Mass Identity Architecture : Architectural Writings of Jean Baudrillard

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-07-11
  • Publisher: Academy Press

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This new edition further explores the connection between the cultural analysis provided by the contemporary philosopher Jean Baudrillard and the new 'star' of global culture - architecture. In a world in which images have become a substitute for reality - i.e. simulacra capable of both stimulating and satisfying collective needs - the question arises as to whether architecture could be seen as a 'super-fetish', capable of both mirroring and shaping western society's culture and identity. The aim of this book is thus to provide new methodologies and to suggest new meanings for the comprehension and development of contemporary architecture. In Baudrillard's terms, architecture could be seen as the supreme medium of contemporary visual culture, especially in its potential to influence the individual's perception of reality as a component of the mass-media system. This kind of cultural analysis of the built environment and its effect on everyday life is still a relatively new phenomenon - both in the fields of critical theory and even more so in mainstream architectural criticism. This book, which forms a significant resource on the work of an immensely important writer, should appeal to a wide range of readers. Through highly evocative writing, it provides a theoretical, illuminating pathway for everyone who, either directly or indirectly, is involved or interested in architecture, urbanism and related subjects.

Author Biography

FRANCESCO PROTO, architect, is currently teaching at the postgraduate School of Critical Theory and the School of the Built Environment at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Consuming Signs ix
Mike Gane
Introduction: Philosophy as a Commodity: Mode d'Emploi xi
Francesco Proto
The Aesthetics and the Machine
Francesco Proto
Post-orgasmic chill
The Prozac effect
Disneyland: one-way ticket
The emperor's new clothes
Absolute Architecture
The Singular Objects of Architecture
Singular objects in architecture
Illusion. Virtuality. Reality
A destabilized area
Concept. Irresolution. Vertigo
Values of functionalism
New York or Utopia
Architecture: between nostalgia and anticipation
(Always) seduction
Provocation. Secrets
The aesthetics of modernity
A heroic architectural act?
Art, architecture and postmodernity
Visual disappointment
Intellectual disappointment
The aesthetics of disappearance
Cool Cities
Salt Lake City
New York
Santa Barbara
Venice and Porterville
The Bonaventure Hotel
The realized utopia
Cool Memories I (1980--85)
Urbino. Gubbio. Mantua
Tower blocks
Velizy 2
Versailles. St Peter
The Pompidou Centre
Urban monsters
Rome in December
Night on the cities
Ideal City
Fifth Avenue
Suburban comfort
Cool Memories II (1987--90)
American towns
Buenos Aires
Puerto Stroessner
Sites of fascination
Venice (California)
Los Angeles
Marilyn's grave
Salt Lake City
Las Vegas Disneyworld
Beyond Las Vegas
Venice (California)
New York. Lisbon
Shop windows
Shop windows 2
Arche de la Defense
Sao Paulo
Cool Memories III (1992--95)
Puerto Vallarta
Bern. Zurich
Brasilia's satellites
Free zones' farce
American campuses
Pointe du Raz
Copacabana Montreal. Rio
Luxembourg Gardens
Cool Memories IV (1995--2002)
New York
Tierra del Fuego
New York
Disney Company
Future Cities
St Petersburg
Buenos Aires
Palacio Itamarati
Villa Palagonia (Palermo)
Villa Palagonia II
The Indifference of Space
Le Parc de la Villette
Urbanism and architecture
The Code and the Eye
Hyperreal and imaginary [Disneyland]
The stucco angel [Baroque Architecture]
The tactile and the digital [World Trade Center]
Trompe l'Oeil or enchanted simulation [Duke of Urbino's and Federico da Montefeltro's studiolos]
Ecstasy and inertia [Pompeii]
The Rise of the Object: the End of Culture
The Formal Liturgy of the Object
The consumer society
Profusion and display
The drugstore
Parly 2
Hypermarket and Hypercommodity
Absolute Advertising, Ground Zero Advertising
Mass (Sociology of)
Mass languages
A structure of modernity
An operational language
Beyond truth and falsehood
The internal logic of this neo-language
The ideology of Technique
Technique as social practice
The organization, as myth, of technique
Conclusion: `technique totally in the service of everyday life?'
Ephemeral and Durable
The Irony of Technology
The Beaubourg Effect: Implosion or Deterrence?
The Aesthetic Suicide
Questions of Strategy
Truth or Radicality: The Future of Architecture
The Homeopathic Disappearance of Architecture: an interview with Jean Baudrillard
Aesthetics and design
The lost language of seduction
Success in architecture
Duchamp in architecture
The object as a sign
Space as a thought
Baudrillard, Perspective and the Void of Architecture
Keith Broadfoot
Rex Butler
Essential Bibliography 189(2)
Further Reading 191

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