, and critical
  • Critical history:
    • Man must be able to shatter and dissolve something to enable him to live – achieves by judging, condemning the past
    • The same life that needs forgetfulness also demands temporary destruction of forgetfulness – then the past will be considered critically
    • We are the results of earlier generations, so we are the results of their passions, errors, crimes, etc. – can’t fully free yourself from this
  • Each man/people requires a certain knowledge of the past, always for the purpose of life

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. “On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life.” Untimely Meditations. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1980. Print.

Rhetorical Précis: Analysis of a Main Source and a Book Review

Rhetorical Précis 1 (Book):

Friedrich Nietzche, in his chapter On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, claims that historical and unhistorical knowledge are equally necessary for the “health of mankind.”  Nietzche supports this claim by providing advantages and disadvantages of three types of history:  monumental, antiquarian, and critical.  The purpose of his writing is to alert readers that history is easily overstudied, in order to prevent a harmful imbalance of knowledge in history and non-history.  The intended audience is likely someone who has some previous historical and philosophical knowledge, given Nietzsche’s background as a philosopher and the references to ancient cultures and figures.

Rhetorical Précis 2 (Book Review):

Verlag Fritzsch, in his book review for Friedrich Nietzsche’s Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen (Untimely Meditations), claims that Nietzsche does not want to abandon the study of history, but that studying it too intensely makes us think we have the power to judge the present critically.  Fritzsch backs up his claim by explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each of the three types of history mentioned in Nietzsche’s book: monumental, antiquarian, and critical.  The purpose of this book review is to reinforce Nietzsche’s idea that history is easily over studied, in order to alert the reader that a balance of studying history and non-history is essential to human progression.  The intended audience is likely someone who has some previous knowledge in history and philosophy, as Nietzsche’s readers likely are.

Bibliography

1.  Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 1980. Print.

2.  Fritzsch, Verlag. “Review of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche.” The North American Review 121.248 (1875): 190-93. JSTOR. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.

Contemporary Discourse: A Comparison Essay

Find the word document here:  Assignment B – Contemporary Discourse Essay

 

In the following two essays, Antoine Picon and Michael Fried make the argument for three-dimensional design within their larger arguments.  Picon is for digital 3D design in architecture, while Fried is for minimalist art as an object that the observer interacts with.  Designing art and architecture in three dimensions has many advantages over traditional painting and architectural graphics in two dimensions.

In “Architecture and the Virtual: Towards a New Materiality,” Antoine Picon argues that the three-dimensional digital world is beneficial, not threatening, to architectural design.  Unlike traditional architectural representations through two-dimensional drawings, “the computer presents us with new perceptual entities and objects…surface and volumetric deformations acquire a kind of evidence unavailable to traditional graphic means of representation” (Picon 117).  The ability to design and manipulate new or unusual forms digitally is something that cannot be done as successfully through traditional hand drawing.  Each piece of the design can be tweaked until thoroughly defined.  Digital designers are also able to manipulate “non-material phenomena” 2 like light and texture in a virtual model.  This creates a realistic scenario with actual parameters, while conventional drawing techniques do not fully convey architectural reality2.  We live and experience our surroundings in three dimensions, not in plan or section.  While Picon does not argue that traditional architectural representation should be eliminated, three-dimensional digital design provides many opportunities to push the limits of architectural design.

Michael Fried makes a similar argument for three-dimensional design in Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology. He argues that in minimalist art, “actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface” (Fried 118).”  This is similar to Fried’s argument that digital design, unlike traditional graphic representations, allows designers to understand new and powerful forms.  The 3D world allows for more defined and intriguing design for both artists and architects.  Similar to the way digital designers can manipulate “non-material phenomena,” a minimalist “takes relationships out of the work and makes them a function of space, light, and the viewer’s field of vision” (Fried 125).  The artist considers these parameters that enhance the experience of the user with the artistic object.  An example he gives is Donald Judd’s Untitled galvanized steel boxes that provide a “presence” through its size. Both minimal art and digital architecture go beyond the design of the object by including these new “non-material” parameters.  Unlike Picon, Fried says, “painting is here seen as an art on the verge of exhaustion” (Fried 118).  Picon does not argue that traditional architectural graphics should be eliminated, but Fried suggests that traditional art may soon expire.  Overall, three-dimensional minimalist art acts as an object that someone can interact with, unlike traditional paintings that just sit on the wall.

Though these readings were generally very different from each other, each author makes the point that creative fields like art and architecture are most effective through three-dimensional, rather than flattened, designs.  It gives the objects a presence and a more defined representation for a better user experience.

Research and Design: Comparison Essay

Assignment A:  Research in Architecture / Compare and Contrast Essay

Word document can be found here:  Research in Architecture Essay

 

This essay compares the ideas behind Groat and Wang’s Architectural Research Methods and Hinson’s “Design as Research: Learning from Doing in the Design-Build Studio.” Both parties argue that researching before designing creates a better understanding of a project and more information for a designer to utilize throughout the design process.

The first comparison is that doing research before designing is extremely beneficial, no matter what the project.  In Architectural Research Methods, Groat and Wang argue that ‘researching about the design process’1 through involvement, interviews, and other methods can explain and inform the process of design (Groat and Wang 107).  It can lead to a much more ‘scholarly’ and well-thought-out design.  A similar framework was used by students at the School of Architecture at Auburn University.  The $20,000 House project had to include an entire semester of predesign research to find the most sustainable and affordable solutions out there.  Without this research, the students would fail the goal of building an eco-friendly house under $20,000.  Though the second example is much more specific, each author recognizes that researching before designing is crucial to the design process.

