Call for Papers: archimaera #9: The Rear View
“Man walks in a straight line because he has a goal and knows where he is going.”– Le Corbusier’s quote only knows one direction.
The destination lies ahead – but what is on the rear side? The destination is the planned, Rear Views are the unplanned, or previously planned. The Rear View is what has come out of view. It may be defined by the question of perspective, but it is also an ontological situation. Like a shadow, man carries along with him the rear side of his deeds and existence.
While contemplating Rear Views, images and experiences of architecture emerge as: shopping malls, airports, administration buildings, hotels, cities and plazas, university buildings and their rear sides. Likewise, works of art deal with the rear perspective. Some distinctively reject a singular, frontal perspective, or the claim of being perfect from every viewpoint, while others present Rear Views with artistic intention. Each page of a handwritten manuscript has a recto and a verso, front side and back side.
– Are there things and places which are Rear Views themselves? Are there places without a Rear View?
The absence of a rear side carries the connotation of perfection, clarity and control– a total panopticon. In a certain sense, this absence is an uncanny idea: the removal of rear sides would compare to the abolition of darkness. Murray Melbin’s Night as Frontier. Colonizing the World after Dark (1987) criticises such a radical belief in technology and enlightenment. The literal 24-hour enlightenment of the cities was a dream of the nineteenth century. Today it is reality; as a side effect it is hard to watch the stars in the night skies above our metropolitan areas.
Does the steady increase in efficiency and control threaten the phenomena of the rear side? What is the rear side of a technological, urbanised and global world?
Man walks in a straight line and he has a goal – If one takes this thought as a programme of progress, there are disciplines studying the exact opposite, focussing on what has passed and is left-behind. Seen in this way, architectural theory and history may be understood as an investigation of rear sides of architecture.
For the forthcoming issue, archimaera‘s editorial board kindly asks for contributions on Rear Views of architecture. Case studies, theoretical inquiries, architectural or artistic works, as well as examples from the arts, literature and architectural history are all very welcome.
What is the relationship between architectural Rear Views and the representation or non-representation of human behaviour? Are Rear Views determined anthropologically? How are they treated in artistic, architectural or dramaturgic concepts? Is there a typology of Rear Views? – Questions like these, as well as many others, may be starting points for theoretical and visual explorations of Rear Views of architecture.
Please send your proposal in the form of an abstract of max. 2.500 characters or a work sample (max. 3 MB) by 7 December 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: archimaera No. 9
Contributions will be selected by December 22, 2019.
Full contributions should be submitted by 22 February, 2020.
Please follow the archimaera style sheet when preparing your text