Forms of Mobilizing the Gaze

10. International Bauhaus-Colloquium • Weimar 2007

Call for Papers

Workshop 4

Prof. Dr. Marco De Michelis (Universitá IUAV di Venezia)
Assistant Chris Dähne M.Sc.

The gaze plays an important role in the technical image media and in architectural space. The gaze can even be referred to as a kind of common ground between architecture and the various image media. Architectural spaces as well as the several image practices - especially film, the paradigmatic image medium of modernity - apply the techniques of constructing, directing and staging the gaze. One only has to think of the classical forms such as the illusionary spaces of the Baroque, the anamorphosis of Andrea Pozzo or the English landscape gardens of Stourhead or Stowe. But likewise contemporary architectural practice, beginning with the Disneyland, media facades and Japanese theme parks up to shopping malls and event spaces come to mind. All these projects indicate a common understanding of space as multi-perspective, transparent, heterotopic and virtual. The workshop wants to discuss the intermediality particular in regard to the choreography of the gaze. Which role does the new paradigm of the digital play? What does it mean if the means of perception no longer belong to a single medium but rather gather in an inter-medial space as common matrix of spatial imagination?

The gaze usually serves orientation. But in modernity the oscillation between orientation and disorientation, seeing and being seen, presence and absence, transparency and non-transparency is an essential aspect of perception. The invisible is no longer simply the Other of the visible, but rather becomes related in a heterogeneous and fragmented way. If we talk about the Forms of Mobilizing the Gaze we not only address the optical and sensual events, but also the gaze which physiologically and psychologically inscribes itself on the human body. Which role do the spatial-optical Forms of Mobilizing the Gaze play in the information supply for the body and its synaesthetic mobilization?

The various Forms of Mobilizing the Gaze, space and the body need to be traced and described. Thereby the mutual interweave of the filmic imagination of the architectonic - from Fritz Lang's Metropolis to Matrix - as well as the forms of mobilizing the gaze with contemporary architecture - as practiced for instance by SANAA, GRAFT, and Jun Aoki - shall be investigated.


For further information please contact: chris.daehne[at]