The second comparison is that programming can be beneficial for building in the future.  Groat and Wang argue to “know as much as we can going into the project, and then evaluate the outcomes of the project after completion so that we can be more informed about the next design effort” (Groat and Wang 108).   Hinson writes about DESIGNhabitat students that designed and built homes for Habitat for Humanity.2 The students dedicate a whole semester to pre-design research, and monitor the homes they built to “measure the effectiveness of the design strategies employed in the original prototype and design/material variations” (Hinson 23).  This method lead to the students successfully building a home for Habitat for Humanity while providing a platform for the next round of students to improve their design further.  Groat and Wang also reference Donna Duerk’s Architectural Programming:  Information Management for Design3. Duerk makes the claim that the scientific method can be used in architectural programming to create “exact, reproducible results” (Groat and Wang 109).  DESIGNhabitat homes needed to be reproducible to accommodate the many families displaced during the Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2005.  Using the same methods that Duerk argued for, the students created modular, reproducible homes that could be built quickly.

The third and final comparison is that using existing issues instead of theoretical issues to base a design upon will lead to more successful results.  Groat and Wang used an argument by Gerald Susman4, who says, “I am presented with a problem occurring in an existing concrete setting, rather than a problem raised by theory [which] then leads me…to create a setting within which to understand the problem better” (Groat and Wang 112).  The $20,000 house uses the actual problem of families not being able to afford housing, and the $20,000 budget as an actual constraint.  When designers create solutions to real problems, it benefits people in need.

No matter what the method or problem, researching before designing is beneficial in many ways.  Though Groat and Wang only provide examples through theory and Hinson provides concrete examples, both exemplify the need for research to create a successful design.

 

 

Bibliography

 

1 Groat, Linda N., and David Wang. Architectural Research Methods. New York: J. Wiley, 2002. Print.

2 Hinson, David. “Design as Research: Learning from Doing in the Design-Build Studio.” Journal of Architectural Education. Wiley Online Library, 15 Aug. 2007. Web. 5 Sept. 2013.

3 Donna P. Duerk, Architectural Programming:  Information Management for Design (New York:  John Wiley, 1993).

4 Gerald Susman, “Action Research,” in Beyond Method:  Strategies for Social Research, ed. Careth Morgan (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1983), 95.

Dell Upton: Architectural History or Landscape History?

Summer Assignment | 9.6.13

1.  1 Dell Upton, “Architectural History or Landscape History?” Journal of Architectural Education (1984-), Vol.44, No.4. (August 1991), pg. 195-199.

2.  The intention of a designer does not matter, because the most important elements in architecture are created unintentionally.  Upton argues that architects, historians, and designers should accept these unpredictable elements that create the human landscape.

3.  Dell Upton works as a professor of architectural history at UCLA, Berkeley and at the University of Virginia. He received a B.A. from Colgate University in 1970, a M.A. from Brown University in 1975, and his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1980.  In addition to the major publications listed below, Upton has written a multitude of essays and articles that range from architecture to New Urbanism.

Major Publications:

  • Upton, Dell.  Architecture in the United States (Oxford History of Art).  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.  Print.
  • Won the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s 1999 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award
  • Upton, Dell.  Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic.  New Haven:  Yale UP, 2008.  Print.
  • Won the Society of Architectural Historians’ 2011 Spiro Kostof Publication Prize
  • Upton, Dell.  Holy Things and Profane:  Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia.  New York, NY:  Architectural History Foundation, 1986.  Print.
    • Won the Society of Architectural Historians’ 1987 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award
    • American Studies Association’s 1987 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize
    • Vernacular Architecture Forum’s 1987 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award

Sources:

http://www.arthistory.ucla.edu/people/faculty/dupton/

http://www.virginia.edu/art/artarch/faculty/upton.html

4.  Upton argues that architects, historians, and designers should accept the unpredictable elements that create the human landscape.  He makes this argument by describing the ‘history of architectural history.’  Upton describes previous schools of thought from the 18th and 19th centuries. He utilizes this information to draw conclusions and propose a new school of thought – to accept a cultural landscape.  His sources and references include several books on architectural histories, cultural transitions, and several of his own works.

5.  Keywords: aesthetic universals, cultural landscape, vernacular

6.  Map:  Summer Assignment Map Dell Upton

7.  Sources:

  • 1 Hernadi, Paul. “The Ideology of the Aesthetic.” The Rhetoric of Interpretation and the Interpretation of Rhetoric. Durham: Duke UP, 1989. 75-86. Print.
  • 2 Upton, Dell, and John Michael Vlach. Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture. Athens: University of Georgia, 1986. Print.
  • 3 Urszula, Myga-Piątek. “Cultural Landscape of the 21st Century: Geographical Consideration between Theory and Practice.” Wentworth Alumni Library. EBSCOhost, n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2013.

8.  Rationale:   I utilized the above resources because they contained very similar descriptions of the keywords I chose.  It was helpful to see these terms in a different context (other than the assigned reading) to give a better understanding of the term.  For example, one of the ways Upton describes ‘cultural landscape’ is as a “fusion of physical with imaginative structures.”  Urszula describes it as “created and transformed by human symbolic action.”  Having several descriptions gives a well-rounded understanding of the term.